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The Stars Are Like Letters…

“The stars are like letters that inscribe themselves at every moment in the sky. Everything in the world is full of signs. All events are coordinated. All things depend on each other. Everything breathes together.” – Plotinus

We see astrology as the art of exploring the archetypal correlations between the movements of the planets and human events. If you follow along long enough, you will learn to see archetypally, understand the human condition a little better, and perhaps gain enough freedom through insight to make more satisfying choices.

Follow the current transits with this planner. You can follow the moon cycles if the current transits don’t seem to apply to you (see Are You In the Hot Seat?). Following the moon is easy and will add richness to your experience of the sky. See the Guides at the end of this planner for more on tracking your own personal cycles.

Post questions in the comments and we’ll address them in the podcast.
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Where Are The Planets This Month

July 22 – August 22, 2021

All times are given for U.S. Eastern Standard Time (New York, NY).

☉ Sun: Leo

☽ Moon: Waxing gibbous in Capricorn → Full Moon in Aquarius → Last Quarter Moon in Taurus → New Moon in Leo –>First Quarter Moon in Scorpio → Full Moon in Aquarius. This moon cycle highlights the Cross of Sovereign Experience (also known as the Fixed signs).

☿ Mercury: 18Cancer44 – 18Virgo57

Venus: 00Virgo41 – 7Libra54, ☪Venus Evening Star 4th Gate: August 11, 2021 24°21′ Virgo 06:15 AM EDT

♂ Mars: 25Leo27 – 15Virgo11

♃ Jupiter: 00Pisces36 Rx – 26Aquarius51 Rx

♄ Saturn: 10Aquarius58 Rx – 8Aquarius42 Rx

⚷ Chiron: 12Aries54 Rx – 12Aries19 Rx

♅ Uranus: 14Taurus27 -14Taurus47 Rx

♆ Neptune: 23Pisces00 Rx – 22Pisces23 Rx

♇ Pluto: 25Capricorn26 Rx – 24Capricorn45 Rx

Night Sky Views

Stars of the Sun in Leo Sky from Stellarium This is the view without atmosphere, if you could see the stars and the sun at the same time 🙂

Stars of the Sun in Leo Sky from
Saturn opposite the Sun alignment

August 2, 2021 Sun opposite Saturn Rx 10°11′ Leo-Aquarius 2:14 AM EDT. Source:

Jupiter opposite the Sun alignment

August 19, 2021 Sun opposite Jupiter Rx 27°13′ Leo-Aquarius 8:28 PM EDT. Source:

Constellation Aquarius, location of Jupiter & Delta-Aquariids

The Southern δ-Aquariid meteor shower is visible from July 12 – August 23 and peaks around July 30 near the constellation Aquarius. Source:

This is a fun time to get to know the constellation Aquarius, which is very large but not always easy to make out. Jupiter is a super bright object, larger than most stars, in this region of the sky right now, which will help you to find it. The most distinctive feature of Aquarius is the “water droplets” of the Water Bearer at the bottom of the tall figure sometimes depicted as an angel.

Are You In the Hot Seat?

These transits will supercede any of the transits in this planner.

Do you have personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars), angles (Asc, MC, IC, Dsc), Nodes, 

  • or Pluto at 24-27° Capricorn, Cancer, Aries, or Libra? You’re in a Pluto transit. 
  • or Neptune at 20-23° Pisces, Virgo, Gemini or Sagittarius: You’re in a Neptune transit.
  • or Uranus at 11-15° Taurus, Scorpio, Leo or Aquarius: You’re in a Uranus transit.
  • or Saturn at 7-13° degrees Aquarius, Leo, Taurus, or Scorpio: You’re in a Saturn transit.
  • or Jupiter in later Aquarius or early Pisces: You’re in a Jupiter transit.

For more on the planets and how to find your natal planets, see the Transit Guides.

Outer Planetary Alignments

The Circle of Elders – last month, I called the unique outer planet alignment spaced roughly equidistant from each other in the same general quadrant of the sky a “Fan” and compared it to booths at a convention. Now I’m calling it the Circle of Elders – a much better archetypal image! Mars and Venus each took turns opposing Pluto in June, then Saturn in June/July, and now they’ll oppose Jupiter next, starting with Venus on July 22 (in orb ~ July 18-26), and then Mars on July 29 (in orb ~ July 22-August 5). Venus moves on to oppose Neptune on August 9, two days before the 4th Evening Star Gate, but Mars doesn’t make the same alignment until early September during its Underworld phase.

Saturn square Uranus

Saturn square Uranus 10-14 degrees Aquarius-Taurus. Last in exact square on June 14, 2021, this long-lasting square has held mostly within 5 degrees since January 2020. Richard Tarnas writes of Saturn-Uranus times that they are marked by “the exacerbation of tensions between authority and rebellion, order and freedom, structure and change…crises and the sudden collapse of structures, crashes and accidents, grim awakenings and sudden breakdowns, whether political, economic, or psychological.” (Tarnas, p. 222) Although major world events usually involve Pluto in the alignment, as was so in 2020, we can see the ongoing tensions between conflicting notions of freedom and authority, responsibility and rebellion in 2021: to mask or not to mask, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, to remote learn or in-person learn, political tensions, and on and on. By the way, during the January 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol, Saturn squared Uranus (within 4.5 degrees), joined by Jupiter (conjunct within 2 degrees), and Pluto (conjunct within 8 degrees). The Saturn-Uranus square lost the powerful amplifiers of Jupiter and Pluto by the end of January tapering off into May 2021. It will continue to pass in and out of 5-6 degrees of orb through 2022, although December 24, 2021 will see the last exact square of this cycle. Anyone with personal planets or Saturn at 7-13 degrees Aquarius, Leo, Taurus, or Scorpio is undergoing a Saturn transit complicated by this Uranian square. Anyone with personal planets or Uranus at 11-15 degrees Aquarius, Leo, Taurus, or Scorpio is undergoing a Uranus transit, likewise complicated by this Saturnian square. See Transit Guides for more.

Tarnas, R. (2006). Cosmos and psyche [E-book]. New York: Viking Penguin.

“Uranus square Saturn” by Katy
Saturn sextile Chiron

Saturn sextile Chiron ~8-12 degrees Aquarius-Aries. Although this sextile remains mostly within 2 degrees during 2021, it does widen to a 4 degree orb by the end of the month of the Sun in Leo. Still, it begins the month within 2 degrees of exact sextile, which creates a close harmony between the Master Bearer of the Sacred Wound and the Lord of Structure and Karma. They support each other, one mitigating the consequences of the other, particularly as the Saturn square Uranus alignment is triggered by transit. Of particular note this Sun in Leo month is the Yod they form with Venus at the end of July/beginning of August. By the time Mars, trailing behind Venus, lines up at the point of the yod, they have separated enough that Mars takes the quincunxes to each 5 days apart. Still, they overlap enough to continue to work together.

Neptune sextile Pluto

Neptune sextile Pluto – This aspect marks the Postmodern or Modern Era depending on your reference, from the end of World War II until 2037 (using a 5 degree orb). During this time, the world’s spiritual, psychological, and human developmental belief systems opened up and embraced a great variety of forms. Previously hidden esoteric knowledge can now be found easily online. Psychological language and profiling have become part of the common vernacular. Its very long lasting nature makes it hard to see, but we will get to experience life without this gentle sparkling influence within 15 or 16 years.

The Solar Oppositions

There are several solar oppositions this month. Planets in solar opposition are closest to the Earth during this time, and therefore brighter and nearer to us in other ways. This is considered an annual “full moon” phase for the planet.

These come only once a year, and are potent windows for inner work, ceremony or prayer, or in some cases, community celebration! Don’t miss these opportunities. Read more on August 2 and August 19.

