Hello, everyone.

We’ve arrived at August, the astrological height of the year 2010.  What are the planetary influences this month and how can we work with them?

  • We’ll start with the most long-range and overarching influences, the planets Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus, which you will notice do not travel far from month to month but stay in the same sector of the sky for many years.
  • Then we will look at the mid-range influences, Jupiter and Saturn, which stay in the same sign for 1 – 2.5 years.
  • We’ll look at the personal planets, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and the Sun which stay in their respective signs for much shorter periods and primarily influence our day-to-day lives.
  • And last we’ll look at the sign and dates for the New and Full Moon, as these mark the waxing and waning cycles in our daily lives.

Pluto in Capricorn

We’ve spoken at length about Pluto in Capricorn (see category at right), where it will remain until 2024.  In a nutshell, this long transit will bring deep change and upheaval to many of the structures we have come to rely upon:  government, religion, the economy, industry, and the military, to name a few.  This transit carries the energy of revolution and evolution and can be dramatic and at times overwhelming.  Pluto exposes what is hidden, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

Pluto hastens and intensifies the processes of endings and new beginnings, and in Capricorn will bring about the ending of our business pursuits that are no longer suited to our growth and personal evolution.  Whatever has been slowly leaking vitality will go ahead and die, including old business models, practices, and products.

This is formidable energy, and your best strategy is to tune in and work with it.  Find an area in your business life in need of renewal and begin the process before Pluto reaches planets in your chart and forces the issue.

Everyone with planets in the first seven degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn is already dealing with this energy.  You’ve probably noticed a deeper and deeper probing and cleansing all year long, related to the issues mentioned above.  Pluto transits can be difficult, but when the work is through, they are the most rewarding because we are irrevocably freed from a long-standing, but hidden, issue.

Neptune in Aquarius

With Neptune in Aquarius (see category at right) from 1998 to 2011, we’ve seen a growing global consensus regarding the equal value of all beings, shared responsibility for our planet, the distribution of technology to all nations, and the right of each person to contribute to and further the base of common knowledge.

The best way to work with this energy is to allow your rational mind to open to waves of inspiration from the collective whole, from your local community to the global community.  Expect to be inspired by your neighbors and friends, both near and far.

If you have planets between 25 and 28 degrees of any sign expect to experience a subtle but powerful dissatisfaction with certain areas of your life and a yearning for a more meaningful connection to others.  This disconcerting influence can dissolve the forms in our life that have no real content for us anymore.  This can be disorienting and confusing while it is happening but once these deeper connections are made, the benefits are rewarding and long-lasting.

Uranus in Aries/Pisces

In July Uranus entered its annual cycle of retrograde motion.  During the entire month of July it slowly travelled back through the very first degree of Aries, and now in August it will move back into Pisces where it will remain until next March.

Since May 27, when Uranus entered Aries, we’ve been getting to know a new face of Uranus. Aries is the spark of entrepreneurial spirit, the initiating drive toward independence and individuality.  You may have noticed new ideas incubating and a spirit of bold entrepreneurship in and around your business.  But when Uranus moved into retrograde motion, there was probably a disruption in this full-speed-ahead current.  You may now feel ambivalent or dissatisfied with your new ideas and initiatives.

And when Uranus moves back into Pisces there’s another major shift. Yes, this is familiar territory; Uranus was in Pisces for most of the last seven years, since March 2003.  But it may feel bizarre to be stepping back in time.  From the entrepreneurial spirit we again enter the collective.  From our recent forays into a new style of leadership, we fall back into flattened hierarchies and committee leadership.  From enhanced independence we’re back to collaboration and alliances.

Our whole society will seem to be taking steps backwards.  Must be something more to learn!

Saturn in Libra

In July, Saturn entered the sign of Libra where it will stay until October 2012.  Saturn is exalted in Libra which means it has a special affinity to the sign and if you’re willing to do the work, there is a promised payoff.  See the category to the right on this important transit, but in a nutshell:  what is the work of Saturn in Libra?  To develop patience, persistence, responsibility, and humility in relationships.  What is the payoff?  Cooperation and mutual support.

Until October, Saturn is in square aspect to Pluto in Capricorn (see above).  The stress of this square aspect will bring the end to structures that are no longer working in our businesses (and in our world.)  The Saturn energy will attempt to install the Libra values of equity, parity, diplomacy, collaboration, and cooperation while the Pluto energy brings more and more destructive patterns to the surface for all to see.  This configuration becomes exact on August 21 and we can expect this conflicting energy to build until then and then begin to taper off.

