Shifts to Subtler Signs


The big astro-news of the week (if it can be called that) is a change of sign for both Venus and Mars… in addition to the Sun's movement into its home court of Leo.

I question the 'big astro-news' characterization only because, aside from these sign changes, the overall energetic dynamics between the planets—the geometric aspects that frame easy-flowin' or harsh-'n'-challenging activity—are relatively mild for the week. (Especially when compared with next week's New Moon, Mercury ending its current retrograde, and a grand water trine featuring Venus, Jupiter and Uranus. Whew!) Thus, you can expect to detect a subtle astro-atmospheric shift, which will become more fully apparent and active next week.

What is the nature of this shift? Well, if we take a fast glance at the signs involved, it should be rather evident to anyone familiar with the zodiac characters' traits: (1) Venus, from Gemini to Cancer. (2) Mars, from Leo to Virgo.

Gemini and Leo together, which we've experienced for the past few weeks, is bustling and busy, expressive and chatty, bold and brassy, and very very into the social thing. Cancer and Virgo, meanwhile, are far less extroverted and obvious. They need few words and little attention to get their jobs done. They're generally more receptive and attuned to variations in psychic mood, rather than (as Gemini and Leo might) dominating the scene with their own attitudes and agendas. Cancer and Virgo like to support, help and serve—or, if it's time to take a break, retreat into private quietude.

Venus makes the first move, inching into Cancer tomorrow evening (Tue Jul 18) for a 3-week visit, easing us from mental overstimulation to better awareness of other sensations. Full-body feelings, rather than perky comments or novel ideas, are what'll inspire our relations. We'll be eager to share meaning and depth with each other, without needing to say much. Those with "a quiet way about them" will possess the most hypnotic allure.

Venus in Cancer also invites us to delve intuitively into sincere sentimentalism… reminding us of the people we love as family (whether they're blood kin or loyal lifelong friends) and arousing us to reconnect, so we may demonstrate our caring. If someone pops into your head after a long absence of communication, chances are it's time to ring 'em up. As we treat others with the kind nurturance we'd most want for ourselves, the favor gets returned—in rather surprisingly circuitous, indirect ways.

Then, Mars leaves bombastic Leo… to enter the more reserved and reclusive sign of Virgo on Saturday (Jul 22). Gone (mostly) are the big dramatic gestures at every turn—and some of the big dramatic excitement that comes with 'em. In their place, we gain lots of practical patience and logistical dexterity for tinkering with the tasks and tests that support our stability. What we give up in extroverted oomph, we make up for with diligent responsibility.

A great way to use Mars in Virgo is for methodically examining and improving upon whichever matters beckon your attention. Mars in Virgo possesses an exacting precision that works problem-solving wonders wherever we direct it. Be careful, though, not to turn its analytic sharpness against yourself or others in your life. The "flaws" it uncovers may simply be the inescapable imperfections and inconsistencies that we all display—and no one likes to feel criticized or picked apart.

Despite the mellower vibe emitted by Venus-and-Mars's trips into softer signs, all the fun won't disappear, thanks to the Sun coming home to roost in ruling sign Leo. When the Sun is in Leo, we reap an all-over ego vibrancy from its confident brightness… a joie de vivre that keeps us remembering why it was worth all the inconveniences to incarnate into this body at this period of time.

By the by, Mercury's still retrograde for another week and a half, ladies and germs. Do with that information as you will… or as I'm daring to do.