Monday 7/17/2023: Sneak Peek at Big Week; New Moon in Cancer; Venus Turns Retrograde & Much, Much More!

Alllllrighty then!

We’re starting the week off in the dark — literally — symbolized by the New Moon in Cancer, which kicks in at 2:31 PM ET on Monday. In the few days before a New Moon we may feel restless or listless, sensing a new cycle is around the corner, but we can’t quite see it yet. The seed potential of the New Moon contains all of these patterns:

  • Mercury squares Jupiter on Monday
  • New Moon in Cancer on Monday
  • Sun trines Neptune on Thursday
  • Mars opposes Saturn on Thursday
  • Sun opposes Pluto on Friday
  • Venus goes retrograde in Leo on Saturday
  • Sun enters Leo on Saturday
  • Mercury squares Uranus on Sunday

The potential for how it all develops is aptly reflected in two Hollywood blockbusters that are premiering on Friday — Barbie and Oppenheimer. For the latter, one critic tweeted:

OPPENHEIMER is…incredible. The word that keeps coming to mind is “fearsome.” A relentlessly paced, insanely detailed, intricate historical drama that builds and builds and builds until Nolan brings the hammer down in the most astonishing, shattering way.

“Detailed…intricate…” are fitting for the militant discipline of Thursday’s Mars-Saturn opposition, with the “fearsome” annihilation potential of the Friday Sun-Pluto opposition.

Barbie opens with Venus — women, values, aesthetics, money — at a virtual standstill in drama queen Leo, needing to make regal pronouncements and have a grand old time. The Sun’s trine to Neptune on Thursday infuses the production with rose-colored pixie-dust and plastic. The movie’s logline is:

After being expelled from Barbieland for being a less-than-perfect doll, Barbie and Ken set off to the real world to find true happiness.”

Punished for being less-than-perfect? Apropos for Mars in Virgo (which seeks a perfect action plan), opposed by authoritarian Saturn. Early reviews see Barbie as less of a fluffy fantasy, more of a film about empowerment (Sun opposing Pluto) — not without controversy — and “what it means to be a woman.” It’s being lauded for its wit and quirks — apt for Sunday’s Mercury-Uranus square (which also reflects the genius and tech advances of Oppenheimer).

It’s interesting that we have two big movie premieres that feel like they could be blockbusters, after weeks of successful publicity campaigns…and last week, SAG-AFTRA went on strike, joining the Writers Guild, whose members have been picketing since mid-May.

In any case, keep those two films in mind as you chart your course this week, which goes like this:

  • MONDAY: Big ideas and big news in the worlds of film, media, courts, sports, travel, foreign affairs, as Mercury (how we need to think) squares Jupiter (expansion) at 8:48 AM ET. If you have planets around 11 degrees of just about any sign, perhaps you woke up in an especially buoyant frame of mind. Reach across the aisles this morning, helped by the Cancer Moon’s sextile to Uranus at 9:21 AM ET. The New Moon begins at 2:31 PM ET, with inspiration and depth facilitated as the day progresses into evening and Moon trines Neptune (7:52 PM ET) and then opposes Pluto (11:05 PM ET). The Moon-Pluto opposition may spark a catharsis or power play before going void for the rest of the night.

A pause, to consider the chart for the New Moon in Cancer, set in Washington, DC.


