Starry Nights


By Michelle Proctor

Forecast July/August 2017



It’s July – the astrological light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel month! The stresses of the Grand Cross alignment are fading, and wave after wave of fresh energy is coming in.

First up, Mercury shifts Direct on 2 July. It’s always a relief to have Mercury heading the right way, as communication on all levels goes more smoothly. Yet the benefits of retrogrades are not to be underestimated.

Over the first 6 months of the year, the retrogrades of Mercury, Venus and Mars gave a rare chance to get fresh angles on past events, clear out baggage and prepare our next steps. We rewound, pressed pause and reviewed the movie reels of many past experiences and learnt from their glitches and successes. Now that these inner planet retrogrades are over, we can progress more freely.

From April to June, the Grand Cross also had us in deep contemplation mode. Many felt pinned to the spot, almost as if crucified. A lot of unusual behaviour has popped out this year with the intensity of the Grand Cross alignment. It’s not easy to act in normal ways while being crucified!


































While some felt left hanging by life – stuck in the middle of a crossroads considering which of the four paths to choose – others were driven to make radical decisions and embark on immediate change when they came to their crossroads.

Mars’s retrograde, which ended late May, and recent slow movement forward has helped us stay present to some big sunsets and sunrises as people chose their paths and began to walk them – e.g. to say goodbyes or to welcome newcomers, rather than regret not doing so down the track. Retrogrades help us go back and deal with things we regret or avoid creating regrets in the first place.

As in the 60s (the period in which this Grand Cross cycle began), the times are changing extremely rapidly. A whole era is ending. Old values have sung their finales and departed. A number of retail stores in my local area suddenly closed during the Grand Cross months. They had been part of the ambience, soul and culture of my suburb for many years. I was sad to see them go. With online business (Uranus in Aries) now holding a firm foot in the door, retail trade will never be the same again.






















































Speaking of Uranus, this evolutionary planet turns Retrograde on 23 July, giving us a chance to take stock of life’s rapid changes and muster energy for the next Pluto-Uranus square in December. Uranus heads Direct again at the December solstice.


On 21 July Mars returns to the degree it went Retro (27 Libra) and leaves its shadow period. If you’ve felt held up or held back since early March, especially with relationship, legal or negotiation issues, from 21 July the intensity releases, the foot is off the brake and you can start to feel your way forward.


On 26 JulyMars moves out of Libra, after being there for eight months (since early December 2013). Before Mars fully departs Libra, it leaves us with some stunning alignments that enhance the whole of July.


The loveliest is a trine with Venus. Here we have the God (Mars) and Goddess (Venus) co-operating and enjoying each other’s company. The exact date of the trine is 13 July, and its influence lasts strongly from about 9 to 19 July, yet right from the start of July we are uplifted by its presence.


Venus is in Gemini during that time. As both Venus and Mars are in air signs, communication flows freely – love letters, thank you notes, excited social plans, whisperings of sweet nothings, flurries of texts, twitters etc all seem relevant. I can’t help but think of a pair of happy doves cooing. These could be ‘blue bird of happiness’ days in relationships. Life compels us to reach out to those we are interested in to see if there is chemistry. If not, the energy still remains bright and clear for pursuing other attractions.


The Venus-Mars trine days – 9 to 19 July – inspire networking. It’s a good time to send grant proposals, letters to the editor, audition, go to job interviews, voice your opinions, start a blog, offer invitations or accept them. It’s a perfect time for writing and the arts. It’s also a good time to research, negotiate, close deals and sign contracts. 


On 14 JulyMars is exactly conjunct the North Node in Libra. The combo of the Venus-Mars trine and Mars conjunct the North Node augurs well for relationships that are ‘destined’ to proceed into the next phase. There’s a pull toward soul mates. This relates to work, business, family, hobby and community connections as much as it does to friendships, romance and partnerships.


Mars conjunct the North Node brings us closer to special people in our lives. All month long these effects are felt. There might be a few surprises on this front – we might experience ourselves out of ‘vibe’ with certain people – but mostly we will already be on track with our relationship pathways as we’ve had plenty of time during the 8 months of Mars in Libra to sort relationship priorities.


In addition, all through July Mars makes an extremely close trine alignment with asteroid Hygeia. This powerful asteroid is named after the ancient goddess of healing. Her symbol is the caduceus – the double-entwined snakes. The caduceus promises mending and wholeness – the good health that flows naturally when opposites are in balance.


This is an excellent month for healing, personal growth and unity. Many threads can be woven together to finish major phases on any level. Mars here is like scissors cutting cords to old cycles, and Hygeia is like a surgeon stitching up wounds so that we may heal and thrive. Without the cut – the ‘surgery’ – our experiences might become overripe and even rot.


