August 2019: Fire Trine Trifecta

The Leo New Moon on July 31, ushered in a renewed sense of hope and pride, and with Mercury stationing direct on the same day, the tides are shifting towards sunnier shores. August begins with both luminaries in the Sun’s home sign of the Lion, and with Venus, Mars, and Juno co-present, we can expect temperatures to rise and things to get hotttt. Leos are the performers of the zodiac. This is the time to see and be seen, shake off any residual sogginess from the deluge of Cancer Season, and step into the spotlight that’s been waiting for you. The trifecta of fire trines are going to light up your life in ways you never expected so get out your sunscreen, bbs. 

The Wiccan holiday of Lammas (or Lughnasadh) on August 2, is cosmically highlighted by a square between Venus in Leo to Uranus in her home earth sign of Taurus. There is great symbolism in this alignment because Lammas is a celebration of the first harvest when crops are brought in, new livestock slaughtered, and the first bread is baked. These loaves were regarded as sacred sacrament, containing the full potency of Gaia. Lammas comes from the Old English meaning Loaf Mass. One of the expected changes of Uranus in Taurus is a radical revisioning of human relationship with food production and ecological resources. The bounty of the earth was seen by ancient peoples as a blessing of the union between the Goddess and the God. The Green God gave his potency at Beltane, on May 1, and Gaia exploded in fecundity. The Solar God peaked at the Summer Solstice, Litha, at June 21, and immediately began to wane. The spirit of Lammas is one of giving thanks and thithing in appreciation. Revisit the intentions set at Litha and to consider your relationship to sacrifice, labor, and gratitude. 

The coinciding of this astrological aspect with a Wiccan day of power is an unmistakable magical directive. The Sun is moving into a trine with Jupiter indicating strong support for the food justice plans of Venus and Uranus. We must reconnect with the wisdom of our ancestors and the cycles of the earth to restore balance, harmony, and sustainability for future generations to thrive. The Goddess provides an abundance; no one should ever lack nourishment. Nature’s technology is unsurpassed, divine design, there’s no need for poison. Everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy food, and by working to protect the sacred we rediscover the preciousness of our own humanity in the web of creation. The personal planets will all trine Uranus once they move into Virgo at the end of the month, so we’re building towards greater solutions. This is the beginning of a conversation that will last for 7 years.  

August 7 and 8 are wonderful days, some of the best of the year, as the Sun and then Venus in Leo trines Jupiter in Sagittarius. After the last two months, these transits feel like actual miracles, and, indeed, they contain the essence of what makes life joyful and fun. Luck is in the air so be sure to play. You’ll feel positive about yourself and kindly towards others. A sense of buoyancy and enthusiasm will prevail. These are great days for both romance and business, so go towards what moves you. Financial matters are favored, just beware of your tendencies towards shopping sprees. If you’ve been putting off going on vacation, this is the best week of the summer for a getaway. You may see the fulfillment of patterns completed during the Leo Full Moon total lunar eclipse on January 21. Jupiter stations direct on August 11, at 14 Sagittarius, which is good news for people who like good news. The greater benefic in his home sign brings gifts and blessings all the time, but when he’s retrograde it’s more likely to be a feeling or a mood. He stationed retrograde at 24 degrees on April 10, so for the past four months we’ve had but a trickle. Now he’s going back to full Santa Claus mode for the next 4 months. Jupiter entered Sag on November 8, 2018, and began expanding this area of life with grand designs and lust for adventure. He’ll be there until December 3, 2019, and this week you’ll start to get wind of his plan for the final phase of the journey.

