Updated: Sep 1
Welcome to August! I hope you find this as a helpful reference throughout the month. If you did not catch last month’s article and would like to catch up, you can find that here.
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Now that we’ve done some housekeeping, let’s take a look at the most important astrological events of August 2023:
8.01- Full Moon in Aquarius
8.04- Mercury pre-shadow begins at 8º
8.13- Venus rises as a morning star
8.16- New Moon in Leo
8.23- the Sun enters Virgo + Mercury stations retrograde at 21º
8.27- Mars enters Libra
8.28- Uranus stations retrograde
8.30- Full Moon in Pisces
Major Aspects: (We won't cover all of the aspects in this article, but these are dates to keep an eye on)
8.01- Mars trine Jupiter
8.02- Mercury opposite Saturn
8.07- Sun square Jupiter
8.10- Mercury trine Jupiter + Venus rx square Uranus
8.13- Venus rx inferior conjunction (a Venus cazimi)
8.16- Sun square Uranus + Mars trine Uranus
8.22- Venus rx square Jupiter + Mars opposite Neptune
8.27- Sun opposite Saturn
We start off this month on the 1st with a Full Moon in Aquarius.
Jupiter in Taurus in a T-Square with the Sun and Moon means that we must listen to our body. What feels good, what doesn't. In betraying our body, we cut off access to promised resources. We are suddenly not at the right place at the right time to receive the right insights for our next steps. This is what we should keep in mind this Full Moon. Separate yourself from what does not feel good. Build systems and rituals around what does feel good. Be authentic about who you really are. When you aren't authentic, you aren't honoring the body. Have some compassion for yourself and release any guilt or shame that has held you back.
More practically, this could be a time where we are assessing the groups and communities we are apart of. Parting ways with some people just to run into others. Ground into your body to understand your unique, individual path. Look back at January 21st to understand what is concluding for you at this time. Know that whatever stories emerge right now will come back around this fall to be reassessed as Mercury and Venus complete their retrograde cycles. We are being asked to take the road less traveled.
Mercury pre-shadow begins at 8º on the 8th of August and Mercury stations retrograde at 21º on August 23rd
Mercury's ingress was at the tail end of July on the 28th. Here's what I said about it last month:
Mercury is not only in one of its own signs, but it will have bound support for the first 7º (until August 3rd) and decanic dignity in the final 10º of the sign. Mercury will have a retrograde too, but not until the end of August– it won't even reach its station degree until August 4th. This really is a year of reassessment from all angles.
Mercury correlates with the 3rd decan of Virgo and therefore the 10 of pentacles in Tarot. This placement is often about advancement and purpose. The "why" behind what we do, also known as intention. Austin Coppock calls this decan the "Chamber of Remembrance" – have you ever been scoffed at by someone older than you? That is the 10 of pentacles, that is Mercury in Virgo. When the young know-it-alls think they've just invented something that's actually been around before they were even a "twinkle in their mother's eye," this is when the old folks who do remember come on out just to give a dirty look or to laugh. Youth is truly laughable, but I challenge you to remember a time when you thought you knew it all too. Maybe that innocence and arrogance is something you need to re-embody. This is a theme that I think Mercury retrograde in Virgo will pose, especially during the simultaneous Venus retrograde. We'll talk more about this next month.
On the 8th, Mercury in Virgo begins its pre-shadow period, meaning that it enters its direct station degree, this retrograde it is the 8º of Virgo. This is where we should start paying attention to the questions we have, the themes showing up in our lives especially where communication (any kind of cerebral activity generally), intentions, health, details, and technology are concerned. As you may hear me say every retrograde cycle, the things that show up now will come back around between August 23rd and September 15th when Mercury is actually retrograde.
If you feel pulled to the past, this is normal and necessary during simultaneous retrogrades, but it's important to not stay there. Wisdom from the past is offered, but it's not supposed to be the same as it was then– it's supposed to help us better ourselves. These moments serve a purpose and we often emerge from retrogrades with much more clarity in the sector that the retrogrades hit. I have come to really appreciate them, the more you are able to let go and tap into the cycle, the more you understand how breakdowns result in breakthroughs.
Mercury retrograde during a Venus retrograde is such a gift because Venus doesn't communicate with us in words. She is abstract, preferring to use art or something outside of your body that seems unrelated to what may be happening on the inside. Mercury retrograde provides the necessary body-mind connection that we may be missing through reflection. This retrograde is in Virgo, the sign of the Hermit– those who have a tendency to self isolate may be pulled from the cave now while those who are always out and about will be called back to introversion. Wisdom gained in either situation is important to your next steps. Virgo speaks to what is necessary, eliminating what isn't– this first comes through encountering all that is most unnecessary and frivolous (this is exacerbated with the Sun and Venus in Leo).
