August: Finding Calm in the Storm

Venus had just moved into Cancer, Mars was combust the Sun in Leo, and Mercury was forming an opposition to Neptune. Moon in Scorpio was trine Chiron. Jupiter was square Pluto. Yes, that was the onset of August, a month we knew would bring two powerful eclipses, a critical Mercury retrograde, and two major planets stationing direct. Does that sound like a lot of action? It is.

Uranus stationed retrograde on August 2 at 10:31 PM PDT, at 28 degrees 32 minutes Aries, and will remain so until January 2, 2018. It is usual for Uranus to be retrograde for nearly half the year. We usually don't put a lot of emphasis on the outer planets' retrograde periods for just that reason. However, this year, it is important to note that the stationing degree is the same numerical degree as that of the Solar Eclipse of August 21, which occurs in Leo. It calls more attention to that degree. Any planets you may have at that degree or close to it will be more activated. Naturally, those planets in conjunction, square, opposition, trine, sextile, etc of Leo or Aries, will be most affected.

What does that mean for us? Possible upheaval or disruption regarding issues related to Leo and Aries. Thus, upheaval in "royal" families, romantic relationships or creative projects, sudden changes regarding children, threats of violence and war, and various types of risky behavior are all more probable.

Each day from August 4 through Mercury's station on the 12th, the opposition between Mercury and Neptune got stronger. This means the likelihood of interesting dreams, spiritual insights or experiences, also got stronger. However, there was a shadow side to be dealt with as well. Manifestations of this could be mental confusion, overwhelm, or the tendency to be particularly self-critical, a desire to escape, self-medicate, or live in "way too busy" mode.

The experience of the Full Moon in Aquarius, and a lunar eclipse, came at 11:10 AM PDT on August 7. Jupiter was trine the Moon. Mercury was opposed to Neptune. And the Moon was at the exact midpoint of Pluto and Neptune. Mars in Leo was still combust the Sun, thus opposed to the Full Moon, so despite Mars really wanting to go its own way, there was still an obligation to do the Sun's will. This all tells me that there was a lot of confusion, but also opportunity, at this Aquarian/Uranian Full Moon. For some there was wariness about wandering too off the beaten path, for fear of being lost or alone. There may have been feelings of needing some kind of acknowledgement or support from loved ones for emotional security, not that usual during an Aquarius Moon, but very real this time.

The opportunity was to just feel the confusion, and use it as an opening to a change of attitude. Instead of seeing the state of the world, whether it be our personal one, or the global one, as being in unprecedented crisis, and doomed to hatefulness and violence, we could have made the shift to seeing this as a time of true awakening. I wish to quote here a person whose wisdom I often turn to in times of confusion and/or questioning, Brother David Steindl-Rast:

"Let us face it: the supreme danger is violence—regardless who commits it, terrorists or legitimate governments. No rhetoric, no posturing can any longer obscure the fact that violence breeds violence. We must break that cycle of madness...Violence has roots in every heart. It is within my own heart that I must recognize fear, agitation, coldness, alienation, blind anger and the impulse to retaliation. Here in my heart I can turn fear into courageous trust, agitation into stillness, confusion into clarity, isolation into a sense of belonging, alienation into love, and irrational reaction into Common Sense."

And how do we possibly do this, you might ask? According to Brother David, we use the spirit of gratefulness. The circumstances we are in are what we've been "given." Whatever is given is a gift, and the appropriate response to any gift is gratitude. The gift in this crisis? It was the opportunity to wake up! Full Moons are the halfway point in a Moon cycle, the pinnacle. They are a time to ask ourselves what have we accomplished? We can celebrate those accomplishments, but also ask ourselves to what more do I need to awaken in order to further my vision? That will continue to be an appropriate question throughout the month.

When seen from the most positive perspective, the balancing of the opposing energies of Leo and Aquarius on this past Full lMoon and eclipse, plus the addition of Jupiter, resulted in creative ideas for taking more responsibility for ourselves and the world without getting lost in ego, pride, or drama. And being grateful for that opportunity! A lot can be accomplished at a time of such powerful energy.

On August 12, Mercury stationed retrograde at 6:01 PM PDT at 11 degrees 38 minutes Virgo. Because Mercury rules Virgo, this will be an important retrograde period. You may have been feeling this coming on if you have important aspects or planets in Virgo. Mercury in Virgo, when stressed, tends to overwhelm us with data, facts, details and the struggle for perfection. Don't be surprised if you felt your mind was saturated. That's exactly what this retrograde period is for, to release some of these mental "overthinking" patterns.

