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Leo stellium, Sun, Venus, Mercury in Leo

Rafting on the White Salmon
Rafting on the White Salmon
Catherine Al-Meten

On Sunday, August 17, the First Quarter Square of the Moon in 24/31 degrees of Taurus aspects the Sun in Leo. The week ahead promises to be a powerful time when our focus is driven into the unconscious for deeper reflection and contemplation. Mercury, the planet of all forms of communication, just settled into its transit in one of its two favorite places in the Zodiac—Virgo. Mercury’s transit of Virgo from August 15-September 2, demands that we focus on being elegantly precise and clear in the choices we make, the way we communicate, and how we relate to one another in all relationships.

Virgo’s influence makes authenticity and truth the guiding principles in all we do. At this time we need to clearly see what needs to be changed, what needs to be released, and what it is that works in our lives and what does not. This is a good time to take care of details, paperwork, contracts, and any other working-out-of-details types of communication. Particularly in relation to our personal and professional happiness and fulfillment, this is a time to sort through and clarify what is necessary and what is not.

With Mercury in Virgo, we are not apt to overlook anything of importance in our lives. This may mean that we have to redefine who and what is meaningful, purposeful, and vital. We ask the questions, of ourselves and others, that net the answers we may have been seeking or hoping would be revealed. When we seek answers from deep within, to the Source and core of our own being, we hear (with our hearts) the truth we may have been unable to discover when we allowed ourselves to rationalize or get caught up in the emotional memories and expectations that often drive our actions.

Now is the time to meditate, seek the answers you need, and listen and watch for the signs, responses, and direction being given. If you have recently lost something of great value, you may now see how something about that experience has prepared you and opened a way for new experiences—but only if you are willing to let the past go. When we cling to what we expected to happen, or hoped would be, we close ourselves off from seeing what is right before us or waiting when we have healed enough to meet our next steps on our journey.

Look to the place in your chart and life where Virgo is, and that is the area of life where you will be the most affected. This transit of Mercury will also bring up whatever stands at cross purposes with the area of your life that is currently blessed with Mercury’s transit in Virgo. The normal polarities represented by the oppositions throughout our char/life, give us the opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve in these areas, bringing ourselves into greater unity. The following are the oppositions throughout our charts/lives:

1st-7th How I see myself/How I understand myself vs. My relationship or conflict with my partners/intimate relationships/business dealings;

2nd/8th How I come to value myself, see my own worth and value, possessions vs. my worth/value to others, reputation, inheritance, transformative forces, burdens/responsibilities for others;

3rd/9th Immediate Environment, community, neighbors, siblings, communication of all types, including writing, letters, conversations, short journeys, how we communicate on a regular basis, our basic nature vs. the Higher Mind, Purpose, Knowledge, long distance travel, study, philosophical/religious acquisition and exploration, discovering the world beyond ourselves, and developing a broader world view.

4th/10th Home, where we feel at home, inner world, Mother, nurturing vs. Life Purpose, career, outer world, Father, guidance, seeking life purpose;

5th/11th Personal self expression, creativity, children, sexuality and romance, pleasure vs. Expression through the groups we belong to, finding meaning through groups, friendships;

6th/12th Daily environment, physical body/health, daily work/jobs, general health vs. Spiritual and unconscious self, mysteries, secrets, and what is hidden or undiscovered, karmic ties, what we bring into this life to resolve.

Notice how you can use this short transit of Mercury through Virgo to become more aware of how to bring unity into these areas of your life and being. Take this opportunity to dig your hands into the ground of your being, and do what you would do to prepare the ground for planting seeds and bulbs for next Spring. For plants we aerate the ground, clear out the weeds, prepare our seeds and bulbs, set them deeply into the ground, cover them with rich, healthy soil, water and feed them, and then let them be. Provided we have planted something that is suitable to the soil, climate, and location, our plants will root, grow, and work their way up through the surface of the ground into the early spring sunlight.

With our own lives, we need now to examine what it is that is working in our lives, and what is not. We then need to envision and name what it is that we need or desire. If there is some area of ourselves we need to change, replant, or prepare for a new stage of life, we need to identify what that is now, and begin preparing ourselves for the change we seek. We need to release ourselves from past commitments (or sometimes we are relieved of these obligations or commitments). When we lose a job, for example, or have to move, we may first despair about the turn our life has taken. Look to any loss or any disappointment as an opportunity to start over, turn onto a new path, or change directions. Spend as little time as possible bemoaning your fate. Virgo’s shadow side tends to find us chewing on ‘what ifs’ until the cows come home. When we get trapped in the expectation of ‘how things should be’ or ‘how things should have been done’ we get lost in the traps of the past. Work it out as long as you need to give your rational mind its workout, and then move on.

Life isn’t necessarily fair, for Life itself, is not a separate entity. God isn’t challenging or punishing or trying to make your life difficult. Life is created by people who live it, and you are not the only person who makes decisions that affect you. What we each can do, is keep on going and look for what is salvageable and usable from our experiences. Mercury in Virgo calls upon us each to rummage through our own personal tool sheds, and find what it is that we need to keep building, working on, and creating our lives.

