August Forecast: Change Is Coming, Here’s How to Deal With It
August’s cosmic weather carries us deeper into the last half of 2020, in the wake of momentous changes, headlong into further developments that are sure to be paradigm-shifting. This month, we have the sun’s seasonal passage from regal Leo into conscientious Virgo, setting up the late summer to be a time of grounding and reorganizing.
With eclipse season behind us, August’s pivotal lunar phases occur along a new axis, with a culminating full moon in Aquarius, and a new moon in Leo. Mercury, the planet of messages and communications, leaves Cancer after a two-month stay in this sensitive sign and will fly through three signs again this month. We clarify our intentions when Mercury joins the sun in a fiery conjunction mid-August, and Venus enters protective Cancer after a four-month stay in restless Gemini.
It will be important to make the most of the positive planetary forces this month as Mars in battle-ready Aries forms three catalyzing cardinal squares in August, clashing with Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn, all in Capricorn. Though these squares can unleash great powers of initiative, they collectively symbolize the beginning of what will perhaps be some of our hardest times this year. Mars’ activity is propulsive, railing against the status quo structures, giving these times an ever more urgent and divisive tone. Venus in Cancer is here to remind us to care for ourselves, our loved ones, and form protective community ties with those around us as we weather the storms of change.
August 1-2: Mercury is opposite Pluto Rx, and the sun is square Uranus
August opens with Mercury in emotive Cancer, forming an opposition with Pluto in structured Capricorn. This aspect brings our conversations, which have been centered around healing, in polarity with some of this year’s most dire and transformative realities. Since Pluto rules over the hidden realms, this opposition may draw dark truths up to the light of public and personal awareness. This awareness may lead to revolutionary developments and awakenings when the sun in proud Leo forms an edgy square with Uranus in abundant Taurus. Our personal needs may clash with shifts in the availability of material resources as we collectively adapt to scarcity and inequity.
August 3: A full moon in Aquarius, and Mercury is opposite Saturn Rx
The moon and sun come into perfect polarity today, forming the full moon phase in Aquarius. This lunar phenomenon is the first full moon we have had since May that has not been under the shadow of an eclipse, which symbolizes a light at the end of the tunnel emerging now.
Aquarius is the sign that values upholding social justice, and this bright lunation hints at better days to come. Lunar energies will be high, and the sign that Aquarius is on the cusp of in your birth chart will benefit from completion and achievement that was set in motion six months ago. Aquarius correlates with the Star card in the tarot, and its symbolism reminds us to shine with our unique gifts in the world. These gifts are needed now, as we are made for these times. On this full moon, we can reflect on how we are each a vital star in our community constellations.
Later in the afternoon, Mercury in nurturing Cancer forms an opposition with Saturn in determined Capricorn. This aspect may be a continuation of yesterday’s Mercury/Pluto opposition, as we continue to contend with this year’s hard realities and limitations. Truths and facts recently brought to the surface have implications for our financial and governmental structures.
August 4: Mars is square Jupiter Rx, and Mercury enters Leo
On Tuesday, Mars’ day, we have the first of three difficult squares that Mars in impulsive Aries will form this month. The first is today’s amplifying square aspect with Jupiter in Capricorn, which may symbolize uprising and rallies against laws that are at odds with the prevailing voices at need in our society.
Personally, Mars may be accelerating growth and change in a particular area of life. Societally, those who have held power and authority are under scrutiny, as they see their integrity challenged. Many are being tested to the breaking point, and positions of power are relinquished. All is being revealed now under the most potent inquiry.
The tone of communication heats up further today as Mercury leaves watery Cancer for the first time in over two months, to enter passionate Leo. The collective and personal focus in conversation and negotiation now shifts from Cancer’s raw vulnerability to the courageous assertions of Leo.
August 7: Venus enters Cancer
Venus, the planet of love, attraction, and relational cohesion, leaves mercurial Gemini behind after an unusually long four-month period in this social air sign. The mood shift may be tangible, as relational energies descend from the ethers to coalesce in the watery and empathic currents of emotion and intuition. The waters of Cancer need to flow in waves of sincerity, empathy, expression, and often tears, as a cleansing release for the tensions of the heart. This season of Venus in Cancer brings us home to our feelings when connecting with love or nurturing creativity, which will be active until September 6.
August 9-10: Mercury is trine Chiron, and square Uranus
Mercury in dramatic and expressive Leo forms a potent fire trine with Chiron in Aries, opening up a portal to access and speak about deep ongoing wounds. Since the trine aspect is supportive and flowing, it clears away obstructions and doubt and allows us to move through painful passages with more confidence. Sudden occurrences, realizations, and radical breakthroughs may emerge the following day, as Mercury in proud Leo forms an amplifying square with Uranus in Taurus. Healing possibilities present amid therapeutic conversations when we open up to our evolutionary and adaptive capabilities. These aspects have great potential for us collectively and personally, as we engage in ongoing inner work and reparations.
