Low-Down Archives August 2004

The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Planetary Transits

August 1 to September 22, 2004

Lammas to Mabon-Fall Equinox




This is a busy and powerful time, incorporating several themes. Mercury, Mars and Uranus awaken us to a higher vision of the archetypal Hero in our lives, removing obstacles that inhibit our true voice. Jupiter and Pluto inspire us to shed outworn beliefs and despair. Saturn and Chiron challenge us to balance it all between conventional structure and unconventional experience. It�s a good time to prepare for launching new projects in mid-Sept.

Aug. 1 � LAMMAS

Aug. 1 � Mercury opposite Uranus (in Virgo/Pisces)

This is the first of three oppositions to Uranus (Aug.1, Aug.18, Sep.13). Get ready for a roller coaster ride designed to bring a trans-personal awakening to your personal mind. As your conscious awareness tries to catch and organise the specifics and practicalities of what is happening, your circumstances may become a bit messy, slippery or larger-than-life. Stay patiently focused on the long-term view and be open to new ideas and viewpoints.

Aug. 5 � Sun opposite Neptune (in Leo/Aquarius)

Feelings of longing, inspiration or dreaminess may lift your sense of individuality to a magical level, or could slide you into apathy and sadness. Do something to bring some enchantment and sublime beauty into your life.

Aug. 6 � Jupiter square Pluto (in Virgo/Sagittarius)

What circumstances, dynamics or processes began in your life around 1994-95, turned a corner around 1998, and reached a peak (or low point) around 2000-01? I�ll give you a hint�it involves the empowerment, excavation and transformation of your spirituality, philosophy and truth�perhaps even faith in life itself! If you think back to those times, you will likely see that you�ve come a long way in those areas, even if you sometimes felt lost in cynicism, despair or distrust. It is time to shed those old beliefs and feelings like snakeskin, along with the circumstances that brought them to the foreground in your life. You�ll discover there is fresh growth underneath that can bring you to a renewed sense of faith in life, embracing both the dark �Shadow� and the light of hope. You now enter a process of closure and integration, continuing until 2007 at the next Jupiter-Pluto conjunction.

Aug. 7 � Venus in Cancer (until Sep.6)

Venus coaxes you to be nurturing, gentle and supportive toward yourself and others, as well as being open to it from others. Contact with family and �significant others� may bring new freedom or release, which could help you face old wounds and unresolved conflicts, as well as enable you to make some hard decisions, plan new goals, and deal better with authority.


Aug. 9 � Mercury Station Retrograde (in Virgo)

I hope you�ve been aware of your style of communication and expression since mid-July, because you�re about to see reruns of the same themes, patterns and situations that emerged then. From now until Sept.2, you will have a chance to fine-tune your mode of communication, heal the dysfunctional side of your self-expression, and liberate suppressed parts of yourself. As with all Mercury retrograde periods, it�s a good idea to delay final decisions (until after Sept.9) and if you can�t, be sure to triple-check your research.

Aug. 10 � Mars in Virgo (until Sep.26)

How you assert yourself, make things happen, and manifest the Hero in your life, now shift from inspired self-expression to application of practical details and specific plans. Avoid bludgeoning yourself and others while trying to eradicate what is inefficient or substandard; instead, surgically remove the deadwood within a context of healing support and practicality.

Aug. 15 � Saturn opposite Chiron (in Cancer/Capricorn)

This configuration brings the need to balance authority and conventional prudence against unconventional life experience born of paradox and the school of hard knocks. This is one of many �hits� in a long opposition between Saturn and Chiron, stretching from the mid-80s to 2007, with a brief respite at the turn of the millennium. The next 2 New Moon cycles (esp. the one today) are imprinted with this energy, teaching us to juggle the requirements of the status quo with our quest for personal growth, which doesn�t always fit comfortably within the demands of conventional society.

Aug. 15, 9:23 PM EDT � NEW MOON in Leo

This is a very busy and powerful New Moon cycle! For starters, being in Leo, you are encouraged to focus on and broadcast your individual identity and creative self-expression. This particular cycle challenges you to create a new vision of personal potential, by combining responsibility, morality, stability and adventure, within a new balance between the sacred and the mundane. Expect the unexpected in this cycle, which can bring new and enriched forms of self-awareness and self-expression.


