Mercury in Leo July 27 - Aug. 19
This is Mercury's initial transit into Leo, as it will return to Leo in September due to its retrograde transit which begins on August 30. This initial transit of Mercury into Leo is but a preview of what is to follow. It offers us a period through which we can gather more information about how things which seem to be stable, are actually falling apart - and need to - as leadership roles change and our own power struggles are brought into the discussion.
Mercury in Leo is up for a bigger task than the detail-orientated Virgo which proceeds it. The role of Leo is to take a big picture view of our lives and see what needs our attention. We often get so bogged down in debate with Mercury, however, and forget the overall picture. The image appears obscured, however, because of the presence of Rahu with Mercury, while being opposed by Ketu and Neptune in Aquarius - blurring the image even further.
When the status quo is threatened, there is a period in which things seems to become more stuck, but what we are actually experiencing is the status quo crumbling under the pressure. This is referred to in Vedic thought as tamas being broken up by rajas or, in other words, inertia being moved through a stage of agitation. Ultimately, this process can lead us to a more balanced state. However, there is just as much possibility of experiencing a further breakdown into inertia because of the extent and duration of volatility being experienced. Oftentimes, inertia can be confused with a balanced state, as and when exhaustion feels like a better place to be than a constant state of agitation. So we exhaust ourselves with news reports until we cannot take anymore.
Inform yourself, by all means, but spend time on the things which nourish your soul, by turning off the news reports and moving inside yourself to connect with something deeper, more real, in fact, and imperishable.
Uranus Stations Retrograde July 29
The powerful jolts from the 'planet of rebellion' is providing our nervous systems with enough adrenaline to ensure nervous exhaustion if we do not calm ourselves in the midst of unsettling events. If we take a broader perspective from these intense times, we must pace ourselves and get adequate rest.
2016 is an extreme year and the back drop of Uranus in Aries only adds to the intensity. The conjunctions of Jupiter and Rahu, and Mars and Saturn, are supplying fuel for some radical and upsetting change.
Uranus moved into Aries in June but will hang around the sensitive juncture between the beginning of Aries and the end of Pisces until 2018, due to its retrograde transit from the end of July 2016 and in 2017 - when it will move back to first degree of Aries. We will have to backtrack due to new developments which we will find a challenge to keep up with. This will be in relation to new policies, technological advances, and individual's rising up and looking for their freedom - frequently through acts of violence.
Learn about nervous exhaustion and learn how to overcome this exhaustion so that you can cope with the many changes on the horizon. And just because you may not experience these changes as intensely in your own life, doesn't mean you are not observing what is going on in the world or in your community. There is 'no rest for the wicked'. So use this period to deal with your demons instead of pointing the finger at others who are highlighting them for us all.
Uranus continues to appear to move backwards until December 29 2016, moving back to Pisces on September 1, as we review who-we-really-are now that circumstances are changing and the world around us is in flux.
For more on the transit of Uranus you can read an article here
Venus enters Leo July 31
The planet of peace and love gets caught up in the drama in the sign Leo in August. It will conjunct Rahu on August 16; bringing out its shady side; joining Mercury and Jupiter in a sign which is seeing the majority of crucial changes. Rahu's transit in Leo, along with Saturn's influence to the sign, makes sure we are continually engaged with this area of our life. Leo generally represents leadership, self-expression and generosity. Saturn's influence on Venus peaks on August 13 as it stations in the sign Scorpio, giving us an opportunity to commit to this area of our life - whatever Leo represents for each of us personally.
Our sense of what is right in leadership roles will be more obvious at this time - but only because it will be so apparent what is wrong, as things surface about how leaders operate.
This is all a little too overwhelming for the sensibilities of Venus. Venus' transit in Leo creates a need to show off in order to be appreciated. This can play out in pomp and show, which is a ploy to get more love. Venus is a childish and immature expression of the feminine principle, creating a need for validation and reassurance. This position is like a leader saying: 'look at me, aren't I great? Love me!'.
