Hello to patient readers everywhere!
August opens on a somber astrological note but the weight of that moodiness is mitigated by flights of fancy and more than a few zany antics, making it possible to find moments of relief from what might feel like an unrelenting need for discipline. Yes, for those familiar with astrology, the somber—sober—frequency is provided courtesy of Saturn, the symbol of serious endeavors. It is currently in Aquarius opposite the Sun and Mercury, both in Leo, that fun-loving Sign that wants to enjoy the vitality, warmth, and playfulness of summer.
Unfortunately, a Saturn/Sun opposition tends to dampen Leo’s vitality. Saturn is serious and when it puts pressure on the Sun, many of us are prone toward self-consciousness and/or a judgmental attitude about everyone and everything, including ourselves—and that’s no fun at all. Mercury/Sun conjunctions tend toward a lack of objectivity and as Saturn simultaneously opposes Mercury, you could find yourself caught in a loop of self-recrimination. Saturn’s opposition to Mercury is over by August 4; its opposition to the Sun lasts until August 16. The best antidote for this sobering intensity is releasing the need for perfection as well as any addictive inclination to negative thinking.
This is the month we start to get a respite from the first two Saturn/Uranus squares that characterized the most active force for change in 2021. The first was February 17; the second was June 14; the third will be on December 24. This fractious interaction has the power to challenge the status quo of stagnant systems, both individual and collective, that are running on autopilot or have outlived their usefulness. We’ve mostly witnessed the power of this square through political machinations, as the right wing and white supremacists in this country and around the globe have sought to solidify their presence and power by attacking government institutions that attempt to help establish and maintain diversity. These factions are not hiding their need to disrupt democratic systems that hold egalitarian principles in place.
I realize that for many of us, framing the right-wing white supremacists through Uranus—the astral revolutionary—seems odd. We seldom, if ever, think of fascists as revolutionaries. But currently, as the world continues to turn upside down and inside out, they are playing the role of the instigators, determined to disrupt all efforts at maintaining and furthering progress towards social justice and an evolutionary perspective. While their intent as well as their actions are reprehensible, they have taken on the role of being change agents, if only because they remind us of just how deep the problems that plague us truly are.
(As a side note, someone recently wrote in saying that I shouldn’t call the Aquarium Age an astrology column; rather, I should call it a political opinion column. For the many astrology fans and followers that aren’t familiar with the history of astrology, it’s important to point out that astrology has always been political. More importantly, these last several years have been and will continue to be fraught with political strife that can be viewed through the positions of the planets, all of which have been present at other politically sensitive and intense times. Remember, the planets move in repetitive patterns, which is why astrologers are able to make predictions; also remember that astrologers aren’t always right, which is why we don’t rule the world.)
This square is part of a greater cycle that began in 1988, when Saturn and Uranus were conjunct in Sagittarius. The first square in that cycle happened in 1999–2000 and the opposition within that cycle took place in 2008–09. Although the current waning square is believed to be weaker than the other previous contacts within this cycle, it still builds upon what was set in motion in 1988.
The opposition of 2008–09 was the astrological signature for the Great Recession—the banks needed to review and eliminate the systems that failed, failures which engendered the collapse of so many lives through the loss of homes and jobs. While the status quo was temporarily disrupted, those systems weren’t changed. Now as we near the end of this Saturn/Uranus cycle that began in 1988, we might see the issues of the Great Recession revisited. As I write this, the eviction moratorium has ended and we don’t know what will happen next as people scramble to stay in their homes. It’s important to be clear about what is being disrupted: if we have hundreds of thousands of families homeless, we will experience an enormous destabilization of lives, the cost of which will far exceed the lost housing revenues. A disruption of the status quo through a massive increase in homelessness will affect everyone and all of us will suffer.
Of course, we could experience another recession. Uranus is in Taurus, the Sign of money; Saturn is in Aquarius, the Sign of universal trends; and given that Uranus is the great disruptor as well as the symbol for startling plot twists, the clash between these two planetary influences could indicate another shift in global finances. There’s one more exact contact of Saturn/Uranus on December 24. And while I’m not saying that a recession is inevitable, I am saying pay attention. It is important not to be careless when assessing Uranus transits, especially when Saturn, sometimes called the Lord of Karma, is throwing its weight around and adding boundaries to Uranus’ freedom-loving spirit. From a personal perspective, it’s important to be moderate and disciplined during these Saturn/Uranus squares so that you won’t be caught off-guard should this influence manifest as money issues.
