The August New Moon & the Coming Mercury Retrograde

Posted on August 15, 2010
Posted by Jim Sher

In this week’s article, I’d like to focus on the present Sun/Moon cycle and what it might mean for us. Then, I’ll write a bit on the Mercury retrograde that begins on Friday, August 20, 2010. Each month there is a New Moon. It can be divided into either four or eight sub-sections. To keep it simple and understandable, let’s just look at the meaning of the four sub-sections.

This month’s New Moon began on Monday, August 9, 2010 and occurred at 17° of Leo. The New Moon in astrology marks the beginning of a new cycle and can be thought of as the arising of a new ‘seed,’  which will grow as the month develops. It is often called the Dark Moon, not only because we cannot see the Moon since it is too close to the Sun to be seen, but also symbolically because the ‘seed’ that is planted at this time is not yet visible or known. Often, we see articles suggesting that this is a good time for us to make a wish or create an image of what we want at this point in our life. While I do not disagree with this sentiment, it is often best for the wish to be a ‘soft’ one, one that has a built-in openness, so that it can grow and adjust to the proper context and demands of one’s life. I suggest that we encourage openness to new ideas, thoughts and actions, but also give ourselves space to allow for the emerging ideas to grow and CLARIFY. It isn’t time yet to act on anything, unless that action is necessary from the previous month’s activity.

The next phase is called the First-Quarter Moon. In the present cycle, it occurs on Monday, August 16, 2010 at 11:14am PDT. Dane Rudhyar referred to this as a ‘crisis of action.’ This is when we now have enough information about the newly planted ‘seed’ to be not only able to act, but it is where we need to act in order to allow for things to continue developing. It is helpful to understand that the process of growth I am speaking of is ORGANIC in nature. By this I mean that things develop naturally. When we are sensitive to the timing of things, we know what to do and when to do it and as a result, things will work out most of the time.

The Full Moon occurs on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 10:05am PDT at 1° of Pisces. This phase marks a time of fulfillment or culmination of what has been developing the last two weeks and is when we know clearly what the new ‘seed’ is about and where things are likely to moving towards this month. It is like planting an unknown seed we found somewhere so that we don’t know what it is. At the Full Moon we will see and know it for what it is as it is revealed at this time. The Full Moon reaps what is sown at the New Moon. It also is the beginning of the waning phase where the energy of the month begins to decrease, until the cycle ends at the next New Moon where the cycle starts again.

The final phase occurs on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 and is called the third quarter (or last quarter) phase. It represents what Rudhyar has called the ‘crisis of consciousness,’ which is a time to look and examine all that has developed so far. We can feel that the energy of the cycle is running out and we have little enthusiasm for starting something completely new, though we are beginning to consider what changes may be needed and what direction the coming new cycle will ask us to to move towards.

Cycles and Sub-Cycles

One way to describe astrology is that it is the study of cycles. One of the fastest and most frequent cycle is the one being described in this article, the monthly Sun/Moon cycle. But there are many other cycles, lasting for much longer periods of time. For example, there is a Saturn cycle that goes through the same general themes that I’ve described here, but the cycle is 29-30 years in length (rather than 29-30 days as is the Sun/Moon cycle) and instead of going through its phases every 7 days or so, it goes through its phases every 7 years.

This tells us that it helps us to think in terms of levels where the faster moving cycles are actually triggering the ‘Intention’ of the much longer and slower moving cycles of which it is only a part. So, each New Moon isn not just ‘coming out of nowhere.’ There is a definite context for it which can only be understood if you are aware of the longer cycles each of which is simultaneously unfolding for you. This is really what an astrologer is doing when they look at your transits. Transits actually do not come and go as randomly as some people think. They bring about developments and changes for us from existing cycles allowing us to move forward accordingly. We do, however, have to meet the ‘tests’ given to us if we are to fulfill the highest aims and potentials inherit in our chart.

How we are affected particularly by a Sun/Moon cycle is, of course, dependent on where the New Moon is occurring in your own natal chart. But one thing we can pay special attention to is the first New Moon in ones own personal 1st house. It is this New Moon that sets the stage for all of the subsequent Moon cycles that will occur for you on that year. Thus, again we see that each new Moon is a part of a broader cycle of emerging developments.

The Next Mercury Retrograde

In the midst of the present Moon cycle we also see that Mercury goes retrograde as it does approximately every 4 months. It begins on Friday, August 20, 2010 at 12:59pm PDT and is located at 19° of Virgo. It will retrograde back to 5° of Virgo, so if you have planets or your Ascendant or Mid-Heaven in this territory, this Mercury retrograde is likely to affect you more at this time.

