HIGHLIGHTS: The Sun remains reclusive, nurturing Cancer until July 22, when it enters lofty Leo. Mercury went direct and eventually enters Cancer. Jupiter leaves Cancer and steps into Leo. Finally, Mars leaves behind its difficult journey in Libra and enters intense Scorpio. 

The Sun this month of July started out in Cancer and enters Leo on July 22. Cancer natives are basking in their home lives, nurturing others with their naturally compassionate natures. Their vulnerability to being hurt has been reduced with Jupiter, the planet of good fortune, traveling in their sign until July 16. For native Leos, the Sun will shine brightly on their royal natures, putting them on center stage, where they are the most comfortable, and emphasizing their warm-heartedness.

For all signs July 2014 is a month filled with new freedoms, positive thinking and goals finally being fulfilled. So celebrations are in order. For starters, on July 1, Mercury in Gemini once again went direct, leaving behind the muddy slog of too much of life’s necessities being put on hold, but let’s not forget what we went through, not that we could even if we wanted.

When Mercury, the trickster planet, went retrograde last month on June 7, 2014, a slight pall spread over many of our lives. To whatever degree, we all went through some things between June 7 and July 1 that did not go right or as we expected. Even if we realized that during Mercury’s retrograde we should try to avoid signing contracts, traveling or buying phones and computers, most likely our lives were still impacted by some strange and surprising slip-ups. There may have been certain misunderstandings, mistakes made, or technological breakdowns, and as a result, we became accustomed to wondering what might go wrong next.

In a sense, when Mercury, also known as the Winged Messenger, goes retrograde, he enters the underworld, where he visits at least three times a year. As the Winged Messenger, he flies between the upper world and the underworld. When he is in the underworld, it can feel like a time of darkness for some of us. While Mercury was retrograde, life as we knew it changed, at least to a certain extent. Yet Mercury in the underworld presented us with other opportunities, whether we liked it or not. It was our time to pull back and re-evaluate our lives and our ambitions. We had the opportunity to wonder what we really want, because our usual world slowed down enough for us to reflect. We were in the darkness of Mercury retrograde, and all the speed of going forward with plans and schedules started to slow down and halt for three weeks on June 7.

July 1 brought with it a feeling of lightness and relief, but when Mercury goes direct, it takes 10 days to get everything back on track. Since the trickster planet Mercury turned some of our lives upside down on June 7 with too many glitches to count, it’s not surprising that it took a little time, until July 10, to turn things right side up again. Before the 10th, we needed to avoid being too glib and speaking before thinking. With Mercury traveling in its own sign of Gemini, we all tended to want to hurry everything before we had a chance to review and reconsider any decisions we had to put on hold. As we discussed, starting June 7, it wasn’t the time to start any new projects, sign any contracts, or begin any new regimens, and we needed to restart our lives a bit slowly, but by July 10, clarity of thinking and productivity should have returned, hopefully with a vengeance.

You Cancers also gained Mercury this month as he left Gemini on July 12. Home repairs or redecorating should turn out well. Communication in the family unit can become very clear and healing. Well, you gain some and you lose some because on July 16, blessed Jupiter will leave your sign of Cancer and step full blown into Leo. For you Leo natives, when Jupiter travels in the lofty sign of Leo, healthy ambitions, general enthusiasm, vitality and grand projects will reign for more than a year until he exits in August 2015. To an extent, all of us will have these experiences as Jupiter dances in Leo. But just one word of caution especially for all of you lucky Leos: Jupiter’s negative expression can generate a lot of vanity with a dominating tendency to show off. So be careful, Leos, and remember that too much pride goeth before a fall.

On July 25, Mars finally exits its unusually long stay in Libra, moving into Scorpio, leaving behind the conflicts in relationships that it spawned. As a result, changes abound this month for all of us, and when Mars finally leaves Libra, moods will be lifted and internalized anger somehow resolved. With Mars in Scorpio, there will be a newfound feeling of excitement as a strong drive for accomplishing goals takes over the human psyche. All of Libra’s need for balance and steadiness of purpose inhibited Mars’ need to be the warrior who takes charge. Instead of his natural tendency to jump into the fray, Mars’ energy in the sign of Libra too often resulted in indecisiveness and confusion. So clear the decks, as Mars’ energy in Scorpio supports all crises as transformative and emotionally exciting.

Until next month, remember that one KEY to making the unconscious conscious is to face life’s twists and turns through the wisdom of astrology. According to Carl Jung, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

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