Low-Down Archives August 2006


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Jul.25 - NEW MOON in LEO

Jul.25-Aug.01 - Grand Trine in Water signs

Jul.25-Aug.09 - T-Square reactivated (Sun)

Jul.26 - Venus trine Jupiter

Jul.28 - Mercury stations Direct (Yay!!!)

Jul.30 - Sun opposite Chiron

Jul.30 - Venus trine Uranus

Aug.02 - Sun square Jupiter

Aug.07 - Sun conjunct Saturn

Aug.08 - Mars sextile Jupiter



Aug.09-10 - Mercury conjunct Venus

Aug.10 - Mercury enters Leo

Aug.11 - Sun opposite Neptune

Aug.11 - Mercury leaves the Shadow

Aug.12 - Venus enters Leo

Aug.13 - Mars opposite Uranus

Aug.14 - Mercury opposite Chiron

Aug.14 - T-Square reactivated by Mercury/Venus

Aug.17 - Sun trine Pluto

Aug.17 - Venus opposite Chiron

Aug.18 - Mercury square Jupiter

Aug.20 - Mercury conjunct Saturn

Aug.21 - Mercury opposite Neptune

Aug.22 - Venus square Jupiter

Aug.23 - Sun enters Virgo


In the next update...

Aug.23 - NEW MOON in VIRGO (Aug.24 in Australia)

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August 2006

Jul.25, 12:31 AM EDT � NEW MOON in LEO (02:07 Leo) ("What's a New Moon?"   Read more about the Leo side of your personality.)

This is a very special New Moon! For starters the New Moon is in Leo, so OF COURSE it's special. ;-) Leo is all about celebrating who we are, letting our light shine and expressing ourselves with flare! It's about having fun and embracing life with the openness of a child. In short, it is about acknowledging, appreciating and basking in everything that makes us special.

But there are more reasons why this is a special lunation cycle. This New Moon and the coming Full Moon (Aug.09) will bridge the transition from the end of one major transit (Saturn opposite Chiron) to the start of another (Saturn opposite Neptune). (And in the process, we will also catch a glimpse of the coming Chiron-Neptune conjunction through a phenomenon known as "Translation of Light." Chiron doesn't actually catch up to Neptune until 2010.)

For 20 years the Saturn-Chiron opposition has brought a gradual evolution of the manifestation of healing (and wounding), the limitations and rewards of nonconformity, and the balance between doing what's expected and following one's own path. This is coming to an end, and is given a dramatic send-off by the current New and Full Moons.

We are also now seeing the culmination of the current Saturn-Neptune cycle, which began at the conjunction in 1989. That culmination phase is just beginning for us, and is also being welcomed in by the current New and Full Moons.

Here's the thing: Neptune is the planet of spirituality, imagination, inner awareness, dreams, illusion, fantasy, universal love and everything that is non-physical and non-rational. So how on earth does a grounded, practical, logical, physical, structured and ordered planet like Saturn go about manifesting something as ambiguous, intuitive and formless as Neptune??

That's what we're about to find out, starting with this New Moon cycle. It ushers in this intriguing combination of energies. We've actually been in the gravity of Saturn-Neptune since about September 2005, but the current New Moon in Leo makes it official. I won't bore you with details (unless you want me to *g*) but hopefully you can get an idea of it from the graphic to the left.

The important thing to remember is that during this New Moon cycle, we are in transition. We're finishing a long process of dealing with woundedness and healing (and creating one out of the other), and finding your own path�all of which are about Saturn opposite Chiron.

Now we head into finding ways to manifest the essence of our spiritual connection to the Universe, our creative imagination, our inspiration to live the love we feel inside us, and our longing to connect with something sacred and special in our lives.

Since the New Moon is in Leo, we must start with ourselves. So...who are you?? Do you feel a loving connection to the Universe? (in whatever way that makes sense to you) Do you truly believe you are a Child of the Universe, or do you secretly feel like a cosmic orphan? When was the last time you felt joy? Fun? Delight? Free to be yourself?

