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Astrological highlights by Danielle Blackwood
August 2nd is a potent day for a momentous new beginning. Mars moves into Sagittarius after an extra long stay in the sign of transformative Scorpio, where it traversed in and out of since early January this year. If 2016 has taught us anything to date, it is that our society is rife with hidden and covert power structures. Mars’ sojourn through the archetype of sex, death, power and rebirth has pulled the covers back and shone an unflinching light on some very fraught issues. Power imbalances have been highlighted, racial inequalities exposed, gender politics spotlighted. Scorpio is about exposing the hidden; the seething, secret, simmering underside of the human condition. It is connected to the Shadow in Jungian parlance, that which has been pushed to the deepest places personally and collectively, because it is uncomfortable to look at. Scorpio also resonates with the regenerative, healing, truly transformative power of what happens when we do have the courage to peek beneath the surface. Only when an abscess is drained of its toxins and thoroughly cleansed, can it begin to heal.
Mars will be in Sagittarius until September 28th. Sagittarius comes after Scorpio, and is connected to the principle of seeking meaning. Mars in Sag helps us to look at the big picture, taking what Scorpio has unearthed, and exploring the truths that have been opened up. Mars in Sagittarius is philosophy in action. On the same day Mars ingresses into fiery Sagittarius, the Moon is new in creative, passionate Leo. Remember that New Moons are the most fertile time to plant those new seeds of intention which you will nurture and bring to fruition over the coming six months. In Leo, ask yourself where you can stand up and be more authentically yourself. How can you enliven, broaden and deepen your unique contribution in this lifetime? Leo invites us to participate fully in life, just as the crops are ripening in the fields, something is ripening within that it may be time to soon harvest. What three things can you do in the next six months that will bring more joy to your everyday? If you’re not showing up as you wish you were, how can you tweak your image, your persona, or your brand so that it more closely aligns with your authentic Self?
August 2nd is the festival of Lughnasadh, also known as the First Harvest, Loaf Mass, and Lammas. This is the place on the Wheel of the Year when the first fruits are harvested. The roots of Lughnasadh are old Irish, and many pagans mark this day as a time of rejoicing and celebration. The natural world is brimming with a cornucopia of delights, families get to spend more time together, and the vibe is drenched in warmth, affection and joy. If we tune in, we will intuit that there is also a slight bittersweet undertone to this joyful time of year. Somewhere deep inside, we know on an intuitive level that summer is fleeting, and that harvest time will soon begin in earnest. There are much deeper levels to this holy day. In the mytho-poetic traditions of the Goddess and the God, the God is symbolically sacrificed, as the wheat was traditionally cut down in the fields at this time of year. The sacred masculine reached its culmination on Summer Solstice, and if you look closely, you can see that although nature is redolent with abundance, there is a slight glimmer of gold beneath the green signifying that the seasons will soon change; the old year will die, and we will be turning towards the darker, cozy days of autumn once again.
On August 5th, Venus enters Virgo. We become more practical in terms of spending money and more discerning on whom we choose to give our attention. Relationships are chosen for more for their practicality, not their romantic potential. We become conscious of what we eat, how we are taking care of our body, and self improvement. We may turn our attention to how we contribute in a meaningful way in the community, our relationships, the world. How can we make things better? What can we actually do in the real world to help? Venus squares Saturn on the 13th, the same day Saturn stations direct. Saturn energy permeates the collective. We find ourselves wondering how much we are paying for something: a relationship, a lifestyle, an ideology. Something important is on the proverbial table, and we may find we need to make a choice. We may feel more serious than usual today. What are we actually responsible for? Perhaps its time to take some steps to become more accountable for our actions, our part in the big picture. It is all connected. Venus opposes Neptune on the 14th: there is confusion in the air, we might not know our next steps. Stay fluid. If you can put off a life changing decision until you’re feeling more grounded, do so. Go within; journal your way to a solution, or at least more insight. Channel some Neptunian inspiration and work it out through creativity.
