© Terry Lamb
by Terry Lamb, M.A., C.A.
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New to astrology? Read on and ignore the technical bits. There's plenty here for you too! Why don’t I write horoscopes for each sign?
New Feature: Click on the charts to see ‘em big!
I’M LEARNING SOMETHING NEW: how to live on the road (at least sometimes). I am currently in Big Bear City, where I
am house-sitting, and with a couple of minor omissions, I realized as I arrived that nearly everything I really
need in life is with me at this time. It is a freeing experience, yet so many fears have surfaced
about letting go of the more conventional life of staying in one place and knowing where your
next meal is going to be prepared.
I’ve discovered “cloud computing”, where everything you keep on your computer’s hard drives is
stored at remote locations that you can access from (nearly) everywhere. How freeing is that?!
For now, I have my desktop computer AND my laptop with me, but these will soon be less
necessary as I shift into the cloud. This seems the perfect name for something that frees me to
more easily follow my calling, an aspect of the spiritual zip-lining I described as part of our
process in the spring.
The two distinct planetary patterns that led to very high highs and very dense lows over the
winter and spring have now merged into one highly activating reality. As this has occurred, two
areas of our lives have also come together, the one we want to be in and the one we fear/dislike
being in. We have gone from feeling pulled periodically back into the dense world to being in
constant contact with it so that we can use our new awareness to shift the density out of our lives.
This is where we are now.
The Current Theme: Splitting Apart from What We Don’t Need
The I Ching calls this process "Splitting Apart" (Hex. 23), but we call it decision-making. That's
the current focus. To split apart is to strip away the old to make way for the new. It has its
sadness because we say No to something when we decide against it. Yet, it is mostly an
experience of joy as we turn toward the future that we have been busy creating for at least two
years, without knowing its nature or configuration in our lives until now.
Not that there is anything “typical” about the planets and the way they interact, but in a typical
month, we might have 2-3 major planetary events to understand, absorb, and integrate into our
lives. In August (as in most months this year), we have so many major planetary events we hardly
have time to integrate them before the next one occurs. What this means is that we experience
one surprising turn of events after another, a cascade of unfolding possibilities so rapid we can
hardly keep track of them.
And it’s a good thing: When we have time to absorb them fully, we also have time for the ego to
step in and use the energies for its own purposes. It is eager to make its own sense of what’s
going on to fit it into its existing formulae for success. The ego in us wants to see whether this
energy is friendly or threatening (“black and white” consciousness), and it will act accordingly.
When these events come at us so rapidly, we feel overwhelmed for sure, but we also respond to
them more naturally and more in our best (most authentic) interests because our actions are
spontaneous, without strategy.
This is what we call “going with the flow”. With the energies that are available now (cardinal/
initiating), a lack of structure is (temporarily perhaps) to our benefit. Structures lock us into a
particular path or way of being; the fewer we have, the more we can move harmoniously with
what arises. The more structure we have, the more these energies are likely to rock our world.
Their impetus is toward putting us on our “most purposeful” path, freeing us of structures that
obstruct our way forward. The more we free ourselves through our own actions and decisions,
the less the universe has to do to free us. We may like our own methods better.
Many of us (all, I would say) have felt this calling to freeing up, lightening up, trimming down,
and streamlining our lives. I have talked to so many people who have got the “clearing out” bug.
This can be felt in so many ways, from getting rid of stored belongings to improving our health to
“losing” a job. It can feel catastrophic, but what feels this way is always a doorway into fresh
What’s in It for Me?
If you have planets in Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn (the cardinal signs), you are most
affected during these times. You are on “red alert” — ready to spring into action once you know
the right direction! The process we are in began to heat up in late April, but we can see roots that
were planted as far back as January 08, with a situation began to heat up starting last November.
If you have no planets in these signs (a small minority of us), you can’t help but feel and be
affected by the experiences and decisions of others, so this is a global process. The more planets
you have in these signs, the more others look to you to find the way forward. (The reverse is also
One of the planets we are working with is Uranus, and it asks us to be intuitive. However, to the
logical mind, that translates as “counterintuitive”. We need to do what is contrary what we would
normally do, just to shake things up and trigger a new perspective. This could entail a big change,
such as changing jobs, moving house, breaking up or entering into a new relationship, seeking a
new method to get healthy.
