Can it be the last month of summer already? Can we really be in the process of turning the wheel to the next season? Summer 2020, for many of us, could have been a debut film in a dystopian horror meets hapless office comedy series. A genre that has room for race wars and uprisings, political and viral plagues, and an onslaught of Zoom calls that could have been emails. A film with endless Terrence Malick-style shots of someone considering the implications of hiding “self-view.” A film that most of us wouldn’t be able to watch because there’s no such thing as going to the movies anymore and besides, why watch it when it’s hard enough to live it?
This month opens with a full moon in Aquarius that loves these sorts of questions and any sort of influence that raises us just above our intimate perception of reality so we can get a bigger view. The next day, Mercury then moves into Leo and while the rage and despondency many feel is unlikely to dissipate, it’s coupled with a desire to emphasize and acknowledge what sustains us through struggle and gives us a reason to strive for something better. Then, Venus shifts into Cancer after a week of being free from retrograde shadow. Fiercely protective, Venus in Cancer will mama-bear you in both ways, bite off the head of those who stand to harm you and also lead you to a barely (lol) big enough swimming pool in someone’s backyard and demand you cool off in it. The cardinal signs are likely to feel this influence especially. A desire to be both guard and guardian. Mid-month, Uranus stations retrograde, and it’s not unlikely that the earth-shattering work we’ve been called to in the past year will require a new strategy. In the movie version of our lives, which is also the real version, changing tactics drives the plot forward and gives the audience a chance to root for the revolutionaries and resisters--who conservatives identify with only in fiction and never in real life. A new moon in Leo on the 18th is a hopeful moon, a chance for us to believe in the best version of ourselves, and the best possible outcome — a win even — for those who refuse to give up the fight for justice.
Aries & Aries Rising
There is no one way to heal, and we know that logically because we understand that everyone is different and requires different modes of care. Still, it can be disheartening to feel on the pulse of something like aliveness one second and fumbling in the dark the next. You deserve a path that is clearly marked and well lit, a road sign that lets you know how far you have left to travel. You deserve waystations that can nurture you and sustain you for your journey, provisions that never run out. You deserve these things the way all journeymen do and there is no answer from any God yet why we don’t get the things that we deserve.
Perhaps because the way to healing is necessarily shrouded in mystery, because part of the work of getting better is actively choosing yourself even when it seems easier to give up. Maybe it teaches your child-self that there’s an adult who will put you first this time, who will want for you what you wanted for yourself.
Vulnerability, that heavy word with all its abstract implications, is easier to understand when you understand it in the context of yourself. When you can name a small opening that feels sacred to you and spend time attending it rather than fearing for it. When you can say what feels hard to say, because it feels like freedom when it leaves your throat. August wants to be the end of things, summer, quarantine, world order, but August is a beginning too, as all ending are. Here is your chance then, Aries, to show up for yourself differently in all areas of your life. To press on with even more determination no matter how uncharted the journey.
Whether you’ve spent these pandemic months quarantined or working yourself to the bone, you’ve been surrounded by people who feel hopeless about the future. You’ve been surrounded by people who have a lot to say but want to do very little. You’ve been present but uninspired and reluctant to share yourself with people who won’t offer you something more than what you get alone. For the most part, in the past, this has suited you fine. Independence, for you is a virtue the way patience is a virtue for others. You wait for a message to arrive independently, you approach a problem independently, you prefer to attend to your weaknesses before others can assess them.
But big changes desire big witness and you’ve been changing on a tectonic level. It’s only right that you want to be seen and engaged with as the person who you are trying to become, it’s only natural for an artwork to want eyes.
With Mercury making a trine to Uranus this month, you mind is a perfect geometric shape, a study in angles. There’s more space than there ever was for ideas that are not regurgitations of old attempts but new approaches entirely. This is a great time to begin new projects, to connect with unlikely collaborators, to stretch your sense of your own talents. You don’t know yet all you can do, all that you’re good at. You can’t know until you give it your very best try. And, why not try? Why not risk making something bad with someone new, something no one will appreciate? Is it really more of a waste of time than sitting around, yearning for a muse to push you off your seat when you could just push yourself?
