by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, July 28, 2016

August 2016: The Tale of the Month

(image)Creation of the world XII by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1906-07)
If it's two days before the end of the month and planet Mercury isn't on station, it must be time to talk next month's astrological doings here at astroPPM.

So let's get to it, shall we?

With this post going out with astrology-friendly Uranus just about to go retrograde, we look ahead at August and see it's going to begin under shifting pre-solar eclipse effects.

And that means a lot of stripping away of illusions, whatever they may be or concern in each of our lives. The Uranus station brings surprises, reversals and unusual circumstances - - all of which affects us unpredictably, making the days just prior and after the 29th (the date of Uranus' station) a time when flexibility counts and when expectations become problematic simply because they don't allow for that which is spontaneous, Uranian and unpredicted.

(Or rather they do, but rather uncomfortably.)

So as this post hits the digital airwaves, between the two everyone is a bit unsettled, whether 'unsettled' pertains to something new, exciting and worth being excited about - - or whether that surfaces in life as fits and starts of impatience, frustration, restlessness, discomfort, indecision or some sort of physical, psychological or emotional feelings which have us straining at some bit, anxious or nervous about something - - or possibly on the brink of some 'breakthrough.' 

Much Uranian energy plus increasing Virgo solar eclipse influences floating around is something of a flash point, particularly for realizations about our Self. 

Plus let's not forget - with the September 1st eclipse being in Virgo, having other planets (like Jupiter and Mercury, for instance) transiting and ‘stirring up’ Virgo vibe is likely to manifest as all sorts of things which get us where we live because they are specifically about whether we like who we're being, often in spite of demands that we simply "cope."

That's likely to be getting to us as well.

So as August is indeed starting with Mercury and Jupiter in Virgo, that would seem to indicate how many a thing, thought, errand and conversation is going on as August begins. Given how the Sun in still Leo at this point, we are all likely to be 'seeing' such things through a wee bit of glare, too, which may add to life's bliss ... or its moments of confusion. It's just a quality of having the Sun in Leo, a sign which is prone to getting us preoccupied and caught up in our own point of view and today's most beloved designs.

It's a little like having the Sun in our eyes - - or in our mind’s eye, if you prefer. And thus, where we may be making (or have already made) life bets overly seated in how we see things or how we want them to be, that perspective may be causing us to ignore, forget or totally deny important aspects of what actually is. And since eclipse effects are likely to be causing many a thing to be going through forms of revelation, reorganization, or emotional (r)evolution which in turn cause us to confront whatever standards of decency, morality, honesty, responsibility or human compassion we (or others who we may be watching or interacting with) are displaying at this time, there may be a lot of quick cycling between happy and annoyed going around in all of our lives about now.

That's just the lay of the land: we’re about to have a Virgo solar eclipse, and that means we each are likely to encounter a few metaphysical stomach aches along the way.

Other than that? Well, August isn't hosting a cavalcade of evolving configurations like those we have been seeing - -  though Saturn is still squaring the Lunar Nodes, just as Saturn has been doing since last March, challenging us to deal with our relationships to others and our desire to relate (or be related to by others) more effectively and realistically than we have, lest a lack of facts or 'factual realities' come back to bite us in the nether parts in Ye Olde Near Future, courtesy of the September 1st eclipse.

To be precise here, Saturn squaring the Nodes is going to stay with us through the early part of November. In fact, the configuration breaks on November 9th, exactly after the United States presidential election.

Not that August is any flight of boredom, as you will shortly see. 

August 1
The month starts with asteroid Achilles going direct at 2 Sagittarius, adding a reference to skill to whatever is going on, plus sometimes the vulnerabilities which go with meeting up with skills in others, efforts to master some ability for our own sake, or what clever thing we may do to get around or compensate for not having said skills … which with all of this focusing through 2 Sagittarius (a degree connected with the desire and/or effort to ‘make things happen’) could be good – or even good and bad at once.

How can something be good and bad at once? Easy. If something bad happens but we have the skill to cope with it, the skill is a lovely thing even though we probably would prefer nothing had created the need to get ‘saved’ by that skill.

So we’re feeling a touch on (or off) stride as the month starts – and probably beleaguered to boot, that being a fairly normal reaction to ambient pre-eclipse pressures which are trying to get us to ‘stop pretending’ about something … or maybe even many things, all of which have to do partly with those ‘things’ even if the real issue here (the eclipse issue) has to do with why we pretend (the emotional reason beneath all), and what it is about what we don’t want to face in our Self which is being stirred up now, for whatever reason and by whatever force in your world. 

August 2 
With all this in play, August 2nd hosts three astrological events: asteroid Nemesis entering Scorpio, planet Mars entering Sagittarius (at 17:50 or 5:50 p.m., UT/+0) and the August New Moon at 10 Leo.

The latter - - the New Moon - - is important as a timer here, as the Moon’s eternal role as a local lunar clock means its striking ‘new o’clock’ means we are into the most intense (and possibly over-focused) phase of pre-eclipse doings - which would be why I'm posting the New Moon charts rather than those focused on Mars at 0 Sagittarius.

New Moon at 10 Leo  (glyph chart)
August 2, 2016 -- 20:46 (8:46 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)

New Moon at 10 Leo (text chart)
August 2, 2016 -- 20:46 (8:46 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
And then you add in 10 Leo, a degree which, like the eclipse itself, brings about the need to ‘confront’ things, people, challenges and whatever in our Self makes us want to (or) not want to tackle any given thing, idea or risk - - and with this New Moon occurring in a semi-sextile to the North Node (which means also in an inconjunct to the South Node), ego issues and bruised feelings are likely, pointing out where we each tend to be either oversensitive or defensive about the difference between ‘thinking about it’ (or talking about it) and ‘doing it,’ whatever ‘it’ may be. With the North Node conjunct Industria, Sappho and Arachne, effort (Industria) is required - - and we may not be ‘in the mood’ for something, even if it’s something we should really do. Like as not, it’s the (Sappho) nature of the thing which is rubbing us the wrong way, which with Sun/Moon in personally driven Leo and the New Moon conjunct universalist Sappho may define glitches of the moment as being about the difference between what we want (for our Self) and what we should be doing for others, or as a choice which benefits others and not ‘just’ our Self. With the South Node conjunct a retrograde Neptune and retrograde Lumiere, it’s easy to believe what we believe and want to believe, if not so easy to be rational about whether that belief has merit, or whether it may only be someone’s emotional means to their personally desired end.

