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Lynn's Skywatch:
Planetary Illuminations for August 2012

8/1 Full Moon 11:27 pm, 10 Aquarius
8/2 Sun sextile Jupiter
8/3 Venus enters Cancer
8/8 Mercury direct
      Sun sextile Ceres
8/9 Venus trine Neptune
8/15 Venus opposite Pluto
      Mars conjunct Saturn
8/16 Venus trine Chiron
      Venus square Uranus
8/17 New Moon 11:54 am, 25 Leo
8/18 Mercury trine Uranus
8/20 Sun sextile Mars
8/22 Mercury sextile Jupiter
8/24 Sun opposite Neptun e
8/26 Mars trine Neptune
8/28 Mercury sextile Ceres
8/29 Sun trine Pluto
      Mercury sextile Saturn
8/30 Sun opposite Chiron

All dates and times are for the Eastern time zone; please adjust for your own locality.  For daily planetary news, visit my Facebook and Twitter pages.

OVERALL ASTROLOGICAL INFLUENCES

August begins with a powerful Full Moon in Aquarius. For more details about the Full Moon please see this article posted at Astrological Musings. The emphasis of this Full Moon in fire and air sets the tone for the month as there is very little water to cool us down or earth to ground us.

Mercury is retrograde in Leo until August 8th and Uranus has just turned retrograde in Aries and is still moving extremely slowly which intensifies its influence. You can read more about this combination in this blog article, but the combination of Mercury and Uranus retrograde in fire signs suggests a powerful emphasis on mental activity and potential chaos of the mind. The lack of water and earth exacerbates this and means we need to take greater care than usual to ensure that we find internal stabilization and nurturing that are missing with a shortage of water and earth in the planetary alignments.

Mercury retrograde periods are always good for things like renewing commitments, retracing our steps, renovating our house or redoing our websites. With the addition of a strong Uranian influence, the revisions and remodeling need to take on an innovative quality so that the change brings in an element that is completely different from our previous experience. It’s helpful to avoid making commitments or signing contracts during retrograde Mercury periods but it’s not always possible. Expecting and being prepared for glitches will also help!

By August 8th when Mercury turns direct Venus will have moved into the watery emotional sign of Cancer. Until then the energy is dry and electrical so we will need to take care to provide experiences that ground us and cool our energy field.

Uranus is still within a degree of the square to Pluto, so that revolutionary intensity is still very much at work. Both planets are virtually stationary: Uranus will move only a degree during the month and Pluto only about 27 minutes of arc, so their pressure to create transformation through destruction of the status quo (Pluto in Capricorn) and energizing the new (Uranus in Aries) is still quite strong.

Otherwise though, there are no outer planet alignments to create stress so we WILL see a slight lessening of the intensity that has marked the earlier part of the summer.

AUGUST DETAILS

The Full Moon occurs at 11:27 pm on August 1 st EDT at 10 degrees Aquarius, and it aspects Uranus which is the modern ruler of Aquarius, heightening the Aquarian electrical intensity and spark for change and innovation. Despite the supercharged atmosphere, the planetary alignments for the first two weeks of August are harmonious and relatively free from conflict. (However, if your personal chart is being affected by an outer planet transit or you have something challenging in your progressions you may still be experiencing some difficulty.)

The Sun and the Moon harmonize with Jupiter during the first few days of the month which offers an expansiveness and a burst of confidence that can help us to achieve great things. During the Mercury retrograde period the mind is busy with lots of ideas to revise our lives in positive ways, and Jupiter helps to put these ideas into action.

The planets are very quiet after the 2nd until the 8 th when Mercury turns direct. After Venus enters Cancer on the 3rd we begin to have a greater sense of connection to those around us and are more in touch with our own emotions . The Sun forms a harmonious sextile to Ceres on the 8 th, drawing our attention to areas of our lives that need nurturing and care.

Venus (love, attraction and connection) trines Neptune (divine love – the higher octave of Venus) on the 9 th - a beautiful aspect for creativity and spiritual experience. It opens the heart and connecting us to a divine source of inspiration and love and facilitates all kinds of relationships that come from the heart. Even in the business world this aspect can help to encourage partnership and compassion. This is especially helpful because about a week later on the 15 th and 16 th Venus opposes Pluto (intensity and drama) which can bring out the darkness in our relationships and encourage latent power conflicts and squares Uranus (autonomy and rebellion) which can create instability and chaos. Fortunately Venus also interacts in a harmonious trine to Chiron which helps to heal any dysfunction that arises as a result of the more challenging planetary interactions.

At the same time Mars (aggression and drive) conjoins Saturn (discipline and achievement) on the 15 th so the output of energy (Mars) is more easily controllable and channeled into something constructive (Saturn).

The conjunction of Mars to Saturn and that controlled and channeled energy is embedded in the chart of the Leo New Moon on August 17 th. The New Moon (formed by the alignment of the Sun and Moon in Leo) harmonizes with the Mars/Saturn conjunction which offers stability and a way to challenge the increased fire that the Leo New Moon brings.

Fire is the energy that motivates and inspires us, and in Leo there is an overwhelming need to express the best and brightest aspects of ourselves. Every one of us is special and unique, and under the Leo influence we learn how to expose ourselves in a way that will develop an ego that is strong and healthy without going over the edge to egotism and a desperation for attention. The New Moon is the beginning of the lunar cycle and offers an opportunity to find a new way to strip another layer of illusion from the way we perceive ourselves and present ourselves to others.

The Venus T-square described above suggests that finding balance in our relationships will be an important part of this process, and a trine from Mercury to Uranus the day after the New Moon opens the mind to new ideas and exciting insights that enhances our inner world.

The Sun forms a harmonious sextile to Mars on the 20th which helps us to take positive and effective action, and a harmonious sextile from Mercury to Jupiter on the 22nd literally expands the mind. Suddenly we have a new awareness and a greater embrace of possibilities.

On the 24th when the Sun opposes Neptune there may be some confusion, a misty uncertainty that permeates our experiences. Solar transits last only a day or so but this could create some issues if a clear head and reasonable mind are required. Meditation or a walk in the woods will help us to find balance on this day.

Mars harmonizes with Neptune on the 26th, helping to soften the hard edges of our aggression and find compassion where it is needed. On the 28th Mercury sextiles Ceres and we find ourselves thinking more about food and its ability to sustain us, and a harmonious sextile to Saturn helps to focus our thinking and increase our concentration. This is a lovely combination that gives us an increased sense of balance and a sense of being fully embodied in life on Planet Earth.

A nice trine from the Sun to Pluto on the 29th helps to give us a sense of empowerment and depth, and offsets an opposition from the Sun to Chiron on the 30th that illuminates the wounds that lie deep in the heart and generally shy from the light of day. This is a powerful, though short-lived combination that can help us to break through blocks of our own making that we form for our protection but which don’t really serve us in the long run.

This is a month of rest and recovery and an opportunity to rebuild new paradigms.