The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Transits for Aug.26 to Sep.09 2018

Dearest Readers,

I'm finally back! :-) My sincere thanks for your patience! I'm so sorry to have missed the updates for the Full Moon in Pisces and the New Moon in Virgo. Unfortunately it couldn't be helped. I am home at last after spending almost a month in the hospital following rather major—and very unexpected—surgery. (Let's blame it on the Mars station!) My recovery is progressing well, although it will take some time before I am fully up to speed.

Many thanks to those who wrote to express concern and support, and my apologies for being delayed in replying to you – I had no access to website emails until I got home! I still expect to be at the SOTA Astrology Conference to lecture on Out of Bounds Pluto, so if you haven't yet registered, do it quickly as they are filling up fast.

This page is one of two I have put together of the Low-Down transits that were missed (without the New/Full Moon articles) for Aug.26 to Sep.09 and for Sep.09 to 24. At least you can look back and see what the heck was happening during that time. ;-)

It's good to be back! :-)

Happy Transits, everyone!

Warmest regards,
22 Sept 2018

Aug.26 – FULL MOON in PISCES (03:12 of Pisces)

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Aug.26 – Venus square Pluto (19:02 of Libra/Capricorn)  (Aug.27 in AU)

Relationships and interactions are likely to be deep, intense and transformative under this transit. The same goes for your sense of beauty, and your material and financial dealings, which may require you to delve far deeper than usual to discover the truth under the surface of things. You may encounter the dark shadow of your desires – the obscure, secret or unconscious hunger that hides underneath the "politically correct" face you show to the world (and to yourself. This is a challenge to be resolved in some way. It might bring out conflict rooted in envy or jealousy, if someone has something (or someone) that you feel you are entitled to. Or, it might prompt you to reach very deep into your soul to find your inner beauty and value. You may be challenged to develop empathy or empowerment about something that initially seemed undesirable, unforgivable or scary. This transit can show you the problem areas that need to be transformed and healed. And seeing these more clearly can be a catharsis that sets that transformative healing in motion.

Aug.26 – Mercury-Sun Greatest Elongation as Morning Star (Mercury: 03:34 of Virgo)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun today, meaning it's as far away from the Sun as it's going to get (from Earth's perspective). Mercury is the Morning Star, meaning it is visible in the Eastern sky just before sunrise, which occurs after Mercury has turned Direct and a few days before it leaves the Retrograde Shadow.

Thoughts, awareness and decision-making tend to be clearer, and your path ahead may be easier to see. It can be a good time to reflect on the information and awareness you've gathered in the last couple of months and finalize plans for how best to act on these. If you were feeling confused or frustrated during the retrograde period, things can make more sense now. Let this be a time of fresh perspective and awareness.

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Aug.27 – Mars Stationary Direct (28:36 of Capricorn; direct until Sep.09.2020)  (Aug.28 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read my article about Mars Retrograde.  Read more about Mars Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, your energy could feel intense, erratic, volatile or liberated. After being retrograde for the last 10 weeks or so, the energy that has been coiling during that time now begins to release. Low energy will likely return: suddenly, erratically, forcefully or gradually. It's possible you may reach a point of decision about issues you have been struggling with in the past 2-4 months.

If you've been working on preparing or planning for a new project, the station could begin the launch process. If issues about anger, sexuality, assertiveness or courage have been a thorn in your side for the last few months, this begins the phase when you will start to apply what you've learned and cultivated. It could begin with a resolution to your frustrations, or possibly bringing the problem to the surface where you will need to deal with it directly.

Depending on how constructively and therapeutically you have been working with these issues, this resolution could be a positive time of self-empowerment, or it could produce an explosion of the urge to control and force others to bend to your will (or someone else behaving that way around you). Over the coming two months, while Mars is still in the Shadow, you will apply and integrate the energy and learning that has been gathered and is now being released.

It's also good to remember that, although Mars now turns direct, its energy is still not quite back to "normal" (whatever that is) because it is still Out of Bounds. Mars has been OOB through most of the Mars retrograde period and will remain OOB until Sep.24. So if Mars energy—anger, aggression, reactivity, defensiveness, assertiveness, courage, fight-or-flight, adventure, risk-taking—seems to still be kind of wonky, it should settle down more after it comes in-bounds in late September.

