Monday 8/21/2023: Sneak Peek at a Big, Wiggy, Potent, Serious Week; MERCURY goes RETROGRADE

Alllll righty then!

Moon is in Libra, driving the day with a need for fairness, balance, and diplomacy in relationship. It is not technically void, but because it spends much of the day traveling without input from the other planets, our sense of the passage of time may be affected. If it feels like it’s moving like a lonnnnng stretch, I would understand.

And while it’s August, and many may be on vacation, planetary patterns are still driving plenty of action. Highlights this week:

  • Venus squares Jupiter on Tuesday — suggesting abundance, generosity, indulgence — or wretched excess.
  • Mars opposing Neptune on Tuesday— suggesting scandal and/or seduction, especially in matters of faith and illusion/delusion
  • Sun leaves Leo and enters Virgo
  • Mercury goes retrograde in Virgo on Wednesday. BACK UP YOUR COMPUTERS NOW.
  • Mars trines Pluto on Thursday
  • Sun opposes Saturn on Sunday
  • Mars leaves Virgo and enters Libra on Sunday

It goes like this:

  • MONDAY: Libra Moon  builds to a power play or catharsis around 4:19 PM ET, when Moon squares Pluto. Balancing it out may be easier than usual, as the Libra Moon sextiles the Leo Sun at 4:30 PM ET,  aiding and abetting cooperation and communication. Chill during the three-hour Moon void. That means rolling with twists and flakes that may disrupt efforts to move forward in a straight line. Avoid impulse shopping, and don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. Once the Moon enters Scorpio at 7:22 PM ET, there is a need for depth and substance, as information is gathered for the sake of power and control. This need is well-supported by an easy flow between the Moon and Saturn (ambition, authority, structure), exact at 3:32 AM ET on…
  • TUESDAY. After that, the Scorpio Moon enters its own lonnnnnng stretch, traveling through the day without contact to any other planet. Humming in the background over the past few days are two patterns exact today. At 8:16 AM ET, Venus (women, art, values, money) squares Jupiter (big!)— suggesting abundance, generosity, indulgence — or wretched excess. At 4:33 PM ET, Mars opposes Neptune — suggesting scandal and/or seduction, especially in matters of faith and illusion/delusion. Hard aspects (conjunctions, squares, opposition), can be experienced as a dissolving of assertive energy. Today, Mars is in Virgo, seeking perfection in every detail. The opposition to Neptune could idealize an initiative that aims to get it right, in an effort to heal or resolve a conflict.  That could be inspiring (upside). A downside of Mars-Neptune would be deception. Here are some headlines from the Mars-Neptune opposition of 2021. Whatever depth and substance the Scorpio Moon may be seeking today finds a big, fat release in the late evening, as Moon squares Venus and opposes Jupiter, at 12:09 AM ET and 12:48 AM ET on…
  • WEDNESDAY. Say goodbye to the Sun in Leo; say hello to the Sun in Virgo, as of 5:01 AM ET. Virgo is an earth sign (as opposed to fire, water or air). It is also a mutable sign, as opposed to cardinal or fixed. What does that mean? Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn; they need to come up with the idea and take action. Fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius. These signs need to organize and give form to the concepts pitched by cardinal signs. Mutable signs — Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces — get to spread the word about the cool form the fixed signs made. Got it?More about Virgo: it is ruled by Mercury, which also rules mindset. Virgo is symbolized by a virgin with a shaft of wheat. Its keywords are I ANALYZE. Virgo needs to apply its mental energy to discernment and discrimination, as it separates the wheat from the chaff. In health matters, Virgo rules the intestinal tract and assimilation. If you have planets in Virgo in your horoscope, and they are under a great deal of developmental tension, you may have some issues with your digestive system, especially how your system absorbs nutrition from food.
  • WEDNESDAY: Scorpio Moon sextiles Mercury at 1:03 PM ET, followed by the surprise potential suggested by Moon’s opposition to Uranus at 3:18 PM ET. Thinking and talking about getting it right is surely in focus this week, as Mercury slows to a virtual stop. At 3:59 PM ET, Mercury turns retrograde. Don’t panic!!

A pause, while we discuss the Mercury retrograde phenomenon and what it means for YOU:

So many people who know nothing else about astrology have heard of Mercury retrograde.  Often it elicits curses and groans, and that’s a shame. Yes, all of the flights on American Airlines may be grounded because of a computer glitch, and the entire country of Finland may be offline because of a transportation strike. These things actually happened on the first day of Mercury retrogrades past. But there’s much good that can be accomplished when the Messenger Planet appears to be retracing its steps.

Mercury—which in the language of astrology refers to mindset, travel and communication—will appear to move backward through the sky until September 15th. It’s not really moving backward, but that is how it looks from our perspective here on Spaceship Earth. Mercury goes retrograde 3-4 times each year, for a period of 22 days.

