Dear Friend and Reader:
In August, the sky starts to open up and the energy flows more freely. The obstacle course that we’ve been running since January morphs into the art studio / healing space indicated by the Leo-Virgo line, which the Sun is gradually approaching. If you’ve been having productivity or creativity challenges, prepare to focus and move forward. Granted, this is happening in August when most people would rather be taking it easy.
Before we get there, though, there are (as ever) some highlights worth mentioning. Currently, Jupiter in Gemini is square Chiron in Pisces. This is an aspect associated with those who devote themselves to social causes; the wisdom attribute of Jupiter and the applied healing / focus quality of Chiron join forces in a provocative way. Start with yourself first and work your way into helping the world. Make your contribution from a solid place. As my friend Scott Kalechstein once said (as if describing this aspect), “get the word in before you get the word out.”
The Aquarius Full Moon is Aug. 1. This is the Moon in Aquarius opposite the Sun in Leo. When you see a Full Moon on the first of the month, that hints that there will be a second Full Moon that month — and that’s called a Blue Moon. I have absolutely no interpretation of this whatsoever; it’s pure trivia. (The Pisces Full Moon happens Aug. 31 — more on that in a few weeks.)
In all sincerity this seems like a reasonable, easygoing Full Moon (it’s trine Jupiter in Gemini, for example, which looks like a relaxed mental and emotional posture). Aug. 1 is a Wednesday, though that would be a great day to plan an extended weekend and (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere) start your midsummer holiday.
Next up is Mercury stationing direct on Aug. 8. It’s been retrograde in Leo since July 14. That will begin the first extended stretch of 2012 with all of the inner planets direct. That condition lasts a whole three months, until Nov. 6, when Mercury stations retrograde on Election Day here in the United States. [I'll come back to that one as well -- let's just say that event will give us a moment to pause and reflect on the meaning of elections.] If you recall, we covered this in the Top Five Events of 2012 audio series.
Take advantage of this phase of direct inner planets, by which I mean tackle your biggest projects during this brief three-month phase. Use the remainder of the current Mercury retrograde (through Aug. 8) to prepare yourself for what you need to accomplish with all the red and yellow lights suddenly turning green. Summer is a nice time to chill out, though I suggest you keep your focus on your goals and intentions.
We then have the Leo New Moon on Aug. 17. This is a special event, as the Sun and Moon will be opposite centaur planet Nessus. Nessus is the third centaur, with two layers of meaning. The first is about understanding the connection between cause and effect, and altering the cycle when necessary. The second is that it relates directly to themes of sexual healing, including the healing of abuse legacies (part of the reason I’ve introduced my four-part series on erotic themes on Planet Waves FM, which began with Wednesday’s edition). The essence of the New Moon opposite Nessus is cultivating an understanding of what is your material in a relationship and what belongs to someone else. Often we take on someone’s abuse legacy, or project our own into the partnership. This is a time to sort this out.
There is one more notable event in August — 1992 QB1 turns 20 years old. I keep mentioning this bit of space dust, which was the first planet ever discovered in an orbit beyond Pluto. That’s in a place called the Kuiper Belt, a vast region of space just past Neptune where there are millions of little icy and rocky planets orbiting our Sun. I promise you that you won’t read about this anywhere else, unless of course someone takes the lead from Planet Waves. I am planning a rousing tribute to 1992 QB1 in a late-August edition.
