Hi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the excessive exclamation points, but I’ve heard that the artist formerly known as “repel-o-scopes” inhabits one of the few cheerful, sunshiney corners of the internet — the kind where you can feel free to make a mini horse reference, which is usually the only kind worth making, imo.

Amelia already clued you in that someone would be hijacking hers and Susan Miller’s well-oiled machine this month, but allow me to officially introduce myself. I write the monthly astrology-meets-personality columns on Man Repeller that you know and love (or that you never read and don’t care for. Whatever. I’m a Leo and I never get offended. I also never bring up the fact that I’m a Leo, like, ever).

If you do know me at all, you know that I think the stars are my dearest friends and that astrology, in its most basic essence, is a vehicle for self-discovery. Full disclosure, I wholeheartedly love anything that claims to know me on an unreachable molecular level. (I’m an INFJ, in case you were wondering.) I also ask this question whenever I meet someone new: If you were a fruit, what kind of fruit would you be? Hmu in the comments with your answer and let me know your zodiac sign as well for an extremely un-scientific study I’m working on. Hint: Every Cancer I’ve ever met has reminded me of lychee.

I may not know as much as our friends at AstrologyZone, but I do know that by the end of July, FIVE PLANETS will be in retrograde, so you may be needing guidance. Let’s get into it.

Cancer

Speaking of lychee: throw some into a flute with peach juice and sparkling wine and you’ve got yourself an Instagram-ready birthday cocktail!!! Drink a few and document the whole experience. You deserve it.

You also deserve a fun-filled birthday month, wherein you hear the phrase “ask and you shall receive” aplenty. Luckily, that’s exactly what the planets are poised to give you! Since Cancer is ruled by the moon, you will float through July largely unaffected by the multiple retrogrades; instead, on the 13th, your floating rock in the sky will give you a little birthday present in the form of a new moon.

New moons offer new perspectives, fresh starts and opportunities for personal rejuvenation. When a new moon hangs out in the Cancer constellation, it’s even more sensitive to your needs and emotions, which makes this one especially powerful. In other words: cancel plans and treat yourself. I won’t tell you to grab a bath bomb and settle in with a candle or two, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

We’re not done yet! More good news aplenty!!! (I’m really into that word right now.) The 5th is a good day to flirt up a storm, since you’ll be getting a boost from lucky Jupiter and magnetic Scorpio. Your charms will be downright irresistible and it would honestly be rude not to take advantage. (If you’re already in a relationship: so? You can still flirt up a storm.) Plus, you’ll be able to pull off any look, so throw on some lingerie and a maybe some dad sneakers, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Leo

Hey fellow sun babies! It’s not our time to shine just yet, although I know we all hate hearing that. I guess technically, for a Leo, it’s always time to shine. This is especially true if you’ve been using this summer to indulge in some bright orange highlighter and bejewled eye lewks, which I think you should.

You probably already know this, but the start of Leo season on the 22nd will bring a rush of white-hot energy. You may not know that shortly after, the 26th might put a damper on your plans to enlist your squad to photograph you in various thirst trap poses by the pool. That’s right, folks: Mercury turns retrograde in Leo at the end of this month and everything will be ruined.

Just kidding! As the old saying goes (?), a little retrograde doesn’t get a lion down. You’ll probably just feel a bit extra frustrated by flaky friends and a bit more sensitive when it comes to criticism. It’s important to remember, especially when Mercury retrograde welcomes an overflow of miscommunication, not to take everything so personally. Go ahead and delete that Slack message to your boss because responding to your email with “sounds good” and no punctuation does not mean that she’s mad at you.

Virgo

Crack open that Febreze ‘cause you’ll be the life of the party this month! By “life,” of course, I mean the caring, responsible voice of reason and by “ party” I mean July’s petri dish of emotional upheaval. It’s a good thing you always carry hand sanitizer, tissues and a label maker because July might get messy (for everyone else).