  • The Moon functions well in Cancer, the sign it rules. Here it seeks to fulfill a need for emotional/homeland security. Y’know, core foundational concerns. Are you standing on solid ground? Where is your home? Tell me about your family, your mother, your ancestors. How are you being nourished and nurtured? How are you nurturing others?
  • Fulfilling needs for emotional/home security has greater urgency in this New Moon, given the tension (a square) from Eris. In Greek mythology, Eris is the Goddess of Discord, fighting for her right to have a seat at the table, even if it means burning the place down. Note this New Moon is conjunct Mercury in the horoscope of the United States, prompting much discourse with other nations. We see this potential echoed by the New Moon’s placement in the 9th house — where it seeks to influence collective mindsets in matters of law, philosophy, publishing, higher education, and foreign affairs.
  • Mercury is right on the Midheaven in this chart, with its regal ideas expanded by its square to Jupiter. Mercury is in an obsessive relationship with Pluto, which is in turn obsessing about an urgent need to preserve the status quo for the Powers That Be, even as corruption among such entities continues to be exposed. Mercury’s next contact is a square to Uranus, suggesting a lightning bolt revelation or genetic mutation that Changes Everything…but right now, it’s too far away to imagine what that upset will be.
  • Venus — almost at the end of Leo — also has a currently-unimaginable appointment with Uranus. It’s “unimaginable” because right now, Venus is moving to a conjunction with Mars, which could be interpreted with some kind of settlement or resolution between partners or adversaries. But this meet-up isn’t going to happen. Venus is going to turn away from Mars. Right now, Venus is slowing to a virtual stop, preparing to turn retrograde on Saturday. When Venus does this, it will retrograde back into a square with Uranus. We can anticipate a surprise for the US in matters of partnerships, legal concerns and open enemies.
  • The ruler of the chart is either Pluto or Mars, depending on whether we use traditional or modern rulers. Either way, power and assertive action is challenged by an uncomfortable squeeze or outright block. Pluto is square the nodes; Mars is opposed by Saturn.
  • Note that the North and South Nodes changed signs last week, leaving Taurus-Scorpio for Aries-Libra, where they will be for the next 18 months. The Nodes have much to say about what is released during eclipses, and where we need to grow. In Scorpio, the South Node suggests a release of psychodrama and deep, dark secrets in matters of human relationships. The North Node in Taurus suggests advancement comes through simple, basic material comfort and security needs. Food. Shelter. Hugs — with no strings attached. In Libra, the South Node suggests a release of mealy-mouthed accommodations that are made to avoid conflict. Just say “no” to “yes” men and women in your life! North Node in Aries suggests growth through courage — to take a stand or lead a crusade.
  • Pixie-dust — whether it is a desire to heal and inspire, or to simply deceive — is suggested by the Sun’s trine to Neptune. This softens the harder edges of the Mars-Saturn and Sun-Pluto oppositions, for better or for worse.
  • The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon is “a dark shadow or mantle thrown over the right shoulder.” As I wrote last week, this Symbol suggests taking a strong, decisive stance, perhaps made even stronger by a willingness to show some vulnerability. As astrologer Blain Bovee notes, a mantle thrown over the right shoulder leaves the left side — the feminine — exposed. Of course, with only one side exposed, a downside potential could be a shadow side that is covered. These upsides and downsides relate to the Sun-Neptune trine in this New Moon chart, if you ask me. Astrologer Lynda Hill has more on this Sabian Symbol.
  • You are more personally affected by this New Moon if you have planets or angles around 25 degrees of Cancer, Capricorn, Aries and Libra. That includes Queen Camilla, Michelle Obama, Jim Carrey and Jennifer Garner. Consult your local astrologer for details.

On to the rest of the week:

  • TUESDAY: Moon enters Leo at 12:39 AM ET, seeking to be loved and adored. Moon in Leo is a fine time for a party or any other form of creative play. Find a way to shine — and help others shine, too — even with something as simple as a compliment. The Moon travels without interference today, so if the play — or regal drama — feels like it’s going on forever, it may be the lack of input from the other kids in the cosmic sandbox. We may hear of an enthusiastic or bombastic releases as the evening progresses, and Moon squares Jupiter at 1:02 AM ET on…
  • WEDNESDAY. Check the headlines around 7:22 AM ET, as Moon meets up with Mercury and delivers the news. And then….another long spell of the Leo Moon traveling without interference, possibly not prepared for the surprise in store around 9:51 PM ET, when Moon squares rebel Uranus. For those who are watching the debates in Congress this week, note that on Monday (as I’m writing this Forecast), the Senate just took up the defense bill narrowly passed by the House last week, which included
  • amendments that eliminate all diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in the Defense Department; end the Defense Department program that reimburses military personnel who must travel for abortion services; bar healthcare for gender transition; prevent the military academies from using affirmative action in admissions (an exception the recent Supreme Court decision allowed); block the Pentagon from putting in place President Biden’s executive orders on climate change; prevent schools associated with the Defense Department from teaching that the United States of America is racist; and block military schools from having “pornographic and radical gender ideology books” in their libraries.