You will be able to see this in a prominent leaders in August, but watch for it in your own need for recognition.
New Moon in Cancer Aug. 2
The Moon wanes into the sign Cancer as the month begins, slowing us down as Saturn's slow transit begins to grind life to a halt. The Moon reaches the Sun's degree for this new Moon in the lunar sign Ashlesha, represented by a serpent. This new lunar month begins with a slippery feel, as we begin to sense a new order and a need to reform. In order navigate this successfully, we must be quiet.
The full Moon within this new lunar month on August 18 is a 'very partial' lunar eclipse and the next new Moon on September 1 is an annular solar eclipse. This begins a period where we begin to feel things start to change, as things work behind the scenes, orchestrating our lives in a manner we are not accustomed to; taking on a more 'karmic' feel.
For those who require further support due to Saturn's transit in Scorpio, as it stations at the center of the sign, you may find starting a fast for Saturn on Saturdays suits your constitution and current position. The fast can be begun after this new Moon on August 6, and for the following 15 Saturdays. This remedy is best for those in a 'Saturn time period' or for those with Saturn transiting over a planet or sensitive position in their horoscope. You will know this is you are feeling depressed, have low energy, or have a sense of frustration at not being able to move forward as fast as you would like.
A fast is a practical way to let go and, by doing so, allowing those things you wish to manifest to come to you with less effort involved. Take the time for this new Moon phase to tune into the needs of the heart.
N.B. Please seek medical advice if you have any concerns about fasting. Fasting is a spiritual discipline primarily and, although a very beneficial physical observance, there are some who are not suited to fasting. This is the case for those who have an excess of vata dosha or an 'air humour' imbalance, as well as those who have an eating disorder or disordered eating which could push one over the line into a disorder. An alternative would be to have a day of silence, or giving up stimulants on Saturdays.
Jupiter in Virgo Aug. 11 2016 - Sept. 11 2017
Jupiter moves into Virgo on August 11, and for the following year, remaining in Mercury's earth-dominant sign until September 11 2017. It leaves behind Rahu in Leo to do what it does best - creating further change - while Jupiter gets bogged down with the details of what we would like to manifest in our lives. Rahu still has some influence on Jupiter in Virgo, but we can begin to make out the shape of how things should be, even if we cannot see as clearly as we would like.
Its time to ‘walk the walk’, as consistent work must replace our big ideas. Jupiter is not so well placed in Mercury's sign, because it has to deal with the practical aspects of what gives our lives meaning - not necessarily the meaning itself. Yes, you may have had some grand ideas brewing in the past year, but now you have to put those ideas to work and see how feasible they are.
It's time to practice what you preach.
Jupiter in Virgo will promote problem solving, as well as connecting the dots in terms of health care and work regimes. This is a good time to bring more clarity into your routines, whether eating habits, exercise regimes or daily tasks; finding meaning in the mundane. This allows us to connect with each other through work, service, charity and healing.
The big ideas of Leo now lead to implementation in Virgo, e.g., technological innovations becoming part of our everyday lives, or new discoveries in health being made available. I imagine we will receive more insights into the workings of the gut flora, for example, and its impact on our health.
Jupiter will also benefit the signs Capricorn, Pisces and Taurus, while it is placed in Virgo, which brings a special combination to Capricorn and Taurus in particular, as both Jupiter and Saturn will influence these signs until January 2017, and once again between June and September 2017. And when you have the big ideas (Jupiter) and can put in the hard work (Saturn), then these practical areas of life - represented by the earth-dominant signs - can manifest something tangible.
For those with the sign Virgo prominent, especially as their rising sign, Jupiter's transit will be a new beginning, as home and relationships can spawn new creativity, with the possibility of children or creative projects giving one a new faith in one's future direction.
Jupiter moving away from Leo, leaves those with Leo prominent to feel the pressure of work and relationships, as well as the stresses of time passing because of Rahu and Saturn. This needs to be remedied with time spent experiencing time out of time, i.e., space; space in your day; in your environment; between your breaths, not always doing, but simply being.
