Raise your hand if July has been a trying month for you.

The good news is you haven’t been alone: With the month’s two eclipses, happening especially during Mercury retrograde and Cancer season, whatever situation or issue that got revealed and illuminated not only felt emotionally charged but also nearly impossible to tackle. That transit wasn’t meant to torture us, however. The hope is that no matter what has happened and will happen, we would be able to channel the discomfort or pain into having the courage to face our emotional reactions and being mindful about the stories we build to make sense of them before taking action.

The better news is that there is light at the end of this intense tunnel. Leo season began on July 22, and since this is the sign where the sun is the most at home, we can expect to feel some comforting warmth in the areas of our lives that are influenced by the Lion. There was nothing wrong with the introspective, nostalgic, moody, and sensitive feels that the Crab got us into—it was absolutely necessary, actually—but we could now definitely use some vitamin D that comes only from basking in the spotlight. That’s something that Leos love: Attention and affection bring out the best in them, turning a Lion into a cat purring in contentment.

And it won’t be just the Sun transiting through this sign. Venus and Mars have sent an RSVP to the Leo party too. Venus is the planet that rules what pleases us and makes us happy: love, money, physical comfort (and that includes sexual pleasure). Mars is the planet of action, drive, ambition, aggression, and desire. These three together make for a fun party, especially on July 31, when they all converge and the core of our self-identity (Sun) becomes in sync with how we go after (Mars) what we want (Venus). Projects that may have felt bogged down due to lack of energy, confidence, or opportunity could feel less so now, especially with the new moon in Leo happening on the same day. That means this particular transit provides more self-starting magic, giving us the leonine courage to honor our emotions and emotional needs (Moon). Often, what we need is so different from what we want, but at this auspicious time, they will be pleasantly aligned.

And perhaps the best news yet (at least for some) would be Mercury going direct after its most recent tough retrograde. Communication lines become smoother, and even our own thought processes don’t feel as muddled as they have been, making it easier to convey what we have to express.

But as is always the case in astrology, balance is necessary. The fun side of Leo is its charm, generosity, and warmth; too much Leo ego, though, and it can morph into self-centeredness. Already a sign that needs no prompting to be a little extra, a party of celestial bodies transiting through it could egg on its shadow side and make one believe that they’re the center not just of their world but of everybody else’s. Before anyone lets their diva flag fly too high, we should all be mindful that Uranus, the planet of sudden changes and movements, has been in Taurus since summer of last year and is at a square (at 90°) with Leo this week. What we had thought to be a sure thing, courtesy of so many luminaries congregating in Leo, could still yield some surprises. So stay optimistic, but also stay on your toes.

Header image by Jean Wimmerlin on Unsplash. GIFs via Giphy.