The Meteor Showers

There are two meteor showers this month: The Southern δ-Aquariid from July 12 – August 23 and peaking around July 30 in the region of the constellation known as Aquarius or the Water Bearer. It’s a fun time to learn to recognize this very large but sometimes harder to discern constellation with its distinctive “water sprinkles.” The Perseid meteor shower from July 17 to August 24, peaks around August 12 in the North circumpolar sky near the constellation Cassiopeia which looks like a crooked M or W.

Do You Hear the Call of Venus?

Was March (2021) a trying time for you? Did you face your deep fears and insecurities, your own personal darkness, an insoluble problem, a loss, a physical challenge? Did you get relief only when you let go of something important to you, maybe a core part of your identity or an old belief or wound? Did you pivot to something new, or simply find yourself emerging from the gloom as the months led into May? By June, did you feel yourself opening out, waiting for something, maybe waiting for things to come together, hoping to figure out what you want, what way to follow to bring a lasting solution to your problems? Are you hunting for love, is someone on your radar like a pure flame? Or were you berating yourself for dallying so long in figuring out what to do? Are you trying to decide not just what you want, but what you can achieve, what the moment is calling for, what opportunities there are for you? If any of these is true, then you are following the call of Venus this year, seeking a higher creative state of being and embodiment!

Read more about this month’s episode of the Mars-Venus Saga. Watch the video for insight on this phase of the Venus Cycle at the end of July and the opportunities it offers to teach you about focusing less on taking action in order to achieve your goals and more on aligning with your love as your magnetic power: moving from the love of power to the power of love!

If you aren’t activated by this Mars-Venus cycle, maybe you’re preoccupied elsewhere, perhaps in personal transits (see Are You In the Hot Seat? above)

The Mars-Venus Saga

The 2020-2021 Venus Cycle Timeline
Aftermath of the Venus-Mars Union at Point of Neptune-Pluto Yod

Aftermath of the Venus-Mars Union – Venus met with Mars in the middle of July right after Venus’ third Evening Star gate – the retrieval of the third center of power, the center of “gut knowing,” of Will, and of personal power. The union of Venus and Mars can be seen as an alignment with the heart’s desire, internally or externally. Mars’ external role is muted – the red planet is powerfully outshone by Venus in the night sky. Additionally, his motivations may be problematic or simply scheduled to exit the stage when Mars disappears into the glare of the sun in the end of August for the next three months. As the pair sits a few final days at the point of the Yod created by Pluto sextile Neptune (within orb ~ July 15-22), you can inquire deeply within yourself about your psychological and spiritual motivations. This is the time when you may be able to remove yourself from the creative synthesis or the love affair of Venus and Mars (get off the ride, so-to-speak, if you have the choice, that is).

Venus in Virgo

Venus in Virgo – Archetypally, the Goddess grows serious when she moves into Virgo, turning from applause and celebration to the more focused detail work of bringing in the harvest or implementing the visions held up for inspiration in Leo. Virgo is the High Priestess holding a wheat sheaf, Spider Woman tending the web of life. It is the archetype of sacred mediation (priests, priestesses, ceremony), of the healing arts, of weaving and the detailed textile arts, and indeed any detailed system of applied knowledge including computers and programming, behind-the-scenes orchestration, service, and Sacred Work (that which you would do if no one was watching and no one was paying you, very different from Leo!).

An elderly woman in Borneo weaves a detailed palm mat on the floor beneath her.

During this passage of Venus through Virgo, attracting what you love calls for a more serious and focused approach to detail, service, quiet work behind the scenes, and ceremony which takes as real the connection between heaven and earth and between all members within the web of life.

Beautiful detail of woven basketwork.
Venus opposite Jupiter

Venus opens the month in Leo by opposing Jupiter (in orb ~ July 18-26) just hours before the Sun moves into Leo. Mars will do the same next week. The expansive optimism of Jupiter is a fitting start to the season of Leo. Both share a love of grandeur, splendor, and vision, as well as similar kinds of shadowy over-inflation and excess. This week, while Jupiter shines a spotlight on the Goddess we look to understand: Is she working for the greater good? Is she dreaming big in search of truth and justice? Is she operating from a solid place of self-esteem? Venus in Virgo could feel dazzled by the detailed intricacy of her vision, captivated by its grandiosity, or simply inspired by her place in the great work to come. Perhaps this is replaced by a sudden sense of deflation as the opposition passes out of orb in late July.

Mars opposite Jupiter pulls away and enters Virgo

Mars pulls away and enters Virgo – In the last week in July, Mars remains in Leo and begins to pull away. It is very dim as it moves toward the far side of the solar system from us. Mars opposes Jupiter (in orb ~ July 22-August 5) exactly on the same day it moves into Virgo on July 29, 2021. So although both Venus and Mars take on a more serious, focused, and humble attitude than they had in Leo, they are both touched by Jupiter’s expansive vision and optimism in the early phase of their passage through Virgo. The Jupiter opposition can also reveal underlying insecurities or lack of substance by inflating and then bursting the bubble. Perhaps these make it difficult to hold onto the relationship, if you are involved in that version of the Mars-Venus dance. Or you may feel a growing sense of uncertainty about how to fulfill your vision. You may need to put active plans on hold for a while, or the relationship may simply fade away. Mars, agency, the Sacred Masculine, is fading from view and disappears completely off the world stage in late August where it will undergo transformation in the presence of Great Mystery.

As Mars leaves the Jupiter opposition by the end of the first week in August, it drops more fully into the essence of Virgo, shifting gears from its six-week passage through the creative celebratory glow of Leo to a quieter, more focused hashing out the details of the vision. Mars is very faint and difficult to see right now, which is in keeping with Virgo’s modesty and love of working behind the scenes. Virgo works for the sake of the work, losing itself in the work.

Achieving your goals, exercising agency, being effective – requires more focus, patience, detail-orientation, and analytical attention than it does at other times during the two and a half year Mars cycle. Mars remains in Virgo until September 15, 2021. 

Venus & Mars square Nodes, Yod from Saturn-Chiron

Levers and Pulleys – Venus squares the Nodes at the end of July-early August, and almost simultaneously enters the point of a Yod from the Saturn-Chiron sextile. The Nodal squares represent both a difficulty and a leverage. Kaypacha Lescher calls it the “skipped step.” has a good if pop-culturally oriented article on planets square the nodes: On the one hand, planets squaring the nodes pose a direct conflict with global social trends or personal growth. On the other hand, when activated, they drive both personal evolution and global currents meaningfully forward, much like the proverbial crowbar lifts a boulder to start it rolling. Another way to look at it is to remember that both Mars and Venus were on the North Node earlier this year. Now they’ve moved into square with the nodes, no longer leading the cultural charge but moving at cross-purposes to it. Those of you activated by this Mars-Venus saga will find yourselves increasingly moving in counterpoint to the folks around you who aren’t also following the call of Mars and Venus. But by the time you line up with the South Node (Venus in October around its 6th Evening Star Gate, Mars in December), you may experience something like vindication or find yourself with a gift to give to the culture. Traditionally South Node alignments are seen as gifts from the past. You could be giving these or receiving them as a retrieval of lost vitality or vision which boosts you toward your personal evolution. Back to the present where Venus and then Mars square the nodes, the nearly simultaneous (synchronistic) quincunxes they make to Saturn and Chiron provide Venus and Mars an opportunity to let go (quincunxes are separation aspects) of Saturn-Chiron content, or Mars-Venus content. In other words, to leverage the Mars-Venus Saga toward personal and social progress, we may let go of judgments, limitations, structure, authority, wounds, insoluble problems; adjust our creative vision or modus operendi; or perhaps switch from an external to an internal expression of Venus and Mars or vice versa. When Mars makes its similar alignments in the third week in August, it misses the Yod from Saturn and Chiron, instead taking the quincunxes separately, but makes the quincunx to Chiron on the same day it conjuncts Mercury.

