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Astrology Highlights for July 10-16, 2023: An Empty Hammock

An Empty Hammock

This week’s Aries Last Quarter Moon (July 9, 2023, 6:47 pm PDT, 17º35’ Aries/Cancer) is the final action point in the Gemini New Moon cycle that began on June 17th. Gemini’s job is to collect all the information we can, but it often confines its search to the things we’re able to see, hear, read, or reason through. In that New Moon chart, however, the Sun and Moon were both square Neptune, a source of information that is intuitive – less obvious but just as important. It’s been challenging to clear one’s head and make a plan.

The Last Quarter Moon highlights the Sabian symbols 18 Aries (Moon), An empty hammock, and 18 Cancer (Sun), Hen scratching for her chicks. Most likely, the hammock is empty because even though summer invites us to lie about and relax, the Last Quarter it’s an action-oriented phase in a highly action-oriented sign, Aries. At last, Neptune’s fog is lifting.

There’s good reason to move, and move fast. The Sabian symbol for the Sun, Hen scratching for her chicks, implies that all this running around and hard work are not necessarily because we feel inspired or have a lot of energy, but because others are relying on us to provide sustenance. We might also be home more just now, giving thought to improvement projects and how to pay for them.

It’s a wonderfully energetic Last Quarter Moon. If you’ve got projects on your list that you’ve been stalling out on, talking yourself out of them and finding it hard to move forward with them – this is one of the best lunar phases all year for breaking through.

A Cranky Mars

When I was small, I was obsessively neat. For fun, I used to sweep the front path…and it was made of dirt!

And yet, some of my favorite places to play were messy, even chaotic. One relative’s home was comfortably untidy, and it was liberating to spend time there, where you never felt tense about leaving your crayons or comic books lying around. It was a place that fueled imaginative play.

Mars enters Virgo this week (July 10, 2023, 4:40 am PDT, through Aug. 27), and as a proud owner of a Mars in Virgo in my birth chart, I can attest to its virtues. This Mars is tidy, self-assured, competent, and dedicated to quality work and attention to detail. But every Mars placement has its scratchy side, and it’s the small things that aggravate us when Mars is in Virgo: the poor use of punctuation, the waiter who mixes up the lunch order, the friend who is always late.

If you find yourself a little more sarcastic, sharp-tongued, and critical while Mars is here, remember that Mars acts as the guard dog of the ego – and Mars in Virgo shows its cranky side when we feel we’re being taken for granted, or that the quality of our work is being impugned. To get perspective and balance on a cranky Mars in Virgo, take your cues from Saturn and Neptune in blurred-around-the-edges Pisces – focus less on doing every perfectly, and more on being helpful and kind.

A Glimpse into the Underworld

As Mercury opposes Pluto (July 10, 2023, 1:48 pm PDT, 29º23’ Cancer/Capricorn), I’m reminded of the difference between grasping something with your mind and understanding it with your body. An intellectual understanding and willingness to talk about profound issues are a good place to start. But unless we’ve faced these things ourselves, faced life-threatening discrimination, watched a loved one struggling to breathe, found ourselves without a home, our ability to understand them is limited.

Pluto is on the Sabian symbol 30 Capricorn: A secret business conference. Today, we’re invited to glimpse the shadowy, Pluto underworld that many of our fellow humans – and occasionally, we – call home. Listen and watch, and listen to their stories.

Flair and Flattery

When we embrace the spirit of Mercury in Leo (July 10, 2023, 9:11 pm PDT – through July 28), others tend to pay attention when we speak. Under its influence we speak with utter confidence and real flair. But how do we know whether we’re as right as we think we are?

When Mercury is in Leo (July 10, 2023, 9:11 pm PDT through July 28), it struggles a bit to do its work as well as it might. On the face of it, that’s counter-intuitive; surely Mercury’s communication skills would benefit from Leo’s creativity and sense of fun?

And I mean, it does – but self-expression is only part of Mercury’s job. It’s also charged, to the best of its ability, with gathering and processing ALL facts and information – not just the ones that flatter us.

Enjoy Mercury’s brief journey through Leo. Play games. Read entertaining books. Tell stories. Make people laugh. But save research and analysis for Mercury in Virgo (beginning July 28); it’s too easy now to see only what we want to see.

New Thoughts, New Ways

The Sun sextiles Uranus (July 14, 2023, 4:02 pm PDT) on two evocative Sabian symbols. The Sun is on 23 Cancer, Meeting of a literary society, while Uranus is on 23 Taurus, A jewelry shop.

That “literary society” symbol brings to mind an assembly of erudite and opinionated readers, each with the unshakeable conviction that theirs is the only true interpretation of the text – particularly as Mercury has entered self-assured Leo. But the Sun’s sextile aspect to renegade Uranus offers an opportunity to let ourselves and our points of view be changed. Uranus in Taurus can shake us right off our high horses – and release us from the rigidity of our sense of who we are and what we believe. Uranus’ “jewelry shop” symbol hints that a reward awaits us if we’re willing to take this opportunity.

The Sun’s sextile to Uranus is reminder to embrace new thoughts and new ways. This doesn’t mean we have to settle for chaos. But there’s little doubt we’ll remain more flexible and interesting if we embrace change – even the change of our own minds – rather than letting the fear of it stop us in our tracks.

Writing and images © 2017-23 by April Elliott Kent

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