Slow down. If life gets hectic, sit still, if just for a minute. Summer’s heat and five planets in retrograde ask us to take our time and think things through. Catch up and reconnect with the past, work on old projects, and handle life right here, right now. Tend to the woes of the world. Speeding up will be counterproductive. Mercury, Jupiter, Chiron, Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto all now appear to head backward, against the zodiac.

Verbal Mercury and feisty Mars run close together in Leo, which can add bravado to our thinking, and stubbornness, pride, and hyperbole to our arguments. Mars in Leo also speaks of the protective heart; we can make a swift and dramatic, if not necessarily accurate, response to perceived problems.

The sun and Venus in watery Cancer ask us to stay in touch with emotions and tend to our family and humankind. Recent eclipses catalyze change in some lives, and people need support.

As the weekend begins, an upbeat, outspoken, outdoors-oriented Sagittarius moon instigates freewheeling, funny, and honest interactions, but we may feel rushed. Stay situationally aware and all will be well.

We’re asked to stretch our soul Sunday through Tuesday as the sun opposes intense Pluto and as the moon conjuncts Pluto and is eclipsed midday on Tuesday. We may come face-to-face with some important work, personally and globally.

Summer’s lightness returns on Wednesday as the moon enters Aquarius. Creativity and connection increase as Venus trines Neptune on Thursday. Keep an eye out for that spark of romance and camaraderie.

Friday, July 12: Connect with people far away and get the message across to those nearby this afternoon as the outspoken Sagittarius moon trines Mercury. Be honest, but don’t expect tact in return. Be upfront about past problems in a clear but uncharged way. Dance the night away.

Saturday, July 13: We notice where our world feels too small, but inhale the whiff of potential as the moon conjuncts Jupiter; venture beyond the familiar. Simplistic thinking is fine as long as it’s also expansive. Tonight, create a touch of magic.

Sunday, July 14: Even on a beautiful summer’s weekend we can feel the woes of the world as the sun opposes Pluto. A restless, potentially angsty and inefficient day calls for a balance between honesty and kindness. Organize and strategize tonight as the moon enters competent Capricorn.

Monday, July 15: Existential discontent might glint beneath the sunlight. Think back on recent problems, pick the most urgent, and tend to it. People can become manipulative or pushy under stress, but we can control our own efforts. We cannot control another’s, though it’s tempting to try.

Tuesday, July 16: A full moon lunar eclipse in determined Capricorn asks us to think about our work and responsibilities, and about what we want to build. The ground shifts under our feet and we may need to let go of an outdated dream and search for new possibilities.

Wednesday, July 17: We want more room to breathe and move as the moon enters spacious Aquarius and squares Uranus. Watch the tendency to second-guess yourself. Take reasonably cautious steps forward and prioritize communication.

Thursday, July 18: As Venus trines Neptune, let’s remember our ideals and what we’re working toward. Use this energy to be sweet and flirtatious, work toward social justice, or just remember that the world can be different than this dystopian present. It’s helpful to talk over positive probabilities and work together — or take dogs to the dog park and socialize.

To contact astrologer Heather Roan Robbins, go to