The Martian square to the Nodes, like all Martian squares, is likely to include frustration, delays, and explosive anger in response to these. There is a way to leverage Mars toward personal and social progress, right now accentuated by the quincunxes to Saturn and Chiron. See the opportunities for letting go of or switching modes in previous paragraph.

Mars and the Moon

Not Rapunzel’s Witch – By the time Mars has pulled significantly away from Venus (more than 10 degrees from July 31 onward), it will encounter the waxing Moon in the evening sky once more on August 9 (very hard to see in the Northern hemisphere, just a day past new). Because Mars will already be 15 degrees away from Venus at the time, it’s hard to blame the Moon for their parting. This is not Rapunzel’s witch casting the Prince down from her tower, but something more like the Wise Woman clucking her tongue and offering counsel as the Prince takes his leave. A day and a half later on August 11, the Moon moves on to initiate Venus to her 4th Evening Star activation, acting as the magical helper to the Goddess. Incidentally, Mars will spend the next week and a half associating with Mercury (see below).

Venus & Mars opposite Neptune

Neptune’s Kiss – The last opposition alignment to the Circle of Elders before Mars’ descent into the Underworld comes for Venus on August 9 when it opposes Neptune. Mars doesn’t make its opposition to Neptune until early September while already in the Underworld. For Venus, since the opposition to Neptune shortly precedes the 4th Evening Star Gate, it could just as well inspire creative imagination or induce an ecstatic experience of unity as it could wake Her up to Her illusions, delusions, or escapism, as part of the trigger for her heart-center reclamation at the 4th gate.

Mars conjunct Mercury

Mars with Mercury (within 10 degrees August 10-29, exact conjunct August 18. Archetypal possibilities include social media influences, friend group influences, gossip, perhaps digesting information or knowledge of some sort, talking to people, sharing information or even a period of mental productivity! When Mars disappears into the sun’s glare on August 23 for the next three months, it will still be near Mercury.

☪Venus Evening Star 4th Gate August 11, 2021

☪Venus Evening Star 4th Gate 24°21′ Virgo August 11, 2021 6:15 AM EDT – In the Myth of Inanna, the Queen of Heaven reclaims her fourth center of power here at the fourth gate where Venus makes its fourth conjunction with the waxing crescent moon in the evening sky since it emerged from the glare of the sun in May. See the bright Evening Star and crescent moon on the evening of August 10 and 11 in the western sky – the best time as always to see these luminaries is before full dark when only they and the very brightest stars will be visible in the twilight glow. As it gets darker and darker, stars clutter the view.

The 4th center of power is traditionally associated with the heart. In the ongoing love story, She reclaims a love lost. Perhaps, as He departs, she finds someone new or reclaims her own self-love. One could imagine in a more deeply committed Mars relationship, ways to hold His more internal transformation in a committed context. What a beautiful gift that would be!

If you are in a more internal Venus process, you may find yourself coming back to what you love, like a homecoming, in this case, to your sacred calling (Virgo). You may not have the standard means to take action toward your goals with Mars so faint and preparing to enter the Underworld, but you can still reconnect with something you genuinely love. It will require close attention to detail, a quieter and less personal attitude, and an appreciation for the web of life. Virgo is on the Cross of Service to Spirit, after all!

Anyone turning 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 72 (a multiple of 8) this year is going through their Venus Return. If your birthday is sometime between mid-August to mid-September, this is likely your personal Venus Gate! Tune in and receive a direct transmission from this Venus Evening Star on August 11 and throughout the rest of the month. The Goddess, your personal capacity to attract what you love, is incarnating now at a deeper octave within you – open your arms wide to embrace her!


Mercury’s Phases

Mercury, the Messenger of the Gods, the core archetype of the mental and communicative functions, goes through many distinctive phases in its rather erratic dance with the sun (it has the most eccentric orbit of all the planets), from which it never strays very far. In the course of a year, it typically aligns with the sun six or seven times, alternating between direct and retrograde motion as it moves around on the far side of the sun and then swings back around to pass between us and the sun. It’s the only planet which spends so much time lost in the sun’s glare. Because of this, the Messenger of the Gods developed a reputation for immunity to the powerful, transformational, but often dangerous realm of the gods known to us moderns simply as occultation by the sun. It is a medial archetype, going between realms, transferring ideas, connecting persons and concepts and commercial transactions, while moving from phase to phase in a dynamic succession from Hermetic mage to wiley Trickster to creative thinker to plodding rationalist.

Mercury’s Phases:

  1. Hermetic Mercury: Mercury Rx exact conjunct the Sun (start of Mercury cycle) – June 10, 2021
  2. Messenger of the Gods: Mercury Rx in morning sky >10 degrees west of Sun – June 18-21, 2021
  3. The Stillpoint: Mercury Sx in the morning sky (suspended in time out of time) – June 21-23, 2021
  4. Morning Sky Mercury: Mercury Dx in morning sky (Apollo, logical, understands thought) – June 23–July 23, 2021
  5. Psychopomp Mercury: Mercury Dx conjunct the Sun (makes meaning, transformational insight) <10 degrees from Sun, direct – July 23–August 11, 2021
  6. Evening Sky Mercury: Mercury Dx in evening sky (Hermes, creative, develops thought) >10 degrees east of Sun – August 11-September 27, 2021
  7. Trickster Mercury: Mercury Rx in evening sky (breaks the rules) – September 27–October 4, 2021
  8. The Archivist: Mercury Rx conjunct the Sun <10 degrees east of Sun – October 4-9, 2021
  9. *Exact conjunct the Sun begins a new cycle – October 9, 2021

New information about Mercury is emerging in synchronistic timing with the close alignment between the June 2021 solar eclipse in Gemini and the start of the Master Mercury cycle (retrograde conjunct Sun and North Node). Tracking the full Mercury Cycle here.

Mercury’s Outer Planet Transits

Mercury receives the majority of the outer planet alignments this month, actually following the same path traveled by Venus and Mars as they aligned to the Circle of Elders starting back in June: from opposing Pluto, to opposing Saturn, trining Chiron and squaring Uranus, to lining up at the point of the Yod from Neptune and Pluto, to opposing Jupiter! Archetypal possibilities include: the mind catches up with all of the experiences of Venus and Mars this summer, we finally tell the full story to someone, or we finally create a coherent narrative about it which helps us to organize a thread of meaning from it all. Most of this journey happens while Mercury is in the underworld, moving direct on the far side of the sun, so we might expect that storyline to focus on meaning-making and interpretive clarity. The exception is Mars’ square to the nodes and its quincunxes to Saturn and Chiron, which happen after Mercury has moved into the evening sky. The quincunx to Chiron happens on the same day as Mercury’s conjunction with Mars. Very interesting indeed! Tune in for a report from the ground later in the month.

Full Moons in Aquarius

Two Full Moons in Aquarius

During this year’s Leo season we have a unique occurrence of two back to back full moons in the same sign. The sign of Aquarius, the water bearer, is fully illuminated by the sun both on Friday, July 23rd at 1°26’ and on Sunday, August 22nd at 29°37’. 

“2020 Full Moon in Aquarius” photo by Larkin Goff

Full Moons in Aquarius by Larkin Goff

Aquarius is an air sign and is the sign of idealism, independence, innovation, and humanitarianism. When the moon holds this energy it is representative of the progressive visionary that resides within, the unique dreamer who can see the bigger picture and feel into the future. This vibration also holds the energy of one who is quirky, eccentric and different from the rest. 

The Moon represents your feelings, emotions, instincts and intuition. It influences the part of you that YOU see (as opposed to what others see) as well as your unconscious – the feelings & thoughts that are outside of your awareness. 

The Full Moon is the pinnacle, apex, and climax of the moon cycle, when the moon is at its brightest. Energies can be big, emotions and intuitive insights can be heightened. 

