July epitomizes Summer, a season when we take the time to step off the track of our daily affairs, focus on the pleasures of life and seek out recreational activities and enjoy some down time. This July might not allow so much for down time as much as ratcheting up the energies with us hotly in pursuit of involvements that take the edge off and provide a much needed pumping up of our self-appreciation.

July begins with two planets in Fire Signs, two planets in Earth Signs, three planets in Air Signs and three planets in Water Signs. There are three planets in Cardinal Signs, two planets in Fixed Signs and five planets in Mutable Signs. Five planets are in Positive Signs and five planets are in Negative Signs.

We start the month with a fairly good balance among the Elements, Quadruplicities and Dualities. There is an emphatic quality in the Grand Cross by Sign in the Mutable Signs.

We can be hopscotching all over the place in early July. We start the month under the influence of the Mars trine Pluto exact on June 30th, just before Mars enters Virgo on the 1st. Our passion and determination are engaged. We want to spread our wings, explore distant realms and leave our imprint on everything we touch. Although we may have gained a second wind and may no longer feel as lethargic as we have felt over the past few months, this regaining of energy needs a focal point. But the focal point may be lacking as we try first one thing, then another and then another.

As we start July, we cannot rule out the possibility of leaping ahead, going overboard and indulging our desires. Venus opposes Jupiter, exact on the 3rd, and we might want to soothe our feelings and satiate our appetites with the ‘comforts’ of food, purchases, or activities. We need to be careful of immediate gratification as a distraction or an automatic response to help us feel better.

Experimentation and changing our parameters may be the theme as we start July, which also begins the second half of 2008. For many of us, if we could see the first six months of 2008 as having been one phase and the second half being a whole new phase, we would certainly be happy. For the first half of 2008 may have seemed like the floor opened up beneath us with our sense of stability and security shaken to the core.

With July beginning under the additional influence of Mercury square Uranus, exact on the 5th, we have to be careful not to jump to conclusions. We may be champing at the bit, looking to incorporate significant changes in our daily lives but with a tendency to leap before we look.

Change seems the keyword of these times but change solely for the sake of change could also be like the old saying that good intentions are the pathway to hell. Before we institute significant changes to our lives, it would be important to keep in mind two other sayings: [1] ‘the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know’; and [2] ‘meet the new boss same as the old boss’.

Before incorporating change into our lives, it would be wise to consider the implications of what we are leaving behind and what we are moving towards, even if what we are moving towards cannot be fully and clearly defined.

Revelations, insights and flashes of genius can open us up to alternatives and options we might not otherwise consider. We do have to take the time to consider the ramifications.

With Mercury trine Neptune, exact on the 6th, our intuitive sense can be strong. If it feels right, then it might be an indication of right action. Our thoughts and our feelings may not always match and we do need to find the balance between a desire for change and our sense of what our perfect world would be like. It could be too easy for us to act spontaneously, assuming that we are totally ‘in the moment’ and in synch with the natural unfolding of our lives. Before we launch ahead, it would be wise to go into the quiet of our being and evaluate seriously any new directions.

Also on the 6th, Venus trines Uranus. Interesting connections can be made in the most unexpected ways. We might find ourselves being in the right place at the right time. A desire to add some spice into our lives can get us involved in different social activities and in sprucing up our homes. Reunions and reconnections can offer wonderful surprises.

This 6th can be a sparkling day, filled with excitement and a feel-good attitude. It may smooth over any upsets triggered by the Mercury Uranus square on the 5th.

Despite the 6th being a primo day, the first half of July could prove dicey. Excess, unexpected situations, seeking change and disrupting our daily conditions can all be part of this early July period.

Days to especially watch for would be on the 5th with Mercury square Uranus and on the 10th with Mercury opposed Pluto and Mars conjunct Saturn.

The former, Mercury square Uranus on the 5th, can create traffic problems, miscommunications and computer glitches. Unexpected news could rattle us and upset out plans. If we don’t get ensnared by the energy but rather keep a clear head and maintain a focus all the while that our minds are racing with rapid-fire thoughts, we can come up with some interesting insights, answers to problems, and startling revelations.

The latter energy patterns on the 10th of Mercury opposed Pluto and Mars conjunct Saturn can find conversations turning into arguments that could take a toll on our physical vitality. We might feel as though we’ve been knocked for a loop as our energy drains away. We could also discover that situations thought completed still have some loose threads to tie up. Situations could be explosive and we might feel as though we can’t take it anymore. If we can get a handle on the energies, this can also be a time when our ideas are profound, our intellect penetrating and our thoughts right to the point. Strategizing and then putting plans into action can be effective. To take hold of the energy may demand focused intent, not knee-jerk reactions or belligerent attitudes.

On the 10th, Mercury exits its own Sign of Gemini to enter Cancer, creating a Stellium of three or more planets in the cardinal Water Sign, as Mercury joins the Sun and Venus in Cancer. Our interests may lie with home and family. We could tend to home improvement projects and prepare for family gatherings. We may have a tendency towards nesting, wanting to spend more time at home, reflect on our past, and feeling overly sensitive to situations going on around us.

The Cancer Stellium is short-lived as Venus exits Cancer on the 12th and enters Leo. Increasingly, we are likely to be looking for fun times, pleasurable events and enjoying ourselves.

Our plans can be well thought-out and well executed around the 14th and 15th when both Mercury sextiles Saturn and the Sun trines Uranus on the 14th and Mercury sextiles Mars on the 15th.

The second half of July is a good time for us to consider how we want to re-create ourselves. Whether we choose to travel or stay home on a ‘staycation’, we are looking for FUN with capital letters. We don’t want anything too serious, would prefer to concentrate on summer enjoyments.

The 19th has Mercury opposed Jupiter, and we need to watch for an element of overreach whereby we take on too much from a sense of exuberance, optimism and confidence. This time is when we might bite off more than we can chew.

We are likely to be more upbeat, a feeling that becomes more pronounced when the Sun enters Leo on the 22nd, the same day that Mercury trines Uranus. Seeking to put our spin on things, we might try something new, stretch our wings and invest in equipment that can make our lives easier. Our mind is open to new ways of doing things and streamlining our activities. Taking a break from our daily routine allows us a fresh perspective, provides the hiatus in order for us to evaluate and see things from a detached viewpoint, and reinforces the importance of the day[s] of rest, relaxation and re-creation.

During this second half of July, we seem to gather steam and feel more back in our bodies, even if our intentions have changed and our plans for the future have only started to form.

Mars trines Jupiter on the 26th, the same day that Mercury enters Leo and creates a Stellium of three or more planets in the Fixed Fire Sign as Mercury joins the Sun and Venus in Leo. Energized and with a desire to advance our interests, we may feel at the top of our game. We certainly are looking out for number one, and seeking those venues in which we can stand out.

Our self-focus may become exaggerated around the 29th when Mercury and the Sun are conjunct. We may concentrate on our world and our interests without due consideration as to how our actions, attitude and behavior might impact other people.

Any tendency towards narcissism could provoke discord or disharmony in our relationships at the end of the month when Venus opposes Neptune on the 31st. We could become infatuated with someone seeing ourselves in them. But we would have to be careful that we are not doing the dance with a trickster, someone appearing one way, the reality being totally different.

July may start off wild and wooly with us all over the place. The waves of the cycles may seem like tsunamis at times with a great deal of force and excitement. As the month goes on, we are likely to find that no matter what else is happening in the world, nothing and no one are likely to rain on our parade of good times and fun events. We are in it to win it, to live life to the fullest, and this July could prove it so.

July… swirling, whirling, settling into a groove…