  • …as historian Heather Cox Richardson explains.   The Senate is not expected to pass the House bill, and we can use planetary patterns to anticipate what will happen next. You can use your understanding of planetary patterns to track the progress of negotiations in your own personal world, too.
  • THURSDAY: And so, after last night’s upset, today starts with a warm connection between the Moon and Venus, exact at 10:08 AM ET — and then goes void for the next three hours. Your mission: roll with the twists and flakes that may disrupt efforts to move forward in a straight line, and don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. What seems like a crisis — or a colossally dumb move — may well prove to be much ado about nothing, once the Moon gets back into gear. This means cooling your jets if you are feeling especially squeezed by the cold, hard face-off that’s been humming in the background all week, symbolized by Mars opposing Saturn. Note that at 1:12 PM ET, Moon enters Virgo, ready to clean up the confetti from the Moon in Leo party. A dose of reality — or lean, mean, controlling action — weighs in around 4:39 PM ET, as that Mars-Saturn opposition is exact. Given that Mars symbolizes the masculine, guns (including the Defense Department), the head, cars, iron, etc., we can expect those themes in the headlines. Here are headlines from a past Mars-Saturn opposition.   You are more personally affected by this pattern if you have planets around 6 degrees of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. A productive use for this provocative and controlling pattern would be to brainstorm a new strategy for world domination. As the evening progresses, we may see another militant advance or control around 2:02 AM ET on…
  • FRIDAY: …when Moon is opposed by Saturn and meets up with Mars at 2:02 AM ET and 2:35 AM ET, respectively. An easy flow of expansive actions intended to preserve the status quo in every detail is suggested by a trine between the Moon and Jupiter at 2:30 PM ET. Humming in the background, building in intensity today, is the annual opposition between the Sun (leaders of state and business) and Pluto (power and energy resources; plutonium; news from underground; regeneration and transformation). Here are stories from a past Sun-Pluto opposition.   You are more personally affected by this patterns if you are Nikki Haley, Jeffrey Epstein, Kellyanne Conway, or Pete Buttigieg
  • SATURDAY: Moon trines Uranus at 10:48 AM ET — spend the day with your best friends, or connect with them on Zoom. A beautiful escape could be yours — at least at the nearest local haunt that offers live music — as Neptune opposes the Moon at 8:59 PM ET. Oh — but there is still so much to cover before this week is done!  Blaring like a car horn all week — among all the heavy patterns — is Venus, slowing to its virtual standstill as it prepares to turn retrograde at 9:32 PM ET.

A pause, while we reflect on the opportunities and challenges of Venus retrograde:

Venus goes retrograde every 18 months. Last time was in mid-December 2021, continuing through January 2022. I understand that was a long time ago, so let’s review the basics. Ready?

Venus refers to how we need to express ourselves socially. It also refers to women, art, beauty and money. In health matters, Venus refers to the belt line area of the body (and internal organs at the belt line, as well as the thyroid and the throat).  Venus also rules copper, which is an important indicator of economic growth in the commodities markets.

In our social interactions, Venus is the sugar that sweetens our needs and demands, facilitating cooperation in relationships. When direct in motion, Venus supports social graces and words like “please” and “thank you”. When retrograde, courtesy and consideration do not come so easily — and relationships suffer the consequences. The image I hold of Venus retrograde is one of those old-fashioned sardine cans — the ones where you had to use a key to open them. Roll back the lid of the sardine can and there you have it: stinky fish exposed, for all to see. There’s no hiding that smell.

Venus retrograde often presents a relationship, material or aesthetic challenge wherever it is traveling in your horoscope. This time it will be 12-28 degrees of Leo. So you can look at your charts and plan accordingly. [If you’d rather have me explain it to you, I can write up a few paragraphs of insights on how the Venus retrograde is likely to activate your horoscope over the next few months for the same price — $65 — as my wildly-popular Personalized Eclipse Insights.  I’ll need your birth data, too, unless you’ve given it to me before.]

Generally speaking, when Venus is retrograde, tried and true connections may be strained, but durable. Less sturdy bonds may snap. All that fishy smell can mess up your aesthetic senses, too. Be very careful about starting a fling with that hot new thing during this time period, lest ye awaken in a month or so with buyer’s remorse — or worse — the horrible panicked aftermath of a coyote date. This applies to all partnerships, not just romantic ones.

Exercise caution in matters of decor. If you’re planning on redecorating, choosing colors and fabric swatches rather during Venus retrograde is risky — because once Venus turns direct, you may find that your aesthetics have changed. Putting in an offer on a new home? The value of the home may be inflated; make sure you’re not paying too much. Look under the rugs, kick the tires — make sure you’re not seduced by surface charm covering up so much…stinky fish.

What good can come out of Venus retrograde? Plenty!

Artistic and creative projects you abandoned may be ripe for a second chance at completion. You may REconnect with a past love. You could REview your handling of financial matters; perhaps there is room for some REorganizing and REstructuring.  You may find yourself REconsidering the value of all of your relationships during the month of August, but there’s likely no need to make an impulsive leap forward or a major break. You may even REconsider the value of what you value, including money.

If you have a planet in Leo, whatever that planet represents in your horoscope is where you need to know that you are loved and –dare I say — adored. That part of you needs to feel fulfilled creatively, and it darn well better be having FUN! During this Venus retrograde, with Venus in Leo, relationships, financial matters, creative pursuits, and aesthetic values are up for REview in terms of whether they make us feel loved and adored…and whether we’re having any FUN. Got that?