The unconscious is illuminated by the sun’s rays, allowing you to feel and unearth the things which may be holding you back, or not aligned with your deepest truth or purpose. You have the opportunity to shed, release, or transform what is no longer working.

Typically moon cycles are considered to begin at the New Moon, but this unique aspect creates a circuit unto itself. This could be a good time to explore the parts of yourself that have been rejected or ridiculed (by yourself or by others) for being different, eccentric, or outside the box of what our current society considers ‘normal’ or ‘good.’

Pick one, or make a list of those quirks and eccentricities, the things that make you different, the things that might make you cringe. Decide to cherish them, appreciate them, notice how they support you. Shift your perspective to see how you might embrace them instead of reject them, and maybe even celebrate them.

Embody, share, and integrate your insights in a way that feels authentic and safe for you. Some ideas – write in a journal, share with a friend, dance, sing, paint, or draw.

Don’t forget to celebrate your awakenings, and take time to bask in the glow of this Aquarian moonscape.

The first Aquarius Full Moon on July 23 is called the Buck Moon by the Farmer’s Almanac. Bede called this the Weed Month – gardeners will relate. A biography of Charlemagne (circa 817–833 AD) called this the Harvest Month. Source:

The second Aquarius Full Moon on August 22 is called the “Sturgeon Moon” by the Farmer’s Almanac, it is also the third of four full moons to fall between the June Solstice and September Equinox (normally there are three in a seasonal quarter). Some almanacs call the third of four full moons in a quarter a “Blue Moon.” Source: Astrologers would certainly agree in this case to calling the second full moon in a sign a Blue Moon!

Astrology Planner

July 2021


🌔 Waxing Gibbous Moon (Day 14) 3°16’ – 17°50’ Capricorn

⦿ Venus opposite Jupiter Rx 00°36′ Virgo-Pisces 08:45 AM EDT – Venus opens the month in Leo by arriving at its exact opposition to Jupiter (in orb ~ July 18-26) just hours before the Sun moves into Leo. Mars will do the same next week. The expansive optimism of Jupiter is a fitting start to the season of Leo. Both share a love of grandeur, splendor, and vision, as well as similar kinds of shadowy over-inflation and excess. This week, while Jupiter shines a spotlight on the Goddess we look to understand: Is she working for the greater good? Is she dreaming big in search of truth and justice? Is she operating from a solid place of self-esteem? Venus in Virgo could feel dazzled by the detailed intricacy of her vision, captivated by its grandiosity, overwhelmed by its sheer volume and scope, or simply inspired by her place in the great work to come. Perhaps this is replaced by a sudden sense of deflation as the opposition passes out of orb in late July.

⦿ Mars quincunx Pluto Rx 25°26′ Leo-Capricorn 10:08 AM EDT (Point of Yod)

⦿ Sun 0°00’ Leo 10:26 AM EDT

The month of Leo contains the cross-quarter or halfway point between the June Solstice and September Equinox, when the sun reaches 15° Leo, which occurs this year on August 7 at 2:54 AM EDT. The Celtic first festival of harvest, Lughnasa, was usually celebrated near the cross-quarter on August 1, dedicated to the god Lugh, known for master craftsmanship, as well as his mythic status as a hero and king. Lugh was “associated with oaths, truth and the law, and therefore with rightful kingship.” (Source: “Lugh.” Wikipedia. Retrieved July 4, 2021) He was father to or incarnated as the great Celtic warrior, Cú Chulainn. The Christian festival of Lammas, known as the “blessing of the loaves,” was also held on August 1, when bread baked with the first fruits of harvest was brought to the church for blessing. Source: “Lammas.” Wikipedia. Retrieved July 4, 2021.

The Leo Archetype is one of the Cross of Sovereign Experience, also known as the Fixed signs which oppose and square each other: Taurus the Embodied Spirit in love with the created world and nature, Leo the Star in love with leading through inspiration, Scorpio the Jedi in love with mastering power and life force, and Aquarius the Visionary in love with liberation through brilliant emancipatory thought.

Leo, which used to be associated with royalty and the divine right of kings, the pinnacle of aspiration in ancient times (like Lugh and Cú Chulainn), is now associated with celebrity–the current aspirational goal of the masses! So many people want to be famous, and follow the lives of celebrities closely. Our celebrities tend to be entertainers despite the fact that a hundred years ago, actors ranked very low in the social pyramid, a testimony to Leo’s unconcern for the content of (or reason for) its celebrity.

Shadow – Like all of the Fixed signs, Leo can be extremely stubborn, self-centered, and unconcerned with anyone but themselves. Egotism, narcissism, and elitism reflect the core wound of the Leo shadow: a hollowed-out lack of Self that must be protected at all costs by stealing the spotlight, elbowing out the competition, demanding to be acknowledged as special, and obsessed with restoring what is rightfully theirs (e.g., reclaiming the crown).

Original Intent – The full and radiant heart worries not about competition or theft or sharing the spotlight–it shines and in so doing creates space for others to show up as who they really are! This is the gift of a deeply present and healthy archetypal Leo. They’re great to have around! They know how to have fun, and they know how to light up a room and make life seem brighter for everyone else too. They are heroes and leaders who don’t worry about implementation or details, but carry the vision which inspires the great work (to be done by others, lol!).


🌕 Full Moon (Day 15) 17°50’ Capricorn – 02°15’ Aquarius – the Full Moon rises very near to Pluto’s (invisible) position.

⦿ Mercury enters Underworld 21°08’ Cancer – Sun 1°08’ Leo 3:01 PM EDT. This is the Psychopomp phase of Mercury when it is within 10 degrees of the Sun, moving direct. It deals with meaning-making and transformational insights. It will exact conjunct the Sun on August 1 and depart the Underworld for the evening sky on August 11.

Full Moon 1°26’ Aquarius 10:37 PM EDT.

This full moon is called the Buck Moon by the Farmer’s Almanac. Bede called this the Weed Month – gardeners will relate. A biography of Charlemagne (circa 817–833 AD) called this the Harvest Month. Source: It is also one of two full moons in Aquarius! Make way for the radical eccentric revolutionary this month. Read more.


🌕 Full Moon Phase (Day 16) 02°15’ – 16°26’ Aquarius – Look for Saturn just above the Moon as it rises through the night.

⦿ Mercury trine Neptune 22°58′ Cancer-Pisces 12:35 PM EDT


🌖 Waning Gibbous (Day 17) 16°26’ Aquarius – 00°17’ Pisces – Look for Jupiter near the Moon tonight.

⦿ Mercury opposite Pluto 25°22′ Cancer-Capricorn 4:15 PM EDT


🌖 Waning Gibbous (Day 18) 00°17’ – 13°45 Pisces


🌖 Waning Gibbous (Day 19) 13°45’ – 26°49’ Pisces -The Moon sails across the sky near (invisible) Neptune tonight.

⦿ Mercury enters Leo 9:12 PM EDT


🌖 Waning Gibbous Moon (Day 20) 26°49’ Pisces – 09°30’ Aries

⦿ Jupiter retrogrades back into Aquarius 8:42 AM EDT


🌖 Waning Gibbous Moon (Day 21) 09°30’ – 21°51’ Aries Find Chiron’s invisible position near the Moon.

⦿ Mars opposite Jupiter Rx 29°52′ Leo-Aquarius 11:50 AM EDT

⦿ Venus square Nodes 08°56′ Virgo-Gemini/Sagittarius 7:39 AM EDT

⦿ Mars enters Virgo 4:32 PM EDT


🌗 Last Quarter Moon (Day 22) 21°51’ Aries – 03°56’ Taurus 

⦿ Venus quincunx Saturn Rx 10°22′ Virgo-Aquarius (point of Yod) 12:27 PM EDT

The Southern δ-Aquariid meteor shower is visible from July 12 – August 23 and peaks around July 30. The best visibility will be after 10 PM EDT in the region of the constellation Aquarius which rises throughout the night. This is a fun time to get to know this constellation, which is very large but not always easy to make out. Jupiter is a super bright object, larger than most stars, in this region of the sky right now, which will help you to find it. The most distinctive feature of Aquarius is the “water droplets” of the Water Bearer at the bottom of the tall figure that is sometimes depicted as an angel.


