The month begins with a Sun-Saturn opposition, highlighting a contrasted situation between governments and the people. This will likely be expressed as more challenges against controls.
All the faster moving planets continue to journey through Cancer and Leo, while the slower moving, retrograde planets transit back through Capricorn and Aquarius. This continues the theme of immediate desire contrasted to the long term plan. Now that planets move into Leo, they oppose Jupiter and Neptune, and while one is more positive and optimistic (Jupiter), one is confusing and unclear (Neptune).
Mercury enters Leo on Aug 8, while Venus moves into Virgo, its sign of debilitation, on Aug 11. This is a weaker period for negotiation, and a better time for a determined plan of action. Together with Mars' strength in Leo, this is probably a better time to take decisive steps, not necessarily the best time for diplomacy.
The Sun enters Leo on Aug 16, and brings with it more strength. These transits are more conducive to doing what's necessary, with Mars and the Sun in strength in the fiery Leo. Mars begins its combustion as soon as the Sun enters Leo, from Aug 17. This is the beginning of a particularly hot period, whether literally or figuratively. Mars remains in combustion through Nov 29, by which time it will have moved into another square to Saturn and opposition to Uranus in Aries. Expect this to be the beginning of intense period of conflict and you won't be too surprised when it arises.
Uranus stations retrograde in Aries on Aug 20, further igniting a fire, but this time, an inner one, as we must make the internal adjustments to all the external changes that have already taken place.
Mercury enters Virgo on Aug 26, its own sign and place of exaltation, further enhancing strengths, this time, by being able to manage our lives more efficiently. This mitigates Venus’ weakness, allowing us to communicate more effectively, despite the lack of consideration.
Another Month of Squares & Oppositions
As the Sun reaches the exact opposite degree to Saturn, there is a sense of the two sides being very apart indeed. The Sun represents governments, while Saturn represents the people. The more obvious oppositions around the world tell a story of our own sense of opposition within, the struggle between our confidence and doubt.
These kinds of oppositions are best used for focusing energy, instead of scattering it - which is also likely. A focused group of people are more powerful than masses of people scattered and undirected. This analogy will probably play out in more obvious ways on the streets, but it is going on for each and everyone of us.
As the Sun reaches the exact opposite degree of Saturn on Aug 1, Mars has begun to move past its opposition with Jupiter. While this is a more hopeful and gregarious transit, it must be looked at in relation to the Sun-Saturn storyline. You may be able to take more personal actions you feel is right, but you must also adhere to the ongoing restrictions and government crackdowns.
Yet another opposition that is building in August occurs between Venus at the end of Leo and a retrograde Neptune at the end of Aquarius. This is more complex and not as easily digested. Neptune blurs the lines of what is real, creating an uncertain environment when opposed to Venus in Leo and our need to simply enjoy ourselves. There's nothing simple about this opposition. The lines will be unclear as to what we can and cannot do.
The revelations about the Pegasus Project are timely, as Neptune begins to backtrack in Purva Bhadrapada, a lunar mansion where we see the Pegasus constellation in the sky. You cannot make this stuff up! Of course, Mars forces things out into the open. More revelations are due in other areas as Mars comes to an opposition to Neptune next month.
Some things we are happy about being revealed, while others are not so welcome. This would include the complexity around the virus mutations, an ongoing phenomenon with the nodes continuing their transits in Taurus and Scorpio.
Mars' square to the nodes is yet another layer of complexity, adding a conflicted square to the theme of oppositions all month. Unlike oppositions, squares are just not seeing each other. At least oppositions offer some helpful negotiations, as planets face-off. With squares, it's like the different between Night and Day, with neither party singing off the same hymn sheet.
New Moon in Cancer (Āśleṣā) Aug 8
Āśleṣā means ‘embrace’, reflecting skills in mental and emotional manipulation - for good or ill. It is ruled by a serpent deity, while its symbol is a coiled snake. Snakes represents hidden knowledge and poisons. No prizes for guessing where I'm going with this!
While this shows the interest in treating illness, creating healing energy, there are restrictions to any such endeavours with Saturn opposite this new Moon.
The obvious connotations are that this new Moon shows further restrictions, but also further developments in the treatment of the current virus pandemic. When the Moon transits Āśleṣā, it's a good day for removing poisons and treating disease. Having the new Moon in this sign is a new start in tackling the virus. There is, however, likely an overall sense of limitation for this new Moon as a result of Saturn's involvement. The new Moon being in a square to Uranus in Aries adds further complexity and changes.