With Venus in Leo also retrograde this month, remember that criticism is the opposite of acceptance. The underlying intention is a theme too– anything that falls apart right now will reveal the full authentic intention. If your health, for example, is falling apart, it reveals something hidden. The bacteria is now out in the open and with Virgo, what you see is what you get. Allergy reveals an irritant, a fight reveals all that was festering before. This transit has us examining how direct we are or aren't when communicating. This may even reveal where we have lied to ourselves about why we want to attain something (especially with Mercury in Virgo opposite Saturn in Pisces on the 2nd). What do you expect to gain? Expectation will tell all. This is trying to help us remove harmful behaviors that perpetuate older identity traits.
Virgo is the making of a production. The things we have to do, routine and rituals, humble beginnings that create a bigger picture. These are moments of preparation. Take care of your health, restructure the way you operate daily (is there a more efficient way?). We are adding and taking away from the quality of our lives right now.
Practical advice: Not a great time for buying tech gear or making big purchases generally, it is good for researching though. With Venus also retrograde, it might be wise to avoid touching your hair, making any big appearance changes, or undergoing major surgeries– but every situation is different. The point is to be very thoughtful about these things. If this is something you've been contemplating for a long time, this could be the time you are revisiting that thought, but keep impulse at bay. Keep in mind that retrogrades are temporary and Mercury, especially, is a trickster. Permanent changes are not recommended because they probably won't stick.
Venus rx: The Inferior Conjunction and rise of the Morning Star is on August 13th.
For the entire month, Venus is retrograde in Leo after stationing on July 22nd.
I wrote a separate article about Venus retrograde because I wanted to unpack the true meaning of this cycle that we are currently experiencing, but also wanted to do this by analyzing the last Venus retrograde in December of 2021 to January of 2022 and the next cycle in 2025. I also write about the number 5 and the "Rose of Venus" symbolism, I hope you will find it eye opening.
Here is an excerpt to understand how this is important to the August astro weather:
"A Venus retrograde transit reveals those ugly, greedy feelings that we all have within us somewhere, wanting to elevate ourselves, shoving others to the side to get to the top. Jealousy that leads to arrogance. Desire that may be immoral, but not unnatural. It could even be the egoic "No one cares about me" or "It's all my fault" showing up. First we must recognize that just because we aren't receiving love and attention, it does not mean that we aren't deserving of it. This is something that is trying to integrate itself from the last Venus retrograde in Capricorn. We must remember that at the end of the day, these are cycles, they aren't as separate as we may be inclined to believe. The last retrograde always carries into the next, in fact, it may be helpful to examine the summer of 2015 as this was the last time Venus was retrograde in this sign.
The last Venus retrograde in Capricorn (December 2021- January 2022) is trying to integrate itself now with this Venus retrograde in Leo (July-September 2023) by examining the work we have done over the last 18 months. During the last cycle, you may have found it easy to fall into blame, shame, guilt, disappointment, and giving up. If you rose (no pun intended) to the task like Venus intended, there is so much accomplishment and love in the knowing that you have accepted your own failures and shortcomings, using them to better yourself, creating a more mature approach and perspective. This Venus retrograde in Leo puts all that you learned to the test because at the root of your own rejection, there is a small child weeping for acknowledgment. It is not your fault that this inner child was not taken care of, but it is your responsibility to take care of them now that you are here, conscious and grown.
This Venus retrograde in Leo, examine where you have been conditioned to distrust your own body, to dim your individual light, to expect shame in response to authenticity, to doubt your worthiness when you are not selected.
On August 13th, Venus reaches her inferior conjunction with the Sun where she transforms into a morning star, leaving behind the contemplative, introverted evening star and moving into a fresh cycle where we become pioneers.
Everything that we found ourselves questioning from June 18th to July 22nd is now up for review and reflection until September 3rd while Venus is retrograde. We will move forward, committing to integration from September 3rd until Venus leaves the sign Leo on October 8th."
