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Astrological Forecast for July 2008

by Armand Diaz


July features a series of "oppositions," astrological aspects in which two planets are on opposite sides of the zodiac. The easiest way to think about an opposition is to think about the Full Moon. Usually, on the day of the Full Moon you can see the Sun setting in the west while the Moon rises in the east. If we have good weather, you’ll see this on the 18th, when the Sun in Cancer illuminates the Moon in Capricorn.

Planets in opposition are said to "face each other," and this forms the basis of interpretation, in that these aspects usually involve interactions with others, whether they are partners (romantic or business) or opponents (as in sports, politics, or any type of rivalry). While some aspects are felt as a kind of internal tension or harmony, we work out the energy of oppositions "in the world" rather than on our own. With so many oppositions in the sky this month we can expect that relationships of all kinds will be highlighted, so keep an eye on how you deal with others, and use July as a social skills learning opportunity.

Astrologers tend to think of oppositions as difficult aspects, but actually they are just as harmonious as they are tense. The only thing is that they are explicit - we actually need to say and do things, to make our position clear, and that involves a degree of risk which the easier aspects don’t demand. Oppositions are a kind of test, where we feel ourselves coming to a make-it-or-break-it point.

The first opposition this month is between two planets who are very friendly with each other, Venus and Jupiter, on the 3rd. This aspect pushes an expansive, optimistic energy into relationships, urging us to say "yes" to what may have only existed in potential up until now. We want to go forward and are willing to take action to make it happen.

On the 9th, the Sun is opposite Jupiter. This aspect has a similar energy, since it involves an opposition to Jupiter, although there is a slightly different flavor, and rather than moving forward in relationships, it is our personal agendas that get a push. Still, the opportunities develop in relation to others, whether that means an individual or a group. Again, oppositions put things to the test, so success isn’t exactly assured. What is very likely is that we’ll be willing to give honest self-expression a try.

The very next day, July 10th, Mercury opposes Pluto, which is liable to affect our communication. This is certainly an aspect which we’re likely to act out with others, so watch for cutting words, simmering anger, and rancid sarcasm. The day is made all the more tense by a Mars/Saturn conjunction, which can be used to focus energy but is just as likely to create frustration. Coming on the heals of the Sun/Jupiter opposition, we have the potential for a strained middle of the week, a time when we want what we want, and are likely to deal poorly with any delays.

Mercury opposes Jupiter on the 19th, the day after the Full Moon. This opposition is about expressing our wants and needs, as it takes place on the Cancer/Capricorn axis. We can say what we have to without the usual hesitation, which is good, but we’ll be focused on security and comfort. Collectively, this is likely to be a day when the focus is on the economy with news of an optimistic, but not necessarily accurate, tone dominating. Perhaps a shortage of some kind has been overestimated.

The final opposition of the month is on the 31st, when Venus opposes Neptune. Venus is about our values and our way of relating to others, and Neptune has a very subtle, spiritual energy which isn’t always what it appears to be. This aspect suggests that we might get carried away in our relationships, idealizing a person or even a business agreement, giving perhaps too much credibility to something which might not live up to our expectations. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the "other" is not a fine person (or thing), but living up to an ideal is a tall order.

Look to the time from the Full Moon on the 18th to the end of the month to be a time of mounting energy and, probably, tension. That’s because there’s a Solar Eclipse on August 1st, and we usually feel this "thunderstorm about to break" energy starting about two weeks before the actual event. Solar Eclipses are rarely very overt (a few major exceptions aside), but present with an inwardly directed energy, a real contrast to the oppositions which are so prominent in July.

Another theme this month, although one far more subtle than the oppositions, is the yearly move from Cancer into Leo, a transition which Venus, the Sun, and Mercury will all be making. Cancer has an "us" feel to it, emphasizing identity with a group, whatever we consider our family. Leo is the sign of the individual, the "me" that needs to express its unique qualities apart from the group. Or, to put it another way, Cancer is the backyard BBQ, Leo is partying on the Jersey Shore.

These shifts of the planets are subtle and don’t make a big impression on us. Certainly, they are just like passing fads compared with the deeper transits which we are each experiencing, yet it can be helpful to recognize the energies involved, even if they are somewhat "superficial.

Venus moves into Leo on the 12th, the Sun comes to his home sign on the 22nd, and Mercury catches up on the 26th. Try to notice the soft changes in our collective interactions from the beginning to the end of the month... listen to the tone of conversations, see which stories make the news. It’s an interesting way to learn about the signs!

Armand M. Diaz, M.A., C.A., is certified as a Consulting Astrologer by the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR). His approach to consultations is to create a supportive context for self-exploration, to help clients make decisions which are in harmony with their greatest potential, offering a truly integral approach to astrology. Armand has practiced divination for more than twenty years, working with the I Ching and Tarot in addition to astrology. He has published in various astrological journals, including The Mountain Astrologer. He can be reached at 917-216-1541 or armand@bluemoonastrology.info,  or through his website at www.bluemoonastrology.info.

Armand Diaz

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