MONTH OF July
Leo, we’ll be honest: This July will have its share of plot twists, so set your expectations accordingly. It’s summer, the start of your birthday season and typically your time to shine. And where there’s a lion, there’s a way!
But as soon as Leo season 2023 arrives on July 22, Venus—the planet of love, harmony and beauty—will also start a six-week retrograde through your sign. This once-every-18-months cycle can disrupt or challenge even the closest relationships. And with Venus in your first house of identity and appearances, you may not feel like the most vibrant or vivacious version of yourself. You may opt to keep celebrations low-key, focusing on quality time with your true-blue people rather than making your rivals green with envy on the ‘gram. (Far worthier #birthdaygoals if you ask us!)
Until July 22, the Sun is in Cancer and your restful twelfth house, a low-key phase when you’re advised to slip behind the scenes and take things slow. If there was ever a month to just let yourself “be,” Leo, it’s this one. Focus on self-care and keep things simple, especially near the July 3 Capricorn full moon. As la luna beams into your sixth house of health and organization, prioritize your vitality and restoration. You might be inspired to do a massive decluttering or improve your exercise and eating regimens.
Mid-month, an 18-month cycle ends that may have brought change (and the turbulence that comes with growth) to your personal and professional goals. The lunar nodes will leave the Taurus/Scorpio axis, where they’ve been revolutionizing your professional path, home and family life since January 2022.
On July 17, these “destiny points” in your chart will move to the Aries/Libra continuum, activating your communication and travel houses and helping you craft a compelling message for the masses! This cycle will last until January 2025, so no need to rush, Leo. As advised, better to step back from the spotlight a little bit for the rest of summer and think about what you really want to share with the world. This month, follow the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln who said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”
It’s Cancer season until July 22
Slow down for a little while, Leo. The Sun is in Cancer and your restful twelfth house until July 22, making you sleepier or more languid than usual. For the first three weeks of the month, go at your own chosen pace. Deadlines and schedules may need to fall by the wayside—and that’s fine. Your intuition is your best guide, so work a little, nap a little…. Spend some time recharging at the beach or taking a restorative breathwork class.
This month leading up to Leo (and birthday) season is akin to your annual performance review: What worked for you in the last year, and what do you need to be done with? Use this internal cycle to reflect, process and clear the decks for a fresh start. You don’t want any of that baggage ruining your time of celebration later this month or next month, after all.
The Capricorn full moon is on July 3
You might be taking a slower pace, but don’t completely unplug just yet! The month begins with a July 3 Capricorn full moon in your sixth house of wellness and efficiency. A goal you’ve been working toward, perhaps in the nutrition and exercise realm, comes to fruition. Or you might get a surge of motivation to start your summer fitness plans. A detail-oriented project could cross the finish line under this burst of lunar motivation. Focus on the finer points and map out a step-by-step plan—and follow it!
The sixth house also rules helpful people. A relationship with an employee or service provider might come into the spotlight. If you’ve been trying to do too much alone, this full moon sounds the call to delegate. With la luna at a flowing trine to expansive Jupiter in your career zone, the last thing you need is to drown in administrative tasks now. You’ve been gifted a rare, yearlong window to rise into leadership and power—and you don’t want to squander it making spreadsheets or doing work that could be handed off to a capable cohort.
The north node enters Aries on July 17
The changes are coming at you fast, Leo! In the past month you may have altered your look, your career plans and your love life. But how about changing your MIND? That’s on today’s agenda as the lunar nodes exit the Taurus/Scorpio realm and shift over to the Aries/Libra axis. From July 17, 2023, until January 11, 2025, the destiny-driven lunar nodes will activate your (Aries-ruled) ninth house of travel and expansion and your (Libra-governed) third house of community and ideas.
As these karmic players thunder across your communication spectrum for 18 months, new friends, kindred spirits and long-distance connections could pop up. Leos who work in media, education or technology could be especially favored by this cycle. Since January 2022, the north node has been in Taurus and your tenth house of career, which has brought many changes to your professional path. Now, as you complete that cycle, you can settle into a less tumultuous work/life balance.
