Illustrations by Sophi Gullbrants
Welcome to eclipse season, lovers! July begins with a bang, and not exactly the kind we’re expecting. A solar eclipse on July 2, in Cancer, will bring surprising, yet necessary endings and new beginnings in the areas of self care, nurturance, and the ways we love.
The unpredictable energy continues with a lunar eclipse in Capricorn on July 16, ushering in changes to how we structure our days, conduct business, and ultimately redefining what stability means to us. As if this energy isn’t intense enough, we can add Mercury retrograde into the mix. Cancer is ruled by the moon, and much like the tides, our emotions ebb and flow. Cancer season is a deep invitation into feeling, bonding, and strengthening intimacy. Just because we’ll be feeling our feels doesn’t mean we won’t be having incredible sex too; in fact, having an all access pass to our emotions can add to the erotic experience in surprising ways.
The sun moves into fiery Leo on July 23, reigniting passion as a priority. Take action while expressing vulnerability in your partnerships. The energy you show up with is more likely to be reciprocated at this time. Leo loves drama and over-the-top expression, so allow yourself to make bold moves when it comes to your love life. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone—this isn’t the time for hesitation, or thinking ‘What if?’ You’ll get what you want when you make the first move. With Venus joining the sun in Cancer this month, make a case for more pleasure, more orgasms, more play, and more freedom to express your unique sexuality.
Cancer & Cancer Rising (June 21-July 22)
Happy solar return, Cancer! This is a huge month for you, beginning with a solar eclipse in your sign. This sets the stage for the second half of 2019, affecting expression and how you feel about yourself in general. When Venus joins the sun in your sign on July 4, you are even more tuned in to your purest power of sensuality, and everyone will take notice. Your magnetic energy is amplified this month as you draw your lovers in to experience the depth of passion you crave. This is a great time to experiment in transcendent lovemaking practices—such as tantra—that focus on extended eye contact, deep breathing, and the slow buildup of sexual energy that deepens intimacy while extending pleasure.
Leo & Leo Rising (July 23-August 22)
July is a month of transformation for you, Leo. The eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn will trigger endings and new beginnings in the areas of work and home, affecting the way you nurture your projects and yourself. With Venus and the sun in sensitive Cancer for most of the month, you are processing your feelings about the first half of 2019. It’s time to put self-care on the top of the list, and sexual expression is a huge part of Leo’s hierarchy of needs. Treat yourself to something that makes you feel sexy, and schedule some solo pleasure time. Give yourself exactly what you would want to receive from a partner. Pay attention to how your body responds and what really turns you on. If you’re feeling extra frisky, let your lover watch; make them wait before you let them join the party.
Virgo & Virgo Rising (August 23-September 22)
Put yourself out there, Virgo! This month Venus and the sun are mingling in your social 11th house. This is prime time for dating and making connections in new ways. Try a different approach. Determine what hasn’t been working and go at it in a different way. Whether your romance is new or seasoned, the Cancer energy will help you connect on a deeper level. Opening up about your feelings creates new space for play. Approach sex from a lighter angle by making foreplay a multi-sensory game, such as truth or dare. Asking questions piques arousal by stimulating your mercurial mind while offering tangible ways to explore one another’s bodies simultaneously. Make sure to slip in any secret fantasies you’ve been holding back.
Libra & Libra Rising (September 23-October 22)
This month is huge for your career, Libra. In addition to the eclipses, the sun and Venus are packed into your 10th house of career. Now, it is more important than ever to balance the pressure to accomplish with your experience of pleasure. As you work to create what you want to see in the world, make use of the spotlight, using your irresistible charm to attract more than job offers. Mercury retrograde brings back the past, so don’t be surprised when old loves resurface. Try not to lose focus or second-guess your decision to move on. Remember, exes appear during retrogrades to help us tie up any loose ends, bringing closure. When the sun moves into fiery Leo at the end of the month, you’ll be happy you moved onto flames worth stoking.
Scorpio & Scorpio Rising (October 23-November 21)
You’re in your element this month, Scorpio, with the sun and Venus in fellow water sign, Cancer. Most of the action takes place in your 9th house of travel. This is a fantastic time to take a sexy getaway, despite what they say about traveling during Mercury retrograde. Couples benefit from using this time to reconnect, emotionally and sexually. Get out of your routine and reignite your passion with sensual massages, slowly building tension until you’re both ready to explode. Flying solo? Use this time to reconnect to your body and show yourself some love, as Mercury retrograde isn’t an ideal time for beginning something new. However, if you meet up with a sexy stranger, enjoy the moment without getting attached, as things may not be clear this month. If someone is worthy of your loyal heart, they’ll have no trouble taking things slow.