That Mars is entering Sagittarius on the same date as this New Moon also suggests a bit of a ‘rocky’ or stumbling start to something. On the whole, Mars in Sagittarius is a busy and active time, a time when exploring new ideas and possibilities will pay off in terms of what we learn, even if or where what we learn isn’t the answer to all our problems. ‘Fired’ by Mars’ innately pro-active energy, Mars’ transit of Sagittarius is also a time when the urge to ‘grow’ (however that applies) makes itself evident and when we often ‘push’ towards goals, whether we’re ready or not and simply willing to tackle something based on sheer confidence.

Or bravado.

Mars in Sagittarius is often a time when we learn a good deal about our capacities, the soundless of our ideas (or some lack thereof), and when conflicts are likely when or where we move too quickly or press our case (or perspective) with too much zeal, particularly when or where we do not have ‘hard facts’ to back our assertions up. Due to be in Sagittarius until September 27th (UT/+0 time), this is then a time when it’s likely that things will bring out (or underscore) some need to learn more (or) learn better. As well, things which happen now are likely to give us good reasons to expand our world, our perspective and our notion of the possible and the intriguing  … as opposed to why some other things simply won’t work (or) aren’t possible. By coinciding with the raising of issues we find testing, these weeks ahead furnish us with ways to ‘reflect’ on who we are versus who we appear to be to others, ideas which in turn may help us act with competency and the kind of strength which helps advance goals, providing we aren’t just ‘acting the part’ and trying to fool people - - a choice which given the incoming eclipse might well blow up in our face.

In entering Sagittarius in and out-of-sign opposition to Sedna (at 26 Taurus), some of what we face in the weeks ahead is likely to be all about whether we have gotten past (or away) from ‘sticking points’ which have afflicted us in the past. With Venus (at 26 Leo) sitting at the mid-point between Mars and Sedna creating a t-square, we are all being challenged to get past thinking things are ‘naturally’ going to work out – and whatever assumptions we have (or want to have) about things being ‘naturally’ inclined to work ‘the way we want’ going forward without a.) our being an active part of things, b.) our learning more and/or better about something, and c.) a clearer understanding of how ‘the emotionality of the stronger or more “privileged” position’ works, whatever that may come to mean in the fullness of experience and time.

Sappho by Theodore Chassériau (1849, oil on panel)
Mars moving into a boisterous, sometimes feisty and always exploration-prone sign like Sagittarius at the moment of a New Moon speaks to the whole of the lunar month ahead being active, noisy, busy and in some ways, challenging - - whether we’re being challenged to climb some personal Mount Everest or to just keep putting one foot in front of the other (which sometimes feels like you’re climbing Mount Everest, granted!).

And when we add in Nemesis shifting into Scorpio, things get even more curious. As a point, Nemesis refers to a warning being given or received, whether in the moment or at some point in the past, which means in n moving into emotional test-prone Scorpio, Nemesis is raising some internal ‘threat level,’ whether it’s called for or not. In Scorpio, things test our ability to function and our willingness to develop (particularly emotionally) despite an instinctive dislike of what we might find or ‘sticking points’ encountered and struggled with in the past. Combining Nemesis and Scorpio is a particularly tricky thing as it may result in being (or getting) all upset over nothing or some tendency to subscribe to beliefs (or) get into fights because such choices will relieve us of any need to think for our Self and ‘own’ our choices even we also ‘escape’ the need to confront any personal feelings of weakness, vulnerability or ineptitude,  none of which fulfills the Scorpio requirement that we own sufficient strength to recognize our own strengths and weaknesses through our interactions with others.

Whatever this New Moon represents to you in your life - - in its own right and as a maker leading into next month’s solar eclipse (which is itself a form of a New Moon) - - all of that continues to percolate and evolve over the week… 

August 5 
… Then on Friday August 5th, Venus moves into Virgo at 15:28 (3:28 in the afternoon, UT/+0) time, conjuncting fixed and royal star Regulus just short of a half-hour later at 15:57 (3:57 p.m.) in a degree (0 Virgo) which in being cited as a degree which speaks to our powers of discrimination asks whether we discriminate, for what purpose we discriminate, out of what motivation do we discriminate and how (by what method) we discriminate, whether we’re using the term ‘discrimination’ to mean ‘rejection out of malice’ or simply the ability to pick that which is ‘ripe’.

Venus enters Virgo (glyph chart)
August 5, 2016 -- 15:28 (3:28 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Venus enters Virgo (text chart)
August 5, 2016 -- 15:28 (3:28 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
As one of the royal stars, Regulus promises success only where we avoid (or have avoided) the tendency to want or exact revenge or vengeance. So with Virgo being the sign of the incoming eclipse and Venus representing the energy of ‘results’ and ‘that which we have earned now being received’ as Venus transits often mark moments when our outcomes become ‘concrete,’ Venus entering Virgo (the sign of the eclipse) begins a time when things which may well have been accepted as workable reveal their flaws. Or when something which had been functional in the past but which through loss of integrity comes ‘crashing down.’ In entering Virgo with Mercury, the North Node, the Moon and Jupiter all also in Virgo, going forward we will feel (and likely hear) of an emphasis on results which specifically can be trusted or considered trustworthy … even as expectations and efforts show themselves to be something other than what was anticipated, further exposing and breaking down trust and trusted methodologies.