Uranus lingers at 14 degrees Taurus all of August, so those born in the middle of any of the Fixed Signs—Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius—are certain to feel this Uranian intensity quite keenly. It lingers at 14 degrees because that is the degree at which it goes retrograde on August 19; it finally goes direct again on January 18, 2022. This is a normal Uranus Retrograde pattern, but Fixed Signs tend to be stubborn and if things aren’t going the way they desire, they are easily challenged and many times unable to assume a flexible stance when things aren’t quite “right.” So try to be as patient as possible—Uranus stays at the same degree throughout August and September; it finally changes degrees at the beginning of October.
Be aware that the beginning days and sometimes weeks of Uranus Retrograde tend to resemble a ring of hell that Dante could never have imagined. Let’s just call it Techno Hell because Uranus symbolizes all things related to technology—computers, phones, TVs—which always act up when Uranus begins its retrograde. Be prepared for the middle of August to feel like Mercury Retrograde—it won’t be, but it will feel as if it is. Mercury Retrograde doesn’t return until September 27, running through October 18.
There’s nothing lazy or hazy about August’s summer days this year. But while the month is not a completely smooth ride—Uranus prohibits any semblance of smooth—it’s also not as difficult as some might anticipate—or maybe that’s just my wishful thinking, because like many of my fellow travelers, I am so tired of having to listen to the nonsense that spews from so many politicians who do not have anyone’s interests at heart but their own.
There will be many demonstrations all over the country as people organize to defend their rights as well as the rights of those whose voices still aren’t strong enough to be heard and those demonstrations will require support—either through physically showing up to protest or contributing financially to make sure the protests take place. Some of those demonstrations will be marred by violence, making it all the more important to stand for civil disobedience and peaceful transformation.
There has never been a more important time to practice compassion—kindness is going make all the difference in the days, weeks, and months that lie ahead. So be kind to yourself, to those you love, to strangers, and when possible to those you don’t agree with. We are all making this up as best we can and when we remember that, it’s easier to avoid a critical stance that only points a judgmental finger aimed at punishing and instead assume a compassionate perspective that doesn’t blame people for their mistakes.
Week One: August 1–7
A Mars/Jupiter opposition that began on July 22 and lasts until August 7 has been supportive of finding a more moderate approach to getting things done. Mars is movement; Jupiter is expansion; oppositions indicate tension; and the overall effect of this opposition is most likely seen in the need to get as much done as possible. Because this opposition leans towards taking on more than is possible to manage, you might find yourself overwhelmed by all there is to take care of, but it could just as easily leave you unwilling to take on one more thing. It’s likely that most of us are tending to take on too much, given that we are out in the world, newly vaccinated, and doing our best to hurry the return of normal.
A Venus/Uranus trine that began July 29 and ends on August 7 adds to the sense of no longer being restricted—this is the astral combination that indicates the ability to fall in love with everyone for at least five minutes. If you’ve been infatuated with almost everyone you encounter, this trine would explain it. As I often advise, have a great time under this influence but remember the Venus/Uranus motto: marry in haste, repent at leisure. Uranus can be quite fickle and you don’t want to embroil yourself in a situation or a relationship that could turn cold as quickly as it heated up.
From August 6 through August 14, exact on August 9, a Venus/Neptune opposition intensifies romantic inclinations. Venus is the goddess of love and beauty; Neptune signifies imagination; and when the two combine in any arrangement, it’s almost impossible not to think of love—all sorts of affections are possible under this opposition. But you want to be careful not to delude yourself into thinking that the affection is neutral. Neptune is a trickster and if we are so inclined, it can take us on flights of fancy we might later regret.