Contrary to popular belief, Mercury retrogrades are no reason to freak out. Mercury retrograde gets a bad rap because we are geared, in this crazy modern age, to always be thinking, doing, moving FORWARD. You know what that gets you? BURN OUT. We need our down times, and Mercury retrograde is a perfect time to give our minds a rest. Why else would your computer, phone and/or car choose THIS time to malfunction? Because you are supposed to be slowing down. And as you slow down, it is vitally important that you FOCUS.

When Mercury is retrograde, be prepared for travel delays, scheduling screw-ups, mechanical breakdowns, computer crashes, having to repeat what you’ve just said, misunderstandings, the past coming back for a second look, surprise reunions and having to repeat what you just said. Use your FOCUS and double check important details, like email addresses, instructions for assembling IKEA furniture.  Read the instructions more than once — and don’t hesitate to ask for help.  FOCUS!!!!!!!!!

If you are looking for a job, Mercury retrogrades are a perfect time to reach out to people from your past. Mine your address book and trust that your contacts will be happy to hear from you. However, do not be frustrated if your target is away on vacation or keeps rescheduling meetings. Also, triple check your emails and resumes before you hit “send,” as there is a higher probability of typos and other sloppy snafus.

In your business, you’ll need to make sure all communications have been received and are clearly understood. Be mindful of the higher potential for communications equipment to go on the fritz. MAKE SURE YOUR FILES ARE BACKED UP. Also be aware of a higher-than-average probability for delays in shipping and travel arrangements. For this you will need an extra dose of patience.

You may also find it profitable to REview a project from the past. Maybe you shelved it then, but now is the time to REconsider. However, be advised that a spontaneous, “out-of-the-blue” idea for advancement may not be so sound when Mercury turns direct. This is why the conventional wisdom advises against finalizing and/or signing contracts on deals during Mercury retrograde. An exception might be supported if you are REnegotiating or RElocating. If you absolutely must close a deal, triple check everything.

This is a good time to schedule a corporate REtreat. Any activity that affords the opportunity to REview past performance is encouraged. REsearch on a new strategy is also favored.

Mercury retrogrades are not favored for launching a new website or a new communications system. There is a higher-than-average probability of technical glitches and confusion. I can tell you horror stories about a certain prestigious college’s lackluster launch of a website/communications portal which occurred several years ago, on a day when Mercury was stationary retrograde. The portal was completely redone the following year. No surprise there.

Adopt a playful attitude of flexibility to whatever twists you encounter. Avoid making major purchases (especially electronic ones), but don’t freak out if an appliance dies and must be replaced.  Don’t believe everything you hear or read in the papers. Rumors have a higher probability of spreading during Mercury retrogrades. Avoid losing patience — that’s a big one.

When in doubt, be silent!

Do plan on RElaxing, REviewing, REsearching, REorganizing, REgenerating, REconnecting and REcreating…and REviewing your life with your astrologer.

Mercury turns retrograde at 22 degrees of Virgo…and retraces its steps all the way back to 8 degrees. It turns direct on September 15th and arrives at 22 Virgo again on September 30th. Since August 4th, Mercury has been in its “shadow phase.” The shadow phase refers to the distance Mercury traveled since the 4th — and will now retrace, while retrograde.  Once Mercury turns direct, it will again be in a “shadow phase,” as it retraces old ground for the third time. Mercury covers new ground and leaves its shadow phase on September 30th. Clear?

Note that Venus, Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto are all currently retrograde. Mercury joins them this week; Uranus turns retrograde on August 28th, and Jupiter turns retrograde on September 4th. There is nothing unusual about all these planets retrograde, so please ignore any mainstream media hysteria about it, OK? Retrograde planets suggest it is time to stop looking outward, as in stop projecting the fulfillment of your agenda on other people. Now is the time to TUNE IN (and maybe even TUNE OUT). The potential here is that — having taken time for REview and REorganization — you’ll feel ever so much more refreshed and ready to move forward, especially when the inner planets (Mercury and Venus) turn direct.

Back to the Forecast;