That said, Venus in Virgo is frequently a time when much gets done, often to exacting specifications, which makes this Venus/Virgo ingress rather apt as the date when the Rio Olympics begin. With Venus in Virgo and Mars in Sagittarius we have a natural (zodiacal) square-by-transit, speaking to ‘haste making waste’ situations where ‘too much’ of a good thing can bring us down, trip us up (or) cause us to get ‘out of sync’ (or rhythm) with what has, up until now, been going along nicely.

Where Venus in Leo imagines and dreams, Venus in Virgo crafts and constructs, putting some tangibles into motion. Said to be astrologically ‘in detriment,’ Venus in Virgo is not a time of, or when sheer beauty wins the day, but rather one when our ability and willingness to ‘show what we can do’ earns (or fails to earn) our ultimate reward. Often thought of as opulent, luxurious and diaphanous, Venus discards the emphasis on same while in Virgo, elevating ideas of health, functionality and the upholding of standings and support while working towards achievements and making them ‘beautiful’ - - whether eternally or for some period of time.

That there’s nothing to astrologically to report from Friday the 5th until the following Saturday, August 13th (when Saturn goes direct) may simply mean we are left to pursue our course. Then again, considering how any planet coming into its direct station represents things slowing or ‘coming to a halt,’ with Saturn being a symbol of time, career, responsibility, governance, structure and (ultimately) our sense of ‘order’ both personal and worldly, that may or may not speak to the ebbing of a ‘free flow’ of anything (especially important things) the nearer we get to the 13th. 

August 13 
With the Sun always being the first planet to consider outside of the stationing celestial entity, with Sun having just entered the third decanate of Leo, on the whole things are moving from a “me-centric” mode into one which is more ‘generally participatory’ as Saturn moves into and through its station, going direct at 9 Sagittarius on Saturday the 13th at 9:51 a.m. (UT/+0 time). Leo being the derivative 9th house to Sagittarius (where Saturn is), this station holds its best promise wherever our attempts to move ahead or forge opportunities are (or have been) direct, considered, thorough and honest - - and where on its own the degree 9 Sagittarius speaks to fires and/or things ‘of a fiery nature’ (worked and/or shaped ‘by fire’ applies here as well), with Saturn providing the ‘tuning’ of this energetic, there has to be a durable and constructive point, lest efforts either prove temporary, impossible or so “expensive” (whatever that may mean) that the cost/detriment far outweighs the accomplishment.

Saturn Station-Direct (glyph chart)
August 13, 2016 -- 9:41 a.m. (UT/+0) -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Saturn Station-Direct (text chart)
August 13, 2016 -- 9:41 a.m. (UT/+0) -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Plus … (no, we’re not done) … there is the fact that in going on station at 9 Sagittarius, Saturn is doing so in a perfect square to the solar eclipse at 9 Virgo, doubling down on the eclipse’s capacity to expose and punish (or at least prosecute) a lasting campaign against that which is found now to be lacking in standards, morals, effort or consideration of others, with those who work in ‘support (or) supportive’ careers particularly subject to scrutiny, possible criticism - - and stalwart support where that is merited (read: where it has been earned, ‘earning’ being a big Saturn keyword).

Or when something which we have worked towards - -  or which has taken necessary precedence – simply comes to a conclusion (as the Olympics will in Rio as Saturn goes direct) or ends because of other obligations.

The fact this square exists makes the whole of this eclipse season both more important to us as individuals and critically harsh in its capacity to reject that which is blatantly (Sagittarius) unfair, unlawful, immoral, unethical - - and considerate of the times we live in. “Doctrine” which attempts to blockade growth of propriety fails here, though the process of establishing that may be muddled by triumphs, temporary or lasting, of ‘the triumph of the loudest’ over pragmatism and/or success in dealing with actual problems as opposed to symptoms.

And no, we’re not done yet, because 9 Antares is also the position of royal and fixed star Antares, which means Saturn is going direct in an exact conjunction with a star which says success is achieved only when and where we keep ourselves from the kinds of obsessions which might cause us to abuse the ‘privilege of ability,’ particularly as that concerns the ability to lead, the state or status of being ‘in the lead,’ or when/if we are in position and able to ‘take the lead’ whether in our individual life or life in general (however these concepts apply).

Officially, we give Saturn’s station an ‘allowance’ of a couple of days prior and a couple of days after it’s turn to retrograde on the 13th as being of greatest importance where it’s station is concerned, making August 11 through August 15 prime ‘station territory.’ That means several things. To begin with, it suggests that things which happen now may mean more than they do ‘ordinarily,’ or as you suspect they might. Two, it may well refer to a time during which things we have been working on may now ‘prove’ worthy of that effort, dedication, time and whatever else we may have bled into the process. And lastly, this station has the possibility of being a time when we begin something which will prove particularly ‘influential’ in our life at some point.

Mind you, where Saturn, symbol of responsibility and our primary responsibility for who we are (and are not) plus what we do (or don’t do) … where Saturn is concerned, there are no guarantees except for what we will learn about our Self and our capacity along the way. In other words, you could spend your entire life raising a family, carving a life-sized pyramid out of soap or inventing the world’s most perfect Operating System, and you may earn worldly success or not through that. But Saturn is not just about tangible or worldly standing - - it’s also about what it takes to get there, and what in the end those choices to be ABC and not XYZ means about who we are.

And it’s at times like this when we either embark on some fateful choice - - or when the success or failure of some long-term effort comes home to us. Astrologically, hard core ‘results’ are most likely where 9 Saturn and 9 Virgo are both active points in your natal chart (give or take an orb of aspect).