As I always do, I want to remind you that during Mercury retrograde periods newspapers do get delivered, banks still work, and life does go on. Yes, problems occur more frequently at this time, especially in the area of communication, transportation, and scheduling, but if we pay close attention, the problems can be minimized. There is something much more important about these periods that suggests what the real value of this astronomical phenomenon is.

It is best to think of it as a time of necessary review and examination. When Mercury is moving forward, and it can move much faster than the Sun, we may unwittingly find ourselves rushing, going too fast and as a result, we miss taking care of important things that will come up later as problems that we MUST solve. For example, it is true that cars can break down at this time or computer problems can develop. But it isn’t really ’caused’ by Mercury retrograde. No, it is caused by the needed maintenance that was not performed earlier. So, the things we have neglected can suddenly appear during this period and we are forced to take care of them. It is just the way of things here on planet Earth.

But if we are so focused on the inconveniences that can happen at this time, we could miss the value, which is to take time to contemplate, take stock and discover what one must give more attention and thought to so that when the period is over, we can begin to move forward more productively.

As always, I want to encourage the readers to express how they are being affected by the present transits. Stories can give life to astrology, more than just raw data, so I hope to hear from many of you.

All the best!

Jim Sher

Astrology Mercury Retrograde Sun-Moon cycle
Jim Sher

Jim brings over 35 years of experience as a therapist and transformational counselor to his practice of astrology, metaphysics, meditation and philosophy. He operates as a teacher and counselor and specializes in the use of discourse as a part of his teaching approach.

Previous Post Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 responses to “The August New Moon & the Coming Mercury Retrograde”

  1.' Mirtha says:

    It is good to put our senses and our individual conscience to work during this period.
    Astrology is bringing a new perspective and a kind of awakening in my life.
    Mercury retrograde is giving me an opportunity and I’m grateful for that. I’m changing my diet, I’m starting to deep breath and start again!
    Thank you Jim

  2.' Suzanne says:

    The moment I wrote about backing up my computer, I turned on my external drive and it wouldn’t connect. So, this is the other thing about Mercury Retrograde: you need to have a sense of humor.

  3.' Suzanne says:

    As a Gemini Sun, Gemini Ascendant and Virgo Moon person, I never fear Mercury Retrograde. I find that it’s just a matter of switching from left to right brain functioning. And I back up my computer often.

  4.' Donna says:

    LOL..Jim, The lunar eclipse was in my first house, on Uranus!!! Another interesting addition to my action packed year! This month’s new moon on natal mars in the third…then the new moon, Libra at 14 degrees on sun/neptune for my birthday! Going to be a great transformative year!’
    Thanks for the insight!

  5.' vermarian says:

    thank you Jim.

    not only for that explanation but for your articles you share

    i got it

    there are two hahah
    big first house
    the first new moon was on the cusp one degree in the house


  6. Jim Sher says:

    To Vermarian:

    I am referring to when you had the first New Moon in this year that was in your first house. You will need to know what you Ascendant is.

  7.' vermarian says:

    Wonderful all those cycles

    As the second saturn return is beginning
    and Saturn the “king” of my ascendant

    In my dreams the kings shows up
    puts his guardians aound me
    so that i can walk my talk …

    So interesting with Mars/Saturn today I was to get a tooth extracted

    Did I understand it right (sorry i am not a native speaker)
    I have to look for the new moon after birth (nov 12- 1951) in the 1. house
    so this is 26/27 january 1952
    this is the seed ?
    as i was born a few hours before full moon

    My communication skills already seem to be on vacation – LOL

    just looking for all those revealing explosions
    after these contractions now


  8. Very helpful insights with this excellent overview of these cycles. Thanks, Jim!

  9.' Debra says:

    Life is cyclical as you have pointed out. I was born in a New Moon, phase…the moon was very dark..I was born in a time (Nov 17,1952) where an unmarried mother was forced to relinquish her baby…I was one of those babies. Interesing…I also noticed with my ascendant being in Virgo….wonder how this mercury retrograde is going to affect my life?
    A number of things have been going on….contemplation wise….a major spiritual teacher and mentor is leaving for Nepal in early September….it has been an emotional time for me…I have it worked out but it took a few months….I’ve also connected with a hermitage..for bhukkini’s and have been corresponded with an exceptional teacher who I feel will be a mentoring force in my life in the next phase….
    In the background of all of this, fiances loom large…as well as some family issues….
    All the best,



Social Links


Signup to receive our newsletter and receive article updates and announcements.

Make Payment


Regular Features

Interview with Ron Archer

Blog Categories

Tag Cloud