The north node only visits Aries every 18.5 years; it was last here from December 27, 2004, to June 22, 2006. If you can remember back to that time, you may see old themes arise again. Returning to a familiar location or course of study could lead to epiphanies. Exploring news ones can, too. Dreaming of a bucket-list trip to Portugal or Paris? Never finished a degree or certification? That could all shift in the coming months, so keep your bags (and backpacks) at the ready!
The July 17 Cancer new moon is a moment of transition
On July 17, the Cancer new moon lights up your twelfth house of compassion and connectedness, reminding you that the divine is on your side. As much as we humans like to think we have control, we get glimpses of a higher order that’s ready to operate on our behalf, if and when we allow it.
On this day, you could get a hit of soulful enlightenment, either feeling closer to your purpose or ready to let go and forgive. Mired in drama or conflict with someone? Take the high road, if not for yourself, then for your “higher self.”
The Cancer new moon could bring a spiritual epiphany or an important moment of release. Surrender is your most direct path to inner peace. Let bottled-up emotions flow and adopt a position of radical acceptance rather than trying to change a person or situation. Set yourself free through forgiveness, and intentionally spend time with uplifting, high-frequency friends. Your subconscious will be especially active now, so pay attention to your dreams and any strong intuitive hits or “signs.” An artistic or musical project could recapture your attention. Give your talents some quality time, Leo!
Whiplash! The July 20 Mars-Saturn opposition
Check your balances, Leo. Intense Mars in your daily income zone opposes restrictive Saturn in your wealth sector, which could add financial pressure. When impatient Mars and cautious Saturn are opposite each other, it’s like having one foot on the gas and the other on the brake. To avoid a case of cosmic whiplash, review your money plans and target areas of improvement.
Look for budget lines that could be trimmed (too many drinks and dinners? A penchant for pricey peep-toes?). Start investing some of that cash into long-term funds or assets that will appreciate. You can also creatively save by sharing costs: food co-ops, communal childcare, renting out your place to a few select Airbnb-ers.
The Sun enters Leo July 22—and Venus turns retrograde in Leo
You’re back! Or…are you? On July 22, you get a mixed blessing when the Sun sashays into Leo for a month AND romantic Venus turns retrograde in Leo on the very same day. Even more unfair? Venus will be in its wayward position until September 3, meaning the entire Leo season will have this cosmic thorn in its side in 2023. The last time this happened was in 2015, so look back to any major life events that may have happened then.
First, the positive spin: The energizing Sun in your first house of fresh starts will still have you feeling brand-new. After a month of digging into your emotions and baggage during Cancer season, you can emerge from all that heaviness. A little Venus backspin can’t bring YOU down, Leo—and you’ll have plenty of chances to shine.
However, while we’d normally advise you to go out and refresh your wardrobe, get your hair done or put yourself back out on the social scene, Venus retrograde has us issuing an advisory label. Your edgier moves are likely to be misunderstood, so be especially careful about the message and image you put out in public.
Since Venus rules beauty, you may want to hold off on any big changes to your look, e.g., wait until fall to try that new hair color or to get a tattoo. That goes for procedures too, in case you’ve been considering dying your brows or injecting anything. The first house rules appearances and is associated with the face and hair. Even in the most talented and capable aesthetician’s hands, Venus retrograde can throw a wrench in your treatments. Better to wait on that pixie cut or laser until later in the year.
Chiron turns retrograde July 23
What to do with all that excess Leo energy during Venus retrograde? By day two of Leo season, you’ll have a place to channel it. On July 23, “wounded healer” Chiron begins a five-month retrograde cycle in trailblazing Aries and your ninth house of education, travel and philosophy. You may begin to systematically ponder the “deeper meaning” or “greater lesson” in events that befall you for the rest of the year. Questioning your personal beliefs is challenging—but it’s the most direct path to a richer understanding of your life.