🌗 Last Quarter Moon (Day 23) 03°56’ – 15°50’ Taurus – High overhead at dawn, the last quarter moon is a little west of (invisible) Uranus.

Last Quarter Moon 8°33’ Taurus 9:16 AM EDT

August 2021


🌘 Waning Crescent (Balsamic) Moon (Day 24) 15°50’ – 27°39’ Taurus

⦿ Venus quincunx Chiron Rx 12°48′ Virgo-Aries (point of Yod) 1:17 PM EDT

⦿ Sun conjunct Mercury 9°32′ Leo 10:08 AM EDT. Focal point of the Psychopomp Mercury phase. What kinds of transformational insights are you experiencing during these few days?

⦿ Mercury opposite Saturn Rx 5:50 PM EDT 10°12′ Leo-Aquarius – begins transit of Saturn square Uranus trine Chiron


🌘 Waning Crescent (Balsamic) Moon (Day 25) 27°39’ Taurus – 09°27’ Gemini

⦿ Sun opposite Saturn Rx 10°11′ Leo-Aquarius 2:14 AM EDT

Saturn rises at sunset at its solar opposition, and will be present in the night sky for most of the night over the coming months. This is considered an annual “full moon” phase for the planet. Planets in solar opposition are closest to the Earth during this time, and therefore brighter and nearer to us in other ways. These come only once a year, and are potent windows for inner work, ceremony or prayer, or in some cases, community celebration! This may be a powerful time to contemplate the long-lasting Saturn square Uranus, and sextile Chiron aspect, as not only will Saturn be at its closest point to Earth in its own “full moon” phase, but the Sun, Great Mystery itself will be lighting up that whole circuit. The Sun will square Uranus and trine Chiron this week as well. If you have been particularly activated by this aspect earlier in the year, this would be a good time to do ceremony or shamanic work. Read more about Saturn in the Transit Guides.

Find Saturn, faintly yellowish and dimmer than Jupiter (lying 20 degrees farther east along the ecliptic), in the center of the constellation Capricornus (aka the Stealth Bomber).

From Stellarium

At the moment of opposition, Saturn’s rings will be at about an 18° angle to Earth line of sight, making it a good time to see them with a large telescope. For a few hours around the exact moment of opposition, there may be a distinctive brightening of Saturn’s rings, known as the Seeliger Effect, caused by sunlight reflecting off the ice crystals in the rings.

Saturn will lie at a distance of 8.94 AU, and its disk will measure 18.6 arcsec in diameter, shining at magnitude 0.2. Its celestial coordinates at the moment it passes opposition will be: 20h50m10s RA, 18°31’S declination. Saturn will next oppose the Sun on August 14, 2022. Source:

⦿ Mercury trine Chiron Rx 12°47′ Leo-Aries 11:41 PM EDT


🌘 Waning Crescent (Balsamic) Moon (Day 26) 09°27’ – 21°21’ Gemini

⦿ Mercury square Uranus 14°41′ Leo-Taurus 9:57 PM EDT


🌘 Waning Crescent (Balsamic) Moon (Day 27) 21°21’ Gemini – 03°23’ Cancer

⦿ Sun trine Chiron Rx 12°45′ Leo-Aries 6:41 PM EDT


🌘 Waning Crescent (Balsamic) Moon (Day 28) 03°23’ – 15°38’ Cancer


🌘  Waning Crescent (Balsamic) Moon (Day 29) 15°38’ – 28°08’ Cancer

⦿ Sun square Uranus 14°43′ Leo-Taurus 7:57 PM EDT


🌑 New Moon (Day 30)28°08’ Cancer – 10°55’ Leo 

⦿ Mercury quincunx Neptune Rx 22°43′ Leo-Pisces (point of Yod) 10:24 PM EDT


🌑 New Moon (Day 1)  10°55’ – 23°58’ Leo

🌚 New Moon 16°14′ Leo 9:51 AM EDT

This is a good time to plant seeds or start projects, especially projects dedicated to a creative vision, ratifying your self-love, dedicated to the true Self.


🌑 New Moon (Day 2) 23°58’ Leo – 7°16’ Virgo

⦿ Mercury quincunx Pluto Rx 25°02′ Leo-Capricorn (point of Yod) 3:02 AM EDT 

⦿ Venus opposite Neptune Rx 22°41′ Virgo-Pisces 8:20 PM EDT 

⦿ Moon conjunct Mars 07°06′ Virgo 11:42 PM EDT


🌒 Waxing Crescent Moon (Day 3) 7°16’ – 20°48’ Virgo

⦿ Mercury opposite Jupiter Rx 28°23′ Leo-Aquarius 9:20 PM EDT 

⭐ Venus conjunct Moon (4th Evening Star Gate) – although the exact alignment is tomorrow morning, you have a good view of the star and crescent in the western evening sky tonight. During this Venus Gate, the Moon and Venus’ conjunction is very close within 3°53′ declination.


🌒 Waxing Crescent Moon (Day 4) 20°48’ Virgo – 04°30’ Libra

⦿ Mercury enters Evening Star Phase 28°50’ Leo – Sun 18°50’ Leo 03:06 AM EDT. This is the creative phase of Mercury, sometimes associated with Hermes (not to be confused with the magical Hermetic phase of Mercury retrograde conjunct the sun), during which Mercury develops thought.

⦿ Mars square Nodes 07°52′ Virgo-Gemini/Sagittarius 4:59 AM EDT – The Martian square to the Nodes, like all Martian squares, is likely to include frustration, delays, and explosive anger in response to these. Try the Saturn and Chiron quincunxes as a way to leverage Mars toward personal and social progress. Read more in “Venus and Mars Square Nodes, Yod from Saturn-Chiron.”

☪Venus Evening Star 4th Gate 24°21′ Virgo 6:15 AM EDT

⭐ Look for the Evening Star and crescent moon in the twilight glow around 8 PM EDT. Their conjunction earlier this morning was very close within 3°53′ declination and the Moon will still be very close above and to the east of Venus.

⦿ Moon conjunct Venus 24°21′ Virgo 6:15 AM EDT

⦿ Mercury enters Virgo 05:57 PM EDT – and as it does so, aligns with the royal star Regulus, known as the “heart of the Lion” in the constellation Leo.

⦿ Venus trine Pluto 24°58′ Virgo-Capricorn 6:45 PM EDT – a beautiful time for deepening wisdom and insight, claiming power, uniting the deep psyche with the heart.


🌒 Waxing Crescent Moon (Day 5) 04°30’ – 18°21’ Libra

The Perseid meteor shower will be active from July 17 to August 24, and peaking around August 11-13, when, happily for meteor watchers, the sky will be dark because the moon will be in its crescent phase. See the shower in the North circumpolar region of the sky near the constellation Cassiopeia, which is shaped like a lopsided W or M. Meteors will appear to radiate from a single point in the sky – this is where we intersect the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle and its long tail of debris. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see an earthgrazer – a looooong, slow, colorful meteor traveling horizontally across the evening sky. Watch tips from include: The Perseids tend to be bright – in a dark sky you could see as many as 60/hour or more! Give yourself an hour or more to watch. Look in mid- to late-evening in the Northern Hemisphere, after midnight in the Southern. Bring a comfy lawn chair and thermos of your favorite beverage. Don’t limit yourself to the peak days – you’ll still be able to see Perseids for up to several weeks before and afterwards. Source:


🌒 Waxing Crescent Moon (Day 6) 18°21’ Libra – 02°19’ Scorpio

⦿ Mars quincunx Saturn 09°20′ Virgo-Aquarius 12:27 PM EDT


🌒 Waxing Crescent Moon (Day 7) 02°19’ – 16°21’ Scorpio


🌓 First Quarter Moon (Day 8) 16°21’ Scorpio – 00°28’ Sagittarius

 First Quarter Moon 23°01’ Scorpio  11:20 AM EDT

⦿ Mercury square Nodes 07°35′ Virgo-Gemini/Sagittarius 10:45 PM EDT 

⦿ Sun quincunx Neptune 22°34′ Leo-Pisces 12:14 AM EDT(at point of Yod) – This yod from Pluto-Neptune points at the sun, asking “What are the deep spiritual and psychological foundations of your being? What do you live for? What makes you shine? What can you not live without?”


