Astrological update for the week of August 21-18, 2023

There’s a lot to unpack this week! Grab a coffee or cup of tea and let’s get cracking.

Sun enters Virgo August 23. The Sun’s entry into Virgo technically marks the beginning of Virgo season, but with Mercury and Mars already in Virgo the focus on order and the world of the mundane is already well underway. The shift from Leo to Virgo will help to soothe some of the fiery energies that have been flying around lately – the only planet left in fire will be Venus in Leo. Since Venus is retrograde, though, some of that fire will be muted as Venus looks back to the past in order to revise and recreate our values and passions. In Virgo season (in the northern hemisphere) the days may begin to cool somewhat, symbolizing the passage from the heat of Leo to the cool deliberation of Virgo.

Mercury turns retrograde August 23. Speaking of Virgo, Mercury has been in Virgo since July 28 and thanks to the retrograde cycle it will remain in Virgo until October 4. Virgo is one of the signs ruled by Mercury meaning it is at home in Virgo where our mental data processing can be done purposefully and efficiently.  Mercury is an air planet but is quite at home in Virgo, an earth sign, where our ideas have a practical application. With Mercury in Virgo the flood of ideas and chatter that we sometimes see with Mercury in Gemini can be assembled into a cohesive picture in the pursuit of perfection.

By now most people know that when Mercury is retrograde communication and information processing becomes more important. Mercury is at its closest point to Earth when retrograde, so it has a louder voice and we need to pay closer attention. Don’t listen to the fear mongers who say not to plan anything when Mercury is retrograde, especially in Virgo but it IS a good idea to be careful with the details and expect some glitches. But really, glitches happen when Mercury isn’t retrograde too!

Mars enters Libra August 27. The planet of aggression and warfare is not very comfortable in the sign of peace and harmony, and when Mars is in Libra (until October 12) things can get a little dicey. Mars is associated not only with aggression, but also the ability to set boundaries and speak our truth, and generally defend ourselves against onslaughts of various kinds. Libra offers support for none of those things – under the influence of Libra we tend to avoid conflict for the sake of calm and a sense of balance.

Conflict avoidance in the now leads to greater problems later, and we are in peak retrograde now once Mercury turns retrograde on August 23rd. Libra’s ruler Venus is also retrograde over the next few weeks, and with that combination the avoidance of tension is almost guaranteed. Luckily, Mars makes no major aspects to other planets over the next few weeks so any problems that arise are likely to be somewhat minor.

Uranus turns retrograde August 28 and Peak Retrograde. When Uranus turns retrograde there will be five planets in retrograde motion plus Chiron. This is not quite as intense as the summer of 2020 when every planet that could turn retrograde did so, but five planets retrograde is a big number. With Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Chiron all retrograde, the natural flow is reversed and there is more of a tendency to look back and learn what the past can teach us.

For weeks now, Uranus has been stationary in the sky in preparation for that retrograde turn and that laser beam of Uranian energy for change and awakening has been potent. Like Neptune and Pluto, Uranus is retrograde for half the year and offers an opportunity to break up stagnant energies that are holding us back.

Pisces Full Moon SuperMoon August 30.  At the Pisces Full Moon, the Pisces Moon is opposite the Virgo Sun, a polarity that balances the mundane details of Virgo with the mystical idealism of Pisces. Pisces can have difficulty creating the order that Virgo craves, but Virgo often misses the magic that Pisces sees everywhere. At this Full Moon, which is a SuperMoon (™Richard Nolle), the power of imagination and the beauty of rose colored glasses is very available to us in useable form. Saturn conjoins the Moon and opposes the Sun in the chart for the Full Moon, helping to ground and facilitate the organization of our dreams into practical forms which can serve us later.

Jupiter rules this Full Moon, and is challenged by a retrograde Venus (Venus also rules Taurus, the sign that Jupiter is in right now). Under these influences our desires and impulses could become rather impulsive, and perhaps outsized for the reality we face. This would not be a good time, for example, to make an impulsive investment or begin a new relationship without some serious thought, for a few days at least until the Moon leaves Pisces for Aries on September 1.

With so much going on I’m going to skip the daily forecast this week. To synthesize all of these diverse energies, my recommendation for the week is to make sure we spend some time in introspection, checking in with ourselves about where we are with our lives right now and what we need moving forward. This is a week where we can easily be carried away by planetary forces, and without some kind of plan we may find ourselves marooned on an island somewhere with no idea how we got there!

Take care and have a great week. 💖

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