Planet Waves Monthly – August 2008

Dear Friend and Reader:

AUGUST BRINGS a pair of eclipses; this happens twice a year, each year always a couple of weeks earlier than the prior one. Eclipses bring a break in continuity and they help us set patterns and cultivate the future in a direct, immediate and dependable way. For starters, we have a total eclipse of the Sun in Leo on Aug. 1, then a partial lunar eclipse in Aquarius on Aug. 16. The Leo total solar eclipse is pretty extraordinary, in part due to the fact that solar eclipses in this sign have been quite rare in recent decades. Also, a few hours after the Moon eclipses the Sun, it eclipses Mercury. So we have the image of the seed of a new idea in a new era of time, which is predicated on closing a chapter and forgetting an old idea. Often, we want to welcome the new without letting go of what is old, what no longer works, or no longer has a purpose. Keep your eyes open for developments on both sides of that equation. By the time of the Aquarius Full Moon and lunar eclipse on the 16th, this idea can develop into a full-on vision for what is possible — and mind you, that may mean embracing the reality of something that seemed unlikely or impossible just yesterday. For a more detailed version of this introduction, please see today’s Daily Astrology & Adventure. Eclipses are a great time to do astrological consulting. For more information, please see this link.

Eric Francis

Ant’s eye view of a poppy. Photo by Danielle Voirin.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
What we humans don’t quite get yet (as a group; some individuals get it) is that the way into the other is through the self. If this same quality seems to trap us, it’s only because we’re not going deep enough. All you have is yourself, that is, as your perceptual tool and experiential vehicle to journey through your life; through consciousness. You are being summoned to surrender to this truth. The paradox is that if you let go fully into yourself as the vessel through which you experience existence, you must acknowledge that at some point, sooner or later, this vessel will cease to be. And from one particularly potent angle, the experience of surrender to creativity, to love, or to erotic pleasure implies its opposite, which from our point of view in ego consciousness is “nonexistence.” What all these things have in common is surrender. Right below the surface of whatever you are doing is an invitation to yield to it fully. This means letting go of the blocks you hold to full self-awareness; and this, in turn, will put you in contact with the world and the people in it.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
This month’s total solar eclipse in your 4th solar house (dwelling places, security, emotional well-being, father) will call you closer to your true home. You may also be met with the fear of uprooting, of losing your comfort zone, or of having your delicate sense of security challenged in some way. It is difficult to imagine on this side of a threshold that life will somehow be better as a result of it. Indeed, it may seem impossible to do so. Yet change is the one thing that we can count on. The reason you don’t have to worry about any one aspect of your stability is because your entire being rests on a greater certainty, something so vast you may not even be aware of it. This is a surety that transcends the normal fluctuations of the world, the rise and fall of fortunes, and the waves of belief or disbelief in ourselves. Events this month will go a long way toward connecting you to the deeper reality within yourself. The changes themselves will connect you with your more authentic sense of confidence and presence in the world; indeed, from where you stand now, there is no other way to get there.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
You are finding the strength to focus, and it is finding you. Yet the odd quality of this is the lack of effort involved. You are going beyond your usual ideas of what constitutes success or good work. You are devoted to quality in much of what you do, yet there is the associated idea of glory that gets in your eyes like the Sun obscuring what would otherwise be a clear view of your objective. It is difficult for you to weed out your need to excel from your need to be the best; and since we can never really be the best in this world, it is a need that often has the quality of taking more than it gives in return. You now have the opportunity to get some relief from that particular quest, and immerse yourself in ideas for their own sake, and their expression for its own sake. You have an unusual opportunity to draw yourself into the vortex of an idea that you resonate with entirely, so that you may express it with your full being. It has nothing to do with your sense of recognition, and this in turn may allow you access to an idea you’ve carried around for a very long time, but did not express because you feared it was too different or too dangerous to be accepted.

