Venus went retrograde July 25, and will remain so until early September. Retrogrades—the apparent backward motion of a planet respective to the orbit of our planet—are a welcome reminder that change is constant and imperceptible. Change on any scale,whether minor or cosmic, becomes noticeable to our clumsy human gaze only when a situation reaches some arbitrary point: a point that is meaningful only because of our specific vantage.And so situations, astral or mundane, achieve meaning not out of inherent significance, but because of our positional relationship to them. Moments of departure and arrival are the result of every moment prior, and exist in anticipation of every moment after. Maybe understanding even drastic changes as an accumulation of choices, circumstance, intentions, and consequences can make life easier to accept.
In the popular imagination, Venus is often exclusively associated with romantic and sexual relationships. But according to my astrology, Venus governs all of the different relationships of the heart. Unless you’re the most compartmentalized person ever, that includes your friendships. Thus, bear this piece of guidance in mind regarding all significant personal connections: allow connections to follow their natural course, and try to take a lot of personal space in relationships that confuse you. During this retrograde, passions may flare up not because of love or good intentions, but because of unfinished business with your destructive urges. If you have ever had any appetite for poison, be wary of your cravings. Everything has a trajectory. Not just planets. Your impossible desires lead you outside of strictly speaking good behavior, you decide you’re too far gone to ever redeem yourself, you wallow and obsess about the contempt in which you might be held. No? Not you? Cool, yeah, me neither, just an example.
The New Moon is on August 14th in Leo. Around then, if you casually offer to help someone move, they will likely call upon your assistance (with feeble offers of beer and pizza) before the night’s end. Mind your promises during the New Moon, unless you have a proverbial pickup truck and a shit ton of free time and good will. On August 29th, the Full Moon is in Pisces. Around then, you’ll cry if you hurt someone else’s feelings, turn red with shame if you see a friend embarrass themselves, get queasy if you see a stranger become blackout drunk. Plan your tenderness and mercy accordingly (to the extent that is even possible). Around then, or anytime really, consider abstaining from looking at pictures of your current or ex-partners’ current or ex-partners.
This month, you may wonder if as time goes on, both you and life itself are just getting weirder. If this thought causes you distress, seek a semblance of stability by spending time with people about whom you feel neutral and easy. It’s also a great time to foment self-control by cutting your hair. If the thought of increased or possibly even unending life chaos sort of excites you, prepare to be blindsided by a life change you can’t anticipate this autumn. Wishes shouldn’t be punished. They’re only barely an action. But sometimes it can feel like that’s exactly what’s happening.
Anathema to a Tauran’s nerves is being unable to control or mitigate harm to someone you love and feel protective of, particularly if you feel responsible for it. It’s not always clear to you how much you actually can control, and this month you could get particularly ambitious in your efforts to run the world. Maybe you really can do it all, manage the present, prepare for the future, save everyone. But if you find you can’t, just do the best you can and try to stay on the right side of the line between letting yourself off the hook and being self-aware without cripplingly self-critical. Up to you to decide which side that is.
The Venus retrograde may cause domestic flare-ups, with growing tension leading up to the Full Moon. You run the risk of being impatient or tactless with loved ones, your usually level head thwarted by a bold assurance in your version of reality. Though you tend to have a gift for seeing things from other people’s perspectives, this month you have a harder time putting yourself in other people’s shoes. So you can’t trust your judgment on what anyone you’re dealing with is going through. And of course, the heat isn’t known for improving people’s tempers. If you blow it, try to make amends before September, or you could botch plans for something happening in late fall.
When you’re on a roll, you often fail to take the temperature of the room. Cancers too can have a dramatic magnetism more often attributed to their zodiac neighbors, Leos. It’s just more understated in general, but sometimes you can get pretty worked up and end up with your foot in your mouth. That is likely to happen this month—or at least a crushing awareness of the possibility it could happen—and leave you feeling shy, and likely staying home. Which is unfortunate because the stars have put you on a public course this August. Find your inner calm, even if you’re out in the tumult of the world, and take a long walk alone to any body of water you can find, even if it’s only a puddle.
