July Astrology Forecast

Venus and the Freedom to Be Yourself

First, a brace of different ways to get my views on what July is bringing us and how we can align with it:

  • My EDGE monthlies for each sign for the month of July are posted.
  • I cover June’s astrology in expanded detail for each sign in the July Expanded Audio Horoscopes. These average about 13 minutes in length, they’re only $6.95 each and they come in MP3 format so you can download and listen as often as you want.
  • I’ll be digging deeper into June’s historic Venus occultation and the healing potential Venus is bringing us as she returns to the occultation degree in mid-July on my monthly EDGE Astrology show. I’ll be pre-recording this month’s show – you can use the link in the previous sentence to catch it at the normal time slot (Wednesday, July 4 at 7p EST/6p CST/4p PST) or listen to it at your leisure here after the initial airing.

Soul-Level Healing

There’s a lot more flashy astrology going on this month than Venus simply retracing her retrograde route in forward motion through Gemini. But I’ve been exceptionally tuned in to this Venus transit since the June 5 occultation and, while it has turned out very differently than I might have expected it to, I believe this is one of the most extraordinary astrological windows of opportunity in our lifetimes. So I want to start here.

As I mentioned in last month’s forecast, the pair of Venus occultations that have happened eight years apart this century (the next Venus occultation doesn’t happen for another hundred years!) seems to carry a theme of the return of the Divine Feminine. Venus is generally considered to be one of the inherently “good” astrological archetypes. We expect prominent Venus transits to operate in a helpful way.

I mentioned last month that I see this second occultation as completing a circuit of healing that began at the previous occultation in June 2004. But I and many of my clients have been experiencing this Venus energy not as a sudden burst of happy enlightenment or miraculous instant healing but rather as a plunging into the depths of a lifelong pattern of struggle, unease, or self-sabotage.

What gives, Venus?!

I admit that I was shocked at the force with which the occultation hit me. Rather than feeling liberated and free of the past, I seemed to be forcibly driven down into the past, to the point of reliving some of the painful and challenging emotions that (I now recall) were prevalent for me in 2004. I plan to discuss this at greater length in my EDGE Astrology show for July (see link above) but let me just say that my initial experience of the occultation energy was shockingly difficult.

The current Venus transit falls in my solar 4th House – the roots of the chart and the place that talks about family patterns, emotional security and our ability to feel at home and safe in the world. I had just moved to a new house a week before the occultation and, even though I knew that the house backs up on the parking lot of a giant hospital, I was shocked to find that for several days in a row, the sound of traffic continually flowing past my back deck became the dominant feature of my experience.

This led to a diagnosis of a condition called misophonia – a hypersensitivity involving the auditory and limbic systems in the brain that makes me extremely sensitive to noises that other people can just block from their awareness. Now, I had known for many years that I was extremely sensitive. But, and this is the short version of events, coming to understand that I was not alone in suffering from this condition and beginning to understand the mechanism by which the brain basically experiences an allergic reaction to certain sounds gave me hope for the first time perhaps in my adult life that I could come to terms with the condition and find a treatment that would enable me to live a somewhat more normal life.

This wasn’t what I was expecting to see when I took my own advice in the June forecasts and looked back to what I was experiencing in 2004. But the connection quickly became obvious. In 2004 I had just moved to New Orleans at a very transitional time in my life. I was living hand to mouth as I studied astrology and I lived in a small apartment owned by an absentee landlord who occasionally – with very short warning – returned to spend a few days in the city, forcing me to find a couch to surf until the apartment was mine again. During that period, I never felt safe or “at home” (4th House). In fact, during the first six months of 2004 I lived in at least five different places in three different states. One apartment was situated below a large Indian family that lived life at top volume and rarely seemed to sleep; one apartment sat right next to a busy highway exit ramp; one featured housemates who tended to stay up almost around the clock playing music or watching TV at high volumes and entertaining lots of twenty-something friends and family members.

At the time, I tended to blame life for not taking care of me adequately, but looking back I can see clearly that life was reflecting back to me the psychological dis-ease that was the legacy of growing up in an extreme religious and emotionally abusive family environment. I grew up feeling I was under constant surveillance and living in constant fear of being punished if I failed to adhere to a standard of behavioral perfection that was unreachable.