August 13-15: Mars is square Pluto Rx, and Uranus goes retrograde
Mars’ second hard aspect of the month occurs on August 13, this time with Pluto in Capricorn. This square may mark an intensely trying passage. Mars has full potential for volatility in Aries while clashing against one of the most unforgiving planetary placements active in the skies this year. Mars is all about combat and confrontation, while Pluto is about deep, hidden forces of irreversible change. These two forces are equally unyielding, symbolizing deep disagreements, and the resulting upheaval that continues to unfold. The very foundations of society are rocked now, and old bones from the past resurface for a reckoning.
Two days later, Uranus, the planet of revolution, goes retrograde, subverting radical forces and making these more turbulent. Uranus, as a planetary force, is unpredictable and eruptive at the best of times. Yet, this retrograde carries us back along the path of upsets and innovation this year, to re-examine and integrate how these themes are reshaping our lives. Uranus will be in retrograde for the rest of 2020, adding another layer of uncertainty to personal and world events best managed by maintaining an open mind and an adaptive attitude.
August 16: The sun and Mercury are trine Mars, and Venus is square Chiron Rx
The sun and Mercury, nearly conjunct in Leo, both form a dynamic fire trine with Mars in combustive Aries on August 16. Fire trines are typically enlivening, stimulating, and inspiring. As a result, we can expect these trines to activate bold inquiry and assertive conversations. The trine aspect is flowing and supportive, so we can expect awareness and dialogue to be moving in powerfully productive directions today, as we may feel vitalized and affirmed in bold action we are taking now. Collectively, these fire trines involving Mars may activate a turning point in public discourse and swift initiatives with cathartic potential.
Meanwhile, Venus in healing Cancer forms a square with Chiron in individualistic Aries, adding an edgy and perhaps painful undercurrent to today’s potent proceedings. Venus in Cancer guides us to the most vulnerable places within ourselves and in society that need love and care the most. This square aspect with Chiron, the asteroid of wounds, may remind us of what has been neglected for too long. The wounds we uncover today are tender, and though painful to face, need urgent attention.
August 17: The sun and Mercury are conjunct in Leo
On August 17, Mercury moves into the heart of the sun, forming a “superior” conjunction. This term means that Mercury comes into alignment today out behind the sun, in contrast to the “inferior” conjunction that occurs in front of the sun. This “superior” conjunction represents an active, externally focused process of clarity and purification. In Leo, this purifying conjunction may reconnect our minds to our hearts, helping us to guide our thinking with courage and heartfelt authenticity.
The sun is at home in Leo, radiating its full regal and noble light, making today an excellent opportunity to practice solar rituals. We may want to build a solar altar, and channel solar vitality into our hearts and minds. Personally, and collectively, we can move forward today after a mental reset, leaving behind any thoughts, beliefs, or practices that do not serve our highest values or truths.
August 18-19: Venus is sextile Uranus Rx, a new moon in Leo, and Mercury enters Virgo
Venus in sincere Cancer forms a collaborative sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus today, helping us channel Uranus’ revolutionary energies in uniquely healing directions. This sextile may also open opportunities to explore new perspectives and experiences in our relationships. Some of us may connect suddenly, and genuinely, with new, unusual, and innovative people outside our typical social circle. Any new relationship perspective or connection that comes into our sphere now will open us up in surprising new ways, even if these connections are brief.
By the evening, we have this month’s new moon phase in proud and courageous Leo. With the Lion’s stealth and courage, we venture into the darkness of this lunar passage to investigate our hearts. The house that Leo is on the cusp of in our birth charts and the area of life it represents hosts the closing cycle that began a year ago when the Leo moon was last dark.
Six months ago, a fruitful culmination occurred here, which was the result of hard work, but also fortune and circumstance. Now, we sit in quiet reflection and allow this cycle to end, clearing the ground for a new lunar cycle to unfold. Though Leo is an active, passionate sign, the dark moon phase is one of low energy, experienced best while resting, in meditation, or exploring creative visualizations that refresh the soul.
The following day, Mercury, the planet of messages and currency, moves into its home sign of Virgo. Here, Mercury’s communicative and analytical powers are at their peak, making this an excellent time to study, write, and organize projects. The mercurial energies that are active now are the opposite of the frustrating and confusing Mercury retrograde phenomenon. This time is good for fast connections, ease in utility, and a grounded sense that our efforts are in order and potentially humming along smoothly.
The only shame is that it’s a short passage, lasting only until September 5, so it’s best to harness this opportunity while we can. Some of us may even feel curious to engage in Mercury rituals, drawing Mercury’s powers of clarity down into our lives for practical, tangible use. A sunrise prayer and meditation on Wednesdays, Mercury’s day of the week, may yield especially magical and helpful results during the next few weeks.
