You’re probably thinking “I already made it through a tough winter, the sun is out and I have plans—I better not be on this list!” I would also wager you’re already scrolling past to see if you’re one of the four zodiac signs that will have the worst summer 2023.
First off, astrology is not about good and bad luck. It’s not about doomsday and the sky is falling. The planets are not vindictive or hateful. The planets are simply here to shine a light on the external forces currently impacting our lives, allowing us to acknowledge how these circumstances are affecting us. With preparation and understanding we can use our free will to respond and hopefully work towards the future we want and find things to laugh at along the way.
When we say “worst summer” what we mean is, the planets are challenging these zodiac signs a bit more than the rest. Depending on the way the planets are positioned, things may impact some of us more than others. If you’re really curious about how transiting planets are influencing you, I highly recommend consulting an astrologer to look at your natal chart so you can get the most accurate prediction.
This summer Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Venus and Mercury all retrograde. Retrograde movements are a deviation from the “normal” direct motion of these celestial bodies and because we are receiving their energy differently, it can feel like a disruption of life. Knowing that a retrograde is coming allows us to relax, take our time, observe ourselves and others, and alter our expectations. All of this can ultimately benefit our growth. As we accept the unexpected changes that make up our reality, we learn more about ourselves.
Venus, planet of love, beauty, art and money, retrogrades this summer from July 22 to September 3. During this period, money may dwindle, hearts may freeze, and past lovers may pop up suddenly. It can be uncomfortable, but it is a time when our eyes are opened to the truth of our relationships and what we really need in love.
You are probably familiar with Mercury retrograde, as it occurs pretty frequently and seems to have taken over the internet. This summer, Mercury retrograde lasts from August 23 to September 15. With Mercury retrograde, expect those annoying little errors of life to come up over and over again. Like, you might misread the date on your plane tickets and come a day late to the airport. Or your rsvp to the wedding never made it to the happy couple so your vegan meal wasn’t prepared. Or you wake up on the day of the big road trip to find you left the car door open all night and the battery is dead. Mercury rules communication, technology and travel, so give yourself and others grace during this time. Allow yourself time to review, revise and rethink, so you can fine-tune the chaos.
The outer planet retrogrades last longer and have farther reaching effects on the structures in our lives. With so many retrogrades overlapping, it’s clear that the status quo will be tested. A wave of change is coming and, hopefully, we will all be the better for it. If your sun sign and/or rising sign is one of these four zodiac signs, discover what it is the planets wish for you to learn this summer:
For empathetic and protective Cancer, disruptions can be particularly difficult, especially if they impact their sense of security. This is why summer 2023 may be hard on you, Cancer, as Venus retrogrades through your second house of money and values. A sense of lack may overwhelm you starting around July 22. Are you actually getting what you want from your financial resources? Venus asks that you really address what it is you are after and what really matters to you. You may feel like your resources are depleted, but this time will reveal that you are ready to reconfirm your values and go after what you really want.
Slow-moving Pluto is crawling through your seventh house of partnerships, illuminating the dark parts of your personality and transforming the structures in your personal relationships. This is the time to come face to face with your fears about intimacy and relationships as well as your own power. No doubt, it can be scary to go deep and speak truth to your loved ones and to yourself. In the long term, the drama will be worth it, as you build the kind of relationships that will fulfill you.
When Mercury retrograde arrives on August 23, expect the unexpected, particularly in your social circles. Try to go with the flow as your friends’ availability and schedules constantly change and their opinions seem to be in flux. It’s not you, so just breathe it all in and try to work diplomatically to remove obstacles in your way. You will still have plenty of time for fun even as the planet’s challenge you to grow, so be sure to take in the sun this summer, Cancer!
The perfectionist Virgo doesn’t like when things don’t go as planned and there may be a fair amount of that this summer 2023. On July 10, aggressive and action-oriented Mars will move into your first house of identity. This can be very beneficial when it comes to asserting yourself and moving your plans forward. However, you will likely feel angry and combative. Physical activity can really help with the bent up frustration and energy associated with this placement. This will come in handy when Saturn opposes Mars on July 19 and it becomes even more difficult to express the outrage you feel. With these two malefic planets opposing each other, your self-confidence will be lacking and you’ll be left vulnerable to jealous and resentful people. It’s important to avoid conflict as much as you can. Work with this energy productively, turning your mind towards your goals with determination, patience, and discipline. In the end, you will be amazed with your own resilience.
