Illustration by Taylor Dow

Illustration by Taylor Dow

Balancing Act

Neptune’s on a mission to separate fact from fiction.

On a napkin dispenser at my favorite cafe, someone affixed two googly eyes and drew a smiley face with Sharpie marker. Out of curiosity, I flipped the napkin holder over to find—on the other side—a frowny face too. Gemini duality! Tragedy and comedy in the same container. The Gemini-powered Sun and Mercury are encouraging us to view situations from multiple angles, beyond the positive glow that last week’s uplifting Grand Water Trine provided. Neptune will make us face the negative this week too. Wherever we’ve been in denial, our current astrology will reveal the ways that we’ve deceived ourselves. Expect weak links to crack. Neptune goes retrograde on the 13th, which packs the 8th through 18th with Neptunian lessons about illusion and idealism. Even before that, on the 6th, Neptune squares Mercury, the planet of thinking and expressing. Neptune also squares the Sun that night. Take a few days before acting on anything you hear or read this week, because with Neptune so heavily involved, details are hazy and potentially confusing. The truth—as multifaceted as it may be—takes effort to pin down now. Practice careful consideration, not instant decisions.

On the 6th, Mercury goes out-of-bounds until the 24th, putting us at risk of saying too much, being misunderstood, or engaging in over-the-top communication for a while. Then on the 12th, Mercury enters Cancer. With Mercury in Cancer, emotions influence how we speak (body language counts too) and what we say we want might fluctuate frequently. The good news is, Venus leaves its out-of-bounds status on the 7th, during its final full week in caring-but-defensive Cancer. Since May 5, out-of-bounds Venus has put up subtle walls around intimacy. With Venus now healthy and strong, warmth and openness can return to the relationships we wish to nurture.


Last week’s encouraging trines co-starred Neptune. But now the foggy planet of imagination, faith, and confusion is forming difficult “square” angles. Neptune squares wipe our spectacles clean so we can determine what’s real, what’s a pipedream—who’s trustworthy and who’s snaky. Neptune’s fuzzy answers may find you in nonlinear ways: through flashes of intuition or meaningful dreams. You’ve got thinking to do now. Urges to escape are strong too. We’re dealing with various addictions—to Twitter, to drugs, to self-sabotaging habits, to seeing only what we want. Neptunian white clouds create a background screen onto which we can project our ideas and feelings. To avoid disappointment or conflict, we often choose to view hope and disregard difficult facts. If you’ve been projecting an idealized fantasy that doesn’t exist, you’ll wake up this week.

Constant optimism and positive mental attitude can keep you stuck in unsatisfying—even dangerous—situations for too long. It’s healthy to admit if something’s not a good fit; to say, “No, this isn’t OK with me anymore.” This year Mars and Venus will both go retrograde, so we’ll have plenty of chances to reflect on our relationships and personal power. This week’s Neptune action offers a taste of that coming evaluation. Most humans and human situations are a complicated mix of negative and positive parts. The napkin holder’s sad face is just as authentic as its happy one. Though your best choice may not be clear yet, at least you’ll know what you have to ponder further.


On Wednesday the 6th, strained communication begins when Mercury squares Neptune and Mercury goes out of bounds until the 24th. You may not fully comprehend someone’s meaning or you might have more questions than answers. Disappointment could come when the Sun squares Neptune later that night. There’s also a risk of water damage for a few days. On Thursday the 7th, Venus is no longer out of bounds! The Moon is void until 2:30 p.m., so hit your productivity stride in the afternoon and go easy on yourself in the morning. Tonight Mars collides with the South Node, asking you to complete unfinished business. Don’t be surprised if you receive an “I miss you” text from someone from your past with unfinished business of their own. On Friday the 8th, the Aries Moon helps you start new things, but Mercury forms stressful aspects most of the day. Interpersonal arguments and tough decisions are on the agenda. Careful with car safety too. On Saturday the 9th, you’ll want to relax as much as you can. The void Moon from noon until 9 p.m. should help with that. Don’t expect to accomplish a ton and you’ll be fine. Sunday the 10th delivers a gorgeous Taurus Moon that’s good for gardening, cooking, and decorating. Practical matters! However, Pluto and Juno are clashing in a way that demands you alter existing power dynamics. On Monday the 11th, we have cooperative aspects that can smooth over disagreements. Creative folks should find it easy to tap into inspiration today. On Tuesday the 12th, Mercury enters Cancer, adding sensitivity to words. You may have to rethink the way you’ve been going after a personal goal.

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