I hope you are enjoying the summer so far.   Like the rest of 2014, it has not come without its challenges.   Now that joyful Jupiter has moved into rip-roaring Leo, we are invited to enjoy all life has to offer.

And August opens with gusto.  A planetary trio entices us to take a chance, live passionately, romantically, creatively.  Messenger Mercury (how we think and speak) joins abundant Jupiter and the Sun (our will) through the first week of the month.  Think:  opportunity.   What have you never done that you have always wanted to do?  Do it, says this group.  Leo is very, very generous.  Are you living generously?  Are you giving to others?  To those in need?  Giving to yourself as much as you are to others? Think generously.

Generous healing is ours now too for the asking.  Venus (love and money), heavyweight Saturn and healer Chiron form a beautiful angle to each other August 1-8.  Generously heal yourself; be generous with those in need of healing and caring, especially children, the elderly, family; clean out and heal your financial house as well as your actual house.  If your home requires any repairs, maintenance or updating, the first week of August is an optimal time to take care of these tasks.

Supporting our efforts to clean house either literally or emotionally and psychologically, Mars aligns helpfully to watery Neptune.  If you have a leaky roof, windows, plumbing repairs or appliances that use water needing replacement, this duo gets the job done.  Water sports and activities, vacations near bodies of water are ideal.  More personally, bodily cleanses, mental health check ups including psychological and substance abuse treatment, meditation, yoga retreats, will yield amazing results this first week.  So if you are thinking to sign up for an alternative vacation at a health and wellness center, book it for early August.

One tricky aspect at this time is a waning angle between Venus and Uranus.  Expect surprises, the unexpected in relationships…it might feel like an earthquake or lightning strike, shock, between you and others, again, with Venus in family-oriented Cancer, relatives may deliver unpredictable behavior, ideas, decisions.  Roll with the punches and be prepared to practice understanding and forgiveness. Lessons learned at the aforementioned health and wellness centers may very well be tested and, come in handy now…

Percolating beneath all of this activity are Saturn (karma and dharma) in Scorpio and unpredictable Uranus in fiery Aries.  For a month now they have been doing an awkward dance and will continue throughout August. Visualize a person on tilt, or at an odd angle.  There is an adjustment to be made, arenas of our lives to correct, bring into alignment.  With Saturn in Scorpio, issues to focus on include shared resources (the family bank account/property/possessions, taxes owed), sexuality (how is your sex life?), addiction/substance abuse, hidden realms and processes:  the psychological and psychic, deep/intense research, and death/transformation.  The caterpillar emerging as the butterfly… Uranus in Aries catalyzes this metamorphasis, shakes us down, strikes us to think out of the box, apply ourselves in radical, whole new ways regarding any of the above.  It is a complicated, angular dance, push and tug, pull and twist between Uranus and Saturn. If you don’t make the effort, do the work, Saturn will force your hand while Uranus cattle prods you forward.  Count on both.  So try not to drag your feet.  The work is hard, yes I know, but no pain, no gain.  And you will be better off for the investment in change, adjustment, growth work…

August 8th matters are drawn to a giant head with both messenger Mercury and the Sun at an attention-getting degree of Leo.  We are put on notice and get noticed.  Look at me, look at me, this pair insists, especially as they form a wonderful angle to Uranus.  If you have a message to deliver, this is the time! Strut.  Work it. Display and demonstrate.  Show off.  Go ahead. You can do it.  It is OK.  You have Universal permission.  But a word of caution:  avoid drama, creating drama, drama queens or kings and crazy makers of all varieties.  Since this pair is precisely challenging Saturn, you may have to dig deep to ask for what you want, stake your claim, draw a line in the sand.

Conversely, those receiving messages may have to dig deep to hear what you have to say so along with this combination comes denial, denial, denial (Denial is not a river in Egypt) and avoidance, projection back on to you, etc.  Still, if you have something to say, deals to seal, works of art, projects of any kind to share in a large way, August 8-10 is it.  Especially as we head into the Full Moon on Sunday, August 10th.  Under the bright spot light of this Full Moon in Aquarius, with its difficult angles to the Sun and Saturn, expect strong effects, reactions, moods, statements.  Look for the unusual, avant garde, radically new, and wildly inventive.  In an creative mood?  Tired of the same old:  habits, vicious cycles, etc., there could not be a better time to change your mind, reverse gears, do something new, announce to (possibly shock) others:  that you are moving to Africa, dying your hair purple, choosing an alternative lifestyle….You get my drift.  No, most of us will not be experiencing nearly anything so drastic but there is an earthquake/lightning strike quality to these few days so we will all feel it somehow.