Venus will retrograde through your 12th house of secrets beginning on July 22, asking you to look back at your past relationships and reflect. Some people from your past may even show up again in your life. It’s best not to make big decisions during this retrograde period, but really listen to your inner thoughts. What has worked for you in the past when it comes to love and does it work for you now? You may have a general feeling of “bleh” with this placement. Just acknowledge, take note, listen, and allow yourself to move through this feeling even if you’re not sure what’s going on. When Venus is direct, everything will make much more sense.
Mercury rules Virgo and, as such, Virgo is extra-vulnerable to the influence of its retrograde. This Mercury retrograde happens to be through the sign of Virgo, passing through your first house of identity, and likely making it seem like everything is going to #&*@! Don’t fret, Virgo, you are adaptable and you can make room for the little unexpected things that life brings. Spend this time revising and editing whenever possible, and take a second chance at the things you may have put to the side. Rediscover, reconnect, and remember to smile through it, Virgo!
It’s hard to rattle practical Aquarius, so we know you will ride the waves of this turbulent summer with an objective outlook! You will be tested this summer as Pluto inches its way through your 12th house of the subconscious and asks you to look into the depths of your psyche and learn to control the hidden things lying there. This is not the time for keeping secrets, even if your instinct is to keep things to yourself. Radical honesty about your past will help you to grow spiritually and psychologically. As a result, you will see the ways you have undermined yourself and experience a new kind of freedom.
On July 19, Saturn in your second house opposes Mars in your eighth house, causing tension in your sense of trust and security as well as your finances. Maybe you were expecting some investment to come in, and it just fell through, or maybe someone you thought you could rely on let you down unexpectedly. Your sense of self-esteem and general energy level may be affected. Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t let a little mishap bring you down. This challenging aspect will pass and afterwards you can reflect on how you stood tall through it all.
Starting July 22, Venus, the planet of love, will retrograde through your seventh house of partnerships. Venus retrograde grants us an opportunity to see what isn’t working in our relationships, and sometimes it can mean we are ready to call it quits. You will seriously be questioning your personal relationships this summer, particularly your romantic ones. This isn’t about being rash and running away from your problems. It’s about facing them, head on. What do you really want? Have you been asking for the wrong things in love? Are the old habits failing to bring you joy? Reflect and discover, state what your desires really are, and give space for your partner to do the same. When the dust clears and Venus goes direct, the tension will ease and you can begin to look forward. Allow yourself to blossom this summer, Aquarius!
Imaginative and tender Pisces, do not fear that you are on this list! You are adaptable and intuitive and more resilient than you think. The challenges of summer 2023 will inspire you in ways you don’t even know yet. Saturn, the planet of responsibility, is moving through your first house of self, presenting you with the reality of who you are. You may be thinking “I am fully grown,” but Saturn says there is more to do. A new sense of self-awareness, self-discovery and self-trust will come over you, but only after you take radical responsibility for yourself and your actions. You’re likely to feel exhausted with Saturn in this placement as you are burdened with work and forced to face failure and insecurity. But these are just the side effects to the medicine that is Saturn’s ambition and discipline. You are planting new seeds, trust that they will germinate!
On July 10, Mars enters your seventh house of partnerships, raising the temperatures of your intimate partnerships. You and your partner (or partners) are dynamic, energized, and yes, conflicted. Sparks are flying and sometimes that can mean things get pretty heated. Conflict arises, but it resolves just as quickly. With Saturn opposing Mars on July 19, you’re vulnerable in ways you may not see and you might even feel adversarial with your romantic partner. Try to work through conflicts amicably and, whenever possible, work out your excess energy in productive ways.
Mercury retrograde starts August 23 in your seventh house as well, magnifying existing problems and causing a number of misunderstandings. The remedy is to learn healthy boundaries. Stay balanced within yourself and try to keep a bigger picture perspective when possible. Sometimes, it can really help just to take some time and breath. Don’t take yourself too seriously, Pisces, there is always room to laugh, lounge about and enjoy your summer!