Additionally on August 11, Mercury enters Leo and Uranus goes retrograde. 
Mercury’s departure from Cancer signals the wrap up of the long sad song we sang from June-July. Mercury entered Leo on June 28, and will finally clear their shadow on August 15. With the winged messenger finally flying free, we won’t have to worry about another Mercury Rx until October. 
Love is in the air and passions run high on August 14, when the Sun, Venus, and Juno meet in Leo. This is the moment of Venus’ superior conjunction when she’s farthest from Earth. This vantage point grants the ability to see clearly what has changed in our romantic lives since the Venus retrograde in Scorpio in October-November 2018. We’ll be sensitized to our dynamics with others, and encouraged to peer inward to hear what the heart has to speak. The presence of Mars and Juno indicates that it will not do to settle for less. We must have the love we crave or nothing at all. This fervent moment adds a bit of heat to an otherwise cool Aquarius Full Moon on August 15. This Moon, in a square to Uranus in Taurus, is illuminating what has started to shift in the previously stable areas of life that have begun to undergo radical revision this year. Hosted by an empowered Saturn, this Moon evokes some themes of relationship between collective good and individual needs from last summer. 

The energy begins to tilt towards earth when Mars enters Virgo on August 18. Messiness simply will not do with Mars in this mutable sign, and we’ll be motivated to organize, prioritize, and act. We’re able to blast through mental blocks and overcome barriers to health with new found determination during his transit until October 4.

Mercury in Leo makes a blessed trine to Jupiter on August 21, enlivening our minds with possibilities and inspiring grand thoughts. This is a great day to plan for the future and innovate systems. Business and legal actions are favored, and you should be able to turn deals to your advantage. The Sun is conjunct Juno as Venus enters Virgo on August 21. Venus wants to make beauty wherever she goes, but in Virgo she feels compelled to get everything right the first time. Venus will be in Virgo until September 15, so remember to be gentle when encountering imperfections in yourself and others for those three weeks. 

The Sun moves into Virgo, the final sign of Summer, on August 23. Virgo Season is a time of looking both forwards and back, when we account for what has come, and plan for what is to be. The earth begins to scatter her seeds and we come to know the quality of the harvest bounty. Things get exciting when Mars and Venus form a conjunction on August 24 at 4 degrees Virgo. This is a wonderful time to plan a date or work on a creative project. The last time these lovers met was at 19 degrees Virgo on October 5, 2017. Think back to that time for an indication of what process was initiated around love, romance, or the arts. A new cycle is beginning now. Venus and Mars move together and mimic each other for the remainder of the month. Enjoy this happy partnership and see what greater synthesis can be achieved through their union. 
Earthshaker Uranus begins and ends August with big moves. We’re coming to know what the rebel of the zodiac is aiming for in the Taurus area of our lives. There’s energetic support to work on these projects the week of August 26 when Venus, Mars, the Sun, and Mercury make trines to Uranus in Taurus amplifying raw material power. A lot of inspiration and enthusiasm is coming through and the drive to take action right away will be strong. A spontaneous trip could be fun because you’ll surely be bored sticking to the same old routine. Let adventure be your guide and experiment with innovative forms of self-expression. Most importantly, give yourself permission to be beautifully, weirdly, and unabashedly you.

The New Moon in Virgo on August 30, is seeding this earth stellium with trines from Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Taurus. There’s a confrontation with fantasy from the opposition with Neptune in Pisces, but enough magic to turn at least some of your dreams into reality with the t-square from Jupiter in Sagittarius. The power is potent so mental clarity is key because the universe will magnetize to whatever you give the most attention. 

September is going to carry us towards Fall, but there’s still plenty of Summer left. Enjoy yourselves this month because you’ve earned it, and please let me know how the stars align for you.

Mother Goddess by Wendy Andrew

July 2019: Love’s Liberation

The month enters with a bang as Mars (finally) exits the emo waters of Cancer, where he’s been floundering since May 15, for the blazing sky of Leo on July 1. It was a tough 6 weeks with Mars in the sign of his detriment opposing Saturn, Pluto, and Ketu in Capricorn. Mars rules our will, so we’ve all had less motivation than usual, making many of the obstacles we’ve encountered seem insurmountable. Mars will quickly dry out in the hot fixed fire sign, and our desire to be seen and recognized will increase. 

