Take a pause, Leo. The Sun is in Cancer, your sleepy twelfth house, until July 22. (Yawn…) It's the end of your solar cycle, a time to wind down, review the past year and clear the decks for a fresh start when the Sun moves into Leo on the 22nd. In fact, you might want to get used to moving at a more languid pace. On June 25, lucky Jupiter began its yearlong visit to Cancer—a cycle that happens every 12 years. Between now and July 2014, you're at the end of a decade-plus chapter, taking inventory on all you've accomplished since 2001. In the meantime, your job is to let go, heal, allow yourself to be divinely guided (rather than forcing things), and focus on your internal self rather than forging ahead blindly. With communicator Mercury retrograde (backward) in Cancer until July 20, you might even have some unfinished business to handle this month.
Not exactly the chart-topping year you had in mind? Fear not, because on July 16, 2014, lucky Jupiter will move into Leo, kicking off a fresh 12-year phase. In the meantime, conserve your energetic resources and slow down. The keyword is "surrender"—not something that go-getter Leos do willingly. However, the more you try to force things, the harder you'll end up struggling. Strong-arming your way to the top will only waste your energy, accomplishing nothing. So trade the power lunches for Pilates classes, the cocktail hours for calm nights at home. Not that you'll go completely off the grid, Leo—but scaling back will give you time to focus on your inner life, deepen those meaningful connections…and breathe.
Relaxing nights in will be easier to come by after July 7, when restrictive Saturn ends a five-month retrograde in Scorpio, your fourth house of home and family. Trying to set up a solid foundation has been tough for Leos since taskmaster Saturn went retrograde February 18. Your living situation might have become tenuous, or your relationship with your mother, children or a closely linked female could have weighed heavily on you. Leo, you're strong enough to take it, but still! When Saturn moves direct (forward), some of the burden should ease. If you've been trying to buy or sell real estate, progress may still be slower, but at least you won't be at a standstill.
Brace yourself for the middle of July and the very end, when volatile Uranus and Pluto form a T-square (tense angle), first to Mercury and then to Mars. Have you bitten off more than you can chew, or spread yourself in too many directions? You may want to change your name to Durga, in honor of the many-armed Hindu goddess that you now resemble. (The good news: Her name means "strength," which you have in spades. You control the rapids…the rapids don't control you.) You're torn between taking a bold leap of faith, scrambling to cover the minute details and just needing a nap (preferably one that lasts, oh, a year). Pacing yourself becomes imperative in the second half of July, especially once unpredictable Uranus goes retrograde (backward) for five months on July 17. Even if you have grand plans, you'll still need to execute them in phases. Don't bite off more than you can chew between now and the end of the year.
On July 22, the picture brightens as the Sun moves into Leo. Birthday season begins! That same day, an Aquarius full moon illuminates your partnership house. Is it time to make a relationship official—or to put energy back into your current union? This is a fabulous time for a getaway à deux, especially since Mercury's travel-snagging retrograde ends a couple days before. You're cleared for takeoff, Leo, whether vacationing solo or with a significant other. A refreshing change of scenery is just what the stars have ordered—even if that's just a day trip to your favorite semi-private little beach or a long weekend in a cozy seaside cabin, where you can indulge at a tiny crab shack and read summer fiction in the sand. Ah….now that's a vacay!
Mark your calendar for horoscope history: Monday, July 29, features an incredibly rare aspect known as a Grand Sextile. It's essentially a six-pointed star, or hexagram, comprised of seven planets that form harmonious angles (trines and sextiles) to each other. This synergistic seven are all in "feminine" (earth or water) signs. Many astrologers view this as the moment our culture will take a step toward embracing feminine principles.
For you Leos, the Grand Trine's calming effect will help you learn to share the spotlight graciously, rather than making everything about the latest drama. Imagine the concept of living an emergency-free life, by choice! Or just feeling like you're "enough," even when you don't put on a show. You don't have to work so hard to prove that you're awesome, Leo. People already know it! Or they don't…but who cares? You won't waste your time trying to win fans and influence people. "Live and let live" becomes your new mantra. As you settle into your center and just listen to people, your relationships deepen. If you're a chronic interrupter or hijacker of tales ("Oh that happened to you? How crazy! The exact thing happened to me. Let me tell you a story…"), zip it. . Signs that you've become a better listener: People begin telling you how "wise" you are. The underlying message is that you're now self-editing in a positive way, commenting only when you have something thoughtful (rather than colorful) to say. Be present, rather than plan your next witty response while someone is still talking. The new Leo M.O.: Less is more!
