Ready or not, Leo season is here — and so is Mercury retrograde. We do hope that amid the miscommunications, botched plans, and technological malfunctions that the next three weeks will bring (it goes direct again Aug. 19), you don’t forget to bask in the spirit of the season and let yourself shine bright like a lion. Read on for the pop culture that will help you survive the unfavorable planetary aspect and have you roaring in approval this August.
Miss last month? Check out your July horoscopes here.
ARIES (March 21 to April 19)
Summer may be winding down, but you rams have no intention of doing the same. You’ll stay as extreme as ever this month by tuning into ABC’s new reality series Castaways (Aug. 7), in which 12 contestants are forced to survive after getting shipwrecked, individually, on deserted islands in the South Pacific. After watching this first group of brave adventurers pushing themselves to their limits, you’ll have just one question, Where do I t sign up?
TAURUS (April 20 to May 20)
The soul of the American Midwest must be Taurean. Earthy, traditional, and strong, it’s got the spirit of the bull (not to mention a lot of actual cattle) all over it. So you’ll feel right at home this August in Ohio (Aug. 21), Stephen Markley’s debut novel about a quartet of former classmates who return to their small Rust Belt hometown and confront the demons of their past. It’s not a sentimental vision of America that a romantic like yourself might think you want. It is, however, a thoughtful examination of the neglected corners of a traumatized country — and one that will pierce your loyal, loving heart.
GEMINI (May 20 to June 20)
When your ruling planet retrogrades, you do tend to be even more mercurial than usual, sweet twins. It will take one of your own to carry you through temperamental Mercury’s little tantrum, so it’s a good thing fellow Gemini Troye Sivan will be delivering a fresh bouquet of dreamy pop jams on Bloom (Aug. 31), all of which are just as witty, youthful, and lively as you. My, my, my, Gemini!
CANCER (June 21 to July 22)
Your birthday is behind you now, gentle crab, and so are the bittersweet reflections that inevitably come with it. That means the time is right for a little Sweetener (Aug. 17) coming at you from Ariana Grande, who is accessing the full potential of her own deep Cancerian emotional capacity after falling for a Scorpio. Your month in the sun (or, for accuracy’s sake, the sun’s month in Cancer) is good for catharsis, but it’s Leo season now, and you’ve got no tears left to cry.
LEO (July 23 to Aug. 22)
You have very patiently and politely yielded the birthday throne to other signs for the last 11 months, but your season has finally arrived, regal lion. It’s your time to dazzle (even more than usual) as the royal you are, and your annual moment in the spotlight will be soundtracked, this year, by a fellow fire sign who knows a thing or two about commanding a room. Nicki Minaj may be a Sagittarius, but Queen (Aug. 10) has got your name all over it, Leo. Happy birthday, your majesty.
VIRGO (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22)
It’s in your nature to be modest and understated, beautiful astro-maiden, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to feel seen. Well, let us introduce you to The Wife (Aug. 17), in which Glenn Close, a truly great Pisces, plays the brilliant woman who has shaped her celebrated husband’s career — perhaps more than anyone suspected — but ultimately accepts, and even reinforces, her public position behind him. It will speak to the plight of Virgos carrying the team everywhere and, even if for just for the duration of this one movie, will give the sixth sign the star vehicle it’s always deserved.
LIBRA (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22)
It should come as no surprise that Steve James, the lauded documentarian behind Hoop Dreams, is a sensitive Pisces. However, his latest project, the documentary series America to Me (Aug. 26), will resonate deeply with you, scales. Following a handful of students at an elite Chicago high school, the Starz series examines the insidious systemic racism that exists in contemporary schools as the white students’ test scores rise while the black students’ plateau. Even as your overdeveloped sensitivity for justice flares up on a grand scale, you’ll find yourself becoming attached to the individual, hardworking students and teachers on a smaller one. All in all, it’s a docuseries to start a conversation — and oh, Libra, don’t you just love conversation?
SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21)
You are a sign of great appetite, Scorpio. You’re hungry — for money, for power, for passion, for excitement. Ravenous though you are, Insatiable (Aug. 10), about an overweight teenage girl who becomes skinny and takes revenge on all those who didn’t accept her when she wasn’t. The Netflix original series will feed your taste for vengeance, darkness, and even controversy, as it has already attracted critics on social media for alleged fat-shaming. Satisfied?
SAGITTARIUS(Nov. 22 to Dec. 21)
We know what you’re thinking, Sagittarius: Oh no, not another pale pink book cover! But could you please slow down for one minute of your life and hear us out? Maybe Ling Ma’s Severance (Aug. 14), which admittedly is about a young woman and has a millennial pink jacket, intentionally took on the overplayed shade in sly support of its satirical takedown of the empty sameness of contemporary life. Maybe its outward bubblegum sweetness exists in ironic contrast with Ma’s dry humor. Maybe you should give pink one more chance, archer. And if this book doesn’t make you think, if it doesn’t make you laugh, and if it doesn’t make your August, then you have our permission to paint it black.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)
Comedies of manners are for Libras, and they give you a headache. Patrick deWitt’s French Exit (Aug. 28), however, is billed as a tragedy of manners, and that ought to suit you much better, Capricorn. While we know that nothing tortures you more than the prospect of your own pennilessness, it should give you true delight to tear through this darkly funny tale of a disgraced bourgeois family skipping New York for Paris, where they find more social and financial ruin — but this time it’s in Europe! What’s not to love?
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18)
You get a bad rap sometimes, dearest water bearer, for being such a mega weirdo, but who cares? You live in the future; you subsist on ideas; you worship the deepest truth. And so there will be no more rewarding experience for you this August than seeing Josephine Decker’s Madeline’s Madeline (Aug. 10), which tells the story — using a wildly original cinematic language — of a teenage girl whose work in theater class blurs the lines between life and performance, questioning the art of filmmaking itself in the process. Some old-fashioned signs (sorry, Taurus) might get whiplash trying to navigate this one. But this is a movie that speaks fluent Aquarius.
PISCES (Feb. 19 to March 20)
You’re the oldest sign in the zodiac, darling Pisces, but that doesn’t make you the grumpy old man of the cosmos (looking at you, Capricorn); no, you’re an ancient, magical soul, as unworldly as you are profoundly wise. As such, the lyrical beauty of Jeremiah Zagar’s impressionistic drama We the Animals (Aug. 17) will reach to the depths of your sensitive soul. The Sundance hit follows a young boy growing up alongside his two brothers — until he starts to find, as he comes of age, that he’s growing up apart from them. Even on earth, the fish of the zodiac like to swim in schools.