August is a hot month, in every sense of the word! Venus, Mercury and Mars are in combustion, as Mars reaches its exact degree of debilitation, before these planets move into fiery Leo and create even more heat and volatility. Mercury stations direct on the new Moon on Aug 1 and the anticipation in the air feels highly charged - yet lacks a clear direction during the first week of August. Venus is in combustion from Jul 8 - Sep 19 and Mars in its combustion from Jul 12 - Oct 22. Venus' exact combustion occurs as it moves over the sensitive juncture between Cancer and Leo by mid-August, while it transits close to Mars, exact on Aug 24. The burning up of Venus and Mars challenges compromise and sensitivity, which only gets more volatile once they move into Leo. Venus and Mars will not be visible again until mid-October.
Mars' weakness is growing stronger (ahem, weaker!) into the beginning of the month and brings with it a lot of reactions. Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, North Korea and the Gulf region are just a few examples of things reaching boiling point. Mars' debilitation is aspected by Jupiter as the Saturn-south node conjunction remains within a degree in Sagittarius (Jupiter's sign). The Saturn-South Node long conjunction reminds us of what happened in 1962, when the world was brought to the brink of war during the Cuban missile crisis. This did not lead to war, as Saturn's strength kept things in check at that time.
Saturn doesn't seem to be keeping a lid on frustrations in 2019, does it? Saturn is in a neutral position in Sagittarius, while the south node (Ketu) is strong (some say exalted) and, although bringing out the more philosophical themes of the south node around losses, it is stoking a fire that, when based on strongly held beliefs, acts as an incendiary device. This is a volatile mix of transits, which only increases as Mars moves into complete combustion in fiery Leo by the end of August and beginning of September. While we may look at what is happening around the world and stress about what may or may not happen, it is up to each of us to manage these transits in our own lives as best we can.
Kāla Amṛta Yoga (sort of)
All the visible planets are either joined or on one side of the lunar nodes, Rāhu and Ketu. While this isn't strictly the yoga in question, as planets should not be joined the nodes, it does give a flavour of what this yoga is all about, i.e. spiritual growth and material uncertainty.
For example, for anyone born at this time, Ketu will subsequently transit all of their natal planetary positions, moving in anti-clockwise motion. Ketu is a 'spiritualizing' force in the horoscope, which basically means some kind of loss and disillusionment.
The world is going through an uncertain period, of course. This combination (yoga) adds to the uncertainty.
New Moon in Cancer (Puṣya) Aug. 1
The first day of the month is also a new Moon. This brings a sense of a new start and one that is far less complicated than the previous lunar month as the eclipses have passed and Mercury stations direct.
Now, before you go out and get ahead of yourself, be aware that this new Moon involves a debilitated Mars, and Mars won't leave its sign of debilitation until August 8, (exact debilitation on August 5/6), so there's a hump to get over first. The energy will return mid-way through the lunar month, but because this is how the lunar month began we must factor that into the equation.
It's all too easy to get jaded by all the bad news and never pay attention to what is going well - which is not a balanced approach. Yes, of course the world is going through some big changes at this time, and next year promises to bring even bigger changes; changes even an astrologer cannot anticipate at this stage, but if we are not living life in the interim, we become exhausted with what we have to do now, whilst adding worries about an imagined future that is not real in our present moment.
We still must pay attention to how we are spending our energy in August, especially the first week, and take care of ourselves and our energy levels. I read an article on the Guardian website titled 'Mid-year burnout: does it exist or are we just permanently tired', and I could help but smile! If only the writer followed sidereal astrology. They would have known all about the impact of Mars' debilitation.
Adding to the sense of exhaustion, even if it is a new start, is the new Moon. The new Moon is a time to slow down, to drawn your energy inward as the Sun and Moon join, as if taking a deep inhale; joining the outer with the inner.
