Low-Down Archives August 2005

The Low-Down on the Far-Out

August 2005

The Big Picture for August

As I write this, the elevators in my apartment building are acting up again, I've had to reschedule several appointments, my neighbour's mail was delivered to my door, I've observed tension in some online discussion forums, the local liquor stores have threatened to strike, local hydro workers ARE on strike, and some newsletters I had unsubscribed from weeks ago are mysteriously reappearing in my Inbox. Yup, sounds like a typical Mercury retrograde!

Mercury has been doing his retrograde moonwalk since July.22 and continues until turning direct on Aug.15. Then he moves forward through the Shadow (the area of the zodiac where he's been going retrograde) until the end of the month, wrapping up the rethinking and rehashing of our perceptions. During this cycle, Mercury Opposes Neptune 3 times (inspired or fuzzy thinking; intuitive or creative ideas; getting your "mords wixed"), and Mercury Squares Mars 3 times (enthusiastic or motivated speech; mental irritation, jangled nerves, arguments).

This month we have a New Moon in Leo (Aug.04) that conjoins Mercury and opposes Neptune, giving us a chance to channel transpersonal, spiritual energy into a personal focus through creative self-expression. The New Moon forms a Wedge aspect configuration (in effect Aug.04-11) with the Jupiter-Neptune Trine, allowing us to tap into its imaginative, exalted energy. We get a replay of the Wedge energy late in the month (Aug.24-31), when a then-direct Mercury comes back to oppose Neptune for the last time.

The Full Moon in Aquarius (Aug.19) brings a final manifestation to the Jupiter-Neptune Trine which takes place a mere 2 days before the Full Moon. The Full Moon brings a final manifestation to this imaginative, magical energy that has inspired us since November 2004. The Full Moon also initiates a T-Square with Mercury-Neptune-Mars (in effect roughly Aug.18-31), which gives the Full Moon energy an extra intense spin, driving us to want to put imaginative ideas into action. This T-Square energy unfolds during the second half of the lunar cycle, until the next New Moon on Sept.03.

We also have a somewhat rare aspect configuration that is sometimes called an Arrowhead, in effect Aug.08-12. Although perhaps not as major an influence as others configurations I discuss in this column, I've included it here because it involves the same planets that formed the Grand Trine in Fire back in July � Venus, Mars and Pluto. Whatever form that energy took for us in July, we now have to deal with the consequences (for better or worse) and make decisions about whether we're going to continue or change how we are using those combined energies.

Although Mars doesn't go retrograde until Oct.01, Mars enters the retrograde Shadow on Aug.12 (meaning that it enters the area of the zodiac where it will later go retrograde). Similar to when Mercury enters the Shadow, we will start to increasingly feel the approach of Mars retrograde as Oct.01 draws closer. Watch for the desire to take action that may need to be reconsidered later; expressions of anger that bring up deep emotional issues; and passion that may become redirected as we become more attuned to it. (Read the NEW article series on Mars Retrograde and more!)

All this and much more!

Happy Transits!  

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Aug.02 � Mercury Rx OPP Neptune (in Leo/Aquarius)

This is the second of three passes that Mercury makes opposite Neptune. The first pass was July.13 and the last will be Aug.28. Being the retrograde pass, this energy is best used for introspection, meditation and creative imagination. Inspired thinking, mental fantasy, imaginative ideas and lucid dreams are likely during this transit. This can result in enormous creativity that sees inspiration and magical ideas in the world around you (be sure to write them down to develop later). Your communication may be unusually intuitive and inspiring now. However, it can also be a time when your perceptions about reality are a bit off and coloured by wishful thinking and illogical conclusions. Doing a reality check with a trusted friend or advisor is a good idea, especially if you are trying to make important decisions right now. But be sure to explore any non-rational or irrational thinking, since the veil between the conscious and unconscious mind is thin now and you can learn much by observing your thoughts and perceptions.  Top of Page

Aug.04, 11:04 PM EDT � NEW MOON IN LEO ("What's a New Moon?")

