The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Leo 2014

Chart for the New Moon in Leo
Chart for the New Moon in Leo

Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is a wasted time
Look inside your heart, I'll look inside mine
...Bring me a higher love!
~ Will Jennings and Steve Winwood, Higher Love

Jul.26 – NEW MOON in LEO (03:51 of Leo)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jul.26, 2014, 6:41 PM EDT

London, UK:

Jul.dd, 2014, 11:41 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jul.dd, 2014, 8:41 AM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience LEO energy in your life.

This is the kind of lunar cycle that can be over-the-top inspiring, exciting, motivating and empowering. Or, it could also be around-the-bend upsetting, infuriating, exhausting or overwhelming.

Much depends on how you get along with Leo energy. And Jupiter. And Mars. And we'll throw in Chiron for good measure, so he doesn't suffer from feeling left out.

Get ready to get hammered – a Thor's Hammer aspect pattern, that is (sometimes called a Quadriform or Arrowhead). This Hammer features prominently and powerfully in the New Moon chart and in the unfolding energy of this lunar cycle. In fact, it's so central to the Leo New Moon chart that I'm going to focus almost exclusively on it.

Typical Thor's Hammer or Quadriform aspect pattern

A Thor's Hammer consists of (at least) two planets in square aspect (90°), and a third planet in sesquiquadrate aspect (135° or a square-and-a-half) to the square planets.

The sesquiquadrate aspect (sometimes called a sesquisquare or a tri-octile – three-eighths of the circle) is part of the square family (90°, 180°, 45°, 135°). As such, its fundamental energy is about conflict, stress, friction and struggle, as well as being motivating, dynamic and energizing. This ain't no cushy trine (120°) or playful sextile (60°), but a hard-working, edgy chisel designed to keep you moving when you're tempted to get complacent, bored or lazy.

When you combine the sesquiquadrates with a square, they form the business end of a hammer. It's capable of smashing away obstacles with the blunt end (think peanuts pureed straight into peanut butter with one blow). Or, with the apex end, it could "get to the point" in one swift whack or a series of carefully aimed taps, splitting those annoyingly ambiguous shades of grey into black-and-white clarity.

I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.
~ Abraham Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being

So: which tool do you need? Do you need something to deal with the "broad strokes" in a situation? Or do you need something more focused for a more specialized task?

Well, it depends on what you're trying to do.

The end result will largely depend on picking the right tool for the job. If you need something with a finer touch that can get into the nitty-gritty, a blunt instrument is more likely to cause damage than repair it.

If, for example, you need to speak your truth to someone, whose easily hurt feelings have held you back from doing so before now, blurting it out with blunt force (the broad side of the Hammer) probably won't get you the best outcome. Better to choose words carefully to avoid overreaction and undue damage (the focused point of the Hammer).

On the other hand, if you need to lay out the broad strokes of the big picture, approaching it through details and specifics (the pointed end of the Hammer) will more likely get you lost in minutia and you'll lose sight of what you're trying to accomplish. For instance, if you want to write a book, it's better to start by figuring out the structure and flow of ideas for the book's topic (the flat end of the Hammer), rather than zeroing in on which font to use for the chapter headings.

Love and kindness are the hammer and chisel that gently chip through barriers and long-held beliefs to reveal the magnificent soul contained within every human.
~ Molly Friedenfeld, The Book of Simple Human Truths

Thor's Hammer aspect pattern at the New Moon in Leo

In the case of our Leo Hammer, the broad side consists of Mars on one end and a tight conjunction of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter at the other end. Wow, talk about a dynamo of energy!

Mars in square aspect to anything cranks up the heat and volume. For example, if you get triggered into anger or defensiveness, it's likely to be louder and more forceful than usual. If you're looking for motivation and energy, this is a wave you could potentially surf all the way to the shore—but make sure you've got your water wings on in case you wipe out!

Jupiter is conjunct the New Moon, which is a pretty Big Deal all by itself. Jupiter seeks to expand and enlighten whatever it touches. In fact, it is the quintessential Seeker – of knowledge, truth, justice and wisdom. And to acquire any of these means you have to get up off the couch and go look for it (literally or figuratively). Hence: Jupiter's penchant for travel, whether to distant shores or inner realms.

Jupiter just arrived in Leo after a year in Cancer, and this New Moon is his grandiose celebration party to welcome him home. With Leo's flair for the dramatic and self-expression, Jupiter will be right at home—as long as he feels it's all being done for a higher purpose.


