The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Leo, August 18, 2020

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

New Moon in Leo
Adjustments for
Opening the Heart

The heart is bigger than trouble
And the heart is bigger than doubt
But the heart sometimes needs a little help
To figure that out
~ Connie Kaldor, Wood River

Aug.18 – NEW MOON in LEO (26:35 of Leo)

The article for the New Moon in Leo is written by guest-writer and Canadian astrologer Carmen Di Luccio. I expect to be back again for the Full Moon in Pisces on September 2nd. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy Carmen's article for the New Moon and my interpretations of the day-to-day transits, below. Happy New Moon! ~ Wendy

We are having a New Moon in Leo on August 18th/19th, depending on where you are located in the world. It is initiating a 29.5-day Lunar cycle, however, the astrological configurations mentioned in this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Pisces on September 1st/2nd.

The Sun entered its home sign of Leo on July 22nd and will be there until August 22nd. This highlights this New Moon energy more-so and extends some of its themes beyond its regular month-long season. As a Fire sign, Leo is associated with passion, instinct, inspiration, assertiveness, courage, confidence, and spirit.

Ruled by the Sun, Leo is about shining authentically, leadership, creativity, vitality, and heart centredness. Its energy is fun, playful, affectionate, generous, courageous, and romantic. It is associated with children, performing arts, sports, and self-expression. Expressed negatively, Leo energy can also be egotistical, conceited, dramatic, overbearing, stubborn, hot tempered, jealous, and demanding of attention or respect.

In the kingdom of glass everything is transparent,
and there is no place to hide a dark heart.
~ Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

New Moon Conjunct Mercury, Trine Mars, and Quincunx Saturn

This New Moon is in a conjunction with Mercury (also in Leo) while in a trine with Mars in Aries. This combination is assertive, active, communicative, mentally stimulating, passionate, and initiating.

New Moon cnj Mercury, trine Mars, qcx Saturn

This New Moon also occurs a day and a half after Mercury's Superior Conjunction which is when it begins to travel ahead of the Sun. At this point we can have more clarity around matters that have transpired in the last few months. For some people, there could have been significant developments on August 17th or 18th which reflected that.

Although we may feel more active, considering the connection with Mars in Aries during this lunation, it's good to take into consideration that Mars is in its pre-retrograde shadow period. Some of what is happening will be connected to an adjustment and recalibration process in how we assert ourselves in specific areas of our lives over the coming months during the retrograde and post-retrograde period. (Carmen will be writing a separate article specifically on this, you can join his mailing list to receive it.)

This New Moon is in a tight quincunx with Saturn in Capricorn. This can reflect hindrances that require adjustments. Saturn here can represent limitations, restrictions, boundaries, or obstacles that are challenging to incorporate and need extra effort to adapt to. This energy was also configured to the previous Solar Eclipse in Cancer and therefore is a part of the astrological backdrop until mid-Fall with this lunation highlighting it more-so for these coming weeks.

Would you like to know your future?
If your answer is yes, think again.
Not knowing is the greatest life motivator.
So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it
comes to you in its proper sequence – a surprise.
~ Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Venus Sextile Uranus Stationary Retrograde, Mars Square Saturn

Uranus went retrograde days before this New Moon and has been nearly stationary in recent weeks and into the upcoming weeks. Whenever a planet is transitioning from one direction to another its energies become more noticeable. Uranus is associated with surprises, sudden changes, liberation, rebellion, science, technology, innovation, metaphysics, experimentation, accidents, upheaval, sudden disasters, or things breaking.

Uranus will be retrograde until mid-January, and it's possible that we will see some sort of conclusion or important development happen then which is connected to certain things playing out this month. However, the retrograde process itself isn't as significant as the retrogrades of the closer planets (such as Mercury, Venus, and Mars) as Uranus is retrograde nearly half of the time which is the same for the other outer planets.

Venus sxt Uranus

Venus in Cancer is in a supportive sextile with Uranus during this New Moon. This can be stimulating socially or romantically and can be good for doing unusual or unconventional activities. Our interactions with others can have positive surprises or interesting synchronicities. This, combined with all the Leo energy, can also be creatively inspiring. Aesthetic changes or renovations can be favorable and for some people this can also be a good time for financial developments or approaches that are unconventional, technological, metaphysical, or experimental.

Mars square Saturn

Mars in Aries is moving towards a square with Saturn in Capricorn which will be strongest from August 21st-27th. This can be a time of frustrations and obstacles that can be getting in our way especially considering that Mars is slowing down to go retrograde next month. Our tasks may require extra patience and effort during this time. Aggressiveness could be met with resistance, or the need to address anger issues may come up. This is a time of asserting ourselves in a more serious, cautious, or realistic way.

