Pretty Burn

Trines sweeten the sky as Mars gets weirder and Chiron turns retrograde.

“I’m a Roman candle/My head is full of flames”

—Elliott Smith, “Roman Candle”

This week is a freshly lit sparkler—inflamed but twinkling. The inflammation is caused by backward-moving Mars (getting even wackier this week), angry Mercury, and touchy Chiron (going retrograde in fiery Aries). The twinkling comes from two helpful grand Water trines that will shower down glittery hope, healing, and opportunity—amid the flames. Oh, and Jupiter is turning direct on the 10th, emphasizing issues like personal philosophy and expansion. Jupiter is asking, “What do you believe, and why?” and “How large is your dream? How far do you want to go?” Venus moving into diligent Virgo on the 9th should also shift us into hard-work mode for the rest of the month.

Trines are positive planetary angles that add ease. Trines say yes. This week the Sun and Jupiter form a particularly lucky trine that “perfects” on the 5th, but its magic lasts until the 7th. Use this trine for big requests, fresh starts, vision boards, and even research breakthroughs. And on the 8th, there’s an empathetic, super-creative trine between the Sun and Neptune. Get on it, creative types!

As for the week’s main challenges: Comet-like Chiron begins a months-long retrograde on the 4th. If tender feelings and fears arise this week, that’s just Chiron the healer making noise as it reverses. Then on the 5th, Mercury stands across from Mars in a quarrelsome posture that may also complicate travel. You’ll probably engage in a confrontation that pokes your buttons and tempts you to blurt out heated words. On the 7th, Mercury enters pre-retrograde shadow, giving us a taste of the topics that we’ll revisit during Mercury’s official retrograde that starts July 25. Mercury also clashes with Jupiter on the 9th, bringing icky news. All this, plus there’s a solar eclipse next week! This is prime pruning time. Retrogrades and eclipses make us eliminate distractions and outgrown truths so we can redefine what’s genuinely important.


Mars is not only retrograde, but it’s also going out-of-bounds on the 7th … until September 24! While “retrograde” and “direct” refer to a planet’s side-to-side movements, “out-of-bounds” describes its declination—whether it’s traveling north or south of the celestial equator. An out-of-bounds (OOB) planet is wobbling off its typical orbit and acting extreme. While retrograde Mars makes old flames return and rehashes past fights, OOB Mars heightens our here-and-now reactions. With Mars both retro and OOB this summer, people are more likely to make rash decisions, escalate conflicts, and behave as if they have nothing to lose.

But that’s not all bad. An out-of-bounds planet is also inventive and unconcerned with approval. This summer’s odd Mars can help you overcome what-ifs and take risks. If you’re typically shy, you may feel brave enough to ask for a cutie’s number. If you’re already in touch with your anger (hi, fellow Fire signs!), OOB Mars lets you practice more thoughtful, effective styles of direct communication. Not every disagreement requires a burned bridge! Though Mars opposing Mercury on the 5th is tense, it lets you verbalize what you’re feeling—even if what you’re feeling is mad. There’s a Tumblr meme by Aurora Stark that says: “Being angry doesn’t mean you are being hateful, it means you love yourself enough to get upset at your own mistreatment.” I agree. Mars wants us to value ourselves, and Chiron’s retrograde in the personal sign of Aries further highlights self-worth issues this week.


The Moon is void all day on Wednesday the 4th, giving us vacation brain. The United States, as a concept, went live on July 4th, 1776, making our country a Cancer: quick to get involved in other people’s business, yet also self-protective. Chiron goes retrograde today. Thursday the 5th starts with a fortunate Sun/Jupiter trine that grants us support and opportunity. But soon after, there’s a Mercury/Mars opposition related to independence and differing views. Still, Uranus wants us to partner with new people, from today until the 8th. Friday the 6th demands sweat and dedication to long-term goals, but also serves positive Venus aspects that encourage cooperation. On Saturday the 7th, Mars starts its out-of-bounds orbit, and Mercury enters its pre-retrograde shadow. Conflict about rules and authority may come up. Sunday the 8th is good for physical healing and delicious food. Today’s sparkling Sun/Neptune trine amps up imagination and intuition. Monday the 9th brings regrettable news when Mercury squares Jupiter. Venus switches to Virgo mode until August 6. Today’s Gemini Moon is good for making choices. On Tuesday the 10th, the Moon is void after 1 p.m, and Jupiter slows to a halt to go direct, putting truth and social justice in the spotlight.