**Times where noted are Pacific Daylight Time; degrees where noted are rounded to the nearest whole degree.
A new solar cycle begins on August 22nd with the Sun’s entry into quiet, discerning Virgo. Here in the space of service, the Sun’s archetypal qualities of creativity and leadership find a highly refined eye for detail. This will be very useful this week as the planetary energies at play could well have us powering through fog. We’ll need that eagle eye to interpret the blur of images racing past us as we wind up for the next Uranus/Pluto confrontation in just a few weeks. While the luxury of slowing down may not be available for many, the strong Virgo energy will help us make quick decisions on where to focus our attention and what to pass by. Supportive Virgo will lead us in the direction of improvement through shrewd analysis and an uber-editor’s facility for micro-weeding out the minutest unessential elements with great effect. Coming off a sextile to Mars in late Libra, the Sun still has access to unfettered movement towards clear goals and a sextile between Mercury in Leo and Jupiter in Gemini will sharpen the mind and enhance our ability to attract resources with flair.
Mars moves into his home sign of Scorpio on August 23rd giving us yet another significant shift in perspective. Mars’ muscle is amped up here and takes on a warrior’s glow. Conquerors in public arenas and the bedroom alike, Mars in Scorpio makes allies and foes with equal ease. During this time, it would be wise to be cognizant of the primal power available to us now and the effect it can have on others. Perhaps tuning into the Sun in Virgo will give us the discernment needed to know when to put that engine in high gear and when to down shift.
The Sun enters the deepest part of the fog zone when he opposes Neptune in Pisces on August 24th at 2 degrees Virgo/Pisces. This is when we will really need to stay grounded in Virgo’s practical, earthy field to avoid being vulnerable to the sway of those who would influence us for their own gain. If we can manage to stay true to ourselves then the higher expression of this acutely sensitive aspect can help us align with the at-one-ness of creation. Complicating feelings however, the Moon in Sagittarius squares both the Sun and Neptune making it possible that we’ll find the presidential campaign, for example, more more focused on ideology rather than problem solving.
On August 25th Mars in Scorpio slips into a trine with Neptune in Pisces at 2 degrees Scorpio/Pisces for a subtle, intuitive approach to getting what we want. Encounters between warrior Mars and boundary blending Neptune can have an “I’ll follow you anywhere” sexy dreamy nature. With this easy-going trine in sensitive water signs, we could be completely charmed and disarmed, or on the other side, we’ll have the potential talent for hidden persuasion.
Ramping up for the Full Moon in a couple of days, the Sun gathers strength with a trine to Pluto at 7 degrees Virgo/Capricorn on August 29th. This commanding signature in down-to-earth signs might ordinarily overlook details but that could be mitigated with the Sun expressing through Virgo. We have the opportunity to maximize the potential of these archetypal energies by dealing with important issues and powerful people. Keep this in mind when the Sun has an awkward inconjunct to Uranus on August 30th. We may be uneasy with our own uniqueness but like the ninja meeting her match, we can take the force of that Plutonic energy and apply it with focused precision (again helpful Virgo!) to not only achieve our goals but to see the positive part our individual contributions have to make on the world around us.
With the culmination of the Full Moon at 9 degrees Pisces opposite the Sun at 9 degrees Virgo on the morning of August 31st we should now be ready to embrace the extremes facing us between our needs and our heart’s purpose, between our individual creative force and the duties imposed on us by family and society. In the Virgo/Pisces axis this polarity could take a sacrificial stance, but if we learn to ride the seesaw in a state of constant cooperation with each side then the ride can be fun and energizing. It’s an opportunity we should not resist by favoring a limited view from only one perspective. Moon in Pisces is deeply in touch with soul, exquisitely sensitive and therefore vulnerable to the cold, cruel world. Sun in Virgo offers the discipline through methodical practices that strengthen the spiritual force within and the discernment to be able to field the world’s attacks with grace and compassion. Isn’t it after all the deep wound of separation that provokes the brutality of one to another?
As the sun sets on August 31st, Mercury enters Virgo for the third archetypal energy shift of this period. He then commences a series of alignments over the next few days that charge the atmosphere with an expectancy for metamorphosis. In Virgo, which it rules, Mercury is at home analyzing, mulling over all the angles to see how everything is put together and, naturally, if it can be done better. When he opposes Neptune on September 1st he will peer behind the curtain of logic for a deeper understanding of the psyche. With a trine to Pluto on September 4th he may help us gain profound insights into the very mechanics of life.
In between Mercury’s dance with the distant planets that takes us into the outer reaches of thought, Venus in Cancer and Saturn in Libra turn the talk to love and money when they enter into a square with each other on September 3rd. Tests of true love or assessments of financial security may manifest during this time and the serious tone of this transit may wake us up to our responsibilities – to Self and Other. This is when it is really important to be completely honest with ourselves – and ask for help if we need it. It is possible we could pass the test of genuine self-sufficiency, but more likely we could find ourselves feeling isolated if we don’t reach out. Saturn’s job is not to punish but to incite us in the face of lack or limitation to make that extra effort needed to achieve the level of mastery in relationship building. Venus adds the love.