THE SUMMER is about to get slower, if no less complex. Mercury turns retrograde Tuesday through Aug. 19 and joins Mars, Saturn, Pluto, Neptune, and Chiron already in retrograde. When the planets appear to move backward, it’s a good time to review where we’ve been and remember what we’ve learned as people and as a culture. The past can feel very present with us in retrograde season.
Retrogrades ask us to slow down, forget our plans, and tend to the work that shows up. It helps to keep our sense of humor, so the small snafus and the strange non sequiturs amuse rather than depress us. To thrive over the next month, check for misunderstandings whenever there’s tension, distill recent lessons, enjoy some time off, and catch up with the soul.
Our energy flows in and out this weekend as the moon in Scorpio conjuncts Jupiter and enlivens inner worlds. Mercury in sociable Leo can make it feel necessary to be seen, clashing with the Scorpion urge for privacy. On Sunday, the moon enters outspoken Sagittarius while the sun is in extroverted Leo; these fire signs call us out and ask us to start dealing with the larger world.
We won’t get lost in that busy social life, because Venus in introspective Virgo continues to feed the critical, creative mind and warm the compassionate heart. But we may need to dig up old relationships and go over them again. Let’s keep the focus not on what happened, but how to do it differently next time. Later in the week, the sun opposes Mars, giving us energy but testing our control over our tempers and impulses.
All week, new connections form with old contacts. Stay in the present with any new friendships; take all of life one step at a time.
FRIDAY, JULY 20: It’s hard to get out of our heads and see from another’s perspective as the moon enters self-protective Scorpio, but we can look within and get to the root of the problem. If hurt, people will lash out. Slow down and go deeper. Look at the beautiful moon-Jupiter conjunction tonight and let it free the heart.
SATURDAY, JULY 21: Imagination sings to us this morning, but some logistical questions clog up the day. Communication and transportation may snag as the moon squares Mercury; patience, humor, and a moment of solitude help.
SUNDAY, JULY 22: Forgiveness is in the air as Venus sextiles Jupiter and emotional tensions soften. The world can become more spacious if we let it as the moon enters Sagittarius and the sun is in Leo. Let this window of collaboration help us connect.
MONDAY, JULY 23: The mood is restless, but physical and emotional safety is found in mindfulness. Stay in the moment rather than living in the past or projecting into the future.
TUESDAY, JULY 24: We can access great determination but maybe not all the facts as the moon enters industrious Capricorn while Venus opposes escapist Neptune. Seize an opportunity for healing or correcting a misperception just by showing up and being helpful.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 25: If we’re ready to let go, now may be the time to do so. Unsettling changes are on the horizon as the sun squares Uranus and Mercury retrogrades. Hold hands and duck under the energetic turbulence. Find calm in the center.
THURSDAY, JULY 26: Put safety first as the sun opposes Mars. A brush with mortality can bring us closer or make us control freaks, it’s our choice. If difficulties arise, let’s do the right thing rather than react. Find a safe place to vent if needed, and don’t drive while angry. Contact astrologer Heather Roan Robbins at roanrobbins.com.