The principles of expansion and contraction, specifically related to love/relationships, debt/abundance, accountability/play and how we perceive them take center stage August 3rd through 7th when the square between titans Jupiter in Leo and Saturn in Scorpio, which has been building for the past month, reaches it zenith. In a neat case of astral synchronicity, retrograde Venus and Mercury in Leo join in the crescendo as they form a triple conjunction with Jupiter just as his square to Saturn releases. Jupiter/Venus/Mercury in Leo by itself is a lovely combination filled with joie de vivre, big happy thoughts about those we love, and generally lots of laughs and good fun. Everything’s gonna be OK, no matter how bad it may look. How can anything be wrong if our hearts are bursting open to the love we see all around us? Understandable! But… there may be a few things looming large right before us we simply can’t ignore anymore: something as mundane as an imbalanced debt to income ratio that is now causing problems, the need to be accountable for a transgression, the avoidance of making a necessary commitment to someone or something, or the imperative to take our own spiritual growth to its next natural level. That could be the authority figure, Saturn, telling the three mousekateers they must put aside all that fun they’re having, their childish ways, in order to take real and complete responsibility for their lives and personal growth. That certainly is the way the traditionalists look at Saturn – as an overly serious party pooper.
The interesting thing about Saturn, however, from a higher consciousness perspective he truly is the gateway to the kingdom of transcendence. Imagine we’re in a multiplayer virtual reality game and need to master some skill before we can get to the next level. If we can look at life like this, and make the conscious choice to play it for all its worth, it can actually be fun. So level one is pretty simple – learn how to manage this earth life. That can manifest simply as being able to support ourselves at whatever level we see fit, taking responsibility for our actions, and generally lowering entropy in our relations with self and other. Saturn’s directives are pretty simple, direct, and once mastered can ironically lead to greater and greater freedom, as well as less and less fear about what may lurk around the next corner. With mastery comes true confidence, and Saturn in Scorpio’s practical magic helps us make major strides when we commit to putting in the effort. At the height of Saturn’s challenge to the Leo stellium, Mars in Cancer becomes the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, adding intuitive muscle behind the master magician’s imperative. Those who resist maturing into a fully developed human being will only lose out on the greatest of opportunities. If Jupiter, Venus and Mercury play along with Saturn’s game plan, enduring abundance, sustained joy, and deep, meaningful connections with others can be won.
As if to underscore Saturn’s message to get practical, Mercury shifts the balance of elements in that direction when he leaves Leo’s enthusiastic fire for the grounding earth of Virgo on August 7th. While pride in his perceptive abilities may diminish as he segues into the humble, service-oriented sign of the Virgin, Mercury is coming home to the sign he rules where he can apply his fine tuned analytical skill for the next three weeks to determine best next steps in managing his day to day affairs.
Mars changes up his own beat when he dances into Leo on August 8th, happily hanging up his Cancerian security blanket to take bold creative risks. Joining the Sun and Venus in Leo, Mars here for the next seven weeks could morph the Summer of Love into the Summer of Passion as he expresses himself with warmth and dramatic flair, confidently inspiring others to join him in opening their hearts to life.
Completing the triple-header shift parade in a big way, Jupiter departs Leo on August 11th after a thirteen-month creativity fest and gets down to basics in discriminating Virgo. He’ll spend the next thirteen months expanding our level of service to others while refining our philosophy of life. Virgo rules our daily routine and work life as well as our health. Jupiter here will expand our awareness of these areas and we would do well to take a good look at any opportunity to improve them that most surely will present itself. Whatever arena of life that is ruled by Virgo in our own natal charts will benefit from the klieg light Jupiter provides to spotlight our greatest assets there and give us a chance to shine.
Doing some expanding of his own in the mind field of awareness, Mercury in Virgo segues from an opposition to Neptune in Pisces to a trine to Pluto in Capricorn August 12th to 15th. The connections he makes to the outer planets pull his attention into their transcendent realms. The Virgo/Pisces polarity activated by planets that are naturally strong in the signs they rule emphasizes the broad space between the mental and spiritual states of being and the need to reconcile them as partners rather than incongruous states of being. Mercury’s trine to Pluto helps him methodically access the deep mental pathways that must be traversed in order to reach higher states of consciousness. Thus Mercury will be able to release his attachment to the thoughts that keep him in the mundane world and have a blissful experience of Neptunian oneness.
