Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone.
A Gentler Truth
Venus opposes Pluto this week (Aug. 8, 10:18 pm PDT), placing us halfway through a Venus/Pluto cycle that began last winter with three conjunctions (Dec. 11, Dec. 25, 2021; March 3, 2022). That was a particularly rough series of aspects, as you might recall. Venus wants to get along, to be sociable, to be liked – and Pluto insists on the unvarnished truth above all, whether or not it hurts your feelings.
And so, those conjunctions forced confrontations between getting along and refusing to dissemble. We asked questions like, why are am I hanging out on social media when it makes me feel bad about myself? Why am I filling my calendar with social events I don’t care about and spending time with people who require me to pretend to be something I’m not?
At the conjunction, it seemed essential to choose between social contracts and honoring what we saw as the truth. But at the Venus-Pluto opposition, the perspective has shifted. Venus in Cancer reveals a picture of warmth, kindness, and gentleness that is every bit as true, and now feels equally valuable, as Pluto’s ferocious honesty.
This week, the Sun squares the Moon’s nodes at 18º02′ Leo and Taurus/Scorpio (Aug. 10, 2022, 9:27 am PDT). A planet square the nodal axis is said to be “at the bendings,” applying its focus toward either the North or South Node. The Sun is now at the South bending, meaning it’s pointing toward the South Node and focused on releasing patterns of fear, control, or bitterness. We feel the quiet, inward call to release unhelpful emotions, even if it may feel difficult to make outward changes.
This week is the midpoint of two eclipse seasons. Eclipses are changing points, page turners in the narrative that shifts us from one end of the nodal axis to the other. Now is the time to let go of what you don’t need, maybe even things that are actively hurting you; it’s a spiritual yard sale to prepare you for the eclipse shifts on Oct. 25 (2º Scorpio) and Nov. 8 (16º01′ Taurus).
Things We Do
In astrology, the Sun symbolizes (among other things) sanity. It symbolizes the sense of self and sovereignty that comes with an intact, healthy ego. It’s the self we take for granted, our default settings, our governing principles. A healthy Sun gives us a strong platform from which to launch out into the challenge of building and maintaining a life.
The Sun tells us that there are Things We Do and Things We Do Not Do, by virtue of being who we are. “As an introvert, I hate going to parties,” might be one of these rules, or, “I’m not someone who will take a vacation by myself.” But on occasion, a fleeting transit opens up the idea of Self for a very brief, spontaneous rumspringa. This week offers such an occasion, as the transiting Sun in Leo makes a square to Uranus (Aug. 11, 2022, 5:53 am PDT). Even if the unpredictability of life in the past couple of years has left you holding on to stability with both hands, allow this quick transit to throw you off course. It’s time to adjust your settings a little bit. Allow the unexpected thing become a Thing That You Do.
What are you hankering for? As Venus enters Leo (Aug. 11, 2022, 11:30 am PDT), it can probably be conveyed with a single word: passion. A love that curls your toes, music that stirs your heart and sets your toes tapping, a performance that elevates your spirit.
It’s been a turbulent couple of weeks, as Mars and Uranus came together with the North Node. We’ve earned some fun, and Venus’ transit through Leo is a most appropriate season for celebrations and recreation.
Dress in the colors of Leo, the colors of the Sun. Add a little sparkle. Whenever you leave the house, look spectacular. Enjoy fizzy drinks. Flirt. Play. Venus will be in Virgo soon enough (Sep. 4), and the tide will turn toward self-improvement. For now, appreciate everything that you already are.
This week’s Aquarius Full Moon (Aug. 11, 2022, 6:36 pm PDT, 19º21′ Aquarius) is on the Sabian symbol 20 Aquarius, A big white dove, a message bearer. This Full Moon reveals what was initiated at the July 28 Leo New Moon; at the Aquarius New Moon on Jan. 31; and at the beginning of the Lunar Phase Family that began on Feb. 11, 2021, at a New Moon with an astonishing six planets in Aquarius. And it’s worth noting that in that chart, Mars was at 18º25′ Taurus – where it is now, in its conjunction with Uranus and the North Node – and was square the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter. The disruption of recent weeks is descended from that New Moon, which is no surprise, really. Change rarely happens overnight.
The question at this Full Moon is, are you feeling more closely connected to a vibrant community of like-minded people? And do you have a clearer picture of what you want your personal future to look like? When the Moon is new, we sow seeds in the dark; and while we have intentions about what we hope to be planning, by the Full Moon the result isn’t exactly what we’d planned. On the plus side, sometimes it’s even better than we’d hoped.
Jasper’s Invisible Wall
My neighbor’s delightful cat, Jasper, spends most of his days outdoors. From our house, I can see him pace out a very specific route through the neighborhood. Sometimes, as my neighbor and I are embarking on a walk, he materializes to escort us. But about halfway down the block, he stops in his tracks as though he’s run into a glass wall. He stands there and meows plaintively as we disappear from sight, but he won’t breach that invisible wall.
Like Jasper, most of us tend to have a sense of our limits. We know how far we can wander before we’ve left our territory and things begin to feel unsafe.
When the confident Sun in Leo opposes Saturn (Aug. 14, 2022, 10:10 am PDT), we want to strut proudly around the neighborhood, flexing our muscles – but Saturn is the invisible barrier that holds us in check. We may experience Saturn’s boundaries in the person of a tough boss, a strict parent, or other authority figure. But often, what’s holding us back is simply our own internal glass wall. And usually, that boundary is intended to keep us safe.
The Power of Authenticity
As Mars in Taurus makes a trine to Pluto (Aug. 14, 2022, 2:28 pm), a resolute, steadfast sense of purpose is the best protection from Pluto’s fierce gaze. Bring your most grounded, practical, Mars in Taurus confidence to all you do this week, and Pluto’s power will support and possibly elevate you.
We often fall into the trap of framing Pluto in the worst possible terms, but he represents the influence and power that can be yours when you bring your most truthful, authentic self to the world. There isn’t a lot of room for false moves where Pluto is concerned – but Mars in Taurus, while it can be stubborn, is rarely false.
Writing and collages © 2019-2022 April Elliott Kent
For more of this week’s highlights, listen to my latest podcast episode!