New Moon in Leo
The New Moon in Leo on August 16th is just 3º away from the degree that Venus became a morning star. This is such beautiful symbolism as the morning star is already about creation and being a pioneer while the New Moon is a new start. The star point represents the midpoint of Venus retrograde, this may be a time where you are beginning to see the Leo sector of your chart transforming, seeing and inviting in new opportunities that couldn't have been found in your previous state of being. It is important to remember that a retrograde is still a retrograde, beginnings now will change a bit over the course of the next two months. This lunation may reveal to us what true success feels like if we were able to take the road less traveled at the beginning of the month during the Full Moon in Aquarius. This New Moon is exactly square Uranus in Taurus, we can expect the unexpected to jump start our next chapter. However, if you have struggled to step out of what you think you "should" do, I imagine that disruption will free you. Uranus applauds us when we do something different, but it will not hesitate to make changes for you if you were unable to.
On the 23rd, the Sun enters Virgo (and Mercury officially stations retrograde in Virgo today).
Virgo season during simultaneous retrogrades creates a theme of revision. Retrogrades create inversion and, Mercury and Venus especially, are felt the most due to how close they are in proximity to Earth. There is an overwhelming need to confront our relationship with imperfection. Is it truly Virgo's humble nature that serves us or is this a distinct service that we try to provide for the collective? The Sun in Virgo is the seasonal hermit shell that is very often helpful in understanding true intention, but this year, there are other influences (like Venus retrograde in Leo, Saturn sitting in Pisces, Mars moving into Libra) that are needing us to examine how we hide ourselves away and the reason for this. Do you hide out of fear? Do you hide because you are striving for a kind of perfection that doesn't exist?
If you worry about perfection, you become crippled in your expression. There are technical reasons for Mercury's exaltation instead of domicile status in Virgo (even though it is a sign ruled by Mercury), but consider: What if Mercury is exalted in Virgo, instead of domicile like it is in the other Mercurial sign, because while Gemini isn't concerned about contradicting itself in the slightest, Virgo's need for consistency is divisive and isolating.
Isn't it so Virgo of me to criticize Virgo?
Perfection is what keeps people from doing things, from creating, from expressing themselves honestly. This is something that Pisces, its opposing sign, struggles with too. These two become deceptive when they do not feel safe enough to express their truth honestly. Virgo may even struggle with commitment, because if it's not perfect, why even attempt at all? This is how Virgo becomes a disservice to itself and to others– while Virgo may think that their humble, withdrawn attitude is creating more harmony with the collective, this same collective needs their voice more than it needs harmony. Harmony is Libra's job more than it is Virgo's.
It's very important to talk about the actual core sign instead of the Sun's nature in Virgo, because while it is the Sun that transits this sign, it's that sign's archetype that colors the experience of the rest of the planets that orbit, but especially the retrogrades. While Venus retrograde during Leo season may have been more about adjusting our compassion and trust for others and ourselves, Virgo season is complimenting Venus' lesson about expectation. Where do your expectations create failure and stomp out an opportunity before it's even had a chance to be born? Perhaps this is why Virgo is the "virgin," it sits on its creative abilities instead of fertilizing them.
Do you expect the worst or an unrealistic best? Expectation insults the possibility of the future. As the Sun in Virgo begins to oppose Saturn in Pisces towards the end of this month, we are realizing perfection, expectation, shame, and guilt for the prison it truly is. Virgo's function is to show you what prisons you have unknowingly confined yourself to and how to release. Virgo expels and releases blockages from the body that have been creating unnecessary irritation. This always requires a sacrifice, but it is well worth the detachment.
Mercury in Virgo is requiring us to release the block we've had in our throats. Gaining a new perspective on your prison of perfection (wherever that may be) may liberate your voice in a way that serves you and others. Reciprocity is always key when dealing with this sign.
Mars enters Libra on the 27th. This transit is only taking up the last few days of August and is more an energy for September and October, but here are a few things to consider in preparation:
This is our first, real, visceral encounter with the South Node in Libra. Of course, Pluto has been at the nodal bendings pretty much all summer and the nodes are just now clearing past a 3º orb at the very end of August (yay). However, we haven't had any major Libra transits since the Full Moon back in April and before that, when Mercury left this sign in November of 2022. We're going from little to no emphasis on this sector of our chart to quite a bit of focus here this fall. This is where we are beginning to run into eclipse storylines. Any perceived "balance" that has been kept for a long period of time is coming down. and whatever does start to crumble was precarious anyway. Mars conjunct the South Node is giving "Tower moment". Very fitting as this card is ruled by Mars, but know that ultimately, the Tower's chaos is only a result of things that were bound to end sometime and during Virgo season, things coming down were always unsustainable.
