The mazal (zodiac sign) for the Hebrew month of Av is Aryeh the lion, seen here on the famous astrology mosaic at the ancient Beit Alfa synagogue in Israel.
The mazal (zodiac sign) for the Hebrew month of Av is Aryeh the lion, seen here on the famous astrology mosaic at the ancient Beit Alfa synagogue in Israel.

Month of Av: Making sense of the highest highs and lowest lows

Month of Av, 5778

July 13-August 10 , 2018

The Hebrew month of Av runs from July 13 through August 10. It contains both the depths and the heights of the spiritual/emotional energies of the Jewish Year. The sun is the ruler of the month of Av, as fiery as its zodiac sign, Leo, the Fixed Fire Sign; known as Aryeh in Hebrew, this sign roars with exaltation and indignation.

Leos are proud and passionate, charismatic and dramatic, natural leaders with built-in star power, king and queens of the jungle. Bask in Leo’s warmth, protection, generosity and loyalty — or suffer the wrath of outraged royalty, if you dare. The month of Av is associated with the Tribe of Shimon, whose flag is decorated with the gates of Shechem, where Shimon and his brother Levi wiped out the entire city in revenge for the kidnap and rape of their sister Dinah. Shimon’s murderous rage reflects Leo’s loyalty and protectiveness towards those they feel responsible for.

The constricted “bein hametzarim” (between the straits) energy of the month between the beginning of Av and Tisha B’Av — the somber commemoration of the destruction of the Temple — takes an abrupt upswing after the 10th of Av; this culminates in Tu B’Av, the full moon and lunar eclipse on July 27. Tu b’Av is to be one of the two most joyous days of the year. As Rabban Shimon ben Galmiel says in Mishna Ta’anit:

There were no days more joyous than Tu b’Av and Yom Kippur, for on those days the daughters of Jerusalem would go out in white clothing — borrowed, in order not to embarrass those who did not have — and the daughters of Jerusalem would dance in the vineyards.

Let Leo’s emotional generosity move us to be as generous to others as the wealthy daughters of Jerusalem who loaned white clothing to their less privileged sisters, so that none would suffer the shame of poverty, and all could dance joyously in the vineyards as one.

Aries / Taleh

Aries is associated with the Tribe of Yehuda, with energy that varies between rashly impulsive and breathtakingly courageous. The solar eclipse and new moon in Cancer on July 12 makes a square to your Sun Sign, challenging your sense of direction, inviting you to question whether you’ve invested all that Yehudah energy in the right direction. The answer won’t be clear until after August 18, when Mercury Retrograde is in Leo. Be open to insights gained from trusted friends around the solar eclipse and new moon in Leo on August 11.

Taurus / Shor

The lunar eclipse and full moon in Aquarius on July 27 brings fresh ideas and insights for the future — if you can calm your fears of instability long enough to hear them. The sooner you accept the non-viability of the status quo, the quicker you will find your footing on the new paths you’ll tread. The quarter moon in Taurus on August 4 brings solace to sore egos, and emotional intimacy, which may ripen to full-blown romance by August 6, when Venus enters Libra. Uranus begins his retrograde in Taurus on August 7, bringing surprise. Keep an open mind!

Gemini / T’omim

Your ruling planet, Mercury, is retrograde in Leo from July 25 to August 18; you may feel that you’ve said too much about a plan or idea you’ve been nurturing. As hard as it may be to keep from oversharing, discretion and an uncharacteristic, quiet modesty is your best bet right now — especially if you’re concerned about other people stealing your ideas. Gemini’s tribal leader Zevulun interfaces with everybody, but wisely avoids overexposure to dangerous environments. Guard what you are nurturing from the prying eyes of others!

Cancer / Sartan

The solar eclipse and new moon in Cancer on July 12 is opposed by Pluto in Capricorn powerfully enhances your natural sensitivity as Jupiter in Scorpio goes direct on July 10 just before the new moon. Emotional sensitivity is your superpower. You could be an emotional superhero this month, able to leap tall feelings in a single bound! Use your powers for the good of others, as a supportive friend and a listening ear. Resist temptation to meddle; your empathy and compassion, not your advice, is most needed by those whose pain you feel.

