Illustration by Taylor Dow

Retro Activity

Mercury goes retrograde and Venus heals hearts.

A common rumor about eclipses goes something like this: On the exact day of the eclipse, a big bang of change strikes, eerie events take place, and then life quickly goes back to normal. But that’s just not the case. In fact, solar and lunar eclipses—which always come in pairs—have long-lingering effects that addle our normal, both before and after the eclipse dates. The first eclipse of August happened on the 7th, and the next (a solar eclipse) is set for the 21st. We’re still in the weird zone, and this month’s eclipses will be squeezing us well into September. They’ll affect us all a little differently, depending on our personal natal chart. Once, I thought I had dodged a sad lunar eclipse that hit my partnership house, only to be broken up with precisely one month after the eclipse. Oof! That’s pretty common. So, if you see no dramatic ending or beginning in August, don’t sigh with relief too soon. Just wait. And however the Moon and Sun cookies crumble, trust that eclipses don’t make mistakes. Their purpose is to firmly steer us toward the best possible course, even if sharp turns make us queasy.


There’s more than just eclipse business to cover this week, because on the 12th, Mercury goes retrograde. For the next five weeks, expect to interact with The Past—in the form of people, items, dreams, and conversations. When Mercury is retrograde, it’s best to plan loosely, hold off on signing contracts, and maintain a sense of humor about communication mix-ups or travel trouble. Be willing to frequently clarify, revise, and edit. If you can, avoid big purchases until September 20, when Mercury finally clears its post-retrograde shadow. Because this particular retrograde starts while Mercury is in Virgo, there’s special emphasis on our organization and daily routines. We’ll feel compelled to convert chaos into neat piles and easy-to-read labels. (Don’t be surprised if you find a long-lost item in the cleaning process!) We’ll also be analyzing how effectively we’re using our time and energy, in order to make each day’s limited minutes really count.


If the thought of a Mercury retrograde during eclipse season sounds as annoying as a tent full of mosquitos, take heart: Venus—planet of relationships, beauty, and money—is also making moves this week, and they’re sweet ones. Venus is cozying up to Mercury, Neptune, the Moon, and even Pluto. Such positive Venusian activity creates cool opportunities for heart healing, financial (and relationship) progress, softness, and understanding. Right now, it’s even possible to forgive and seriously move on. Use this time well, though, because Venus wades into swampier waters by the 15th and 16th, when the warm fuzzies will be replaced by difficult breakthroughs. Keep tapping the fiery passion and determination of Leo season to take all the action you can, even if destabilizing eclipses and a tricky Mercury make you feel like everything’s up in the air and the ground is still shaking. Some improvements must be deliberate yet gradual.


Wednesday the 9th is a good day to sift through your feelings and heal old emotional pain. On Thursday the 10th, the Moon is void (shifting between signs) until late at night, so don’t expect too much from your brain that day. It’s better to ponder, unwind, and casually consider ideas instead of finalizing anything. You might also address partnership issues (personal or business) or hear about a new offer to collaborate with someone. No rush to answer, though. Friday the 11th is a gorgeous night for romance and creative arts, thanks to Venus snuggling up on Neptune’s couch. An Aries Moon also allows you to take charge and announce decisions. On Saturday the 12th, Mercury goes retrograde until September 5. There’s a lot happening in the sky on Saturday, so make room for recovery and rest in case you’re tempted to overextend yourself. Sunday the 13th is an ideal day for cleaning and organizing your surroundings. Saturn and the Sun interact in a way that has us focusing on long-term plans. Today, we can easily generate wise strategies to achieve goals. Monday the 14th is a well-balanced day that motivates us to work hard, yet also allows us to feel through our emotions in a healthy way. Sensual delights like good food and sexy scenarios should go over well. But heads up! Venus’ mood starts to sour on Tuesday the 15th, creating a real ugh! vibe that lasts through the 16th.

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