Horoscope: August 6 to 12, 2018
Astrologer Pam Younghans writes this weekly astrological journal based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and insights to assist you in making the best use of current energies. This column is not intended as prediction. Your own experience will be more specifically defined by transits to your personal chart.
Highlighted Aspects for This Week
MON: Mercury sesquiquadrate Saturn, Sun square Jupiter, Venus enters Libra
TUE: Uranus stations retrograde, Venus trine Mars
WED: Sun quincunx Neptune, Mercury sesquiquadrate Chiron, Mercury semisquare Venus, Venus opposite Chiron, Mars semisquare Neptune, Sun conjunct Mercury
THU: Venus quincunx Uranus, Sun sesquiquadrate Chiron, Mercury conjunct Pallas Athene, Mercury quincunx Neptune, Venus square Saturn
FRI: Sun sesquiquadrate Saturn, Mercury square Jupiter
SAT: Solar Eclipse/New Moon 2:57 am PDT (9:57 am GMT), Sun quincunx Pluto
SUN: Mars enters Capricorn
WINDBLOWN and ready for a respite, we enter the last leg of our eclipse marathon this week. The third eclipse, a partial Solar Eclipse in Leo, occurs at the New Moon on Saturday, August 11, at 2:57 a.m. PDT (9:57 a.m. GMT).
We are now in the waning phase of the lunar cycle that began with the first Solar Eclipse on July 12. In theory, this week is meant to be a time of release and reflection. But, the days leading up to Saturday's event are quite active astrologically, so there's plenty of movement and change, even in this letting-go phase.
THE WEEK BEGINS with a Sun-Jupiter square on Monday. Jupiter is the great amplifier, and while the giant planet is in Scorpio, the dark side of humanity and our own shadow self are being magnified. We also tend to see secrets revealed when Jupiter appears -- and with the Sun in Leo for Monday's aspect, those revelations are met with leonine drama and bluster. Envision the roaring theatrics of the Cowardly Lion when he first made his appearance to Dorothy and friends in the early scenes of the Wizard of Oz, and you get the picture.
One of the bigger astrological events of the week occurs midweek, but its effects extend beyond the confines of single day. On Wednesday, Uranus comes to a standstill and then begins its retrograde (backward motion) phase. This is an optical illusion, of course, as the planets do not actually change direction. But from our perspective on Earth, as other planets reach a certain point in their orbits, they come to a stop and then appear to move backward for a time.
AUGUST MIGHT BE CALLED the "month of the retrogrades." Once Uranus joins the team, there will be a grand total of six planets -- seven if we include Chiron -- moving backward. Since only eight of the traditional planets can go retrograde (the Sun and Moon cannot), this is a huge majority of the planets all going through this phase at the same time.
Retrograde planets direct our attention inward and to the past. As astrologer Bil Tierney explains:
Retrograde planets stimulate a returning to previous conditions of awareness or 'unfinished business' ... there is something from the past that needs to be carefully re-studied or patiently reconsidered, and thereby more completely assimilated. The essence of the retrograde planet must be grasped and realized more fully before we can proceed further with our evolution.
With so many planets retrograde, the Cosmos appear to be impressing upon us the necessity of tying up loose ends on many levels, before we can fully embark on the next stage of our journey.
IT IS ALSO TRUE that when a planet "stations" (comes to a standstill when changing direction), we usually feels its influence more strongly. With unpredictable Uranus stationing this week, we can anticipate very changeable circumstances.
If you have your astrological chart, find the house that contains 3° Taurus. These Uranian fluctuations will occur most noticeably in the area of your life represented by this house. (See the "Houses" page of my website for a reminder of what the different houses mean.)
This is also a powerful time of breakthrough and breakdown for those who have natal planets in the early degrees of any of the fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius.
THE SOLAR ECLIPSE on Saturday occurs when the Sun and Moon align at 18°41′ Leo. At its best, Leo is creative and playful, childlike but not childish, spontaneous but not self-absorbed, commanding without being dictatorial, and joyful without being overly self-indulgent. The higher-vibrational qualities of Leo are the ones we want to embrace with this eclipse, and to develop over the course of the new lunar cycle.