The last time we had Mars going over the South Node was in November and December of 2021 when Mars and the South Node was in Sagittarius. I can't speak for entire collective, but the clients I met with around that time (as well as my own life events) were definitely reminiscent of this tarot card. Mars and the South Node in Sagittarius brought up belief wounds, distance, duplicity showing its other face, and running away or avoiding communication. We were "tried and tested" as Susan T. Chang says in 36 secrets about the Sagittarian decans.
Since then, Mars in Taurus has opposed the South Node (instead of meeting in conjunction) in Scorpio in July and August of 2022, which really carried us forward, there was much less emphasis on the constriction and devouring that the South Node brings and more conscious focus on the Taurean "higher quality" that was emphasized during that nodal cycle.
This time with Mars and the South Node in Libra? There is focus on mirroring and reflection. Choosing between what we desire and if those desires are aligned. The North Node in Aries wants us to be honest about our desires (we may not know what these are yet) even if that upsets what we've curated. More about this transit next month and remember that Mars will not perfect its conjunction to the South Node until October 3rd– this is a gradual build.
Uranus stations retrograde on the 28th of August. Uranus is retrograde every year for about 5 months and it's an outer planet so this isn't as noticeable as a Venus or Mercury retrograde.
Prometheus is going inward. Intellect is something that ultimately separates us from the whole of society. Any special interest will do this, building a little home in your niche away from those who don't understand. This is where we could see the systems around us (even ones that we have built ourselves) and realize them for the restrictive box they are. Uranus retrograde is more important if you have natal or progressed placements affected and personally, I find that the stations are the loudest– Uranus stationing retrograde may mark a significant internal shift while Uranus stationing direct marks significant outer shifts.
Uranus stations retrograde at 23º Taurus on August 28th 2023 and will station direct at 19º Taurus on January 27th 2024. If you have natal or progressed fixed placements (Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, or Aquarius) between 16º- 25º you may feel this more than others.
Full Moon in Pisces
We end the month just as we started it with another Full Moon emphasizing how much we are being asked to release this month. The Full Moon in Pisces perfects on August 30th at 8:36pm CST. This Full Moon's closest and only aspect is to Saturn in Pisces. Venus retrograde is squaring Jupiter (the Full Moon's ruler) again as it did on June 11th. Mercury retrograde is trine Jupiter as well as it did on August 9th.
Something from the week of the New Moon in Gemini on June 18th may complete or circle back around at this time, but instead of approaching these themes cerebrally, we may have newfound emotional clarity that felt unaccessible at that time. What was "too much" is being revised because we have realized our worth. Over giving and misplaced compassion may be what culminates or ends at this time. Looking at the themes around the 9th of August may be helpful to understanding what this Full Moon means for you too. I will send out more insights about this in the September newsletter– if you're wanting to be apart of this you can subscribe to this website for free on the main blog page.
The Rising Sign Horoscopes: *Please note that while these are for the rising signs, they are still general. More accurate understanding comes from the personal natal chart.
The way you relate to your creative identity and personal joy is evolving this month. The 5th house is actually where Venus finds her joy, make sure that you are doing her justice by addressing subconscious shame or any primal needs that aren’t being met. Whatever you discover will be carried into your daily rituals and personal health– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing too.
Why do I create?
Am I authentic in expressing myself?
Have I honored both my needs now and my buried inner child’s needs?
Do I know how to balance work and play?
The way you relate to your home, family, and sense of internal security is evolving this month. Venus in the 4th house is wanting you to understand what makes you feel safe and what you value in the inner world. Whatever you discover will be carried into what you create and find joy doing– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing. What has your inner child always wanted to do.
What are my family wounds?
Am I authentic with my family and the people I live with?
Have I honored the original pain? Have I worked through it?
Do I know how to drop the facade when I come home?
The way you relate to learning, communication, perception, your local environments, and social media is evolving this month. Venus in the 3rd house is trying to help you understand what is most valuable to you when communicating and what environments facilitate the quality you deserve. Whatever you discover will be something that you find yourself needing to integrate into your home life, family relationships, and inner world– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing too.
Am I honest in my communication?
What am I sharing and is it an accurate representation of who I am?
Where do I congregate and do I enjoy my everyday environments?
Do I hide myself in online spaces? How can I use technology or other communication hubs to find others who “get” me?
The way you relate to your personal resources and values is evolving this month. Venus in the 2nd house is trying to help you understand what is most valuable to you and what is most worthy of your time, energy, and effort. Whatever you discover will be something that you find yourself needing to communicate, market, or shift your environment around– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing too.
What beliefs and values have I taken on that are not my own?
What lack mindsets are showing up and keeping me from true authenticity?
