Collage: Nicola van Straaten

July & August 2024

Nicola van Straaten
artist, dancer and consulting astrologer


I’d like to invite you to consider your neck as a door — not only as a container for the passage of breath between your lungs and your nose/mouth, but also as a passageway for your voice. There is a new gust of vitality rushing into what you are ready to finally speak up for (or against) so tune into this part of your body that works as a bridge between your heart- holding chest and your mind-holding head. Where July may seed an electric and explosive new aspect of your identity, August allows you to start integrating it. Whether or not you’re conscious of it, your body knows what courage feels like. Sustain your energy with Talk Love by Sonya Spence.

Sometimes the only way we can access ourselves is through resistance. In July I would encourage you to feel into your physicality through creating situations where your body is pushing or pulling against something. Do this to avoid the more internal situations where you might pull or push against yourself. You’ve undergone slow but steady growth for about a year now. And although you probably don’t have all the answers, some sort of embodied experience of compression could both soothe your nervous system and counter-support the profound expansion of who you are becoming. Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush is your best friend this summer.

Fhlam! Böwh! Hlup! July is a phabulisz time to invent new sounds and play with words as a strategy to describe the fresh shift of energy you’re feeling. Let weird word-sounds spontaneously emerge from your body — write them down, try translate them. Be curiously aware of the sighs, sobs and squeals that seem to signify precisely how you’re growing (remembering that growth is potentially quite uncomfortable). In August, things could get more demanding and edgy (and possibly wonky) so look back on this playfully oracular vocabulary to recall the wisdom nestled in spontaneous response. Listen to I’ll Call U Back by Erykah Badu (and/or treat yourself to her whole album But You Caint Use My Phone).

I’m trying to figure out a way to assign you with the task of orbiting yourself as a way to gain a new perspective on things … maybe it would simply be: Embody an orbital mode of moving. You have a natural understanding of multiple cycles that satellite a central point. This summer is an excellent time to contemplate the question: what is the central point around which my life satellites? Do not judge your findings — just consider both center and satellite as relational entities. And remember, orbital motion is not only relational but also intrinsically made up of phases, with things coming in and out of vision. So trust your flux with Atmosphere by James Blake.

Contrary to pop astrology’s tendency to label Leo as “selfish”, I perceive Leo energy as shining life- giving light onto their loved ones. Remember, you give value to the community by emanating your essence and your essence is sustained by returning to your center. Every day, do a little stretch; lift your arms and head back, a casual yawning stretch (not a sporty warm-up stretch). As you do this, visualize rays (give them a colour) of your energy shooting out and expanding beyond your body, reaching the people around you. Let this stretch counter-act itself by bringing you back to your core, so that expanding and centering become the same motion. Listen to It’s a Fine Day by Opus III.

You may be feeling a new sensation of tense buoyancy, a kind of hope to counteract despair. It’s a welcome shift in energy so embrace it without attaching. Practice this by making balance the verb and the game that teaches everything you need to know right now. Make a habit of balancing household objects, watch them teeter across stability. Balance on one foot or body part, on a moving train — observe how maintaining equilibrium requires a kind of absent-minded concentration, as well as an ability to be present with the vulnerability of falling over. This balancing practice will keep you adaptable and let you process the various yes’s and no’s that you’re dancing with these days. Listen to The Warm Shoulder by Mary Lattimore.

The wind is returning to your sails, dear Libra and August especially brings both stability and vitality. Did you know that Venus, an important planet for Libra, signifies not only beauty but also justice? Don’t let capitalism convince you that beauty does not belong to politics. This summer, I want you to dive very deep into things you find beautiful. Make a list of beauties, explore the etymology of words on the list, and then turn the list into a cloud that reveals to you a new landscape of your political views. Now is an excellent time to consider beauty as something that can teach us about justice. Keep things steady with Sunset Village by Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

The thing about the unconscious is … well, you’re not conscious of it. Imagine all the movements and sounds you make when you’re asleep — there’s an entire choreography taking place without your awareness. Visualize what these movements might be and turn them into a dance. Remember that the invisible parts of you are still parts of you (one might argue they’re very important parts of you). While July might bring excitement and flow to your relationships, August could feel a little too hot for your liking. Trust that the unconscious unseen dancer inside of you understands how to follow the groove of this current moment. Stay wistful with Wild Is The Wind by Nina Simone.

You may be experiencing a return of optimism and energy to your system, but be cautious not to overdo it this summer. Instead, I invite you to counter out every third yes with a no. You’re entering into a new chapter of understanding and experiencing what resilience feels like in your body. Throughout this process, let yourself be humbled and surprised, especially in close relationships. Google pictures of mythical creatures that are part human and imagine what their voice might sound like. Give yourself a mini-lecture in this mythical voice. Maybe share it with a friend. Have fun with the meeting point of wisdom and nonsense. Uplift yourself with Eli Eli by Chimora.

Seek reflection wherever you go, in lakes and mirrors, bus doors and window-malls. Consider how your image is refracted through societal structures and that this image is never fixed but always in motion. Feel into the edges of your agency and how you participate in / respond to these structures by playing brief games of hide and seek with your reflection. July provides opportunity to deepen your emotional acumen through witnessing others. August gives more room to process. The full moon in your sign on 21 July could feel like an energetic explosion. It is both wrapping up and beginning a new chapter. Go there, with Shift by Meredith Monk.

It’s likely that Leo season always brings up discomfort. Maybe around being seen, maybe around just being a person. This summer, try befriend the phenomena. It’s ok to be someone who is perpetuall befuddled by humanity, but humans are not crossword puzzles. Embrace the annual rhythm of sensing yourself as a messy complex person by visualizing your body from a bird’s eye view. Going down the street, on your way to work, meeting with a friend, marching at a demo — make a practice of regularly zooming out to imagine your body moving through and with the rivers of humanity, with all of (y)our oddness belonging. Stay sane with Let’s Go Crazy by Prince.

You’re entering an extended phase of turning a corner (yay!) and July asks you to reconnect with pleasure as a balm. Let sunlight anchor afternoons of drifting. August however might feel more challenging, bringing new kinds of anger to your system. It's important for you to grasp that fire and water can and do co-exist. (Think of underwater volcanoes). If your body wants to side-step rage, then get cerebral. There are whole philosophies and histories of anger out there, so watch a lecture on YouTube (or TikTok) about the function and value of anger in society. Be cryptically enraged and gently energized with Lucky Cloud by Arthur Russell (from the 1986 World of Echo album).


For more information about my astrological work, visit



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