In a Holding Pattern: The Astrology of August 2018

The first three weeks of this month continue to carry over July’s eclipse- and Mars Retrograde-laden unpleasant, unstable, and erratic energies. With five planets in Retrograde as the month opens (Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto), soon to be joined by Uranus stationing Retrograde at 2° of Taurus on August 7, we are called to align ourselves with the cosmic sense of energetic ebb instead of flow during this time. It’s best if we try not to push our agendas too hard and that instead we find ways to relax, meditate, ground and heal ourselves in Nature, and lay the groundwork for the plans that will be much more cosmically amenable to executing starting in the final week of the month and throughout September.

Tense Squares Open the Month

Right at the starting gate of August 1, Retrograde Mars backs up into 2° of Aquarius, forming an exact square once again with Uranus at 2° of Taurus. These two volatile planets have been pinging each other in back and forth volleys of squares since May, and I always issue the same cautions about being careful when driving—avoiding “road rage” at all costs—and avoiding altercations with people in general because the amount of (suppressed) anger expressed is going to be disproportionate to the situation at hand, catapulting already emotionally unstable people into fits of rage that no one should engage with. Keep your cool, detach from drama, and exercise a high degree of situational awareness when you’re out and about.


The next square involves the dramatic Sun in 14° Leo forming a tight square to Jupiter at 14° of Scorpio on August 6. While certainly not of a volatile nature like the Mars-Uranus square, a Leo Sun square Jupiter in Scorpio cautions us against overcommitting ourselves to projects, which can quickly lead to a sense of burn-out. There is also a sense of being unrealistically overoptimistic about a situation, seeing things from a distorted rose-colored-lens perspective that is unwarranted. Situations or people can be made to sound better than they actually are, so there’s a caution against deception. And this square is definitely a danger both to one’s bank account balance as well as to one’s waistline because of the tendency to overspend and overindulge in food and drink at this time.


Key Transits and Aspects Leading Up to the August 11 Partial Solar Eclipse


On Monday, August 6, beguiling Venus enters Her home sign of Libra at 6:27 p.m. CDT. Venus in Libra is extremely social, cultured, and in supreme “Hostess” mode, ensuring that all of Her guests at the party are having their needs met. The drawback to such people-pleasing, of course, is neglecting your own needs in the process, so hearken to the Cardinal Sign of Libra’s clarion call for balance in all things. If you’re a Virgo Sun person like me, Venus will be transiting your 2nd solar House of Earned Income until September 9: this can bring good fortune and more money your way at your current job, or by landing a better-paying job or gaining a supplemental income stream you don’t already have. Huzzah! 

As previously mentioned, Uranus stations Retrograde at 2° of Taurus at 11:48 p.m. CDT on August 7, and won’t station Direct until January 1, 2019, by which time He will have backed up to 28° of Aries. While outer planet Retrogrades are typically dismissed as inconsequential by many mainstream astrologers (a stance I object to as an evolutionary astrologer), this Retrograde is definitely something to pay attention to because of the transit through Taurus, which can adversely affect our long-term financial planning and investment strategies. Uranus’ movements, Retro or Direct, are always accompanied by upheaval because disruption is the key quality associated with that planet, regardless of the sign He is transiting. And given the financial/Taurean energies, I’m expecting to see more negative news headlines involving crypto-currencies, BitCoin and the like. This is not going to be a good time to refinance your mortgage, request a loan from your bank, or recalibrate your investment portfolio.

Also on August 7, Venus in Libra will be forming a trine to Retrograde Mars in Aquarius. Since these are both Air Signs, love connections will have to have intellectual as much as sexual chemistry in order for them to work. This is also an excellent aspect for artists, as Venus in Libra rules the Arts and Mars, even while Retrograde, can fuel the effort to kick off new artistic endeavors.

Tempers may flare and words can become weapons on August 8 and 9, when Retrograde Mercury in Leo becomes conjunct with the Sun at 16° Leo. Strive for healthy ego assertion. The following day, while the Cancer Moon opposes Mars at the 0° Aquarius mark, Venus at 2° of Libra forms an exact square to Saturn at 3° of Capricorn, bringing turbulence to romantic relationships, creating a sense of pessimism and isolation. The silver lining of that aspect is that Saturn will be forming His own trine to Retrograde Uranus at 2° of Taurus, two Earth Signs looking to stabilize the situation to move forward to a new level of understanding.

Retrograde Mercury at 15° of Leo squares expansive Jupiter at 14° of Scorpio from August 9-11, warning us about “talking shit” about people (especially broadcasting it on a large scale, such as social media platforms) as well as warning us about overcommitting and overextending our energies through a distorted sense of what we feel we are are capable of handling, projects-wise. The wholly corrupt corporate news media will likely be engaging in spin to delude us into thinking that everything/the economy “is just fine.” If offers come your way at this time that sound too good to be true, they most likely are. Maintain an attitude of healthy skepticism and steer clear of gossip-mongering.


The August 11 Partial Solar Eclipse and New Moon in Leo


This event is something of a cosmic Refresh button, happening at 4:58 a.m. CDT at 18° of Leo. The window of opportunity to ritually work with any Leo themes—such as leadership, creativity, the theater, children, and play—is a short one, however, as the Moon will enter Virgo at 11 p.m. This eclipse will be loosely conjunct to Retrograde Mercury at 14° of Leo, and recall that Mercury is still squaring Jupiter in Scorpio. This can cause excessive drama and profound miscommunication, so again, steer clear of emotionally volatile people and reschedule any key discussions for another time.

