Welcome to August 2017, where just about every day for at least the next forty days feels more like an episode from the Twilight Zone than any previously known reality. We’re under the influence of a double-eclipse effect—there’s a lunar eclipse on August 7 and a solar eclipse on August 21—and because eclipses tend to blur the boundaries of time and space, daily life and its regular routines are regular no more. What’s more, as reliable time signatures dissolve and the dimensions of past, present and future melt away, a super-charged emotional atmosphere is likely to become the standard fare. The entire month is a wild ride…yes…wilder than it’s already been. And the best way to cope with distortions, real or imagined, is to aim your awareness at the highest ground possible and then do whatever it takes to anchor that view.
Unfortunately, taking the high road won’t be easy. In the midst of this wonky eclipse effect there are also two powerful retrogrades: (1) Uranus begins its retrograde on August 3, and (2) Mercury Retrograde begins on August 13. As many already know, retrogrades also always distort time, thus the combined effect of this entire astral bundle is certain to produce more than the ‘normal’ amount of frustration. So as you are attempting to hold the highest view, you will also need to breathe deeply as often as possible. Consider the next several weeks an aerobic workout for your heart as well as your soul.
Both eclipses occur along the Leo/Aquarius axis. The lunar eclipse is at 15 degrees 25 minutes Aquarius and the solar eclipse is at 28 degrees 53 minutes Leo. The lunar eclipse occurs at the midpoint; the solar eclipse, at the very end. What’s interesting about this astrological axis is the interplay between personal creativity and individual self-expression, symbolized by Leo, and collective creativity and the aggregation of individual expression, which is best understood as the zeitgeist.
The shadow of this solar eclipse began in May when the lunar node transited the eclipse sensitive point, or the point at which the full eclipse occurs. Generally, astrologers tend to define the shadow of any eclipse as six weeks before or after the actual event. But this eclipse is different, perhaps because it directly affects the most visible point in Mr. Trump’s chart—his Ascendant—as well as his Mars, and because he’s the symbol for his country, his administration seems to be deeply affected by this double eclipse effect. This became glaringly apparent in May when, as regular readers of this column know, Mr. Comey, then head of the FBI, was fired—the first tug of the continuing unraveling of the Trump regime and its connections to Putin. Today as I am writing this, Putin has just ordered over 750 people at the US Embassy in Russia to leave. That, coupled with all the people at the US State Department who were dismissed immediately at the start of the Trump regime, leaves this country with a deficit of diplomatic experience and intelligence—an worrisome state of affairs for informed international relations.
During a lunar eclipse, when the Moon is obscured, practical matters tend to obscure more esoteric concerns. During a solar eclipse, when the bright light of consciousness is obscured, the veils around the unconscious become increasingly thin, allowing Psyche to voice her concerns. Eclipses are also considered to be points in time when hidden information is revealed. Frankly, there’s so much hidden information being revealed daily, that it’s hard to imagine more might emerge—yet we are only at the beginning of the month. It’s also hard to imagine that in the midst of the solar eclipse shadow, the practical matters emphasized by the lunar eclipse will carry enough weight to counter what seems to be a constantly leaking effect of the solar eclipse.
But that’s not all—Uranus begins its five-month retrograde review on August 3, turning the next many weeks into an ongoing déjà vuof déjà vu, as Uranus retraces its path, it throws lightning bolts at all sorts of stagnant situations that just won’t move. From a personal perspective, this has everything to do with frustration that ‘things’ aren’t moving fast enough, especially if you feel like you’re backtracking or backpedaling on certain plans and projects. From a collective perspective, it’s important to note that this Uranus Retrograde is the next to last Uranus Retrograde of its seven-year transit through Aries. So while its retrograde is certain to focus on the recent past, it’s also likely to revisit situations from 2011—and that goes for personal as well as collective situations.
Most of us know the Mercury Retrograde drill, so I won’t go into it in great detail this week. But for those who don’t…because Mercury symbolizes all things related to communication and travel, during its retrograde cycle, all things within that vast domain tend to go awry. Combine this with a Uranus Retrograde—a phase that challenges technology—and snafus of every type are probable, so get out those patience pills and make sure you have as many as necessary to get through the next several of weeks.
