This week, I was reflecting on the long arc of our individual astrological unfolding.
If your natal chart is a promise of your karmic destiny, then the planets, as they wind their way through the houses, are the subplots of that story.
Transits to those planets function like characters and inciting events that trigger actions and changes.
You, the hero of your own cosmic story, are constantly influenced by Mercury entering stage left, or Venus descending from the rafters.
As a result of this celestial naval-gazing, let me warn you that this week’s forecast is a bit meandering. The key thing I’m trying to impart is that none of these transits in any given week are isolated, devoid of some larger purpose in your life. Rather, they all function as catalysts, influencing the quality of each chapter of your life’s unfolding.
Energetic Profile of the Week
If I had to pick a Tarot card or two to encapsulate the energy of the week, it would almost certainly have to be the Seven of Pentacles — the card of Saturn in Virgo — and the Eight of Swords — the card of Jupiter in Gemini.
The sentiment this week may be about where we feel hemmed in, constrained, and even limited — and with Mercury in the mix, turning retrograde soon, the little grey planet is on an analytical mission to consider how we get out of our constricting circumstances. This feeling of limitation was likely amplified by the recent Full Moon this past week, which I’ll recap momentarily.
The Seven of Pentacles suggests a vibe of working hard but it potentially coming to naught. Many of us could be feeling this way in the area of our lives that Saturn is transiting. I’ll also cover this below, but, spoiler alert — with the massive number of planetary retrogrades hitting us, we’re going to be dealing with some stagnant energy for the balance of the year that will demand concerted will to overcome.
Cosmic Baselining for the Week Ahead
This is the chart for the week beginning Sunday, August 14. Before we dig into the day-by-day, let’s baseline the celestial energies as they currently stand.
First off, there’s a lot of fixed energy right now, with Saturn, the Sun, Venus, Uranus and Mars all in fixed signs.
You still have Mars in a place of debility, where it can be extremely frustrated by its planetary host Venus’ desire for diplomacy, harmony and a focus on personal relationships and resources.
The only potential abatement here is that Mars is squaring off against a more fiery, solar-disposited Venus in Leo and there is reception there, taking a bit of the edge off.
Though there’s tension, the energy is, in a way, complimentary, since Venus is in her morning star phase. Venus is thus more assertive and strategic — think Ishtar in terms of archetype — but this can still present friction, like a battle of the wills.
The reason I highlight this more assertive Venusian energy is because we’ll be covering Mars’ conjunction with Algol momentarily, so that “feminine” energy — and here I use that term to describe that which is typically associated with the qualities of receptivity, balance and harmonization — appears drastically reduced at the moment.
The second thing worth noting is that, very shortly, Uranus will be turning retrograde, so all of the major social and transpersonal planets will be appearing to move backwards in the sky as of August 24.
Saturn and Pluto will only turn direct at the beginning and end of October respectively; Jupiter in November; Pisces in December. Uranus won’t turn direct until January 2023, and, let’s not forget that Mars will be turning retrograde in late October, not stationing direct again until January 2023 as well.
This is a ton of energy that will be pulling us inward, possibly having us retreat or re-evaluate certain areas of our life where those planets are transiting.
It’s interesting to think about the transpersonal planets in particular — Uranus, Neptune and Pluto — because those are planets with fairly lengthy transits through the houses and therefore long story arcs in our lives.
Pluto first ingressed into Capricorn in early 2008 and won’t move into Aquarius for another two years; Neptune entered Pisces in 2011, for example. These are protracted journeys that invariably define certain periods of our personal growth and development.
The other thing to note is that, with the exception of Jupiter at eight degrees of Aries, the transpersonal planets and Saturn are all in the closing degrees of their sign. Uranus is, of course, more in the late mid-point, but this isn’t about introductions anymore — these planets aren’t asking us to consider how the story’s going to go, but rather how the story’s going to end, so, use this massive retrograde period to reflect on what these energies brought into your life, what they’ve taught you, and how that chapter might end.
What did Neptune teach you about dreams?
What did Pluto teach you about power?
What did Uranus teach you about innovation and individuation?
What did Saturn teach you about your fears, but also the hard work to overcome them?