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Eclipse event chart courtesy of planet

Look at your natal chart to see which planets you have at or near the 18° mark and what Houses they appear in—that’s your clue to seeing which life areas this eclipse is going to affect for you personally.

It’s hard not to see how this issue can trigger more instability from Trump, who has a Leo Ascendant with his natal Mars there at 26°. It gets to the point where one watches the news whilst face-palming. After the horrors of the Helsinki summit last month and the whiplash-inducing back-and-forth statements and contradictions from Trump (remember, his natal Gemini Sun is conjunct Uranus in the 10th House of Public Acclaim), one almost doesn’t want to know what theatrics get displayed on the world stage at this time.

The Leo New Moon will be forming a quincunx, a negative aspect marked by irritability, to Pluto in Capricorn, the sign that rules governmental structure, among other things. The following day, on the 12th, the Leo Sun will also quincunx Pluto, suggesting that some kind of political shake-ups, for good or ill (I’m betting the latter), will be in the offing. We’ll all stay tuned!


Retrograde Mars Backtracks into Capricorn


Retrograde Mars reenters Capricorn at 29° on August 12, giving us the remedial opportunity to get things completed that might have been unresolved when Mars initially left Capricorn and entered Aquarius three months ago. Mars is exalted in Capricorn, the Saturn-ruled Earth Sign of ambition and worldly success. Despite being Retrograde, Mars will be much more functional and grounded. Mars’ transit in Capricorn, first Retrograde and then Direct, will last through September 9.


Saving Graces


The fleet-footed Messenger of the Gods will station Direct on Sunday, August 19, at 11° of Leo, giving us something of a respite from the sense of stagnation that has been in effect since the end of June.

Also on August 19, Jupiter at 15° of Scorpio will be making a trine to Neptune at 15° of Pisces. This is a very needed influx of healing Water energy—an appetizer, if you will, of the positive energy that will be served as the main course the following week for the Pisces Full Moon. This trine is a fantastic aspect for attuning to your psychic intuition. Pay attention to your dreams for the next couple of nights for messages from Spirit.

A few days later, an even more welcome cosmic boon arrives  in the form of a Grand Trine in Earth Signs, bringing welcome stability, manifestation in the material plane, practical decision-making, productivity, physical healing, prosperity, and self-sufficiency.


The Sun enters the Mutable Earth Sign of Virgo on Wednesday, August 22, at 11:09 p.m. CDT, empowering Sun Sign Virgos and kicking off a Grand Trine between Uranus at 2° of Taurus and Saturn at 2° of Capricorn. These three planets will be exactly 120° apart from each other, and their Grand Trine will be exact on August 24 and 25.

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The benevolent energies—most auspicious for Sun and/or Ascendant Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn Natives, with sextile (positive 60° aspect) energy to Cancer and Scorpio as a secondary tier of recipients of the mojo—will last a good 4 weeks, so make the most of this opportune time to build stability and get autumnal planning into high gear.


August 26 and 27: Pisces Full Moon and Mars Stations Direct in Capricorn


Since the Full Moon is exact on Sunday, August 26 at 6:56 a.m., it’s advisable for Witches and Pagans holding their Esbat observances to do so the night before on the 25th, harnessing the energy while it is still building, not after it reaches its crescendo in the light of day.

This Pisces Full Moon will have a pronounced healing quality to it, as the Earth Sign planets Saturn and Uranus, two major players in the Grand Trine, will be sending positive sextile energy flow to this Moon. Since Pisces rules compassion and the higher octaves of spirituality, of merging with All That Is, this Moon is an ideal springboard to this-world action born from a place of compassion. Additionally, for magical people and Pagans, this is an outstanding formula for communing with one’s Gods and Goddesses in ritual, doing spirit work or shamanic journeying, or practicing energetic healing modalities like Reiki.

The only cautions surrounding this moon have to do with two squares: Mercury, now Direct in Leo, will once again be squaring Jupiter, cautioning us about what messages we choose to broadcast into the world, engaging in gossip/spreading fake news, as well as the dangers of overcommitting ourselves from an inflated sense of what we think we’re capable of accomplishing but we’re really not. The other square operating at this time is between Venus at 18° of Libra and Pluto at 19° of Capricorn, which can make for power struggles and communication problems in relationships, as well as highlight the problematic cumulative effects of avoiding conflict altogether (Libra is a conflict-avoidant sign and would rather keep quiet about problems than “rock the boat”). The silver lining here is the stability provided by the Grand Trine in Earth Signs to give people a greater sense of emotional grounding and assessing their situations realistically, while Venus in Libra insists on fair treatment and respect.

Mars finally stations Direct at 28° Capricorn on Monday, August 27, at 9:05 a.m. CDT, at last closing the months-long chapter of His pernicious Retrograde period begun in Aquarius. The start of this work week will definitely have a greater sense of relief to it than any work week since the summer began with Mars and Mercury both moving forward.

Energetically speaking, the way that August ends will feel so very different from how it begins. We will be able to optimistically coast our way towards September, born aloft on very healing, stable, pragmatic currents—a far cry from the month’s volatile start with the Retro Mars square to Uranus. A real sense of momentum arrives with the Grand Trine in Earth Signs and the potential for healing with the Pisces Full Moon, so, until the fourth week of the month, bear your burdens as best you can and know that as frustrating as it may feel to be in a holding pattern, better days are coming.


What Do the Stars Have in Store for You?

As always, if you’d like me to cast your natal or progressed chart or create planetary transit reports to see what lies specifically ahead for you based on your birth data, take a look on my Astrology Services tab here on my site and book a reading with me!

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