Escalator in underground London. Photo by Danielle Voirin.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
The planets may be beckoning you to focus on money, and I agree with this theory of the Aug. 1 total solar eclipse in Leo. If astrology means anything, you are positioned to be one of the wealthiest people you know. Indeed, you may already be so. You may eschew material wealth, and you may shun being seen as materialistic, in exchange for what you know are far more important and overlooked values. Yet at the least, you need to think of yourself as resourceful, and as one who has resources that are there for the benefit of, and to be made available to, others. Our society suffers from an obsession with money, which leads to an unnoticed secondary problem: the overshadowing of other resources we have but fail to use. The most important one is feeling good about ourselves. We typically fail to see how this is the soul quality that makes anything else we may possess into something meaningful; the quality that, above all else, draws the positive flow of energy toward us. You are now at a crux point in your relationship to yourself. You have the magnificent option of being able to go through an inner door of authentic self-acceptance, which will in turn allow you to feel and see the gift you have, and indeed are, to the world.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
You have endured a long night which has tested your strength, your endurance and moreover, your faith in yourself. You have come through not only alive, but liberated of a sense of burden that you carried around for an unthinkably long time. I suggest you take not a moment but rather every moment you remember to thank yourself for having passed through this series of rather incredible trials. I’m sure that you sense your life has plenty of room for improvement, so you might not want to soak too deeply in gratitude. You may also find yourself in a new state of crisis at this very moment, but it’s more like an aftershock than an earthquake. Having completely rearranged the landscape of your life during the past three years, the ground is taking some time to settle. The improvements you are seeking will arrive; not by accident, not by luck, but rather as a result of your willingness to do what is so often considered the least desirable thing in the world: and that is change. One of the reasons for this reluctance, on a structural level, is that it can seem to threaten our relationships. But your relationships are also changing. Someone close to you is maturing, growing and evolving in ways that you would not believe at first, if you could see them clearly. Soon enough, you will, though remember: part of what is implied by growth is independence.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Having just passed through and recovered from your latest phase of wild uncertainty, and four sides to every story, you may not be particularly welcoming of another spell of dangling on the edge. Yet if nothing else, you seem poised to travel a path of radical independence for a while longer. Your agenda includes many ideas about yourself that you seem determined to let go of. You may have places that you need to let go of. You surely have people you are letting go of — and you can credit most of this to the miracle of Saturn in your birth sign. Unless of course you’re not experiencing it as a miracle; in which case you will need to depend on the determination of Mars. Yet both of these planets are saying you must be easier on yourself. In some respects they are saying you don’t have a choice. It is clear that from long years of being conditioned with the idea that “you are out of control,” you can go to some extreme measures to demonstrate that control. And you can, in turn, push people pretty hard to go along with that belief; and sooner or later they will yield to your will. But in the scheme of things, you might ask: does this really improve your life? Does it improve the world? Control is never a remedy for fear.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You tend to look to the world outside you for your sense of identity more than you would care to admit. Everyone has read in self-help and psychology books that the locus of identity is within; that love comes from within first; you’ve only read it in this column about 111 times. Yet it is the placement of Leo in your chart that gives me a clue, and now we are under the effects of a profound eclipse in this sign, highlighting the theme. There are a number of possibilities for how you may respond to this. The most obvious, and superficial, is a sense of alienation. The next level would be a kind of wrestling match about whether you are ready to accept yourself enough not only to cease caring about what other people think, but also to completely transcend the issue. By the power of your own unconditional self-acceptance, you would in a sense compel people to accept you as you are. Deeper still is the revelation of what we all have in common: that the whole notion of “difference” as it is projected onto social (so-called) reality is a farce, the job of which is to perpetuate alienation (mainly to sell things). You don’t need that, and neither do the rest of us.