A Sun/Uranus square that began on July 31, is exact on August 6, and persists until August 13 fuels revolutionary spirits. Uranus is the freedom fighter always ready to break free from whatever enslaves. The Sun represents spirit, and when the two combine, the rebel with or without a cause is born. This square can be harnessed for political inspiration but it can also be a great source of creative innovation and invention. On August 8, the Moon in Leo joins the Sun/ Uranus square, which translates into heightened emotions that are likely to be expressed dramatically!
Week Two: August 8–14
Also on August 8, Venus in Virgo trines Pluto in Capricorn, stirring deep desires for sexual and sensual interactions. Don’t be surprised if you feel obsessively or compulsively attracted to someone. This trine is a potent influence for love, but as always, it’s important to make sure that the object of your affection is mutually obsessed. On August 11, Venus conjuncts the Moon, both in a trine to Pluto, but the presence of the Moon is likely to turn the sexual tension more emotional. There are plenty of opportunities to fall in love this month, and this Venus/Pluto trine could turn dalliances into serious affairs of the heart.
A Mars/Uranus trine begins on August 14; it’s exact on August 22 and lingers until the end of the month. This is a powerhouse interaction, which means you can expect to feel supercharged. Mars symbolizes muscles—it’s physical movement. Uranus represents electricity. When they are combined, lots of things that usually don’t move suddenly break free with unusual intensity, which is why some astrologers see this interaction as a symbol for extraordinary power. It’s unclear how this trine will manifest collectively as Uranus is slowing down in preparation for its retrograde on August 19. But there is no interference with Mars—it is conjunct Mercury the day of the exact trine, a positive interaction that could lead to startling revelations.
From a personal perspective, the explosive energy of this Mars/Uranus trine can be put to good use, applying it to stagnant areas in your life that need a special effort to get into the flow. From a collective perspective, there’s no truly no telling. So much is in flux around the globe, from climate to Covid issues, that the intensity of this trine could manifest as a blip on the screen, as in, “Oh yeah… just another hotspot.” But because so much seems to be converging around mid-August, it might be wise to keep your patience pills handy.
Week Three: August 15–21
The romance trend continues into the third week of August with a Venus/Saturn trine. Venus enters Libra on August 15 and by August 19, the day Uranus Retrograde begins, Venus trines Saturn, forming a perfect union. If you’re taking notes, you’ve probably noticed that this week is quite intense with astral activity, so best be prepared that you, those you love, and even those you don’t know may get immersed in situations that require assistance. Some of our fellow travelers may be deliciously happy while others might be melting down from the intensity. This Venus/Saturn trine acts as a grounding rod, enabling serious intentions, especially romantic and creative interests, to take root.
Uranus Retrograde begins on August 19; its review lasts for nearly five months, turning direct on January 18. As mentioned above, because Uranus signifies technology of every ilk, the several days before Uranus “turns around” are likely to resemble Mercury Retrograde—phones, computers, tablets as well as smart devices are certain to be messy with snafus that can only be explained by Uranus’ shift in direction. Also be aware that Uranus transits, individual and collective, can agitate nervous systems and dynamically affect sleeping patterns.
On August 15, a Sun/Jupiter opposition kicks into gear. It is exact on August 19 and lasts until August 26. Sun/Jupiter contacts are usually quite optimistic, but because this one lands in the middle of such an intense week, it could lead to excesses you might later regret. So be mindful of how you are coping with the stresses of the month and wherever possible try to stay moderate when self-medicating. This is not a dangerous opposition; it just happens to be most powerful when so many other powerful interactions are taking place. (Just writing about it makes me feel pulled in several directions simultaneously.)
Week Four: August 22–31
Compared to all the astro-action of the first three weeks of August, this last week is comparatively quiet. Several of the interactions mentioned above are waning, including and especially the adjustment to Uranus Retrograde, which means nervous systems are sure to settle down just a little.
One last word about August: If you can find the time to rest, rest. The fall is going to be quite busy and it may often feel as if we’re hurtling through time and space, seeking a dimension where life is easier on the nervous system. So whenever possible, use this month to replenish your reservoirs of energy. We are all going to need all our strength to face the fallout from the Saturn/Uranus square on Christmas Eve. And don’t forget, we are heading directly toward the United States Pluto Return in February 2022—we will need spiritual fortitude to endure and harness the power of that event so it can be used for positive personal and planetary transformation.