However, Jupiter starts to get cranky if he feels his talents are being whittled away by trivial pursuits designed to merely inflate the ego or pander to self-importance. In this case, he may try to puff himself up to full-blown maximum. At its best, the intention is to reach out to connect with something greater than oneself, like a higher calling or meaning. However, if the ego being boosted is only interested in short-term gratification, and ignores the capacity for long-term fulfilment, the result may look more like an overdose of vanity and arrogance.

Does this mean you can't do something that just makes you feel good, for fear of limiting your greater potential? Heavens, no! Leo is all about feeling good about yourself and wanting to spread the love around. However, when Jupiter's doing the talking in Leo, he speaks of a universal, spiritual, higher love. To ignore this and settle merely for ego stroking or hedonistic indulgence is a missed opportunity at best, or a waste of spirit at worst, in Jupiter's royal opinion. And Jupiter is all about opportunity—that's where his reputation for luck comes from.

So there are two levels of potential happening here. Ideally it's probably best to aim for a balance. By all means, celebrate, have fun, go after the warm fuzzy strokes that make your Inner Leo purr like a contented kitty. But remember to radiate some of that warm energy back out into the world too. And if you're already focused on connecting with a greater context of life (whether it's cultivating spirituality, philosophy, knowledge or greater tolerance), be sure to bask in that inspiring glow with your personal self too.

I really must stop saying sorry; it doesn't make things any better or worse. If only I had it in me to be all fierce, fearless and forthright instead of forever sprinkling my discourse with pitiful retractions, apologies and prevarications.
~ Stephen Fry, The Fry Chronicles

At the pointy end of Thor's Hammerhead is Chiron in Pisces. Now, you wouldn't think that anything in nebulous Pisces would be sharpened to a fine point, and perhaps that's the point (so to speak). Chiron is about woundedness and our struggle to stay balanced between our boundless sentience and spiritual nature versus our limiting physical creaturehood. Being in Pisces, this balance shifts like quicksand, guided by the flow of feelings and intuition, as well as a longing to surrender into Universal Oneness.

So it seems to be Chiron's job to serve as the metaphorical chisel that carves life (inside and out) into a specific shape. Or, it could be used to break down events and experiences into smaller bitesize parts that can be manoeuvred and understood more easily. I can hear tender, wounded Chiron crying "ouch!" at ever tap!

The point here is that in order to utilize the apex of this Hammer, it means you will need to face and grapple with your own woundedness and perhaps that of others. In other words, when you need to make a point or get to the heart of the matter, it could cause some distress or struggle in some way. And the more you're able to simply be with your discomfort – instead of trying to escape it through distractions, addictions or denial – the more you will be able to move beyond the distress and be effective.

You remind me of someone with a bad toothache who's hitting herself in the head with a hammer to distract herself from the pain in her mouth.
~ Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Fancy Pants

Here's an example. Say you're having trouble in your relationship and you need to confront him or her about something that bothers you. Your partner knows how to push your buttons and perhaps uses this to deflect the confrontation, conveniently turning the focus back on you. Your initial reaction might be to back off to avoid their criticism and hostility—or worse, you might wind up in a blowout fight as you try to defend yourself.

Instead of getting stuck in the fight-or-flight response, you might try containing your pain and anger inside the protective, loving arms of self-acceptance and self-compassion. No, you're not perfect. Yes, your partner's accusations might have some truth to them. No, you don't have to become perfect in that moment in order to have the right to speak your truth. Yes, you can deal with whatever issues your partner has raised, but it doesn't necessarily have to be in that moment. No, you don't have to blast him or her to smithereens in order to make your point. Yes, you might find it's more effective to keep your message simple, succinct and focused in the present. No, you don't have to bring out the "laundry list" of past sins and unresolved problems in order to state your truth clearly.

You get the idea. When you run away from your own woundedness and human imperfection, you also run away from your true personal power. By allowing yourself to acknowledge who you are as a whole person, complete with good and bad, you can avoid getting trapped in the belief that your shortcomings define who you are and make you unworthy.

Life's a forge! Yes, and hammer and anvil, too! You'll be roasted, smelted, and pounded, and you'll scarce know what's happening to you. But stand boldly to it! Metal's worthless till it's shaped and tempered! More labor than luck. Face the pounding, don't fear the proving; and you'll stand well against any hammer and anvil.
~ Lloyd Alexander, Taran Wanderer

So, how can you make the most of this Leo New Moon Hammer, and avoid smashing your proverbial thumb in the process?