Start by strengthening your self-acceptance. It's awfully hard to see the best in yourself and in the world when you feel unacceptable, unlovable, unworthy or unimportant. Self-esteem (a concept often associated with Leo) can easily become a race to outrun your secret guilt, despair, self-loathing and fearfulness. Self-esteem can then become arrogance that hides humiliation, or a big show of self-confidence to hide self-doubt.

Instead, self-acceptance says "I'm working to improve myself, but I'm also human and I make mistakes. I may not be who I want to be yet, or who I think I should be...but I'm here and that's okay. I can be imperfect and still accept myself. I continue to work toward improving myself, but I don't have to wait until I'm perfect to accept myself for who I am."

This self-acceptance is the ultimate lesson of Leo, much more-so than building up self-esteem. It is about self-respect and self-love, but sometimes it's hard to feel respect or love for oneself when we feel bad about ourselves. So self-acceptance is an easier step that can go on to form the underlying foundation of self-love and self-respect.

This is the crucial first step in this transition period during this lunar cycle. When you become aware of putting yourself down, or feeling despair, or lost in self-doubt, or beating yourself up for having fallen short of what you strived for, say to yourself: "I choose to accept myself in this moment. I am okay AND I also happen to feel bad about myself at the moment. My behaviour is what I do; it is not who I am."

This initial focus on simple self-acceptance can manifest your learning of the Saturn-Chiron cycle into your sense of self, which is a very valuable asset to carry with you into the Saturn-Neptune transit. It may help to talk this through with someone you trust, to bring your awareness and understanding of it into clarity. This is a powerful focus for a personal astrology reading, to help you understand how the Saturn-Chiron has affected you and how the Saturn-Neptune will influence you. You can find out more about getting a personal astrology reading hereTop of Page

Jul.25-Aug.01 � Grand Trine in Water (Venus-Jupiter-Uranus) ("What's a Grand Trine?")

(This configuration was also mentioned in the July Low-Down.) Although the approaching Jupiter-Uranus trine is a little on the wide side (4-5 degrees), Venus makes a trine to both of them during this time range and forms a Grand Trine. The total effect could produce results like an unexpected increase in finances or your material worth. Or, you might be able to obtain what you need but through unusual sources; for example, you might not have the money to buy a new widget but you might find you can barter for one. This planetary combination could also bring new ways of seeing value in people, situations and things that had previously seemed ordinary or out of reach or out of sync with your needs. However, you will probably have to make a point of tuning into this possibility in order to make use of it. It can be easy to take this potential for granted and not actively use it to enrich your life. You might simply have a background feeling of feeling good and being a bit more open to optimism and new possibilities. Top of Page

Jul.25-Aug.09 � T-Square (Sun opp Chiron, sqr Jupiter) ("What's a T-Square?")

The Sun begins the New Moon cycle by reactivating the T-Square that has been with us since early June. Although the original T-Square is fading, the New Moon gives it one last flash of energy, which asks us to take the learning from that T-Square and integrate it into our sense of self, purpose, identity and self-acceptance.

After the New Moon, the Sun first moves to oppose Chiron (exact on Jul.30), which reactivates the original T-Square. Then it edges closer to Saturn, reaching the conjunction on Aug.07, just before the Full Moon. During this period, there is something called "Translation of Light." This means that although Saturn is moving out of orb with Chiron during this time (and the energy is weaker), the Sun connects them again because it is aspecting both of them. The Sun acts as a bridge between them.

By the time the Full Moon happens on Aug.09, Saturn has moved beyond Chiron and is edging very close to Neptune. The Moon moves between Chiron and Neptune, once again activating the original T-Square with Jupiter. At the Full Moon (Aug.09), the Sun and Moon break free of the old T-Square and bring the Saturn-Neptune opposition into clear focus.