Jupiter in Aries

In June, Jupiter, the planet of opportunity and expansion, entered Aries.  Aries is an initiatory sign and Jupiter thinks big.  Your former goals may have felt too limiting and you may have experienced a passion for growth, expansion, competition, and claiming new territories

Then Jupiter entered retrograde motion on July 23.  We may have found our enthusiasm flagging for our new products and plans.  The forward momentum we’d been enjoying may have reversed, and now we find ourselves more restrained.  This is an important phase for realistically assessing how much we can get done, to curtail overdoing and over-committing, and to take the time to slowly grow a project to completion.

During August, Jupiter opposes Saturn which may cause you to feel that you don’t know whether to brake or accelerate.  The energy of conservatism is strong from Saturn’s placement in Libra and Jupiter’s enthusiasm is weakened due to retrograde motion.  So a gentle foot on the brake is called for, or how about down-shifting so you don’t have to ride the brakes at all?

During August Jupiter is also in difficult aspect with Pluto.  This can bring you face to face with the material realities of this time, whether governmental, regulatory, or economic.  Even nature can seem to thwart your every move.  How to work with this energy?  I’d say wait it out.  Patience can help you simply witness all the comings and goings, knowing that this time is paving the way for opportunities once some of the dross has been burned out of the system.

Mars in Libra

Mars spends the month in Libra, another indication to bide your time and let matters take their course.  Mars, the planet representing action, aggression, and applied energy, is weakened when in Libra, and with all of the other planetary conflicts this can be a good thing.  When Mars is in Libra we are more circumspect and concerned with the impact of our actions on other people.  So if you feel your competitive drive is weak this month, use your time and energy to support others.  This will rebalance and replenish your drive.

Venus in Virgo/Libra

Until August 6, Venus is in Virgo where she has a bad reputation for being nit-picking, perfectionistic, and fault-finding.  Not us, surely!  When Venus is in Virgo our happiness, creativity and productivity comes from our daily routines.  We like nothing better than to arrive at work on time, put in a good day, and then eat a nourishing meal in the evening.  The more you can build a productive, repetitive schedule into your day, the happier you will feel.

When Venus enters Libra on the 6th, we find our day-to-day happiness in relationships, art, beauty, fashion, and generally getting along and supporting each other.  This is another major boon as we work through the difficult outer planet conflicts.  We will be more than usually accommodating and willing to compromise and so will the folks around us.

Mercury in Virgo

Mercury is in Virgo all month and this is great for writing, documentation, and detailed project plans.  Also great for getting that bookkeeping caught up!  Mercury in Virgo loves to talk, write, and think about commerce and wants to accomplish practical outcomes by the end of each day.

And the good news is we get a good long spell of Mercury in Virgo, because Mercury turns retrograde on August 20 for three weeks.  More and more astrologers are spreading the news that Mercury retrograde can be a good thing, not the demon many people think it is.  See the link below for 10 Best Practices for Mercury Retrograde.

Sun in Leo/Virgo

The Sun in Leo until August 23 supports us to step into the limelight.  As the leader of your team, this is the time of year par excellence to set direction and reinforce your authority.  You may become hyper-sensitive to issues of loyalty, recognizing who on your team is really on your team, and who is just passing through.  Of course, loyalty is a two-way street, usually only given when it is received in kind.

When the Sun moves into Virgo, your style of leadership changes completely.  You know the saying, To Lead is to Serve?  (There is also an excellent book of the same name by Shar McBee.)  That phrase is the perfect expression of the Sun in Virgo.  Come down a notch and see what your team needs from you, and then offer it.  This will keep them productive and you in touch with the practical details of your business.  That’s the Sun in Virgo!

Phases of the Moon

The New Moon is in Leo on August 9, waxing to full in Pisces on August 24.  We’ll examine the lunar phases in the weekly and daily forecasts in August.

Monthly Recap

Another big month in our summer of transformation!  With all of the outer planets except Saturn in retrograde motion we will find ourselves retracing our steps and reevaluating our progress.  With Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in a most difficult configuration, we take the support of Venus and Mars in Libra to keep us balanced, steady, and compassionate amidst the turmoil.  Share some art or music with others to raise your spirits and bolster your relationships.  The Sun in Leo will help you be generous with your staff and colleagues and when the Sun moves into Virgo and joins Mercury there, service becomes the keyword for the rest of the month.

Have a great month and let me know how it all plays out!

Key Dates and Keywords for the Month

August 2          Jupiter (Expansion) Challenges Pluto (Transformation)

August 3          Mars (Force) Challenges Pluto (Transformation)

August 9          New Moon in Leo

August 16        Jupiter (Expansion) Opposes Saturn (Limitation)

August 21        Saturn (Limitation) Challenges Pluto (Transformation)

August 24        Full Moon in Pisces

For tips on how to use Mercury Retrograde to your advantage, see 10 Best Practices for Mercury Retrograde.

For more info on the business descriptions of the planets, see

The Sun

The Moon