July 2021's New Moon in Cancer Will Be a Game-Changer for Relationships

Thanks to guest appearances from shocking Uranus and romantic Venus, you'll feel it's time to strike a balance between being true to yourself and looking out for the ones you love.

Annually, from approximately June 21 to July 22, Cancer season offers up a time to connect with loved ones and swim in your feelings. Spanning the kickoff of summer, the Fourth of July, and the heart of the warm, blissful season, it can be a welcome moment to take a beat — and take care of yourself and the people you adore. But that doesn't mean that surprises, shake-ups, and breakthroughs aren't possible as well, as this upcoming new moon will prove.

On Friday, July 9 at 9:16 p.m. ET/6:16 p.m. PT, the new moon will fall at 18 degrees of sentimental, caregiving cardinal water sign Cancer. Here's what it means and how you can make the most of this positive change-delivering new moon.

July 2021's New Moon in Cancer Will Be a Game-Changer for Relationships
Alex Sandoval

What New Moons Mean

First, a few new moon basics: As the astrological "counterpoint" to full moons, new moons happen when the moon is not illuminated by the sun from our perspective on Earth. Hosted by a deep, dark, blank slate sky, you might imagine that the new moon is offering up a vision board on which you can scribble your intentions.

New moons traditionally present a chance to get clear on long-term dreams, goals, and big-picture projects. And in order to lock them in, you can practice a ritual like opening up to a therapist or loved one, journaling, lighting a candle, or doing a visualization practice.

Think of it as your monthly — and very rarely, twice monthly — astrological nudge to pinpoint something you want to accomplish, then design your ultimate action plan for getting there.

New moons also serve as the first page of a whole new chapter in your life that will end in when there's a corresponding full moon in the same sign — in this case, on December 29, 2021 when there's a full moon in Cancer. Pro-tip: Write down what you've been reflecting on around the new moon, and then circle back six months down the road when the corresponding full moon is happening. You can note how far you've come and quite possibly notice that you've hit a culmination point.

Themes of the July 2021 Cancer New Moon

Water sign Cancer, symbolized by the Crab, is ruled by the moon, which oversees emotions, intuition, nurturing, instincts, and our sense of security. The sign also serves as the ruler of the fourth house of home life. For this reason, Cancers tend to be sensitive, emotionally attuned to the people they love, family-oriented, and interested in fostering the relationships and routines that boost their inner sense of peace. Given how closely the moon is aligned with your feelings, and how easily Crabs will pick up on the tone of any given moment, it's no surprise that they can be touchy — some might say moody — and retreat into their shells when they've decided that a dose of self-care is warranted.

It's also important to bear in mind that while we tend to think of Cancer as a mushy softie of a sign, it's also one of the cardinal crew (the others being Aries, Libra, and Capricorn), meaning they're not shy at all about thinking in a big, bold way and standing up for what they want.

And their new moon definitely takes on that vibe, especially thanks to several aspects (angles the planets make in relation to one other) happening around it.

For starters, the new moon forms a friendly sextile to Uranus, the planet of revolution, rebellion, change, and eccentricity, setting the stage for positive but unexpected developments and creative breakthroughs stemming from emotional needs. You could decide to take an out-of-left-field approach to an innovative project, be inspired to express your feelings out of the blue, or decide to embrace and present a whole different, seriously unique side of yourself with friends, higher-ups, or loved ones.

At the same time, romantic Venus and sexy Mars will be conjunct in confident, driven Leo, turning up the heat on your desires. If you've had your eye on a particular lovey-dovey or steamy scenario, you'll want to take a super-direct approach to making it a reality. In other words, these planets are aligned to bring out your inner Samantha Jones. (Start here: 10 Different Sex Positions to Add to Your Sexual Bucket List)

But at the same time, Venus will oppose serious Saturn, currently moving through cool, rational-minded fixed air sign Aquarius, which can throw up walls, roadblocks, delays, insecurities, and a bevy of other hurdles to getting what you want out of your relationships. And Venus is also squaring off against game-changer Uranus, in fixed earth sign Taurus, giving way to unforeseen twists and turns — particularly involving aspects of life that fall under Venus' territory: love, money, and beauty.

And with so much Venusian action happening on July 9, relationships — with others and with yourself — will be at the heart of this new moon's message.

Who the Cancer New Moon Will Affect the Most

If you were born under the sign of the Crab — approximately June 21 to July 22 — or with your personal planets (the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, or Mars) in Cancer (something you can learn from your natal chart), you'll feel this new moon more than most. More specifically, if you have a personal planet that falls within five degrees of the new moon (18 degrees Cancer), you could feel fired up to harness its game-changing powers.

Similarly, if you were born in a cardinal sign — Aries (cardinal fire), Libra (cardinal air), or Capricorn (cardinal earth) — you'll likely feel the relationship-shifting effects of the moon, particularly as they relate to your partnerships (Capricorn), career (Aries), and home life/security (Libra). (Related: What to Know About Your Big 3: Sun, Moon, and Rising Sign)

The Self-Care Takeaway

Every month, regardless of the sign they fall in, new moons present us with the ability to gain clarity and take steps forward. Thanks to its emotional, intuitive, and eye-opening tone, July's new moon was made for pinpointing and accepting new paths. And given how much is going on with Venus right now, it'll likely be perfectly obvious how certain bonds will support or deter you from the route you're beginning to realize is right for you.

The Sabian symbol (a system shared by a clairvoyant named Elsie Wheeler that illustrates the meaning of each degree of the zodiac) for 18 degrees Cancer is "a hen scratching for her chicks." Although that sounds like a commendable and hardworking chicken, it's a frenetic image — one that might spur reflection about how you're going about nourishing yourself and your nearest and dearest. If whatever you're doing isn't quite cutting it, it might be time to embrace the kind of change that makes it possible to stop scratching — and to simply be.

Maressa Brown is a writer and astrologer with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to being Shape's resident astrologer, she contributes to InStyle, Parents, Astrology.com, and more. Follow her Instagram and Twitter at @MaressaSylvie.

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