You are an explorer, and you represent our species,
and the greatest good you can do is to bring back
a new idea, because our world is endangered
by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis
because of the absence of consciousness.
~ Terence McKenna

Lunar South Node Conjunct Galactic Center

The Lunar South Node is in an exact conjunction with the Galactic Center in Sagittarius at the time of this New Moon and in the following week. The South Node is about the past and can bring out negative qualities and energies of a sign, planet, or point that could be holding us back unless expressed in a way that collaborates with the opposing North Node.

The Lunar Nodes entered the Gemini-Sagittarius axis in May and will be there until January 2022. During this time, there is a push towards new expressions or positive qualities of Gemini, while there is a need for changes around negative or outdated expressions of Sagittarius. There will be both collective and individual manifestations of this.

Gemini is associated with facts, information, intellect, communication, the immediate/local environment, different perspectives, and is a social sign. Sagittarius is about beliefs, philosophies, faith, religion, media, expansiveness, the big picture, higher education, teachers/gurus, travel, and international factors.

With the South Node in Sagittarius, we need to be cautious of the negative potentials of this sign being expressed, such as opinions over facts, idealism over reality, generalizations over specifics, as well as self-righteousness, exaggeration, and judgmental behavior. These are some of the themes of the astrological backdrop for the next year and half.

Now, considering that the South Node is currently aligned with the Galactic Center, the most significant point in the sign (and constellation) of Sagittarius, we should take that into consideration for the month of August.

The Galactic Center signifies many of the Sagittarius themes mentioned, yet in a more intense way. It is associated with higher consciousness and centralized aspects of society. The South Node here can highlight negative or faulty expressions of these things. Its energy can bring challenges, pressures, destructiveness and chaos in order to change what is outdated.

1. You must let the pain visit.
2. You must allow it to teach you.
3. You must not allow it to overstay.
(Three routes to healing)
~ Ijeoma Umebinyuo

Making Intentions, Things To Consider

What realizations or developments have come up for you in recent days and how do they tie in with what has been playing out over the last few months? What are some potential solutions to help you tackle obstacles, limitations, or responsibilities that you are being faced with?

Do you need to be more flexible, adaptable, cautious, or patient? Should you liberate yourself from something that is getting in the way of some of your goals? What areas of your life are calling for more of a heart centered or playful approach? How can you express your individuality more authentically? Are your unwavering opinions or beliefs getting in the way of seeing things from different perspectives?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time. However, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. The exact moment it will occur is 2:42am Universal Time on August 19th, which will be the night of the 18th for those in the Americas. (See the top of the Low-Down sidebar at right for other local times.)

"Go back?" he thought. "No good at all!
Go sideways? Impossible!
Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!"
So up he got, and trotted along
with his little sword held in front of him
and one hand feeling the wall,
and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

Carmen Di Luccio has passionately studied the art of astrology for over 10 years, and applies it in a way that is both practical and spiritual. He is a full-time professional astrologer in Toronto, Canada, offering personal readings and business/strategic applications in person and by phone or Skype. Carmen presents astrology lectures and workshops, and as well as being the astrology writer on His personal website is

Day to Day Transits for the Next 2 Weeks

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Aug.19 – Sun sextile North Lunar Node (27:19 of Leo/Gemini)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This can be a feel-good time when you feel like you're on your game. Your sense of purpose and direction feel like they're flowing just right. Opportunities may present themselves and you are in a good position to recognize them and know how to make them work to your advantage. Even if you encounter difficulties, you are likely to be more confident in approaching them and therefore better able to find effective solutions. Pay attention to people who cross your path for 2-3 days around this time, since they could offer resources, support or connections that could be helpful. Just be careful that you don't resort to manipulation to make things happy your way. If you have to force something to work then maybe there's a better solution.

Aug.19 – Mercury enters Virgo (until Sep.05)  (Aug.20 in 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.

Aug.22 – Sun enters Virgo (until Sep.22)  (Aug.23 in AU)

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.

Aug.24 – Mars square Saturn (26:19 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Aug.25 in AU)

The impulsive forward action of Mars meets the serious structure of Saturn. The resulting friction can often generate considerable heat in the form of frustration, argument, conflict and stress – but also productivity and results for hard work. Your efforts may seem thwarted and your actions blocked at every turn. Your sensitivity to problems with authority figures can be especially high, as well as your sensitivity to others not cooperating with your own role as an authority figure. The youthful, free spirit in you is somehow required to deal with the serious, responsible, cautious side of you, and a power struggle between the two energies can easily result. If one side wins out over the other, either depression and guilt or rebellion and obsession may result.