This is a stock-taking next few months in my books.
Full Moon Recap: 2021 Saturn-Uranus Square Triggered
I know I covered the Aquarius Full Moon last week, but it’s worth briefly discussing the energy it triggered, given that we’ll feel reverberations of it into late September.
Fixed signs — Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius — may have been especially susceptible to the tense energy of the Full Moon. To varying degrees, we all may have felt a culmination of the tug-of-war between where we want our life to go, where we want to be seen, and where, emotionally, we might be held back by Saturn’s obligations and responsibility.
Saturn is a weighty, heavy planet — a planet associated with depths, darkness, depression, and the element, lead — so this Full Moon may have had us feeling as though we are carrying a weight of others’ expectations or even societal expectations in light of or solar, Leonine desire to realize our life destiny and desires. That’s one of Sunday’s major transits — the Sun-Saturn opposition.
As I noted in my forecast last week, given the squares to the Nodes and Uranus, this is going to echo touches of the Saturn-Uranus square energy of 2021 where we saw the themes of freedom versus restrictions and old structures at odds with a strong undercurrent of liberation and a desire perhaps for the unconventional in order to achieve more freedom in our lives. We’ll see this energy amplified considerably at the end of September when Saturn reaches 18 degrees, forming an exact square with retrograde Uranus.
Inevitably, both of these planets, in their retrograde motion, may have us quite literally re-visiting and re-experiencing the difficulties we faced in 2021. While this energetic profile is already in effect to some degree, Uranus’ retrograde motion later this month will rehash those feelings and experiences for many of us, bringing us full circle.
If you aren’t already, then shortly you may be re-considering an area of life that may be stifling you — perhaps one that was a pain point for you last year. You may also feel that an area of your life is struggling to find momentum — that’s the Saturn-in-Aquarius energy.
For those born during the day, you may not be feeling it as severely as those born at night — instead, this could be manifesting as more of a nose-to-the-grindstone energy, though, I think it’s safe to say that for, all of us, this second half of the year has started to feel a bit stagnant and a little like, for every two steps forward we take, it’s one if not two steps back.
Wherever this area of your life might be according to your natal chart, expect the acuteness of the situation to come to a head soon.
For Taurus risings, you may have some strong desire for personal liberty and to a path potentially at odds with obligations and restrictions you feel in your career trajectory.
For Gemini risings, this could be quite an abstract and esoteric tension between your faith and spiritual path and the chthonic pull of your shadow self.
For Cancer risings, this may be about a desire to liberate yourself, your hopes, dreams and aspirations from a fear of financial dependence on others.
For Leo risings, this may be about desiring to take your career in a different direction than your partner or even business allies would support.
For Virgo risings, this could be a desire for more freedom of expression, travel, free-spiritedness and even spiritual connection in the face of obligations and work responsibilities.
For Libra risings, this could be about desiring to pursue a creative endeavour or even go into business for yourselves, but fearing how you’ll make a stable income.
For Scorpio risings, this could be about feeling restricted in your home and family life, and needing some innovation and liberation in your relationships.
For Sagittarius risings, this could be about feeling hemmed in in your communications with others, or with family members, perhaps even a stagnation of opportunities to learn and a desire to drastically alter where you put your daily work energies.
For Capricorn risings, this is all about financial restriction, and a call to be more playful, more indulgent, and perhaps more creative with where you find pleasure.
For Aquarius risings, it’s about you feeling personally restricted and potentially wanting to find liberation in your values, your foundations and personal supports.
For Pisces risings, this may be a mental challenge for you, with a desire to find freedom in the written word or communication mechanisms.
And, for Aries risings, this may be about feeling like you can’t get a grip on your dreams, that they may never come true, and so you need to rethink how you earn incomes to make that dream happen.
So, again, take a look at your chart and what houses Aquarius and Taurus rule — this is where you’re going to feel setbacks in the endeavours tied to the area of life that you want to innovate, change, liberate, or find freedom in. This was also the area that was likely triggered by the Full Moon and that will come to a head by the perfection of the square between Saturn and Uranus in the next six weeks.
