Summer 2018 Astrological Almanac: How to Harness July’s 2 Eclipses and 6 Planets in Retrograde!

“What does an Eclipse even mean?”

Eclipses are astrological shakers and movers. They’re the Universe’s theatrical way of forcing us to focus on a particular area of our life. Eclipses always come in pairs, signifying new beginnings and decisive endings.

Solar eclipses are the riveting, energetic, exciting instigators. Solar eclipses usually introduce positivity and new beginnings. This is because they occur on New Moons. New Moons are the clean slates where we set intentions and begin new projects. Think of Solar eclipses as New Moons with a boost! (Click here for an example of a New Moon ceremony guide!) We can glean what these changes might bring by the sign the Sun is in at the time of the solar event. They are more likely to affect Leos, who are ruled by the Sun, and those whose rising or sun sign is the same as the Solar eclipse. The same rules apply to the lunar counterpart!

Lunar eclipses engage our deeper, subconscious selves. Lunar eclipses occur on Full Moons. They’re often emotional, sometimes trudging up old feelings and causing problems to resurface. They give us the opportunity to process our struggles and grow. Challenging but rewarding, lunar eclipses are intense astrological events. Cancers, ruled by the Moon, are likely to experience Lunar eclipses more intensely than others. Lunar eclipses are a great time to reflect on what has brought us to where we are, and consider how to implement those lessons moving forward.

July 12: Partial Solar Eclipse in Cancer

The partial Solar eclipse on July 12th is in Cancer, the sign of home, security, family, and protection. An interesting fun fact: America’s birthday, July 4th, makes us a Cancerian country! Cancerian New Moons encourage us to give our inner-selves some TLC. Focus on tending to yourself emotionally and try to refrain from taking on any big projects or major decisions, as with any eclipse. Emotional intensity is likely to occur; listen to yourself, try to keep a cool head, and heed any signs you encounter on or near the solar event. This is especially the case as the Sun is opposite Pluto, which is in retrograde.

Let me break that down: Pluto in retrograde forces us deep inside our psyches. It’s a highly personal retrograde where we learn what’s prevented us from being our most powerful and self-aware. A Cancerian Solar eclipse opposite Pluto will elevate these realizations to the point of potential existential revelation (or crisis!) Approach with caution and prepare to release whatever, or whoever, has been limiting you. Be open to transformation. Try to ground yourself. The silver lining of this eclipse is that it falls on the same day as a grand earth trine. There will be disruption, but when the dust settles, we will stand on a firmer foundation of self.

July 27: Total Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius

A slew of Aquarian/Leo Eclipses taking place from August of 2016 to January of 2019 have instigated a climate where Leo’s regality and self-centered leadership meets head-on with Aquarian revolutionaries, fighting for the common good. Hmmm, ring any bells?

This Aquarian Full Moon Eclipse is conjunct Mars, the planet of action. When planets are conjunct one another, their energies unite. Mars’ forceful and energetic attitude, combined with freedom-seeking Aquarian energy will encourage us to challenge the status quo. The Sun will be in Leo, giving us extra confidence in making powerful strides forward. That being said, it’s never a good idea to act on impulse during an eclipse. Be cautious, remember to use logic when making decisions. This is particularly important because Mars is in retrograde until August 27th. This leads to a lot of personal and emotional frustration. During Mars retrogrades, we tend to take action at the wrong time or in the wrong way. Think long and hard about the decisions you make in the immediate time period surrounding the eclipse. Lunar eclipses are vamped-up Full Moons. Our emotions are active and things are coming to a head. Now is the time to reflect on your last 6 months, and in particular your last month. What have you learned? What challenges have granted you new sight? How have you developed?

But wait, there’s more Mars! Mars and Uranus will have a square aspect during this eclipse. When Uranus comes into play, especially during an eclipse, the unexpected is sure to arise. Buzzing energy created by this conflicting aspect will make us want to act out without much thought for the consequences. How to use this energy to your advantage? Direct it into creativity! We’ll be faced with a desire for change, so it may be tempting to take on a big project, but smaller artistic ventures will yield better results. Now is a good time to try your hand at a new craft or take a Zumba class!

Planets in Retrograde:

Mercury: July 26, 2018 – August 19, 2018

Sigh. This is especially frustrating for us Virgos. When our ruling planet, Mercury, is in retrograde, communication becomes disrupted and difficult for everyone. This is not a time to make major commitments, especially in your career. Questioning how to go about an upcoming “big talk”? Either hold off or think carefully about how you word things. Don’t fret, use Mercury retrograde as a great time to rest, reflect, and plan ahead!

Mars: June 26, 2018 – August 27, 2018

Just chill. Especially if you’re an Aries. Your ruling planet is the planet of action, momentum, and impulse. Roman and Greek mythology assigns this planet to the hot-head God of War. When Mars is in retrograde, we tend to make impulsive decisions that don’t pan out so well in the long run. Just try to go with the flow and make logical decisions.

SaturnApril 17, 2018 – September 6, 2018

It’s been a difficult last few months, dealing with Saturn in retrograde. Saturn is the planet of structure and responsibility. When Saturn enters retrograde, we have to be more conscious of our professional and monetary choices. Now’s a good time to start a budget book!

UranusAugust 7, 2018 – January 6, 2018

Uranus is the planet of change and progression. Like Neptune and Pluto, it’s an outer planet, changing signs only every 10-15 years. I call them “generational” planets, as the sign they fall in impact a whole generation of people. Dawning of the Age of Aquarius, anyone? Naturally, Uranus rules freedom and peace-loving Aquarians. Uranus retrograde is a prime time to look inward and make personal transformations! If you have been thinking about picking up meditation, August – January of 2018 is the perfect time to do so.

Neptune: June 18, 2018 – November 24, 2018

I have really been feeling this retrograde. This summer is a spiritual one, that’s for sure. Neptune is the planet of dreams and spirit., and she rules Pisces! Neptune in retrograde encourages us to tend to our spiritual selves, but can put us a bit out of touch with reality. Honestly, that’s okay with me. Retrograde Neptune encourages us live beyond structure and float in the clouds, but it’s easy to get lost in your feelings at this time. I recommend journaling to process these feelings.

Pluto: April 22, 2018 – September 30, 2018

I have a little bit of a love-hate relationship with Pluto, revealed in every relationship I’ve had with a Scorpio ever. Pluto is a smoldering, subconscious planet that relates to all “beneath the surface”. Pluto in retrograde happens for 5 months every year, and is a regular cycle of release. Well, that’s the best case. Sometimes we hold on too tight to things and cause trouble for ourselves. Best advice for this period is to assess what’s holding you back from making positive change in your life. Don’t get too wrapped up in your head. Take a deep breath.

Thanks for reading, folks. Hope this Astrological Almanac has given you a bit of insight to Summer 2018!

Happy living and loving,

Jenna Scout


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