Try it now: take a deep inhale, as deep as you can, and hold it. Maybe sit down for this! Now close your eyes and sense what is happening. How are you feeling? I feel a little spaced out when I do this, a little tingly and floaty. This is an increase of air, of course, which in Vedic terminology is called Vāyu, corresponding to the new Moon phase and ruled by Rāhu. You may feel a bit spaced out, maybe a little excitable at the anticipation of change, which is what Rāhu is all about. Mercury's station is adding to the anticipation and excitment, so pace yourself around the new Moon day. Plan to take action once Mars leaves the emotional realm of Cancer during the second week of August.
Mercury stations Direct Aug. 1
Mercury stations direct opposite the previous lunar eclipse degree (29 Gemini), bringing with it more information, adding more to the debate. This is a very back and forth period, as Mercury changes direction opposite the eclipse degree and on the new Moon day. This will likely play out in all kinds of things turned around and upside down.
Mercury then re-enters Cancer on August 2 and transits Cancer again until August 26. This is not Mercury's favourite sign, as emotions take over rational communication. I'm sure you are familiar with this by now. But every transit is good for something. This is best for figuring out why you feel/think the way you do. You may be surprised to read that according to Vedic though thoughts are generated from emotions according - not the other way around. The Moon has more of a say in how we feel, which impacts what we are thinking. This is easy to see when we change the way we feel and can subsequently think differently. Of course, it works somewhat the other way too. If you keep telling yourself something over and over, you are going to impact your feelings with your words, but a little thought on this and you come to realize there is a whole lot more influence coming form the depths of your being and unconscious patterns which fuel certain thoughts.
Mercury's transit in Cancer can give some insights into this. The Moon rules where Mercury is transiting, giving you the opportunity to communicate something deeper, more instinctive and emotive. This is challenged while Mars continues to transit here as well, because Mars doesn't think, it just does. But even this offers insights that the intellect alone cannot grant you. In other words, if you want to know someone, don't listen to what they say, look at what they are doing!
As Mercury transits over a emotional space; a space it has already moved over twice before, this third round is an opportunity to say what you really, (no, really) feel. Once Mars leaves Mercury in the sign after August 8, you may be able to do this more calmly, more objectively.
Mars enters Leo Aug. 8
Mars leaves its sign of debilitation by August 8, very soon after it transits its exact degree of debilitation on August 5/6. It takes a couple of days for Mars to move over the sensitive gap between Cancer and Leo (gandanta) before it comes into strength again (August 10). But when it does, watch out! All that energy that has been un-directed and bogged down in emotions can now be released and this can create a huge release of energy, personally, and something more explosive in the world around us.
Mars is in combustion (exact Sep 1) during this transit in a fiery sign, so this is like throwing fire at the Sun, adding fuel to an already volatile situation. Mars in Leo is determined to get what it wants and will stop at nothing to get it. Donald Trump is a good example of this combination. He has Mars in Leo (rising sign) natally, so Mars' return to his sign and his natal Mars can easily trigger him. We are going to see him on the attack in August and September. One thing we can say about him, and something we can all learn from Mars in Leo, is that he never quits.
This is perhaps a good time to get on with something you are determined to see through, and get out of the way of those who are committed to what they are doing. There's more energy to do it after the second week in August, but be mindful of how you approach others as Venus is caught up in the heat of the moment, showing less compromise and sensitivity.
Mars aspects Jupiter while in Leo, looking at its own sign, Scorpio and you would do well to take decisive action during August and September; actions that are well considered and not overblown or overdone. Jupiter always brings that possibility.
Then there's Mars' opposition to Neptune (exact Sep 14), which starts to build as soon as Mars enters Leo from August 8. This adds an element of obscurity in relation to our plans. Mars represents the part of us that is direct, while Neptune is vague. This will more obviously play out in Donald Trump taking action that we question in relation to humanitarian concerns (Neptune in Aquarius), as well as his relationships (7th house), but we would be better served looking at our own actions during this period. Mars in Leo shows a need to get things done, hitting the ground running, while Neptune in Aquarius shows a dream which doesn't always reach earth.
Mars remains in Leo until September 25, so there is plenty of opportunity to get through the smog and plan your big dreams more effectively once Mars moves into the detail orientated Virgo.
