I’m writing this on the first day of August, just after the new moon in Leo. There are four planets in the fire sign Leo, and I can feel their confidence and vivacity, like a troupe of acrobats waiting in the wings. Mercury just went direct, and is moving towards Leo as well. Things are beginning.
I’m just getting over a cold, and my own energy is a bit soggy. July was an emotional month, ranging from great warmth to cold fear, and I feel like a rag doll that’s been soaked in salt water. So I’m looking forward to a solar month - one that will dry my bones, get my blood moving, invite action. Leo is a sign of games, risk, romance, theatre, laughter, excitement.
Adding to the fire in August, Jupiter is in Sagittarius, and from here it makes supportive trines to Mercury, Venus and the sun, as they move through Leo. And so there will be some luck. There will be times when the sun shines on people’s projects and endeavors, when the fates are generous. There will be opportunities to expand.
There are also three planets in earth signs – Saturn, Uranus and Pluto – making tense aspects to Leo planets this month. On the one side, earth is practical, cautious and slow-moving, while on the other side, fire is excitable, spontaneous and heroic. Earth always wants to contain or be contained, while fire resists containment, sometimes leaping over barriers.
Fire is passion, and it’s urgent and immediate. It can destroy whatever is in its path, because it’s focused on its own essential power. Yet in billions of years, rolling over its surface, fire has given the earth innumerable new beginnings. It clears out the old deadwood, giving more space, more light and air.
Sometimes the fire is figurative, and sometimes it’s literal. It is the hottest month, and every year we reach a new record heat, so fires are more severe everywhere. Right now, satellites look down on thick blankets of smoke covering Greenland, Alaska and Siberia. Even the Arctic is burning, for the first time ever.
And the fires go deep, releasing things that have been buried in the soil for a long time. As they go through Leo, the sun, Venus, Mars and Mercury will all make tense aspects to Pluto, which deals with hidden power dynamics. Pluto represents one’s inner demons, the ones that you normally ignore or banish. People spend a lot of energy keeping these inner passions, fears, resentments and desires tucked neatly away, but all it takes is a challenge, an altercation, and they are released into the atmosphere.
Old crimes are buried, because everyone wants to feel innocent, and to avoid thinking about the ways we’ve wronged each other. Everyone has old guilt, whether conscious or not. Instead of owning it, many people project it onto others, finding convenient scapegoats everywhere. Racism, sexism, and xenophobia are projections of people’s inner demons. And because these things are enshrined in old custom and established structures, it can seem safe for people (like Trump and his admirers) to enact them.
However, old customs and established structures are the very things that are wiped away, when the fires begin to burn. We are already seeing some dramatic power shifts, and we will see more. This doesn’t mean that everything will change in August. But old toxins will be exposed, and some old hiding places will disappear.
The planets in Leo will also have tense aspects to Uranus in the coming month, and Uranus is the planet of change and innovation. It gives everyone a glimpse of what is odd and different, and what would happen if you looked at everything slantwise. Though these aspects to Uranus are destabilizing, they are also full of exciting creative potential.
So in August, there’s a place for guerrilla theatre, for ridicule of the rich and pompous. Pride often goes before a pratfall. This is a good way to take down those who believe they deserve to be in charge. And to the extent we can laugh at ourselves, it will be a healthy month.
Uranus is also connected to the scientific and technological communities, and there will be plenty of challenges there. How will the Fire People fare against the Robot Horde? It’s a sci-fi melodrama, but it’s also an archetypal dilemma. From the old stories about our stealing fire, we know how precious it is. What is the human spirit worth, in this age of mechanization? How can we keep the spark of humanity glowing, in a world of concrete slabs and silent robots? This is a struggle for our very survival as a species.
And the Leo planets also have tense aspects to Saturn, the planet of gloom and limitation. Saturn can give a sense of being stuck in old patterns which are relentless, unchanging, hopeless. Sometimes we all feel that we’re trudging along in the long shadow of history, seeing variations on the same cruelty and oppression play out around us. We fight the Nazis, and sixty years later, the US president sucks up to them. Where does it end?
But in fact, the generally slow pace of history makes it very hard for any of us to see change. It’s like living with a kid. One day they’re an adult, and you have no clue how that happened. But there is movement, glacial though it seems at times.
Our restlessness, our discomfort, our fears and anxieties – those in themselves are signs that our times are changing. If everything was really always the same, we would be used to it, wouldn’t we? But nobody is used to the world as it is today. No, we feel these prickly changes around us all the time, and we don’t know how to interpret them, or where they’re taking us, and so we take a stance, trying to maintain control over at least our own philosophical constructions. But the stance itself requires constant maintenance, and can become a prison.
Fire is never stagnant. It moves, and it moves inside you. Find your own source of life, and light, and joy, and creative passion. Move with it.