Birthday season continues, and with it, occasional unavoidable reflections on how your life is going. You come off as self-assured, but privately these reflections can be harsh. In August, if you find yourself looking for an algorithm with which to evaluate your life, I have a suggestion. Powerful fire lion, take a look at how you nurture the things you care for: both your methods and the results. When something is entrusted into your care, does it thrive? Does it wither? Do you feel proud or contrite? Is there something interfering with your ability to carry out your intentions?
When Venus is retrograde in your sign, you will be forced to face up to some unsettled business with your nerves. Your own mind can be your most formidable opponent, but this month you could also try to make it your best ally. Ruthlessly dissecting the past won’t guarantee you peace of mind. Thinking about your worries all the time only ensures you’ll be worrying all the time. As Autumn begins, you will have an opportunity to stand up for yourself in a way that could better your future in the long term. If you’re bogged down by insecurities and ruminations, there’s a chance you could miss the opportunity altogether.
Summer’s end finds you picking at things when you’re bored, restless and unwilling to challenge your snap judgments. Though you seem grouchy, the agitation may be growing from a sense of alienation. As Scottish Libran musician Rose McDowall sang, “I hate the trees/And I hate the flowers/ And I hate the buildings/And the way they tower over me/Can’t you see/I get so frightened/No one else seems frightened/Only me, only me.” If you can sooth your irritability enough to actually connect with a friend or co-worker this month, you’ll move out of your rut and onto what’s next. But you’ll have to take a break from being snarky to get there.
Many Scorpios are complicated people with complicated desires. Anyone who knows you and loves you has probably accepted this, but you may not have accepted it about yourself. Take ownership over it and you will spend your time and energy more effectively. This may include acknowledging a certain penchant for drama or even distress. If something seems too good to be true, try to become better to deserve it. The Venus retrograde will take a toll on your self-confidence but when it passes, you’ll be able to access even more personal power than you did at your peak this summer.
With a Sagittarian friend, any hang out can turn into a roast. Archers are quick-witted and can be merciless. But sometimes, the slightest sideways look can cut you deep. You can dish it out, but you can’t always take it. Once you realize something harmless has hurt you, it should give you pause: have there been times you’ve been less than sensitive? Yes, probably. The difference between self-pity and self-compassion is recognizing your ability to change. In August, try to give other people a break as often as you give yourself one. You’ll accumulate more goodwill and patience, upon which you thrive.
When you’re respected for the wrong reasons, you fail to take your own influence seriously. I’m not saying it’s incorrect or foolish, but belief in the purity of a means to an end is certainly one of the more idealistic beliefs. Learning to accept compliments isn’t about wearing blinders, it’s about taking them off and realizing that people like you. This month, try restricting your critical voice a bit. Don’t ignore your judgements about where it’s coming from, but save the intellectualizing for when you’re making decisions. In other words, leave your skepticism at the office from time to time.
When you have an opinion, as you can generally be counted upon to do, it’s easy to get carried away and speak on behalf of more than just yourself. Don’t forget to be an individual! It’s okay to be just one small person. It’s easy to forget to be a person this month, particularly around the New Moon. Sometimes in the journey back to your person- ness it is helpful to deprive oneself of the activities that only superficially bolster your self-esteem. Another spiritual integrity-building exercise is publicly and unabashedly lingering in uncertainty, discomfort, or confusion.
Despite being misread as mysterious or unsure, Pisceans often know exactly what they want. But sometimes you play it cool so that if you get what you want, it won’t be through manipulation. More than just a deferential strategy, your M.O. is actually a subconscious acknowledgement of a complex interpersonal energetic economy. You relinquish your control over other people’s desires, the desire commons is flush with your wealth, there is increased equitability of the desire playing field, your comrades spend their desires in good faith, everybody wins. So to whoever finds you difficult this month, just explain you’re basically enacting emotional communism. That should help.