What's Up - August 2016

WHAT'S UP – August 2016
Belinda C. Dunn

Leo New Moon
August 2 @ 4:44 pm

Saturn Direct
August 13 @ 5:51 am

Leo/Aquarius Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
August 18 @ 5:26 am

Mercury Retrograde
August 30 @ 9:04 am

Things are Heating Up
August begins with a lion's roar, rumbling and resonating, shaking off the doldrums of recent months. This call to action cannot be ignored. In addition to the peak of summer heat, numerous astrological factors point to situations heating up, coming to a decisive, make it or break it, boiling point.

The pressure of living in complex times can so easily spill over into daily life, adding complications that may not be in our best interest. Here and now, on the forefront of a whole new month, it may be helpful and essential to choose an attitude of calm simplicity.

For the majority of us, there will be plenty to address as the month unfolds. Not only are we entering an eclipse cycle, but Mercury is entering a retrograde phase on August 30. Circumstances that crop up in August have long-term influence with potent consequences that cannot be adequately addressed and resolved in a short period of time.

Radiating our Unique Warmth
Let's begin with the Leo New Moon on August 2. This is an optimal time to set intentions for the next 28 day lunar cycle. Leo is a fire sign, radiating an atmosphere of courage and confidence. It is easy to spot an outgoing Leo as their presence commands attention and admiration.

People with Leo as their Sun sign tend to thrive in settings where others follow their lead, look up to them, and respond to their direction. Many Leos are more reserved, quietly demonstrating a genuine interest in those around them. Leos are known for their unique warmth and caring that brings out the best in others.

Leo is a very important zodiac energy to understand as the new age dawns. Many leaders, kings and queens, despots and dictators, have walked upon the sands of time. Ruling with power and authority, these leaders have gone down in history as abusive, cruel, dominating and self obsessed. The dark potential of Leo has started many a war, and wrought destruction on innocent civilians of many cultures and creeds.

Likewise, there have been many humanitarian leaders with conscience and heartfelt care for those in their charge. The evidence is clear, character is destiny, and Leo is the zodiac sign where each of us are challenged to express the positive radiance of the true self in this world of form, and lovingly support those around us.

Leo’s Polarity Sign is Aquarius
Each zodiac sign has its polarity, and Aquarius is the zodiac sign opposite Leo. This probably rings a bell of recognition. Humanity is on the cusp of entering a new age, the Age of Aquarius. Taking into account a 26,000-year cycle, knowledge of cycles comes from the ancient Vedic wisdom tradition.

There is some controversy on when the new age actually begins, but the signs of transition are clearly here for all to see.
In last month's article, I described many factors in the United States astrology chart based on the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Moon plays an important position in analysis, and this nation's chart shows the Moon in Aquarius. Thus, the destiny of this country is dramatically playing out through the polarity of Leo/Aquarius.

Just the word independence is noteworthy as an Aquarian ideal. At its best, this is the zodiac sign of group synergy, equality, innovation and genius. With the Moon in Aquarius, the problems we face as a nation cannot be limited to our own turf, but are problems humanity faces in the challenge to survive and thrive on many levels of collective experience.

In this polarity of Leo/Aquarius, there are many expressions. The heavy-handed, dominating leader is one extreme, but anarchy lies on the other end of the spectrum. The dictionary defines anarchy as “absence of government; a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to absence of authority.” The idealized definition is, “a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government.” Who in their right mind can glorify either of these extremes?

Aquarius Brings Community
Realistically, not everyone is cut out to be a leader. For those of you leading a business or organization or family, you know the responsibility, and the potentially sleepless nights that go along with making decisions impacting others.

Each of us is called to lead as each is called to follow. It is impossible to disregard this dynamic in the current state of affairs. Moon in Aquarius can be seen in the emerging trend for acceptance of differences, and celebration of diversity. Aquarius will never stand for marching in line, control of the masses, and pompous displays of glory.

What Aquarius does support is heart-to-hand, grassroots, community-based coherence in the addressing of social concerns.

Recently, a beautiful and inspiring example of this took place in Greenville, South Carolina as shown in a Facebook video. Citizens from all walks of life gathered in the town center to tangibly and peacefully demonstrate care and consideration for all sectors of their community from law enforcement to diversity in gender, race and age. This is the direction, even though the horizon may curve beyond sight.

The Full Moon on August 18 is also a lunar eclipse. With the Sun in Leo and Moon in Aquarius, these themes will be in the forefront as society grapples with viable solutions for social organization. Uranus, the planet of innovation, is in harmonious alignment with both the Sun and Moon.

Lunar eclipses tend to be highly emotional and reactive. As eclipses are known for unveiling what is most essential and important, various facets of ego consciousness will come to the forefront, and demand attention.

Leo the lion/lioness feels a rightful, and perhaps duty bound urge to make a mark upon the world. But, Aquarius says, “No man is an island.” Whatsoever one expresses and contributes is completely contingent on others and what has gone before - the collective history and current environment. Acknowledging this interplay of individual expression within the context of group associations instills a sense of humility and connection that can override dissent and myopic self-interest.

Deep Passions Emerge
As with any year, 2016 started with high hopes for peace and progress. After all, Saturn is transiting Sagittarius skies, and this is the zodiac sign of optimism, exploration, spirituality and global awareness. However, within days of new-year celebrations, Mars entered Scorpio.

This has been a major influence as Mars will fight for what it thinks is right, and Scorpio rules over all that dwells in the shadows. This combination tends to stimulate and give power to underhanded and illicit activities.

On the positive side, Mars in Scorpio has driven consciousness very deep in its search for light and truth during these troubling, tumultuous and historic times. As the planet of action, Mars gets us up in the morning, giving an energetic thrust to all activities.