Jupiter stations Direct Aug. 11
Jupiter appears to stop moving in August, stationing direct on August 11, slowly returning to direct motion at 20 degrees of sidereal Scorpio, where we find the lunar mansion, Jyeṣṭhā. This is Indra's lunar mansion which is all about control. Jupiter brings more awareness and depth of understanding to the people and things we try to control, in order to feel secure. More clarity is possible now that Jupiter is slowly moving forward again, and this will play out in all kinds of ways around the world.
If you have planets or sensitive degrees here, this is a particularly good transit to grow something, just make sure it is something you want to grow. I have my ascendant in Scorpio and have experienced quite a bit of growth, recently. For the first time in my life, I'm watching my weight. Thanks Jupiter!
But seriously, Jupiter's return to direct motion is a welcome return to sanity, on some level, at any rate. Jupiter gives a sense of things moving forward in relation to laws, policies and order. Brexit is one obvious example that comes to mind, but Jupiter still has the rest of the year to move back over what is has already transited. Hopefully, this time it will bring more understanding at the third swipe.
Look to where the signs Sagittarius and Pisces are in your own chart, as well as Scorpio, to see what (Sagittarius and Pisces) can more forward now, and where (Scorpio) this can give you a renewed faith and meaning in your life.
Uranus stations Retrograde Aug. 12
Uranus stations at 12 degrees of sidereal Aries as it prepares to slowly move back to 8 degrees by January 1, 2020. This is a time to reassess the outward changes that have taken place; to integrate the changes on an internal level. Uranus represents changes and creativity, as well as shocks and surprises, that occur in our lives. We must take time to integrate these and change our inner world to match our outer reality. We all need to do this, in general, but look to the sign Aries and where it's placed by house position in your chart, to see where you need to do this more specifically.
Brexit is a good example of how this transit will play out in the coming months. There has been so much change, that we haven't really been able to process this - until now. But of course, this will likely set things back, in an outward sense, as we do the inner work. More twists and turns, it seems.
Read an article I wrote about Uranus in Aries and why it is having a huge impact on Brexit and the continued increase in national populism around the world. Hint: Aries and Uranus are all about individuality, which expresses itself as national populism on a global scale.
Full Moon in Capricorn (Dhaniṣṭhā) Aug. 15
The full Moon breaks the (sort of) yoga between the nodes and is placed in a powerful lunar sign that relates to music, dance and celebration on August 15. With the Sun about to move into its own sign (Leo), there's a sense of power building in the world around us, personal power AND governmental or leadership power. We need this sense of power, in our own lives and in our governments. We need those in power to have enough power and confidence in what they are doing, to feel like we can trust them.
The full Moon is a period of extremity and requires us to regulate the impulse to just blow off all our energy. Try this tantrik meditation: Imagine as you exhale that the energy is moving up and out of you, to an imagined full Moon above your head. How do you feel? I feel grounded, more solid in form on the empty breath. I feel more relaxed as I let the energy move out of me. This is ideally what the full Moon is all about: a time to spend your energy in the world, in celebration and communion, especially when placed in a lunar sign that is conducive to celebration. Now, as you begin to inhale again, draw the energy from the full Moon into your belly, your solar plexus, where the Moon meets with the Sun for the next new Moon.
It has been shown that we sleep less during the full Moon. This is regardless of whether you can see the full Moon or not. I've tried black out blinds - it doesn't make a difference. Be mindful of this and get enough sleep in the lead up to the full Moon, and enjoy! Venus is opposite this full Moon by exact degree, so this adds even more of a feelgood factor which can be very stimulating and enjoyable, but as Venus is in exact combustion let me remind you to save some energy for other pursuits, to keep some juice for later.
Venus enters Leo Aug. 16
Venus moves into Leo in a state of deep combustion (at the same degree as the Sun) and over a sensitive juncture between Cancer and Leo by mid-month, known as gandanta, meaning 'undoing' or 'drowning'. This is a sensitive period just after the full Moon which is a challenging indication for Venus related significations, including finances and relationships, pleasures and compromise.
