The Astrology of August features Venus, Saturn and Neptune, and the Leo New Moon. Venus, extremely bright this summer, having turned retrograde in late July, disappears from the evening skies by around August 12th. We are sure to be looking more closely at all our relationships during this time, and taking an introspective stance, attempting to discern what really matters to us. Venus retrograde in Virgo signifies discrimination in partnerships, values and matters of aesthetics. In its forming conjunction with Saturn, this Venus configuration suggests a slowing down and concentration of the relationship impulse. Decisions that we make now have the viewpoint of the years in mind. Events that take place over the course of this month may seem to stymie our efforts at connection, but may in fact be in our own best long-term interest, and have the beneficial effect of throwing us back on ourselves for the answers.
Venus reappears as the Morning Star on August 24th or a day or so later, an event called her Helical Rise that takes place every nineteen months. This moment in the Venus cycle was correlated in Mayan Astrology with the embarrassment of the ruler, loss of control, and a fall from high places. The difficulties of our national leadership may become even more extensive at this time, right at the beginning of the year-long presidential campaign leading up to November 2008.
As Venus nears her mid-month conjunction with Saturn, Saturn aligns itself in trine with Pluto. Saturn with Pluto is reminiscent of 9-11, when they were opposed, although the trine symbolizes far greater possibility for working things out. Still, radical transformation is implied for the structures that we have built up around us, both individually and collectively. This is necessary change, and it is up to each of us how we handle it. We can go gracefully, or kicking and screaming, but it is still bed time for some important part of our lives.
After the current month that features this Saturn and Pluto alignment, Saturn enters a new sign, Virgo, for the next two and a half years, at the very beginning of September (on Labor Day weekend). At this point in time we might feel the shift to a more detail-oriented and perfectionistic focus. All during Fall, in regard to the structure of our lives, we are trying to get it right in some way, beginning to operate in a new mode. This is another part of the preparation for the major changes and challenges of the next few years, when everything that we know and love takes on a vastly different aura. In the more spiritually motivated function of these changes, we are striving to come to a better understanding of our role in life as consistent with our highest purpose for ourselves, to begin to take on the evolutionary mission of our generation and our times.
Getting back to the current configurations of this summer, in mid-August, the Leo New Moon of August 12th powerfully opposes Neptune, while Venus conjuncts Saturn, as Saturn continues to trine Pluto. A total of five planets in Leo at this time make for a fiery and growth oriented experience. In the enjoyment of summer, we are contrary-wise pulled in more than one way to dissolve ego attachment at this time, as Neptune enlightens us with the perspective of cosmic unity. This New Moon continues the series of powerful mid-month lunations that we have been experiencing lately, and that serve to underscore the transformative nature of these times. In September, the powerful eclipse of the 11th continues this trend. The current month, with its relationship emphasis, adds greatly to the cumulative effect of spiritual transformation on our personal lives. We will leave the year of 2007 as very different individuals than when we entered it.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
Last month I pointed out that the mid-month New Moon conjuncted U.S. Mercury, which is currently aspected by transiting Pluto, suggesting that the transformation of American public opinion would get another jolt. The potential was also there for forming a better understanding of the role of the media in U.S. politics. As we look back, the most significant events around this time was the refusal to testify of two former White House aids regarding the on-going investigation into the politically motivated firing of U.S. Attorneys. Here's a quote from a news service: "The developments whipped across Washington as part of a broader dispute over the boundaries of Bush's executive power and Congress' oversight duty. Democrats, in control of Congress for the first time in a dozen years, are probing whether the White House ordered the prosecutor firings in ways that might help Republicans in elections."
Of course this struggle to curtail executive privilege takes place in the larger context of the Iraq war and how to end it, with Democrats attempting to represent the will of the American people on this matter, with poor results so far. The question of who is ultimately in charge here becomes even more poignant with the Saturn-Pluto trine that is peaking in the next few weeks, and that strongly aspects the U.S. chart as well, with transiting Saturn opposing U.S. Moon. It would seem that even in a time of congressional recess and vacations there will be significant developments in this on-going struggle for the hearts and minds of Americans.
At the time of the August 12th New Moon, retrograde Venus conjuncts Saturn as it opposes U.S. Moon, and the New Moon sextiles U.S. Saturn and trines U.S. Chiron, while a recently stationing Jupiter aspects U.S. Uranus. There could be sudden and unexpected events around this time that will further impact U.S. public opinion, and perhaps continue to erode confidence in American leadership. We must lift our gaze to the big picture in these climactic times, and become a positive voice for necessary change, as we struggle for a better understanding of the world and our place in it.
The Last Quarter Moon of Sunday, August 5th (), traditionally represents a "crisis of consciousness" when the impulse from the preceding Cancer New Moon of mid-July finds its difficulty in coming completely into fruition, and awareness is thereby gained. This is of course the developmental stage that precedes the Leo New Moon of the following weekend, and comes as Venus is beginning to retrograde back into the first degree of Virgo. The station of Jupiter to direct motion, in Sagittarius, takes place on the 6th, bringing an optimistic tone to the proceedings at that time.
The Leo New Moon of Sunday August 12th () is a very powerful lunation, being opposed exactly to Neptune in Aquarius, and quincunx to Uranus in Pisces. These two outer planets remain in mutual reception, linking them to each other. There is a way that electrifying messages of Spirit illumine our path right now. Numinous energy for merger comes over our social impulse which may also have the effect of obscuring our sense of clarity in the moment. Since Saturn is also exactly conjunct retrograde Venus in late Leo at this time, as it trines Pluto, the energies of all the outer planets are invoked. And since Mercury is conjunct this New Moon, this is a time of renewed awareness of the fundamentally mystical nature of reality.
The First Quarter Moon of Monday, August 20th (), is traditionally a time of a "crisis of action" when the impulse of the New Moon must find it's way through the necessities imposed by reality. Since this Quarter Moon exactly squares Saturn, this would be an entirely appropriate reading for the evolving situation. Saturn is about to change signs, moving into Virgo come September.
The Full Moon of Tuesday, August 28th (), is also a Lunar Eclipse, the first of a pair that will include next month's very potent September 11th New Moon. This Full Moon, in the 5th degree of Virgo and Pisces, squares both Mars in Gemini and Jupiter in Sagittarius, newly turned to direct motion, thus forming a Mutable Grand Cross. The Sabian Symbol for the Sun's degree, "a man dreaming of fairies" may presage miracles of new awareness. This is the full flowering of the impulse from the New Moon and we will learn from it.