The archetypes of Performer and Showman are highly activated with this eclipse, due to its alignment with the fixed star Alterf. As we know, the gifts of dramatic self-expression can be used in both positive and negative ways. Nelson Mandela, the South African revolutionary and orator, had Mercury aligned with Alterf, giving him the ability to use his words to affect and convince on a large scale.
Politicians, actors, and other people who thrive in the spotlight take center stage with this eclipse. It is up to us to distinguish between the truth-tellers and those who excel at sleight of hand and tongue.
THE CREATIVE USE OF WORDS is strongly woven into the fabric of the Solar Eclipse. Communicator Mercury and the asteroid Pallas Athene are within four degrees of the eclipse point, emphasizing their influence.
Pallas is the wise woman, the goddess of ancient myth who taught both the art of healing and the art of warfare to Achilles, the great warrior in the Trojan War. As Pallas aligns with Mercury, and with the Sun and Moon for this eclipse, it is not only the famous and infamous who claim the spotlight. As astrologer Demetra George explains, Pallas in Leo represents the urge each of us has to "impress one's unique vision upon the world." It can also bestow the "charisma and the ability to stand up in the public eye as a front person for causes, and to sway the masses through political comedy and drama."
Whatever else happens this week, it sounds like we can expect great volleys from the late-night comedians and talk-show hosts.
IT'S ALL A BIT over the top, however, given that all of those planets in Leo are in square aspect to Jupiter in Scorpio. We likely will grow weary of the overdramatics by the time all is said and done -- especially since the influence of this eclipse plays out over the course of the next five months, until the next pair of eclipses occurs in January 2019.
There's actually a T-square formation in the eclipse chart, for Jupiter is also opposite the asteroid Juno, who was his wife in Roman myth. This configuration indicates that partnerships, especially those that have been based in practical necessity (Juno in Taurus), can experience conflict and reassessment now. Their stability is threatened by histrionics, as well as by the hidden information that comes forward. This can play out in personal relationships, but also in the treaties and pacts between partner nations.
A YOD FORMATION also plays a significant role in this eclipse. A yod is called "the finger of god" due to its fated quality and how it pushes us to learn important lessons so that we achieve necessary soul growth. This particular yod involves Neptune in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn, with our group of Leo planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Pallas) at the apex.
Lessons brought forward by this yod involve our use of personal will, authority, and power. As we work with this influence, we are learning how ego and pride can get in the way of our living at a higher level. This is an opportunity to make a shift that can start us in a new, more positive direction.
Self-examination is required as we become aware of how we use power in our day-to-day reality, as well as on a larger scale. The key is to incorporate our spiritual values into how we use personal power, to rule (Leo) with compassion (Neptune) and insight (Pluto).
The pitfalls? Be conscious of where we are emotionally reactive or defensive, in ways that do not serve ourselves or anyone else. This is an opportunity -- and perhaps an imperative -- to alter emotional patterns so that we can gain freedom from the past and create a more enlightened future.
THE OMEGA/CHANDRA system of degree symbols, channeled by John Sandbach, provides us with two images for the degree of Leo where the Solar Eclipse occurs. These offer additional insights into the effects of this week's eclipse, and how we are to use its energies:
The Omega symbol: A painting is cleaned, revealing colors of otherworldly beauty. Working to clean away layers that have obscured your authentic self, so that the true, vibrant you can emerge.
The Chandra symbol: A hummingbird feeding at a trumpet vine. Defining what you need and value. Being very clear on what nourishes and what depletes.
At their essence, both of these symbols convey the importance of getting to the heart of who we are, what we value, and what our potentials can be. As a part of the process, we are releasing what is not necessary or supportive of our best selves.
IF YOUR BIRTHDAY IS THIS WEEK: Your dynamic, essential self is being called forward this year, Leo. Your challenge is to share your creative gifts in life-fulfilling ways, without falling into the traps of melodrama and extremism. You have a benevolent heart, and the ability to use compassion and generosity in all situations where you take on the mantle of leadership. In this year, especially, how you communicate and use your mind are central to your success. For best results, train your thoughts to be positive and life-affirming. Your strength of character, intelligence, and courage are the traits that will serve you well, and are much needed now.
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