Those of you who have been reading this column for the last eight years know that I’ve worked diligently and utilized many spiritual practices and perspectives to heal my psyche. And, with much of the psychological storm of the occultation behind me now, I can see just how much benefit that work has given me. But there were moments in June where it felt as if I had regressed to the same psychological state that characterized my life eight years ago. And that, my friends, was a very scary feeling indeed.

I’m a firm believer that one of the best spiritual practices we can cultivate is remembering to ask for help when we need it. So I asked for help and it showed up, in so many ways. (Thanks to my colleagues and readers who arrived “out of the blue” to offer sessions and compassion and wise counsel!) The upshot of all this – and I’ve been privileged to provide the same perspective for several clients in the last month – was that I was able to see the events of 2004 and the circumstances of 2012 not just as isolated mood states or character weaknesses to be overcome but as central facets of my soul lesson in this lifetime.

I’ve been blessed to understand that in order to be able to live with the extreme sensitivity that makes me such a good musician and a powerful healing channel for my clients I need to go deeper into self-love and self-acceptance than I ever thought possible. Using just the misophonia as an example, I saw how much my struggles with substance abuse and addiction were driven directly by a desire to escape from the psychological unease of living in a world I had always experienced as too loud and too intrusive. I remember in my twenties telling people that I drank to “kill the noise” but I never accepted that statement at face value. I felt guilty and ashamed of being “too sensitive” and (like a good Pisces) I just dreamed of escape. Living in a house in the woods. Striking it rich so I could live in an island villa where the boom cars couldn’t reach me. Becoming a monk and living in a remote monastery…

Meanwhile I felt guilty about drinking and smoking and all the other things I did to dull the noise of the world. And after I got sober I continued to feel guilty for the rage I felt on those days when the neighbor’s dog barked for hours on end or the boom cars rattled my windows several times an hour. It never fully dawned on me until the last three weeks that what I was actually doing was holding myself to the same standards of perfection that had so damaged me as a child.

So here I am, bruised and a little dazed, but actually holding out hope that I might be able to make this whole thing work in a way that doesn’t feel crippling or require me to live as a hermit. I realize that I have to practice what I preach at an even deeper level and learn to accept all of my feelings, not just the ones that fit neatly into the “love and light” category. And that rather than running away from the parts of me that “aren’t fit to print” I must continue to learn to honestly acknowledge them.

Acknowledging my “not so spiritual” thoughts and desires and feelings doesn’t mean I have to act them out, although some of them may need to be expressed. But denial of the soul and of the shadow only pushes the pain deeper.

And that, I think, is the particular genius of this Venus transit. As Venus returns through Gemini in direct motion (making an exact hit on the occultation degree of 15 Gemini on July 19) I believe the answers to at least one of our deepest, lifelong questions are becoming available. Gemini is the sign of the mind and of the inherent duality of the psyche, so in order to make ourselves available to the healing Venus wants to bring, we must be willing to look at “the Other” within the Self. As I wrote last month:

Those of us influenced by Eastern philosophy or New Age spirituality tend to think along the lines of duality = bad, but we would be better off recognizing it as a part of the human condition: not something to be denied or transcended, but something to be understood and integrated. […] The trap of the egoic mind, though, is in convincing us to vilify or deny or run away from our weakness, our darkness, our shadow. What this eclipse gives us the opportunity to do is to see both of these sides more clearly. Each has something powerful to offer us, but we can only receive their gifts when we accept their existence within the soul.

Little did I know how prophetic those words would turn out to be for me. We live in a society where acknowledging our weakness and darkness (unless we’re doing it for money or fame on a reality show or in the blogosphere or to gain sympathy as a victim) is still a highly taboo behavior. But isn’t this the essence of the Divine Feminine, at least in one aspect? Where the pure masculine principle seeks to cut the whole into parts which can then be utilized, accented, sold or destroyed in order to serve a purpose, the feminine principle acknowledges the whole. Where the spirit (traditionally seen as male) seeks to transcend or perfect weakness, the soul (traditionally viewed as feminine) embraces all of experience.