Saturn Stations Direct Aug. 13
The month of August is tense. There is no avoiding that. How you experience this tension is up to you, however. You can experience tension by ignoring the issues, or you can do something to alleviate the stress and make the most of what these transits are asking of you. I mentioned to a yoga class I teach at the beginning of this year, that this year would be a challenging one for the world and a great one for yogis. That is because challenges from Saturn help us to deal with our own weaknesses, while the worst of this is played out unconsciously on a global scale.
Saturn in Scorpio is just getting started. Pace yourself for the coming months as the planet of truth dredges things up from the depths. We will see much more come to light that is hard to swallow, but if you are living your truth, you have nothing to be concerned about. For the masses, however, scandals of all kinds will be brought to bear, as we all deal with our own inner demons. Some will find they can deal with their shadow, while others, however, will avoid these tough issues at all costs, projecting them onto others who will seem to have lost all sense of humanity.
As Saturn stations in August, it slows life down to a crawl and asks us to take a long, hard look at the things in life we try so hard to hide. With most of the planets - including the Moon's transit alongside Saturn on August 12 and 13 - in fixed signs at this juncture, we can either get stuck or get stuck in. The days around Saturn's station are tense, but how you handle the tension will be up to you.
Allow an opening to a more vulnerable part of yourself, while staying centered in the imperishable presence of simply being - in the midst of these changing tides.
Now that you have marked your boundary in the sands, with Saturn ending its retrograde phase, make sure you remember where that boundary is, so that when the tides do change you can move forward with a sense of where your own limits are.
Sun in Leo Aug. 16 - Sept. 16
The Sun enters its own sign and a position of power by mid-August. This also means we are in 'eclipse season' as the Sun joins Rahu in Leo - exaggerating and distorting this sense of power. And how much more distorted can power become, you ask? We ain't seen nothing yet! Eclipses in Leo bring out the good and bad in leaders of the world, and highlight, as well as obscure, issues in relation to governance. A lot of focus is on Leo in August and September, as the Sun joins Mercury and Venus, creating a need to interact more with this area of our life.
The Sun's position alongside Rahu brings up power struggles which will obviously play out on the political stage. However, if we only looked to those who are vying for power to understand the dynamics involved, we miss a great deal we can learn from our own empowerment.
Look the the sign Leo in your own horoscope to see where you seek to empower yourself in the midst of some radical changes which are taking place at this time.
Full Moon in Aquarius Partial Lunar Eclipse Aug. 18
Although this eclipse is partial - not actually casting a shadow on the Moon and only lasting 40 minutes from beginning to end - there is a lining up of the Sun, Moon, Earth and the nodes at this time, creating 'a very partial eclipse'.
Things begin to line up in these areas of our lives, as a result. And when things line up, there is the possibility of them being knocked down, as in a domino effect, or an alignment where we can join the dots and see things as they really are. Either way, alignments provide us with a new platform.
Generally, Aquarius represents humanitarianism which needs to go through some major changes. The refugee crisis will need to be dealt with differently in the coming months.
We all have the potential to receive insights into the area of our life Aquarius represents.
Mercury enters Virgo Aug. 19
Mercury moves into its sign of exaltation on August 19 and begins to slow down in transit from our perspective through the end of the month. It will retrograde from August 30 to September 22, re-entering Leo on September 9. This will bring us back to the issues we were dealing with in Leo in July and August, leading to a review of leadership roles, creativity and self-expression.
For now, Mercury's transit in exaltation allows us to deal with the fine print and get on with the business of the day. Keep an open mind about what you are dealing with now; be it in your daily routines, your work schedule, or health issues. As Mercury slows its course, we are more strongly focused on these issues by the end of August and into September.
Mercury's subsequent transit offers plenty of time to get back to the drawing board and get it right next time around.