Actually, many weeks of intense disturbances lie ahead, which means you’ll have to do your best to keep from attaching to the chaos as it unfolds around you. I’m not advising passivity, but I am just suggesting that the best way through this eclipse effect is to hold the broadest view possible and then do whatever is necessary to maintain that perspective. Also, despite a trillion distractions, remember that everyone is reacting to these intense signatures, so do your best to be understanding and kind, especially with children, who feel these energies but can’t necessarily express their discomfort.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Uranus Retrograde invites you to reflect on the past nearly seven years of its transit through your Sign, but you have to pace yourself through this review, if only to protect yourself from feeling overwhelmed by just how much has shifted. While some of the changes have been obvious—a new hairstyle, a trimmer body—other changes have been subtle and you’ll benefit from an increased awareness of just what’s shifted.
Taurus April 20-May 20
Uranus Retrograde will review deep internal processes, including conscious as well as unconscious psychological patterns that exert a direct effect on how you make certain decisions. Expect your dreams to be revelatory, but also anticipate that they may not be so easy to figure out. Review your meditation practice, but also notice just how much time you spend contemplating various aspects of your life—nothing has to be revolutionary except your willingness to explore.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Uranus Retrograde is an opportunity to see if and how the last several years have changed your relationship to your community. You may be volunteering, reaching out to associates, or pulling away from habitual involvement in favor of privacy or quiet. It’s what you notice that’s important, even if there’s been no change at all. Make some time during the next couple of weeks to think about how you think about community—your time will be well spent.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Uranus Retrograde revisits career concerns, especially the desire to feel free to pursue what makes you happy. If you are lucky enough to earn your living doing what you love, then Uranus only enhances your appreciation of your good fortune. If you, like most, are struggling to find work that is satisfying, this retrograde phase is about identifying what needs to change, making a plan to shift your circumstances and then implementing that strategy.
Leo July 23-August 22
Uranus Retrograde could feel more like a series of false starts than an actual backward glance, but I wouldn’t let that deter you from continuing to move forward. Mars is in your Sign, inviting you to be bold and move into action, which makes holding back impossible. So despite this retrograde, stay in present time and continue to work toward your goals. Uranus is also a god of creativity and that talent serves you quite well right now.
Virgo August 23-September 22
Uranus Retrograde occurs in your Solar House of transformation, where it’s been transiting for the last nearly seven years. As part of that journey, you’ve faced a lot of issues, particularly concerns about values—your values versus the values of others—and sometime those concerns have been financial. As Uranus goes on this retrograde journey, spend time contemplating whether and how your attitude toward money has shifted.
Libra September 23-October 22
You already know I’m going to write about r-e-l-a-t-i-o-n-s-h-i-p because Uranus has done nothing for the last nearly 7 years other than focus your attention on all sorts of partnerships, including and most importantly, your relationship with yourself. And it’s been a long, hard slog. But it would be interesting to see what happens during this retrograde if you take a different stance: Instead of seeing it as difficult, start to frame it as an opportunity for abiding personal freedom.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
It isn’t simple handling this next Uranian phase—the Planet of surprising plot twists is going back over the previously covered ground of work and health issues. You may be one of the fortunate ones who don’t have any issues in those areas, which means Uranus is likely to focus on how you help others. But if you do have work or health concerns, this phase will illuminate those areas in need of a revolutionary shift in perspective.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
A thousand distractions could persuade you to squander the currency of this Uranian review on something insignificant like endless computer games. But that wouldn’t be the wisest choice—and you know that. Uranus has spent nearly seven years transiting your Solar House of creativity, urging you to find your voice. Spend a moment contemplating the value of your unique expression and then translate that awareness into art—even if it’s just a doodle on a napkin.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
It’s been a tough couple of years with Pluto in your Sign and Uranus anchored at the bottom of your psychic pond, stirring the waters of security and safety issues. Before you do anything else, congratulate yourself for making it through. Then decide how you want to spend this next retrograde phase. You don’t have to do anything special—all that’s required is the understanding that no matter what your external situation might be, your internal reality is steady.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Uranus Retrograde reviews conversations, major and minor as well as private and public, presenting an opportunity for you to witness what you like to talk about and what you would rather avoid. As you sort through various verbal interactions, past and present, as well as spoken and unspoken, notice where your mind wants to linger. Those will be the topics of the next phase. I’m not suggesting you take care of it now—now is simply the time for awareness.
Pisces February 19-March 20
For the last nearly seven years, Uranus has illuminated issues of value, and while some of its spotlights have been aimed purely on m-o-n-e-y, a lot of what you’ve been shown has to do with how you value. This is not about commodifying yourself by turning your idiosyncratic behavior into a brand (although that’s fine if you want to). Uranus wants you to recognize that you are a spirit in the material world—and that understanding is priceless.
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