🌔 Waxing Gibbous Moon (Day 9) 00°28’ – 14°38’ Sagittarius

⦿ Venus enters Libra 12:27 AM EDT. The goddess moves with grace in the archetypal robes of Libra, embodying the aesthetics of the culture, promoting fairness and civility, elegance and beauty, and partnership. She is at her most exalted when in truly conscious equal partnership, and when facilitating community in which all places on the wheel are welcome in a spirit of deep inclusion. She has a hand in law and governance, and all collective civic projects.

⦿ Mercury quincunx Saturn Rx 09°06′ Virgo-Aquarius 7:35 PM EDT


🌔 Waxing Gibbous Moon (Day 10) 14°38’ – 28°50’ Sagittarius

⦿ Sun quincunx Pluto 24°51′ Leo-Capricorn (at point of Yod) 9:31 AM EDT – This yod from Pluto-Neptune points at the sun, asking “What are the deep spiritual and psychological foundations of your being? What do you live for? What makes you shine? What can you not live without?”


🌔 Waxing Gibbous Moon (Day 11) 28°50’ Sagittarius – 13°02’ Capricorn

⦿ Mars quincunx Chiron Rx 12°27′ Virgo-Aries 10:09 AM EDT

⦿ Mercury quincunx Chiron Rx 12°26′ Virgo-Aries 6:19 PM EDT

⦿ Mercury conjunct Mars 12°48′ Virgo 11:28 PM EDT 


🌔 Waxing Gibbous Moon (Day 12) 13°02’ – 27°10’ Capricorn – The Moon marks Pluto’s position in the sky tonight.

⦿ Uranus stations retrograde 14°47′ Taurus 9:40 PM EDT

⦿ Sun opposite Jupiter Rx 27°13′ Leo-Aquarius 8:28 PM EDT. 

Jupiter rises at sunset at its solar opposition, shining like a veritable beacon! The largest planet in the solar system, known to the ancients as the King of the Gods, is closer to us than at any other time of year, in its own annual full moon phase. Catch it with the nearly full moon on Saturday night, August 21, 2021! At an apparent magnitude of -2.9, only Venus and the Moon shine brighter in the night sky.

Ways to Celebrate: This is as good a time for a party or community celebration as any! If you would like to welcome a little more largesse of spirit, optimism, generosity, or vision into your life, try sleeping out under the stars tonight or dancing around a bonfire while welcoming Jupiter into your heart! Say a prayer or make a promise to Jupiter. Jupiter loves big dreams but especially those which give more than they take, which elevate humanity, and which expand our view of the universe. If you have Jupiter prominent in your own natal chart, this would be a good time to do ceremony or shamanic work around this aspect, as Jupiter has a shadow as well, which includes themes of overwhelm, excess, extravagence which breaks the bank or bowls over relationships, and just being too big.

From Stellarium

Find Jupiter at 21h58m10s RA, 13°38’S declination, near the eastern point of the constellation Capricornus (aka the Stealth Bomber). Jupiter will next oppose the Sun on September 26, 2022. Source:


🌔 Waxing Gibbous Moon (Day 13) 27°10’ Capricorn – 11°12’ AquariusThe Moon rises with Saturn tonight.

⦿ Mercury trine Uranus Rx 14°47′ Virgo-Taurus 4:06 AM EDT


🌕 Full Moon Phase (Day 14) 11°12’ – 25°02’ Aquarius – The Moon rises with Jupiter tonight, nearly full.


🌕 Full Moon (Day 15) 25°02’ Aquarius – 08°37’ Pisces

Full Moon 29°37’ Aquarius 8:02 AM EDT – A Blue Moon!

This is the second full moon in Aquarius, amplifying and accentuating the avante garde revolutionary spirit of the times with Saturn’s longterm square with Uranus, among other things. Called the “Sturgeon Moon” by the Farmer’s Almanac, it is also the third of four full moons to fall between the June Solstice and September Equinox (normally there are three in a seasonal quarter). Some almanacs call the third of four full moons in a quarter a “Blue Moon.” Source: Astrologers would certainly agree in this case to calling the second full moon in a sign a Blue Moon! Read more.

⦿ Mars trine Uranus Rx 14°47′ Virgo-Taurus 2:38 AM EDT

⦿ Sun 0°00’ Virgo 5:35 PM EDT

Working with the Transits

How to Find Your Transits this Month

  1. Look at the transiting planets this month and note the locations by degree (number). 
  2. Look at your natal planets, nodes, and angles, and note their locations by degree (see “Finding Your Natal Planets” below). Find any transiting planets that match within 1 degree of any of your natal planets. Next, make note of any which match within 5 degrees. You may download the printable worksheet here.
  3. Use the “Aspects Chart” below to determine the aspects. The 0-1 degree alignments are the most powerful, while the 2-5 degree alignments move into the background (sometimes adding emphasis or coloring other transits)
  4. Advanced: Next, you can rank your transits by importance. This is a complex art that takes years to master, but we have created a guide you can use to get started, below called “Ranking Transits by Importance.” 
  5. A personalized transit reading by an experienced astrologer would give you information you can’t find here, but we encourage you to dive in and track the astrological transits for yourself. You are the best mediator of your life, and there is a richness and subtlety that comes with following the astrological seasons directly for yourself! Keep a journal (use the print version of this planner or your own journal), and enjoy the ride!

Transit Guides

Finding Your Natal Planets

Find your natal horoscope or use a free service online like to cast your chart. You will need your birth date, accurate birth time (preferably from a birth certificate), and birth place. Then write down the degree (number) and sign for each of these points. Download the printable worksheet.

☉ Sun:

☽ Moon:

☊ North Node:

☋ South Node:

Asc Ascendant:

MC Midheaven:

Dsc Descendant:

IC Imum Coeli:

☿ Mercury:

♀ Venus:

♂ Mars:

♃ Jupiter:

♄ Saturn:

⚷ Chiron:

♅ Uranus:

♆ Neptune:

♇ Pluto:

Planetary Archetypes

The archetypes are multivalent and multi-dimensional, manifesting sometimes in concurrent layers like dream symbols. Sometimes they play out in very literalistic ways, other times in sophisticated developmental psychological arcs. Learning to see archetypally will enrich your understanding of human culture and experience, even if you never pursue astrology as a technical art.

“…we can define an archetype as a universal principle or force that affects—impels, structures, permeates—the human psyche and the world of human experience on many levels. One can think of them in mythic terms as gods and goddesses… as primordial principles… cultural tendencies… principles of the human psyche…” – Richard Tarnas

☉ Sun: Life force, Life Purpose, vitality, Self, local representative of Great Mystery, solar logos, and site of Underworld catalytic transformation.

☽ Moon: Soul, family lineage, mother, parenting, nurturance, care taking, food, a place of deep inner comfort (this is where you go to recharge), thus typically a place of well-developed familiarity associated with the past, karma, your attachments.

☿ Mercury: Mind, intellect, communication, gossip, writing, speaking, pop culture, messenger, boundary-crosser, transportation, friendship; the deeper esoteric Hermetic, alchemical, and gnostic dimensions occur less often by natal configuration along the lines of Mercury’s phases).