This lunar cycle encourages us to get creative, compassionate and centered. You have opportunity to learn new ways to let your light shine from very deep within you, and respond to inspiration and potential that comes from far beyond your usual horizons. At the same time, you also need to get real about who you are, what your limitations are (and aren't), and establish personal boundaries that clarify your range of influence. You may struggle with challenges in three possible areas: First, you may have to dig deep inside yourself�beyond the ways that you might be second-guessing or questioning yourself�in order to find and express your true sense of self, your creativity, and the life force that feeds your spiritual fire. And even then, you may find that self-expression works best when it's non-verbal, non-rational, artistic, intuitive or instinctual. Second, your vision of potential may seem so far beyond ordinary life that it seems unattainable or out of your league. You will need to bridge the gap between idealism and realism by accepting that you are only part of something much greater than yourself, but this doesn't negate your value as an individual. And third, you may have circumstances in your life or personal inhibitions that seem to block your way and make your potential seem like more trouble than it's worth. You will need to balance realism with an open heart, hardship with courage � possibly with the help of friends and loved ones who can mirror back the best of who you are, or by attracting the resources you need to give yourself the support you need. Top of Page

Check out the New Moon Horoscope for your Sign!

Aug.04-11 � Wedge (Sun-Mercury Rx OPP Neptune, SXT Jupiter) ("What's a Wedge?")

This aspect configuration begins at the New Moon and continues for about a week after; then comes back again later in the month. On one hand, you have a personal viewpoint that strives to clarify your sense of purpose and identity. On the other hand, there is a transpersonal level of potential encouraging you to go beyond purely personal interests. Although these extremes can complement and support each other, they also produce a creative tension. This tension can be mediated and balanced by developing a broader understanding and wisdom that puts both sides into perspective. Strive to shed or reframe any old beliefs, opinions and viewpoints that might obstruct the natural flow of balance between those contrasting extremes.   Top of Page

Aug.05 � Sun CNJ Mercury Rx (in Leo)

Around this time, it might be tricky to tell where your sense of self and purpose stop and where your objective thoughts and perceptions begin. This can make for an open flow of intuitive ideas from inside your brain, although it might not be easy to bring them to the outside world in a way that is clearly understood by your audience. It can be a good time to take your perceptions and input them into your internal database, to be developed later. Observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. This marks the half-way point of the Mercury retrograde cycle. From now until the Direct Station (Aug.15), your mind will likely work better in a Right Brain (intuitive, creative, receptive) way. Take some time to relax, meditate, take some quiet space, listen to your dreams and enjoy the stars.  Top of Page

Aug.08 � Sun OPP Neptune (in Leo/Aquarius)

For a few days, you are face to face with the boundless universe! This could come to you in a number of ways, from creative inspiration to vivid dreams to enchanted encounters with great mystery. There is a tension now between clarity of purpose and infinite vision; between being centred in yourself versus being connected to the Great Unknown; and/or between personal independence and autonomy versus blurred boundaries with a person or situation. If you lose your bearings, you could feel some depression, lethargy or confusion. Your dreams, longings and expectations may be rooted more in wishful thinking than reality right now, which could lead to disappointment or disillusionment. It's a good idea to do a reality check with a trusted friend if you need to make any important decisions. But you are also able to see your hopes, dreams and illusions more clearly than usual, reflected back through other people or the outside world. Try expressing your experiences, feelings and perceptions poetically, artistically, creatively or intuitively. Top of Page

Aug.08-12 � Arrowhead (Venus SQR Pluto, SQQ Mars)