These Mars alignments (trine to Venus, conjunction with North Node and trine with Hygeia) make July the perfect month to find the right supports to take life to the next level with anything.


From time to time we all need some sort of healing, coaching, training or input – big or small – but especially now as we recalibrate after the Grand Cross. Whatever you need help with – remember that’s anything – this is the month to find those who can help make things ‘whole’ for you. If you get a ‘no’ from one person, be bold and reach out to the next person and the next and the next until you find your right match.


So how’s that for Mars’s last month in Libra – a special swansong with gifts for us all.


July’s other highlight news concerns JupiterThe 16th of July is a stand out day because Jupiter moves into Leo. This is a ‘look out world, here I come’ transit. Jupiter is a bold, fiery planet and Leo is a bold, fiery zodiac sign. The combination of these two makes me think of maracas and margaritas – parties, holidays, movies and entertainment. Jupiter spends approximately a year in each zodiac sign and will be in Leo over the next 12 months.


Also on 16 JulyMercury returns to the degree it went Retro (3 degrees Cancer) and therefore leaves its shadow phase. Mercury here is like a ring master announcing Jupiter’s entry into Leo calling for drum rolls and resounding applause.


Over the past 12 months, Jupiter was in Cancer and helped us let go of clutter, get to the nub of our needs, and establish habits that make us feel safe, supported and secure. Now that we have firmed up our foundations, with Jupiter in Leo we have a year to test our confidence and show what we’re made of.


Cartwheels, carousels, dancing troupes and ringing bells – Jupiter in Leo says ‘let’s throw open our hearts through more play, more joy and more creativity’. The energy is high. The challenge is to experience the exuberance of this energy without going overboard or without rebelling against it and popping other people’s balloons, or using all of earth’s natural resources on bigger and better firecracker shows.


Firecrackers going off can be either good or bad depending on the intentions of those lighting the crackers. Mercury’s involvement at the time of Jupiter’s ingress into Leo cautions that intention is everything. Under Jupiter in Leo we can get too high and lose touch with our grounding. Mindfulness is the key to making the most of this wonderfully exuberant energy.


From 1 August there’s a lot happening in Leo – Mercury is now in Leo, the Sun is in Leo and Jupiter is in Leo. Yet all this Leo is squared by Saturn in Scorpio and Mars, also now in Scorpio. From 8 to 16 August, this square is particularly felt. Saturn and Mars advise us to check we are not being reckless and about to cause irreparable damage. If you’ve double-checked your goals and feel comfortable with the foreseeable consequences, this energy could really take you places.


In fact there’s a double whammy from 8 to 16 AugustUranus and the South Node in Aries make a trine alignment to Sun and Mercury in Leo showing a huge impulse toward fun, passion, creativity and just damn well following our hearts and desires. This alignment brings random outside-the-box experiences, like the ups and downs of a roulette wheel. This volatile energy swings between the possibility of stressful accidents and exhilarating spontaneous surprises.


You must be the one to discern if any seemingly amazing experiences at this time really are good for you or whether they are poison apples dressed up as golden apples. They could be either. Saturn and Mars in Scorpio help with discerning hidden intentions and taking sober steps.


Venus enters Leo on 12 August and adds to the Leo brightness. She’s still there at the end of August keeping up the theme of flying with breakthroughs. In fact from 23 to 30 August, Venus makes her own trine alignment to Uranus and the South Node bringing ‘destined’ meetings, blasts from the past and opportunities to break free. During that week, Black Moon Lilith in Leo travels next to Venus, indicating some tough choices might need to be made in work, social and love situations about inclusion/exclusion.


Do be sensitive if people are not included. The bottom line with Lilith is always respect. If there are good fair reasons for non-inclusion, communicating them mindfully helps everyone’s dignity and confidence remain intact so that the positives of the Leo vibe can be enjoyed by all. Black Moon Lilith’s presence warns of the consequences of forgetting to show respect. Lilith doesn’t have her wild woman image for nothing!


If you have been putting a lot of effort over the past two years into mastering a skill involving focus of personal willpower to allow your creativity and passion to flow, August is a stand out month for your talent pouring through and you receiving the recognition you have long worked toward.


Really the whole of August is infused with the excitement of intense alignments in action. This is a liberating month for many, but there is a huge warning to take care.


Saturn is worth a closer look because he shifts Direct on 22 July bringing our attention back to him. In these times of intensive change, often the most radical changes are happening within each of us. While in Scorpio, Saturn is in mutual reception with Pluto in Capricorn and this locks the two into a very powerful energy that brings great results when channelled into personal truth and growth, from the inside out; from bottom to top.