August 18th brings us a Full Moon in Aquarius and a Lunar Eclipse. Strange, exciting (perhaps even shocking) things are potentially afoot. Eclipses bring change. Expect the unexpected, in the days leading up to this lunation, and the days after. A shift, a sea change, a paradigm buster is in the works. This Full Moon will shine a light on social justice, humanitarian endeavors, liberation and change. Watch the world stage around these days, as the collective will be saturated in this energy.
On August 22nd the Sun ingresses into Virgo. For Sun sign Virgos, happy birthday! This is your personal new year. Virgo is a mutable earth sign, meaning it is a sign that transitions one season into the next: in this case summer into autumn. And, it resonates with the grounding, fertile element of the Earth element. The Virgo archetype is intimately connected to the season of harvest, and these qualities show up in both the Virgo person, and in Virgo season. During Virgo season, we find ourselves weighing, sorting, deciding what needs to go, and what needs to be kept. We streamline, organize, hone and declutter both our closets and our psyches. We focus on what is actually essential in our lives, and carefully prune away that which no longer serves a viable purpose. This is a great time to start a new exercise plan, a yoga practice, or a healthier new lifestyle. We want to cleanse, repair and make things sound. Virgo is connected to Service, daily rituals of all kinds, health and the body, and the body/mind. Those with Virgo strong in their charts will often be practical realists. They can show an amazing ability to analyze and get to the crux of things very quickly, with no nonsense or superfluous baggage. They can usually be counted on to do anything they set out to do with efficiency, and they get results. Sometimes, when Virgo is acting from the Shadow, they can be overly critical, self deprecating, or unable to stop working. They need to learn to balance their fine minds and outstanding ability to be discerning, and know when to let something go. Anxiety can often be a very Virgo problem. Meditation is a helpful practice for Virgo, as is work around letting go of the never ending pursuit of “perfection”. If they can accept that not everything has to be, or even can be, perfect, they can turn their attention and keen intelligence to their next project, idea, or task.
Venus enters her own sign, Libra, on August 29th. Venus in Libra is refined, beautiful, diplomatic and charming. Our attention turns to beauty and relationship. We immerse ourselves in the Arts, and are uplifted by the aesthetically pleasing. This is a good time to revamp our image, our wardrobe, our look. Venus in Libra reminds us that sacred adornment and caring about our appearance is not only acceptable, it shows that we care about putting our best foot forward. Venus in Libra knows the power of beauty, grace and charm and makes no apologies about it. For Venus in Libra, beauty is neither skin deep, or shallow. Beauty is a sacred rite of the Goddess: transformative, regenerative, and deeply powerful. Before the Romans called her Venus, the Goddess of Love ruled classical Greece as Aphrodite, and before Aphrodite are the roots of the even more ancient goddess: The Queen of Heaven and Earth: Inanna. Take a chapter out of her playbook and reclaim your right to embrace your beauty and sensuality – whether you are male, female, or non-binary.
Mercury stations retrograde just in time for the beginning of back to school and back to business, on August 30th through September 22nd. Check all your classes, make extra time to get where you’re going, and remember, for all its annoying glitches, Mercury retrograde is an opportunity for you to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.
P.S. I have some super exciting brand new workshops coming up, here on Salt Spring Island!
For more information and to register:
Planetary Ingresses and Lunations August 2016 (All times PDT)
August 2 10:49 am Mars enters Sagittarius
August 2 1:44 pm New Moon 10° Leo 58′
August 5 8:27 am Venus enters Virgo
August 13 2:51 am Saturn Direct 9° Sagittarius 47’D
August 18 2:26 am Full Moon Lunar Eclipse 25°Aquarius 52′
August 22 9:39 am Sun enters Virgo
August 29 7:07 pm Venus enters Libra
August 30 6:04 am Mercury stations retrograde 29° Virgo 05’ Rx
September 1 2:03 am New Moon Solar Eclipse 9° Virgo 21’
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