The same planets that formed the Grand Trine in Fire last month (see July.11-22) now form a configuration called an Arrowhead (sometimes also called "Thor's Hammer," "God's Fist" or a "Quadriform"). That impulsive, sexy, flirtatious, passionate energy in July has now evolved into a set of consequences and implications. You may be required to take action to resolve conflicts between what you desire on the impulsive surface versus what you really want deep down inside. You may also notice a difference between what you are able to consciously attract into your life versus what seems fated to come to you (or not). Aim for choices and decisions that break the stalemate of convention and habit, without resorting to outright combat or manipulation that forces people and circumstances to bend to your will.  Top of Page

Aug.10 � Venus SQR Pluto (in Virgo/Sagittarius)

For a few days before and after this date, your relationships and interactions, your sense of beauty, and your material and financial dealings, are likely to be deep, intense and transformative, although not necessarily pleasant. You are encountering the dark shadow of your desires�the hidden, secret or unconscious hunger that is the flip side of what you allow yourself to see. This is a challenge to be resolved in some way. It might bring out conflict rooted in envy or jealousy, if you perceive someone having something you believe you don't. It could also prompt you to reach deep into your soul to find new beauty, value, empathy or empowerment about something that seems undesirable, unforgivable or scary on the surface.  Top of Page

Aug.12 � Mars enters the Shadow (until Feb.04.2006) ("What's the Shadow?"))

Mars now enters the section of the zodiac where he will go retrograde later this year (Oct.01 to Dec.09). Similar to Mercury entering the shadow, Mars will gradually build energy between now and Oct.01, which will then be rehashed, redirected and revised until Dec.09. From now until October, pay attention to the situations and encounters that come up that require you to take action and assert your desires, goals and power. You may find these situations have a hidden component that will require deeper exploration and modification later. For now, just notice what situations inspire your reactions, or trigger your anger, or stimulate your passion, or provoke the need for empowerment.  Top of Page

Read more about Mars Retrograde in our NEW articles series on retrograde planets!

Aug.12 � Jupiter CNJ Lunar South Node (in Libra) ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This has been in effect from about mid-July and remains in effect until early-September, but reaches its peak now. This is a time to take a look at your aims and aspirations, your beliefs and principles, and the ways that you expand your horizons (literally through travel, or figuratively through personal growth). It is time to assimilate and integrate the knowledge and philosophy that you've accumulated over the last four years (since Jupiter went over the Lunar North Node). You can also benefit by letting go of old beliefs and opinions that have become stale or outlived their usefulness. If you look closely, you will see a spiritual element in your relationships and interactions that is in the background as a resource. "Spiritual" in this context could mean religious beliefs that act as an inner support system, or a strong sense of your greatest potential, or a broad perspective of being a part of something greater than yourself.  Top of Page

Aug.13 � Mercury Rx SQR Mars (in Leo/Taurus)

This is the second of three passes that Mercury makes in this current retrograde cycle. The first pass was June.10 (in Gemini/Pisces) and the last pass will be Aug.25 (in Leo-Taurus, like this one). Fiery speech, argument, hot debate and impatience characterise this time. You may encounter conflicts of interest and want to solve them NOW, and in your haste to find a quick fix, you could create more problems than you are solving. Use this energy to stoke your motivational fires and to use your ideas to generate action, and pace the energy like a race horse. This is a time to "do your homework" to find new solutions to existing problems, especially any that are repeating since early June.  Top of Page

Aug.14 � Mars SXT Uranus (in Taurus/Pisces)

For a few days before and after this date, you have an opportunity to take inspired action that can bring some creative problem solving to any conflicts or challenges in your life. Now is the time to think outside the box and experiment with trying out new responses, actions and directions. The idea is to be refreshingly spontaneous, not recklessly impulsive.  Top of Page

Aug.14 � Sun TRI Pluto (in Leo/Sagittarius)

Your sense of purpose is strong now, as you are able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality is likely to be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so much in situations requiring delicacy or subtlety. Your ability to see below the surface of things is especially clear, and it may be possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours or others').   Top of Page

Aug.15 � Mercury Stationary Direct (in Leo) ("What does Stationary mean?") ("What's Mercury Retrograde?")

