The Strange Zone

Uranus turns retrograde and our eclipse story develops.

Gordie: “Do you think I’m weird?”

Chris: “Definitely.”

Gordie: “No, man, seriously. Am I weird?”

Chris: “Yeah, but so what? Everybody’s weird.”

Stand By Me (1986)

Pay attention to the clues and synchronicities you notice now, because we’re in the strange zone of eclipse season. Since Sunday’s new moon in Leo, we’re building, planning, and forming connections—yet also shedding, releasing, and closing. It’s supposed to feel weird. We’re approaching a lunar eclipse August 7. Uranus and Mercury are downshifting to switch directions soon, and Venus is moseying into Cancer on Monday (fabulous news if you’re a Cancer, Cancer rising, or have a Cancer Moon). Though the wackiness of Mercury retrograde begins August 12, Mercury entered its pre-retrograde shadow zone on July 24. You might already notice communication hiccups. In addition, hot planetary activity near the “nodes of fate” this week will make any rapidly bubbling changes seem like part of a bigger, grander plan for our lives. We’re not simply moving or changing jobs, but rather steering ourselves toward the place where we can make the most impact, in the best way. We have important things to do here on Earth. Don’t be surprised if, this week, you join forces with people who affect your life for years to come. Uranus’ impending retrograde will only intensify our thoughts of the future and how to best merge with others.


Uranus spends about 40 percent of the year moving backward—plus it’s only an outer planet—so its retrograde (which starts next Wednesday) won’t affect us much, except for the five days before and after its direction turn. We’ll feel Uranus rumbling this week and into the next, and deeply consider Uranian issues of individuality, freedom, and The Future. In Tarot, Uranus is expressed as The Fool, a rebellious, adventurous, forward-thinking figure who wears strange, bright clothing and strides down an unknown path free of fear. The Fool has a lot in common with bold and confident Leo, come to think of it. Since Uranus is in Aries, sign of the self, and this retrograde begins during heroic Leo season, there’s added emphasis on individuality, personal power, and bravery. This week’s sky encourages you to reveal your authentic self and trust you’ll attract people who will accept and support you as you are, however out-there you may feel.

Now that doesn’t mean you won’t notice tension between the Me and We, especially since Jupiter is across the sky from Uranus in Libra, the sign of balanced partnership. Despite this tug-of-war, we’ll actually be more likely to team up with others once the Uranus retrograde begins. That self-focused Uranus-in-Aries voice that screeches, “I do what I want, when I want!” will gradually soften into a mutually beneficial Jupiter-in-Libra motto of: “Actually, we check in with each other, and we respect the agreed-upon terms of our duo or team.”

Under this Leo Sun, there’s ample room to be true to ourselves while still respecting the people with whom we work or love. If we bravely reach out and get vulnerable about what we really want, we realize we’re not all that weird, because everyone’s a little bizarre.


The Leo Sun touches Mars (also in Leo) on Wednesday the 26th, the astrological equivalent of a triple shot of espresso. Push personal projects forward, but remember: confidence, not arrogance. Expect to meet or talk with important people that day too. Thursday the 27th’s Libra Moon highlights how we relate to others. This focus on cooperation lasts until Saturday. Talk through relationship issues while Venus is still in Gemini. Friday the 28th demands some kind of action around health, finances, or commitment. A Scorpio Moon on the evening of Saturday the 29th sets a sexy stage, but there could be frustration to address too. Late that night Venus and Uranus unleash a positive surprise that may arrive Sunday the 30th, a day when you can resolve any lingering tension. Sunday evening is romantic and excellent for creativity. On Monday the 31st, the Moon is shifting signs (“void of course”) all darn day, so any plans you make or words you write may require revision. Don’t sign contracts ’til Tuesday morning. Also: Venus moves into Cancer (until Aug. 26), making us more likely to feel nostalgic and stay at home to nest with loved ones. Tuesday, August 1st is super-fiery, as the Moon in Sag. and Mars in Leo work well together to boost your energy.