The other thing to keep in mind is that when a planet is retrograde, going within for fulfillment is likely to be more rewarding than looking outside ourselves — in a relationship, job situation, etc. So you want to feel beautiful? Look at how you feel about yourself and make adjustments, rather than looking to others to tell you how gorgeous you are. If they’re tuning in to the Venus retrograde, they should be too busy gazing at their own navel to pay much attention to yours. Don’t take it personally.

Venus turns direct on September 3rd.

But wait! There’s MORE!

  • SATURDAY: At 9:50 PM ET, the Sun exits Cancer and enters Leo, where it is very much at home…and where its is likely to be a palace. Happy birthday to all the Leo queens and kings!
  • SUNDAY: After a two-hour Moon void, Moon enters Libra, now focused on harmony and balance in relationship. This focus gets support from the Leo Sun at 2:15 AM ET. As with other days this week, the Moon travels without interference for the rest of the day. Seriously, see if you notice a difference in your experience of how time passes during these days where the Moon is on its own. At 5:39 PM ET, Mercury squares Uranus, suggesting a flash of recognition or other disruptive revelation. We may see this played out in the headlines in matters of technology and aviation.

Goodness gracious, what a busy week!!!  Beth Owl’s Daughter’s Tarot Card of the Week offers a Really Useful Coping Strategy for these heavy patterns, combined with Venus turning retrograde. She is AWESOME.

Next week we will only have two things to talk about (Mercury meets up with Venus on Thursday; Mercury enters Virgo on Friday),  so there will be much more space for news. But — briefly…

Dominant patterns over the weekend included a square between Mercury and Jupiter, and Jupiter refers to horses.

There was BIG NEWS in sports, with an innovative spin:

With Pluto and Saturn now retrograde, we have an apt set-up for a REVIEW of projects launched into the collective consciousness in the early days of Pluto in Aquarius and Saturn in Pisces. In the case of Pluto, we anticipated extremes of empowerment in technology as it dipped into Aquarius – and along came AI all over the place. Aquarius refers to the public, as in public utilities; Pluto refers to power sources, including the Powers That Be.

Speaking of which, Saturn in Pisces suggests necessary controls and possible shortages in matters of water (literally), and compassion for emotional trauma.

It was anticipated that Jupiter’s ingress into Taurus might expand initiatives to preserve material comfort and security, and possibly bring down the heat. Obviously this hasn’t happened with respect to the climate, where Earth is experiencing the hottest temperatures ever recorded, as well as sudden and calamitous floods in unexpected places (e.g., Vermont). However…

Venus slowing to its station suggests a focus on Venusian concerns, such as:

The obituaries also offer an opportunity to reflect on uncommon women and their influence on the arts:

  • Jane Birkin, musician, actor and style icon, dies at 76. Did you know the Hermes Birkin bag was named after her?
  • Sally Kempton, rising star journalist turned swami, dies at 80. Kempton wrote for the New York Times, and it is interesting that of all the pieces she wrote, one that NYT quotes was an “arch” piece on the “New Age fad” of astrology. The whole piece — written in 1969 — makes it clear that Kempton had no real understanding of astrology at that time, with zero awareness that the horoscope is sooooo much more than just one of twelve Sun Signs. That’s probably why NYT was inspired to quote it! But Kempton did understand that astrology is a language, and I would like to believe — having crossed her path decades later — that her understanding evolved over time. Born on January 15, 1943 in Manhattan, Kempton was a practical Capricorn, driven by a material comfort-seeking Moon in Taurus. Humanitarian idealism in the extreme is suggested by a conjunction of Mercury and Venus in Aquarius opposing Pluto;  she’d be everyone’s best friend. Boundary-pushing, righteously opinionated actions and assertions could run away with the horoscope, given her unaspected Mars in Sagittarius. This is echoed by a Grand Trine among five planets: Mercury-Venus, and Neptune, Uranus and Saturn. She’d have her opinions, thank you very much — with no need for input from others. Still, we would anticipate a legacy of inferiority developing out of the relationship with her father — and wouldn’t you know it, the NYT notes that:

she sometimes felt she hadn’t properly earned her place as a journalist and owed it largely to her [very famous journalist ]father’s reputation.

Astrology is amazing.

Here’s the 411 on personal consultations. We will have a fine discussion together.

Thank you for reading this Forecast…for sharing it with friends…and for inviting me to speak to your company, club or any other social gathering.


Sabian Symbol for the New Moon in Cancer: a dark shadow or mantle thrown over the right shoulder, as Venus slows to a virtual standstill, demanding our focus.


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