To utilize the blunt end most effectively, you have to swing it from the pointy end. When you can grapple with your human woundedness in a healthy way, you have access to the power to swing the blunt end of the Hammer with a lot of clout and really make a difference. Use this wisely and you have a powerful tool to forge dreams, creativity and ambition into something that can be an expression of the best part of you.

On the other hand, swinging the pointy end of that Hammer might feel like you just grabbed a knife by the blade. (ouch!) If this is just too painful for you to bear gracefully, the risk is for the blunt end of the Hammer to wind up being used like a weapon. We all take out our pain, fears, anger and frustrations on others sometimes, but with this energy in the air your impact could be much more forceful than usual. Use it wisely or walk away.

Smashing hammer

The thing is: deep in your heart any aggression is probably rooted in a childlike self-protection. The problem is that to the person on the other end, your inflamed Chiron soaking in healing Piscean waters will probably look more like an angry shark coming at them. In other words, if you wield the Hammer energy from a place of fear, rage, pain or defensiveness, it is more likely to evoke a defensive response that just compounds the problem.

The other danger here is that, in an effort to avoid lashing out at others, you might wind up turning that aggression on yourself. If you find you're beating yourself up, you might find it's better to resort to the escapism and distraction that I suggested earlier to avoid—but do it in a way that minimizes the negative impact on yourself and others around you. For instance, you may want to indulge in your favorite libations to numb your stress, but don't go out drinking and then get behind the wheel of a car. Just don't. In fact, don't drive angry, period. And it's probably best not to get drunk and then decide this is the right time to talk about sensitive topics with your partner.

The best way to balance yourself on a knife edge usually involves a lot of stillness and calm, not impulsive reaction.

Leonardo's Mona Lisa is just a thousand thousand smears of paint.
Michelangelo's David is just a million hits with a hammer.
We're all of us a million bits put together the right way.
~ Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

The fine sculptor's touch with a hammer and chisel

To use the sharp end of the Hammer like a chisel, start by grasping the blunted, forceful end. Think of a turntable needle that finds its way into the groove of the record. (Okay, I'm dating myself here, but humour me – it's a good metaphor.) When you have a firm grip on the broad end, you can triangulate your way to steer the point to where you want it. Let one side or the other of the substance slip and the point becomes lost.

Applied to real life, it's wise to be clear on what it is you want to accomplish (the substance or weight) before you let the point of your diamond do its digging. And once you have it all in place, you will often find that it finds the right groove where it will do the most good.

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It's not always about forcing the issue, but about patiently persisting in steering your point to the place where the person or situation will be most receptive to it. When it all fits together, it can almost speak for itself, expressing the music of the spheres.

On the other hand, if you try to force your will on someone or something, you could wind up with damage, like scraping the needle across a record. It can just interfere with what you're trying to do and cause more problems.

If you can't find your "groove" – if the person or situation isn't receptive to what you're trying to do – you have two (healthy) choices. You can first reconsider whether it's a good idea to try to do it. Perhaps the person isn't ready for it, or maybe you're feeling impatient and want to dig in quickly and get to the point.

Taking the time to find the right time and context in which to address the issue can sometimes make the result better and smoother. Be like the diamond cutter that carefully and patiently plans and chooses where and how to cut that works with the grain of the stone.

The other choice is to carve out a new "groove" – to pioneer a new path, but this doesn't usually happen quickly. It's often best to start gently and through repetition gradually forge something new. A path through the forest must be cleared of obstacles, then walked many times before an enduring trail is established. In the same way, it may take time to achieve the results you want, combining persistence, faith and heart.

Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting points and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.
~ Albert Einstein

You have a powerful tool in the Leo New Moon to use in shaping your future. By the time the Full Moon in Aquarius arrives, it's important to have a clear sense of the structure you're trying to create and the method you intend to use (which end of the Hammer). Saturn will feature prominently in the Full Moon chart!

Thankfully, Saturn is a pretty happy camper these days, still getting "Grand Trined" with Chiron and faster moving planets. Mercury completes the trio from July 21 to 28 (peaking July 24-25), and Venus joins the party from July 27 to August 6 (peaking July 31). Mind you, as Mercury and Venus do the Grand Trine waltz, they are also T-square dancing with Uranus and Pluto, so there's plenty of different energies to keep everyone happy.