How do I spend my time and energy and is it supporting me in the way that I want it to?
Do I enjoy what I spend time, energy, and money on right now?
The way you relate to your identity, personality, and autonomy is evolving this month. Venus in the 1st house is trying to help you understand who you truly are and how you want to operate in the world. Whatever you discover will be something that you find yourself needing to integrate into your personal values, the time and energy you spend, and your self esteem– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing too.
Am I honest about who I am?
Do I hide myself because I am afraid of rejection?
What parts of my identity are underdeveloped and what personality traits do I hold onto that are no longer mine?
Do I realize that by avoiding my core self, I am creating a block between myself and the people who would love to celebrate who I really am?
The way you relate to spirituality, mental health, your fears, and isolation is evolving this month. Venus in the 12th house is trying to help you understand what is most valuable to you when you are all by yourself and how you prioritize your mental and spiritual health. Whatever you discover will be something that you find yourself needing to integrate into your very identity– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing too.
What are my fears and are they truly my own?
What gifts do I hide from the world and why?
What is my relationship to the spiritual and unknown universe and how can I use this in a way that serves instead of frightens?
What practices make me feel deeply seen and joyful and how can I incorporate these into my alone time?
The way you relate to networking, friendship, and your future goals is evolving this month. Venus in the 11th house is trying to help you understand what your goals are, what the future could look like for you, and who can help you get there. Whatever you discover will be something that you find yourself needing to integrate into your sense of surrender, the time you spend alone as well as your mental and spiritual health– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing too.
Am I being honest about what I want and what my goals are?
Do I hide myself because I am afraid of rejection?
Am I trying to do and be what everyone else is or am I developing my own path?
What is my relationship to friendship and help? Can I find platonic love to be just as supportive (if not more supportive) as romantic love is?
The way you relate to your public identity and life direction is evolving this month. Venus in the 10th house is trying to help you understand what is most valuable to you in regard to your legacy, the trail you leave behind you. Whatever you discover will be carried into your goals, future plans, and friendships– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing too.
What do I want my legacy to be?
What fears are holding me back from asserting myself and being seen?
What is my relationship like to those who came before me (ancestors, tiny versions of me, etc)?
Do I accept myself with the same confidence when I am alone as I do in public?
The way you relate to spirituality, travel, education, and your personal philosophy is evolving this month. Venus in the 9th house is trying to help you understand what beliefs are most valuable to you and what experiences you are trying to facilitate. Whatever you discover will be something that you find yourself needing to integrate into your career, public identity, and life direction– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing too.
Am I honest about what I believe in?
Do I feel afraid to share my experiences and beliefs because they seem illogical?
What ideas do I want to explore and what egoic voices are holding me back?
Where do I want to travel and can I get comfortable with the knowledge that I’ll always be alien to someone, somewhere?
The way you relate to intimacy, personal transformation, and shared resources (such as loans or joint spaces) is evolving this month. Venus in the 8th house is trying to help you understand where you could be supported by others, what you need to let go of, and what investments are worth making. Whatever you discover will be something that you find yourself needing to integrate into your belief system and personal philosophy– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing too.
Am I being honest about the grudges and experiences I still hold onto?
Do I hide myself because I struggle with intimacy?
How do I reject support? Is it because I am being inauthentic about my needs?
What is my relationship to loss? Do I see this as a bad thing or as a chance to grow and transform into who I am supposed to be? Can I reframe loss as protection?
The way you relate to others is evolving this month. Venus in the 7th house is trying to help you understand who you are in partnership with and if you feel safe in your authenticity within your interpersonal relationships. Whatever you discover will be something that you find yourself needing to integrate into your shared environments and resources as well as how you create intimacy– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing too.
Are the partners I’ve chosen allowing me to be who I truly am?
Do I hide myself because I am afraid of rejection?
Are the people around me true and can I take what someone says at face value? (basically, do you trust the people in your life?)
How do my external relationships mirror what may be going on internally within myself?
The way you relate to your health and daily schedule is evolving this month. Venus in the 6th house is trying to help you understand what is most valuable to you at work, in how you take care of yourself (especially your health), and what environments are most reciprocal of your energy. Whatever you discover will be something that you find yourself needing to integrate into your interpersonal relationships– create with intention because something about your motivation is changing too.
What would I like to experience daily that is lacking from my life now?
How can I celebrate and enjoy my body, my life, and the “unimportant” things that must be done?
Am I the main character in my life or am I being taken advantage of?
What environments and people make me feel deeply seen and how can I be more intentional about sustaining these interactions?