For you, dear Virgo, July will see your relationships thrive. On the 10th, you will welcome Venus into your midst and she is one saucy minx. Venus is the planet of love, affection, beauty, harmony and — excellent news! — she is sailing straight through the sky. No retrograde nonsense here! People will gravitate towards you during this time, asking for advice or perhaps a shoulder to cry on.

Now enough about everyone else, let’s focus on your own specific agenda (I know, I know, I’ll stop flirting. I know you love a good plan). On the 12th, you’ll be promotion-level productive, so make sure you have plenty of coffee at your disposal. You’ll feel the urge to work on the 14th but it’s a Saturday so put the damn computer down and go for a walk; this is actually a great day to be personally productive, so call your mom or enjoy a date night. The 22nd will be the best of all, but it’ll also be full of surprises, so I can’t tell you why.

Libra

There aren’t any fun zodiac-themed greetings for Libras because what kind of cute joke can you make about scales? Who decided that Libra would be the only sign represented by an inanimate object? If I were one of you, I would sue. (Also notable: When I began to search “why is Libra represented by an object” the first thing to auto-fill was “why is Libra the best sign,” which, true.)

But anyway, hey! You cuties can pretty much kick back this month. Nothing’s floating in or around your aura, and your ruling planet is hanging out with Virgo, which will have a significant chilling effect on your loud-ass mental whirrings. Three cheers for a good night’s sleep!

Not to sound like your mom or your money-tracking app, but the beginning of July would be a great time to balance your budget. Jupiter’s final days of retrograde will seriously impact your impulse control. Since you already gravitate towards pretty things and warm weather can feel like an invitation for an all-new wardrobe, this is a good time to practice financial restraint — mostly because you’ll probably fail, but at least you’ll have some perriwinkle hoop earrings that you bought on sale to comfort you.

One expense the stars will encourage this month is travel. Quit eyeing that ridiculously cheap round-trip flight to Paris and grab a baguette instead! You probably can’t take it on the plane but, you know, it’ll get you in the mood.

Scorpio

My regrettable ex-boyfriend is a Scorpio which leads me to believe that you’ll be causing trouble this month, but I would say that every month, so I’ll try to put my personal biases aside for now (even though everyone has an ex who’s a Scorpio; it’s kind of your thing).

On the 10th, Jupiter will leave retrograde and that is such good news. It’s especially fortunate for you since Jupiter has been hanging out with the cluster of stars that allegedly resembles a scorpion, so you’ll probably feel a sudden wave of confidence and electricity. This is an excellent time to take risks and watch them pay off — right in front of your very eyes! Be bold with your propositions and you may just find yourself on a date around the 22nd. If romance doesn’t interest you right now, get your friends together and indulge in a heart-to-heart. Venus’ understanding, compassionate energy will be on your side.

Also, a word of caution: I said “take risks” and “be bold” but I did NOT say “act without thinking” and “be impulsive.” Jupiter’s morale boost will last for some time, so don’t rush into anything! July’s blessings will come in the form of a slow burn, so chill out as much as you can. Drive around at twilight and blast Drake, as you are wont to do. His brand new album Scorpion has 25 freaking songs which is, length-wise, basically the rapper’s version of Avengers: Infinity War, so you don’t have to worry about getting bored. Plus, there’s a track called “Emotionless” AND one called “In My Feelings,” so if this isn’t a Scorpio’s ideal soundtrack of extremes then idk what is. Bottom line, marinate with your options before hopping on a flight to Vegas and betting it all on black 15 (…just my ex? No? Okay).

Sagittarius

Alright my celestial equestrians, you can finally stop tripping over your own feet and succumbing to bottomless YouTube spirals wherein you watch “RIP Vine” compilations on a loop. Jupiter is FINALLY figuring itself out on the 10th, and as your ruling planet, it owes you a personal apology when it does.

Sagittarius is a naturally lucky sign — thanks in large part to Jupiter, the planet of luck, expansion, celebration and encouragement. Having Jupiter watch over you is like having an internal treasure map. So its retrograde was probably super frustrating for the archers of the world because it slows everything down; it causes dreams to sputter and ideas to be questioned.