It’s a blessing that Mars leaves when he does, because the Cancer New Moon total solar eclipse happens on July 2. This lunation is a powerful beginning in the sign of family, home, heart, and ancestry. Although the Moon stands solely with the Sun and Rahu (lunar North Node) in Cancer, it opposes Saturn, Pluto and Ketu (lunar South Node) in Capricorn. Saturn entered Capricorn on December 19, 2017, and will not depart until December 17, 2020. Things were always going to be challenging with the great malefic in his wintery home sign, moving into a conjunction with the God of Death, but just to make sure we didn’t miss the message, this year we began an eclipse cycle along the Capricorn-Cancer axis. The tension is between opening to love in our hearts and allowing the crumbling structures that no longer serve us to go. The good news is that love wins, but not without feeling the pain of expanding past the scar tissue.

Venus enters Cancer on July 3, to help us grow whatever intentions we set the night before. She’ll be in the lunar sign of the Great Mother until July 27, and will help us to parse out the blocks the Capricorn pressure is bringing into focus. Deep healing is one of Cancer’s magical qualities. Bring your wounds to the ocean and you’ll emerge stinging but with cuts cleansed, the cure absorbed into your cells through osmosis, and a little more buoyant from the salt. In coming to know the meaning of the trouble in our hearts we’re going to be liberated from it.

It is not a coincidence that Saturn conjoins Ketu on July 4, the anniversary of the founding of the nation state we call America. The planetary signature is about reckoning with the past, and we are in a crucial moment of horror with history repeating itself. The separation of families at the US-Mexico border and the detainment of children in conditions of torture where they are being emotionally, mentally, physically, and sexually abused all echoes of past atrocities. To illustrate this point, some of the detention centers have been re-purposed many times over, such as Fort Sill in Oklahoma where Apache people, including women, children, and freedom fighter Geronimo, were imprisoned in 1860s-70s during the American Indian Wars. It was later used as a Japanese internment camp during World War II, and adults who were imprisoned there as children have been leading protests. Every solar return is a renewal. The USA is a Cancer Sun, Sagittarius rising, and Aquarius Moon. It is interesting to note that Venus was also in Cancer at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The eclipse cycle in Cancer and Capricorn is an increase on the side of family and love, what we are growing towards, and a decrease on the side of patriarchal authority, what we’re moving away from. That will look different for everyone inter-personally, but on a collective level, we’re being called into a privileging of human rights, the rights of all people to live in safety and dignity, above the laws of a nation. This land was seized through violent means and those in power still seek to maintain our boundaries this way. The moral crisis we’re facing on the birthday of the USA is asking us to actively determine what kind of nation we will be. This astrology is nothing less than a question about the heart of the people who reside in this country. (Note: I am donating a portion of all appointments booked this week to Puente Human Rights Movement in Phoenix, AZ, and Mijente national network to support their important work protecting the rights of immigrants).

Things get a bit more complicated on July 7 when Mercury stations retrograde at 4 degrees Leo conjunct Mars and in a square to Uranus. Mercury and Mars together in a fire sign means that our mind and speech are already going to be a little hot under the collar, but add in the extra confusion and frustration of a retrograde and the unpredictability of Uranus, and we’re going to need to practice patience for the next three weeks. Mercury will be retrograde until July 31, and this cycle will straddle the first two signs of Summer because they move back into Cancer on July 19, adding extra emphasis to the already intense eclipse season. Mercury entered their retrograde shadow, 23 Cancer, around the Summer Solstice on June 21, and on July 21, they will co-join with the Sun at 28 Cancer, beginning a new cycle. Many of the topics and themes we grappled with during mid-late June will be present once again. Retrogrades invite the subconscious to speak; more will be revealed on an awareness level. Nothing is more vast and unknowable than the ocean so don’t be surprised if the old or unfathomable washes up on your shores.  