It’s hard enough to be more than one person, harder still to be more than one person in more than one reality. You know what I mean, don’t you Gemini? That world some call beyond the veil you keep slipping into by accident (on purpose), trying to find answers to questions you haven’t even formed yet. While Persephone returned topside for Earth’s summers, she wasn’t exactly doing it on her own volition. It was hard, as it always is, to be a girl with no control over your own life, a girl subservient to violence that calls itself love.
Is it harder now, in this “real world” to live as yourself while answering to the needs of those you came from and those who seek to be your future but not to know you? Is it any easier to be who you are alone, when no one’s watching, in this world that demands you always be accompanied?
If there is no summer then there is no return, the Earth flourishes more without us. There is no distinction, these days, between the underworld that was your winter home and the open air where live things gather. And, since you are not bound to be here or there, this or that, you get act from a place of wanting rather than owing. Who is it that you want to be, dear Gemini, in this new life between worlds and where would you like to be it? Answer that first and take you time answering. The question of “with who” comes later when you’re prepared to answer it anew, like you haven’t been forced to answer it all your life.
Cancer & Cancer Rising
For a long time now, you’ve been working it out mostly on your own. The classes, the training sessions, the years of refining your skillset somewhere far from home. And, for the most part, you haven’t been lonely, although you might have felt a keen sense of un-accompaniment, of being out past where other people could reach you. These past few months have begun their work of calling you back, not to the same place you started but a new shoreline where you can dock your boat and rest, touch a human being.
There’s work to be done, yes. Now that you’ve figured out how to be yourself when you’re alone, you’ll have to figure out how to be yourself in community.
You need it, dear Cancer, a network of like minds that meet yours and make you stronger together. This is about your value system, your sense of what you’re willing to do for what’s right and how exactly you mean to do it. Not alone, you know, and not with anyone who doubts your fierce commitment and your transformative power. Mind who you attract to yourself, who you bump heads with. Not everyone can meet you where you are because not everyone was meant to go your way. Mind lighthouses operating on abandoned land, sometimes you go a long way for someone just to find that, to get what you’re seeking, you’ll have to leave.
Leo & Leo Rising
With Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, moving under the stars of Leo mid-month, there’s a greater focus on home. Home, in this case, can be wider than the place you rest. Coupled with Uranus Rx in your public life, Mars Rx in your spiritual endeavors, and a full moon in your partnership sector, the quest for belonging is bound to be bigger than your bedroom. Belonging to a community with a shared ethos, belonging within a job that recognizes your unique skill set. Cultivating and nurturing relationships that push you to be your most authentic self. These transits, some just starting their shadow periods, are reflective in nature, and they invite you to sit with yourself a little longer and a little deeper than might otherwise be natural for you.
Self-reflection is a skill that wants for constant development. It takes devotion to monitor your own growth. It takes work to accept and acknowledge your mistakes as lessons rather than wasted efforts.
Self-reflection, my sweet lion, is not a story you tell yourself about yourself. It’s not a mirror you turn toward only to search for evidence of your mother’s face or the passage of time—although they both live there. It’s a practice of relating to the present moment, of being in right relationship with who you are now. Belonging happens when you can recognize yourself where you are, when you feel like yourself and in sharing that self with others, you feel seen. This August, whenever possible, practice dropping into your body and scanning for muscle tightness and gut feelings. The story you hold is more honest than the story you tell yourself. Our bodies are our archives, the place we store what we can’t yet understand. And, our manuals for self-preservation and pleasure.