No matter what we need to transform in our lives, it all feels like a matter of survival. We have to
change or die. From the perspective of the inner plane, however, we have to die and then change.
We have to understand our ego and minimize its influence in our daily lives (allow it to “die”),
then we will know how to transform our lives and find it effortless to do so.
A Time of Great Changes Is the Time to Take Great Steps.
This is undisputably a time of great change, which means that the energies that are frequently
locked down and immovable are now fluid. They can take any form we can put them in, but we
can only reshape them to the extent that we think and feel outside the box, in a fresh way. If we
can free ourselves of our conventional ways of thinking — feel what’s real and true inside, we
can use this moment of great power to its maximum potential.
The human tendency is to cling to what we have learned to trust when things around us are
changing, rather than letting go and floating/flying/jumping into the newness. While this is
natural and understandable, it is not helpful. If we can see where we are holding on to “oldness”
out of habit or conditioning (social, parental, educational, etc.), we can free ourselves to see what
our true self wants and head in that direction.
Life will settle into its new form in the coming months, into a pattern that will remain in place
possibly for years to come. If we ask ourselves, “What do I want to live with/do/be for the next
few years? What is my heart’s path?”, we will have a greater view of what’s at stake and how big
the current moment is.
When the energies are loose and free (even volatile), as they are now, it is the perfect time to take
great steps — providing we are clear about what direction to move in. If we are not clear, we can
allow ourselves to be guided, responding with flexibility to what life presents. If we can at least
remember that everything that happens is an opportunity (despite how it looks at first), we are
creating the right perspective of openness that will lead to the rewards that we are freed to
This summarizes what we will experience in August, a continuation of our experiences since late
June. We are in the phase of the planetary cycles where culminations are occurring. No new
situations are likely to arise now — only developments and solutions to the ones we are already
aware of. For some of us, we are making commitments to a new path as manifestation occurs;
others of us are still watching developments occur in situations that are still coming into
manifestation. We may have both happening simultaneously.
The Two August Peaks: July 29–August 9 and August 20-21
The planets are particularly dramatic now, and we may see others (or ourselves) engage in grand
gestures and express powerful emotions. These energies will tend to peak each week Thursday-Saturday, generally speaking, when we will feel most motivated to take action because we feel
out of balance.
Outside of these emotional crescendos, there are two periods when the energies have
exceptionally high potency: July 29-August 9 and August 20-21. While the changes we seek may
not arrive exactly during these times, we will feel the energies more intensely then. It is a
fantastic time to just feel what is unfolding inside us — it is a wonder that is seldom repeated in a
We want to create the ideal conditions for our changes so that we get the most out of them. To do
this, we can:
- be as alert as possible to what’s happening inside us and respond wisely (clearing
fears and following clarity)
- open ourselves to change
- transform ourselves internally to prepare for the changes
- transform our external lives so the energies don’t get caught on any circumstances
that could keep us stuck.
- be willing to be guided through the process and trust the universe to unfold the
path at the right time and in the best direction. Our guidance may be an inner
voice, a set of images, messages that come through others which resonate inside.
- frame our experiences as opportunities no matter what happens
- be ready to say “no” to what feels out of harmony (or be clear about our
willingness to live with disharmony)
- journal our experiences. We will look back on this time as formative, and
journaling will help us both refine our decision-making process and keep track of
what occurs when life flies by at breakneck pace.
Time to Fill in Another Gap
If there’s any part of our new path that we are unsure about — or feel a need to completely
revamp, we get a chance to develop a revised vision starting on August 13 (when Uranus re-enters Pisces). This gives us breathing room on the road to our new possibilities as well. Is there
anything left incomplete in our growth process? Are there any changes we’ve made that just
aren’t working out as we had hoped? Are our energies completely balanced so that we are
prepared for whatever the future brings (are there weak areas that need healing)?
If we feel like we’ve lost some of the magic of what was happening in February-April, we have a
chance to recover it now. We have time to re-think what it was that contributed to that enchanted
feeling, and to re-create it. That magic need never leave our lives if we discover its source — our
inner truth, which is activated when we follow our heart’s path.