The 10th, then, will be like a breath of fresh air. It will also bring a ton of financial benefits. I might even advise you to invest if I knew anything at all about investing. Jupiter’s remaining placement in Scorpio and the second house seems to suggest that you may come into some money through inheritance or insurance…..but that has the potential to seem pretty dark so let’s forget I even brought it up. If you suddenly find a wad of cash in your underwear drawer, I wouldn’t question it. July is all about infuriatingly unwavering optimism.

Capricorn

I should let you know up front that I have an inexplicable soft spot for Capricorns, so what I’m about to tell you hurts me more than it hurts you. But try to look on the bright side: A Leo (me) loves you with all her heart, and that should feel like the sun is giving you a hug!!!

Pluto is still in retrograde and it’s still trying to drag you out into its reject outer orbit. Being the planet of change and transformation, Pluto retrograde in Capricorn is a particularly tumultuous time — especially at work or within traditional family dynamics. If you’ve recently felt the urge to withdraw, you’re not alone.

Tread particularly lightly on the 12th, when Pluto picks a fight with the sun in Cancer. Both placements care deeply about the domestic sphere, but in opposition, their brief squabble will increase sensitivity and concern; you may be left feeling unmoored and insecure. Reach out to friends for support and resist the temptation to lash out at family members.

OKAY, back to the fun stuff! You didn’t think I’d leave you on that gloomy note, right? On the 14th, I’ll bet that you get a note or bouquet from a secret admirer or something. Romantic and furtive forces are afoot, colluding for your benefit. Then on the 28th, all your secret fuzzy feelings will be validated when Venus swoops in to offer you a grand gesture. Remember to be open and vulnerable and accept love with an open heart!! (And I’ll remember to sign the card on your bouquet this time!)

Aquarius

I don’t typically like to swear when I’ve been hired to produce something in a ~professional capacity~ but HOLY SHIT this is YOUR MONTH. The blood moon on the evening of the 27th and morning of the 28th will be the LONGEST LUNAR ECLIPSE IN A CENTURY and if that doesn’t make you want to swear and type in caps lock then you’re not a real Aquarius!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you’re not in the eastern hemisphere, you won’t be able to see this astral phenomenon, but I guarantee that you’ll be able to feel it. This will probably be a day full of surprises, unexpected happenings and unconventional behavior. In other words, this is an environment where the water bearers thrive. It may also be a day of endings, but not in a sad way — if you’ve been waiting for “the right time” to let go of whatever is hurting your heart, unconsciously or otherwise, this lunar phase boasts fertile, encouraging soil.

Also, if you’ll allow me to rewind a bit, the 5th is the perfect day to tell someone to fuck off (I’ve already sworn for you once, I may as well get it out of my system now). Mercury in Leo is about to square up with Mars in Aquarius, combining the explosive powers of honesty and action. You’ll get a little riled up — but in an understandable, righteous way — and whatever you’re mad about, I think you should go with it. How often do you get to rightfully put someone in their place and justify it with a horoscope?

Pisces

Oh boy, my fishy friend, here’s the deal: You’ll be dealing with a double-whammy in the nostalgia department for a little while. Your ruling planet, Neptune, is home in Pisces and that probably feels comforting, albeit a little overwhelming — like how it might feel if your mom crashed on your sofa for a couple weeks. You may love the taste of familiar home-cooked meals from childhood, but your emotional barometer is extra sensitive.

On top of that, Neptune sailed into retrograde on June 18th (as is the theme with fickle planets this month), and you’re probably still adjusting to its effects. Before we get in any deeper, I’d like to get a few things out of the way: don’t text your ex; don’t question the decision to quit the job that you literally left months ago; don’t look at your “On This Day” memories on Facebook.

In general, don’t get lost in romanticism or reveries — particularly on the 8th, because someone from your past is going to reemerge and I can’t promise that entertaining their sweet nothings will leave you with anything except an empty bottle of wine and half-finished cheese plate. Entertaining guests isn’t always satisfying.