As the Sun moves into Leo in the days following this new Moon, it at least marks a more positive development in a confident new plan. This is a new beginning, with something being revealed in relation to the vaccine treatment. This is further emphasized by Mars aspecting Ketu in Scorpio in August.
Let's not forget that Jupiter is opposite Mars, and slowly returning to Capricorn. This suggests further restrictions with an increase in cases in the autumn. This also suggests further vaccines and booster shots needing to be administered, especially once Jupiter makes it back to Aquarius and Shatabhisak by the end of the year.
Mercury is hovering at the border of Cancer and Leo for this new Moon. This shows a period of uncertainty and volatility, as Mercury is associated with this lunar mansion the new Moon is placed. Whatever new steps are taken, it will take time to unravel this particular snake!
The board game, Snakes and Ladders has a lot to teach us about this time. As I wrote in the article on Kala Sarpa Yoga 2021, ''You get so far up the ladder, but at the roll of the dice (karma), you find yourself slipping down the snake. You take one step forward, and then slip 10 steps back. Sometimes, you take just one step forward, and then are catapulted many levels up the ladder. Great! Yes, but then you eventually meet with another snake! Big life lessons right there. If you are experiencing a cycle of one of the nodes of the Moon, Rahu or Ketu, you'll know exactly what I'm referring to''.
This new Moon and following month, until the next new Moon on Sep 7, has within it Venus' debilitation and Mercury's exaltation. This suggests a dip in the mood and a need to get practical and organized when playing the game. Whatever the ups and downs, remind yourself it is just a game.
We're not at the end square just yet! If you've ever played snakes and ladders, you know the ups and downs involved, and that while most people playing get closer to the end together, there are always winners and losers.
I call Āśleṣā 'The Regenerating One'. This refers to our ability to heal, and to transcend. In the context of the virus pandemic, we have to ask who or what is regenerating? We are adapting to the virus more and more, but the virus is adapting too. When all is said and done, it seems the initial intensity of the virus has waned, must like the Moon for this new Moon in Āśleṣā. Yet we must be aware of spikes that continue to challenge us to adapt and regenerate.
Mercury in Leo Aug 8 - 26
Mercury moves over the volatile juncture between Cancer and Leo, showing a period of change around the new Moon. A period of planning head begins as Mercury moves ahead of the Sun and into its sign Leo by Aug 8. Although Mercury is challenged moving signs, Mercury in Leo is a better placement for getting clear in our communications, a more determined style. This lends itself to thoughts and actions that are sharper when combined with Mars, which has already settled into Leo.
This is a period of planning ahead with courage and conviction, freed from some of the restrictions, some of the doubts of late. Not all, of course. Saturn and Pluto continue to pound the message home. Planets in Leo are in direct conflict with planets in Capricorn. This is always the case between these two signs. And perhaps even more so than Aquarius and Leo. You see, Capricorn is a movable sign, looking at changing things, while Leo, the leaders are not especially on board with that. Aquarius may oppose Leo and its wishes, but at least they are both committed to change together. There's more negotiation involved. With Capricorn and Leo, not so much.
Mercury joins Mars by exact degree on Aug 19. The Sun is now strong in Leo, with Mars now in combustion. Conjunct Mars, Mercury is feeling the heat, which may mean our interactions get at least a little harsh. The worst case of this may be extreme heat that upsets travel plans. Knowing that there is the possibility of some volatility and heat, you can plan around it, either when you are travelling, or when you are in conversation or communication.
Mercury in Leo is a period to get clear about the facts, although until Sun moves into Leo by mid-month things won't be completely clear. Also, because all the planets in Leo are in a square to the nodes in Taurus and Scorpio, there are complex unknowable factors at play. The conflict between the planets in Leo and those in Capricorn continues to create conflict around the world.
With any game you play, you can plan it out as much as you can, but you have to accept certain 'unknowables'. Obviously, those who are more skilled are able to win more than not, but even these people must accept not all things are within their control.
As Kishori points out in the latest podcast about Rahu in the 5th house, it's about being real, not realistic. Being real, and royal, is connected to Leo, and the 'heartfield'. By connecting to our hearts, we can know what is real. By doing so, we can quieten the mind of all distractions that put us off our game.