And if one or both points are active in your chart (within orb, of course)? Well then, since I can’t improve on what was said, I here quote astrologer and nice person Robert Hand, who once said of a serious transit: use the energy wisely, lest it use you unwisely. 

I think that about covers it.

Most of another week passes, during which things take shape and begin coming into focus in such a way as to cause us to feel something more than otherwise expected. 

August 18 
The Full Moon which occurs at 9:28 in the morning (UT/+0 time) at 25 Aquarius is unique - - beyond being unique as an Aquarian byword, I mean.

Full Moon at 25 Aquarius (glyph chart)
August 18, 2016 -- 9:28 am (UT/+0) -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Full Moon at 25 Aquarius (text chart)
August 18, 2016 -- 9:28 am (UT/+0) -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Technically (if you’re just looking at degrees), this Full Moon should be a lunar eclipse, but it is not marked as one in any of the books or online sources I use as reference. In digging around a little however, what I found was some information about how this Full Moon was indeed once classed as a lunar eclipse, but NASA deleted it from the tables, apparently on the grounds that this eclipse would be a ‘grazing penumbral’ event which doesn’t truly qualify as a lunar eclipse under the rules of astronomy.

So the August Full Moon is something of a unicorn. It is not your ‘everyday’ Full Moon and not fully qualified as a lunar eclipse, which in metaphysical terms would be a reference to all things (and people) who are ‘caught’ being defined not as one thing and not the other either, pointing to situations which leave people and important matters in limbo.

As for 25 Aquarius, the degree appears to echo this lack of definition in being known for good intentions tested by a difficulty with that which doesn’t ‘work’ the way we want it to (or) think it should. Bent on some internal capacity for reconciliation and the ‘harnessing of energies’ which may not be natively in sync, 25 Aquarius manifests as determination and ingenuity where things are already doing well and in more conflicted, even damaging forms where an ongoing ‘system’ of accomplishing desired goals is not already in place. 

With the Moon in this figure conjunct Damocles (at 23 Aquarius), Pallas (at 28 Aquarius) and asteroid Hel (at 29 Aquarius), difficulties with how to do that which we have gotten involved with through bravado (false or otherwise) have to be put aside, even as it may be (Pallas) occurring to us that we have somehow ‘chosen’ to be where we are in life, whether it’s (Hel) easy or not. However, whatever our challenges are at the moment, that some part of them is represented by the Moon being in a fixed sign t-square with Sedna + Algol at the ‘hurdle’ says the fervency of some ‘immature response’ is currently defeating us. Or that it will hold the potential to defeat us so long as we choose to stand for some idea about ‘how things should be’ which is based on a ‘vision’ or dream (as opposed to fact) and/or ideas on how things ‘should work’ which are rooted in cherished ideals, personal gain or some desire to retain (or) gain position as opposed to real life, real necessities and standing realities.

That Aquarius is ruled first by Saturn and in its ‘outcome’ phase by Uranus adds to this contemplation by having Saturn, still at 9 Sagittarius and still very much conjunct Antares while also now being in conjunction with Mars at 6 Sagittarius. Together, these are a little astrological note asking us to be very aware of how much energy we bring to situations or invest in pretty much anything now, lest we unbalance some delicate balance (or imbalance). And with Uranus (Aquarius’ ‘outcome’ ruler) conjunct Eris in Aries, best results are likely to come from efforts which aim to deal with things without ‘soft soaping’ facts, and for the benefit of those who are being intrinsically wronged, threatened or compromised - - as opposed to being for those who may only have desire, ego or some form of vanity at stake.

With this being the Full Moon which has the Sun in its own sign of rulership (an Aquarian Full Moon will always include a Sun in Leo, opposing that Moon), details may be easily overlooked, leading to difficulties where self-protective bias or some form of ‘blindness’ (physical, willful or inadvertent) is involved. The Aquarian capacity to avoid and separate against its need to integrate and systemically create dynamics where everything (and every one of us) functions well is likely to be tested here, with ‘ruptures’ appearing ‘in the works’ (or in what works) wherever too much ‘separation’ from standards, unity/universalism, reality or needs dictated by general realities has been allowed, or come to be accepted or “acceptable” as some sort of ‘norm.’

With this Full Moon, we come to be in what might be thought of as the ‘final approach’ to the September 1st solar eclipse, as it will be only a half lunar cycle away. Given the Moon’s cycle as a ‘waxing’ and ‘waning’ of issues, personal aims and ‘tides’ of global emotionalism which like ocean tides rise, crest and fall, the time from the Moon’s full phase to its new phase is generally a time when things ‘play out’ and conclude - - or when we come to certain conclusions.

However, the Sun has not yet reached the sign of the solar eclipse - - Virgo. And until it does (on August 22nd) we may safely assume we are as yet somewhat ‘in the dark’ about what is going to happen … though by now we are surely aware of what part of, or what thing in our own life isn’t working. We may still be convinced everything is going to be fine. We may still be thinking we’re going to squeak by something or somehow preserve that which plainly isn’t working.

And sometimes we’re right. Sometimes, in fact frequently, it isn’t the ‘thing’ which the eclipse is aiming to get us to own, recognize and realize about our Self and our life anyway, as solar eclipses are seldom ‘about’ the thing or person or ability which we lose or which ‘leaves us’ as we move through an eclipse, but rather about what we are not doing or being because we are still involved in (or) ‘holding on to’ the thing or relationship or belief or hope the eclipse removes, eliminates or makes wholly impossible. 