LOVE & ROMANCE
Radar: hottie approaching. Until July 22, magnetic Venus is in Leo, your first house of appearances, amping up your "it" factor. Smoldering much? If there's anything you want—your sexy crush, a free cone of mint chocolate chip ice cream, a fierce pair of strappy wedges—you're bound to get it. Sweet Venus here makes you feel effortlessly chic and charming. Enjoy the attention, in whatever form it appears. You may want to give your entire look an update. Try a daring new 'do…perhaps going pixie short or fiery red. Slather shimmery body oil over your skin and then shimmy into a head-turning getup that shows of your back, legs, shoulders…whatever your best assets are. Confidence is key (not that this is an issue for you now).
The buzz might even feel electric at turns, with spicy Mars in Gemini, your eleventh house of technology and friendships, for the first half of the month. Single Leos might spiff up their OK Cupid profiles and venture out into the world of online dating. Don't let one "meh" date (during which you heard way too much about your suitor's ex) deter you from putting yourself out there in an authentic way. You might suddenly have chemistry with a friend, deciding, "What the heck?" and having a sultry summer fling. Or, if you're not up for the friend-into-lover conversion, let your crew know you're in the mood for love and see if they have anyone to hook you up with. Since the eleventh house also rules big dreams and future visions, coupled Leos might enjoy open-ended talks about what an ideal life will look like together. For a moment, forget reality, and gaze into your honey's eyes while lying supine on a hammock and talking about opening a vineyard together one day—or whatever dreams you most cherish.
After July 13, aggressive Mars heads into Cancer, your twelfth house of closure, healing and fantasies. If there's an old hurt, possibly a betrayal, that stands in the way of your true happiness (with your mate or a future mate), this is the time to feel the pain and let it go. You may have been living with a low-grade ache, and now you realize that's just not okay. Work with a therapist of holistic practitioner might help you expel these emotions. Or, if you simply want to crank some sad songs and dance away your baggage, that works, too. During this phase, you might find yourself pining for a lost love. Instead of getting caught up in the sentimental mire of what was, try to extract the deeper, possibly spiritual, meaning from this situation. As Francis of Assisi once said, "You are that which you seek."
Your home life has been pretty internal lately, since boundary-loving Saturn has been retrograde (backward) since February 18 in your fourth house of domesticity. Perhaps obligations to your family got in the way of your love life, as you felt it was your duty to be there for your clan. Or, since the fourth house also rules fertility, you may have had some issues getting pregnant. Whatever the case, you likely had to do some soul-searching in your personal life, reviewing just how secure your personal foundations are. Now the blocks to peace at home should ease up. Finally!
The month ends with some big relationship news, as the July 22 Aquarius full moon lights up your seventh house of committed partnerships. Since this is the culmination of a six-month cycle, look back to the February 10 new moon in Aquarius, to see what developments began then. Now, you're at a key turning point in your union, possibly moving to the next level of closeness—ring shopping, perhaps?—or realizing it is time to part ways. Single Lions could have a chance meeting that opens up lots of new possibilities in love. Or, you may just get crystal clear on what you really want. This could be the right moment to initiate an important conversation about where things are headed. Coupled Leos can enjoy some much-needed together time, where you can let your hair down, revel in each other's company and get to the belly laughing. Unleashing your free spirit may bring your sweetheart even closer.
MONEY & CAREER
Loose ends, begone! With a slew of planets in Cancer, your twelfth house of closure, the first three weeks of the month are best spent finishing up old business rather than launching new ventures. Not that you'll be chomping at the bit to start anything from scratch right now. Your energy may be low during this phase, so you won't really feel like making grand debuts. Instead, wrap up old projects. If there's a venture that's been hanging in the balance, make a definitive decision: to table or not to table? Be thorough in your completions. When the Sun moves into Leo (your first house of fresh starts) on July 22, you'll want to be as light as possible, so that you can enjoy the flurry of spotlight-garnering activity the cosmos has in store.
