Your biggest challenge as you move into the second half of the year is feeling that your ship has sailed, that you've left your run too late or that you have experienced a failed launch. For the first time in 12 years you moved into 2016 with lucky Jupiter in your work sector, bringing you to the start of your potentially biggest, most expansive and game changing year for work opportunities and growth in over a decade, yet six months on you might feel that you have little to show for it and that whatever advantage you had, has been long lost. However, if your thinking is going down that track you've got it completely wrong, for it wasn't that you lacked motivation or missed opportunities and instead it was the professional gods that aborted the launch. Aborted is too strong a word and instead it was Jupiter's retrograde turn on the 8th January that put things on hold, beginning a fairly challenging four month retrograde phase and even after turning direct in May the pace has been slow at best. Yet what may appear to have been hold ups or taking the scenic route has brought you to a position where you have learned more over the last six months than you have over the last six years and on the 1st July, as Jupiter looks you in the eye and asks 'are you ready to bring this home' your answer needs to be 'I was born ready'. The 1st January was the false start and with Jupiter leaving on the 9th September the 1st July is the real start. Six months ago you were a greenhorn, but now you're a seasoned pro and having forged a strong alliance with Pluto in your career sector over recent months and with a new sense of where the money is, it's time to make the next three months count, starting from Day 1.
Don't be fooled by the fairly low key month, despite the fact that this is always a fairly low key point in your professional year. With the most active months of any year for career matters being January/February and the most active months for work matters being September/October it's only natural that you have reached a point in your professional year where the focus is more on keeping the momentum going. Yet even as you spend the majority of the month on your own, with the professional gods only showing up when the Moon moves through your work sector from the 10th July to the 13th July and through your career sector from the 20th July to the 22nd July, there is likely to be a sense of change in the wind, sensing that this is the lull before the storm. At this point in your professional year you are still operating on the career objectives established in the early months of the year, with the professional gods spending additional time this year getting to the heart of what inspires and motivates you and even now, a sense of purpose is the drive force. However, over recent months it has become more about the money and with Mercury having just left your income sector on the 30th June holding onto a smart head for money is essential. However, the further into the month you go and especially when the Moon moves through your work sector, from the 10th July to the 13th July, there is likely to be a sense that something about the second half of the year suggests there is major change ahead. What you're heading towards, starting in the later days of August, is not just the start of the busiest months of 2016 but some of the busiest and most expansive in over a decade, with the doors opening to a period of work growth, expansion and opportunities that will extend out until October 2017. Key to preparing for what lies ahead is working smarter, with a smart head for money a good place to start.
While the 1st July is officially the start of the second half of the year and as such it is an important point in the year to draw a line in the sand, the professional gods turn this into something a lot more concrete. Thanks to his direct turn on the 30th June, the 1st July is Mars' first full day in direct motion in your career sector, with his rare double dip visit taking yet another turn and the timing couldn't be better. Having retrograded back into your career sector at the end of May, just months after leaving, Mars spent all but the final hours of June retracing his steps and with Neptune having turned retrograde on the 14th June and Chiron on the 27th June, this was a month that saw the doors open to the past, second chances and untapped potential across the work and career fronts at the same time. While those doors will remain open on the career front right through to November, Mars' direct turn makes the 1st July the point where work matters turn a corner and as the warrior planet of the cosmos begins to retrace the same steps for the third time, his drives, passions, competitive and fighting spirit are crossing familiar ground. Crossing the same ground for the third time before leaving early next month, Mars brings the concept of third time lucky on the work front this month, with many familiar or repeating themes being presented again, this time with the means to seize them and run with them. I mentioned earlier that the timing couldn't be better and that's because with Venus in your income sector until the 12th July, Mercury until the 14th July and the Sun until the 22nd July an opportunity for a breakthrough month on the work front comes just as you reach what has the potential to be the most lucrative month of 2016. The money and professional gods come together to make this a potential breakthrough month across the income, work and career fronts.