As you can see, 1992 QB1 is a planet with a temporary designation and no actual name. Dale O’Brien wrote to me and said, “It’s already named! Cue: Be One.” Now that’s an apple from the very tree I’ve been barking up since I heard about this point not long after its discovery.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
There’s this concept from psychology that everyone would benefit from knowing about: projection. Projection is when you see your qualities, issues or challenges in another person. It’s called ‘projection’ because it’s like having a light on your forehead that shines your material onto them, rather than being anything that comes inherently from them. This kind of transaction makes relationships difficult because when it’s happening, it verges on impossible for anyone to take responsibility for what is really their own, and thus open the way to have two people make their way through the world as conscious adults. This month, I suggest you listen to any accusation or claim you might make about another person and ask whether it has something to say about you. If you find yourself in any form of conflict, pause and do what’s called ‘withdraw your projections’. Start with taking full responsibility for being in the situation, and take ownership of your responses to it. Give others the opportunity to do the same thing, without pushing them in any way to do so; your example is enough. You’re likely to discover that this reveals the conflict for what it is, and puts everyone in a position where it can be resolved. The problem with identifying projection is that it can be psychologically uncomfortable and vulnerable. It can feel weird to observe what you’re doing, much less admit it. It’s easier to go on projecting, which only pushes the conflict deeper.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Love is a gentle experience and needs to be handled delicately. When we say love and really feel it, I believe that most of the time what we really mean is trust. Trust is about being on level ground with someone, and sharing mutual respect. Much of what we call love exploits inequities between people. Though we’re told these are economic issues, I’ve observed that most of them are emotionally-rooted. Whose needs are ‘more important’ than the other’s? Who is an inherently more supportive or generous person? Who can handle crisis better? I suggest that as August progresses, in matters of the heart, you go for the slow, conscious evolution process. Make sure that you’re proceeding with trust first and affection second. When your affection runs ahead of your ability to trust someone, that’s the moment to pause, because it’s the moment when you’re most likely to feel like you’re out of control, and thus respond in ways that don’t make sense (to you or to anyone). If your life emphasis is currently on a relationship, I suggest you take a couple of weeks and focus on your own inner emotional needs — the ones that can only be met by growth, not by the presence of another person. Be aware of the unusual intensity that may be gathering around resolving a childhood issue centered on the theme of trust (particularly in communication). This will be far easier to resolve as apart from a relationship than as the focus of one — for example, I suggest you address it with a therapist or counselor rather than a lover or partner.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
You may be inclined to push your luck in a relationship situation. This could translate a few ways, and will apply equally to established situations, new ones or ones that you are reaching for. You may want the situation to develop faster than it’s currently moving, which could involve wanting someone to change or grow. You might be emphasizing the sexual aspect of a relationship when you’re not quite ready for that. You may be feeling frustrated and experiencing an impulse to break free, wishing it could be with someone rather than from someone. I suggest you get clear what you’re experiencing, then proceed to investigate the source of the feeling. The first question is, who is stuck? Who is experiencing inhibition? The chances are it’s equally distributed among the people involved. Take ownership of your part. I also suggest you account for anger. What might look like desire is more likely to be a form of resentment, and it’s likely to predate this situation — all the more reason for you to be well-versed in the deeper roots of what you’re experiencing. Last, I suggest you do a review of your relationship to risk. Go back about two years, and consider the kinds of chances you’ve taken, and why you’ve taken them. Do a little audit of how each of these has worked out, and why you think that is. The game of life is easier to play when you understand yourself, and when you stack the cards in your favor. What you learn this month will help you do both.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You seem to be outgrowing something — your physical space, your emotional orientation, a job, a relationship. You may be stoked and impulsive to make a sudden change, though I suggest you take a balanced approach to your situation. The change you make has to be the right change, and at the same time, it’s essential to use a moment when you’re really aware of what you want to change. This is the balance that you must reach, which comes down to knowing your priorities and keeping a focus on matters of timing. You may not be able to act at a moment of frustration, and it would be unwise to do so. Yet a mature person can keep a focus on what they need to shift or rearrange in their lives, and look for an opportunity to do so. At the same time, the world is changing around you, and events that take place a bit later in the year, especially in October, may provide the ideal circumstances — or arrive with even greater changes that obviate the things you want to adjust now. That may seem like a long way off, though in truth it’s right around the corner, and you may be able to get a sense of the trajectory of your life when Mars enters Scorpio later this month. You will, at least, get a taste of the territory you’re going to be entering, and if you’re paying attention you will learn enough to see, and address, certain obstacles well in advance of when you actually encounter them.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