To be whole we must find a way for soul and spirit to coexist as equal partners in the Journey. This is the work of a lifetime, perhaps of many lifetimes. It’s the essence of alchemical transmutation as expressed in the Emerald Tablet.

I believe that identifying the fundamental split in the mind and gaining the tools to integrate the rejected part(s) of the psyche back into the Self is the healing blessing of this Venus occultation. I noted last month that the Mayans paid particular attention to the cycles of Venus. Perhaps the biggest theme of 2012 that I see emerging in my own life and in the lives of dozens of clients this year is the need to drop all of the pretenses and hack the genetic, family, and social programs that keep us trapped in severely limited versions of the Self we long to become. I do believe that once we step into the Authentic Self – a place that is very scary for the ego, not to mention for those around us who have a vested interest in our containing to play a safe, predictable role – the Universe rises up beneath us to carry us to our destiny.

I’ll be back in a couple days to write about Mars’ move into Libra and the Capricorn Full Moon on Tuesday, July 3 that activates the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square. But I want you to consider that the greatest gift that 2012 is trying to bring us is the freedom to be who we really are. Stepping into your true Self may require you to stretch in ways that are not only profoundly uncomfortable but may require you to break some of the biggest taboos of your family and cultural heritage.

But how can we ride safely on this huge wave of change that is sweeping our world if we are clinging to the burdens of the past?

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  1. Posted July 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink | Edit

    I was trying to read my horoscope for July. I’m a libra (with 4 planets in scorpio) and I no longer see the individual horoscopes on your site. I like your readings. I’ve searched the tabs. Am I missing something? Thanks.

    • D.K. Brainard
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink | Edit

      Hey Valerie, I quit doing the weekly horoscopes a few months ago. You can read my July forecast at the EDGE Magazine link for each sign. You can also get my in-depth look at July’s astrology with one of the Expanded Audio Horoscopes in the store. Or, there are lots of great astrologers out there who are still doing weekly and monthly horoscopes for free! Best wishes, DK

  2. Maureen
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 5:15 am | Permalink | Edit

    Dear DK, This post was very moving and fascinating … I also experienced some major grief and anger recently over issues that I thought I had long been over.

    As I read this post, a few things came to mind that I wanted to share with you. First, have you ever read the book, “Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight” by Sharon Heller? (The subtitle is “What to do if you are sensory defensive in an overstimulating world). When you wrote about your noise sensitivity I deeply related to your experience; I have sensory sensitivities as well, mostly visual, but really my entire nervous system feels like it’s on the outside of my skin. This book by Sharon Heller is amazing — it describes me to a T, and explained so many things about me that I never understood myself. It’s on Amazon if you want to check it out (I wasn’t sure if I should post a link here or not so I played it safe).

    The other thing your post brought to mind — when you spoke of the need to accept and embrace our shadow side — is a quote by Rumi; I just ran across it today in a stack of papers and it’s sitting right here beside me:

    “The Moon said to the Stars,
    do not look at my dark side for it is unseen by me,
    and unworthy of love.

    And the stars said, I see your darkness and light
    and love your contrasting nature.
    Would it be love if I only loved the half that reflected my shining?
    At a distance you only see my light.
    Come closer and know that I am You.”

    • D.K. Brainard
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink | Edit

      Hey Maureen,

      Thanks so much for the recommendation. I’ll check it out. Another reader told me about Eileen Aaron’s work: http://www.hsperson.com/

      Apparently high sensitivity occurs in 15-20% not only of humans but also other species. Wow. And I love the Rumi quote. Many blessings and thanks again! DK

  3. Lara
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink | Edit

    Oh YES !!!
    So so true of my experience too this June/July and indeed throughout 2012. You are NOT alone here DK…. totally understand what you write above. We will get through it….:) ..and emerge whole, enlightened and ascended.
    Thank you and blessings, Lara x

    • D.K. Brainard
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink | Edit

      Thanks Lara! Many blessings to you – I do believe the intensity serves a higher purpose!

  4. Evelyne Berne
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink | Edit

    Right on, DK !!! to speak Hippie.