We can also take the energies that were so ethereal then but bring them down to earth from our
more enlightened perspective of May-present (when Uranus was in Aries). We have until March
11 to complete this process.
August Peak #2
There are no fewer than five major contacts on August 20-21, so these are dates when we will
learn much if we just observe what we experience and don’t get caught up in it. Some writers
may refer to these planetary events in a hair-raising fashion, but they are meant to be used to
bring greater awareness if they snag on some rough patches in our consciousness (and they don’t
have to). (See Chart B.)
Specifically, the Sun reaches the halfway, culmination point in its cycle with Neptune and Chiron
(currently conjoined in late Aquarius). In addition, Mercury begins its 3-week retrograde, Venus
and Mars finally mate, and Saturn squares Pluto for the third and final time.
How to Surrender in One Easy Lesson
Neptune teaches us how to surrender (as in “allow”) to life’s processes, something we humans
often do quite unwillingly. Yet when we do not allow the greater forces to flow through us, we
interrupt the universe’s process of leading us effortlessly to where we want to go. If we are
invested in needing to do work to accomplish anything of true value, we resist the energy flow
and miss opportunities to find life’s easiest way to our true path.
Often we block our path to surrender because we’re not sure that what we’re yielding to is the
right thing. We can be sure of that once we have learned to feel what is real in our heart. It is a
relief to surrender our fears and worries, and to surrender to the universal flow.
We get a chance to see more clearly what our “surrender issues” are when Neptune reaches the
halfway point in its yearly cycle on August 20, part of the second August peak mentioned above.
This ties in with events around mid-February, and mid-to-late May. We ask ourselves, “Did I put
my faith in the right things and people? Am I surrendering to the right things/in the right way?
How should I use this turning point?”
This process is amplified by Neptune’s current traveling companion Chiron, whose cycle reaches
its peak the same day. This adds an awareness of what we need to heal inside ourselves in order
to step into the future. This is one more step in healing our own great inner wound, as well as the
Great Wound of humanity — that we are separate beings, unconnected to each other.
These events will be more noticeable to people who have planets in Leo, Aquarius, Taurus, and
It’s All About Relationships.
In some ways, everything that is happening now is all about relationships. In this new age of
awareness, it is our relationships that comprise our wealth, not our bank accounts. We have
wealth if we can support and be supported by others when needed. It is a give-and-take. If we
understand what’s really important (love and reverence for each other); and if we can live by that
warm regard, we will always find an open door when needed, or be able to provide one.
This fall, we take another step on the path of realizing these most important things and applying
them in an area where we may have previously been blocked or unaware. This happens as Venus
makes its next retrograde, bringing to us six weeks of re-evaluating and -negotiating our bonds
with others. The most significant ones are those with whom we are closest — family, our partner,
our close friends. However, all relationships go through this process, including those at work, in
organizations, and by casual acquaintance.
We experience the first salvos of this experience on August 20 (there’s that date again), when
Venus and Mars make the first of three conjunctions (the other two: October 3 and May 23). This
tells us that there is a long-term process that operates as an overlay to the more limited process of
the retrograde itself, which occurs October 8 - November 18.
This period will have the most impact on people with planets in Scorpio, Taurus, Leo, or
Aquarius. We will ask ourselves, “What do I want from this relationship? Is it going where I
want to go?” If the answer to these questions is No, it’s time for a change. If the relationship
agreements can be re-negotiated to a more harmonious direction, the relationship will endure for
This will be a challenging time to the extent that we are “locked in” (attached) to a particular way
that our relationship is “supposed to be”. If we can be both flexible and authentic, we will get the
most out of it. Not all relationships will survive this testing period, but this frees the individuals
to love more authentically when the next gift of love from the Cosmos appears.
Clear Your Head.
We enter a time warp when the limitations of logic and mental activity will become apparent.
Mercury enters its latest retrograde on August 20 (one more time!), wholly in Virgo. This is
normally a strong placement for Mercury, but this Messenger of the Gods is only as strong as the
connections it makes. It makes no contacts to any planets during this time, save the Sun and
Moon, so in effect we will be less inclined to “think” things through than to “feel” things
through. This is good, since the feelings of our heart is where the truth lies.