 (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Those who succeed in this world always have a story to tell, and usually it’s not the story you expect. If you’ve ever read a biography, you know what I am talking about. Making your way to excellence is never just wine and roses. Many people we respect have struggled so much, and worked so hard for so long, that you might ask yourself if it was even worth it all. The journey is different for everyone. You in particular cannot follow anyone else’s way right now; but that is good news, because the way that is unique to you is opening wide. Though it is clearly not the whole story, there is something in your chart about understanding your vision of what success means, and doing so in very specific ways. There is something distinctly personal speaking through your chart right now, and the more personal you get, the closer you will come to breaking through to experiencing the feeling tone of success. Here is the “lesson” in a nutshell. Success is a feeling; it is the feeling of allowing yourself to be, without fighting the experience. It is the feeling of embracing your authority, and knowing that it consists mainly in making decisions rather than avoiding them.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
These are ambitious days for you. It seems, though, that you have been grappling with an unusual struggle — too narrow of a focus. I suggest you keep it up, even if you feel like you can’t quite embrace the usual far-reaching quality of your life. You are, at this stage, doing crucial work to establish your knowledge base and reputation. Please trust me when I say that this is a genuinely rare opportunity, and it is one that you need. It is a missing experience: working through the day-to-day details of building your sense of presence in the world, and commanding a measure of self-respect. Events of this month will give you a glimpse of what is possible. You may be wondering how you’re going to get from here to there. Don’t worry about that part: focus specifically on being here; focus on making sure that you are known for what you do, and that in those circles you focus on being known for doing it well. The overall message of the astrology is that if you focus on the task at hand, you will notice that a window to much greater potential opens up. If you take a clear look at that potential, it will keep its potency, and give you something to work toward.

Shades of green in a London park. By Danielle Voirin.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Your instincts and intuition need to be on high alert. You need to see every opportunity with a sense of caution, and every potential danger as a sense of opportunity. The two have one thing in common, which is the necessity for change. The kinds of transactions that you encounter now will have the feelings of points of no return. There are more of these in life than we care to admit. We don’t usually see them for what they are, we tend to drag in a lot of fear, and in general we don’t respect the passage of time. I suggest you put your focus on all of these things. I suggest you also take this opportunity to understand the nature of commitments and exchanges, each on an individual level. You may see that there are some people in your life who want to get out of commitments, or who do so quite successfully; you may decide there are things that you are finished with and want to move on from, and you will very likely have your opportunity. The questions to keep asking are, “Is this really me? Does this circumstance reflect who I am?” If the answer is no, you have your passport to revise the situation radically, or to move on.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
The world is opening for you. While you must be feeling this already, and are likely to be responding in significant ways, you may have no idea the extent or depth of what exists beyond the dimensional gateway that is swinging open to welcome you inside. Depending on your background, your ideas about life and how you feel about this inevitable process called growth, you may be more or less scared; more or less consumed with a sense of adventure. I suggest you welcome all that you’re experiencing: the light of it, the shadow and the occasional gray area. When most people think of a spiritual path or a journey to healing, what comes to mind is love and light. This is perhaps an improvement over the hellfire and damnation we are so accustomed to taking as spirituality, though it’s not the whole story. If we stay in relationship to our fear, we stay that much more firmly rooted on our soul’s calling. I am not saying that fear is the calling of the soul; rather, that fear needs a voice, and granted that, the voice of love can speak. The voice of encouragement can speak, and the guide toward some unusual, even oceanic potential can lead you to yourself, permitted by the light of your wide-open mind.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Pisces are capable of getting a lot of work done. Yet the theme of your life is the pattern of your work; and finding the necessary balance between effort, achievement and well-being. A truly brilliant solar eclipse in your 6th solar house comes with several messages. One is that your health is your greatest wealth. This is the time to value, embrace and protect that form of cosmic abundance. Another relates to your habits. You have seen the benefits of improving your daily rituals relating to work, health and making sure that your form of happiness is on your own agenda at all times. The prolonged visit of Uranus in your birth sign is pushing you to notice, and in turn, claim your existence in a greater way every day. I suggest you use the truly impressive eclipse of the Sun as a way to establish the patterns you want to set in your life, and these include what I will call patterns of nourishment. It is clear that you must do what you must do; that the time has come to devote yourself to what you dream of the most often, even if you don’t fully believe in it. If astrology means anything, you will get a sign that it believes in you.

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