Sagittarius & Sagittarius Rising (November 22-December 21)
This is the beginning of a very sexy summer for you, Sagittarius! Mercury retrograde will try to throw you off your game by bringing old loves back into your life, but you’re smarter than that. Make peace with the past and set yourself free. This month Venus dances with the sun in your erotic 8th house, setting the mood for some kinky fun. What have you been wanting to try? Indulging in your curiosity leads to exciting encounters, and you’re up for everything. By the time the sun moves into fellow fire sign, Leo on July 23, you’ll be catching your second wind. Hopefully your lovers can keep up with your intense pace—that is, if you choose to let them out of their restraints.
Capricorn & Capricorn Rising (December 22-January 20)
Relationships are on your mind this month, Capricorn, with Venus, planet of love and beauty, getting cozy with the sun in your 7th house of partnerships. What you’re considering carries extra weight at this time, with a pair of eclipses happening in your polar opposite sign of Cancer, and one in your own sign. The unpredictable energy can feel stressful, as you love to be in control. Trust that this cosmic clearing of unnecessary energy is making room for positive changes in the way you approach intimacy. Mercury retrograde will work in your favor to assist you in re-evaluating what is no longer aligned with your heart. This process allows you to soften and allow more love to flow harmoniously. You’ll notice sex feels deeper, more connected, and is an excellent outlet for expressing your emotions.
Aquarius & Aquarius Rising (January 21-February 18)
With Venus and the sun stretching out in your 6th house of health and daily routine, this is your month to recommit to your wellness, Aquarius. Perhaps you’ve been lax with your self-care, and it’s been taking a toll on your energy, as well as your libido. Mercury retrograde is here to assist you in getting back on track with the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. It’s important you get out of your head; instead of feeling disappointed in yourself, move into your body to boost your mood. Get creative and invite your partners to join in. (Yoga as foreplay, anyone?) Getting sweaty together leads to fun in the shower, so put on your favorite masque and bring your water-safe toys along. By the time the sun moves into fiery Leo on the 23rd, you’ll be back on top (or whatever your position you prefer) this summer.
Pisces & Pisces Rising (February 19-March 20)
This month may hit you right in the feels, Pisces. With the sun and Venus swimming in sensitive Cancer, your 5th house of creativity will be soaked with nostalgia. Stay mindful of Mercury retrograde bringing the past back into your present. Former flames reappear when there is closure or healing needed—try not to confuse the familiar with the fated. This is all setting the stage for an epic Leo season, as the eclipses slam the door on the ghosts of your past. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, blow off steam by making art and making love, and consider how you can infuse more creativity into sex. Roleplaying adds a new layer of fantasy you can lose yourself in for hours as you take turns pleasing one another.
You’re not typically a homebody, Aries, but this month the sun and Venus are snuggled up in your 4th house of home and family. If Gemini season left you feeling burned out, you could use the rest before the sun moves into fellow fire sign Leo, on the 23rd. Just because you’re staying low-key this month doesn’t mean you won’t be having epic sex; you’re just keeping your lovers all to yourself while you recharge. This Mercury retrograde is about relaxing and resetting for the second half of 2019. Go ahead and spend an entire day in bed. Let someone take care of your needs for a change. You can still be bossy—let them know exactly how you want to be worshipped. Cancer loves to nurture; thus, everyone will be all too eager to oblige your every desire.
Shout it out this month, Taurus! The sun and Venus are lighting up your 3rd house of communication, working together with Mercury retrograde to help you say all the things—especially when it comes to your intimate partnerships. The eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn are bringing major shifts in how you express yourself, your mindset, and future plans. Sometimes we aren’t comfortable asking for what we want, but we don’t get what we don’t ask for. Speak up for your needs and desires, and be more vocal during sex. Good lovers are eager to please: feeling in control of another’s pleasure is one of the greatest joys of the sexual experience. Give feedback, talk dirty, and try not to take things so seriously.
Sharing is caring, Gemini. Your path to abundance lies in how much you are willing to give to others. With the sun and Venus mingling in your 2nd house of resources and values, you may be tempted to treat yourself to some summer luxury. However, Mercury retrograde is not the time for big purchases. When was the last time you showered your lover with attention? Giving is greater than receiving, on many levels. Use this energy to rebalance the give-and-take in your relationships. Surprise your partners with a sensual evening dedicated to their pleasure. There is something very sexy in having power over another’s satisfaction; switching up the roles you normally play will have a tremendous impact on how you feel about yourself. Not to mention, your lovers will be more than ready to show their gratitude and return the affection.
Stefanie Caponi is a Brooklyn-based artist, astrologer, tarot reader, and creator of The Moon Void Tarot. Follow Stefanie on Instagram for more astrology and tarot insights.