  • WEDNESDAY: The evening news may be saturated with assertive statement of vision, as the Scorpio Moon’s need for depth is trine Neptune at 10:32 PM ET, followed by sextiles to Mars and Pluto, exact at 12:09 AM ET and 1:10 AM ET on…
  • THURSDAY. That’s the backdrop for the first Republican presidential candidates’ debate. At 4:07 AM ET, Moon soars into Sagittarius and promptly squares the Virgo Sun at 5:57 AM ET. Talk about separating the wheat from the chaff, driven by the Sag Moon’s need for righteous opinions! In your own personal world, Moon in Sagittarius is a fine time for a gambol or a gamble — anything that broadens your horizons. If the morning feels a bit chilly, it is reflecting the sobering cuts, losses, and authoritative advances of the Moon’s square to Saturn, exact at 11:29 AM ET. Know that humming in the background all week (exact at 8:23 PM ET), a trine between Mars and Pluto suggests an easy flow of empowered action/warrior/crusading energy.
  • FRIDAY: Moon trines Venus at 5:26 AM ET, offering a potentially sweet start. There are no exact aspects to the Moon until 6:42 PM ET, when it is squared by Mercury, now Rx. This Moon-Mercury square directly engages the Sun-Moon-Nodes in the former guy’s horoscope, and isn’t it interesting that 12 PM ET is the deadline DA Fani Willis has set for the 19 defendants (charged with racketeering and other offenses) to turn themselves in. Astrology. Is. Amazing.  We can expect an evening of boundary-pushing, assertive spin as Moon squares Neptune and Mars, exact at 3:49 AM ET and 7:56 AM ET on…
  • SATURDAY. At 9:05 AM ET, Moon shifts gears and enters Capricorn, ready to Make Things Happen, the more practical, the better. A trine to the Sun  and sextile to Saturn at 2:38 PM ET and 3:38 PM ET are happy to assist, though with Mercury and Venus retrograde, the proactive drive may be best applied to REvision and REorganization. We may see heavy happenings in the world of leaders of state and business, as the Sun’s annual opposition to Saturn approaches, exact at 4:28 AM ET on…
  • SUNDAY. Here are headlines leading up to last year’s Sun-Saturn opposition. Also humming in the background (adding an extra dose of prominence to action, assertion and aggression) is Mars, traveling through the very last degrees of Virgo, intensifying efforts to Get. It. Right. At 9:19 AM ET, Mars leaves Virgo for Libra, where its assertive energy may be challenged by its expression in Libra, sign of balance, justice, fairness — and sometimes, a gob-smacking avoidance of conflict. Becoming a warrior — for peace — would be one effective coping strategy.
  • SUNDAY: The Capricorn Moon’s initiative is well-supported by an easy flow among Moon, Jupiter, Mercury and Uranus at 10:57 AM ET, 8 PM ET, and 11:21 PM ET. These are all Earth signs, and together they make up a Grand Trine, suggesting a projection of self-sufficiency in material concerns. Some astrologers consider Grand Trines to be lucky. In my experience, they can be, though there are often consequences for the “projection of self-sufficiency” part. It’s interesting that the next notable pattern is Uranus slowing to a virtual standstill, preparing to turn retrograde on MONDAY (8/28).  I’ll have more to say about that in a forecast I will post for the weekend.

And now, the news.

Here’s the correct link for that court ruling about the Venus Rx “lookback window.”

Here are two stories aptly reflecting the Libra Moon’s focus on fairness, relationships, and equality, against the fast-approaching Venus -Jupiter (royally big!) and Mars-Neptune opposition (weird, on the one hand, and a fizzling approach with respect to action, perhaps, on the other).

Wait — did I just type “weird?” I did, and check out the headline of this NYT op-ed, posted today:

So here’s a post I stumbled across on Twitter this morning, whose author wants us to know that, last night:

“There’s a couple breaking up so loudly on the sidewalk in front of my house! He said WHO ARE YOU GONNA TAKE TO YOUR SISTER’S WEDDING NEXT WEEKEND? She said MOZZARELLA STICKS! Which is a valid and devastating blow.”

Second,  there was OUTRAGE about the Women’s World Cup finals, because no one from the British royal family (or government) took time to attend the game, even though the LIONESSES (i.e., the UK team) were playing. Prince William – who has been president of England’s Football Association since 2006 – has apologized for the snub…but really…do you think he would have missed that game in Australia if the men’s team were playing? Crikey! England lost to Spain, 1-0, btw.

Third — which is potentially good news for human actors and writers who are currently on strike:


The disruptive potential of last week’s Sun-Uranus square, added to the above, along with the easy flow of innovative/technological energy suggested in last week’s trine between Mars and Uranus, and this week’s trine between Mars and Pluto can be seen in:

Did you know that it takes Uranus 84 years to revolve around the Sun? And that the freaky Tropical Storm Hilary that flooded Mexico and Southern California yesterday was the first in…84 years? And that the (downgraded before landfall) hurricane came with an earthquake (Uranus is associated with seismic activity). The latest on Hilary can be found here.

A big Venus retrograde review of spiritual values is seen in this piece, currently the most-read op-ed in WaPo:

It is my hope that I will have time to post a forecast before Wednesday’s Republican debate, talking about the horoscopes of those participating. Hopefully you’ll find plenty to inform and amuse you until then.

Here’s the 411 on personal consultations. I look forward to helping you see the astro-logic of everything happening in your own personal world, and providing insightful coping strategies.

Thank you for reading the forecast — and sharing it with others.

Mercury keeps watch over Lviv. Slava Ukraini!


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