August 21 
As asteroid Niobe will go direct at 8 Capricorn the day before the Sun changes signs, that means Niobe is going direct with the Sun at 29 Leo, a degree known for ‘changes’ of mind, preference, and priority, with not all such decisions proving practical or successful even if we think (or at least start out thinking of them) as fun, cool, attractive and ‘the perfect thing for me.’ Where such choices are less than wonderful, it seems that what is lacking is the ability to connect to others and external factors, which makes sense as Leo is the sign which asks us to focus on development of the Self, and with 29 degrees of Leo being Leo’s last degree, this is where Leo energetics would tend to ‘push’ to get every little loving last drop of self-regard out of the Sun’s yearly transit of this self-enlightening sign.

With Niobe going direct at 8 Capricorn, there may be time now to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor or the results of some effort. However, Niobe - - an astrological image of ‘pride’ - - is known for moments when we get so wrapped up in our Self that may we step right off a cliff (verbal or otherwise). With 8 Capricorn being the position of fixed ‘star’ Facies (which is really a nebula of stars, not a single star), we may be proud of what we have accomplished - - or of someone else for their accomplishments, any of which may have involved many factors which have been successfully brought together in some fashion. With Facies involved, this station is not likely to bring attitudes of ‘sweetness and light’ out as Facies is known for a mentality which likes to example, prod or ‘toy’ with things (and people) in order to gain information and an edge.

Why we do what we do now is probably the most important part. To glorify the self may be apt … then again, we may be being overly indulgent in a way which is wasteful or offensive to others.

One other note here: Mars, Saturn and Antares are going to be meeting up mid-week, which means some among us will start feeling ‘pressured’ about something or to do something about now. 

August 22 

Sun enters Virgo (glyph chart)
August 22, 2016 -- 9:31 a.m. (UT/+0) -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Sun enters Virgo (text chart)
August 22, 2016 -- 9:31 a.m. (UT/+0) -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
As the Sun enters Virgo at 16:40 (4:40 in the afternoon) UT/+0 time, minds and perspectives are likely to change. Focus is likely to intensify and questions are likely to become more pointed (and to the point) as life makes it plain there are things which need doing and reasons we should be doing them.

Is this because the Sun’s entering Virgo puts it in the sign of the solar eclipse, or because in reaching 0 Virgo the Sun also conjuncts royal star Regulus? In all likelihood, both - - not that it’s going to matter to us. Life itself is our issue, and with the Sun entering Virgo in an out-of-sign t-square which has Sedna + fixed star Algol at the ‘hurdle point.’

Representing what we have to get over in our Self or personal life if we are to gain ground at a very basic level, Sedna + Algol combines ‘immature’ or ‘unrealistic’ ideas, outlooks, perspectives and choices (the Sedna part) with Algol’s well known and seriously bratty (even snarky, hostile or downright vicious) tendency to spout off, snarl, snip, bite and retaliate not because such force (or forcefulness) is necessary, but either because we didn’t think things through or because we have failed to ‘get a hold on our Self’ before speaking, acting or opting to decide ... (or) because our feelings are coming from a place which feels threatening on an instinctive level, even when it's not.

On the astrological level, this combination is strongly connected with the upsurge in hostility - - even apart from violence - - which we're seeing in today's world. And as Sedna moves so very (very) slowly, such hostility isn't likely to go away in short order. After all, first we have to get straight about what is and isn't a threat, which in these modern Aquarian Age times is harder than it used to be (Pisces on the 2nd house of the age, you know...).

Besides that, when was it that you saw anyone (never mind the whole human race at large) leaping to gleefully embrace their instinctive vulnerabilities and flaws most mortal?

That Sedna will be on station and turning to retrograde motion at the end of this week (August 27) subjects all which goes on now to questions of utility versus ability and capacity versus willingness. Wherever Sedna surfaces (in our natal chart or by transit), that is an area of our life where we have an opportunity to do good - - or even great things. But to do them, we will have to give up some ‘image’ of how things were ‘supposed to be’ (or how we have envisioned things when they are ‘going right”) in favor of focusing on our ability to contribute and our capacity to provide - - as opposed to being provided for, as opposed to criticizing others, as opposed to realities in the life we are living which neither ‘fit’ nor ‘match up with’ ideals which probably took root in our minds when we were young. (Often, quite young.) Sedna asks that we stop seeing what we want to see (because we want to see it) as it asks us to see the whole of circumstance and not just the parts we are either familiar with or attracted to.

In short, Sedna is a energy which represents the force of maturation - - a quotient no one seems to like in our own life, though we’re perfectly happy to see someone else be put through the Sedna wringer!

But more on that in a bit … and meanwhile, back to the t-square.

Because this t-square originates with asteroid Hel (conjunct) Pallas in late Aquarius, it is to be suspected that some lack of, or elements which are currently ‘missing’ from our perspective are involved in driving our challenges of the moment as well as those we will carry with us through the solar eclipse and the rest of the Sun’s transit through Virgo. With Aquarius and Taurus being fixed signs and Virgo being mutable (thus the out-of-sign t-square), things are trying to get us past a global ‘over-fixation’ on what makes us feel comfortable, asking us to think in more useful, productive and responsible terms.

That transiting Mercury is conjuncting transiting Jupiter in Virgo exactly on August 22nd may just mark the date and may mark the whole of the Sun’s transit of Virgo as a time when things are going to be ‘overstated,’ ‘overblown,’ and when learning about or coming to recognize issues which concern mentality itself (ours, or mentalities in general) are also likely to be in play, affecting considerations. Doing too much, trying to do too much, being over-concerned about details, blowing things out of proportion are also likely now, as are such positives as stretching resources, great feats of endurance, discovering abilities and demonstrations of skill. The ability to understand, absorb and utilize are underscored by this conjunction, as is the need to have the things needed to do (or) complete a given task.

And as if all that wasn’t intriguing enough, August 22nd is also the date when in reaching 8 Sagittarius - - the degree it went retrograde at back on April 17th - - Mars concludes its retrograde cycle. And by exiting the shadow of its April-May-June retrograde, Mars is giving us a clear indication things we have been working on since April will either now finally move forward … and that we will at this point start taking on new projects and ‘moving on’ in some way we haven’t been able to up until now.