Here are the key dates of this Mars cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Sep.02 – Mercury leaves the Retrograde Shadow (23:27 of Leo; Next shadow Oct.28)  (Sep.01 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury finally leaves the shadow—the part of the zodiac where it was retrograde. This means the confusion, delays and miscommunications of the last 2 months have mostly dissipated and things should be more or less back to normal (whatever that is). The difference is that you now have the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective after having reconsidered, rethought and rehashed information and perceptions over the past 2 months. This gives you more choices than you had before. In fact, you may find that although you thought something was a good idea a month or two ago, you now realize that a different approach, decision or way of understanding it is better. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something or taking action on something, this is the time to take another look at whatever that is. Just don't forget your common sense, and remember that Mercury is only one factor to take into consideration regarding the timing of a decision. Use your best judgment and wisdom.

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Sep.02 – Venus enters the Retrograde Shadow (25:14 of Libra; in the Shadow until Dec.17)  (Sep.03 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read more about Venus Retrograde.  Read more about the Shadow.)

Venus now enters the span of the Zodiac where she will go retrograde in about. This is similar to when Mercury enters the Shadow, except that we are now building up themes and energies related to Venus – beauty, art, balance, harmony, love, pleasure, desire, fairness, diplomacy, finances, possessions, values. As Venus approaches her retrograde station, you may notice increasing experiences and events that emphasise these areas.

For example, money and income could either increase or decrease during the Retrograde phase, and then often returns to its former state after Venus turns Direct again. Romantic possibilities may heat up during the Venus cycle, only to cool down again afterwards if there is no real substance to sustain it. Or, existing relationships might go through a period of confronting and sorting through issues or problems that have been lurking in the background. If the relationship is on shaky ground, this might push it to the breaking point, forcing you to do some serious renegotiating or consider ending it.

In this time of global economic struggle, this Venus retrograde cycle could lead you to rethink and recalibrate your financial motivations and ambitions on an individual level, as well as all of us collectively on national and global levels.

Here are the key dates of this Venus cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Sep.03 – Mercury sextile Venus (25:33 of Leo/Libra)

There is a potential to benefit from social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness during this transit, although a certain amount of effort is needed to make this happen. It can be a good time for negotiating contracts and other agreements, especially if you consciously focus your intent on achieving balance with your counterpart, partner or opponent that results in a win-win situation for all concerned. There is also potential to appreciate and express beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone in your life that you want to get closer to, try speaking gently and listening receptively, which can be the key that opens the door to harmonious interaction. Creative ideas can also find expression now if you apply your conscious awareness to bring them into focus. The thing to watch for is a tendency to use manipulation to achieve an advantage, which might be done by you or to you. Keep communication straightforward and clear, and find diplomatic ways to deal with manipulation if you sense it happening.

Sep.03-10 – Grand Trine Kite (Mercury, Saturn, Uranus, with Venus)

[diagram – Kite] This is an echo of the same Grand Trine that was active at the Full Moon in Pisces. The difference is that this time Mercury brings it all together (instead of the Sun). While the previous configuration was also a tight Kite pattern, the Kite part of this one is looser with the approaching Venus-Uranus opposition forming the spine of the Kite. This aspect pattern is active from September 3 to 10, and is closest on Sep.07 when Mercury, Saturn and Uranus are all at 2° of their respective signs (Virgo, Capricorn, Taurus). On Sep.08, the Moon conjoins Mercury, which gives the Grand Trine a little added momentum. Venus in Libra makes it into a Kite figure from Sep. 5-8, by connecting to Mercury and Saturn through out-of-sign sextile aspects (60°).

So... what does it all mean? The Earth Grand Trine brings an easy-flowing stability that can bridge the gap between rebellious Uranus and rule-bound Saturn. Mercury's communication skills, analytic talents, and mental ability to think creatively, provide an outlet for the contradictory yet cooperative Saturn-Uranus energies.