However, you are not without power or ability! This friction can also be put to use in very productive ways. Your energy, desire and goals can be made manifest and concrete – even if possibly forced by circumstance. Obstacles can strengthen us, if we work with them instead of just fighting against them. To minimise interpersonal problems, remember that assertiveness is important, but aggression or rigidity will usually only get the other person's back up. You may find yourself in a situation where you must defend or assert your personal boundaries. Or, you might find it difficult to comply with someone else's boundaries. If the heat from this transit starts to overwhelm you, take some time out, find a safe (perhaps creative?) outlet to vent your feelings, and then find a new way to approach the problem.

Aug.25 – Mercury trine Uranus (10:38 of Virgo/Taurus)  (Aug.26 in AU)

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

Aug.25 – Venus opposite Jupiter (17:55 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Aug.26 in AU)

This is a time when your desire for pleasure is wide open. Sexual desire could reach out using seduction. Desire for delightful tastes could become overindulgence in foods that may not be in the best interest of your health (e.g., sweets, alcohol, etc.). Spending can be impulsive and easily grow beyond your budget. Money-making opportunities could spill over into workaholic obsession. It might feel like nothing is "enough" and you feel compelled to continually reach out for more and more – a bottomless well of desire. On the other hand, this energy can also bring out your natural beauty and charm in social situations if you are shy or inhibited. If you've done your research and your comparative shopping, this could be the time you make a big purchase. Or you might find the feeling is right to make your move with a love interest and expand your intimate connection with that person. Or perhaps you feel generous and decide to donate your money or talents to a cause that reaches for a higher purpose. Enjoy, but don't blow your budget.

Aug.26 – Mars sextile North Lunar Node (26:47 of Aries/Gemini)  (Aug.27 in NDT, UK, AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Including a day or two before and after today, this may be a time when opportunities come your way. Taking action could have results or implications that reach farther than you expect. You might feel more energetic, motivated or passionate than usual, and therefore find it easier to get moving on projects and plans. By the same token, if you move your body and take steps toward what you want, the incentive and energy could come to you to keep going with it; in other words, getting your physical energy moving could "prime the pump" mentally and emotionally. Remember that this could be any kind of energy—not just positive strides, but also anger, hostility, vindictiveness and rejection. Use this opportunity wisely.

Aug.27-29 – Moon goes Out of Bounds (27:08 Sagittarius to 25:26 Capricorn. Peaks on Aug.28 at 24S13 at 10:41 Capricorn)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

The Moon goes Out of Bounds (OOB) by Declination, during which time your feelings and emotions may be a bit stronger than usual. You might feel a little separated from the world around you, and as a result you might feel a bit lonely or in need of some reassuring human contact. On the other hand, this detachment might be a welcome change if you're feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed by the energy around you and need some time out. Or, you may find it's time to go your own way a bit more, to seek your own company or search for a more supportive environment. Your creativity and imagination might be more willing to follow unusual ideas, whims and impulses.

A planet goes OOB when its declination is greater than 23:26 (23 degrees and 26 minutes), which is the maximum declination of the Sun, and the Sun defines the Bounds. In 2020, the Moon's maximum declination finally goes beyond the Bounds in March, for the first time since 2011, and will continue to go OOB until January 2030.

For now, the Moon's maximum declination increases very gradually each month, and only gets to 24:52 by December 2020 (compared to her maximum declination of 28:34, which she'll reach in 2025). So, in 2020 the Moon is only a little OOB and this energy might not be very noticeable until around September. On the other hand, the OOB periods can be a time when your emotional reactions may be somewhat more amplified than usual. In any case, if you have the Moon or other planets OOB in your natal chart, you might be more sensitive to this energy.


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Aug.27 – Venus trine Neptune (19:57 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Aug.28 in AU)

This can be a time of romance, creativity, and a sense of oneness with the natural beauty of all that exists in the world. On a social or intimate level, things may run smoothly Рeven a bit magically! So be sure you are clear about what you really want. In terms of finances and material worth, this can be a time of blessings and abundance that could seem to appear out of nowhere. But be careful Рit can also be a time of overspending and wondering where the money went! Your natural beauty and warmth shines through now, so it is a good time to peek out from behind any fa̤ade of glamour or illusion you might be cloaked in. You are likely to see the very best in others (and they in you), so that negotiation, interaction and attraction can seem to flow effortlessly. This magical attraction energy could also open you up to seeing wonderful qualities in others that may or may not actually be there, so do a reality check with a trusted friend before you make any important choices.