August 22-24: The sun enters Virgo/Virgo Season, and Mars is square Saturn Rx
On August 22, the sun makes a seasonal shift out of fiery Leo, and into earthy Virgo. The sun joins Mercury, the natural planetary ruler of Virgo, in this detail-focused and pragmatic sign, making the beginning of Virgo season exceptionally strong. Though Virgo season lasts until September 22, the sun and Mercury join forces in the sign of healing and natural harmony until September 5, amplifying the opportunities this passage presents. It’s a time to learn, study, connect, and grow literary projects for the next few weeks. It’s also an excellent season to enjoy the natural world and reconnect to its rhythms. Forest walks, park visits, or even just placing our bare feet in the soil can be nourishing, rooting, and grounding.
We will need Virgo’s earthiness, practicality, and grounding, especially now, as Mars in flammable Aries forms its third challenging square aspect this month. This time, it’s with Saturn in resolute Capricorn. Both Mars and Saturn are in their home signs, giving them full access to their planetary powers. Both Aries and Capricorn are cardinal signs, meaning they wield their elemental powers with equal strength and authority.
As the hard-square aspect suggests, they are unlikely to yield to one another. This angry connection brings the planet of anger and drive into conflict with the planet of austerity and limitation, which may intensify the cascade of global difficulties that have unraveled this year. This square is the first of three that will occur over the next six months, marking this time especially volatile and difficult. Any manner of channeling the healing and compassionate powers of Venus in Cancer will help us stay as balanced, calm, and connected to our hearts as we can.
August 25: Mercury is trine Uranus Rx, and Venus is opposite Jupiter Rx
Constructive yet innovative conversations may emerge out of a time of strife and challenges, as Mercury in Virgo forms an earth trine with Uranus in Taurus. This aspect is mentally stimulating, allowing us to see possibilities and opportunities that we may not have noticed before. Fresh ideas, perspectives, and solutions come to the fore that will be constructive on both a personal and collective level. This aspect supports sudden bursts of creativity and inventiveness in our conversations and written projects.
Meanwhile, Venus in protective Cancer forms an opposition with Jupiter in determined Capricorn, expanding personal and collective emotional expressions. Oppositions can tend to be confronting and polarizing, but an opposition between beneficial Venus and Jupiter is more likely to inspire indulgence and enjoyment. Jupiter is connected to our finances through Capricorn, giving this year a more frugal and resourceful mood. We may be enjoying what pleasures and indulgences we can by making the most of what we have. Some celebration and fun will be in order, provided this doesn’t disrupt our well-laid plans.
August 27-29: Venus is trine Neptune, and Mercury is trine Jupiter
August 27 is a dreamy, imaginative, and potentially healing passage as Venus in caring Cancer forms a water trine aspect with Neptune in oceanic Pisces. This potent, intuitive trine opens up the currents of love and emotion, allowing us to connect on a profoundly empathic and spiritual level. Though the month holds some difficult planetary passages, this water trine offers respite and hope, inviting us to dip into the cooling, visionary waters of universal well-being. Venus trine Neptune taps us into an imaginal and creative realm, that soothes our hearts and restores our faith for a better future.
Two days later, Mercury in orderly Virgo forms an earth trine with Jupiter in practical Capricorn, creating an opportunity to establish new projects or plans. This supportive and constructive trine symbolizes clear and grounded communications working in harmony with sustainable growth and steady expansion. This opportune trine may support any visions that came through on August 27, opening the way to make these a material and tangible reality.
August 30: Venus is opposite Pluto, and Mercury is opposite Neptune
August ends with two potent and polarizing planetary aspects. The first is an opposition between Venus in intuitive Cancer and Pluto in persevering Capricorn. While the Venus/Jupiter opposition on August 25 had an expansive and indulgent quality, Venus’ clash with Pluto tells a darker story. This aspect may draw hidden truths up to the surface in our relationships, when secrets are brought out in the open. These revelations will have a transformative and lasting effect on our committed unions. It may be that these truths surface now as an opportunity to deepen our commitments, but in some cases, they may be heavy enough to sever any ties not meant to endure. Collectively, hidden facts may come into the public eye that need to be faced and healed before moving forward.
Later in the morning, Mercury in exacting Virgo forms an opposition with Neptune in dreamy Pisces. We may find ourselves personally, and collectively, facing the expansiveness of our visions as we work through ways to help them materialize. Neptune in Pisces amplifies our sense of universal connection and spirituality, but can also fog our thinking and lead us into illusions. Mercury in pragmatic Virgo helps us tease out what is real and possible from the transient and ephemeral. If we can stay calm and grounded while we dream of the future, there are many possibilities to explore.
Art by Debra Stapleton