This starts to bring closure to both this long-term T-Square and to the very long Saturn-opposed-Chiron cycle. It also introduces us to the Saturn-Neptune opposition, which will be with us until next August. (There is one more reactivation of this T-Square, by Mercury and Venus during the last half of August.) Top of Page

Jul.26 � Venus trine Jupiter (09:37 Cancer/Scorpio)

Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. The flow of attraction (whether that is magnetizing people, things or opportunities) is riding a strong current right now. You could find it easier than usual to get the resources and abundance for whatever you need right now. On the other hand, "your eyes may be bigger than your stomach" (as mother used to say), meaning your desire may magnify your sense of need beyond what is wise. You may be tempted to spend, flirt or bluff your way through situations, preferring to ignore or avoid hardship, boundaries or drudgery. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but be careful you don't get your hopes up so high that you set yourself up for disappointment or make promises you can't keep. It's probably wise to balance this easy flowing energy with some discretion and good judgement. Top of Page

Jul.28 � Mercury stations Direct (21:26 Cancer) ("What's a Station?"   Read article about Stations.   "What's Mercury Retrograde?"   Read article about Mercury Retrograde.) 

Mercury finally turns Direct! (Yay!!!) For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or changes in your outlook. Mercury is taking a slow turn to resume his direction motion, officially changing direction today. Mercury has been retrograde since Jul.04, urging you to rethink and rehash things that have required some fine-tuning or revision. This can be a time when a clear decision starts to emerge from issues you've been struggling with during the retrograde period. Or, it might turn your perspective around so that you're seeing your situation fresh again. While Mercury is still in the Shadow (until Aug.11), your brain may feel a bit like it's waking up after a deep sleep. It is now time to gradually put into practice the learning you've gained from your retrograde dreams and moonlight visions. It will take time to get fully back into sync with the Mercury direct energy. So, take it slow, one step at a time, and untangle yourself one strand at a time. Top of Page

Jul.30 � Sun opposite Chiron (07:03 Leo/Aquarius)

This transit can bring a challenge to your sense of personal purpose versus the trans-personal vision of possibilities. This could play out in many areas; for instance, spirituality, career, life direction, physical or emotional healing, etc. Perhaps you are feeling a conflict between what you want to gain on a personal level versus a higher vision of what you could be capable of. The problem is that to reach for greater possibilities, you have to move beyond your comfort zone. There is a certain amount of risk and sacrifice involved in any kind of growth. You might worry that moving into a larger context could undermine your self-esteem by making you feel small or inadequate. You may be concerned that you'd have to give up personal rewards in order to achieve that higher vision. Regardless of how this plays out in your life, the struggle to find a balance you can live with -- between what is and what could be -- is the purpose of this transit. Later it will be time to take further action, but for how it is important to grapple with the dynamics of your situation which will lead to a decision. Top of Page

Jul.30 � Venus trine Uranus (14:05 Cancer/Pisces)

Spontaneity and liberation burst into your relationships, finances, resources and pleasures. You might feel compelled to try something completely different that shakes up the "same-old-same-old" routines you're used to. The upside is that you have the opportunity to break free of some old habits and breathe some fresh air into your life. But the downside could come in the form of impulse spending beyond your budget, or recklessness in your interactions and relationships. Strive to break free of what holds you back from being your true self, without destroying the structure of order in your life. Top of Page

Aug.02 � Sun square Jupiter (10:04 Leo/Scorpio)

You may be inspired to expand far beyond your usual boundaries during this time, although this may or may not work in the way you hope it will. It can be a time of challenge, when you decide that now is the time to move beyond your current horizons and make the ultimate push for something you believe will bring you happiness, fulfilment and prosperity. How successful you are will probably depend on how prepared you are for what comes next. Your judgment and your ability to see things objectively and realistically can be a little "off" during this transit, since your hopes and ideals might distort what is actually possible. It can be easy to overestimate the envisioned results, or you might underestimate the amount of work necessary to sustain your dream and prevent it from being just a flash in the pan. Try to avoid being overconfident and making promises you can't keep (including to yourself). Top of Page

Aug.07 � Sun conjunct Saturn (14:51 Leo)

