Friday, July 31, 2020


Leo and Virgo relief on stone well in Dunakeszi, Hungary.

Photo by Globetrotter 19 via Wikimedia

“When we were sitting in, it was love in action. When we went on the freedom ride, it was love in action. The march from Selma to Montgomery was love in action. We do it not simply because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s love in action. That we love our country, we love a democratic society, and so we have to move our feet.”[1]

     Late Congressman John R. Lewis (February 21, 1940 – July 17, 2020)
         Born with a Moon-Pluto conjunction in Leo

The Big Picture in August

In August of each year we experience the fiery energy of Leo for most of the month, and in the last weeks we transition to earthy Virgo. The Sun is the natural ruler of the sign of Leo. Symbolized by the lion, Leo is the section of the zodiac that corresponds to the heart, and therefore it represents love and joy. It is the stage in the development of humans where we become conscious of the ego needs of attention by others and recognition. On the other hand, when we reach the stage of Virgo, we learn the gratification of being of service, in any of its manifestations. Whether or not we have planets in these signs, we all have access to this energy in our respective birth charts.

From my perspective, the late Congressman John Lewis displayed so much of the energy of August. Newspaper headlines following his recent death described him as a “lion of Congress” as well as the “conscience of Congress.” In his eulogy at the celebration of life services for John Lewis, former President Barack Obama said John Lewis “was a man of pure joy and perseverance,” a perfect description of the melding of Leo and Virgo attributes. With a powerful natal Moon-Pluto conjunction in Leo and Neptune and Ceres in Virgo, John Robert Lewis used the power of resistance and law-making to love and serve the people.

In these pandemic times, we might find it challenging to feel joyful as we watch the spread of Covid-19 and we face the consequences of widespread unemployment. As we open the month of August, we have a Sun-Uranus conjunction, which reflects outward manifestations of rebellion, but could also suggest that we are capable of genius deeds at this time as well. This reminds me of the Leonine activists who brought leaf blowers to the demonstrations in Portland, Oregon and used them to blow back the tear gas aimed at protesters by occupying federal agents. 

In reviewing the planetary aspects for August, I noted that there were a high number (eleven) of quincunx aspects this month. Planets forming quincunxes seem to have nothing in common. Consequently, we can expect situations in our personal lives or on the world stage to mirror this quality of not being able to find common interests, and therefore no common ground. Although this aspect alone might not be confrontative by nature, it does tend to cause stress and discomfort. However, if other more stressful aspects are present at the same time, it could present some difficult situations. 

The good news about Mercury, the planet of communication, is that it is now direct and out of its retrograde shadow. During the first part of the month, this planet is in tense relationships (oppositions) with both the power planet, Pluto and with the “set limits” planet, Saturn. Mercury moves from the sign of Cancer into Leo on August 4, perhaps promoting more emphatic communication. Communication matters might be a little less intense in the latter part of the month.

Venus, the planet of relating and values, moves from communicative Gemini to sensitive and emotional Cancer on August 7. For the first ten days of the month, she hovers around the North Node, the area in our chart that promotes our emotional growth. During the last week of the month, Venus is in a tense (opposition) relationship with the retrograde planets Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn in Capricorn. We could experience situations where we are defining what is mine, yours, or ours in all types of relationships.

Mars continues to be active this month. The “let’s get things going” planet, Mars, has now moved into its shadow, i.e. the area it retraces when moving from its retrograde cycle into direct motion. (It will turn retrograde on September 10). As we enter August, Mars will be squaring retrograde Jupiter, perhaps accentuating the expansion of situations, some of which we don’t need growing, like the Covid-19 pandemic. While that aspect dissipates later in the month, Mars maintains its square relationship with slow-moving and retrograde Pluto, the planet of death and transformation. By the second week of August and through the rest of the month, this trigger planet Mars squares the planet of structures and karma, Saturn. All in all, this suggests that we must confront weighty issues this month.

On August 15, quirky Uranus joins the other outer planets, Neptune and Pluto, in retrograde motion. For the rest of the month, this planet of surprises has easy aspect relationships with other planets.

The lunations this month include the Full Moon (11 Aquarius 46) on August 3 at 8:59 AM PDT and the New Moon (26 Leo 35) on August 18 at 7:42 PM. At the Full Moon, we could be assessing matters of the collective and how there can be more humanitarian approaches to problems. At the New Moon, our thrust might be towards cultivating joy and enthusiasm through some endeavor or simply our frame of mind. This might be personal or for a group or community. Theater anyone?   

Significant Days in August 

Below you will find a table of astrological events for this month. You can assess the quality of significant days by noting when planets form exact aspects and where all this activity takes place in your natal chart. 

Here is a basic key for understanding the meaning of the aspects: 

The Conjunction: This aspect represents the merging and fusion of energies by two (or more planets) that have joined at a particular degree (or within a specified orb). This combined energy is very potent. When this occurs, we might feel subjective about a matter in our lives.
The Sextile (60°): Planets in this formation are harmonious and lend themselves to cooperation. Astrologer Sue Tompkins says there is a quality of “coaxing” in sextiles. In other words, if we put in a little effort at these times, we can take advantage of opportunities in a situation.
The Quintile (72°): Planets in this aspect represent the type of harmony inherent in creative endeavors. It might often describe the impulse to fuse an idea into a tangible substance. Quintiles often describe the talents possessed by individuals.
The Square (90°): Planets that line up in this aspect reflect incompatible energies with contrasting needs. Consequently, we can describe this planetary relationship as tense and strained. Because these energies can be working at cross-purposes, the situation at hand may require us to make choices. The “silver lining” is that squares compel us to take action and this often results in dispelling tension. If we are conscious of the dilemma, we can use the excess energy in a matter so that we can achieve something useful.
The Trine (120°): There is an ease in the relationship between planets involved with this aspect because they are of the same element. At this time, we can perform activities with a flowing energy. We enjoy these activities, and they often reflect our innate talents. Because this energy is so comfortable, it often does not promote growth. Yet, these aspects reflect how we can be healed.
The Quincunx (150°): Planets forming this relationship appear to have nothing in common. These planets display energies that are out of step with one another. There can be an element of irritation and stress because of this, but it is not a confrontative type of energy. If we are conscious of this reality, we can make adjustments to the relationship such that we do not feel so out of sync.
The Opposition (180°): This relationship between planets brings to our awareness how something is different from our preferred position. We could be in conflict with others about a matter. Also, we might shift our preference from one point of view to its opposite. Yet, we can also find common ground in this relationship. This aspect has the potential for us to integrate our perspectives.