In humanity's current evolutionary phase, the Mars urge is being upgraded. There is a choice. Action can be senseless and degrading based on violent expressions of entitlement and rage OR action can build, uplift and participate in viable solutions.

Mars is the planet associated with those that protect law and order as well as those that attempt to tear it down. It is a complicated issue, but Mars in Scorpio has served to bring many social undercurrents into the light of day for discussion and eventual improvement.

On August 2, along with the Leo New Moon, Mars enters Sagittarius. Here the fight tends to be focused on the abstract areas of ideology and belief. This will create plenty of movement, especially after many months of stalled momentum associated with an uncertain and strange political campaign. Issues will heat up as current events fuel reaction in opposing sides of a torrid debate.

US Rising Sign is Sagittarius, opposing Gemini
This brings us to a very important part of the United States astrology chart. At its inception, the zodiac sign of Sagittarius was on the eastern horizon. This prominent point is known as the rising sign, the lens through which the country gazes.

The high side of Sagittarius generates a hopeful, optimistic, congenial, magnanimous, open minded and philosophical attitude. On the other hand, Sagittarius can easily slip into living with blinders on, personifying the entitled and arrogant “know it all.”

To intensify this dynamic on the national level, the zodiac sign of Gemini is on the western horizon of the United States chart. There is a strong impetus to express Gemini in the public arena, nationally and globally. Straddling this horizon is Mars and Uranus, both in Gemini.

The positive expression of this dynamic combination can be seen in the telecommunications industry that has blossomed over the past century, spanning the globe. Playing the role of communicator, mediator, translator, educator and networker, this country continually finds itself drawn to actively participate on the world stage.

Gemini is symbolized as the zodiac twins. Sometimes the twins are looking toward each other in agreement, other times the twins look away and see things differently. However, for a variety of reasons, it is not always possible to agree to disagree, and peacefully co-exist.

The planetary signature of Mars in Gemini is to examine a variety of viewpoints in the fight for truth and justice. The planetary signature of Uranus in Gemini can be summed up in the constitutional right of free speech. This dynamic combination produces an environment where there is a tendency to hammer out differences in a more combative, and forceful manner.

Honest communication takes careful listening, but it is the singular virtue that can raise consciousness, provide genuine connection, and dissolve conflict.

Gemini also speaks to the inherent versatility and potential conflict within the mental sphere itself. While the goal is impartial truth, at this current level of evolution, the mind is influenced by emotion, and conditioning plays an enormous role in forming beliefs, bias and prejudice.

This is the climate in which current affairs are reported, explained and dissected in the 24/7 news stream. Together, Mars and Uranus in Gemini are intensely active, controversial and argumentative. The political system is a clear representation of the polarizing tendency of the Gemini twins. It is as though the media is on steroids in the war of words.

US Chart Brings Idealism & Illusion
To further complicate matters, Neptune, the planet of idealism, is prominent in the United States chart. Ideals such as liberty, right to own property, free speech and democracy form the bedrock of this country's values. All too frequently, the manifestation of these ideals falls short due to misinterpretation, and the paradox of a complicated, tiered legal system.

There is fine line between earth plane reality and spiritual reality. Believing something to be true is not the same as truth. What we may discern as true in earthly matters, may not be true in the bigger picture of existence.

In the personal astrology chart, Neptune points to the mesmerizing spell of embodiment, the tendency to lose sight of important matters. “Under the influence” of Neptune, there is a tendency to give up, give in, and play the victim role. Nowhere is Neptune so pervasive, insidious and tempting as in the attempt to escape the harsh realities of life through blame, projection, denial, avoidance and addiction.

Applying these concepts to the national arena, Mercury's retrograde period from August 30 – September 22 exactly activates these most contentious and troubling of influences. No doubt, events in August have the potential to define and alter the direction of individuals, leaders and nations. Amid the division, dissent and chaos, a new direction emerges. Powerful planetary influences can serve to dispel illusion and jolt the country awake.

Especially be aware of events during the week of August 22. Combustive and unpredictable Mars joins Saturn on the 24, activating the on-going Saturn square Neptune on Friday, August 26. Saturn and Neptune entered a stressful alignment during the last week of November 2015. This planetary combination is testing the stability and sanity of individuals as well as society as a whole. No doubt, the debate as to the country's future will continue to be hammered out on both sides.

US Drunk on Power & Entitlement
Perhaps this is a dismal analogy, but it's as though the United States has been on an alcoholic binge for decades. Drunk on power, drunk on fossil fuels, deluded by glamour, entitlement, and infatuation with itself, this country is hitting the wall.

Really? Is this the best we can do? Is this the kind of rock bottom referred to in 12 Step recovery programs? The kind of rock bottom where it becomes absolutely obvious that far reaching changes must be undertaken for survival.

While this election season resembles a drunken brawl, a price will be paid. Early next year, the next president will be greeted by a multitude of serious and sobering planetary influences.

Neptune is the planet of glamour, and it seems fitting to complete this article with several quotes from the writings of Alice Bailey and the Tibetan. “Glamour veils and hides the truth behind the fogs and mist of feeling and emotional reaction; it is of unique and terrible potency, owing to the strength of human nature to identify itself with the astral nature. Glamour can only be dissipated by the inflow of clear, directed light; this is true of the life of the individual, or of humanity as a whole.”

The writings go on to summarize, “The battlefield of life is ever on the plane of illusion; as the soul seeks to dispel the ancient glamour, the aspirant is enabled to walk in the light.”

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Phone: 828-215-2101 Email: belinda@astrodelight.com website: www.astrodelight.com

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