For a few days before and after this date, you may feel serious, studious, stuck, blocked, committed and/or hard working. It could be a good time to manifest well prepared plans, or you might have to get real and deal with difficult realities in new ways. You may have business with authority figures, or you might be called upon to act in a leadership role. It can also be a time to own your own authority -- that is, to BE the authority figure, either to someone else or just to yourself. It might be a time of decision, when you have to choose one path or option over another. This can feel like an ending, as much as it is a new beginning, because selecting one possibility means you must let go of the other possibilities (at least for now). This is a necessary part of the process of manifestation and maturity. Doing closure on the people and situations that are passing out of your life will help to complete the process of growth and learning they have brought into your life, and can help clear the space for something new to begin growing in their place. Top of Page

Aug.08 � Mars sextile Jupiter (10:37 Virgo/Scorpio)

There is potential for optimism, cheerfulness and increased energy during this transit. You will probably have to go after it (rather than it just falling into your lap), but you can probably increase your mood and energy level by applying a bit of effort. Your self-confidence and general attitude can improve, although be careful you don't become so caught up in feeling good that you ignore common sense, caution or realism. This is a good time to consider the moral, philosophical or greater implications of your actions, and then make adjustments to bring your behaviour into alignment with your beliefs, aspirations and ideals. Top of Page

Aug.09, 6:53 AM EDT � FULL MOON in AQUARIUS (16:44 Aquarius) ("What's a Full Moon?"  Read about the Aquarius side of your personality.)

What began at the New Moon in Leo (Jul.25) now reaches full emergence, when we experience it, understand it, apply it and integrate it into our lives. For the next two weeks (until the next New Moon on Aug.23) you may shed old hopes and dreams that aren't working for you anymore. Or you might let go of some blocks that get in the way of reaching your full potential.

This is an important Full Moon because it ushers in the coming Saturn-Neptune opposition. The opposing Sun and Moon are aligned very closely with Saturn and Neptune, bringing this complex combination of energies into closer focus. We're getting an introduction to this energy, which will be at its peak until next June.

Saturn and Neptune are very incompatible energies, yet they combine to produce works of art, creative practicality, decisions that aspire to a higher purpose, and the attempt to capture the essence of spiritual potential in concrete experiences. The Sun is conjunct Saturn, compelling you to "get real" about who you are...and who you're not! You may have to make some difficult decisions about what direction you are going to pursue, perhaps due to circumstances making it clear that you can't do it all right now.

The Moon is conjunct Neptune, which can make the Moon's already fluid nature as deep and vast as the ocean. Feelings, intuition, creativity and the bonding instinct can run deeper now, and might even bring up unconscious secret longings that threaten to drown out your usual objectivity and rationality.

Your efforts to get a handle on this could lead you to try to find a clear (or extreme) separation between the practical and the spiritual. On one hand, you have your grounded, responsible, practical side that knows how to survive in the physical world. On the other hand, you may be aware of a side of you that would love to just surrender to your primal feelings and not have to worry about practical things. Both of these aspects of yourself are valid, and it is important to find a balance between them so that you can embrace one without having to obliterate the other.

This is the challenge of the Saturn-Neptune opposition, and your work with this mission begins in earnest now, at the Full Moon. The Saturn-Chiron opposition (which the New Moon brought into final focus) is now starting to separate, although its effects will dissipate gradually over the coming year. The Full Moon now brings our focus to Saturn-Neptune. From learning to find fulfilment in smaller measures (Chiron), we now start to revisit and rediscover the goals, aspirations, dreams and vision (Neptune) that perhaps had to be put on the back burner for a while.

This may also bring up some feelings of defiance, rebellion or independence. Perhaps reconnecting with your sense of vision and possibilities inspires you to want to take action to pursue them anew. Or maybe you feel a bit swamped by the powerful longing and vulnerability that's coming up from deep inside, and your instinct is to react by asserting your personal free will and resisting the current of feelings that feel like they could pull you under.

Your ally in this is the ability to delve deeply into your understanding of your situation or experience. You may have expanded your awareness and understanding recently through struggle or hardship, and it's possible for you to now extract a positive, useful learning from that struggling. This can help you find a level of freedom that is centered inside of you, rather than being dependent on external circumstances. Or you might find you can bring a certain wisdom to those circumstances that helps you respond more effectively.