Virgo & Virgo Rising
Does it thrill you or does it throw you into a panic, dear Virgo, to recognize just how little you know? Do you feel within you a hunger for more books, more travel, more strange encounters, or do spend your days scrolling through web-trash unable to process what you accumulate? It’s not easy, in a pandemic, to keep our minds in order, let alone our days. Still, when you’re up or it, you might find an ease in your mental process where before you found obstruction. The gears are greased, dear friend, and the wheels are turning with or without a known destination. So, why not put your shoulder to it?Acknowledging how little you know can be a kind of blessing, a kind of balm against disaster. We don’t know what happens after we die and we don’t know what the future will bring us (even if you have some theories about both these things, theories change all the time).
And, if you don’t know the future, then you can’t know what’s not possible either. You can’t honestly say you’ll never have that job you want or fall in love again. Future you is an independent bitch and she plays by rules you haven’t learned yet. This August, imagine everything you do is in anticipation of that future self. If you want future you to know more languages, start practicing now. If you want that self to feel closer to her ancestral line, then spend some time with the past. You might not know what future you will do with all the things you strive to know now, but you’re the only one who can make sure she has all that she needs to do it well.
Libra & Libra Rising
There’s a saying I love from recovery groups that never gets old, “the only thing you can control is your desire to feel control.” I love it because it’s a meditation, really, a daily mantra that one can return to whenever one loses their way. How does one lose their way? You get into loops, into cycles of negative thinking that leak out into your interactions with others. When the day doesn’t go as you plan, when arrangements fall through, when you start taking the behavior of others personally, when people in your community engage the world in a way that upsets you, there’s a simple way to maintain your sense of self and that is to return to it.
To return to yourself is not to ignore injustice or condone it. To return to yourself is to become intimately familiar with what happens within you when your expectations or desires aren’t met.
To recognize the moment when observations become projections and the energy you spend trying to control what’s not yours leaves you too drained to show up for what is. There are great big things coming your way, dear Libra, shifts that will open the door for profound financial, spiritual, and sexual transformation. There’s a portal to pleasure up ahead, to the eros of being alive in a living landscape. This portal is yours alone so you’ll have to relinquish whatever baggage you’ve held that has someone else’s name on it. Pack light and show up.
Scorpio & Scorpio Rising
It feels antithetical to the disorder of the world, but your new focus on structure is entirely true to course. While the larger astrological events in play this month might not light up your areas of career or daily routine, they do invite a certain kind of self-development. Common conversations around home and partnership often focus on our ability to enter a healthy dynamic with others, our sense of belonging within a familial structure. These conversations are necessary for some other time, but not this one. Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to spend time refining your understanding of what you bring to a given situation:
What do you offer that no one else can? What do you need help with? What would you like to get better at? In what ways can you leave something better than before?
Your talents are developing and what you bring to the table is larger than what it once was or, if not larger, different. The more you focus on recognizing that hungry energy and feeding it, the less time you’ll find for worrying about other people’s expectations, bad communication styles, and the possibility that you might wind up disappointing someone. If everything is a sign then let each moment of overwhelm be a sign that you need to prioritize rest. If everything is a sign then let every moment of being condescended to be an opportunity to reach inside yourself for something so big, it can’t register a small-minded sound.
Sagittarius & Sagittarius Rising
Everyone likes to talk about the Sagittarians who are sporty, the ones that play hard and party hard too. But, it’s well known that there’s another kind of Sagittarian out there. The eternal student, the autodidact, the seeker, and the idea machine. I’ve never met a Sagittarius that doesn’t have A Very Good Idea they’ve been playing around with or mostly keeping to themselves. A theory about humanity, a story they’re attempting from three different angles, a chess game you can play with three people. Whatever it is, it’s distinctly of their experience.
The truth is, it can be hard for some Sags to share the parts of them that are dynamic and different even as they value those qualities in others. They’re protective of the parts of themselves they’re developed outside the constraints of family and cultural influence because those parts can feel vulnerable, young, and easily bruised.
Knowing all this, the rewards of sharing what makes you, you, can be worth the risk. Lots of mental energy swirling around you this month and with it, lots of ways to over-exert yourself. August encourages you to get out of your comfort zone, dear Sagittarius, and even more outside the box. It can be tempting to keep your head down and the work done but if you’re mindful, you’re likely to feel a different desire within you. A desire to know who you are in relation to others, to share your big ideas, to let yourself be known.