Aug. 18 � Mercury and Mars opposite Uranus (in Virgo/Pisces)

This Mercury-Mars conjunction (also on Jul.10, Sep.29) brings you face-to-face with the archetypal Hero. Mars opposite Uranus is also in effect for most of Aug., hanging in the air like volatile gas, and this week Mercury could strike a match and ignite it. Therefore, choose wisely the situations to which you bring this explosive yet liberating energy! You might feel like Heracles faced with cleaning the Augean stables, but remember his ingenuity of diverting two rivers to flush them out. Be equally broad in your vision of making a clean sweep of whatever is outmoded or ineffective, but be sure the �water� you use is not polluted by illusion, fantasy or perfectionism.

Aug. 22 � Sun in Virgo (until Sep.22)

Happy Solar Return to all Virgos! And while the Sun is in Virgo we are all honorary Virgos, encouraging us to clean out the toxins in our bodies and minds, organise and tidy up our lives, and take stock of the ways we give service and make a contribution to the world around us.

Aug. 23 � Sun conjunct Mercury (in Virgo)

This marks the half-way point of Mercury retrograde and focuses the need for precision, healing, groundedness and fine-tuning in how we communicate our best intentions. Mars isn�t far off right now, so be extra aware that your words and style of expression can wound as well as heal.

Aug. 24 � Mercury in Leo (until Sep.9)

Mercury does the Retrograde Rumba backwards into Leo, retracing dance steps he made during July 4-25. Take some time to rethink, rehash and refine how you communicate your inner Self to the world.


Aug. 27 � Sun opposite Uranus (in Virgo/Pisces)

If you still haven�t finished �cleaning the Augean stables� (Aug.18) then it is time to forge ahead in flushing out the garbage from your life. There is also potential for some surprise explosions that disrupt your calm routine. Stay grounded and centred in the midst of the chaos, so that you can pick and choose, somewhat, where and what the lightning strikes.

Aug. 29-31 � Venus conjunct Saturn, opposite Chiron (Cancer/Capricorn)

For a few days before and after this period, social interaction, finances, resources and relationships may be forced to conform to some hard-nosed reality. Old wounds and problems may bring endings or limitations, but it is also a time when you can manifest a new beginning in how you deal with those issues, provided you work with your circumstances and nurture your progress one step at a time. If you�re feeling inadequate or inhibited, do a grounded reality check to soothe old insecurities that may be lurking.

Aug. 29, 10:23 PM EDT � FULL MOON in Pisces (Sun in Virgo)

The vision of potential you were urged to bring forth at the New Moon (Aug.15) now reaches the point of manifestation. If you have done your homework, you�ll be well prepared to juggle a complex assortment of energies, from the urge to flush ineffective people and situations from your life, to responding to the (overly) demanding circumstances in your social, romantic and financial areas life. However, if the dog ate your homework and you�re feeling swamped, take things one step at a time, view it from a broad philosophical perspective, and let the Gods help with the details.

Aug. 30 � Pluto Station Direct (in Sagittarius)

Since Mar.24, Pluto has compelled us to bring a clearer voice and awareness to issues of empowerment and deep psychology. Around now, you may feel intensity or pressure to put this into practice. If you�ve been undergoing deep transformation this year, this can be a turning point when you start to integrate and apply new learning. If you feel unprepared (the dog ate your homework again) and you�re overwhelmed, get support from friends or family who can do a reality check and help you draw better boundaries.


Sep. 2 � Mercury Station Direct (in Leo)

Mercury has been retrograde since Aug.9 and now returns to his usual direct motion. You may experience some intensity for up to a week before and after today, as your perceptions and communication take on a subtle yet sharp focus. Your conscious and unconscious perceptions are called upon to mediate between extremes of inadequacy and overconfidence, and between austerity and privilege. For the next 2 weeks, put into practice new perceptions and learning you�ve gained in the last 3-4 weeks.