For up to a week before and after today, you may experience intensity, confusion, miscommunication or changes in plans, as Mercury takes the slow turn to resume his direction motion. Mercury has been retrograde since July.22, giving you the chance to rethink and rehash things that require some fine-tuning or revision. Now, for the next couple of weeks while Mercury is still in the Shadow, it will be time to put these revisions into practice, carefully and gradually. In the meantime, take it slow, one step at a time, and untangle yourself one strand at a time.  Top of Page

Aug.16 � Venus TRI Chiron (in Virgo/Capricorn)

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 may benefit from an influx of helpful and healing resources, as your negotiations and strategic efforts for resolution finally come together. Like the Serenity Prayer, you may now find it a bit easier to accept that which you cannot change, while finding you can move forward with the things you can.  Top of Page

Aug.16 � Venus in Libra (until Sept.11)

Venus now glides through her own sign of Libra, giving you the opportunity to expand your interactive style, cultivate diplomacy, beautify your surroundings, schmooze social connections, and discover a new fashion statement. Find something beautiful, balanced or harmonious to appreciate or do during this time. It can also be a good time to negotiate agreements with people in a way that is fair and focused on a win-win solution.  Top of Page

Aug.17 � Jupiter TRI Neptune (in Libra/Aquarius)

This is the last of three passes of the Jupiter-Neptune Trine, which we've also seen on Nov.29.2004 and Mar.14.2005. This long-term process has brought us the opportunity to integrate healing, beauty, imagination, spirituality and uplifting optimism. You may also have seen the ways in which your hope, optimism and euphoria can get a bit carried away and take on a life of their own, leaving realism behind. Obviously, falling into fantasy and wishful thinking has its dangers, making you susceptible to delusion and deception. But it doesn't always have to be a bad thing, and could be one way to leave behind old negative expectations or beliefs that inhibit your growth and freedom. During this final pass, you are integrating and applying what you have learned about yourself and about life in these areas, and bringing this learning to fruition. This can be a time when you bring into clearer focus a new sense of faith (in terms of religious beliefs, or just faith in life and in yourself). You may now be able to see beyond your usual horizons to the distant possibilities open to you, if you can keep that new faith in focus. This inspiration may not last in its current form, but can be used to clarify and enhance the goals you have been pursuing for many years, as well as formulate some new ones. We won't see another Trine between Jupiter and Neptune until 2013.  Top of Page

Aug.18-31 � T-Square in Fixed (Mercury OPP Neptune, SQR Mars) ("What's a T-Square?")

The Moon sets the rhythm for this T-square, starting just before the Full Moon and continuing until she begins a new cycle on Sept.03. This T-square brings the need to balance surrender and faith in what you can't see with concrete action that makes things happen; between passively allowing things to come to you versus proactively pulling them in. The last half of the lunar cycle brings this need for resolution to the foreground. This T-square reaches a peak around Aug.25-26.  Top of Page

Aug.19 � FULL MOON IN AQUARIUS ("What's a Full Moon?")

It may now feel like that larger-than-life potential from the New Moon is demanding to be put into action � but in a way that combines originality, unconventionality and dramatic flair with action that is structured, methodical, and gradual yet persistent. On the other hand, if you feel like you're stuck in conflict, chaos or complexity, ask yourself if what you are really up against is an inner part of yourself that's trying to break free of habit and routine, to reach for that New Moon potential. The mediating force here is empowerment. Courageous force of will can help you confront and break through the blocks, but it is inner resolve and deep purpose that comes from the pit of your stomach that will ultimately bridge the gap between any conflicting or contrasting aspects of your situation. That inner resolve comes from that sense of self you've been cultivating since the New Moon in the form of personal potential and spiritual perspective. Just be sure it doesn't become an excuse to power-trip, control or impose your resolve on others. It might be a challenge to find a workable balance between rebellion and empathy, or between analysis and intuition, but it will help to allow these qualities to come to you in unexpected or even cerebral ways (for example, a humanitarian response, rather than deeply emotional empathy; or using analysis to understand intuition rather than compete with it).  Top of Page

Check out the Full Moon Horoscope for your Sign!