If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening, all over this land
I'd hammer out danger, I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land…
~ Pete Seeger and Lee Hayes

Jul.28 – Mercury square North Lunar Node (22:26 of Cancer/Libra)  (Jul.27 in HAST, AKT, PDT, MDT, CDT)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Under this transit, you might find you need to, or are compelled to, change your mind about where you are heading in your life. You could be confronted with facts or information that contradicts what you thought was real or true about your sense of life purpose, or it might seem like someone is getting in your way. You may be tempted to dismiss this, deny it, avoid it or rationalize your way around it. However, there is probably valuable information coming to you that is important to take into consideration. It doesn't necessarily mean your life destination should be abandoned; rather, you are challenged to see it more clearly. You might also need to communicate information or a point of view that could be unwelcome or unpopular, or difficult to get your point across. In that case, try not to go overboard in standing your ground and focus primarily on what needs to be said and the best way to say it.

Jul.28 – Venus opposite Pluto (11:42 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Jul.27 in HAST, AKT, PDT)   (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Under this transit you could experience great intensity and challenge in your relationships or financial matters. It is a time to delve into the depths of your personal issues that associated with relationships, finances, resources and values. That means being willing to examine the under-the-surface dynamics and hidden patterns that affect these areas of your life. These emerging patterns could indicate a need to come to terms with your "Shadow" – this could include unconscious hidden agendas, secret desires, obsessions or power games. You have an opportunity now to learn more about how you project this "Shadow" onto others through your interactions, expectations, hopes and fears. At its best, this can be a time to transform fear into fortitude and powerlessness into endurance. By being willing to negotiate and work with your fears, feelings of intimidation or efforts to gain empowerment through self-honesty, you have the potential to create a win-win situation.

Jul.31 – Mercury enters Leo (until Aug.15)   (Aug.01 in AU)

While Mercury struts through Leo, your creativity and self-expression are flying high! Your communication strives to express more than just facts or information – it wants to convey the dramatic energy that tells a story in larger-than-life proportions! How you perceive and experience life right now can be vivid, dramatic and fun, as you pick up more easily on the expressive and "feel-good" elements of what's happening around you. You may become very creative, inspired and motivated during this time. The downside is that it may also easier to indulge in a mindset that is self-serving, egotistical or overconfident. Your motives are likely to be noble, heroic and full of good intentions, but you could also become so in love with your vision of what's possible that you miss valid criticism or drawbacks. This is a time to enjoy the playful delights of sports, games, humor, fun and children.

Aug.01 – Venus square Uranus (16:28 of Cancer/Aries)   (Jul.31 in HAST, AKT, PDT, MDT)

Under this transit, you may be tempted by impulse spending, or you might be somewhat erratic in your use of resources. This can result in unpredictable or unstable finances, so double check your bank accounts and credit cards before you draw on them. It is also a time when the way you relate to others (or they to you) could be somewhat inconsistent, fickle or impulsive. If your relationships or financial situation have been struggling with difficulties for a while, this transit could bring a lingering problem to the surface and require attention. On one hand, this could be a welcome breath of fresh air that cuts through the complexity of your problems and puts the cards on the table (despite the stress and conflict that likely triggered it). Or, you might feel resistance to making these changes and instead experience this as a time of unwelcome instability, upset and adjustment. However, this may be a good way to break free of excessive restraint, control or structure, which allows new possibilities to emerge that couldn't do so otherwise.

Aug.01 – Venus trine Saturn (16:45 of Cancer/Scorpio)

Stability in relationships and finances characterises this transit. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and to invest the hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and interaction with others. Commitment and structure are easier to achieve and embrace than change or taking risks. Self-worth can benefit now because you are less inclined to give in to mood swings. However, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.

Aug.01 – Venus trine Chiron (16:59 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Aug.02 in AU)

Healing and rebalancing are possible now, especially in the areas of relationships, finance, resources and values. Any problems that have persisted in these areas lately could benefit from an influx of helpful and healing resources now. Relationships and interactions of all kinds can benefit now, since it can be easier to see the beauty and value in others whom you might usually dislike or feel ill at ease with (or they with you). Negotiations and strategic efforts to resolve conflicts may go smoothly now, especially when you balance the results in everyone's interests. You may also be able to attract what you need to heal your wounds (physical, psychological, spiritual, etc.). Like it says in the "Serenity Prayer," you may now find it a bit easier to accept that which you cannot change, while finding you make progress with the things you can.