This is the year for Mercury retrogrades in water signs, letting us know that growth around emotional truth and intelligence have a special importance in 2019. The next one will be in Scorpio on Halloween (insert terror emoji here). Summer is often a time for home repair and major projects, but as always, try to avoid making big purchases (especially appliances) or signing contracts during the retrograde. If you travel, expect a reasonable amount of “hilarious” snafus–maybe buy that insurance they’re always trying to push, though I never do. Mercury will not clear their retrograde shadow until August 15, so we can expect to be fully done with the mayhem by the time Virgo season begins.   

The week of July 8 will test us as the Sun moves into an opposition with Saturn, Pluto, and Ketu in Capricorn. You may encounter restrictions or limitations that feel unfair. Conflicts in relationships could lead to a sense of isolation or being misunderstood. Saturn’s signature move is to cause us to blame others for our problems. Projection is not just possible but probable, but with Pluto in the mix, dynamics that you previously ignored or hid from are being revealed to you. Whatever crap other people are pulling, and pull they will, it’s our reactions to them that matter. Pluto is showing where you give your power away, and Saturn illuminates what you lose when you stay stuck in these grooves. Saturn and Pluto will not conjoin completely until January 12, 2020, but all of 2019 can be seen as a lead up to that moment. They’re dancing so close all year. All of this emptying out is preparation for a new 200 year air cycle that will begin when Saturn and Jupiter meet on the Winter Solstice December 21, 2020. Until then we are undergoing a deep release that is a painful but necessary preparation.  

This challenging and purgative energy is building up to the Capricorn Full Moon partial lunar eclipse on July 16. Eclipses are portals. They create energetic containers that hold the space for 6 months. The stage for this moment was set at the new year. The Sun conjunct Saturn in Capricorn on January 2, indicating 2019 was about hard work, discipline, and confronting messiness. Saturn doesn’t like sloppy and we all have some places we could tidy up. This eclipse cycle was kicked off at the Capricorn New Moon partial solar eclipse on January 5. If you’re familiar with your chart, you know what area of your life is getting werked. Half a year later, you get to stand in this place of fullness and consider where you are now. What change were you called into making? Have you fulfilled the intentions you set? Congratulate yourself for all you’ve accomplished, and think about where you can let go. Saturn isn’t great at encouraging gentleness, but with the Moon in Capricorn, we know that’s what we need.   

Venus will be opposing the Capricorn crew from July 17-21, making this a tender and trying time. At the end of Cancer season we return to the wisdom of the Moon: how do we nurture, comfort, and care for ourselves; what makes us feel secure, how do we navigate safety in a chaotic world; what are our family values; how do we protect the sacred? The universe is relentlessly driving home these lessons because they are of utmost importance for our spiritual development. Do not fear if this month brings feelings of depression, rather, let the weight of whatever is moving through you be an invitation to listen closely to your emotional landscape. It has a lot to tell us right now.

The pressure begins to ease when the Sun enters Leo on July 22. The Sun is at home in Leo. This is where Apollo reigns supreme in full power and strength. Let yourself shine because things are going to improve for the rest of the Summer. Mercury conjoins with Venus on July 24, in a sweet meeting, and Mars will trine Jupiter on July 25, giving us a boost in self-confidence and drive. On July 27, Venus will enter Leo, and we’ll feel a renewed passion and excitement for romance and creativity. 

The second New Moon of the month happens at the very end, on July 31, at 8 degrees Leo, present with Venus and Mars, in a grand fire trine with Jupiter in Sagittarius and Chiron in Aries, and square Uranus in Taurus. Mercury will also station direct on that day. After all the difficulty of the month, this is an exciting new beginning that you won’t be able miss. You’ve survived the worst astrology of the year so give yourself a hand. After all you’ve been through you’ll have a clearer sense of who you are and what you want. Now is the time to go for it. The Summer has two distinct flavors, and the second is much more pleasurable so save the best for last. Let the fun and play begin!

We the People: Shepard Fairey