The Astrology of August again features Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn and Pluto, plus a new Mercury retrograde period that begins in the last third of the month. Now that Saturn has entered Libra, the collection of power-house planets in Cardinal signs is complete. This is not counting Neptune, always the odd man out in any case. Neptune remains in Aquarius until next spring, when it enters the Mutable sign of Pisces, but the others are in Cardinal signs now: Pluto in the early degrees of Capricorn, squared by Saturn in the first degree of Libra, and also squared by Uranus and Jupiter in early Aries. This perfect storm of influences presage a good dose of tension, trouble and resulting transformation, since planet earth is of the vibration of "Harmony Through Conflict," meaning that we don't start to make major changes in ourselves until it is absolutely necessary.
This alignment is short-lived. By the middle of September first Uranus and then Jupiter will have retrograded back into Pisces. Saturn will have moved deeper into Libra and so out of the most intense phase of its opposition to Uranus although remaining within orb for another year or so. The Pluto-Uranus square is just coming into bloom, with many exact hits yet to come, the soonest taking place about two years hence, in June of 2012. This all translates into further transformation for the American scene and for each one of us personally in the years ahead, but without the violent polarization that we see now in the political landscape, and that might reach its peak this summer and early fall.
What does it mean that the pace for change, already so intense, continues unabated into the present monthly timeframe? Only that we are made even more aware of the necessity for radical transformation in our own lives, and in the life of the society around us. Surely most are beginning to recognize that our current ways cannot go on much longer without incurring a grave risk of losing everything. And this applies equally to our individual decisions also. It takes a community of concerned individuals to make social change a reality. Greater changes within each of our individual lives are also more than possible as we confront and begin to more closely examine the results of unchecked ego, and of unalloyed knee-jerk reaction to early conditioning applied over the long term.
In this regard, the New Moon of Monday, August 9th, is especially powerful, since it makes strong aspects to both ends of the Uranus-Pluto square and to Venus and Mars as well. Venus and Mars are moving toward a conjunction in Venus' own sign of Libra that coincides with the beginning of the Mercury retrograde period on Friday, August 20th. Mercury retrogrades until September 12th with shadow period lasting another two weeks. Finally, the Pisces Full Moon of August 24th is dramatic. The Sun and Moon in the early degrees of Virgo and Pisces trigger the Cardinal T-square once again.
All in all these are fractious times, fraught with uncertainty and yet alive with hope as well. One thing is certain: we cannot go on living the same way we have in the past. The next phase is coming for us, ready or not, and we need to make the best of it. And after all, what a brilliant idea it is – one whose time has finally come – to exchange a hopeful future for a dysfunctional past.
August 2nd Last Quarter Moon
This is traditionally a time of coming to a greater understanding regarding the impulse that arose from the recent New Moon, in this case referring back to the powerful Solar Eclipse of July 11th. It is a time of reassessment, a time that seminal astrologer Dane Rudhyar referred to as a "crisis in consciousness." We will be gathering up the received wisdom from the past three weeks and carrying it forward into the next cycle. The Sun, at 10 plus degrees of Leo, aspects Pluto while Jupiter exactly squares it – massive and radical transformation is therefore even more greatly emphasized. Mars conjoins Saturn, boosting the exact opposition to Jupiter/Uranus and the implied polarization of activity. Venus, getting closer to forming her own conjunction with Saturn, is also inconjunct Neptune, creating feelings of confusion, potentially deception, and also of spiritual possibility. Thus begins another wild and crazy month, when we have the chance to sort things out in a way that makes sense for us spiritually or else suffer the consequences of drifting even further from our true path forward.
August 9th New Moon
This extremely powerful New Moon is another in the series of recent potent lunations, this time augmenting the very nearly exact T-square between Jupiter/Uranus, Pluto and Saturn, made especially strong now that Saturn has entered Libra. This second week of the month therefore presents us with one relative peak of the energy for change that is sweeping over us. The Sun and Moon make a sesqui-yod with Jupiter/Uranus on one side and with Pluto on the other, while Mars and Venus, newly in Libra, conjunct Saturn there just as Saturn's square with Pluto becomes quite close. This is the high point of the Uranus-Pluto-Saturn T-square for 2010, with nearly all the planets participating. In the collective and within our individual lives as well, we will feel the pressure for massive change, and rather than resisting, if we are wise we will choose to go with the flow.
August 16th First Quarter Moon
This is traditionally a time of relative tension in our process, wherein we recognize the potential drawbacks of the course we undertook from the time of the recent New Moon. In this case, the Sun opposes Neptune, bringing all the outer planet energies to bear. The Sun, together with Venus and Mars, also aspect the Moon's nodal axis. There is idealism implicit in this configuration, together with the danger of over-idealization. Also to consider is the potential for negativity implicit in our reaction to early trauma and past conditioning that remains with us – a natural consequence of the human condition. With luck, as we take a good hard look at where we might be going, and where we actually are, we will be careful not to get too carried away in either an overly idealized or a direction.
August 20th Mercury retrograde
Well it's that time again. Mercury retrogrades in mid-Virgo from this Friday onwards, making for an interesting transition to the fall. Just when you were beginning to get serious again about your work in the world, whatever form that might happen to take, you are hit by this important and self-reflective cycle. Mercury retrograde is a time when it is recommended that you contemplate your life-direction rather than seek to enhance it. The usual mechanical and communication breakdowns are also more than likely. Since Virgo is a Mercury-ruled sign, this is an excellent time for journalling and for refining your existing approach, not the time to put a new foot forward or to, as they say, push the river. Mercury straightens out on September 12th, but takes another two weeks to recover lost Zodiacal ground — a period known as the retrograde shadow — so that the Fall Equinox on the 22nd finds you still subject to this more internal and contemplative energy. The Aries Full Moon that night is powerful, and brings you once more to the crossroads of where you are headed in your life direction, hopefully in greater alignment with the spiritual purpose of your higher self than when you started.
August 24th Full Moon
This Pisces Full Moon chart is powerful because the Sun and Moon are in the very early degrees of their respective signs, with the Sun therefore strongly aspecting Jupiter and trining Pluto. Jupiter remains in Aries and still perfectly squares Pluto, while Saturn and Uranus continue to oppose each other and to square Pluto as well. Thus there is another potent hit of the transformational impact represented by this energy of dire and drastic change that we have been seeing all summer. The dramatic Cardinal T-square that we are currently experiencing, culminating in the current month, also aspects the U.S Midheaven, at two degrees of Libra, indicating that more revelations are forthcoming concerning the situation of our society and of the American scene in particular, which will affect us more and more deeply. The thoughtful person will consider all the angst we have been facing, both collectively and individually, as necessary correctives for past unhealthy excesses, and begin to make the appropriate course corrections.