There is much change in the works now, so it can help to put some containment around your more volatile reactions when you feel upset�not to suppress your feelings, but to keep those feelings from creating more problems than they solve. Strive to embrace your inspiration and aspirations so that you can act on them in practical ways.

The effects of this Full Moon reach very far into the future because of the other transits that it activates. Everyone is affected by these transits a little differently. To find out more about how it all affects you personally, book a personal reading with meTop of Page

Aug.09-10 � Mercury conjunct Venus (doesn't reach exact; in Cancer and Leo)

Mercury and Venus are playing a game of tag, first in Cancer and then in Leo. They are closest right at the Full Moon on Aug.9-10, but are within orb of the conjunction from Aug.04 to 16. What happens is Mercury had been retrograde (Jul.04-28), so it slowed down and then stopped to change direction (going Direct on Jul.28). Meanwhile, Venus approaches at her usual speed and almost catches up to Mercury, but not quite! The closest she comes is just under 2 degrees (that's very close). But by that time, Mercury is picking up speed again and he manages to escape her amorous clutches. ;-) The turning point of the race happens at the Full Moon (Aug.09), just as both of them move from Cancer into Leo (Aug.10-12).

What does all this mean?? Well, it means we have the benefit of the conjunction energy between Venus and Mercury, but much of its promise and potential may not come to fruition. The Venus-Mercury conjunction gives us social connections, diplomatic interaction, receptive awareness and charming communication. It's easier to negotiate a win-win solution to conflicts through receptive perception of both sides. However, it can also create a kind of "sugar coating" where it's easier to say something because that's what the other person wants to hear, rather than because it's genuine.

The net effect of this "almost-conjunction" is that negotiations and agreements may seem to be a "done deal," but then slip away at the last minute or not be as satisfying as you'd hoped. On the other hand, if your interactions have been "sugar coated" by giving politeness priority over sincerity, the net result might be to rethink this and give sincerity a higher priority.

This can be especially true if you have been primarily focused on the other person's needs, but then something may happen to shift your own needs into a higher priority. This could be the result of a healthy rebalancing. Or, it might be a lack of ability to follow through due to circumstances or not being strong enough to maintain your initial perspective on the situation.

Whatever way it manifests for you, it may feel like Mercury retrograde is having one last slippery dance before things settle down. The issues and promise present during the current conjunction may not fully resolve themselves until November 2006, when Mercury again goes Retrograde and Venus finally catches up to him. Top of Page

Aug.10 � Mercury enters Leo (until Aug.27)

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. Top of Page

Aug.11 � Sun opposite Neptune (18:25 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. On the other hand, you are also able to see your hopes, dreams and illusions more clearly than usual, reflected back through other people or the outside world. It may be like looking in a cosmic mirror that shows you what's going on in your subconscious. Just remember that it may be hard to tell which is the real thing and which is the mirrored reflection. Just like a dream, you might get better insight by interpreting them intuitively rather than literally. Try expressing your experiences, feelings and perceptions in ways that are poetic, artistic, creative and non-rational. Top of Page

Aug.11 � Mercury leaves the Shadow (until Oct.08) ("What's a Shadow?"  Read article about the Shadow.  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury was Retrograde from Jul.04 until it went Direct on Jul.28. But Mercury has still been travelling through the "Shadow"�that arc of the Zodiac where it was Retrograde. This "post-retrograde Shadow" is a time when the learning, information and confusion that emerged during the Retrograde period (or during the pre-retrograde Shadow, since Jun.18) are applied in new ways and gradually move forward. By now, these issues and themes should be back up to speed�and very likely heading in a different direction than they were 2 months ago (or at least with a different perspective on them). You can enjoy a retrograde-free Mercury now until October. ;-)  Top of Page

Aug.12 � Venus enters Leo (until Sep.06)