So, with that lengthy prelude, let’s dig into the transits of the week.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 14
The Sun’s square to Saturn echoes the themes of the recent Full Moon manifesting as a tension between the solar plot line of our ego desires and the limitations imposed upon us by party-pooper Saturn.
This energy will be brief — lasting a few days most — but we may nevertheless still be thinking about where we want our lives to go and the impediments in our way even after the Sun moves on from its exact aspect with Saturn. This won’t be the only time this theme will come up in our lives — as noted above, this energy will persist through different celestial configurations into the fall.
The other significant transit of Sunday is Mars’ trine to Pluto, which, although not necessarily a bad transit, seems a little worrisome with Mars exactly conjunct the fixed star, Algol.
This star has a terrible reputation in astrology, with every astrologer from the time of Claudius Ptolemy in the second century AD up to the present recognizing it as the most malefic of all fixed stars.
During the Renaissance, the generally ascribed orb of influence was about five degrees so, as we know, planets that make a partile aspect to any point or celestial body are especially strong and, in this case, Mars’ conjunction will see its significations blend with Algol’s.
I find Bernadette Brady’s synthesis of this fixed star especially compelling, since, too often, astrologers stop at the celestial shorthand of the Medusa-Gorgon’s signification of losing ones head literally or metaphorically as a result of this transit. This is indeed correct, though a little reductive if we’re trying to seek the deeper meaning of any heavenly configuration.
I’ll quote Brady here after she speaks about the three Abrahamic religions and their emphasis on the suppression of all sexual pleasure in males which, in turn, led to the suppression of the sexual in women.
From Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars:
“Algol thus embodied everything that men feared in the feminine. She is not the mother-face of the goddess, but rather the passionate lover or the whore. She is female kundalini energy…Algol, in other words, is the wild, raw, frightening face of the outraged feminine which has been labeled demonic… This star seems to contain immense female passion and power. It is the power of the feminine or the potential power of Mother Nature, not to be called evil for being too strong.”
Algol can thus represent an overwhelming passion that can devour us with unconscious rage or frenzy and so, Mars, already feisty, unpredictable, hot-headed and triggered from its conjunction with Uranus, may simply amp this destructive energy up several notches.
Brady’s take on Algol immediately called to mind another author, the late Canadian Jungian psychoanalyst Marion Woodman, whose book, Dancing in the Flames, I read as part of a Jungian reading circle back in 2020. I wanted to weave some of her observations about the destructive side of the feminine archetype into this discussion as well.
In Woodman’s first chapter, we are introduced to the Hindu goddess Kali, who is viewed in her highest form as the wife of Shiva, both of whom embody the ceaseless motion of creation and destruction — something that we, in the West, increasingly became uncomfortable with, as evidenced by the subjugation of the Great Goddess and Great Mother archetypes in lieu of a single, solar, monotheistic deity, whom, Woodman writes, set the patriarchal paradigm of nature as something to be controlled and dominated.
To quote Woodman here:
“We have become alienated from the earth, from others, and from our own deepest feelings. In such a condition we become narcissistic. In all the mirrors that reflect reality we see only ourselves. We have become highly self-conscious, but this state is a mere parody of true self-knowledge. Self-knowledge comes through a relationship with and a commitment to something or someone beyond one’s self, beyond the gratification of one’s personal needs…Not until we recognize the Divine Immanence, the light of the Goddess in matter, can we hope to establish a balance, a reconnection with our own deepest nature that can root us in a world of meaning and imagination. Perhaps, we will have to face the darkness, walk out on the moor alone at nightfall, or dive to the bottom of the sea before the old ossified ego boundaries can be shattered to make room for the dance.”
This is where I think this transit could be quite transformational for us with the conjunction between Mars and Algol setting off a moment of potential reconnection with our deepest nature and our passions through a metaphorical moment of devouring destruction.
The expansive trine to Pluto could have us engaged in a positive and deeper transformational process, with the shared destructive energy offering a chance to blow something old up and begin anew.
MONDAY, AUGUST 15
Between Monday, August 15 and Tuesday, August 16, Mercury in Virgo trines the North Node then Uranus both in Taurus.