Don't underestimate the power of making a "simple" decision—the ripple effect can be vast. One Leo we know was considering taking a teach gig at a school she wasn't crazy about and in a field that wasn't her specialty. However, she didn't have any other offers, so she kept the door open, while frantically looking for a better opportunity. Finally, she decided to give the school a firm "no," and the very next day, a friend from a far-off corner of her life called and asked if she was available to teach at a better school, doing exactly what she loves. Hello, win-win! Let this be a lesson: Say "no" where you need to say "no," cross those items off your to-do list, and make room for all the glittering opportunities that can appear once you have a clean slate. Also, since the twelfth house rules spiritual connections, Leos who have been struggling with finding their career/purpose might take a more broad approach to their destiny. For a guide, we recommend Callings by Gregg Levoy, a practical and uplifting book on the subject of true vocations.
With communicator Mercury retrograde (backward) in Cancer, your twelfth house of hidden agendas, you may need to watch your back. A colleague or someone else in your sphere—possibly a client—might have less than honorable intentions. Perhaps someone is cutting corners unnecessarily, e.g., your assistant whose wedding date is looming or a coworker who already has one foot out the door. Or, you might just find that someone wants to steal your proverbial thunder. Maybe the person who smiles and nods enthusiastically at your ideas secretly resents your creativity and the ease with which you can express yourself. Team Leo might not be as solid as you think. Don't worry too much, but just make sure that you have one eye open. No need to get caught unaware…especially if someone is trying to take credit for your brand of five-star genius!
HEALTH: MIND, BODY & SOUL
One memory-foam mattress, please! With expansive Jupiter now in Cancer, your twelfth house of rest, you will definitely be needing more sleep for the next year—and particularly until July 22, while the energizing Sun is in this low-power house, too. No more burning the midnight oil to meet deadlines. It simply won't be possible…at least not in the high-voltage way Leos are used to operating. Stock up on your espresso beans now.
During this 13-month phase, you are traveling through some deeply spiritual waters and learning to go with the flow. (Not easy for your uber-capable sign, ahem!) You might even develop clairvoyance, as you become more in tune with the cosmos and your place in it. Dreams can become prophetic, so definitely record them if you have the inclination. One friend who recently finished this transit found that her clairaudience (hearing psychic messages, even through songs on the radio or snippets of other people's conversations) went through the roof. Expect life to be a little trippy like that now, Leo. Instead of trying to make rational sense of events and signs, just be open.
You may deepen a spiritual practice or keep your yoga mat at the ready. If you've been craving a mentor, now is the time to find someone who's been there, done that. Spend time with a "fairy godmother" type who is wise and quietly accepting and reminds you, just by her presence alone, that everything is going to be alright. It always is. Since the twelfth house rules karma and life after death, you might get a lot out of near-death-experience survivor Anita Moorjani's book Dying to Be Me, especially if you are recovering from a loss. You might also be consumed by an interest in past lives, hypnosis, and all things "woo woo."
On July 13, energetic Mars enters Cancer, your chilled-out twelfth house, necessitating that you regulate your energy. Instead of kicking workouts into high gear, listen to the important clues your body is telling you. You don't have the stamina to do an Iron Man, so why not Prancercise instead? http://www.youtube.com/user/Prancercise Admit it: That's exactly what your body wants, to mince gingerly through a gated subdivision in a shoulder-padded outfit. (We kid, we kid.)
This month, serious Saturn turns direct (forward) in Scorpio, your fourth house of home and roots, on July 7. You may be healing from a challenging time with your family, especially a female relative. Perhaps you were squabbling with your mother or an aunt over their dominion in your life, e.g., they always have something to say about your choices in love, work, apartment, diet. Now, you'll have an easier time expressing your emotions, which you might have kept pent up for a while. The tightly wound feeling may have also extended to your physical space. Perhaps you were feeling claustrophobic at home, or barely had enough time to rest. Now, that will change. With happy-go-lucky Jupiter in Cancer, you will definitely be on the drowsy side. If you can spare the extra sleep, do it. Winding down at night with guided meditations and chamomile tea can also be a huge help. Try this lovely nighttime audio affirmation (http://store.debbieford.com/pages.php?pID=59) from Debbie Ford. All these planets activating the most subconscious realm of your chart make the proper "care and feeding" of your mind essential now. As within, so without!