Monday, July 29th
4:13pm PST: Sun in Leo square Uranus in Taurus, both at 6°33’
At the time of year when it is closest to the earth, the Sun in Leo represents the desire to be loved for true brilliance, and the willingness to express that desire. Uranus in Taurus has a tendency to pull away things we think we need in order to liberate us from thought processes that don’t actually feed security. Uranus in Taurus can help us transcend the material world through understanding that what we want to own is rooted in perception rather than physical possession. Square aspects require our integration and especially in the fixed signs, need our willingness to sit with discomfort of conflicting ideas. This aspect calls to mind colonialist vs indigenous relationships to land. A colonialist worldview teaches that land is something to be owned and that possession of land renders one secure. Indigenous thinking believes that land is not something we own but rather something we serve. In many indigenous ideologies, we are in equal relationship to the land and must act as stewards that care for, nourish and protect it. Over hundreds of years the human race has plunged into a “power-over” relationship with land. If we think of squares like a pendulum knocked out of its normal back and forth rhythm, we need multiple energies to pull it back on track. The polar opposite of Leo is Aquarius, of which the modern planetary ruler is Uranus. Uranus in Taurus asks us for a paradigm shift on a collective level while Sun in Leo reminds us that this type of shift begins often in a personal or individual place. How can you cultivate a special relationship to something without owning it? What about reciprocity makes something uniquely lovely? What does enough mean to you and how do you create it for yourself? What do you do when you have more than enough? Are you conscious of having more than enough when you have it? The Sun has more than enough of itself to share, rises each day, showering the Earth with warmth and light, never asking for anything in return. The Earth grows many nourishing things for us, more so when we tend it. How can you bring this natural consciousness into all of your relationships to people, material possessions and ideas?

Wednesday, July 31st
8:12pm PST: New Moon at 8°Leo37’
Less than an hour before Mercury’s direct station, this New Moon gives us one last moment of profound internal reflection before readying ourselves to carry forth our message. Leo is both ordinary and extraordinary. In ancient astrology, the Sun was considered the “intelligence” of a chart. At home in Leo, the Sun in this sign is comfortably connected to its intuition and thus, feels genuinely warm and true. Often understood as a sign of drama because of its easy ability to shine, the Sun here is more about expression than performance. Expression doesn’t usually come easy so when it does, we may experience it as performative. When the Moon meets the Sun each month, it offers us a sweet moment to consider how we’d best like to express the solar energy. As the Moon proceeds around the zodiac over the course of about 28 days, it reflects the light of the Sun, highlighting the various ways the solar energy can be interpreted. Wherever the sign of Leo sits in your chart is an area of life where you need to be brilliant. Consider the kind of warmth you are naturally able to give. Ask yourself what makes you special. Set some intentions to express yourself so you are noticed for your skills. The place where Leo sits in our chart marks us with extraordinary ability. It may also be an area where we need a little extra affirmation. That said, make sure to plant some seeds that nourish the part of your that is also ordinary. A gifted child shouldn’t have to give up being a kid just because they’re gifted. Let yourself be seen as special and human. 

8:58pm PST: Mercury stations direct at 23°Cancer57’
After a long foray through the mouth of the lion and along the cancerian water’s edge, Mercury turns to move forward again. By now, you should be making some sense of the changes affected since June 20th when Mercury first entered pre-shadow. Note that these changes are likely felt more internally than externally, as Cancer is a private sign that often operates from the inside out. Especially as this Mercury retrograde was tied in with eclipse season heavily laden with a purpose of “clearing out” (Saturn & Pluto on the South Node), you may call to mind that one natural process of a crab is to molt; to literally shed its skeleton. As Mercury deals with the way we process information and Cancer is a sign deeply informative of our emotional bodies and security, take this moment to consider how your emotional processes have shifted over the last month or so. What did you think and feel before that has since changed? What were you identifying with in late June/early July while Mercury was in Leo that you have or are now detaching from? Cancer, as the crab that burrows its home in the beach, is known for hovering on the edge of the unconscious. It understands the dangers of the deep waters and is skilled at creating boundaries that protect it from this place. Still, it always stays close enough to observe the wild, tidal nature of the emotional body. Take this moment to consider feelings to which you’re still attached but might be holding you back. Unclench your claws. You are not your feelings. They may be a part of you but they move in a constant cyclic rhythm. Allow them to wash over you, to erode and change you over a long period of time. Move on.

Thursday, August 1st 
9:58am PST: Venus in Leo trine Chiron in Aries, both at 5°42’
Venus’ trine to Chiron shortly after the Leo New Moon helps us draw the connection between human being and human doing. While Chiron in Aries can give us an identity crisis, it can also teach us ways we want to identify. Venus in Leo reminds us that when we are in relationship to things we enjoy, we are more effortlessly ourselves. What practices or hobbies are part of your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual upkeep? Chiron, as a healer, is not limited to cures. Healers will also practice and often recommend preventative measures. Jump into a routine that helps you feel like yourself. Cultivating consistent joy gives you supportive resources to help prevent burnout. If you'r interests involve excessive exertion, make sure to also allow for ample rest. 

2:59am PST: Venus in Leo square Uranus in Taurus, but at 6°34’
Following suit after the Sun’s square on Monday afternoon, Venus might be the stabilizing hand on the pendulum trying to right itself. As we return to the question “how can love be enough?” Venus in Leo reminds us that love unexpressed might not be enough but love sung loud and sweet from the tops of trees goes a long way. It’s not always easy to express our love for something. When we are open about our desires, we are vulnerable to having our love be rejected or challenged. One of Leo’s skills is to shine regardless of whether it is witnessed. Still, that doesn’t mean affirmation isn’t supportive. A performance is always an exchange between the performer and the audience. It might be difficult for an actor to keep performing if they never received applause. Imagine if the audience just sat, silent at the end of the show - or simply got up and left before the curtain call. This aspect gives us the opportunity to reflect on relationships and areas of life that might need us to give more attention and care. Uranus in Taurus emphasizes the need of attention to elevate comprehension about climate changes, as well as social and economic disparities. If you are in a place of privilege, you may have heard someone less privileged ask that you educate yourself about their experience. While you don’t need to perform that you are doing the work, it can be helpful for a person who belongs to a less societally “de-centered” group to know that you are interested and engaged in the subjects that speak to their sense of security. Take some time to learn about something that might be important to someone who is different from you and start a conversation. If they don’t want to talk about it in the moment, it doesn’t mean your efforts aren’t valued and valuable. Uranus in Taurus helps us understand that security needs are different for various groups and individuals. Venus in Leo teaches us that learning about differences in identity is also an avenue to loving them.