Sep. 6 � Venus in Leo (until Oct.3)

Venus struts through Leo with flamboyant flair for the next month, inspiring us to �walk this way.� Spend some time and energy sprucing up your wardrobe, your social life and your self-esteem. Just don�t blow the budget.

Sep. 10-11 � Sun and Mars square Pluto (in Virgo/Sagittarius)

For about a week before and after today, you may experience a refocusing of some of the Jupiter-square-Pluto energy (see Aug.6). This is a time to shed another layer of snakeskin of those old beliefs, despair and powerlessness. The trick is to empower yourself from within and assert your boundaries from a place of self-respect, not bludgeon your enemy over the head in panic. Centre yourself in a perspective of healing for the higher good of all.

Sep. 10 � Mercury in Virgo (until Sep.28)

Now out of his retrograde phase, Mercury returns to Virgo where he spent Jul.25-Aug.24. For the rest of the month we have a second chance to perfect our responses to the unexpected and integrate new ideas.

Sep. 13 � Mercury opposite Uranus (in Virgo/Pisces)

This spins us through the final loop of the roller coaster designed to open our minds to new trans-personal potential (also Aug.1, Aug.18). Whether it has been an exciting ride or one that had you nervously chewing your nails, you�ll find it has removed some blockages and forced some long-needed laundering of your life. Think of this as the final rinse cycle.


Sep. 14, 10:29 AM EDT � NEW MOON in Virgo (conjunct Mars)

This is a powerful lunar cycle, tying together most of the energies that have been active since late July. Mars especially dominates this lunar cycle with impulses, demands, desires, and the urge to make things happen. Mars is no fluffy bunny, and the danger is being tempted to chop away tender tissue with a blunt axe when the delicate precision of a surgeon is needed. If you steer your actions with pragmatic compassion and a broad perspective, you�ll have a potent resource to deal with limitations, obstacles and self-doubt. This is a great time to start a new project, put a higher spiritual vision into practice, or adopt more compassion in how you respond to stress.

Sep. 15-21 � Sun conjunct Mars and Jupiter (in Virgo)

The planetary rulers of all 3 Fire signs conjoin in Earthy Virgo! Like a forest fire, where scorched earth becomes newly fertilised by the ashes, this combined energy seeks to light up our passions to burn away the toxic habits that keep us from operating at peak efficiency. Although this energy has been lurking in the background since late August, this week brings it into sharp focus and the impetus lasts through the whole lunar cycle (Sept.14).

Sep. 18 � Venus opposite Neptune (in Leo/Aquarius)

Your view of beauty and value may become larger-than-life, perhaps inflating beyond being attainable. Reach for humanitarian love and compassion, but minimise idealised visions of what you think life �should be.�

Sep. 22, 12:29 PM EDT � Autumnal Equinox (MABON)


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� 2004 Wendy Guy. Originally published in Cauldron and Quill Magazine, and The Burning Times Newsletter, Lammas 2004 issues.


Shortcuts to...

Aug. 1 � Mercury OPP Uranus

Aug. 5 � Sun OPP Neptune

Aug. 6 � Jupiter SQR Pluto

Aug. 6 � Jupiter SQR Pluto

Aug. 7 � Venus in Cancer

Aug. 9 � Mercury Station Retrograde

Aug. 10 � Mars in Virgo

Aug. 15 � Saturn OPP Chiron

Aug. 15 � NEW MOON in Leo

Aug. 18 � Mercury, Mars OPP Uranus

Aug. 22 � Sun in Virgo

Aug. 23 � Sun CNJ Mercury

Aug. 24 � Mercury in Leo

Aug. 27 � Sun OPP Uranus

Aug. 29-31 � Venus CNJ Saturn, OPP Chiron

Aug. 29 � FULL MOON in Pisces

Aug. 30 � Pluto Station Direct

Sep. 2 � Mercury Station Direct

Sep. 6 � Venus in Leo

Sep. 10-11 � Sun, Mars SQR Pluto

Sep. 10 � Mercury in Virgo

Sep. 13 � Mercury OPP Uranus

Sep. 14 � NEW MOON in Virgo

Sep. 15-21 � Sun CNJ Mars and Jupiter

Sep. 18 � Venus OPP Neptune

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