Since Mercury brings to us whatever we create through our focus, we should ask, “How did I
contribute to this situation through my focus?” when a Mercurial obstruction appears in our lives.
The Mercury retrograde ends on September 12. It will affect people with planets in Virgo, Pisces,
Gemini, or Sagittarius the most.
Clear Your Fears Redux
On the 21st, Saturn squares Pluto for the last of three times to release a pressure valve in human
consciousness. External circumstances have brought fear/doubt to the surface for many people,
and this is transmitted in waves around the planet at times when these energies are strong (events
occur that can generate fear). The challenge to us is to give up our fears, because where we find
fear is where we are attached to something. It has a wonderful opportunity, since last November,
to clear our inner landscape of so much that limits our potential.
While we may feel an intensification of fear around this time (and people become frozen with
uncertainty and doubt), it gives us one more chance to free ourselves of limiting beliefs. What we
believe to be true is the compass of our life’s path. This is augmented by the 2nd of 3 Jupiter-Saturn oppositions on the 16th. Underneath a dilemma of risk-versus-security is frequently self-doubt and the fear of loss. Our experiences now tie in with events around Nov 15 (2009), Jan 13
and 31, April 6, and the end of May.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster Update
Before the planets associated with the oil spill gathered into their strongest connection in late
July, BP was able to take advantage of milder contacts and cap the flow of oil through the “top
kill” method. While it remains to be seen if this holds, and while there is so much damage to the
Gulf ecosystem, at least for now the situation seems to be improving. Let’s see if the leaders
understand and act on the lesson of this event, and if we the people maintain the will to make
sure this type of scenario never occurs again. This will be an ongoing matter, legislatively,
politically, and environmentally at least through March 2011.
August’s planets begin the process of manifesting the things we’ve been reaching for — new
jobs, new life paths, new relationships, new health and happiness. As the clouds burst around us,
know that the rain that follows is the gentle, step-by-step manifestation of major transformation
that we’ve been waiting for.
August In Depth
Since July 23, we have been focused on the transition to a new life, a new reality, and this
continues. This means that your day-to-day experiences may differ radically from what you are
used to them being. You may already be able to see them taking shape, or you may only hope for
the transformation but not be able to see how it will manifest. By the 9th you will have more
information. Since this is part of a process that is in development, each of us may be at different
stages of manifestation in this moment. One thing is for sure: We will be in a different place on
the 10th than we were on July 29.
On the 1st-2nd, the energies are milder, and we can catch our breath, prepare for what’s next,
and integrate what’s changed so far. The 3rd is rich with planetary events of the significant kind
(the 2nd Jupiter-Pluto square as Mars reaches these planets). This suggests that events which
occurred on/around July 23–26 will tie in with our experiences now. These are part of a more
complex situation that continues to unfold, so don’t expect anything that happens today to be
final. Rather events now open the door to new possibilities and dilemmas.
The 4th-5th give us more time to assimilate our experiences, just in time for the 6th-9th, when a
cascade of events occurs that again is related to those since July 23. On the 6th, the emphasis is
on emotional clearing (let it go!). Then, after Venus enters Libra late on the 6th, the 7th-9th is a
time of building and accommodating the shift that has been occurring. The emphasis now is on
peace-making, building new alliances, and getting touch with what isn’t working in our
relationships. It isn’t over yet, unless you want it to be. Financial revelations are also possible.
The New Moon falls on the 9th, starting another month for us, with fresh possibilities and
unknown adventures. This one, at 17°25' Leo, carries the seeds of continuing transformation. It
promises to be an exciting month!
This period can be associated with calming and softening, as a series of milder contacts occurs.
We begin to feel as though life could find a new normal. The 10th-11th give us clues to the
upcoming Mercury retrograde (which starts on the 20th). The 12th brings out the challenge in our
current circumstances, giving us a helpful if sobering perspective on what’s happening in the
On the 13th, the pressure valve is released somewhat when Uranus returns to Pisces, and life
slows down and takes us inside to trigger our awakening process through inner work once again.