Baby, you’re a firework! Who needs July Fourth to celebrate with fanfare? Both of the love planets, Venus and Mars, will spend the first week and a half of July in Leo, making you the zodiac’s most magnetic! Mars is winding down its seven-week visit to your sign on July 10, and Venus is on an extended trip through Leo from June 5 until October 8. And while Venus will turn retrograde later this month (more on that shortly), you’ve got three weeks to enjoy sizzling summer love until then!
On July 10, lusty Mars will depart your sign and move into Virgo until August 27, which might be a bit of a relief. Mars can add stress and spice in equal doses, and hosting it in your sign can pile on a lot of pressure! While you may have enjoyed the attention Mars attracted, the spotlight could have been a little too hot even for you, Leo!
Now you can look forward to a somewhat slower and more manageable pace. With ardent Mars firing up the earthly erotic energy of your sensual second house until August 27, your new favorite word will be “upgrade.” Anything luxe, sophisticated or opulent will get your full attention. In this zone, Mars can help you raise your bottom line, which in turn is all about enhancing your lifestyle—and sharing the wealth with your favorite plus-one!
But keep at least one eye on your bank balance. It’s great to live large, but not if it sends you into debt. Mars can ratchet up tension around shared expenses, and couples could find themselves bickering over money—truly the petty stuff. Work could also get busy now, so you may have to manage some stress from the office as the demands ratchet up.
The atmosphere shifts on July 22, when Venus begins a six-week retrograde backspin through Leo, which will disrupt the harmony of your bonds until September 3. This cycle happens every 18 months, and since Venus is in YOUR sign this time, you could feel especially defensive, combative or maybe just generally cranky in matters of the heart. Where is self-love missing or in short supply for you, Leo? Have you been giving to everyone else? It’s time to turn inward for rejuvenation and reflection.
Overall, Venus retrograde isn’t known to be a “happily ever after” romantic period. Conventional astro-wisdom calls it a “blackout” for romantic progress—this IS the planet of love and harmony, after all. If possible, avoid making big commitments involving engagement, cohabitation or marriage. With Venus retrograde in your first house of appearances, you might want to hold off on any major beauty treatments or changes to your hairstyle and look.
If you’re already full steam ahead with grand romantic plans, just know that you may have some dicey emotional moments, e.g., you feel misunderstood by your love or end up fighting over something really petty. Don’t take it personally, but do make sure that you err on the side of generosity. Retrogrades rule the past, so don’t be surprised if Venus retrograde brings an ex back into your orbit. No matter how tempting, ask yourself whether it’s a good idea to even entertain this. Whatever you decide, proceed with caution.
Clear the space for a fresh start! Until July 10, motivator Mars is blazing an ambitious trail through Leo and your assertive, pioneering first house—a visit that only happens every two years. Use the end of this seven-week cycle to start getting your ideas into the public sphere and your projects on the map. The July 3 Capricorn full moon could bring a helpful assistant or system that streamlines your process and helps you get your ideas further out there.
From July 10 to August 27, motivator Mars will be in Virgo and your money house. Summer productivity (and earning power) could skyrocket, but you’ll have to be careful that stress doesn’t multiply in equal measure. While Venus is retrograde in Leo from July 22 to September 3, avoid launching any splashy projects that put you in the spotlight if you can. Instead, work on improving the branding, marketing and message for a fall debut.
Love Days: 3, 8
Money Days: 14, 24
Luck Days: 12, 21
Off Days: 18, 5, 10
Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut (a.k.a. The AstroTwins) are ELLE.com’s resident astrologers. They have written several astrology books, including Momstrology and Supercouple, and star as the astrological matchmakers for Prime Video’s Cosmic Love. The Eduts have read charts for celebrities the likes of Beyoncé, Karlie Kloss, and Emma Roberts. For their spot-on predictions, books, and online courses, check out our horoscopes coverage or visit astrostyle.com.