Could this be part of whatever the solar eclipse is focused on - - and what we will be ‘letting go’ of or moving on from as part of the solar eclipse? Yes, it could. Some of us are naturally inclined to always ‘make a move’ as energies build towards the eclipse (or towards any transit, really) and some of us tend to make our moves once energies crest. Neither method is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ - - they’re merely different and unique to us as individuals.

That being said, should new ideas or opportunities turn up now, with Mars, Saturn and Antares in a tight-knit bundle, they may well be worth some investigation and consideration. 

August 24-25 
Technically, Mars conjuncts Antares on the 24th (at 6:09 a.m.) and then conjuncts transiting Saturn at 2:11 a.m. on August 25th. That said, the energy of this conglomeration may well have been being felt by some of us for some days, as previously noted.

Mars is the energy of ego and assertion. Saturn is and energy of discipline, structure and which functions to either guide or limit us, depending on what we’re involved with. Whenever we see Mars and Saturn in a hard aspect, they represent two forces which compete and conflict inside us and in the world around us, seeing whether we have sufficient responsibility and the kind of self-discipline which takes conflicting impulses and combines them productively, or which chooses to ‘take a stance’ and fight for (or from) that perspective.

And that’s without Antares in the mix. Third of the four royal stars most used in astrology, Antares guarantees success only where we avoid obsessions or acting in some obsessed manner, which in this case will tend to emphasizes the need for enough Saturn self-discipline and responsibility to avoid some sort of pitfall - - which makes most of the whole of this week (August 21st through 25th) a time to be mindful of what and how we act, who we do or speak to, and how they - - or others - - react, lest something come back to haunt or undercut us in painful or debilitating ways.

To have Mars and Saturn meeting up a couple of days in advance of Sedna going retrograde (on the 27th) may well speak to situational frustration(s), especially if something we have wanted (or wanted to do) gets threatened, criticized or thwarted. That this meet-up is occurring in square to the September 1st eclipse suggests philosophical implosion, debates, intellectual conflicts and a lot of insistence, much of which is bound to come out in the form of accusations and projections simply because human nature tends to have us recognize the flaw in our Self only when all other excuses have been exhausted.

Could that be happening now? It could. Mars + Saturn + Antares can be an incredibly brutal and unpleasant as easily as it can be a dynamic sign of courage and the kind of determination which gets us through the hardest of hard times, working very well where endurance of a highly skilled type is required, or where skills must serve to carry one through some extended effort.

Yet there is some chance that we are still kidding ourselves. With Kalypso going direct on the 26th and Sedna going retrograde on the 27th, Mercury on the 30th and Ceres on the 31st - - all in advance of a September 1st eclipse which itself is fairly closely followed by the stations of Ixion and Pholus, there are plenty of reasons to think no matter who we are and no matter how hard we have been trying, there are still areas where we are failing to think things through, where we are failing to heed necessary priorities and where, in spite of all our desire to do good and be of use, we are (and probably have been) acting in a manner which is immature and selfish.

Does this mean that something will occur which causes us to ‘see’ how we (or others) have been acting during this time? It could - - and because all of the stations on the list just given either fall in very early or rather late degrees of their signs, the more objects any of us have in the first and third decans (degrees 0-9 and 20-29), the more likely it is we will now see some ‘truth’ which tells us all we need to know.

Or more than all we need to know, depending. 

August 26 
Kalypso going direct at 2 Capricorn speaks to what we do or who we are to others as a person. At 2 Capricorn, the question at hand concerns challenges as to how much we ‘owe’ our Self versus how much we ‘owe’ others, with the greater point being about the necessity to understand how we can only do well for others when we understand who we are and what we are and are not capable of. Given ambient astrological conditions and so much which has been, or which is being ‘stirred’ up, Kalypso asks that we remember the difference between love - -  the act of loving someone else and hoping for their success and happiness ... and wanting to be loved, which at its core is most about wanting to feel secured and reassured by others. 

August 27 
That Sedna will be going retrograde in the midst of such a sea of turbulence and energetics is a particularly telling idea as the story of Sedna is one which at its ultimate ‘turning point’ has Sedna being rescued by her father from her own misjudgments in the middle of a storm which threatens to throw her into the ocean.

Water being a metaphysical sign of emotions or emotionalism, among other things this particular moment references an ‘immaturity’ being displayed by Sedna in that she is being rescued by her father. What is he rescuing her from? After being raised with everything she needed, when faced with the work and responsibilities of an adult Sedna ran away with a Birdman who promised her everything, who said everything Sedna wanted to hear, and who then carried her away not to the land of her dreams, but to an empty island where she was left alone and on her own. So her father comes to rescue Sedna, but on the way home they are beset by a storm so violent Sedna’s grip on her father’s boat finally fails - - and she is thrown into the ocean.

Sedna station-retrograde (glyph chart)
August 27, 2016 -- 3:19 a.m. (UT/+0) -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Sedna station-retrograde (glyph chart)
August 27, 2016 -- 3:19 a.m. (UT/+0) -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
And once ‘drowned’ in -- and by -- her own 'sea of emotions' Sedna changes, losing her earthy, material-driven Self and all the dreams which went with that in favor of doing that which she alone is capable of, thus providing much to many she will never see or know.

As in the myth, our astronomical Sedna resides at such a distance from the Sun (our life, our conscious awareness) we could be forgiven if we thought Sedna belonged to some other solar system. But it doesn't - Sedna is part of our solar system, and from its great distance from the Sun it represents both our capacity and the need to at times see and feel our Self as from a great distance. Where do we 'go overboard'? Where are we trying to live out some image (in our head or elsewhere) instead of immersing our Self in those things which feel innately valuable to us, regardless of what others think?