This does not mean that nothing is happening in the visible world — far from it! We still have a
high level of activity from the remaining planets in Aries (Jupiter), Libra (Saturn), and Capricorn
(Pluto). These will continue to be stimulated (and stimulate us) in the months to come. We have
been feeling a sense of urgency while Uranus was in Aries that will dissipate substantially now.
We will be feeling less rushed to accomplish our goals, even seeing that there are many more
steps in the process than we thought there were and knowing we have the time to take them.
On the 14th-15th, there is an undercurrent of pressure that we can use to understand the deeper
layers in our process, but we are not required to respond to them in any active way. Enjoy the
Events now tie in with those on/around May 22, also linking to the myriad of interrelated
experiences since mid-January. Everything is related to everything else. Changing one things
changes everything. Isn’t that convenient?
The 17th-18th are quiet and fruitful, with another glimpse of what our Mercury retrograde
experience will be on the 18th. The 19th starts the ball of activity rolling again, with this being
another Deep Day (when the Moon contacts Pluto). We see into the depths and can bring
understanding back to the surface if we dare to shine a light in those depths. Intensity builds
starting today. Staying in the present moment will minimize feelings of pressure.
On the 20th, there are 3 major events: Neptune and Chiron reach the peak in their yearly cycle
with the Sun, and Mercury commences its retrograde (12:59 pm, 19°04' Virgo). This will be
imperceptibly linked with what occurs on the 21st — the last Saturn-Pluto square (of 3). We may
feel frozen in place, fearful, or we can use this energy to shift our consciousness by clearing the
obstructive thoughts and feelings that emerge now. Don’t succumb to negativity. If you have a
negative thought, it is not based on what is true and real. If we hang on to the negatives, we
participate in a parallel reality where the negative becomes real. Let it all go! An element of
surrender is involved now — remember to allow the universe to manage things at this time when
we feel like taking control and making something happen.
There is a 4th major event today, the first conjunction of Venus and Mars (in a series of three).
This is a time when a relationship we are engaged in seems so close to reaching a new stage, but
it may not quite get there at this time. There’s more to be learned before this happens. What feels
true deep within is worth waiting for.
When the Sun enters Virgo (10:27 pm Aug 22), the pressure reduces considerably. The Sun and
Mercury (now retrograde) are the sole inhabitants of this sign, for a change. This time will bring
a hidden point of discord to the surface, tied to Mercury retrograde and August 24's Full Moon
(1°26' Pisces/10:05 pm). Revelations come from our feeling consciousness, now that the mind is
out of the way for a while.
The Moon in Aries brings a redux of the challenges of the past 6 weeks. Nothing can be finalized
now, but we can continue preparations for what is to come. The excitement lasts through the 28th,
when we reach a clearer understanding of what’s really going on in the most important areas of
our life right now. We can mellow out with the energies through the end of the month as
soothing trines and sextiles dominate the planetary connections.
The universe is a caring loving consciousness that knows more than we do. Have faith in the
process you are participating in.
Significant Planetary Events
Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are retrograde. Sun and Mercury are in rulership. Saturn is
exalted. Mars is in detriment. Venus is in fall.
Jupiter SRx squares Pluto
Rx (2nd of 3)
Mars opposes Jupiter Rx
Mars squares Pluto Rx
Venus enters Libra
Venus opposes Uranus Rx
Venus conjoins Saturn
Venus opposes Jupiter Rx
Venus squares Pluto Rx
Uranus Rx re-enters Pisces
Mars squares the Moon’s
Venus squares the Moon’s
Jupiter Rx opposes Saturn
(2nd of 3)
Sun opposes Neptune Rx
Venus conjoins Mars
Mercury begins retrograde
motion (SRx - stationary
Saturn Rx squares Pluto Rx
(3rd of 3)
Sun opposes Chiron Rx
Sun quincunxes Uranus Rx
Sun enters Virgo
Sun quincunxes Jupiter Rx
Sun trines Pluto Rx
All dates are based on Pacific Time.
Blue = harmonious/Red or orange = challenging/intense/black = neutral
Events in bold are more significant.
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© Terry Lamb