The chart for the moment of the station was a wild dance of aspects! The Moon was in Aries, forming a Fire Grand Trine with the Sun and Saturn, plus a Cardinal Grand Cross with Venus, Jupiter and Pluto. In addition, Venus was trine Neptune and sextile Mercury. Mars was conjunct the Sun and trine the Moon. It was not only wild, it was crazy busy! In some ways, it was the perfect moment for Mercury to station retrograde, a moment to say "Stop!" It's time to slow down, turn down, turn inward. Even if it seemed an impossible feat at that moment, it is the task of the Mercury retrograde period. Three weeks of actual retrograde, and then two more weeks of shadow while it gets back to the 11 degrees of Virgo where it started. It is a time for saying "whoa." I needn't continue at this speed, or at this level of complication. Slow down, calm down, take the time to simplify and prioritize. This is your life. Be sure the path you are following is the right one for you.

We had a horrific display of our nation's shadow revealed to us in Charlottesvill, VA as Mercury stood still. It was difficult to take in, but nevertheless, it was clear as clear can be. We have a deep shadow of violence in our nation. And as long as we remain in colonial mind-set, or in denial that the mind-set exists, where the colonial power can exert unspeakable horror on those we believe we have power and privilege over, i.e., indigenous people, slaves, people different form us via religion, skin color, gender, or country of origin, we will continue to manifest that violence.

From August 16-20, leading up to the solar eclipse, Venus in Cancer forms a Cardinal Cross with Jupiter in Libra, Eris in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn. These would be good days for some self-care, and encouragement for taking steps toward your own empowerment. Relationship issues could bring about a bit of strife, an issue with finances or some other slant on emotional security could rock you, but put your own best interests in the forefront. It's not a time to be aggressive, it's a time for standing your ground, asking advice from a trusted mentor, and being your own best friend.

We need to be as open as we can be to having a huge gift come our way at this solar eclipse. Even though there are solar eclipses on a regular basis, the phenomenon we are about to experience is quite rare. For it to be visible across our entire country, for the eclipse degree to sit where it does in our current President's chart, for it to be in exact trine to transiting Uranus, and then, to have Mercury station direct on the eclipse degree, is quite amazing. It may not feel like a "gift" in the sense of a sweet birthday present, but it's uniqueness, and what it may aspect in our individual charts, how life on earth could change in the months and years, is definitely something to which we must not close ourselves. We must accept what happens and make the most of it. Quite often the occasion of an eclipse is a time for bringing information to consciousness that can shake things up, but is needed in order to move in the direction of healing and a better future.

The New Moon at 28 degrees 53 minutes Leo, and the total solar eclipse, arrives at 11:30 AM PDT, on August 21. As you have probably heard, it starts while crossing the Pacific Ocean, then touches land in Oregon at 9:06 AM PDT, and begins its journey across North America, ending in South Carolina at 4:06 PM EDT. If you are in a location to watch, don't forget to wear the proper glasses. And if you aren't able to get the glasses or be in a location to watch the total eclipse, NASA will be live-casting it on their website, plus there are apps you can download to watch on phone or ipad. Because the total eclipse can only be viewed along a particular path, most of the country will be seeing a partial eclipse. If you want to know what part of the ecliipse will be visible from where you live, go to: http://time.com/4882923/total-solar-eclipse-map-places-view/ and put in your location. That website can also show you the exact time of the eclipse for your site. Remember that the 11:30 AM PDT time is that of the New Moon, not the eclipse itself.

To get through this sequence of events in a healthy way during August takes some determination, but given the strength of Saturn this month, we can do it. It will take intention to give ourselves quiet, personal time and space, to open to our inner life, and to be a willing receiver. "Incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being." Eckhart Tolle

The day following the solar eclipse, the Sun moves into Virgo at 3:21 PM PDT. At that time, the Moon and Mercury, both in Virgo, are opposing Neptune. We hope that most people will find insight and spiritual truth with the Neptune influence, rather than illusion, delusion, or denial.

An important event occurs at 5:09 AM PDT on August 25. Saturn, after being retrograde since April 6, stations direct at 21 degrees 11 minutes Sagittarius. Particularly if Saturn has been aspecting one of your planets by transit these last few months, the station itself may feel mildly shocking, but as soon as the planet actually starts moving direct, you will likely realize a shift. EIther you completed the task of re-integrating your inner authority, and re-aligning your goals with your true path—or not. Saturn is about structure and its maintenance, both inner and outer. It is about taking responsibility, but only for those tasks which are truly yours.

The final week of August has the Sun conjunct retrograde Mercury and opposing Neptune. Venus will move into Leo. There's a fire grand trine between Mars, Saturn on its station to direct motion, and Eris. Jupiter is in opposition to the Eris/Uranus conjunction. Many of these aspects appear rather benign, and it is very likely there will be a slow-down of wild chaotic energies. Nevertheless, activity does not stop. The grand trine is of the fire element, denoting spirit and enthusiasm. Mars will be finally on its own, Saturn will be direct, and Eris urges us to continue the transformation that has begun. Retrograde Mercury will continue to encourage the finding of clarity in the world's madness by focusing within. In order to heal what is upset where you are, seek the medicine in its polarity.


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