It is another eclipse week! We have a solar eclipse in Leo, with the Sun and Moon at the apex of a yod with Pluto and Neptune. The Sun and retrograde Mercury will also form a conjunction in Leo and form a Leo stellium with the eclipse later in the week.
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I was spending time with a Leo friend last week who told me that she’s noticed that astrological conversations often highlight the Leo shadow – pathologizing their love of attention or making them out to be domineering in their vision. But, she was saying, it was important to actually point out their warmth, their generosity, their playfulness that is contagious and inspires others to play more.
That judgement that she’s speaking about constellates on an interior level, too. To offer a meditation on how this applies to this week, consider how central and important a person’s radiant energy, their essence, is. We all have this and are given certain talents and gifts we are drawn to manifest in this life. When we allow this energy that is not of us, but comes through us, to freely pour through us, we open ourselves to be conduits of the Universe’s creativity. Being bright or being in one’s essence doesn’t mean it’s necessarily come easy – this path tends to swirl up all of our resistance and fears around simply existing and taking up space, and being seen. Like a plant given life by reaching toward the Sun, we get the energy to pull nutrients up from the earth through our roots. It is natural that if we are being creative and reaching toward new possibility, bringing something new into being, that we are going to have something stickier to process, too. But there is something alchemical happening here – it is our creative vision that allows us to move forward and transmute our psychic soil into gardens… gardens that are all the richer for the soil they emerged from, anyway. Embodying our solar selves does inspire other people to transmute their own resistance to doing so, too.
The yod is an astrological alignment also called “the finger of god”, and as an energetic pattern it relates to putting focus on the apex planet and the other two planets at the base (here Neptune and Pluto) will come into balance. This can mean that focusing on warmth, generosity, play and creativity can set in motion deep spiritual insights and breakthroughs, and reframe disempowering narratives we’ve been subtly engaging with until this point. It would be possible to have a lot of contrast around this eclipse time like deep, fiery emotions (as eclipses are emotional and this one is in the fire sign of Leo!) along with vibrant inspiration and joyfulness – qualities of the Sun drawing us toward that which enhances our lives.
So if you find yourself mired in this complexity of creativity versus processing the depths, keep moving toward your inspiration and watch breakthroughs come by much easier, breakthroughs that are only catalyzed by the fuel that the inspiration holds.
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Here’s our week:
August 8, 2018
Sun in 16 Leo conjunct retrograding Mercury in 16 Leo: 7:05 PM PDT
The Sun and Mercury form the apex of a yod with Pluto in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces.
Sun-Mercury conjunction brings a lot of activity to the mind as well as loud and clear messages – synchronicities, piercing insight, as well as just piercing perception – light shining upon what was before unclear or unknown.
This conjunction happens in the playful, childlike sign of Leo. When it comes to teaching children about concepts, we use languages of play and we often will frame things in a light that they appear fun or game-like. This need for playfulness and the positive response to play always remains with the adult, though our dramas seem to become more complex and sober. Notice moments where your perception hinges on humor and lightheartedness versus graveness and intensity. These could be locations of breakthrough.
Pay attention to the ideas and insights that come from your Leo or Leo-influenced friends. They may be carrying the role of messenger right now, with Mercury retrograding in their sign and joining up with the Sun.
Leo and the Sun are such generous energies – endlessly beaming light and creative energy from their center. Think of all the life that is possible on this planet because of the Sun’s heat that it pours forward to us every single moment. Generosity and being able to recognize generosity can be a huge theme – whether you find more of it coming forth from yourself, or you notice generosity around you that you hadn’t totally realized before was generosity.
August 9, 2018
Venus in 3 Libra square retrograding Saturn in 3 Capricorn: 6:33 PM PDT
This may be a time that we check-in with whether or not our values are aligning with concrete decisions in our lives. The magic with Venus and Saturn together is to embed beauty, harmony, and all the things we value into the actual architecture of our lives: by reinforcing what we value and being able to say no to, or de-prioritize, things that do not resonate with us. Instead of compartmentalizing leisure and enjoyment and aesthetic “for later” or “for outside of work”, the work is to uphold and create beauty into the normal, into the standards, the mundane.
Together Venus and Saturn recognize the grittiness in love and works of love; that life is not easy or does not have to be easy for it to be beautiful and meaningful. Being attentive and loving toward the obstacles and challenges creates sturdy results: beautiful creations over time.
In this particular moment of Venus and Saturn’s cycle together, it may arise that some of our old standards or plans (which we have put much attention and time into) are going through a shift. We might question if we still value or prioritize the same things we did, or realize that our old methods of creating harmony in our life have now become hollowed practices. We may be challenged to re-assess how to align our values with our concrete life decisions/practices now that both conditions and values may have changed.
August 10, 2018
Retrograde Mercury in 14 Leo square Jupiter in 14 Scorpio: 11:31 PM PDT
(Image: Jonas Åkerlund)
In general this transit inflates our thoughts and our mind, which can have its challenges as well as its bigger-picture breakthroughs and moments of brilliance. With Leo and Scorpio together, our sense of drama can feel inflated, which in combo with a lot of this retrograde energy, can ask us to step back and undergo the internal fire of transformation before simply projecting our stuff onto others. It may highlight the discernment of what is yours to transform alone and yours to transform with another.