Basically it’s time to face our dark sides. One day, it might be our turn to feel and transform painful memories and emotions, the next day it might be someone else’s. While there is much exuberance in July and August, there is also always the ongoing process of becoming more real, more ethical, more truthful and more trustworthy.


Once Mars arrives in Scorpio from 26 July he becomes very powerful in his own zodiac sign. Mars rules not only Aries, but also Scorpio. Here we will get to test our mettle with personal power. How will we use the immense willpower at our disposal with Mars in Scorpio? Will we give into our fears and keep up the status quo, or will we muster all our courage to make a stand for the lives we have always dreamed we would live?


In mid-August, Mars starts to conjunct Saturn. The exact dates are 25 and 26 August, yet the few days before and after are strong too. Ultimately, the whole second half of August is coloured by this. If the heaviness of Saturn next to Mars makes you doubt yourself and your efforts, it’s time to either strengthen your commitment to your goals or ditch them for new ones. If your heart and soul insist you are on track, don’t give up. ‘Rise like a phoenix’ (gotta love Conchita!) and find a way to get through each obstacle on life’s obstacle course.


If it turns out you really are hitting your head against a brick wall, you will find out during these weeks. Frustrating as it is, we all face immovable reality-checks from time-to-time. There’s no shame in coming to a dead end or ‘wrong way, go back’ sign. Every champion does their time on the sidelines. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, right? So shift your focus and find another goal to direct your passion and skills through.


The cosmic invitation is to forge beyond perceived walls – not blindly or manically, but with discernment. Use your passion to insist life helps you find the right goal, project or way ahead. Passionately using your will to step onto the path of being more fully you will make the second half of August, with its Saturn-Mars effect, a great time to establish your purpose.



On 12 July, there’s a Full Moon in Capricorn conjunct Pluto, opposite Jupiter and square Mars, the Nodes and Uranus. The wonderful social, flirtatious vibe of Mars’s July alignments is alive and well, but this Full Moon reactivates the Grand Cross energy that we’ve just all passed through. While out and about swapping news and making connections, we’re also sizing up people’s new pathways. Raw feelings simmer beneath the talk and chatter. This Full Moon in Capricorn asks us to be sensitive to other people’s hardships and stay respectful when communicating. Many are healing from difficult times or still going through them. If respect is shown and attitudes of how people ‘should’ be are put aside, this Full Moon helps mend broken friendships and forge new ones so that everyone can feel supported and on track with their goals.


On 27 July, there’s a New Moon in Leo conjunct Jupiter, which is now in Leo square Mars. New Moons offer opportunities to imagine new pathways and plant the seeds of our tomorrows. With a New Moon in Leo, this is a time to visualise and map out plans for cherished adventures. Get to the bottom of what you want to do to bring more happiness and celebration into your life. Do you want to travel, take up a hobby, learn an instrument, have a baby, switch careers, start a romance…? Whatever it is, Jupiter’s involvement with this New Moon says ‘just do it!’, move through doubts, build your confidence and get into action. As discussed above, watch for Saturn and Mars in the wings squaring the Leo planets. Be sure to take care of practical details and use your discernment, then use this fabulous New Moon to leap toward success.


On 11 August, there’s a Full Moon in Aquarius opposite Black Moon Lilith and Mercury, and sextile the South Node and Uranus. There’s a lot of movement and energy charging about here. A conversation, news or other communication brings powerful information, intense emotions and big choices. Something is likely to come out of the blue. Uranus is Aquarius’s ruler so with a Full Moon in Aquarius closely aligning Uranus, a lightning bolt of change could emerge. Anything from winning a lucky draw to suddenly having to drive around to replace a blown appliance is possible. Come to think of it someone might blow a gasket and read you the riot act, or perhaps they grab and whirl you about a room in wild celebration. Messages arrive about life directions. Doors fly open and new pathways appear. This is a wild card Full Moon so keep your wits about you.


On 26 August, there’s a New Moon in Virgomaking lovely sextile alignments to Hygeia and Ceres. Both Ceres and Hygeia are nurturing goddesses – they help us nourish and heal, and look after ourselves and others. Diet, nutrition, health and fitness all come under the spotlight. What are our bodies telling us? Is there a health niggle we ought to pay attention to? Have we been overlooking loved ones in the wild extroverted energy of July and August? This New Moon encourages getting cosy with loved ones, cooking up healthy meals, assessing routines and checking we’re not cutting corners we’ll later regret. This New Moon helps us see the hidden ‘nasties’ in many of our food, cleaning and other products. It’s a perfect time to throw out old products, stock up with sustainable ethical ones and implement new patterns to feed ourselves the right kind of fuel for the distances we want to travel.


Enjoy the waves of fresh energy as they arrive this July and August. Have fun!



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