Because dwarf planet Sedna takes over 11,400 years to go once around our Sun, in practical astrological terms that means Sedna moves very (very) slowly - - and thus has been in the environs of 26 Taurus (the degree it is stationing in) for some time.

So the situations and dynamics we are contending with in and about our own life and life direction, inclusive of the good and bad we are seeing what we're currently doing or making of our Self - - none of that is likely to be new.

We know about it. But like the mythic Sedna, we think if we just 'hold on long enough,' we'll get our way or things will turn out the way we want them to.

Is that true?

Well ... in case it has slipped your mind, 26 Taurus is the current position of Algol a fixed star with a questionable (read: rather nasty) reputation. Named as a mythic reference to the head of Medusa, Algol carries with it all the horror, fear and volatility one imagines should accompany being faced with having to look at something so frightening it will turn us to solid stone. But the point is this: Medusa refers to something in us - - in our Self - - which we are afraid to know, to face, to see. So our typically hostile, snapping turtle (or shark-like) Algol reactions, though aimed at others, are less about them than about what they might know or expose IN us.

Currently positioned at 26 Taurus, Algol thus represents our tendency to miss opportunities for peace simply because we are so defensive (or being so defensive-aggressive) and thus not in a position/condition to be attracting or taking advantage of positive potential.

With Sedna going direct in this degree, does this mean we may now see some error of our ways? Will we get ‘tossed out of’ some boat, or otherwise have a ‘fall from grace’ or other confrontation with our Self? Quite possibly. With Sedna’s station occurring so close to an eclipse which for several months has been cracking hard shells and peeling away old psychological layers and outmoded methods of seeing and operating, there is every chance some of us will now be recognizing how we have been defeating our own aims.

As well, in going retrograde in trine to Venus, Jupiter, Mercury (all of which are in late Virgo at this point), Sedna’s station speaks to existing personal ‘allowances’ (things we allow our Self) and personal efforts. With Venus at 25 Virgo there is also some very good chance that something we have been finding ‘spell-like’ has either kept such others - - or us - - from focusing on them. Then again, there also exists every chance these days (starting around the time Mars reaches Antares on the 24th) will show up our least mature(d) and civilized facets, particularly where such lack(s) of civility or consideration reflect our desire to continue doing what we want to do, regardless of its lack of quality, lack of adherence to accepted standards, lack of responsibility, morality and lack of consideration for the lot, time, feelings or basic needs and/or nature of others.

Plus, let us remember that Mercury – ruler of Virgo (and the Virgo solar eclipse) is about to go retrograde on the 30th, in Virgo. This multiplies the need to think things through even as it also (and rather annoyingly) suggests something we need to know will not yet be there for us to hang our hat on.

In fact, if you think about it, the Mars-Saturn conjunction in Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, which with Jupiter in Virgo means our Mercury is in charge. And Pluto? Pluto is in Capricorn, which with Capricorn being ruled by the Saturn which is in Sagittarius again leads back to Jupiter and then Mercury, just as Uranus in Aries does as Uranus is ruled by the Mars which is conjunct Saturn.

It all leads back to Mercury - - and Mercury is about to go retrograde in the face of a solar eclipse it (Mercury) astrologically rules.

So let’s get to that. 

August 30th 
It’s an interesting concept, having Venus enter Libra only hours before Mercury goes retrograde - - which is what we have here, what with Venus moving into Libra at 2:08 in the morning and Mercury going retrograde at 1:05 in the afternoon (both times UT/+0). By itself with all other things being equal, that would suggest a thinking over of results, whether in terms of how to get them (i.e., how to get the results we want) or those which we have in hand, positive and negative.

Mercury Station-Retrograde (glyph chart)
August 30, 2016 -- 13:05 (1:05 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mercury Station-Retrograde (text chart)
August 30, 2016 -- 13:05 (1:05 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
But this Mercury-Venus moment isn’t happening in isolation. Far from it. And with the solar eclipse about to occur, the why’s and how’s we ‘win,’ and what we gain against what that costs is here laid out in such a manner as to expose its merits and faults, causing us to think.

Adding yet another wrinkle to this moment is the fact that Mercury is going retrograde at 29 Virgo, a situation which has Mercury and Venus in conjunction before they metaphysically ‘part and go their own ways’ - - which may be what we do too, whether that means ‘parting’ from a person, idea, situation, effort or encounter with ideas and perspectives, whether those we are familiar with, or those we have never yet considered.

And hanging over all is the specter of morals, how things are done (and how we’re doing them) and in general, our priorities - - and the ‘health’ (or lack of such) of same.

Spoken of as a degree which is focused on fitting or putting things together so as to be ready to move ahead more openly, having Mercury go retrograde at 29 Virgo suggests a lack of ‘readiness’ or insufficient preparation having been made in light of the realities which lie ahead. With Jupiter trailing just behind (at 27 Virgo), it is entirely possible that ‘much has been made out of nothing’ - - or perhaps more than nothing, if less than worthy of all the energy which has been expended in its direction. That Jupiter is in opposition to Chiron speaks also to the chance of misdirection, including a particular tendency not to recognize misdirection - - or that we are misdirecting someone or being misdirected. Yet with Chiron conjunct Charybdis and Euphrosyne, even where misdirection is now recognized, knowing what to do about it (or knowing what to do now that we recognize we should have done something about it) is unlikely to be taken on squarely (which may or may not be part of whatever is being faced with regards to the eclipse) with many if not most of us choosing to ‘put a good face on’ things wherever possible, regardless of the sense in doing that.