It’s quite possible with this transit to feel moments where you are more dramatically aware of your shadow – to internally witness parts of it rising up in a way that is more theatrical/vivid than is comfortable. It’s like past the point of subtlety, a knock at the door, and know the door is burst open. The intensity at which this occurs though allows it to become cognized instead of unconscious, and the tensions allow novel transformations to occur.
In general, our thoughts can be fiery at this time and swirling with all sorts of intensity – even if poise, regality, posture, etc. is maintained. Have compassion with yourself and others as more dramatic forms of processing come up, whether they are spoken or kept within.
While always in play, it’s useful to make a point of it here for this transit: the mind does not have to be believed. Witnessing the mind is different than being in the mind without the capacity for detachment. There are some thoughts that are deeply resonant with truth, and other seemingly logical thoughts which are rationalizations separate from truth and reality. The theater of mind (Mercury in Leo) can be deeply transformative at this time (Jupiter in Scorpio) in the same way that watching a profound film will surface emotions in the viewer. We have a kind of detachment at a movie theater where we get involved and interested in the story but we know it is a story.
Mercury retrograde relates to recursive, reflexive consciousness – the way that mulling over a memory in your mind actually deepens and vivifies the experience, yielding new facets of itself to you that only come from going back over it. When we watch ourselves process, and think about how we processed, we are deepening and transforming our consciousness.
August 11, 2018
New Moon Solar Eclipse in 18 Leo: 2:57 AM PDT
(Image: Alessandra Maria)
Now the Sun and Moon conjoin at the apex of a yod in the same place Mercury did earlier in the week, with Pluto in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces. This New Moon is also part of a Leo stellium, with the North Node, Mercury, and Athena.
This speaks to a creative emergence/birth of some kind, though we are just in the midst of discovering what it is.
On an emotional level, this can relate with a necessity, an actual emotional need – to generate and to create. Without creativity, there could be a feeling of emptiness or sadness for which there is little explanation except the lack of creative process. Beginning to tend to a creative process can be extraordinarily fruitful for this lunar cycle and beyond, as eclipses bring changes not just in the moment but ones that emerge/deepen after the eclipses occur.
Athena is a warrior-philosopher, a goddess of creative intelligence. If we have a dream, project, ambition, that exceeds our current conscious know-how, she is an ally. Athena in Leo can relate to the vigor we feel as we bring things into reality through our intelligence and our loyalty toward figuring it out and doing the work to manifest. If you are responding to reality as it is (as though you have no effect upon it), you are not engaging this consciousness. However, if you have a mission or an ideal that you would like to shape into being, you are inviting an interaction with creative forces of Nature themselves. When this comes to your own consciousness, if there is a creative change or addition you would like to make into your life, consider what kinds of intelligence you can collect on making that possible. (Prayer, visualization, asking for advice, research, etc…)
There is a natural tension that exists between our creative vision (what we want) versus the Universe’s vision and what trajectory the forces of the Universe are on. This does not need to keep anyone from self-actualization or manifesting their own dreams. What it does indicate, is the usefulness of self-reflective and prayerful practices by which an individual can align their hopes and dreams with their divine assignment, if you will. What does the Universe want from you? And, what deep healing occurs when these two desire natures (yours and the Universe) align, rather than working at cross-purposes?
Along a path of spiritual striving and self-actualization alike, our old confusions untangle and shape into clearer insights over time. By continuing to move toward the light – or reaching toward that which lights us up – we gain the energy and illumination to go through deeper processes. Joy is an integral nutrient for life – allow this New Moon to be a portal into amplifying joy and radiating it toward areas of life that need it.
August 12, 2018
Mars retrograde re-enters Capricorn: 9:23 PM PDT
Mars will stay in the later degrees of Capricorn (only getting to 28) until August 27 when Mars turns direct.
Mars in Aquarius has been bringing us visions and insights of how to move toward the future – how to advance and innovate. While Mars hovers in the last few degrees of Capricorn, our motivations may come to a place of re-doing the structures and foundations which have become outdated (and cannot hold the new visions we have channelled).
Our motivations may be undergoing structural shifts as well – consider how your past ways of working and taking on challenges has served you to this point. What have you accomplished, what did you forge within yourself? If some of these same tactics are now driving you too hard into the ground, what could be a more strategic way of moving forward? Though Mars is not moving forward yet, so the reflective, internal consciousness around how to proceed can mirror this dynamic. Do the involutionary work of reflection and you’ll be better nourished for when the forward movement begins again.
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Thank you for meditating on the planets with me! Let me know how you’re doing in the comments, and please share this article with your friends on social media!
Sabrina Monarch is a soul-centered Evolutionary Astrologer who publishes weekly astrological forecasts, works with clients and teaches. She has been collecting astrological experience for over a decade. She is a novelist and is currently pursuing her masters in Philosophy. She also enjoys kundalini yoga, meditation and ashtanga yoga.