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Cancer season july 2023 horoscope Venus Retrograde
Illustration by Gabrielle Rosenstein

Horoscope July 2023: big relationship changes are coming!

As Hot Girl Summer opens with the heart-centred waterworks of Cancer season and Venus Retrograde, we are massively upgrading our understanding of love – and moving into new relationships

Grace McGrade is an intuitive astrologer and priestess based in Los Angeles. She is the host of the podcast “Bitchcraft: Spirituality for Bad People.” Her sessions include birth chart readings, tarot, energetic clearings and psychic consultations.

July is a month for matters of the heart, as Hot Girl Summer opens with the heart-centred waterworks of Cancer season and Venus Retrograde. We are massively upgrading our understanding of love, and moving into new relationships.

We open the month gliding through the sensitive waters of Cancer season, and we are tender and sensitive, attuned to our own emotional nourishment and eager for introspection. Cancer, ruled by the Moon, is associated with early childhood experiences, emotional reciprocity, and the home. We are softening, and may feel pulled to go inwards, eager to find a sense of safety we can carry with us. Cancer teaches us how to re-parent ourselves, and how to nurture our internal world. The mood is compassionate and careful.

We may be privy to point out lapses in reciprocity, as the first water sign of the zodiac enhances our need to feel cared for. A Full Moon in Capricorn on July 3 prompts us to calibrate our relationship to our careers and long-term goals. We are encouraged to examine the push and pull between our immediate needs for more downtime and introspection, and the responsibilities of the outer world. This Full Moon may call for some tweaks in our work lives, and encourages us to tweak our schedules for anything that isn’t essential. We have been shedding the lower expressions of Capricorn since the pandemic, reexamining our relationship to authority, power and acclaim. This Full Moon is a chance to untether ourselves from unhealthy ambitions that don’t align with our hearts.

Mercury moves through Cancer until the 10th of the month, continuing heart-to-heart conversations and amplifying our sense of compassion. Then it zips through the proud and loud sign of Leo, prompting us to be expressive, particularly in matters of the heart. On the 28th, it enters the focused and intentional sign of Virgo, offering us clarity and focus. War-God Mars enters Virgo on the 10th, giving us the drive to jot off our to-do list and create steadfast plans of action that suit our daily goals. 

Venus in Leo stations retrograde on the 22nd in Leo, and we are called to reexamine our relationship to self-love and self-care. Venus in Leo reminds us of our own divinity and capacity to manifest in real-time. Venus stations retrograde about once every 18 months, and we are given a chance to look at what we have been unconsciously pulling towards us. Old relationships are given second chances, and we can anticipate that long-awaited run-in with flames that require resolution. 

Venus in Leo retrograde pushes us to look at the principle of attraction, as we begin to actualise how powerful we truly are. This is our call to expunge fears around not being loveable and step outside of our comfort zone. The Nodes of Fate change to the North Node in Aries and the South Node in Libra, facilitating shifts and switches in relationships. Whilst we have spent most of 2023 culminating in karmic relationships and learning hard lessons, we are ready to move towards interdependent bonds. This is a conscious untethering towards relationships that feel like who we truly are. We are looking to connect with others in a more conscious, self-aware way.

Chiron, the wounded healer asteroid, also stations retrograde on the 23rd, in the sign of Aries. Here, we are looking at outdated stories of self that keep us feeling stuck or insecure. We are called to relinquish self-doubt and claim ownership of our wounds, as we churn them into superpowers of compassion and empathy. 

Leo season kicks off on the 22nd, and we are bold, grandiose and ready to station centre stage. Our eagerness to feel seen can be tiresome for some, but we deserve it. Leo season enhances our eagerness to play, and we are creative, expressive and attuned to our own divinity. Leo, the sign of the Divine Child, encourages us to explore themes of love and joy, as its rulership is the Sun.