♀ Venus: Love, magnetism, beauty, arts, archetypal feminine, the Goddess, your capacity to attract to yourself based on your love and your being.

♂ Mars: Agency, action, competition, fighting spirit, desire, archetypal masculine, the God, your capacity to identify what you want and your power to achieve it.

♃ Jupiter: Universal ideals, generosity, faith, belief, religion, politics, higher education, expansion, grandiosity of spirit, facilitates spiritual growth. By transit, expands, amplifies, “biggie-sizes,” glorifies, elevates toward humanitarian ideals and cultural celebration, brings justice, truth, beauty of expansive vision. Strategy: Dream big, adopt great generosity, stretch forth your hand, seek win-win solutions in the real world.

♄ Saturn: Structure, hierarchy, control, time, maturation, physical laws of the universe, responsibility, restriction, judgment, cultural Super Ego, father, CEO, the rules, conservatism, stability. By transit, Saturn guides maturation (rights of passage), manifests in 3D, pressures a restructuring toward a greater functionality and alignment with Life Purpose, blocks and denies that which is not in alignment, and finally, crystallizes. Of course, on the way to all this ideal purpose, it often frustrates, depresses, blocks, and fills us with an overwhelming sense of unfairness and impossibility! Ha ha. Strategy: Focus, work on a solution to your problems which actually, believe it or not, exist right now (Saturn is just the strict teacher whipping you to action)! Consult experts, use logic, trial-and-error. Finally, commit to a course of action.

⚷ Chiron: Location of the Sacred Wound, key vulnerability which drives your authenticity, refines your soul spinning straw into gold. May never be “healed,” but creates a refined spirit, imperfection as a deeper kind of beauty. At its best, may be resolved at a higher octave in a state of mastery. By transit, Chiron wounds, makes ill, limits, grinds down the ego, but also educates, confers mastery. Strategy: surrender, be willing to be vulnerable, find what gifts you may in your illness or limitation, you will find your solutions after you surrender.

♅ Uranus: Where you find intellectual and spiritual freedom, liberation, rebellion, innovation, brilliance, breaking of status quo structures and norms, alienation, estrangement, isolation from emotional warmth. By transit, Uranus strikes with sudden and shocking clarity, tears down the known, destroys, liberates, frees, overturns, enlightens, changes the game, surprises, breaks through. Strategy: embrace change!

♆ Neptune: Where you connect with eternity, universal love, ecstasy, with the timeless space of unity and the sacred, where you lose yourself for better or for worse, where your perspective blurs, where you seek dissolution, where you stumble into addiction, where you create illusions of exquisite beauty (as in art) or damaging delusions. By transit, Neptune inspires both creatively and spiritually, calls from across the timeless ocean, and if ignored, lays you flat so you can listen. Strategy: go with the flow, go on a Vision Quest, don’t expect your magical journey to outlast the transit. Do not sign contracts, buy or sell land, or make any major 3D decisions until after it’s over.

♇ Pluto: Where your psyche seeks wholeness by retrieving and transforming lost soul force from the unconscious, a process often but not always characterized by deep, intense, cathartic, even frightening and agonizing surprises. Always empowering, always ultimately enlivening. By transit, surprises you, often sneaks up and strikes from your blind spot just when you thought you had it all under control, overwhelms you so completely as to activate your deepest emotions, brings you into a direct experience of lost parts of yourself in a way that you have no choice but to integrate them, experiences can be very dark or very light depending on the nature of the denied and repressed content, but in the end leaves you more alive and empowered. Strategy: make a list of all your deepest hopes and fears and then rest assured none of those will happen; grab the bull by the horns and go for the ride!

☊ North Node: Destiny, purpose, spiritual growth, personal evolution. House position is more important than sign unless there are angles or planets nearby (planets within 15 degrees are part of the North Node). Early in life this may be dormant or severely underdeveloped, in early and middle adulthood, a site of chaos and mistakes but lots of learning and growth, and emerging in later adulthood and elderhood a place of focus, purpose, and competency.

☋ South Node: Lineage, past mastery. Early in life this may be an area of special talent or interest but moved away from as life progresses. Always available as a resource to draw upon. House position is more important than sign unless there are angles or planets nearby (planets within 15 degrees are included in South Node alignment). Planets in particular indicate areas of past mastery or talent. Sign tends to indicate karma, if any.

Asc Ascendant: Where the Eastern horizon intersects the ecliptic at birth. Personal identity, tends to manifest as a gestalt of both personality and lifestyle, sense of self, default reaction to events (the Ascendant is the cusp of the first house which is deeply instinctive and prone to reflexive action). Planets within 10 degrees manifest in the life at a top tier level of importance. The first house is one of the four angular houses which are also very prominent.

MC Midheaven: Generally understood as the noon sun position, this is where the ecliptic and local meridin (north to south line across the sky) intersect, usually not straight overhead (zenith) unless at lower latitudes at certain times of year. Often associated with career, this can be thought of more generally as your area of prominence, what you’re known for in the community at large, whether that’s your local community or the global community. Often people are known as their jobs or roles: doctor, police chief, mayor, but they might also be known as and activist, as so-and-so’s mom, or “that crazy lady at the health food store.” Planets within 10 degrees manifest in the life at a top tier level of importance. Some house systems always make this the cusp of the tenth house. The tenth house is one of the four angular houses which are also very prominent.

Dsc Descendant: Where the Western horizon intersects the ecliptic at birth. Relationships, partnerships in personal life and business, both I-thou and peer-related groups, diplomacy and cooperation are keys here, following more than leading, listening more than acting, at its highest potential here is where you can come to respect all places on the wheel and make space for all human experience. At its lowest, here is where you lose your identity and get dominated by the Other. Planets within 10 degrees are very important, though not as public as those on the Ascendant and Midheaven. The Descendant is the cusp of the seventh house, one of the four angular houses and more prominent overall.

IC Imum Coeli: Generally understood as the midnight sun position, this is where the ecliptic and local meridian line intersect on the opposite side of the Earth from you at the time of birth. Often associated with home and family, this can be thought of more generally as a deep place of inner connection, grounding, and centering within the psyche. You feel “home” here. It is more private, interior, and less visible than the other angles, thus planets within 10 degrees are important psychologically but might be less obvious to those who don’t know you in your private life. Some house systems always make this the cusp of the fourth house which is one of the four angular houses and generally more prominent.

Tarnas, R. (2007). In Cosmos and psyche: Intimations of a new world view. (p. 84). Penguin USA.

Personal vs Outer Planets
  • The “personal planets” are the fast-movers: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. We also include the nodes and angles (Asc, MC, Dsc, IC).
  • The “outer planets” are the slow-movers: Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
  • Jupiter is a special case. Read “Ranking Transits by Importance” for more.
Zodiacal Archetypes (Signs)

The zodiacal archetypes, also known as astrological signs, provide a rich and nuanced understanding of human experience, growth, and potential. You can spend a whole life learning the depths and layered meanings and multitude expressions of the astrological archetypes without ever casting a chart or learning astrology. For now, here are a few guides for beginning to work with them.

Modalities – There are three groupings composed of four signs which oppose and square each other. Because of this cross-like alignment, it’s handy to call them: the Worldly Householder Cross, also known as the Cardinal signs; the Cross of Sovereign Experience, also known as the Fixed signs; the Cross of Service to Spirit, also known as the Mutable signs. 

  • Householder Cross: Aries the Warrior guardian of the world order, Cancer the Nurturer guardian of the domestic sphere, Libra the Partner guardian of the social order, and Capricorn the Manager guardian of the public sphere.
  • Cross of Sovereign Experience: Taurus the Embodied Spirit in love with matter, Leo the Star in love with being an inspiration, Scorpio the Jedi in love with wielding power and life force, Aquarius the Visionary in love with brilliant emancipatory thought.
  • Cross of Service to Spirit: Gemini the Witness to thought transmission, Virgo the Precision weaver of the sacred order of things, Sagittarius the Seeker of meaning and far horizons, Pisces the Inspired receptacle of creative vision or mystical union.
  • Note that these descriptions attempt to capture some of the core intent of the zodiacal archetypes, and don’t go into detail about their shadow or oppressed expressions, nor all the great richness and variety of their archetypal expressions.