That Venus is moving on into Libra - - and thus out of the personal-and-private zone and into the public-and-visible half of the zodiac even as Mercury doesn’t is very much part of why we would think this eclipse is going to ‘expose’ our motives. After all, as Venus - - our ‘moment of truth’ gets into the “public zone,” Mercury is not just remaining in personal and private zone but also in retrograde as the eclipse moves in, serving as an indicator of situations and moments which, in getting us to see, think and consider, also expose the pluses and minuses of things we may be doing, being and supporting to us in such a way as to cause us to reconsider the health or ‘healthiness’ of things, the effort which has - and which yet will need to go into things, and whether the qualities of what we have taken into account measure up to who we either want … or need to be in order to fulfill being someone we will respect ourselves for being. 

August 31 
And while Mercury and Venus get the last ‘planetary say’ before the end of the month and the eclipse, the last astrological statement of any note is that of asteroid-cum-dwarf planet Ceres going retrograde at 8:12 a.m. (UT/+0 time) at 5 Taurus on August 31st.

Having said that much, as soon as I say ‘dwarf planet,’ does your mind go to names like Pluto, Eris, Sedna and the like? It likely does. But unlike the other dwarf planets (and other dwarf planet candidates, this planet-dwarf planet-mere asteroid thing being a whole astronomical subject unto itself), Ceres does not reside in the iciness of the Kuiper Belt or even-more-distant Oort Cloud, but rather in the relative coziness of the asteroid belt. So Ceres does not represent the stunning, the shocking and the never-thought-about-before, but rather something which is close to us, which is part of everyday life. Furthermore, with the position of the asteroid belt having it neatly tucked in between planets Mars and Jupiter, Ceres represents one of thousands of (asteroid) ‘factors’ we meet up with in the course of (Mars) trying to (Jupiter) grow and improve our lives.

Like fellow asteroid (if not dwarf planet candidate) Juno, Ceres is about ‘tending’ to what we have or what we are doing in, or with our lives. However, where Juno is more ‘managerial’ in terms the ‘in the moment’ sense, Ceres is more about long(er) term planning of the kind which knows certain things have to be done ‘along the way’ in order to attain our goals. Associated with agriculture and the harvest, Ceres is that attribute which allows us to ‘look ahead’ and plan when to seed, when to weed, when to water and when to harvest - - all of which will help us be organized in the effort of supporting our own lives and/or those of others (depending on your individual Ceres).

In stationing and going retrograde at 5 Taurus, Ceres is highlighting the need to support and provide for our individual and collective sense of peace, which in this astrological moment seems needed in the light of Ceres going on station in opposition to Juno (at 9 Scorpio) and Nemesis (at 7 Scorpio) while conjunct fixed star Mirach and asteroids Tisiphone and Byblis (who separately - - never mind together - - are unlikely to represent a point of joy, enjoyment, or anything we’re particularly happy about).

With Juno at 9 Scorpio, issues of deprivation - - and thus the need to manage them - - evidently need to be faced up to and/or dealt with, with the fact that Juno is opposing Ceres adding to the likelihood that such deprivation(s) are something we are having to face or face up to, which would seem to increase the likelihood that this is a ‘confrontation’ of sorts (whether with a person, idea or situation) which as oppositions do, challenges our (Ceres) ‘plans’ and/or how those plans got made, or how (or) how well they are being carried out.

And all of this is causing us to reflect - - or perhaps to backtrack. Do we need new plans? Do we need a better way of going about dealing with things? Are we, or something we are feeling connected to now (to coin a phrase) proving to be ‘all planning with no attention to operations or execution of standards’?

With Nemesis on the Scorpio side, some amount of snarkiness and edge may well be present, especially where we have failed to take someone else’s integrity and aims as a person separate from ourselves into account. And with 7 Scorpio having a well-deserved reputation for understanding things which we seldom comprehend until we ‘put our foot in it’ (literally or figuratively) there may well be some ‘I TOLD you so!’ mutters going around.

As for Mirach, Byblis and Tisiphone, Byblis refers to an ‘unforgivable’ thing, something which gets a big ‘NO, that is not okay!’ no matter how you want to frame it, explain it, or cover it with candy-coated sprinkles (verbal or otherwise). With 7 Taurus having a reputation for physicality combined with the gross and grotesque, this is obviously not a pleasant combination - - which means in conjunction with Ceres we are getting a reference to something awful which has either been planned and/or ‘built into the process’ (or) which has not been taken into account and which therefore must now be (Juno) managed, though with Ceres’ station so very close to the eclipse, it is wholly likely that though there may be ugliness in the moment, most of what is being referred to is neither an ‘incident of the moment’ nor a ‘quick fix’ to be bandaged and sent on its way.

To all of this, Tisiphone adds a quality of ‘fury’ - - whether that refers to anger, a furious flurry of activity, or the ‘fury’ of a storm or some other event which manifests with unbridled strength.

With Mirach serving as a sort of ‘backdrop’ to all (that being the typical fixed star role), our efforts to be creative have like as not been waylaid by forces beyond our control which threaten to derail us (or our efforts) to the extent we own our individuality and are willing to resist (or ‘stand against’) someone’s willingness to sacrifice us for their own ends - - or more particularly, to atone for their own misdeeds and lack of inclusive priorities.

It is not, Mirach says here, what we do, but rather how and why we do it which is at question now. Where we fear knowing our Self or the reality of our motivations and the true consequences of our choices, it is not life but our fear of truth, facts and reality which is lurking out there, threatening to either ‘eat us alive’ or defeat us and our (Ceres) plans. Why we do such things, along with what it means about us that we are willing to sacrifice others to protect self-concerns  which in the end have far more to do with vanity than goodness … all such subjects are very eclipse-like, and therefore apt to this moment and time.

As for the eclipse itself, that is the subject of a separate piece which as the sign in the astroPPM sidebar says will be posted in just about a week now.

Until then, here's to enjoying the sprouting of your August!


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