Aug.22 � Sun in Virgo (until Sept.22)

Happy Solar Return to all Virgos! And while the Sun is in Virgo, we are all honorary Virgos, being encouraged 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. Take some time to pay attention to the details and precision of what you do, and appreciate how much you can do with very little. Organisation, useful procedures, and practical application create the key that opens the door to effectiveness, efficiency and improvement. This is a good time to adopt a service-oriented attitude, whether that involves being helpful to someone else or dedicated to your own healing and betterment.  Top of Page

Aug.24-31 � Wedge (Mercury D OPP Neptune, SXT Jupiter) ("What's a Wedge?")

This is a repeat of the Wedge aspect configuration that originally took place from Aug.04-11 (see above). Mercury is now Direct and comes back to finish forming the ideas, inspiration and focus that was begun during his earlier pass. As you'll recall from early August, there was creative tension between the personal and the transpersonal, mediated by understanding and wisdom. This time, it is more about your mental perceptions and communication being stretched by that creative tension. You are also urged to combine that mediating understanding and wisdom to negotiation, diplomacy, generosity and opportunity for love and beauty. This is especially true on Aug.27 when the Moon joins in to create a Grand Trine Kite, bringing full potential into focus and providing an opportunity to assimilate that larger-than-life learning and knowledge into your ongoing awareness.  Top of Page

Aug.25 � Mercury D SQR Mars (in Leo/Taurus)

This is the last of three passes during Mercury's latest retrograde cycle. The first two were June.10 and Aug.13 (above). The first pass brought motivating or unsettling perceptions and debate that required deeper reflection. The second pass brought an opportunity to see things from another angle, which might have raised frustration or passionate argument or the need to examine your deeper motives. This final pass asks you to put your learning and insight into action, finding a new way to solve the problems or challenges that have evolved over the last few months. If you've been putting off taking action, you might be spurred into action out of necessity now�but it's best to respond from the knowledge you've gathered, not react impulsively or recklessly.  Top of Page

Aug.28 � Mercury D OPP Neptune (in Leo/Aquarius)

This is the last of three passes that Mercury makes to Neptune during the latest Mercury retrograde cycle. The first pass was July.13 and brought an encounter with the Great Unknown, bring your awareness of creative inspiration, spiritual longing, and possibly the ways that you have a tendency to see things through rose-coloured glasses. The second pass, on Aug.02 (see above), brought the opportunity to look within yourself at the internal origin of your imagination, yearning and escapism. This final pass brings the chance to reclaim the hopes, fears and wishful thinking that you've projected out onto people and situations, using the insight and awareness that you've gathered over the last couple of months. It also gives you the opportunity to express those longings, illusions and spiritual inspiration in a creative way�perhaps artistic, or maybe just using a new approach that avoids a habitual or cynical view.  Top of Page

Aug.28 � Mars SQR Neptune (in Taurus/Aquarius)

From mid-August to mid-September, you have a chance to discover and work with your blind spots and hidden motives that trip you up. It may feel like you are spinning your wheels or "shadow-boxing" and not even sure why. You may be fighting a hidden agenda (yours or someone else's) or unconscious motives. You might be trying to apply a concrete solution to a confusing situation. You could get tripped up by thinking that your actions, motives and intentions must be above reproach, when you would actually get farther by accepting that human imperfection (yours and others') is part of the plan. Passive-aggressive can be tempting under this transit, since you may not know how to take direct, decisive action. It can be tempting to resort to manipulation to get what you want, or resentment to express toothless anger. Owning your own feelings, needs, wants and agendas, and being honest with yourself about these, will go a long way to empower yourself. This is the first of three passes (also Nov.07.2005 and Jan.18.2006), so you'll have lots of time to work with these issues through a long-term process.  Top of Page

Aug.30 � Mercury leaves the Shadow (until Oct.26) ("What's the Shadow?")