Date of Exact or Near Exact Aspect
Pacific Time
Astrological Events
August 1
3:52 AM
Mercury (23 Cancer 20) opposition Pluto (23 Capricorn 20)

August 2
4:18 AM
Sun (10 Leo 38) square Uranus (10 Taurus 38)

August 3
8:59 AM
Full Moon (11 Aqu 46')

August 3
2:00 PM
Mercury (27 Cancer 38) opposition Saturn (27 Capricorn 38)

August 4
6:06 AM
Mars (19 Aries 45) square Jupiter (19 Capricorn 45)

August 4
3:07 PM
Venus (27 Gemini 33) quincunx Saturn (27 Capricorn 33)

August 4
8:32 PM
Mercury enters Leo

August 5
9:05 AM
Venus (28 Gemini 13) conjuct North Node (28 Gemini 13)

August 7
8:21 AM
Venus enters Cancer

August 8
11:02 AM
Mercury (9 Leo 05) trine Chiron (9 Aries 05)

August 10
5:52 AM
Mercury (10 Leo 41) square Uranus (10 Taurus 41)
August 10
11:34 PM
Sun (19 Leo 03) quincunx Jupiter (19 Capricorn 03)
August 11
4:14 AM
Vesta enters Leo
August 12
7:32 AM
Sun (20 Leo 20) quincunx Neptune (20 Pisces 20)
August 12
3:43 PM
Venus (4 Cancer 57) quintile Mars (22 Aries 57)
August 12
8:48 PM
Saturn (27 Cap 00'Rx) quintile Chiron (9 Ari 00'Rx)
August 13
12:14 AM
Mars (23 Aries 05) square Pluto (23 Capricorn 05)
August 14
4:28 AM
Mercury (18 Leo 45) quincunx Jupiter (18 Capricorn 45)
August 14
10:13 PM
Mercury(20 Leo 16) quincunx Neptune (20 Pisces 16)
August 15
3:13 AM
Sun (23 Leo 03) quincunx Pluto (23 Capricorn 03)
August 15
7:27 AM
Uranus goes Retrograde (Ura 10 Tau 41')
August 16
6:38 AM
Mercury (23 Leo 01) quincunx Pluto (23 Capricorn 01)
August 16
7:02 AM
Sun (24 Leo 09) trine Mars (24 Aries 09)
August 16
4:59 PM
Venus (8 Cancer 53) square Chiron (8 Aries 53)
August 16
10:29 PM
Mercury (24 Leo 21) trine Mars (24 Aries 21)
August 17
8:07 AM
Sun (25 Leo 10) conjunct Mercury (25 Leo 10)
August 18
2:17 AM
Mercury (26 Leo 41) quincunx Saturn (26 Capricorn 41)
August 18
12:01 PM
Mercury (27 Leo 29) sextile North Node (27 Gemini 29)
August 18
12:28 PM
Venus (10 Cancer 42) sextile Uranus (10 Taurus 42)
August 18
7:42 PM
New Moon (26 Leo 35')
August 18
8:48 PM
Sun (26 Leo 38) quincunx Saturn (26 Capricorn 38)
August 19
2:08 PM
Sun (27 Leo 20) sextile North Node (27 Gemini 20)
August 19
6:41 PM
Mercury enters Virgo
August 22
8:45 AM
Sun enters Virgo
August 23
7:00 PM
Mercury (7 Virgo 44) quintile North Node (25 Gemini 44)
August 24
6:35 AM
Mercury (8 Virgo 40) quincunx Chiron (8 Aries 40)
August 24
11:19 AM
Mars (26 Aries 19) square Saturn
August 25
8:18 AM
Mercury (10 Virgo 39) trine Uranus (10 Taurus 39)
August 25
3:26 PM
Venus (17 Cancer 55) opposition Jupiter (17 Capricorn 55)
August 26
7:56 PM
Mars (26 Aries 48) sextile North Node (26 Gemini 48)
August 27
2:12 PM
Venus (19 Cancer 57) trine Neptune (19 Pisces 57)
August 29
6:28 AM
Mercury (17 Virgo 44) trine Jupiter (17 Capricorn 44)
August 30
0:55 AM
Sun (7 Virgo 24) quintile North Node (25 Gemini 24)
August 30
2:42 AM
Venus (22 Cancer 36) quintile Uranus (10 Taurus 36)
August 30
6:31 AM
Venus (22 Cancer 46) opposition Pluto (22 Capricorn 46)
August 30
11:44 AM
Mercury (19 Virgo 53) opposition Neptune (19 Pisces 53)
August 31
1:54 AM
Sun (8 Virgo 25) quincunx Chiron (8 Aries 25)

[1] Congressman John Lewis in an interview with Krista Tippett. “John Lewis: Love in Action,” On Being, July 23, 2020,

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