Mars and Saturn Conjunct Aug. 23
Mars joins Saturn by exact degree on August 23, but the stresses of this conjunction will be obvious in our lives for the whole month of August. Saturn represents the muscle tissue, while Mars represents the nerves. Therefore, Saturn represents our weakness and Mars, our strength; how well can can 'hold our nerve'. Physically, this conjunction is tense, as the nerves ask the muscles to do what they simply cannot. And because Mars is stronger than Saturn in its own sign, the muscles will ache from the perceived threat, whether real or not. Appropriate bodywork and movement are important in August. You may feel like you've hit a wall.
If you can slow down and stop beating your head against the wall, you may be able to express a positive side of this conjunction. This may include using your will-power in a controlled manner, staring down your fears so that you can move beyond them. An example of this would be an athlete at the Olympics, pushing the boundaries of what is possible physically.
At the same time, this conjunction will continue to take our attention outside of the Olympic stadiums, as fears are increased around the world.
Venus enters Virgo Aug. 25
Venus moves into its sign of debilitation from August 25 until September 18. Thankfully, its debilitation is cancelled by the presence of Jupiter and Mercury. However, that doesn't mean we do not experience some of this transits' negative effects. If there is a cancellation, there is something to cancel, after all.
Venus in Virgo follows on from Leo where we demand to be loved, and then realize love is not something we can order someone else to do. We begin to question love and how we can find it and keep it, strangling it into submission, killing it in the process.
We look for love in all the wrong places, not feeling it as fundamentally who-we-really-are. We forget the truth that we do not love, but are love. Instead, we begin to get picky and make lists!
No matter how much love and pleasure we are afforded, we question and criticize, finding fault in everything and everyone. This will be the case in our personal lives and on the world stage, creating an intense period and war-like situations when other transits are taken into account.
The lack of decorum and of simply being happy with what is, can lead us to situations which create more problems for ourselves and others. Take the time to praise another during this transit, and you may be able to avoid the fallout from too much nitpicking.
Take the time to love what is; the flip side of this transit.
Mercury Retrograde Aug. 30 - Sept. 22
Mercury stations retrograde on August 30, appearing to move backwards against the backdrop of Virgo until September 9 and then Leo until September 22. This will return us to the drawing board and get clear about our big vision and the subsequent details.
From this back and forth we can regain clarity. But first, however, we must experience being unclear and unsure of ourselves. Mercury retrogrades during the solar eclipse in Leo, as we recalculate our steps and our grand visions, all the while feeling less certain about what path to take.
Rest assured, the path will open up ahead of us as Mercury stations direct by late September, and we can move on with a fresh impetus pushing us forward.
New Moon in Leo Annular Solar Eclipse September 1
This new Moon in Leo on September 1 is also an annular solar eclipse at 15 degrees; a sensitive position in the zodiac at this time and for the next few months; until the next solar eclipse at the exact opposite end of the zodiac in Aquarius on February 26 2017.
The issues raised by the signs Leo and Aquarius are not going anywhere anytime soon. Leadership and governance, and how these are looking after life on our planet, are a source of stress and confusion, as old roles and structures fall apart, so that new ways of governance can come to the fore and new approaches of caring for humanity can take root.
This will not happen without some major upsets, of course, which will feel exhausting. Saturn has an exact aspect on this eclipsed Sun and the planet of idealism, Neptune is opposite in Aquarius, lining up with Ketu, the south node in the coming months. Expect the unexpected, as boundaries become even more blurred, bringing up more fear. Look to the areas of your life you experience the signs Leo and Aquarius to see where you experience this blurring effect.
Ultimately, we must find balance between the extremes of the north and south node, Rahu and Ketu; the tendency to push ahead without considering others in Leo, versus the need to look back and consider what and who we are neglecting in Aquarius. The only way to negotiate this dilemma is to open our hearts to the pain and suffering of others, while at the same time, taking control of what we have control over in order to affect a positive sea of change.
Using our individual spark, we can ignite the necessary fires which can purify our lives; for ourselves and for everyone.
OM TAT SAT
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.