Venus joins Mars in Leo, as it transits alongside the Sun, and we cannot see our bright morning star at this time, and won't see Venus again until when we see it as the bright evening star by mid-October. Too much heat affects civility. If you're feeling hot and bothered, you're less able to be pleasant. Emotionally, this is the case in August, so adjust accordingly. Too much heat dries up the softness of Venus, making for a 'dry' situation that can trigger more fires; emotional and otherwise.
When Venus is such a hot situation, passions run too high and leave us feeling spent and empty. Read an article I wrote about the roller coaster of hormones that occurs after sex in this article. Ojas, the most refined 'substance' in the body is a result of all digestive processes, primarily from reproductive fluid, which goes into either conceiving, or into re-creating ourselves through a trans-mutuation of the sexual impulse. Although modern science does not acknowledge such a subtle aspect of the reproductive fluid, just have lots of sex and see how you feel! While sex often also involves making love, which increases ojas, it doesn't always. These transits are more conducive to wild abandon. Low ojas leads to a feeling of lack, of feeling empty, while high ojas leads to greater immunity, a feeling of calmness and refinement, a sense of calm fullness and less aggravation and desires. This is expressed in someone with a strong aura (ojas is said to directly feed the aura) .
Venus is exactly conjunct Mars on August 24, and only a few degrees away from the Sun. Be especially mindful of spending too much of your battery juice (ojas) at this time, as things can certainly get out of hand with such a passionate mix. And then Venus moves into Virgo (its sign of debilitation) after its blow out in Leo, by September 9, when we have to feel the repercussions of our overspend in August.
Sun enters Leo Aug. 17
The Sun enters its own sign by August 17, as it does every year, marking a period of strength for our sense of self and vitality. We need this! Leo's particularly need this, after recent transits in their 12th house of uncertainty. The Sun comes home to bring more life and vitality, and more confidence to move forward, with the help of Mars egging us on.
The Sun in Leo is a king on his thrown, but kings come in many different guises. Because the Sun is transiting close to Venus and Mars while in Leo, there is a high likelihood of lots of pomp and show, a sort of 'look at how great I am' type of thing.
Mercury enters Leo Aug. 26
Mercury finally leaves behind the emotive Cancer by the end of the month, having entered here back in June. It enters the fiery and expressive domain of the Sun, which offers more clarity and insight, albeit tinged with a little fanciful thinking (opposes Neptune). Mercury in Leo also offers more inspiration and more effective communication, unperturbed to a large degree by our emotional considerations and sensitive overreactions, although it may be a little vague on the details until it reaches Virgo by September 10.
More on this transit next month...
New Moon in Leo (Maghā) Aug. 30
The month ends as it began, with a new Moon - this time, in Leo and Maghā. This places a lot of emphasis on Leo, (whatever area of your life you experience this sign), as the waning Moon joins Mercury, Mars and Venus for the new Moon phase, drawing our energy inwards. There is a powerful and passionate energy to negotiate as planets gather in Leo for the new lunar month.
This new Moon is closely conjunct Mars, which means, yes, you guessed it, more violence for the new lunar month I'm afraid. Maghā is a very powerful lunar mansion, where we see the bright star Regulus, and Maghā is often translated as 'the magnificent one'. It represents people in power, or power anyone has been given. You could say that we all have some inherited power, or privilege. There is the possibility of vanity and pride expressed here, especially as Venus is in Leo and adds to this kind of 'look at how great I am' type of thing.
We are powerful, individually and collectively. But as the saying goes, 'Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely'. As long as we don't get carried away (which is very likely at this time), we can acknowledge whatever power and privilege we have been given and use it wisely.
New Moon in Cancer (Puṣya) Aug 1
Mercury stations Direct Aug 1
Mercury re-enters Cancer Aug 2
Mars enters Leo Aug 8
Jupiter stations Direct Aug 11
Uranus stations Retrograde Aug 12
Venus exact combustion Aug 13 - 16
Full Moon in Capricorn (Dhaniṣṭhā) Aug 15
Venus enters Leo Aug 16
Sun enters Leo Aug 17
Venus conjunct Mars Aug 24
Mercury enters Leo Aug 26
New Moon in Leo (Maghā) Aug 30
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.