Chances are the 1st July really is going to feel like a very different month and that you have indeed moved into the second half of the year, to a point where this may be such a contrast that it feels more like the New Year. However, it is less to do with the date on the calendar and more to do with events in the final hours of June that make the atmosphere on the 1st July so very different to just 24 hours earlier. In the final hours of June and in the space of just a few hours two events took place that have changed everything. A combination of Mercury's return to your sign and Mars' direct turn has changed everything and the timing couldn't be better. Mars' direct turn and his first full day in direct motion on the 1st July sees your passions do a U turn, shifting focus from the past to the future and what it might hold. To start with this is likely to add new fuel to your creative passions, but with Mars on his way back to your work sector and due to return early next month, this brings a new boost in energy, ready to start embracing the future again. The second event on the 30th June was Mercury's return to Cancer, which in one fell swoop took the pressure off Saturn in your work sector and gave you an intellectually savvy edge that now allows you to work smarter. With Saturn slowing down ahead of his direct turn in your work sector next month and Uranus slowing down ahead of his retrograde turn in your career sector on the 30th July, the professional gods are slowing the pace down but in a confident and manageable way. You might be looking to the future, but between them the professional gods are still holding the doors open to the past, second chances and untapped potential. Both work and career forces are set to come alive when first Venus returns to your income sector on the 12th July, followed by Mercury and his smart head for money on the 14th July and the Sun on the 22nd July. After a challenging few months July is set to be a game changing month across the income, work and career fronts.
To begin with it is likely to seem to be business as usual, not only in relation to what you have come to expect from this professional year, but what you have come to expect from this point of every year. Pluto, the only planet in either of your two professional houses since Mercury left your career sector on the 13th June, has reached the midpoint of a five month retrograde phase in your work sector, one that runs from April to September of each of the 16 years he is spending here. This is the very centre of the long haul stage of any working year, the point where you're more likely to feel stuck or stalled and also to lose your motivation. This is always the point when, in the month long wind down of your old solar year, you're likely to feel that the wind has been taken out of your sails, with work tension more likely as you find less energy and motivation to draw on. If that all sounds fairly bleak it isn't, for this is the point of the year where you will always question yourself and when, with a genuine need to spend time in the slow lane, there is a need to work smarter. Any work tension is more likely to surface in the early part of the week, when Pluto and work matters are under pressure, yet you can expect a dramatic turnaround by midmonth. The closer you get to the start of your birthday month and new solar year on the 22nd July the more you'll feel a sense of excitement and anticipation. It begins with Ceres' return to your career sector on the 17th July, unexpectedly bringing career matters that had apparently run their course back to life. With support from Jupiter in your income sector all month, by the time you get to a Full Moon in your work sector on the 20th July income, work and career forces will be back in play, ready for whatever breakthrough this is able to trigger.
Chances are the 1st July is not going to feel like it really is the first full day of the second half of the year, but almost like your first day of school or your first day after graduation, where you're on your own and ready to face the world head on. Part anticipation and part sheer terror, this really is the first full day of the rest of your professional year and it has nothing to do with the date on the calendar and everything to do with the event just 24 hours earlier. It was on the 30th June, the very last full day of the first half of 2016 that Mercury not only left your career sector, but brought all the planetary activity for the year to a close. Since the 20th May the Sun, Venus and Mercury all moved through your career sector, together opening your eyes and mind to your options, fuelling your professional confidence, desires and expectations and getting your heart and head in the game. While Venus left on the 18th June and the Sun on the 21st June, Mercury stayed on another nine days to tie up loose ends, allowing you to work with his articulation and intellectually savvy edge to finalise your game plan and get a clear sense of where to from here, ready to take on the rest of this professional year on your own. The 1st July is your first full day back on your own, ready now to take what you've gained, learned and acquired over the previous six weeks and start putting it into action. However, less than 48 hours into the month the professional gods will reveal that they were never going to abandon you, with the Moon moving through your career sector from the 2nd July to the 4th July. Returning just days after Mercury's departure, as your professional instincts and emotional, intuitive and imaginative responses kick in this will allow you to tap into all the planetary activity that has just ended, allowing you to regroup and start playing it like you mean it. By the time the Moon returns from the 29th July to the 31st July you'll be well on your way and you will have a chance to mark your progress. The most important days of the month for work matters will be from the 20th July to the 22nd July.
