by Joan Kiley
We know to expect the Sun in Leo when August arrives, but this year we also had Mercury, Jupiter and Venus there as well! Venus retrograde was conjunct Jupiter, and both were square a slowing Saturn retrograde in Scorpio. We were only a day past the Full Moon in Aquarius, so the Moon in Aquarius was still opposing all those planets in later degrees of Leo. In fact, the Moon was forming a T-square with those planets, inclusive of the squares to Saturn. Saturn was slowing, and stationed direct at 10:53 PM PDT August 1. Whatever starts the month is important. Despite lots of things changing during the ensuing four weeks, that beginning moment fields an undercurrent for the whole period.
A lot of fixed energy at the beginning of August, but lots of fire as well, with the four planets in Leo plus Uranus retrograde in trine from Aries. This tells me there were high levels of energy, but also a great deal of rigidity. The retrogrades were giving a compelling need for making changes regarding our own values, showing us that some of the ways we’ve been viewing the world are outdated. Many of our conditioned beliefs about ourselves, our relationships, even our approach to life itself, have revealed themselves to be outdated, no longer useful in this 21st century global society.
Change can be difficult. It can feel threatening to leave behind old ways of being, relationships, and frames of reference. Yet it is stressful to hang on as well. It takes more energy to cling to what is no longer nourishing our growth than it does to let it go, but the fear of letting go keeps us in an exhausting tug-of-war.
Venus will remain retrograde, and in Leo, for the entire month. The other planets in Leo will move on. Venus has a retrograde period about every 18 months. This one began in early Virgo but most of the time will be spent in Leo. It is a time for reevaluating, reviewing how we treat ourselves, our resources, relationships, creativity, and beliefs. Starting in Virgo, we need to be asking: How do we judge ourselves and others? Why do we deem ourselves less than or better than others, and vice versa? Moving into Leo, we need to be asking: Do we feel free to express our innate creativity? Do we indulge our inner artist? Are we self-limiting based on what someone told us as a child? Can we release old ideas about ourselves, see where conditioned belief systems provided false identities?
This Venus retro period is a good time for society as a whole to be looking at old beliefs and judgments based on race, class, gender, or religion, and recognize the violence those beliefs create in our world. It is time to walk away from such divisiveness, develop tolerance, and recognize the oneness of us all.
In the second week of August, we have three planets changing signs. At 12:15 PM PDT on August 7, Mercury enters Virgo, its own sign. On August 8, at 4:33 PM PDT, Mars enters Leo, and on August 11 Jupiter enters Virgo at4:12 AM PDT. The change of energy will assist us in actually accomplishing the tasks we have discovered need to be done.
Mercury moving through its own sign of Virgo will keep our minds busy determining the steps necessary to achieve the goal, organizing the details, and keeping us humble enough to tweak the process when necessary. Mars in Leo, a fixed sign, will provide the drive necessary to make something happen, create a product, and see it through to the end. Neither of these planets will stay in those signs very long. Mercury will change to Libra on August 27. Mars will enter Virgo a month later.
It is Jupiter that will be the significant energy change among these planets, primarily because it will stay in the same sign for approximately a year. Our big planet of expansion will not be particularly happy in humble Virgo. Nevertheless, this transit of Jupiter could produce very positive outcomes. The earth element could get us all more in touch with our own bodies, and move us in a healthier direction. We might engage in activities that bring us into a healthier connection with the Earth herself such as gardening, recycling, or environmental activism.
Because of the mercurial/mental focus of Virgo, it is important to caution against overdoing self-criticism, or over-analyzing in the decision-making process to the point of paralysis. It will be much more productive to understand Virgo orientation to detail, sort things out, and move on. During much of the year that Jupiter is in Virgo, it will be opposed to Neptune in Pisces. This will be an interesting transit, given that Jupiter is co-ruler, along with Neptune, of Pisces. It may be that we will see a lot of “religion” (Jupiter) versus “spirituality” (Neptune) struggles up close and personal. There is also the possibility of analyzing beliefs in ways that open up the boundaries of strict religious teachings so that a more globally tolerant spirituality arises. We may also see more humane services to those in need, given Jupiter in Virgo’s desire to be of service, combined with the compassion of Neptune in Pisces.
At 7:53 AM PDT on August 14, we have the New Moon in Leo, conjunct Venus retrograde, strongly trine Uranus in Aries, and loosely squared to Saturn in Scorpio. At that moment, Mercury in Virgo will be trine Pluto in Capricorn and opposed Neptune in Pisces. A New Moon in Leo conjunct Venus will bring outgoing energy, desirous of social interaction. For most folks, however, there will be limits to that, and perhaps an accompanying need for some downtime. The squares to Saturn in Scorpio and the Mercury opposing Neptune could easily have us a bit emotionally sensitive, wanting to slow down, turn off the chatter, and just be quiet. However this New Moon works for you, be sure to take a few moments during that 24-hour period to vision your dream for this next four-week cycle.
During the third week of the month, the Sun is in a waxing square to Saturn, which becomes exact on August 21. This square energy may be experienced as the strength and discipline to bring about a personal best in a project or contest. It might also feel like someone or something attempting to drag you down when what you want is to be seen as the hero/heroine in a drama of your own creation.
During this same week, Mercury is opposing Chiron, which could bring up old woundings that stifle our self-esteem. The opportunity here is to look at those occasions from a Virgo analytical perspective, and see them for what they are—triggers that conditioned us from an early age to feel hurt, but which we can now, as adults with evolved consciousness, see as responses we are capable of changing. We no longer need respond from a default, “wounded child” place. We can instead say to ourselves with confidence, “This need not hurt me any longer. I can protect the inner child, respond as a mature discerning adult, and leave the wound response behind.” It doesn’t mean the wound goes away. It means we no longer need to react as the child, and allow ourselves to be hurt each time we experience the trigger.
The Sun enters Virgo at 3:38 AM PDT on August 23. It is conjunct Jupiter in Virgo now, a big change from the beginning of the month when the two were conjunct in Leo. Virgo is an earth sign, ruled by Mercury, and far less in need of an audience than Leo.
Both planets begin to build an opposition to Neptune in Pisces, which will not reach exact for either of them until September.
Late that same day, with the Moon in Sagittarius, there is a Grand Trine in fire, with the Moon, Venus in Leo and Uranus in Aries. There is a balance of fire, earth, and water, but no air. No planets in air could mean a lack of “circulation,” a feeling of stuffiness, less interest in, or ease of, communication. This would not be the best time for tricky negotiations, making delicate amends, or pleading your case. Luckily, before the end of the month, we will be rescued from this suffocation by Mercury entering Libra at 8:45 AM PDT on August 27.
The final weekend of August gives us a Full Moon in Pisces, Saturday August 29, at 11:35 AM PDT. The Moon is conjunct Neptune, and the Sun is conjunct Jupiter. This is a powerful, and potentially compassionate Full Moon. The squares to Saturn are all out of sign and weak. The trine between Venus retrograde in Leo and Uranus in Aries urges us to move toward more creative and loving relationships. The oppositions have the capacity to bring resolution rather than struggle. So you need not let yourself be dragged into resistance or competitiveness. There is the opportunity for deep listening and tolerance. May we all take advantage of this Full Moon abundance to create more love and peace for the world.
During the final two days of the month, we can bask in the Full Moon spirit, and we can also experience the Mars/Venus conjunction trine to Uranus, and find our artistic muse for a burst of creative expression! Summer is coming to an end. School is/will be starting, the light is changing. What does your soul wish to speak?
See you next month!