Aug.01 – Mars square Jupiter (03:40 of Scorpio/Leo)  (Aug.02 in AU)

Under this transit your energy is more accessible, but this could be more problematic than helpful. On one hand, you have more enthusiasm and motivation available to take bold steps toward your goals. However, you might be forced to do this out of a sense of moral coercion, rather than freely choosing it. Or, your actions could be triggered by exasperated impulse more than by a sense of what is right for that moment. Impulses are likely to become easily amplified, but also more difficult to control. This includes anger, sexuality, aggression and assertiveness. Confidence could come across as arrogance. Courage might become reckless or brazen. If you find it difficult to bring out these qualities in yourself, they may come spurting out in a way that might be frightening or intimidating. But once your energy has emerged, you are in a better position to learn how to harness it, use it, work with it and summon it at will.

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Aug.02 – Mercury conjunct Jupiter (03:51 of Leo)  (Aug.03 in AU)

This aspect can make you quite talkative and your mind flooded with ideas. Be careful you don't blurt out any secrets! Your stream of consciousness ideas can flow abundantly right now with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun playing with ideas, to stop and make them manifest. Basic perceptions and simple communication can provide food for thought that feeds your greater understanding and philosophical insight. Your point of view expands to identify opportunities, possibilities and the broader implications of what is happening around you. You might get a flash of vision, insight and inspiration. You could be called upon to form an opinion, consider a different viewpoint, expand your knowledge, or make a judgement call. Your conscious awareness is open to spiritual experiences right now.

Aug.02 – Mercury square Mars (04:14 of Leo/Scorpio)  (Aug.03 in UK, AU)

Fiery speech, argument and hot debate characterise this transit. This could come in the form of conflict, or it might be stimulating and challenging – or both! One thing to watch out for is that you may have a short fuse for a temper, and the same may be true for others around you. It can be a time when you blurt out things you later regret, or you might finally find the courage to do something that's long overdue. The problem is that one can easily look like the other, and what feels like courage in the moment might look more like reckless haste in retrospect. Harsh words can't always be taken back, so keep a grip on your objectivity and better judgment while you're verbally fighting the dragons. Use this energy to stoke your motivational fires, and use your ideas to generate positive action. It can help to pace your mental energy like racing a horse, which can harness abundant energy to fuel your decisions, courage and resolve.

Aug.05 – Saturn trine Chiron (16:50 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Aug.06 in AU)

With all things Saturn, slow and steady wins the race. Therefore, healing and recovery efforts are likely to benefit from a stable, paced, structured approach. For example, if you have the flu you might find you get better faster if you take a day or so to rest and focus on getting your health back, rather than trying to push yourself back into action. If that's simply not an option, then do other health promoting things regularly and steadily (e.g. taking whatever remedies, vitamins, etc, work for you). In other words, a sporadic or half-hearted approach are likely to be a waste of energy, since they won't be enough to combat what you're fighting. This can be applied metaphorically as well: if you're feeling out of balance or "unhealthy" or conflicted in your psyche or your life circumstances, a regimen of actions designed to bring yourself back to your stable centre again will likely be your more effective approach.

By the same token, when you're feeling grounded and centred, you are more likely to view life through a healing and healthy perspective. It could be easier now to take responsibility for your own healing, rather than just seeing someone else as the cause of the problems in your life. This transit can also help fortify you when taking a serious look at your suffering and dis-ease, making it easier to face your woundedness (or that of others) in a realistic way, instead of hoping it will go away on its own if you ignore it.

Last Saturn-Chiron trine: 2012-2014. Next Saturn-Chiron trine: 2061-2063.

Dates for the current Saturn-Chiron cycle:

* Note that the the Saturn-Chiron opposition in this cycle is unusually long: 20 years! This is due to Chiron's eccentric orbit. When Chiron gets close to the Sun, its speed is almost as fast as Saturn, so the two often form the same aspect for many years.

Aug.05 – Venus square North Lunar Node (21:55 of Cancer/Libra)  (Aug.06 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Perhaps you're finding that the people in your life are not being as supportive, encouraging or cooperative as you thought they would be, in terms of helping you fulfil your life purpose. Someone might suddenly withdraw their support, or maybe they contradict or interfere with what you're trying to do with your life. Perhaps an argument or disagreement happens and the upset, stress or hard feelings that result seem to cast a shadow on how you feel about your life. If this happens, it's possible that what you disagree about is something you should look at more closely. Are you responding to this situation in a way that truly reflects your values? Or perhaps your values need to be reconsidered. The agreement or balance of priorities between you might need to be renegotiated. This transit might also manifest as problems around finances or possessions, which requires some adjustment on your part. Since this transit usually lasts only a few days, in most cases its effects will not be major. If it does bring up some significant issues, it is probably hinting at a deeper issue, and you would be wise to look at the problem beyond the current circumstances. Other transits (especially to your natal chart) can give you more information about the nature of the situation.

