July Horoscope 2012

One Step Forward, One Step Back

One step forward and one step back is the astrological theme for July. The warrior planet Mars finally leaves analytical Virgo, where we've been battling with details, criticism and minor matters for more than seven months. On July 3, Mars moves into Libra, an accommodating Air sign that doesn't quite match its aggressive nature, but at least facilitates some forward movement. The challenge is that some of us could be slowed by indecision as we carefully weigh our options before taking action. It's beneficial to consider the consequences in advance, but not if we become paralyzed by overthinking.

On the other hand, communicative Mercury turns retrograde on July 14, and it will backpedal in bold Leo until August 8. The thrice-annual reversal of the messenger planet usually complicates conversations, travel and technical matters. Slowing down to double-check data and complete old business helps to reduce errors and misunderstandings. However, creative ideas from the past could resurface in fresh forms during this period.

On July 3, the Full Moon in responsible Capricorn opposes the Sun in protective Cancer, putting security and safety issues on the front burner. Powerful Pluto's conjunction and provocative Uranus' tense square to the Moon intensify the situation. Panic and fear are possible reactions to the stress of managing our material lives. It's tempting to go to extremes as we imagine worst-case scenarios in our personal lives. The news is not likely to be cheery either. Yet this powerful event can provide the fuel to make radical changes that could provide solutions to individual and collective problems.

Mars in Libra activates boundless Jupiter and potent Pluto on July 17, and revolutionary Uranus on July 18. These connections can spark big plans that need to be put into practical forms to be of value. That's because a sobering look at reality comes with the Cancer New Moon on July 18, which forms a 90-degree square with serious Saturn. But even if we feel like we're up against an immovable obstacle, there is good news right around the corner. On July 21, expansive and optimistic Jupiter forms a favorable 60-degree sextile with innovative Uranus that can suddenly open our minds. Bright ideas, original thinking and fresh perspectives may not immediately eliminate our concerns, but the dark clouds of doubt may begin to recede in the light of unexpected opportunities. Thinking outside the box will reveal solutions in unexpected ways.

The creative trend sparked by Jupiter and Uranus gets a boost on July 22, when the Sun enters playful Leo. This solar shift from protective Cancer can reduce worries, while also increasing courage, imagination and the capacity for fun. Confidence may begin to grow as we tend to look forward with faith instead of hanging back with fear. Brainy Mercury is still retrograde, but it makes favorable aspects to active Mars on July 22, to visionary Jupiter on July 24, and to inventive Uranus on July 25. These tune up thinking and encourage action. The Sun's favorable trine with Uranus on July 30 continues this positive trend, although a Venus-Saturn trine on July 30 reminds us of the need to manage relationships and resources responsibly.