This is always going to be a professionally focused point of the year for you, due to the fact that the Sun will always spend the first three weeks of July in your career sector. However, not all years are created equal and this year you have some of the best conditions, albeit for a fairly short amount of time. By the 1st July 2015 Venus had already been and gone and Mercury was yet to arrive and while from start to finish last year's annual update stretched out for 10 weeks, twice the five weeks the professional gods are giving you this year, everything was stretched much thinner. This year you're not only moving into the month and the second half of the year with the Sun in your career sector but with Mercury and Venus on board, ensuring you have your heart and head in the game from the get go as well. Until she leaves on the 12th July Venus is on a mission to fuel your professional confidence, desires and expectations, while Mercury will work until he leaves on the 14th July to ensure you have your head in the game, ideas on the table and the communication lines open. It is during this period that a New Moon on the 4th July will create an opportunity for new beginnings, fresh opportunities and a chance to commit to your professional aspirations, the future and the journey ahead. With the Sun leaving on the 22nd July and then no more planetary activity in your career sector until 2017 there should be more urgency than there is. The fact that there isn't is due to the partnership career forces forged last month with Neptune and Chiron, spending their first full month in retrograde motion in your work sector and Mars, now back in direct motion in your income sector but due to leave early next month. A strong partnership between income, work and career forces will keep the momentum going long after the 22nd July.
Enjoy the relatively slow start to both the month and your move into the second half of the year of 2016, knowing that as the month progresses the pact will pick up or become more complex at least. On the work front you may even find that the pace falls back or that you don't have the means to push yourself as you have in the past, due to the fact that with Ceres leaving your work sector on the 17th July and Uranus turning retrograde here on the 30th July, it's not you slowing down but the current in play on the work front itself. From the get go this makes it important to work smarter and work to the conditions, not what your head is telling you. However, this doesn't mean that the pace of your professional year itself will slow down and in fact it will speed up and the reason for that, is that while work forces themselves will slow down, career matters will step in and take up the slack. With no planetary activity in your career sector since Venus left last October all the focus has been on your work situation and matters, so it's no wonder you may be feeling tired or even exhausted, but that all changes this month. It begins with Venus' return to your career sector on the 12th July, following by Mercury's return on the 14th July and the Sun's return on the 22nd July. Your heart will be the first to become engaged, with returning to not only fuel your professional confidence, desires and expectations but to attract opportunities. By the time the Sun returns to throw the solar spotlight on your career situation, matters and options you'll already have your head in the game, ideas on the table and the communication lines open. Out of this month's professional developments a breakthrough is likely on the income front next month.
July is not usually a particularly active point of any professional year for you, but then this is no ordinary year and instead of reaching the slow, long haul phase you can expect things to spring back into life. So much so that six months on from New Year's Day, the 1st July is more likely to feel like the start of this professional year, with everything until now simply a practice run. This is something that has been building ever since lucky Jupiter turned direct in your career sector in May, just as a parade of planets was moving through your work sector. It was those work forces, which only ran their course on the 13th June and support from Pluto in your income sector that became a crutch for stalled career forces, allowing them to slowly build up speed, momentum and confidence to a point where, come the 1st July and with just over two months to go, Jupiter is primed and ready to bring things home. With support from Pluto in your income sector continuing all month and Ceres not only returning to your work sector on the 17th July for the first time in four years, but picking up on all the momentum of recent months and due to stay on until October, this will bring a partnership of income, work and career forces back into play. This time the support doesn't come together to act as a crutch while career forces grew stronger, but has come together again to make the coming months count. With Jupiter not returning to your career sector for another 11 years the professional and money gods come together to make this final stage count, with a need to be ready to put everything you have into everything you do.