Aug.07 – Mars trine Neptune (06:46 of Scorpio/Pisces)

This transit can bring a mystical, imaginative, compassionate aura to Mars' normally direct, fast, aggressive, self-focused energy. You may feel inspired to act on faith, confront with compassion, and react gently. On the other hand, it can be much easier to be motivated by something that turns out not to be what you thought it was. Much can depend on how impulsive your actions are and whether they are based on preplanning and research. We may tend to see our actions as righteous and justified. Creative energy is usually strong, whether this is used literally in the arts or in finding creative solutions to conflicts and problems. Our anger and aggression may be expressed in a way that is compassionate and intuitive, although our assertive edge might also be blunted a bit too much. It might help to think of the snake in the old parable – even if you choose not to bite if someone steps on your tail, it doesn’t mean you can't hiss.

Aug.08 – Sun conjunct Mercury (16:03 of Leo)  (Aug.09 in AU)

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.

Aug.08 – Mercury trine Uranus (16:22 of Leo/Aries)  (Aug.09 in AU)

Unusual ideas, flashes of insight and seeing unexpected possibilities are all part of this transit. You may find it easier to be open-minded right now, especially about insights that have eluded you. Your ability to see beyond your usual horizon of perception can bring visionary brainwaves, as well as a fun sense of humour. You might be inspired to experiment with something new or do something out of character. You might have an impulse to break free of old habits or constraints. This can be a very liberating transit that opens your mind to new possibilities and ideas. However, be careful that you don't become so liberated and spontaneous that you become erratic, hyper or reckless. Words may come tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to consider their wisdom, or you might find yourself talking non-stop and interrupting, creating a bit of awkwardness in those around you. On the other hand, you might also find the clarity and vision that gives you the words to speak your truth with new conviction. It's a great time to do some writing or other form of self-expression, especially if it's spontaneous or involving technology.

Aug.08 – Sun trine Uranus (16:22 of Leo/Aries)  (Aug.09 in UK, AU)

You are more open than usual to spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants!" Your sense of humour and fun are let loose during this transit, as is your ability to break out of old outworn habits. You may get a flash of insight, a burst of courage or a surge of inspiration under this transit. The spirit of who you are can become released now, possibly leading to you behaving a bit "out of character." It's a great time to try new things and experiment with something that's out of character for you. In fact, it may be surprising how easy it is to break out of your usual much so, that it's good to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. If your self-confidence, self-expression or self-esteem have been stifled or dampened lately, these could come flying out rather erratically, carelessly or chaotically. Strive to have fun pushing the envelope without ripping it. ;-)

Aug.08 – Mercury square Saturn (16:56 of Leo/Scorpio)  (Aug.09 in NDT, UK, AU)

Your thoughts, ideas and communication need to become structured, rational and discreet, although this may not be easy to achieve. You may have to work extra hard to get your point across now, since others might be resistant to your ideas or may not be familiar with the basic concepts. It is a time to be clear, objective and down-to-earth in your communication and thinking, but equally important to do this without going overboard and becoming rigid, autocratic or over-cautious. If you find yourself stuck in a "glass half empty" frame of mind, you might be sagging under the weight of melancholy ...Or, it might mean you are coming to terms with some hard realities and decisions and feeling the gravity of the implications. But also check to be sure you're not taking yourself and your situation too seriously. By applying your best efforts, this can be a very productive time, especially with anything involving communication, writing, organising or logic.

Aug.09 – Sun square Saturn (16:57 of Leo/Scorpio)  (Aug.10 in AU)

It is necessary for you to come to grips with limitations, boundaries or expectations. If you have been avoiding some task or obligation, this transit might bring consequences from that avoidance or a warning of consequences to come. You might also encounter a situation that requires you to accept unwanted responsibility or restricts your freedom in some way. You might be faced with some part of your life being pruned back, either to rein in something that is out of control or to make room for new growth.

This is likely to be more or less stressful depending on how comfortable you are dealing with responsibility, authority, limits and hard work. If you have a hard time with authority issues, you might find yourself in conflict with someone in authority under this transit – perhaps in part because your buttons are getting pushed. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you are challenged to take action or make a decision that involves taking on more responsibility. It is also a time when you may have to find better ways to deal with personal boundaries – accepting others' or learning to assert your own. You're bumping up against reality, so try to work constructively with it, not hurl yourself against it.

Next Update:  FULL MOON in AQUARIUS, available by August 10, 2014.

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