This can be a very creative time, as Venus' love of beauty combines with Leo's creative flair for the dramatic. Find ways to feel good by making your surroundings and yourself beautiful and reflective of your inner spirit! High fashion and vogue style are "in," and crudeness and ordinariness are out...unless you want to turn them into a fashion statement. ;-) However, it's probably wise not to become so identified with the outer appearance of yourself or others that you lose sight of the person, situation or context that it's all happening in. The aim is to pamper yourself with pleasures that enhance your quality of life, without inflating your ego with synthetic self-esteem and glamour without substance. Relationships, interaction, finances, values and resources all need to include ways to express your identity, valour and "heart." Some light-hearted fun and play can be a good place to start. Top of Page

Aug.13 � Mars opposite Uranus (13:38 Virgo/Pisces)

Your energy is likely to be rather unpredictable, fluctuating or just plain "wonky" under this transit. Your moods could swing back and forth in reaction to outside circumstances that trigger your feelings buried under the surface. In particular, anger, confidence and impulsive desires could suddenly appear and disappear for no apparent reason. If you feel your freedom is being taken away or if you think your individuality is becoming lost in the Collective shuffle, you might feel the urge to abruptly push against whoever seems to be blocking you. This can come across as arbitrary rebellion, and it may not be easy for you or others to understand where this is coming from inside you. It might be a good idea to take some time out to focus inward and find out what's really going on under the surface, especially if these reactions are starting to spiral out of control. On the other hand, this doesn't have to be a "negative" energy. You might also feel more spontaneous than usual and be willing to try new things more easily than you usually do. It can be a time to discover new courage to venture beyond your comfort zone of what's familiar. Flash arguments could clear the air, leaving the way clear to make a fresh start. Essentially, this transit tends to be a bit of a roller coaster ride, which can have you howling in protest or shrieking with excitement...or both! Top of Page

Aug.14 � Mercury opposite Chiron (06:12 Leo/Aquarius)

You could experience extra sensitivity, compassion or sympathy toward the problems and suffering of others under this transit. One possibility is that you encounter more people than usual who are struggling with problems that are brought to your attention. Another possibility is that you might be on the receiving end of the results of their suffering -- for example, if someone takes out their frustration or discouragement on you. Yet another option is that you may encounter others who are sensitive to and able to offer help for your own ongoing problems and struggles. You may be in a special position to have insight into the problems of others, or they into yours. Exchange of information, experiences, ideas and theories could be useful. You might also experience a difficult interaction with someone that raises an old issue about style of communication (for example, words might be spoken with good intentions that instead cause hurt). This is a good time to listen and observe, and you might catch a glimpse of some ironic or paradoxical truth. Top of Page

Aug.14 � T-Square reactivated (Mercury/Venus opposite Chiron, square Jupiter)

This T-square just won't quit! It's been with us in one form or another since mid-May�first with Saturn opposite Chiron, and both squared by Jupiter. Then Mars caught up to Saturn throughout June, adding some additional spin to it. Then the Sun lit up the T-square again from Jul.25 to Aug.09. Now Mercury and Venus bring a final light of awareness and balance to the energy, as they fill in the space opposite Chiron. This lasts roughly until just past the next New Moon (Aug.23), as the focus on Chiron increasingly gives way to our attunement to Neptune.

What does this mean?? This energy can help you extract conscious learning from your experiences of the last four months, converting raw experience into understanding of what those experiences mean in the context of your life. In other words, what has it all meant to YOU personally? And how can you integrate the learning from those experiences into your worldview, your self-image, your values and your self-awareness.

This integration process is especially important because during the first week of September (when Chiron is without major aspects to other planets). It might seem as if your connection to your struggles and learning of the past four months suddenly drops off the radar temporarily. So it will help you maintain a sense of continuity if you have done some solid processing of your experiences, and sifted out a sense of conscious awareness of what you have gained and learned from them. Top of Page

Aug.17 � Sun trine Pluto (24:10 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'). This is a time when your personal presence may come across as somewhat "larger than life," so you need to remember that a little goes a long way during this transit. This could be a time when you suddenly find the strength to stand up and assert your personal power in a situation that has felt overwhelming or discouraging. On the other hand, if you are still struggling to learn how to own your power, without using nuclear bombs to make your point, you may still feel a bit overwhelmed or daunted by this transit. In that case, take smaller steps and don't try to push the river. Top of Page