Elements – The elemental nature of the signs may be more familiar: fire, earth, air, water. Remembering the elemental order will help you to remember the sequence of all the signs. Say it outloud to yourself, it’ll stick in your head! I learned this almost 40 years ago and still use it: fire, earth, air, water, fire, earth, air, water, fire, earth, air, water – this repeats three times from Aries to Pisces: The spring signs Fire (Aries), Earth (Taurus), Air (Gemini); the summer signs Water (Cancer), Fire (Leo), Earth (Virgo); the fall signs Air (Libra), Water (Scorpio), Fire (Sagittarius); the winter signs Earth (Capricorn), Air (Aquarius), Water (Pisces).

Aspects or Angular Alignments (conjunctions, trines, etc.)

☌ Conjunction 0° – direct trigger, unification alignment, blending of energies. Most important, together with oppositions.

☍ Opposition 180° – awareness trigger, highlighting alignment, full moon type energies, planets opposite the sun will be closest to the Earth at the opposition. Most important aspect after conjunctions.

□ Square 90° – conflict trigger, if – but – struggle – tension, structural alignment, meditate on the four major phases of the moon: New, First Quarter, Full, Last Quarter. Less important than conjunctions and oppositions, but still dynamic and activating.

△ Trine 120° – harmonious blending of archetypes, fortuitous potential requiring a bit more choice to engage (whereas the conjunctions, oppositions, and squares tend to force themselves into activation).

⚻ Quincunx 150° – difficult, lack of understanding, angle of separation or adjustment; used primarily with long-lasting outer planet transits.

⚹ Sextile 60° – help and assistance; used primarily with long-lasting outer planet transits.

For more, see “Aspects Chart” below.

Orbs (Windows of Activation)

Transits operate during an active window, called an “orb,” which peaks around the exact alignment, but which tapers off before and after the alignment in a wave of intensity.

  • For faster planets transiting the natal chart, the period during the exact alignment and 1 degree to either side represents the peak. With outer planets, there can be 3-5 exact alignments over a several year period, and the start and end of this period would be the fully active window for the transit. The 2-5 degree window leading up to and following this period acts more like a background archetypal signature, sort of like a mood, which can emphasize or color other transits during the same period.
  • Conjunctions and oppositions between outer planets and other outer planets (universal, not natal transits) follow a wider orb. For Pluto, Uranus, and Neptune, 15 degrees generally works. For Saturn and Jupiter, 10 degrees tends to be more appropriate. Squares and trines use a smaller 5-6 degree orb unless other outer planet alignments are occurring in which case the orb can expand up to 15 degrees.
  • Solar underworld cycles (solar conjunctions) operate during an approximately 10 degree orb.
Aspects Chart – to determine the aspect when degrees match but signs don’t

Use this chart to determine the aspect between planets with a close degree match. For close degree matches that span the end or beginning of a sign, you’ll need the graphical chart wheel to help figure it out (for example, 2 degrees Pisces squares 29 degrees Taurus, but you might need to see it visually to get it). Just remember that there are 30 degrees in a sign and that degrees go from 0 to 29°59’ and then flip over to 0 degrees of the next sign.

AriesAriesLibraCancer or CapricornLeo or SagittariusVirgo or ScorpioGemini or Aquarius
TaurusTaurusScorpioLeo or AquariusVirgo or CapricornLibra or SagittariusCancer or Pisces
GeminiGeminiSagittariusVirgo or PiscesLibra or AquariusScorpio or CapricornLeo or Aries
CancerCancerCapricornLibra or AriesScorpio or PiscesSagittarius or AquariusVirgo or Taurus
LeoLeoAquariusScorpio or TaurusSagittarius or AriesCapricorn or PiscesLibra or Gemini
VirgoVirgoPiscesSagittarius or GeminiCapricorn or TaurusAquarius or Aries Scorpio or Cancer
LibraLibraAriesCapricorn or CancerAquarius or GeminiPisces or TaurusSagittarius or Leo
ScorpioScorpioTaurusAquarius or LeoPisces or CancerAries or GeminiVirgo or Capricorn
SagittariusSagittariusGeminiPisces or VirgoAries or LeoTaurus or CancerLibra or Aquarius
CapricornCapricornCancerAries or LibraTaurus or VirgoGemini or LeoPisces or Scorpio
AquariusAquariusLeoTaurus or ScorpioGemini or LibraCancer or VirgoAries or Sagittarius
PiscesPiscesVirgoGemini or SagittariusCancer or ScorpioLeo or LibraTaurus or Capricorn
Ranking Transits by Importance

Transits of Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto to personal planets, nodes, or angles are the most important of the transits and most professional astrology transit readings will only focus on these. Conjunction and opposition rank at the top, followed by square, and then trine. Outer planet transits to outer natal planets can prove important when combined with outer planet transits to personal natal planets.

Transits of Jupiter are trickier to weigh. They do not have the impact that Saturn transits do on the natal chart, despite the fact that Jupiter is the largest object in the solar system except for the sun. In fact, Jupiter is bigger than all of the other planets, moons, and asteroids combined! Use a 15 degree orb for natal transits, unlike other transits which use a 0-5 degree max orb. Where Jupiter shows up vividly is when it aligns with outer planets or adds its weight to a longer-lasting outer planet alignment. A perfect example is the “perfect storm” of 2020 when Jupiter joined Saturn and Pluto and remained within orb near them for the year. Jupiter can usher in life-changing periods, but tends to do so primarily in combination with other outer planet transits, as well as for those comfortable with Jupiter strategy: Dream big, adopt great generosity, stretch forth your hand, look for win-win solutions in the here-and-now.

Transits of Mercury, Venus, and Mars are also short-lived, lasting a few weeks (use a 5 degree orb). The exception is synodic phase returns, which are an advanced topic. Journal about events and moods during this window. As with the Sun and Moon, conjunctions are the most important, followed by oppositions, squares, and trines.

Transits of the Sun and Moon tend to be short-lived and often subtle, with some notable exceptions:

  • When a conjunction from the Sun activates an existing longer-term transit either that you personally are experiencing or that’s happening globally, its influence can act like a significant amplifier for a week or two (approx  5 degree orb but focused intensely around the exact alignment).
  • When the Moon does the same, the effect is more subtle but still noticeable. The orb of influence seems to mirror the Earth-based experiential perception of the moon’s phases which tends to separate them into roughly 8 phases of 3-4 days each. Similarly, the moon’s focus wave intensifies during a 2-3 day window around the alignment, with an emphasis on the applying (day leading up to the conjunction).
  • The solar return during which the Sun conjuncts your natal Sun happens every year on your birthday. Some people work with the chart of that moment – the Solar Return chart – as kind of a snapshot for the coming year.
  • World transits of the sun opposite to planets are kind of special. Like the Full Moon, they highlight and magnify the planet. We are closest to that planet during solar opposition, so this represents a unique moment during the year when that planet will appear at its brightest to us. (Not applicable to personal transits from the sun).
  • Transiting planets conjunct the transiting sun are also in a special phase, as they disappear in the glare of the sun during that time. Astronomers call this “occultation by the sun.” Invisible at any time of day or night, they can be thought of as entering the Underworld where they will pass out of the realm of consciousness and into the realm of visceral experience where intent and desire intersect with transformational forces. There are many mythic stories of death and rebirth which revolve around these Underworld phases. (Not applicable to personal transits from the sun).
  • Mercury and Venus have additional unique phases of their cycles during which they align with the sun, such as the Gates of Venus. These will be explored separately.


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