The past few weeks have been an introspective time for you, and you may have gotten to know yourself in a whole new way. It seems you’ve made some deep commitments for how to proceed with your life; you’re willing to make adjustments. Flexibility is an excellent property for you to develop, yet it’s easy to have these experiences and then forget them. To remember, I suggest you begin making decisions based on what you have discovered to be true about yourself. That’s the best way to reinforce learning: to use values and self-discovery as a practical tool. This will come in handy mid-month, around the time of the New Moon in your sign, when you face what seems to be an especially significant choice. If you have the feeling that this is about a relationship, you’re correct, though really there are a lot more than two people involved. There is a family or a metaphorical family in the picture, and you have to be clear about how much emphasis to give their needs or their opinions. You might use Mr. Spock’s analysis — the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Or you might decide that what’s best for you is best for everyone by default, because you have to be happy. In any event, this seems bigger than it really is. If you’re feeling pressure, weigh and balance the two sides of the equation for a while and you will have the clarity you need. Trust that you’re well-aligned with your truth.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Your solar chart looks like you’ve been having a beautiful experience of admitting to yourself what you really want, moving through often-impossible-to-access territory, as if you’ve been able to enter a dream consciously and ask all of the characters in that dream what they really think, and what they have to say about you. If your dream activity happens to be more prolific than normal or even if you’ve had one of those ‘big dreams’, make sure you write it down. It seems to me like you’re doing some of the deepest exploration of self-acceptance in many years. There is, however, a chance that this has felt like facing all kinds of unpleasant truths about yourself or your past: things that happened do you that continue to stress you out or knock you off balance, if even in subtle ways. The solution set remains the same: this material is coming up for review and awareness, and you’re situated perfectly to go into those places that you may have never accessed. If you seem to be stalking ‘the truth’ or if it seems to be stalking you, it’s not as dangerous or disturbing in reality as it may be in your imagination. In any event to resolve the material, or even to find out what it is, you have to bring awareness there. I will say this: what happened to you in the past matters, and it influences your life more than you may think. That is, until you do something about it.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
When the time comes to break free from your shell, do it gently. Given the astrology of the past month — particularly, Mars in your sign after spending eight months in one of the most introspective angles of your chart — you seem determined to not just think independently but be independent. Yet going back longer than this, you’ve been struggling with the authority principle: you simply don’t want other people setting your limits, telling you what to do, or rearranging your boundaries for you. And, after spending a lot of time dealing with various shades of lurking fear, you’ve started to adjust the circumstances in your life to reflect this basic truth. As the astrology of August develops, you’ll discover that you’re not done making changes — though as you consider your situation, I suggest you reflect on two things. One is the extent to which you’re adjusting your inner psychological and emotional landscape rather than the world around you. You’re in a challenging maturing process that, at the moment, is compelling you to see that in truth you live your life from the inside out. It’s not always so obvious and there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary, though as you strive to set yourself free from someone or something, remember that most of what you’re liberating yourself from is from you. Second idea — that something is a past concept of who you are. The past is gone, though now you’re finally challenging one of its most enduring emotional artifacts.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Commitment is a dance, rather than a fixed entity. In our quest for permanence in a world that seems to change ever-faster every day, there’s an idea that commitment is about grafting yourself to someone or something in a way that will never change. When you dance with someone, you hold them intentionally but gently, and with enough flexibility to move, and to let go and rejoin in another configuration. I suggest that this is the way to think of your relationships. Remember too that there are two things happening: one is the relationship or arrangement, and then there are your ideas about it. Your ideas will tend to dominate your reality, often obscuring the actual experience they’re supposed to be describing. The good news is that your ideas are flexible, as are you — and that’s your most useful asset this month. Probing a bit deeper, you seem to be unraveling a question: what is your point of contact with another person? What’s the basis of the relationship? Is it a conscious healing process, or is it an obsession with wounding? Is it an experience of emotional exchange, or is it more like a projection? Often one of these will masquerade for the other. This phenomenon is something worth investigating, even if you think you’ve gone down that road before. Your ability to take command of your life, something you now seem determined to do, depends on your knowing and understanding the difference — and using the information consciously.