Mercury finally leaves the shadow�the of the zodiac where it went retrograde from July.22 to Aug.15. This means that issues and themes that came to the foreground during that time have now finished playing out their changes that emerged under Mercury�s influence. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something, this can be a good time to decide what direction you want to go. Don't forget your common sense though.  Top of Page

Aug.30 � Venus TRI Neptune (in Libra/Aquarius)

Love is in the air! This can be a time of romance, creativity and faith in the natural flow of things. Socially, things can run smoothly and even a bit magically, so be sure you are clear in yourself about what you really want. Financially and materially, this can be a time of blessings and abundance materialising out of nowhere...as well as overspending and wondering where the money went! Your natural beauty and warmth can shine through now, so try peeking out from behind any fa�ade of glamour or illusion you might be cloaked in and let the beauty of your essential spirit shine through!  Top of Page

Aug.30 � Mercury TRI Pluto (in Leo/Sagittarius)

It is possible to dive deep below the surface now, in your perception of situations, other people and yourself. If you have been working on trying to understand the deeper motivations and dynamics of what is happening in your life, there could be a breakthrough now. The light may finally go on in the darker corners that have eluded you, and your penetrating insight. You could find a way to articulate these perceptions and speak your mind in a way that is unusually powerful or intense (so be careful you don't inadvertently blow your audience out of the water). This transit can bring an opportunity to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions or ineffective forms of communication. Try writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit.  Top of Page

Aug.31 � Sun OPP Uranus (in Virgo/Pisces)

This transit brings an encounter with the Awakener! This could come in the form of another person or outside situation that shakes you out of your habitual routine and pushes you to try on a new approach to your situation. Life is very unpredictable right now, requiring you to be spontaneous in the way you respond to it. Although this might be stressful (or stimulating), it is actually showing you a new path in the darkness, like a lightening flash in the night. If you feel startled or caught off guard, and confused about what to do next, find your centre and be open to what the situation is teaching you. You now have a chance to shed some old habits and ways that you are stuck, if you can stay grounded and centered in the middle of the whirlwind.  Top of Page

� 2005 Wendy Guy


Shortcuts to...

The Big Picture - Overview for August 2005

Aug.02 - Mercury Rx OPP Neptune


Aug.04-11 - Wedge aspect configuration

Aug.05 - Sun CNJ Mercury Rx

Aug.08 - Sun OPP Neptune

Aug.08-12 - Arrowhead aspect configuration

Aug.10 - Venus SQR Pluto

Aug.12 - Mars enters the Shadow

Aug.12 - Jupiter CNJ Lunar South Node

Aug.13 - Mercury Rx SQR Mars

Aug.14 - Mars SXT Uranus

Aug.14 - Sun TRI Pluto


Aug.16 - Venus TRI Chiron

Aug.16 - Venus in Libra

Aug.17 - Jupiter TRI Neptune

Aug.18-31 - T-Square aspect configuration


Aug.22 - Sun in Virgo

Aug.24-31 - Wedge aspect configuration (again)

Aug.25 - Mercury D SQR Mars

Aug.28 - Mercury D OPP Neptune

Aug.28 - Mars SQR Neptune

Aug.30 - Mercury leaves the Shadow

Aug.30 - Venus TRI Neptune

Aug.30 - Mercury TRI Pluto

Aug.31 - Sun OPP Uranus

"How long does each event last?"

Not sure what a word means? Look it up in the Glossary!


and other

(with links to the Glossary)

CNJ Conjunction 0�
SSX Semi-Sextile 30�
SXT Sextile 60�
SQR Square 90�
TRI Trine 120�
QCX Quincunx 150�
OPP Opposite 180�
Rx Retrograde
D Direct


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