    Your July comments do ring, not A bell, but a whole symphony of bells, some of them very loud indeed 😉

    Here, I am struggling with what I WANT to do, dealing with an inheritance and with all kinds of wolves and sharks and vultures wearing Italian suits and hip glasses, embodying archetypes like The Notary, The Banker, the Real Estate Agent, The Doctor, The Tax Collector…all of them wanting a ( way too large ) piece of the pie my deceased 97 year-old Uncle left me, with the words ( he was a cynic, I’m afraid ) ” Moi quand je serai mort..je serai tranquille ! Mais Toi ? Qu’est-ce que tu vas t’emmerder !! ” roughly translated as: ” Me, when I’m dead, I’ll have eternal peace, but You ? It’s gonna be Hell ! ” How right he was ! I KNOW what I want, but everyone around me is pulling on me with convincing argumentations and so-called advice, when it takes a person much less smart than I am, to understand that their advices are hiding a great part of self-interest under this type of elite speech the Parisians adore, and which I have come to hate: excellent use of vocabulary, expressions of wit, cultural quotes, twisted logic, all with an ironic smile and a touch of eroticism. I have had to learn to speak Parisian, and excel at it in order to be able to defend myself !!!but..damn!..I’ll tell yo this much : I’m ready to forget this jargon as soon as my deeds are done in France. And even having to deal with a husband who declares time and again he will not help me if I don’t take decisions his way ! His idea of a sober life, to which I aspire in a foreign country, is different than mine, it’s richer, more showy, needing more money, more things, more…… and all I want is a simple life and peace. Since my uncle died at the end of February, it’s been an extremely emotional draining and stressful time for me ( not to mention my Mom, who died in May ! ).
    Your comments about so many people you know who have had to look into the ugliness of their past in order to progress into their better Self is O, SO recognizable… It is comforting to know that we are many to go through these times, conscious of the happening, but still going through the ” inner horror ” 😉
    I am reading The Televisionary Oracle, and Pronoïa, by Rob Breszny, getting inspiring spiritual food from its deliriousness, and a reaffirmation that I am on the right path myself.

    Lots of love, hope all is well with you in your life. Still reading your comments every month :))
    Bye for now,
    Evelyne ( french person in Amsterdam, the Netherlands )

    • D.K. Brainard
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink | Edit

      Hey Evelyne!

      I am envisioning you sticking to what you know in your heart of hearts is the best path. Regardless of what everyone else wants for you. I see this happening for you. And you know what, YOU DESERVE IT!

      Hey, did you ever think maybe you should write. You’re funnier in your third language than I am in my first one :)

      Breszny’s book is wonderful, too. I’m going to dig out my copy this afternoon.

      Much love dear soul,

  5. Jan
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink | Edit

    Brilliant piece of writing and as always, profoundly helpful – good to be able to recognise oneself reflected in another…Many thanks

    • D.K. Brainard
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink | Edit

      So welcome, Jan, thank you for the kind feedback. Many blessings, DK

  6. Kristine
    Posted July 4, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink | Edit

    Thank you for this post. I have lived all my life with high sensitivity. It usually has to do with feelings and intuition and sometimes vibrations or what I call energy. Very young I developed a tool to go to “blank”, or you could call it a bubble. My mother also can’t stand shopping malls (noise, confusion) and chemical smells. I think this heightened sensitivity can effect any or several of our senses. Also, my mother and myself are psychic. So, I would assume that this is just a sign telling us who or what we truly are. I will check out those recommendations and books. Oh yeah, meditation really cured, healed this difficult aspect of daily existence for me. However, to tune it out completely wouldn’t be right either. I kind of operate like a radio now. I tune out what I don’t want and I let in what I want. That way I kept my psychic abilities pure at the core and continue to develop and disperse the crud. Kind regards, K

    • D.K. Brainard
      Posted July 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink | Edit

      Hey Kristine, Thanks for sharing your experience with the heightened sensitivity. Apparently this kind of thing does tend to run in families. My mother is also super noise-sensitive and neither of us can stand chemical smells such as mainstream laundry detergent, air fresheners, cleaning products, etc. Love the radio analogy. When I’m trying to sleep or meditate and feeling bothered by some external noise, I’ll turn down the volume knob of the outside world in my mental control room. Helps about 70% of the time when I remember to do it.