Venus shifts the focus back over to Uranus, suggesting that you can take advantage of the Kite's potential through social networking or spontaneous interactions. Friends could be a helpful resource to run your ideas by or even inspire a sense of direction for what you have in mind. You might also benefit from investing your energy in a cause that gives you a feel-good sense of satisfaction, especially one that has a humanitarian purpose.

It all needs to be followed through with concrete action of some kind in order to get the full value of this potential – otherwise you might just get a flash of possibilities that simply fade away. Aim to do something to ground that potential in action, even if it's just to put a pin in it to follow up later. For example, you might write down your ideas, or commit to a related event in the near future, or make a purchase that helps you take the first step.


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Sep.05 – Mercury enters Virgo (until Sep.21)  (Sep.06 in NDT, UK, AU)

Mercury moves into its own sign of Virgo, where it brings an awareness of health, healing, work and service. This is a good time to be analytical, methodical and focused on improvement. But be careful not to get so lost in details or perfectionism that you can't see the forest for the trees. This energy is well spent by finding ways to make your work and the pursuit of your goals more efficient and effective. Try organising your activities better and prioritizing them according to what works well and what needs improvement and how. This is especially true for any health issues that keep getting pushed to the back burner. Whatever your plans, this transit can help you organise an effective strategy to move you forward.

Mercury finally exits Leo after almost 10 weeks there! (Jun.29 until now) The unusually long journey was due to Mercury having gone retrograde in Leo. Now you get to take the creative inspiration, insights about identity, and information about self-expression, and start to apply these ideas in more concrete ways, organizing and perfecting ways to make them useful and constructive.

Sep.06 – Saturn Stationary Direct (02:32 of Sign; Direct until Apr.29.2019)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, Saturn’s energy is especially intense and strong. You might experience this as physical or mental heaviness or sluggishness. You might find you have to "get real" with some responsibilities, or make some difficult decisions. This can be a turning point in long-term projects and plans that you've been developing over the last 5 months or so. Or, you may start to deal differently with old limitations, either finding ways to move beyond them or finding ways to make peace with them. If you’re dealing with closure or endings in some area of your life, this could be a time when you can finally start to let go and move forward.

This Saturn station is packed with potential! Saturn stations in a tight Grand Trine aspect pattern with Uranus and Mercury. If you are looking to launch, complete or make progress on a project, especially one that involves technology, writing, communicating, teaching and other cerebral endeavours, this Saturn station could fasten your plans down in a very positive way. The risk is in trying to force something to work that wants to go in a different direction. It's good to apply your strength, concentration and effort, but if you have to keep yanking it back to where you want it, you might ask yourself if you're trying to go against the natural grain.

Sep.07 – Mercury trine Uranus (02:11 of Virgo/Taurus)  (Sep.06 in HAST, AKDT)

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.

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Sep.07 – Mercury trine Saturn (02:32 of Virgo/Capricorn)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and pursuit of your goals now. Your mental outlook is likely to be calm and grounded. This is a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your goals. You may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the process of pursuing those past goals. Or, you might find you are able to draw on past achievements to assist and support your current goals and plans. It is a good transit to bring structure to your thoughts and communication. You may find it's a little easier to accept authority – yours or someone else's – and that you are able to speak authoritatively about things about which you have knowledge or experience.

Sep.07 – Sun opposite Neptune (15:04 of Virgo/Pisces)  (Sep.08 in AU)

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.

Sep.08 – Venus square Mars (29:37 of Libra/Capricorn)  (Sep.09 in AU)

Your receptive, diplomatic side is arguing with your assertive, decisive side. The result is either a battle of wills between your Yin and Yang, or a new creative energy that harnesses both. This could manifest in the form of relationship problems, financial struggles, arguments about control, or you are propelled to take action with plans that have been percolating for a while. If you're usually more comfortable with your Yin side (receptive, diplomatic), you might feel a bit backed into a corner or forced to negotiate under pressure. If you're more at home in your Yang side (assertive, action-oriented), you may feel compelled to blunt or sheathe the sword you would prefer to smite your enemy with. Either way, this is about balancing the two sides and finding a new cooperation that works for both.

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