Astro Notes for New Moon in Leo cycle (August 16-September 15)
The new moon in Leo on August 16 is conjunct Venus (in retrograde) and Black Moon Lilith. This brings an intriguing mix of the extraverted, masculine, solar energy of Leo with the more introverted, mysterious, feminine energies of Venus retrograde and Lilith. Venus rules matters of the heart and Black Moon Lilith represents our deepest repressed desires that yearn to see the light of day. We are being called to pay attention in a different kind of way, to listen to the signs from our bodies, our dreams, our fantasies, and to integrate these energies into our sense of who we are. There is an opportunity here to experience how these feminine energies deep within us come alive when they receive the light of our conscious attention, and how those energies, when honored, in turn nourish and empower our masculine sense of purpose.
Yet with the new Moon also in an exact square to Uranus, the planet of sudden change, this process of spiraling into the depths of our psyche may in some ways be forced upon us by unexpected outside circumstances. We are being asked to follow the truth of our heart wherever it leads us, even if at first it seems disruptive or surprising.
Also at the time of the new moon, and extending throughout the month of August, we have an auspicious ‘kite’ aspect pattern involving Pluto, Uranus, Neptune, and (first) Mars, then Mercury.
This configuration represents the beginning of a five to six year period when this harmonious ‘minor grand trine’ pattern involving all three outer planets will be in effect. Considering all the current angst about a potential catastrophic breakdown in society, this transit is very significant because it points much more in the direction of a creative transfiguration of our current drama than its tragic denouement.
We focused on this aspect pattern during our recent Flowing into Change experiential astrology workshop. We asked participants to step into each of the planetary archetypes involved and explore their nature through direct experience. One experience really stood out. When one of the participants stepped into the chart to pick up the symbol for Neptune in Pisces, a palpable presence of deep feeling and profound silence came into the room. We had already explored the nature of Pluto, Uranus, and Mars in connection to each other via a Grand Trine, which involved an extremely dynamic, creative, and combustible energy. But Neptune calmed and deepened the whole field.
Then my co-facilitator Kahreela had the insight that Neptune in the final degree of Pisces was holding space for our grief for the demise of the entire Piscean Age. Many astrologers have noted the symbolism of Pluto moving into Aquarius as a sign of the beginning of the Aquarian Age, but I’ve not heard anyone noting that Neptune at 29 degrees of Pisces symbolizes the dying of the Piscean. For those of us in the workshop, this insight led to the profound understanding that treating the collapsing Piscean Age as if it were a dying person was crucial to prepare the ground for our birth into the Aquarian.
The Sun moves into Virgo on August 23, bringing a shift in mood from the playful exuberance of Leo season to a more pragmatic focus on making preparations for the work cycle ahead. Virgo is the responsible adult of the zodiac, taking care of all the unglamorous practical tasks that are crucial to bringing any vision into manifestation on the Earth plane. The things that tend to make us feel good during Virgo season are attending to all those items on our to-do list that help us feel we have our ground.
Yet while Virgo is a practical sign, this year some of our preparations are likely to be more inward. Both Mercury and Venus will be retrograde from August 23-September 2, with Saturn, Chiron, Neptune, and Pluto all in retrograde, and Uranus joining them on August 29. This brings a more internal time conducive to reflection and review. Even though we won’t see much evidence of visible progress, it’s a crucial opportunity to align the ideas of our mind (Mercury) with the truth of our heart (Venus). It will be important to remember this when the going seems slow, particularly given Virgo’s tendency toward self-judgment when things are less than perfect.
Permeating all of this — the ongoing background mood until January 20 next year is dominated by Pluto’s presence in Capricorn, which is applying titanic pressure on outdated structures within ourselves and society to transform or die. As excruciating as this process might feel, it’s crucial to realize that we are now approaching the final stages of the birth canal and that this passage therefore offers our last major opportunity to transmute patterns from our deep unconscious that have been burdening us for as long as we can remember. When Pluto moves into Aquarius next year, the mood will become much lighter and more future-oriented. Understanding this can help us to reframe our current struggles as a precious opportunity, the release of dying forms necessary to enter the mystery of birth.