  7. sarapaul7
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 4:56 am | Permalink | Edit

    Hi DK,
    Ha, I call them the boom boom cars. Also, the (goddamn) neighbor’s who “love the boom boom.” Worse yet, for someone who claims to love animals (me), oh the fantasies I have had about vortexes in the earth opening up and swallowing certain dog or dog owners, and transporting them to an echo chamber of torture SO THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THEIR CRIME. And, I think I mentioned this to you: I am currently in New Orleans. Oh, yes I am. It took three apartments before I found a second story tree house sans late-night angry drunks, pitbulls, the boom boom, or the wonderful combination of all three. I love my tree fort. Without it I probably would leave here (get it, ha!? yeah. I know, bad pun). There is an oak right outside my bedroom window, and I swear he shields me from the boom boom and the barks, taking the vibrations in, and in the front of the place two other trees that also have a similar effect shielding from the drunks leaving Lost Love Lounge.

    I have always had misophonia, and am now grateful to have learnt the fancy name for it. So, thank you. I always feel more important in my handicaps when I can list them in Latin :) It helps me to turn something that can be so incredibly painful into an agent of Greek myth… Oh, Miss Misophonia. She must have hung out with Echo at some point. She probably whispered during an important speech by one of the higher gods, and ever since has been forced to spend eternity hyper-focusing on barely audible conversations and is followed everywhere by barking dogs. I’ll put her down- right next to my dear Dysgraphia, the special lady who transforms my legible handwriting into scrawls I can’t understand when I am not looking. Now all I need is the fancy term for not always quite understanding space and time, and getting lost going to a friend’s house (even though I’ve been there on several occasions prior) because I SWEAR someone has picked up the buildings/freeway exits/whatnot, and shuffled them around when I wasn’t looking (gahh giant invisible ogres who rule the city-scape). Maybe I’ll come up with my own terms for that one, then I’ll really own it as a part of me. Because, for good or bad, it just is a part of my makeup, and even though I’ve come lightyears in handling the over-stimulation, as you well pointed out, it can come back and knock me on my ass when I least expect it to.

    Sometimes I try to explain what it is like being like this to others who do not experience the same level of sensitivity, but I realize that unless you experience it, it is really hard to express the pure state of frustration and pain that can come with the territory. Now I tend not to bother as much with explaining it, and just accept that I will get lost three out of five times, that I should always carry headphones/earplugs with me if I need it in case of emergency to drown out unpleasant noise, and when all else fails, whatever the hell I wrote down that I cannot read probably didn’t matter- and if it really did they will come and find me eventually, wont they?

    But, as everyone has pointed out, there are also a thousand things I would hate to lose out on anyway. The taste of colors, the feel of sound, the words in touch. And, though I know it makes me crazy in terms of the normative culture, I also get to hear the plants when I take a walk- and getting greeted by the tiny cries of thousand unfurling leaves after a summer rainstorm is an awesome moment to indulge in, even if it is a fiction of my mind. It still never ceases to give me pleasure.

    Unsolicited landscaping advice:
    Speaking of shrubbery, if you haven’t already, may I suggest planting some quick growing variety along the back of your property where the boom boom cars travel? Some shrubs and certain trees can grow to the height of a two story house in a matter of years, and the effect should actually help visually and auditorily with both the hospital and the traffic. And, until they grow tall enough to actually blanket the noise/energy, maybe it will help knowing the peace is coming.

    Thanks for the post!

    • D.K. Brainard
      Posted July 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink | Edit

      Hey Sara!

      Glad you found your tree fort! I too take so much comfort from trees. (And yes they talk to me too, when I’m quiet enough to listen.) I just heard a breeze through the tree in the backyard last night that almost laid me out, it was so beautiful. So, I am grateful for these things and your letter reminds me to practice that gratitude more often. Thank you for that.

      I’m glad you typed because I’d have hated to miss a passage of that beautiful letter :)

      Much love to you, dear soul. And keep writing – you’re good at it!


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