I take this as a continuing story line, since planets touching this point are almost setting off the aftershocks of the Triple Conjunction.
Mercury also sextiles the South Node, so this could very much be a transit of fresh ideas, releasing stagnant thinking and even metabolizing and digesting new ideas, imparted by lightning-rod Uranus.
This Mercury transit could also see us harnessing the abstract and big-picture thinking of the Jupiterian-esque nature of the trine, having us consider how we might overcome some of the obstacles that the Full Moon turned a floodlight on.
Mercury turns retrograde in a few weeks, and, similar to the lunar cycle with its symbolic associations of the Moon’s meaning through its various phases, Mercury’s 116-day synodic cycle between retrogradations follows a similar symbolic path.
For Mercury, however, it’s about information gathering, sifting, synthesis, and re-evaluation. And, as the internet loves Mercury retrogrades for all the mythologies of missed appointments and broken electronic devices, the period of reflection and re-evaluation that the retrograde offers should not be underestimated.
In an article by astrologer Brian Clark on Mercury, he wrote that the ancient Greeks considered these moments of reconsideration — or anagnorisis — to mean recognition and a change from ignorance to knowledge, but mostly when our fortunes are reversed.
Clark writes, “Our misfortunes are never welcomed, but in mercurial parlance this moment of reversal potentially brings new understanding.”
If you’ve read my forecasts before (or watched them on YouTube), you know that I’ve flagged reversals of fortunes with retrogrades — or things that the planets gifted us get taken away.
Given that Mercury is going retrograde in Libra soon, it’s important to put the bigger picture together.
In September to October of last year, Mercury went retrograde in Libra as well, so think back to that time — what were you doing? What Saturn-Uranus fights were you fighting? And, what was your game plan?
The Mercury transit this week is beginning to re-constellate that story line for you, so look at where Virgo is in your chart because this is where Mercury is going to be assembling its information to make the Uranian dream of independence possible.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 18
On Thursday, August 18, Venus in Leo trines retrograde Jupiter in Aries. This is possibly my favourite transit so far this month!
We have both benefics connected by an expansive Jupiterian aspect in the cardinal fire and fixed fire, giving whatever Venus sets off with cardinal ignition some longer-term Leonine burn.
I like this transit for a relationship — potentially deepening a spiritual connection with a partner — and for finances as well…Maybe a bit of a surprising boost to the bank balance from good old Fortuna!?
Both Leo and Aries have that solar component, too — the sun is in its rulership in Leo, and is exalted in Aries — so this, to me, is an extremely powerful trine as well for any personal endeavours that allow us to express our more adventurous, pioneering and ambitious side.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 19
Finally, it’s worthwhile mentioning the Moon’s journey into Taurus this week, with the ingress beginning almost on the nose at 12 AM on August 17.
The Moon is in its exaltation in Taurus — a sign where it is often regarded as raised up, extolled, or particularly powerful. It’s a place where the Moon is treated as an honoured guest in Venus’ nocturnal domicile.
Venus is configured to this Moon by a sign-based square, and though we sometimes flinch at this, since squares are of the nature of Mars, the reception helps take some of the edge off in my estimation.
Since the Full Moon was in Aquarius, and now the Moon is in Taurus, we can think a little bit of the unifying significations of this sojourn —namely, the feelings of restlessness that it may bring up with Uranus being co-present, while still desiring the material comforts in Venus’ earthy sign.
The square that the Moon is making to Venus in Leo may bring up a tension between our desire for stability and creature comforts juxtaposed, again, against that very warrior-like Venusian quality of Leonine independence, so this Moon may have you thinking about this, and, of course, by Friday, the Moon’s conjunction with Mars will perfect. Watch out!
Though brief, the Moon and Mars’ conjunction, occurring at the anaretic degree of the sign — or 29 degrees — can be a very difficult signature. This can be slightly volatile, angry, and emotional. Given the frustrations that Mars in Taurus experienced, it’s almost like the bull finally seeing red, and so, we’ll just want to be careful, when touched by the emotional proxy of the Moon, how we respond to feeling caged in or hampered from that Saturn square.
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I’m on Instagram @theeclecticoccultista and on YouTube under the same channel title.
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