Illustration by Taylor Dow

Illustration by Taylor Dow

Meltdown and Remold

Pluto intensifies a solar eclipse in Cancer.

How have you been coping with this Mars retrograde? I’ve been taking myself out dancing, turning that extra angst and physical energy into sweat. Turns out you can work through a lot of existential frustration with good beats and a who-cares-how-I-look attitude. I’ve noticed many folks have had car trouble too. Though Mercury rules transportation (and is now in retrograde shadow), Mars is associated with—don’t laugh—chariots and iron, which is why a Mars retrograde can often mess with our modern chariots. Amid all the retrograde-related complications and surges of anger, this week’s solar eclipse in tender Water sign Cancer further heightens emotions. When Chiron turned retrograde last week, it likely stirred up old pains and fears.

We’ll continue to confront thorny feelings this week: secrets, shadows, and slithery things. That’s because Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, is heavily involved in Thursday’s eclipse. Since Jupiter is stationed to go direct on the 10th, philosophical beliefs will be an ongoing theme this week too. We’ll also have a Grand Earth Trine involving Venus, Uranus, and Saturn that sticks around a while. Because all three planets are in Earth signs, this trine is a stabilizing force in the watery week to come, allowing us to take practical steps toward long-term goals.


Thursday’s eclipse is the first of three between now and August 11, and though it’s a partial—not total—solar eclipse, the effects will still be apparent. An eclipse brings ripples of change to specific areas of your life, depending on where the eclipse’s “flight path” falls on your personal natal chart. Cancers and Capricorns will really feel this one. An eclipse’s ripples aren’t always instantly noticeable, but if you look back later, you see that significant beginnings and closures (I moved, I started a new job) correspond to eclipses. This Cancer solar eclipse has fertile, creative energy, inspiring you to nurture yourself and others in new ways. If you’re into crystals and want to set new-Moon intentions, I recommend working with black tourmaline and clear quartz any time from Thursday until Saturday.


Pluto hurts. Pluto is hard. For such a small, distant planet (yup, it’s still a planet to astrologers), Pluto makes a big, deeply personal impact. During Thursday’s eclipse, Pluto will sit straight across from the Sun and Moon, adding intensity to an already emotional time. Whatever uncomfortable feelings you’ve tried to stuff down since winter (January to February, to be exact) will come rushing to the surface, shrieking: “Deal with me now!” Pluto is like a plumber’s snake—the tool that dislodges gunk in pipes to clear away clogs. It’s gross, but it eventually cleans and clarifies. And Pluto, planetary ruler of Scorpio, also helps us to do what real snakes do: shed old skin and transform. Transformation is one positive word associated with Pluto; truth is another. While Pluto dishes up heaping helpings of transformation and truth this week, its “process” may involve a meltdown before the remold.

Much like Mars, Pluto reminds us that we don’t have absolute control. Sometimes crap happens. Though our power is limited, Pluto wants us to wield it wisely. Yes, this new Moon has the potential to be a new start, but only after we face inner monsters and get honest about the flawed parts of ourselves that we try to disown or project. Pluto can also relate to abuse and trauma. But it also gives us the resilience to survive and reinvent.


On Wednesday the 11th, Venus and Uranus form a trine that supports new chapters in love and money. A Cancer Moon increases sensitivity but opens hearts as well. The partial solar eclipse and new Moon in Cancer take place on Thursday the 12th, along with two Pluto oppositions that feel consequential and heavy. Try to relax with an unstructured schedule in the evening, as the Moon will be void around 8 p.m. Friday the 13th (which bears no astrological significance) looks fairly positive. A trine between Venus and Saturn allows for progress in your relationship or financial realm. However, you may need to choose between sticking with a partnership or saying “So long.” There’s also tension building around opposing beliefs and control issues. On Saturday the 14th, it’s time to make a choice involving creative projects and passions. The sky invites you to view things in a new way and also make adjustments to your living space. Sunday the 15th is a good day for partnering with new folks. A Virgo Moon helps you organize and clean. The evening looks romantic too, with the chance of a minor argument. Monday the 16th asks us to pay attention to other peoples’ stories. The morning is a little rocky, but there’s also plenty of creative (and collaborative) potential all day. Tuesday the 17th is good for productivity and moving yourself toward new opportunities. The Moon in Libra encourages cooperation and also adds ease to social events.

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