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Your relationships are like seeing your reflection in one of those mirrors that magnifies whatever you’re looking at, which in this case is yourself. Relationships tend to reveal our inner nature to both parties. However, what we see reflected is usually mistaken for some property of the other person involved. Though this may have an element of truth, I suggest you do an experiment where you take full ownership of whatever personal material you’re presented with. Mainly I mean your responses to someone, the choices you make, the words you say, and the ways you feel about yourself — in the context of the relationship. I am proposing that you assume this is all about you — not about anyone else. In case you’re inclined to be self-critical (a quality of your sign that’s described only in the fine print), remember that who you truly are is a lot more than the tally of your faults and your assets. Who you are exists alongside those qualities, though you are not them, no matter how much you may feel like it. One of the happier challenges you have now is to relate to others as that ‘who you really are’ factor rather than all of the details — and when you do that, it’s what you will feel mirrored back to you. The key to this is not to get distracted by judgment of any kind. This may seem like walking across coals, though at the moment, you have plenty of support.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Handle issues involving authority like you’re on the bomb squad. Rule one is, assume the thing is real. You don’t want to provoke any conflicts with anyone who has authority over you, such as traffic cops, the IRS or your boss. If you’re in a position of authority, carefully mind your ethics, your sense of fairness and most of all, your boundaries. If you practice a policy of holding the line, you will know where the line is. This is vital information if you find yourself arriving at a situation where you have to cross a boundary of some kind, exceed your authority or stand up to someone because the ethics of the situation demand that you do so. Do not do this casually or unconsciously. Rather, hold off on using this particular expression of power for when it’s clear that it’s your best (but not your only) option. That may happen once and once only in the next month. Meanwhile, if you feel anything like this brewing, I have one other suggestion. Additional information that may influence your thinking will emerge after Mercury stations direct on Aug. 8, and a second revelation is coming with the New Moon of Aug. 17. In the situation you’re in, knowledge is power, and you don’t have to impress anyone in order for that power to work. Your primary job is to know the facts, and to see the patterns develop as more information becomes available — which it will. Till then, bide your time.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Pay attention to everything in your life that seems to be running in a cycle. There are two kinds of cycles to watch for. One is when something keeps happening repeatedly, such as the sensation that you keep having a similar kind of experience because you don’t ‘get the lesson’. The second is when you’re involved in a series of events wherein one thing leads to another — and the buck stops with you. When you have experiences like this, it can be frustrating and distracting, though apropos of your current astrology, it can shake your faith in your ability to make long-term plans and carry them out. You might feel like you’re involved in a pattern that specifically makes believe that something you can envision and want to work for is unavailable to you. This is the time to challenge your beliefs, rather than feel like you’re limited by them. One indication that you might be up against a belief that you want to challenge is that you’re angry, though the anger isn’t directed at any one person. It’s more like being ‘angry at God’. This is another way of saying ‘angry at existence’, which I would say is a fertile state of mind — the kind of mental or emotional space where you know you want to make a change, but you may not be sure what change you want to make. Perhaps this question will help. You are someone who lives with a purpose, but do you have a mission?
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Many have commented on the dualistic nature of Pisces — you know, the two fish swimming in opposite directions, though connected to one another. This property runs deep in you, though it has its origins in the angle of your chart occupied by Gemini, the angle involving security and your emotions — which aligns with the sign of the twins. For the past 18 months or so, you’ve been making special progress resolving various splits within your emotional body. As you’ve done this, you’ve encountered those inner divisions in a more direct way, with the purpose for this being recognizing your situation and doing something about it. Now, you’re starting to see that these divisions that dominated your life for so long, are beginning to heal. Elements of your nature that seemed to oppose one another are now more harmonious. Your living spaces are starting to feel more like you want them to feel, and you’re more at home there — the most significant living space being your presence within your own skin. There’s a real gift here for you, as you embark on a time when you’re much more likely to be in harmony with yourself than at odds with yourself. You will save time and energy, it’ll be easier to determine what you want — and to pursue that specific thing. And there is most certainly something that you want, which is the feeling of a settled life and a true home. The more you feed your passion for this, the more realistic it will seem as a creative goal.