But you know what else is gonna experience a resurgence in July? Yes, the Mission: Impossible franchise, but MORE IMPORTANTLY, your reputation! I know that sounded like a backhanded compliment, but I promise I didn’t mean it that way. I just meant that the 24th will bring a bright moment of clarity. Whatever has been holding you back will feel suddenly more manageable, and people will notice your surge of focus, motivation and creativity.

Aries

Not to sound like a total downer, but this month won’t be a walk in the park for the rams of the world. Mars retrograde, which only happens about once every two years, is upon us for the entire month and it just won’t leave us alone!!!!!!!!

Mars’ moonwalk through the sky generally causes sluggishness and lack of motivation. If this just sounds like a regular summer slump, don’t be fooled: you may notice projects or relationships that fizzle to a finish for no reason at all. This retrograde spares no mortal but because Mars rules Aries, you will feel its effects more than the average human (but then again, you feel most things more than the average human, you fiery little wingnut. Love you!).

I’m not just here for the bad news, however! I’m here for Mars retrograde as an opportunity to scale back and reevaluate. You’ll probably feel more patient; more inclined to think things through before jumping in, horns first. Rams tend to be “Go, Diego, Go!” but under the scorching summer sun, this is the perfect time to recharge: pop on a pair of tiny sunglasses, throw on some lime green pants and head to the beach instead! You have the planets’ permission.

Taurus

I assume you are familiar with a little term that’s been making the Twitter rounds recently: Big Dick Energy. If so, I would like to applaud and apologize simultaneously. The former because, congratulations, you are plugged into internet culture! The latter because, honestly, I am not entirely convinced the former is a good thing. And also because BDE has forced me to consider the sexual magnetism of people I’ve never wanted to, from Pete Davidson to Troy Bolton’s father (although, to be fair, also some people whose sexual magnetism I think about daily, like Rihanna).

That wasn’t entirely relevant to the task at hand, I just wanted to make it known that Taurus is the sign that most obviously and commonly exudes BDE in the zodiac. Okay, back to the real news.

So on the 12th, your ruling planet Venus — which is hanging out with your fellow earth sign Virgo — will mingle with Uranus — which is currently hanging out with you, Taurus — and I know that sounds complicated but I’ve got the spicy breakdown. Things are gonna heat way the hell up, you will feel sexy and your BDE will reach its greatest and most powerful frequency (now you see why I had the acronym on my mind! It’s all coming together!!).

It’s natural to feel a little frustration on the 25th, when your desire to be seen and desire to hide will reach a maddeningly similar level. One-on-one intimacy will serve as your middle ground, an island of comfort in the midst of inner chaos. Okay, I’m making this sound more dramatic than it is. Just avoid parties and call your best friend.

Gemini

This is unrelated to your horoscope, but I was just looking at photos of Mary-Kate and Ashley and feeling resentful that their transcendent power has been overshadowed by their departure from “the grid.” I have a Gemini moon and I still feel their twin influence (twinfluence? I’ll show myself out) every single day.

As usual, since you are a chatty little star child, Mercury retrograde will hit you like a ton of meteorites (“a ton of bricks” feels too mundane for our purposes). Mercury is your ruling planet, so it sucks that it’s the planet most often working in reverse — but it’s also kinda cool because Sage the Gemini’s banger “Reverse” works for you on multiple levels at various points throughout the year. Everyone loves a playlist staple!

This retrograde starts on the 25th, which is a Monday, so try to get important work done before that. In fact, if you have any vacation days saved up, just get lost that week and we’ll touch base again in August. I think we’d all prefer to be left alone by the Geminis in our lives as they adjust to the first five days of Mercury’s pre-medieval torture.

Luckily, pre-retrograde July will treat you well. You may even be offered a job, a raise or some kind of promotion, so keep those peepers peeled for opportunities to strut your stuff (as if you don’t already).

Illustration by Cynthia Merhej.

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