Aug.29 – Mercury trine Jupiter (17:44 of Virgo/Capricorn)

This transit can make you quite talkative and flooded with ideas, along with those around you. Your stream of consciousness can flow abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. Your outlook is usually optimistic and open-minded under this transit, although it might simply neutralize an already pessimistic frame of mind. You are likely to be more open to spiritual or philosophical perspectives, being more able to see yourself as part of something greater than yourself. You might even find that luck comes your way because you are more receptive to opportunities and possibilities.

Aug.30 – Venus opposite Pluto (22:46 of Cancer/Capricorn)

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

Aug.30 – Pluto conjunct Saturn-Pluto conjunction point (22:46 of Cancer/Capricorn)

A bit of background: Saturn conjoined Pluto on January 12, 2020, at 22:46 of Capricorn. There's only one exact pass of this transit, although Saturn and Pluto remain within an 8° orb from January 2019 until January 2021. Besides the one exact conjunction, they make two closes passes before and after the exact conjunction – on May.02.2019 (2:37 orb) and Sep.26.2020 (2:50 orb).

What's happening now: Pluto is conjunct the precise degree where Saturn and Pluto were conjunct back in January. When a planet goes over a high-energy point, it can revitalize some of the original energy of whatever made that point extra powerful (e.g. a strong/rare aspect, eclipse, etc). When a fast-moving planet does this, it's short-lived so we don't always notice it much. But when a slow-moving planet does this, it hovers there for a longer period of time (days, weeks or even months) and we're more likely to see activity – possibly even a revival of the events and circumstances that arose with the original aspect.

Pluto makes 2 conjunctions to the Saturn-Pluto point: August 30 and November 7. In addition, Pluto remains within a 1° orb of that point spanning 5 months: July 14 to December 18. And when Pluto stations direct on Oct.04, it is just 0:16 from an exact conjunction with that point. (More about that in the update for the New Moon in Libra, Oct.16.)

So, if you're thinking that life and the world have become a LOT more intense since July, this is one of several factors behind it astrologically.

The exact Saturn-Pluto conjunction in January 2020 saw the initial rise of COVID-19, which has turned the world upside down, and continues to transform us both personally and collectively. Our ability to take many things for granted has been hugely disrupted. For example: socializing, health, income, resources, food, supplies, and for some people, hope itself. We have had to dig deep into our psyche to relearn coping strategies and find different ways of getting our needs met (physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, financial, etc).

What does it mean: On the adverse side, it's possible that we might see signs of a second wave of COVID-19 infections and/or deaths. It may also be a time when it becomes clear that serious decisions for prevention and treatment must be made (personally, collectively and/or politically) to implement policies and procedures that are better-informed, more binding and no-nonsense.

Pluto is the transformer, so during this overall 1° timespan it has become increasingly evident that our society, our lives and our expectations need to change to adapt the ways we survive and thrive to avoid a repeat of the COVID calamity. The pandemic has also aggravated—and therefore illuminated—secondary problems, including overuse and abuse of authority, awareness of pervasive and systemic racism, and the hidden undercurrents of power and control.

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So, Pluto rolling over the Saturn-Pluto point could double-down on some of these underlying and behind-the-scenes dynamics. However, in doing so, those dynamics and issues are also likely to become more visible and therefore more likely to be addressed, confronted, and changes applied.

Essentially, this is a time when we're all learning how to empower ourselves in the face of something we have little control over. The question is: are we seeking power over others by trying to control and dominate the situation? Or are we working toward empowerment that focuses on power within that strengthens our ability to choose and act without disempowering or disrespecting others?

On a personal level, this may be a time when you need to dig a little deeper to understand how the pandemic has illuminated areas needing attention and change in your own life. Have you put on the so-called "COVID 19 (pounds)" during the first half of 2020? This may be as good a time as any to start putting some routines, rules and plans in place to get back to a generally healthier lifestyle.

It can also be a time to take stock of other ways that 2020 has affected you personally. Have your priorities changed in some way? For instance, making a greater effort to budget and save money when you get back to a stable source of income. Or, not putting off regular contact with family and friends and people who are important to you. Or, you might find you need to become more consistent with how you maintain or improve your mental health, like minimizing things that aggravate depression, anxiety and rage, and maximizing those things that feed your spirit and sense of hope and purpose.

Aug.30 – Mercury opposite Neptune (19:52 of Virgo/Pisces)

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.

Sep.01 – Mercury trine Pluto (22:44 of Virgo/Capricorn)

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. This is the only exact pass for this transit, since Pluto was out of range when Mercury came through this area two months ago.


Available by November 30, 2020.

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