As if the dog days of August aren’t hot enough, astrological aspects in the first three weeks of the month add to the frustration and irritation.
Mercury turns retrograde on Tuesday and will stay in “reverse” until August 26. If you’ve got a teaching position or some other job that allows you take this month off, I strongly encourage you to get out of town and go on a nice, long vacation. That is one of the things Mercury retrograde is good for, especially in fun-loving Leo, where he’ll spend most of his retrograde phase.
If you have to stay at your desk or shop and slog away, be prepared for tasks to take longer and possibly require revision. The exception is editing, which is another activity that can be more efficient during Mercury retrograde. Transiting Mercury’s position in your chart indicates what areas of your life will be most affected this time around. If you’d like more information, I recommend my StarGuide Monthly Forecast for August. Not only will it tell you where Mercury is retrograde in your chart, but you’ll get an idea of how the Full Moon and New Moon will affect you.
You’ll also know where Mars is transiting your chart, which may turn out to be even more significant, as he’ll trigger cardinal T-square and grand cross points. You may know what those are already, since they’ve been active for more than a year.
Mars is cranky enough in Cancer without the conflicting aspects to Uranus, Pluto, and Saturn. I suspect we’re going to see a lot of events in the headlines based on anger, paranoia, and an excessive need to protect loved ones and personal property, although that’s more likely to occur next week and the week after.
Other aspects this week reinforce conflict, but there are a couple of mitigating influences that hopefully will help keep the peace, at least for now. Taking the week chronologically:
Venus forms a trine with Uranus on Monday (late Sunday night on the West Coast of the United States). Unexpected opportunities come up for love, money, and a good time – again, depending on where these two are transiting your chart. Just keep in mind that sudden developments may be temporary. The Sun’s square with Jupiter could lead to inflated expectations about how big the opportunities are or what they mean in the long run – in other words, don’t start planning your wedding just because the cute guy down the hall asked you out. The Moon is in Virgo on Monday and conjoins stationed Mercury, so I think we can avoid getting carried away, and we might even come up with some good ideas for how to take advantage of new opportunities toward the end of the month.
Mercury turns retrograde on Tuesday, but we’ve been experiencing the effects since late last week. I woke up on Thursday to news reports that I-5 South out of Seattle was completely blocked due to an overturned semi-truck that spilled its load of fuel all over the roadway. The driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel. Mercury was in an applying opposition to Neptune, which rules petroleum. Both Mercury and Neptune play a role in sleep.
On Wednesday, Mars enters Cancer, with the Moon entering Libra less than an hour later and immediately forming a square with Mars and crossing the cardinal T-square points. Minor irritations throughout the day provide hints about what’s to come, so keep your antennae up. Mars also trines Neptune, who retrogrades back into Aquarius on Thursday. More extreme weather may occur, although it would be hard to pin it to astrological phenomenon.
Speaking of weather and stars, did you know that the term “dog days” has its roots in the night sky? In ancient times, the hottest days of the summer coincided with the rising and setting of Sirius with the Sun. Sirius, also called the Dog Star, is the brightest star in the night sky and one of the stars forming the constellation Canis Major (Big Dog). The Romans believed that the earth received heat from Sirius, which appeared even brighter in those times due to lack of city lights and air pollution. (Thanks to James Weythman for the link on Wilstar.com.)
Continuing with our week, Venus squares Jupiter on Friday, fueling a tendency toward pie-in-the-sky dreams and overindulgence. Then, I’m not against going overboard with food, drink, sex, or the substance of your choice once in a while, especially if it relieves unbearable tension. Invite your co-workers to happy hour after work on Friday and have some fun. Just be sure to agree in advance who’s going to pay, and make sure you have a calculator.
Friday through Sunday, the Sun and Venus form a happy sextile to Saturn in Libra. Love and commitment can progress, despite Mercury’s retrograde motion. Again, just be clear in your communications. If you have to, repeat your words back to each other three or four times so that you’re sure you understand. Otherwise, intentions could be badly misinterpreted, leading to embarrassment or worse.
Next week is tough, so have fun while you can and take time to make some backup plans, to the extent possible.
Wishing you all much love and courage,