Venus in Virgo Aug 11 - Sep 5
Venus moves into its sign of debilitation, and the mood dips somewhat because of this benevolent planet's weakness. After heat, comes dryness. After a party, comes the hangover!
Venus and Virgo are not on the same page. One is enjoyable. One is calculated. Can you enjoy yourself when being too calculated? Not fully. Fun requires spontaneity and a child-like playfulness that is not worried about outcomes or managing proceedings. Venus tries hard in Virgo, of course. But that's often the problem. We may try harder to get the love and gratitude we think we deserve, failing to realize that we are not only loved and appreciated, but that we are an expression of love itself. In Virgo, we don't necessarily feel that way though, and we work harder at getting what we want.
Venus in Virgo is looking for love in all the wrong places!
Venus in Virgo, and Virgo in general, is great for making lists and improving our lives, but it is not possible to perfect ourselves or anyone else. As long as we can accept that, we can begin to enjoy the process of getting it as good as it gets.
This transit is a bit of a downturn, in our mood, and possibly in the economy. There are more divorces in autumn than at any other time of year. It is not coincidence that Virgo is hanging around Virgo in the autumn. We look at the things we have gathered around us, including the people in our lives, and we begin to wish they were better. If a relationship is already on shaky ground, this transit is enough to break it. If it's strong, this will simply be a testing time.
As the air around us dries out, we too feel this drying effect as a lack of juice, of creative energy and a lack of compromise when we don't feel so great. All kinds of relationships can suffer, unless we are mindful of using this transit for what it's good for; that is, to improve something in our lives, while enjoying the process, knowing that we are never going to get it just right.
The solution? If you don't feel loved or appreciated, how about loving and appreciating? It's easier to get something you want when you give it. Giving is receiving. It comes around again. If you're critical of another, or a situation, and let's face it, there's always plenty to be critical about, you will only experience the same directed at you. You don't need a pandemic, or other global catastrophes to complain. Someone with Venus in Virgo in their birth chart could complain about something not quite being right in paradise!
The more we can reach to Pisces, the opposite sign Venus exalts, and learn to let go a little more, the less we get bogged down in the details in Virgo.
Sun in Leo Aug 16 - Sep 16
The Sun returns to a place of strength in its own sign Leo. After the many setbacks and restrictions, with Sun in Cancer opposite Saturn in Capricorn, the Sun in Leo is a welcomed return to more confidence in what we are doing, as well as more confidence in our leaders. Although nobody really knows what they are doing, with Jupiter returning to Capricorn next month confirming that, we can at least pretend they do for a while!
This is particularly good news for Leo individuals, especially those with Leo rising. The recent Sun-Saturn opposition was restrictive and uncertain for them, as it was for us all. Sun in Leo is more powerful and confident.
Adding to the sense of confidence is Jupiter in opposition to the Sun, exact on Aug 20. This shows an overall more optimistic sense and a welcome to a more positive outlook. While the background noise of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction continues to sound like a deep base sound, a sound that continues to unnerve, the Sun's opposition to Jupiter is a welcomed return to a more expressive confidence.
There is the opposition to Neptune to deal with, of course. That occurs in September, once the Sun makes it to the end of Leo. This shows confusion, despite the apparent assuredness from leaders. This is reflective of our own lack of clarity and confidence in what we are doing.
It will probably feel like some are fooling themselves, or us, or we are fooling ourselves. It's a bit like the fool card in the Tarot deck. The figure seems happy about moving on, but then there's the dog pulling on his pants. Some of the events that unfold later in September may even seem comical, if it were not for the fact that we're dealing with peoples lives.
And yet, not matter how dark or twisted it gets, we must remind ourselves that it is indeed just a game.
Uranus stations Retrograde Aug 20
Uranus is the last of the slow movers to join the retrograde party!
Uranus is channeling Mars in a strong way these days, as it transits Aries. This is even stronger while Mars is in Leo, in a trine to it. Uranus in Aries is explosive and unsettling to the status quo. It's continued square to Saturn in Capricorn shows the struggle we are all dealing with in changing our lives while adhering to the way things used to be.
Now that Uranus begins to backtrack in Aries, it's time to make some inner changes, to adjust our position according to the outer changes that have already taken place.