Concurrent with Mercury’s esoteric journey, a star-spangled encounter in fire signs unfolds August 13th to 19th featuring the New Moon, followed by the highly significant inferior conjunction of retrograde Venus and the Sun, all in Leo, in trine to rock-your-world Uranus in Aries. Emphasizing collaborative creativity, this new lunar cycle is charged with excitement and originality, and is practically guaranteed to provide movement in unexpected directions. The annual Leo New Moon is about getting down to the heart of any matter and to express from that loving space, which is the source of Leo’s warmth and core shining light. Without touching that source, any expression of greatness can only come from the ego mind. Leo teaches us how to reach that core where we discover our unique creative gifts, and in the process find out what makes us happy. We can use this New Moon to take Leo’s innate sense of playfulness and apply it to the game of life. As we discover and express our unique gifts we can move into higher states of conscious awareness that we are, as Jim Sher puts it, not the source of the light, but the active expression of it.
Venus’ conjunction to the Sun the day after the New Moon, marks the midpoint of her retrograde cycle and represents the point at which we may recognize what must be done in order to restore balance and beauty in our lives, how we can attract that which will bring us peace, or what we must do to honor not only the significant other in our life, but all those we interact with in order to restore equilibrium in our relationships. Venus sees the divine in other and knows that without other, we can never truly know ourselves. Joining with the Sun and Moon at this special time, she demonstrates the teamwork required to transform. It definitely takes a village, from the local to the global. The presence of Uranus in a harmonious alignment with the Leo trio signifies the celebration of uniqueness within the collective and how its presence in creative collaboration elevates the experience for all.
Speaking of teamwork and the game of life, Saturn hanging at the threshold of the Scorpio/Sagittarius gateway, has yet another potentially confrontational encounter with a planet in late Leo when he squares the Sun on August 21st. While some may view life as more of an obstacle course under this alignment, the message is to play by the rules, which in this game, first and foremost, is to act always with compassion and regard for our fellow travellers on this planet. All other rules pale in comparison. Accepting responsibility for our actions and the life we create goes hand in hand. If we do that, how can we blame anyone else for our woes? Surprisingly, acceptance is yet another liberating state of being. Imagine if we came to that state, how much energy would be freed up to really live life!
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
August 3rd – Jupiter square Saturn at 28° Leo/Scorpio at 3:37 a.m.
August 4th – Venus conjunct Jupiter at 29° Leo at 2:47 p.m.
August 5th – Venus square Saturn at 28° Leo/Scorpio at 8:08 a.m.
August 6th – Mars trine Saturn at 28° Leo/Scorpio at 1:29 a.m.
August 6th – Mercury conjunct Venus at 28° Leo at 7:25 a.m.
August 6th – Mercury square Saturn at 28° Leo/Scorpio at 1:19 p.m.
August 7th – Mercury conjunct Jupiter at 29° Leo at 12:09 a.m.
August 7th – Mercury at 0° Virgo at 12:15 p.m.
August 8th – Mars at 0° Leo at 4:33 p.m.
August 11th – Jupiter at 0° Virgo at 4:13 a.m.
August 12th – Mercury opposite Neptune at 9° Virgo/Pisces at 6:12 p.m.
August 13th – Sun trine Uranus at 20° Leo/Aries at 3:27 a.m.
August 14th – Moon conjunct Sun (New Moon) at 22° Leo at 7:53 a.m.
August 15th – Sun conjunct Venus at 23° Leo at 12:22 p.m.
August 15th – Mercury trine Pluto at 13° Virgo/Capricorn at 12:54 p.m.
August 19th – Venus trine Uranus at 20° Leo/Aries at 9:44 a.m.
August 21st – Sun square Saturn at 29° Leo/Scorpio at 4:40 p.m.