The silver lining enveloping our shake down comes in the form of two asteroids, Juno and Hygeia, moving into nurturing Cancer.  Let’s look at Juno first.  Mythologically, she is the wife of Jupiter.  As the principal female goddess, Juno relates to all things marital, partnership, and female.  That is a broad swath to cover. Hygeia concerns health and wellness matters.  Its glyph is the medical symbol of the intertwining, winged snakes pierced by a lighted scepter.  When both Juno and Hygeia move into the first, critical degree of Cancer as they do beginning August 9th, powerful healing, caring and nurturing are available to us.  Think:  Florence Nightingale, Mary Poppins, Mother Teresa arriving on your doorstep to bandage the wounded, mind the children and feed the poor.  Watch for family female figures (these do not have to be blood relatives but may feel like family) coming to aid in crises stoked by the Full Moon fever.

August 12, Venus moves into Leo, a more comfortable fit for the goddess of love, turning up passion, romance and creativity.  From the 12th through the third week of August (around the 18th/19th) she gradually joins Jupiter already in fiery Leo.  Woo-hoo!  Party time.  If you have something to celebrate, especially marriage or an anniversary, these two will charm you into a super fun, fabulous time.  Even if you are not in a relationship, this is the time to shamelessly be yourself.   [Caution, please note:  be shamelessly yourself, not shameful.   Think about having to surface at work or around the neighborhood after parading naked at the party the night before.]

Curbing our excessive appetite for fun and merriment, Mercury enters analytical Virgo on August 16th. Virgo puts health, safety and work before anything so you will feel the brakes applying themselves to your life.  You might feel twinges of guilt too for the excesses encouraged by Jupiter/Venus in Leo, as guilt is also Virgo’s domain.   Good to know then that any overindulgence or guilt you may suffer will find a healthy outlet as Mercury aligns beautifully with Pluto.  With both of these planets (how we think and speak, Mercury, and our desires, Pluto) in practical, down-to-earth Capricorn, we can apply our urges in methodical ways and useful purposes.

It is key to harness the helpful Mercury-Pluto energy as the heat gets turned up around the third week of August (21st). Mars reaches a highly attention-getting degree of Scorpio where it joins Saturn in its awkward, angular dance with Uranus.  If you were not listening, heeding the call, and making necessary adjustments and changes, you will have to now.  Go on, give it a try.  Just one small step, then another, and another.   The Sun (your will) greatly enhances our practical efforts when it enters Virgo on August 23rd.  If nothing else, Virgo is very the elbow grease in hard work.   Apply, adjust, gather steam, build, feel the wheels of progress churning forward.

Use this pragmatic energy on the New Moon of August 25th.  You will need it to blast through difficulties involving relationships and money.   Venus in Leo makes a sharp challenge to the Mars-Saturn pair in Scorpio.  She doesn’t want to stop spending lavishly, wants to party, be sociable, romantic, while Mars-Saturn throws down the gauntlet:  stop the over-the-top spending/partying and get a grip. Mars-Saturn in Scorpio can turn ugly, violent and deadly on a dime so really take care. Life can totally careen out of control with this trio.   This applies to the Israel-Palestine and Ukrainian-Russian struggles.   Personally, watch your mouth and actions.  Turn all that energy (and you will have a LOT now) toward healthy and productive outlets/uses. Exercise.  Go see a show, movies. Create art and work on projects meaningful to you. 

Take heed as emotions only heighten while we move toward the end of the month.  On the 31st, the Moon moves toward that same attention getting degree of Scorpio (15) where it joins Mars and Saturn. At its root, Scorpio is about transformation.  Human beings easily get lost in all the goodies, alluring mystery, Dr. Feel-Good disguises pulling us away from our true callings for growth and change.  Sex, drugs, alcohol, money and power, deceive us into feeling cool.  It is imperative now to pay attention, focus and discern:  what is real and what is not. What is truth and what is a lie.  Truth is love.  Power is gentility.  The rest is just shadow and ego.