Capricorn & Capricorn Rising
Just because you’re right most of the time, Capricorn, doesn’t mean you’re right all the time. Especially not when it comes to knowing the interior world of others. Which is not about your perception, or even your empathic powers. Rather, it’s the simple understanding that we can never fully know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. Even if we’re very close to them, even if we’re psychic, even if they tell us. It would follow, then, that we can’t really know why someone acts in a way that upsets us, causes us pain, or endangers them. We can’t know what someone thinks of us or how they perceive our actions. What can we know? Only what we experience, apparently. Only ourselves.
I remind you all this because this month, as the asteroid Pallas continues to transit your sign, making aspects to the moon, you might find yourself filled with untrue thoughts about how you are perceived by others. You might lose sight of the power you have and the gifts you offer.
If that happens, Capricorn, if you start to let negative ideas and unwelcome voices live in your head rent-free, visit them with a good old truth detector. Ask yourself “Is that true?” as much as you can. If it’s not a truth you can be sure of, and it’s not a truth you want to claim, put it down.
This month is a good strategy month for you; a good time to experiment creatively and challenge yourself in an area that excites you. Try your best to show up for whatever opportunities arise that give you the space to be more of yourself, let your truth be that you deserve those opportunities, that every place you want to be is right where you should be.
Aquarius & Aquarius Rising
This month will open with a Full Moon in Aquarius that will form a square to Uranus in Taurus, which is already preparing for its retrograde cycle. For the Aquarians that serve Uranus and its dynamic energy, this summer has surely given you your fair share of unearthed issues, emotional revelations, and catalyzing events. The full moon this month, then, is a door to the process that lies ahead, reckoning with what you must learn to do differently, to approach differently, if you are to expect different results.
Perhaps you’ve been surveying the sea-change around you for so long, you forgot that you are part of the sea, that you are also never the same.
Whatever habits you’ve gotten into with others, even well-intentioned ones, are coming up for reconsideration this August. If you share a home, how do you make your home a sanctuary for your spirit even in the presence of others? If you’re building a partnership, how do distinguish between flexibility and self-betrayal? If you’ve experienced a loss, how do you move through it in a way that feels right for you without shutting out the support of loved ones? This is about returning to your solitude. This is about your time, your awareness of it, and how often you leak time in the presence of others who feel entitled to yours. Your energy, your will to create, your desire to hold the power of your singular self and know it, these forces within you don’t disappear, they’re spent. Save some for yourself.
Pisces & Pisces Rising
Neptune is still in retrograde motion, but honestly, doesn’t everything kind of feel like it’s in retrograde motion? Of course, life and time keep on keeping on, but it’s hard to stay the course when the course is pretty much a dumpster fire rolling down the street. I don’t mean anything personal by it, dear Pisces, I know that you are an adaptable creature and that you’re good at finding joy, even in moments of great suffering. I mention the dumpster fire just to acknowledge what we’re all working with: a world losing breath, The Lion King’s Scar as our sitting president.
If you’re feeling stymied in your attempts to turn visions into tangible results, you’re not alone.
The trouble might be that you feel alone, even if you’re in good company. To be lonely, even if you are loved, is no small matter.
Often, it’s a symptom of not being able to recognize yourself or not feeling reflected in those you let nearest you and your soft spots. Reflected as in witnessing a shared effort, an equal presence, reciprocated nurturance. And, it’s true you’re not the type to sweat the small stuff so long as you know the big stuff is steady but lots of unsteadiness globally has its effects. Perhaps it’s a communication issue: your heart needs one thing, but you communicate something else. A loop where you recognize your mistake and then let them off the hook. You want to be authentic in your emotional interactions but you don’t want to cause suffering. If your offering to someone else comes at a cost to your spirit—imagine yourself in their place. Would you want what is offered, knowing the price?