Leo / Aryeh

Mercury is in Leo from July 25 to August 18. This is an invitation to review the way you’ve been thinking and speaking this past month, during which Venus has been transiting your home sign of Leo. Mercury will re-trace the path Venus took earlier, following her breadcrumb trails and clues to find out where she hid the love, admiration, warmth and enthusiasm you might find yourself suddenly bereft of around the lunar eclipse and full moon in Aquarius on July 27. Are you lonely because you rejected someone who didn’t appreciate you enough? A thorough review of recent, ego-driven decisions is on your menu. You’ll know if you were right or not by the solar eclipse and new moon in Leo on August 11.

Virgo / B’tulah

Venus enters Virgo on July 9, where she tidies things up through August 6. This is a great time to beautify yourself and your environment. Simplify and pare down to the essentials so you can travel light into summer. Your ruling planet, Mercury, is retrograde in Leo from July 25 to August 18. This may bring misunderstandings around money or make you feel like you are not being fairly compensated for extra demands in your time and. Stick to your truest vision for yourself and seek clarity around your own worth — it’s higher than you think it is!

Libra / Moznayim

The first quarter moon in Libra on July 19 stimulates your need for partnership and cooperation. It will light emotional fires that will smolder until your ruling planet Venus enters your home sign of Libra on August 6, when the embers burst into flames. It is not true that a bad love is better than no love at all — but is true that a weird love is better than a boring one! Around August 7, Uranus is retrograde in Venus-ruled Taurus; this is a good time give it a go with someone significantly different from your normal partner type.

Scorpio / Akrav

Jupiter been retrograde in Scorpio since early March, but stations direct on July 10. You’ve drunk the deepest dregs of self-understanding during these months, and now it’s time to start refilling the cup. You’ll feel lighter and wiser, more playful and less restrained, connected to the profound joy of life itself. You’ve earned your black belt in personal honesty during this time —now wear it proudly in public as an inspiration to others.

Sagittarius / Keshet

Your ruling planet of Jupiter has been retrograde in Scorpio since early March and goes direct on July 10. Secrets you’ve hidden from yourself will begin to emerge; the deeper the work you’ve done on yourself during Jupiter retrograde, the bigger the payoff will be now. The lunar eclipse and full moon in Aquarius on July 27 asks if your idealism can stand in the light of day without the comforting backdrop of peer reinforcement. If your values and ideals pass the sobriety test, they’re ready to hit the ground running after August 18.

Capricorn / Gidi

With structure-heavy Saturn and power-player Pluto in your home sign of Capricorn, it’s not easy to find light distractions or comic relief — but if you try hard, you’ll get there. You’ll need a pretty good supply of levity as your inner drive to build and your outer need to control meet frustrating impediments in the form of envy and ineptitude from others. Capricorn is represented by a mountain goat. Gidi compels you to keep climbing. Allow it to inspire you to leap and play among the rocks and cliffs — as long as you keep going up! It’s not a waste of time and energy to allow yourself some fun now. It’s insurance against faltering over the long haul.

Aquarius / D’li

Just when you thought you were able to deal with Uranus’ transit into Taurus, your modern planetary ruler Uranus goes retrograde on August 7, throwing recent progress into doubt. Mix that with the full moon and lunar eclipse in Aquarius (July 27) and Mars retrograde in Aquarius (June 26 to August 27), and you’ve got a perfect storm of unstable energy. Luckily for you, D’li knows the safest place is the eye of the storm itself. Keep centered while the gale-force winds of change roar all about you. Your community needs you to survive this upheaval so you can lead the coming revolution. Self-care is your priority right now.

Pisces / Dagim

The Sun is in Cancer until July 22, while Jupiter in Scorpio stations direct on July 10 after a long retrograde period. These factors will help stabilize your emotions as social and family storms rage around you. Everybody uses your shoulder to cry on, but who do you turn to when you need a shoulder yourself? Venus’ transit through Virgo from July 9 to August 6 supports reexamination and reevaluation of your current support systems. Illumination around issues of friendships may be revealed during the full moon and lunar eclipse in Aquarius on July 27.

Lorelai Kude
Lorelai Kude

Lorelai Kude began her career as a professional astrologer in the 1980s. She holds a BA in Journalism from San Francisco State University and a MA in Jewish Studies from Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union, where her thesis topic was astrology in Jewish cultural history. Find more of her work at