Includes tips for each Sun and rising sign for both of this month’s Eclipses.
As the month begins, our hearts are in the right place. But are we acting on its directives? With two Eclipses featuring Mars the mover, we’ll have a four-week chance to do more about this answer than we think.
Along with the Eclipses, influences prominent in August’s astrological line-up include:
- Venus, the so-called minor benefic, has entered empathetic Cancer, helping us value the terrain of our souls: mothers, homes, nation and women.
- Jupiter, planet of fortune, is still in Libra, shining beneficently on relationships and art, and restoring our connection with the sacred feminine.
- Rebel Uranus, who’s been fueling every possible argument during his transit through pugnacious Aries, turns retrograde on August 3, putting away his weapons and facilitating a more pensive, less reactionary approach to unleashing our true identity.
Against this apparently easy backdrop, begins August’s ride of Paul Revere, calling us into action.
The metaphor actually has an astrological underpinning. It was the night of April 18-19, in 1775, when the well-known silversmith from Boston began his trek, alerting other riders who together warned the colonists of the impending British attack.
This and other similar events around and during the American Revolution happen to coincide with Pluto’s last transit through Capricorn. On that April night, Pluto, planet of power, connected with Mars in Leo, trined both Uranus and Jupiter, and squared the Sun in warrior-sign Aries.
What would today’s astrologers have predicted for this alignment? It’s true, Mars and Pluto are the little and big toughies of the Solar System, and in order for our inner rider can take up the reins, we complacent humans sometimes need a little pushing.
As it grinds on through Capricorn, the sign of oligarchies, the power-planet dredges up the dark underworld and brings it to light. Ruling norms are upturned, and Pluto’s ultimate mission of empowerment leads us to discover our own authority. The process is not easy, and to paraphrase one astrologer, it has historically led to a high body count. But just like all Pluto transits, it’s part of our evolution.
On Friday, August 4, dragon Pluto will stir in his lair when brazen Jupiter in Libra rubs up against him in a square, bringing to light challenges of justice, balance, women’s issues and perhaps most importantly, the need to face our easy-breezy evasiveness and buckle down to create new beliefs that are suited to our process of empowerment.
We also have two lunar power portals this month, both connected to active Mars. Traditionally, Eclipses starring the red planet are associated with violence, disruption and military mobilization. So before exploring the influences and tips for these Eclipses, let’s take a moment to consider the archetypal charge carried in such events.
What is prediction for? Is it a pastime to make us coo or cower before upcoming events? Or could it be a chance to identify cosmic patterns, use the opportunities, work constructively with the challenges and evolve in resonance with our stellar moment? And assuming so, do alarmist auguries empower this interaction?
In striking contrasts of light and shadow, Eclipses periodically mark the sky and join us in an awe that has been used, throughout history, for political purposes. For example,
- In his book The Understanding of Eclipses, Guy Ottewell describes how Christopher Columbus used his knowledge of an upcoming Eclipse to pass himself off as a messenger of the gods and awe native islanders into submission.
- When challenged by the governor of Indiana to show proof of his divine mission, Shawnee Prophet Tenkskwatawa claimed he would darken the noonday Sun, choosing an Eclipse date for his “demonstration”.
- In Mexico where I live, I’ve had the opportunity to observe diverse Mayan calendars, including some commissioned by kings whose names were etched in the middle so that people would associate the monarch with the sky and its portents.
At its roots, astrology wasn’t so severe. In her well-documented article on the history of the art in the west, author Demetra George notes that its earliest evidence comes from Mesopotamia, where celestial predictions were “not a fixed future, but a possible future… astrology was neither deterministic nor fatalistic.”
The art reveals archetypal patterns, and it becomes magical when we understand both fortuitous and challenging transits as opportunities to grow, to heal, to fulfill our birth chart’s potential, to participate in the stellar dance of our time.
That said, the first of August’s dynamic Eclipses comes on August 7, at the Full Moon in Aquarius, sign of ideals. Activating the South Node, its focus is on release of old patterns and on giving something back to life. It offers a chance to adjust karma and release habits as we move beyond our genetic programming and personal comfort zone. (See our August Full Moon Ritual to Free Your Ancestors and Make a Light Contribution.)
Jupiter and Saturn harmonize with the Moon and Sun, a highly propitious aspect that facilitates lasting results. Mars is conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon, indicating that the rituals we do at this Full Moon are not merely meditative, but call for action.
Here are some tips for each Sun and rising sign:
You have a heroic streak, but sometimes you’ve lacked the patience required to follow through on your good intentions. Get realistic, release an ideal that is no longer current. Identify a way in which you can make the world a better place right now, even if it’s not setting up an international foundation for women in recovery or building a children’s hospital, and—with no concern for self-interest—act on it now. Group causes are particularly propitious.
You want to make a difference in the world and you have great ideas, but your need to feel grounded sometimes limits your focus to personal success. The present Eclipse helps you release the attachment to outer, material symbols. Find a way to renew your sense of vocation or life mission, connect with the spirit of service in your present work or business, and in this spirit, press into your occupation a touch of the unique creativity that flows so naturally for you.
At times, you have thought of promoting a social or spiritual cause and may have actually begun it, but insecurity or feelings of doubt have kept you from giving your all. Find a way to make the leap and take concrete action. If you can’t do it by yourself, volunteer your skills or resources to a group or teacher that is actually doing the work that attracts you.