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August Aspects + Astro Action

August brings the winds of change, as Jupiter, one of the traditional timing planets, changes signs from Leo to Virgo on August 11, 2015. This will lend a new quality to Jupiter’s exuberance, bringing practical realities, details, and topics associated with wellbeing into the forefront.

Jupiter’s change of sign ends a year-long theme, and invites us to shift our focus to new topics and areas of life that can begin to open up now. Chart tip: Check the house in your chart with Virgo on the cusp for your most personal themes. Jupiter will be in Virgo between August 11, 2015 and September 9, 2016.

From an elemental perspective, August brings a shift from fire to earth, as Mercury, Jupiter, and the Sun all move from Leo into Virgo. This can be about slowing down, or placing a focus on material matters (like money) and topics concerning the health of the body.

Since I’m in the northern hemisphere now, I’ll greet August under the summer Sun and channel some of this energy into my garden, for a truly grounding and earthy Jupiter-in-Virgo experience. (Not to mention the tidy vibes of Virgo I’ll be drawing on to help tame the weeds!) For more on one of the other earth planets this month, check out the Mercury-in-Virgo section below.

Mars into Leo: Drying Out

In addition, Mars will finish his journey through Cancer, moving into Leo on August 8, 2015. Since Mars is in detriment in Cancer, its time here has produced a somewhat muted version of Mars.
There is resonance between Mars and the fiery sign of Leo because they share a hot and dry nature. When Mars moves into Leo, this will create a comfortable climate for him, as it places this fire planet  in a fire sign.

If you have the kind of chart that needs to be energised, Mars in Leo can help. (Check your chart for the Leo-ruled house to discover the specific area of your life that’s about to get fired up.) However, if you have a chart that’s hot already, you may find that things reach a boiling point.

This sign change is quite literally a drying out of Mars, which can bring sharpness, focus, and progress because Mars is no longer bogged down in Cancer’s watery, emotional realm. Cancer has much to offer, but it’s a place where the pure driving force of Mars can become diluted or distracted. As Mars gets back on more comfortable ground, you may notice the pace of progress picking up or start to move forward in a more direct, linear manner.

Stations, Retrogrades, and Turning Around

Saturn will station direct at 28° Scorpio on August 1, ending his last retrograde period in Scorpio. By mid-September, we’ll be done with the Saturn-in-Scorpio cycle for another 30 years, although Saturn will sit at 28° Scorpio for the month of August.

It’s interesting to note that Saturn is moving very slowly this August, at the same time Venus is moving backwards. Two planets in this specific stage of their cycles can bring a sense of treading water, or slower than usual progress (especially for any natal planets aspected by transiting Venus or Saturn), and will certainly affect the natal houses associated with Virgo and Leo (Venus) and Scorpio (Saturn) in your chart.

Jupiter + Saturn: Dreams vs. Reality

Arguably, the featured aspect this month is a square from Jupiter at 28° Leo to Saturn at 28° Scorpio, which occurs between August 2 – 6. It will be triggered and reinforced by Venus, also in Leo (retrograde) from August 3 – 6, and Mercury in Leo on August 6 – 7.

Jupiter square Saturn is an interesting aspect that pits two planetary heavyweights against each other. Applying one of the simplest aspect doctrines here — the idea that the outer planet “does it” to the inner planet  (that is, that the planet furthest from the Sun has an overriding or dominating influence) — suggests that some of Jupiter’s exuberance and natural optimism will be tempered and brought back down to reality by Saturn.

This aspect may feel like dreams being confronted with logistics and practicalities, like when we present a pitch and someone highlights the possible problems or potential pitfalls right away. Saturn is doing this in a big way right now, so expect constructive feedback to show up in a variety of areas. Take time to consider external input, as it might help to make a current plan or project better, even if it delays the timeline you had in mind. Under this aspect, a delay can be a good thing.

With Saturn overriding Jupiter, it may be a good time to scale back or modify your original intentions. Think small, high quality, and lasting rather than big, bold, and all encompassing. Saturn’s mission is to help each of us commit to projects, people, and possibilities that have lasting potential. If you can’t sustain your intentions or goals for the long term, consider adjusting your ambitions.

Mercury in Virgo: Making up for Lost Time

Mercury is on the move and will touch three signs this August — wrapping up his visit to Leo, and whipping through Virgo before finally landing in Libra at the end of the month.

Of these three signs, it’s Mercury in Virgo (August 7 – 27) that brings out the best of Mercury’s eagle-eyed talents. While in Virgo, Mercury will make three aspects to note:
–       Mercury opposite Neptune: August 12 – 13, 8° Virgo/Pisces
–       Mercury trine Pluto: August 15 – 16, 13° Capricorn/Virgo
–       Mercury sextile Saturn: August 26 – 27, 28° Virgo/Scorpio

Mercury opposite Neptune can be problematic because Neptune creates an unclear, foggy vibe that tends to block facts. Details may get lost or your message may drift off into the ethers rather than arrive as intended. On the other hand, Mercury aspecting Neptune is great for creative and spiritual pursuits, as well as getting in touch with your intuition. Take time to notice your energetic or felt response to events, rather than obsessing about efficiency regarding your work and other goals.

Mercury trine Pluto arouses a detailed, intense, and probing energy that will help you dig for hidden details. You might hit upon a core truth or idea. True motivations may be revealed, and it’s definitely a window of time in which speaking from the heart will be important, especially in your most intimate partnerships.

I consider the final aspect that Mercury in Virgo makes to Saturn in Scorpio to be the best Mercury aspect this August. Mercury is all about the deal, and it loves to network and put plans into writing. Mercury in Virgo does this with a greater attention to detail than any other Mercury placement. In the sign of Virgo, Mercury is both in rulership and exalted, and this is considered to be the most functional Mercury.

When you combine Mercury-in-Virgo’s analytical excellence with Saturn’s diligent and thorough approach in leave-no-stone-unturned Scorpio, contracts and commitments can be made and sealed in stone. This is the master analyst at his best, with a focus on logic, reality, and timeliness, and this means that any decisions made or finalised under this aspect have staying power. August is a busy month in which many previously stalled plans will be re-energised. With key planets like Mars and Jupiter on the move, doors will open, especially in direct response to your efforts and actions.

While there is much to be said about the astrological themes this month, I’ve focussed on a couple of key shifts and aspects to arm you with insights about the power days for the month ahead. May you seize every opportunity.

Kelly is a consulting astrologer, teacher, writer, and editor who works with clients and students around the world. With more than 12 years in private practice, Kelly is experienced, warm, and insightful. She loves exploring astrology’s history as well as escaping into the ocean. Kelly’s passion for astrology is infectious, and her specialty areas include Moon Phases, timing techniques like progressions, and incorporating traditional concepts. She can be found lecturing at conferences throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Kelly holds the Australian FAA Practitioner’s Diploma and is an expat Aussie who lives in Canada most of the year. Website: Kelly’s Astrology


  1. Thank you. Very interesting. But as a Mercury conjunct Saturn in Virgo person I couldn’t help notice your typo on the last sentence in the second paragraph. Jupiter will be in Virgo until 2016 . . .

    • Dear Mercury/Saturn in Virgo,

      Thank you very very much for pointing that out…corrected..


    • Thanks for that eagle eye edit Kathy and for updating it Mary! xo

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