Chances are, as you stand in the first full day of the second half of the year you might sense that a door has been closed behind you, that you have reached some line in the sand where something has come to an end and something new is set to begin. That closing door was Mercury's departure from your work sector on the 30th June, less than 24 hours before you moved into the new month. With the Sun having left nine days and Venus 12 days earlier, this brought all the planetary activity for the year to a close, while leaving you with the means to keep your head in the game and the momentum going. What you've been left with is a clear sense of your options, what you have to work with and what you need to continue to work on, a clear sense of where your heart stands and enough momentum to keep work matters going. However, this is the point where the professional gods stand back and with all the best intentions in the world, put the reins back in your hands. The professional gods aren't deserting you, rather having done all they can they leave you with the resources to carry on without them. Besides, the professional gods have urgent business elsewhere, as they turn their attention to preparing, behind the scenes for some major developments over the coming months. While lucky Jupiter won't return to your career sector until early September, as this will usher in the start of your biggest, most potentially successful and expansive professional year in a decade there are a lot of pieces that the professional gods need to start manoeuvring into place. With all the planetary activity in your work sector for the year over by the time you move into the new month, albeit less than 24 hours earlier and the first planet not reaching your career sector until later next month, this is a month for letting things settle. The Moon's visits to your work sector, the first from the 2nd July to the 4th July and the second from the 29th July to the 31st July, will bring a chance to tie up loose ends, while a visit to your career sector from the 10th July to the 13th July, as well as sharpening your professional instincts, will be a chance to start looking to the future, lining up with the major developments ahead.
As important as the 1st January is to the New Year the 1st July is equally important in terms of the second half of the year, with a chance to draw a line in the sand. However, normally this is more a symbolic line in the sand, bringing you to a point where with half the year over and the second half beginning, you're able to make a commitment to making the final half count. However, this year this is more than a symbolic line in the sand, for with Mars having turned direct in your career sector on the 30th June the 1st July is his first full day in direct motion and the first full day of a push to bring things home. Having retrograded back in at the end of May for what is his first double dip visit in 79 years Mars, planet of passion and the warrior planet of the cosmos has done a U turn, is now facing in the right direction and over the course of the month will cross the same ground for a third time, with many things seeming familiar, being repeated or finally coming together. Due to leave on the 3rd August, the closer you get to the end of the month the more urgent Mars' professional passions and fighting spirit are likely to become, though it's his early weeks in direct motion that have some major support. With Venus in your work sector until the 12th July, Mercury until the 14th July and the Sun until the 22nd July, as the tide turns on the career front new doors are opening on the work front. A New Moon in your work sector on the 4th July, just four days after Mars' direct turn in your career sector, will not only create a trigger for work matters, but will get career matters moving again as well. Yet there is a legacy from Mars' month long retrograde phase in your career sector, with the doors remaining open to the past, second chances and untapped potential on the income front all month.
There is likely to be a sense of relief or even a sigh that escapes of its own accord on the 1st July, with a chance to finally catch your breath. This is going to hit you from the get go but it has nothing to do with the fact that the date on the calendar reads the 1st July, which is usually the symbolic start to the second half of the year at best. However, there is nothing symbolic about the 1st July and the drop in pressure and rise in professional confidence and anticipation is likely to be palpable. It really will feel like you have turned a corner, for that's exactly what you've done and it is all to do with events on the 30th June, just 24 hours earlier. On that last full day of the first half of 2016 two events occurred that have changed everything. The first was Mercury's departure from your home and family sector, taking the pressure off Saturn in your career sector, bringing the professional pressure and the work/life balance tensions of the previous six weeks to an end, guaranteeing that they wouldn't follow you into the second half of the year, while getting to benefit from what you've learned and from what a pair of Full Moons have triggered. The second event on the 30th June was Mars' direct turn, with the warrior planet of the cosmos doing a U turn that has him on course to return to your career sector on the 3rd August. With Saturn spending his last full month in your career sector that buys you time to prepare for a major comeback next month, while embracing a sense of anticipation this has already triggered. You have one more month to spend back at the drawing board but don't expect a slow month, with Venus' return to your work sector on the 12th July, Mercury's on the 14th July and the Sun on the 22nd July kicking off the busiest weeks of 2016. By midmonth income, work and career forces will be working together in what could be a game changing way, with even bigger developments next month. The 30th June was the turning point, with the 1st July the first full day of this new chapter.