Later in the autumn, Mars opposes Uranus in Aries, while in a square to Saturn in Capricorn, exact Nov 18. This will trigger some events and strong reactions, and is reflective of a need to break free from restraints. But that itself suggests there are restraints to break free from! Now that Uranus is beginning to backtrack, we may see some backtracking for a while around more impulsive changes of late. The most obvious expression will likely be a U-turn on recent freedoms.
Once Mars pushes past the uncertainty and restriction of the autumn, it moves into Scorpio in December, just in time for a total solar eclipse, and for another spin of the wheel of fortune as all the planets line up on one side of the nodes.
Uranus in Aries has a big role in the shake-ups. We can often lose our balance during times of great change. Yet in relation to the current pandemic and continued restrictions change is certainly welcome.
Uranus stationing retrograde in August is a signal to change our internal compass, to re-orientate ourselves to the past as we venture forward with a new sense of what is possible.
Full Moon in Aquarius (Dhaniṣṭhā) Aug 22
Unlike the previous full Moon conjunct Saturn, this full Moon is a more optimistic one, conjunct Jupiter, with Mars opposite in Leo conjunct a strong Sun. This and the new Moon in September, in Leo, do at least point to a more positive outlook, perhaps even a positive announcement.
The symbols of Dhaniṣṭhā are very much like making announcements, with a lot of fanfare and pomp included in proceedings. It is symbolized by a drum and flute, reflecting a link to music and sound, and the rhythm of life, a rhythm so many have struggled with during the pandemic.
Dhaniṣṭhā means ‘wealthy’ and represents wealth in all aspects – not just monetary. It is ruled by the elemental demigods; the polestar, sky, wind, water, earth, pre-dawn, fire, and the Moon; all representing nature and the cosmos. This represents the truest expression of wealth when one is abundant in all aspects of life.
When the Moon transits Dhaniṣṭhā, it's a good day for music, dance, and ceremony. This is the last blow out before the change of season, highlighting the contrast between Leo and Aquarius. Hopefully, this will express itself in a negotiation, between governments and more innovative approaches to the current problems of the world.
Mercury in Virgo Aug 26 - Sep 22
Mercury comes to save the day! It's here to teach Venus what Virgo is best used for; that is, to organize and manage our lives. Venus has another 12 days to learn this lesson from Mercury. This is more helpful to Venus than it is to Mercury.
Think of someone teaching you a lesson. In order to teach you something, they have to do just that. They may wish to do it themselves, but they have to teach it to you. As the saying goes, ''Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach''.
This may play out as if trying to convince someone of the benefits of the way you are doing things, or convincing them of the best way for them to do it, for example. This convincing takes energy away from Mercury's strength, but at least it helps out Venus. In other words, we are more likely to get along now, as we get a lesson in how to. This may be due to the fact that we haven't been lately, and wish for better exchanges. Otherwise, life is no fun.
Mercury has sped through the end of Cancer, through the entire sign of Leo, and into Virgo, all within one calendar month. Although this is not unusual for Mercury to do this, as it gets ahead of the Sun, it does mean that things are moving faster than usual. Plans are gathering a lot of speed in August.
While this should be welcomed, as any other transit should be, it does mean that before long, Mercury will begin to slow down and retrace its steps. Whatever plans you are implementing now must go through a review later in the autumn, as Mercury stations retrograde by the end of September.
To me, this, along with other transits, suggests that whatever is opening up in August will have consequences by October, as immediate plans are reviewed in a big way, while longer term considerations begin to move things forward. That's because Mercury doesn't make it past the first degree of Libra, before backtracking through Virgo by Oct 1.
For now, we are full steam ahead and enjoying any freedoms we have, any plans we are free to make. Just make sure you are planning for possible further lockdowns through the autumn. Even if we somehow escape the worst of them, we need to be prepared for the slow down and the inevitable downturn.
For now, our minds are not interested in slowing down, preferring to speed up and plan the future.
Making the most of these strong transits - the Sun in Leo, Mercury in Virgo - is important, because it gives us enough fuel and energy to see us through harder times. It won't be as long a lockdown or downturn this time around, if there is to be one in your region. By the end of November, Jupiter has made it back out of Capricorn and Mercury will be well on the way, moving ahead of the Sun once again, planning something new.
As always, I wish you the very best of what the month has to offer.
OM TAT SAT
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.