Aug.17 � Venus opposite Chiron (06:03 Leo/Aquarius)

You may be extra sensitive to other people's suffering, struggles or dilemmas under this transit. Your own ongoing issues in relationships or finances may undergo a kind of "healing crisis" in which you endure increased problems and must use extra tolerance, compromise or negotiation to keep things from collapsing into a worse state. At the same time, you may be able to reach a new level of acceptance and peace -- not necessarily by solving the problems, but by letting go of the struggles that are not as important as you thought and by making the best of the ones that are left. Other people or outside circumstances may give you a push in this direction, which might feel at first like old wounds are being opened up. But this is an opportunity to find new ways to bring healing and balance to old problems, especially using tolerance, compromise and acceptance. Top of Page

Aug.18 � Mercury square Jupiter (11:37 Leo/Scorpio)

You may be seeing the weak links in your knowledge, understanding or beliefs right now. Your ideas and words might seem to fall short of what your mind envisions, or you might be unable to convince others of your point of view. As a result, it can be tempting to over-compensate with more self-confidence, faith or optimism than you actually have. Or, you might give out "too much information" by over-explaining or through nervous rambling. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does this and perhaps have a blaming or judgmental reaction to them. This is an opportunity to learn something about how you might jump to conclusions or blame, possibly triggered by a situation that challenges your beliefs, opinions or perspective. To learn more about this part of yourself, try taking some time to think about what is really bothering you or what you really need to say in that situation. There may be a higher truth to be found if you open your mind to something you're reluctant to acknowledge, rather than looking for a "final truth" around which to close it. Top of Page

Aug.20 � Mercury conjunct Saturn (16:34 Leo)

It's time to take a serious look at the circumstances and situations in your life. This transit may not exactly be "party time" but it's a great transit to have when you need to take a dispassionate, objective, clear view of life. You may be called upon to make a decision about something. For example, you might need to commit yourself to a particular plan of action, or start developing plans toward a particular goal. In either case, it may be necessary to limit or let go of other options. You might come to the conclusion that something has run its course and it's time to leave it behind -- like an opinion or project or mindset. It's a time when your perception, thoughts and words may not be exciting, imaginative or entertaining, but you're probably more able to be clear, grounded decisive and hard working. Top of Page

Aug.21 � Mercury opposite Neptune (18:08 Leo/Aquarius)

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 irrational 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. 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.22 � Venus square Jupiter (12:10 Leo/Scorpio)

"Your eyes are bigger than your stomach" (as Mom used to say). That means you are more likely now to over-indulge, especially in the areas of relationships, spending, desires, pleasure and social contact. Your desire for fulfilment and satisfaction may exceed your resources, and you might not even realise it until the bill comes in later (probably under a Saturn transit ;-). You may also find you require more knowledge, understanding, faith, freedom or optimism than you have available, making it tempting to compensate by inflating what you really have. For example, you might want to resort to flattery, manipulation or over-optimism in an effort to make up for a lack of genuine confidence, rapport or preparation. However, this can also be a time when your creativity is running high and you are able to pull rabbits out of your hat on a moment's notice. The problem is that you could over-extend yourself by doing so. Top of Page

Aug.23 � Sun enters Virgo (until Sep.23) (Read about the Virgo side of your personality.)

Happy Solar Return to all Virgos! While the Sun is in Virgo, we are all honorary Virgos. You are encouraged to clean out the toxins in your body and mind. Organise and tidy up your life, in whatever ways it is "a mess." And take stock of the ways you give service and make a contribution to the world around you. 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. During this transit, organisation, useful procedures and practical application come together to form 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. You could volunteer your time. Or, perform some "random acts of kindness." Or, just do something nice for someone. Projects and problem solving may work a bit better if you take an analytical, methodical approach to them (rather than intuitive or guessing). This is a good time to assimilate and "digest" the results of any preparation you've been doing toward a project, goal or production. Weed out what doesn't work and what doesn't support your efforts, and then reorganise and simplify whatever is left. Just don't get so carried away that you throw away something that's important to you or your goals. Top of Page

Next Updatete: New Moon in Virgo - August 23, 2006

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