If you are obsessive by nature, keep the bigger picture in sight, and notice when you are slipping into over analyzing a situation, decision, or question. Mercury in Virgo calls for us to put thought into action. DO SOMETHING instead. Use your hands to paint, write, or dig in the dirt. Clean out closets, boxes of old papers, photographs, or go through your clothes closet. See the links between the seasons as you put away some of the summer clothes, and prepare yourself for autumn and winter by bringing out a jacket or two, looking for your ski equipment, or rearrange your furniture and add some lamps to make the evenings a little brighter. Do something to get out of the shadow side of Mercury in Virgo which takes us deeper and deeper into the dark realms where we lost touch with meaning, connection, and purpose. Create purpose in your life by helping someone, fixing something, or giving yourself a present or treat to help lift your spirits.

From August 17-18 Mercury in Virgo opposes retrograde Neptune in Pisces at 6 degrees. This is a time when we can see through an illusion, discover a secret or betrayal, or we may discover a lie that has confused or left us in the dark. With Neptune’s transit through Pisces, we are urged to look into mysteries, even when we might be afraid. “Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.” This quotation from John 8:32 is a statement of redemption, a statement made to those who did not want to make a mistake in accepting someone’s ideas that seemed so radically out of the norm. Embracing sinners, eating with the lowest of the low, and giving up what enslaved them (possessions, practices, customs, traditions) to more closely follow the Divine message to grow, embrace God’s grace, and live life fully. Such a dictate, regardless of your spiritual or religious tradition, calls upon you to take a radical step into the freedom of being a wholly alive and active person. This transit nudges you to look within to see where you are enslaved, trapped, or blocked by your own illusions, expectations, or thinking. Use these two days to look over, review, and examine any area of your life that needs reviewing, clarifying, or regenerating.

Venus is just completing her conjunction with Jupiter in Leo (in conjunct to Neptune), so we already have been sorting through the discrepancies between what we feel or think we need and want, and what we actually do require. Be willing to see the gifts in the reality of daylight—take the whole of your ideas, ideals, and desires not just the choice pieces. Make certain that dreams, goals, plans, and relationships are not just fairy dust, but do contain enough substance to feed the whole relationship, for both partners. Make sure that goals are worthy of your time and resources, and make certain you are prepared for what it takes to achieve the goals, reach the dreams. Venus remains in Leo, being her grandest, most bountiful, until September 5 Venus in Leo ramps up our dreams, awakens our romantic nature, and makes us feel warm-hearted, loving, and generous with our affections. The shadow side of this transit is that of pride, prejudice, and pomposity—avoid letting these qualities take over and distract you from truly giving from the heart. While the stellenium of fire (Sun, Venus, Jupiter in Leo) heats up our need for giving and receiving love, it can also catch up overdoing in areas where our ego seems to wrapped up in appearances, or when we have neglected taking better care of ourselves than we should. We tend to blame others for what we lack, and this is a shadow expression of this. For those who are not paying attention, the out of control aspect of Leo’s expression can be bombastic, egoistic, and at the least, a bit over the top in drama. For best results, notice and avoid these tendencies—people will like you better, life will go more smoothly.

Mars remains in Scorpio, where it continues to stir up the subconscious and unconscious part of our lives. Notice where Mars is transiting, and keep in mind the polarities that you are being called upon to pay attention. For example, if the polarity hits Mars’ transiting your first house with opposition to the seventh house, you may find yourself struggling with how to tame or temper the way you present yourself to the world with the needs and demands of your partners. There may be a stronger than usual pull from the depths of the unconscious of both or either of you—a pull to change, shift, or pull in. The trouble with this is that you are the person you present to the world, and that is what first attracted you to one another, so this is more about what is going on within the relationship itself than it is about the Scorpio Ascendent needing to change to fit the needs of a relationship. Mars creates conflict where there is a need for change, and may appear to be making a series of snipes at what is an aspect of your essence. Notice how third chakra and second chakra blocks may be affecting you right now—the push me, pull me struggle between what I value most and want to protect about myself versus the needs and demands of intimate, intense relationships. For some this may include work, for others it includes that which we do to create or build in life. So we might feel an inner war as well as an outer battle in some areas. This aspect calls us into crisis, with a sense of urgency to fix something, change something or otherwise deal with the issues related to whatever areas of your life this takes place. I gave one example of 1/7th house polarities. What kinds of polarities are rising up as issues in your life right now? This is the time to notice and begin dealing with this, though Mars’ impulsiveness is a bit muted by the water element of Scorpio, and most of the change is going on beneath the surface.

Saturn in Scorpio, continues through this area of our lives as well, and for the next few months there will be a number of interesting transits and aspects to Saturn. We are reminded regularly of those areas of our lives where Saturn has been transiting Scorpio since Oct. 5, 2012. Think back to what was going on at that time, and you will have some idea of what is stirring below the surface. Saturn reminds us of what we have come here to learn in order to fulfill our dreams, desire, and soul purpose. Whatever has been churning and turning over for the past two years, is still working within you to bring forth your best efforts, to allow you to face and meet the greatest challenges, and to call you to be brave, courageous, and open to learning what it is you need to learn for the next leg of your journey. Stop fighting your own good and growth. Embrace the person you are, and respect the path you follow. Avoid bemoaning your fate, and use your energy instead to be present to the gifts laid at your feet and put in your heart, mind, and soul to use and share.

Coming up August 26, Venus in Virgo will square Saturn in Scorpio, leaving us feeling out in the cold and somewhat detached from who and what we love. The square transit is meant to trigger us to notice what our needs and desires are. Notice also what your expectations are, and how they are either keeping you stuck in a nonexistent past, or chained to energy locked up in a future that may or may not be good for you. We lock ourselves into traps of past and future.

Notice what traps you…usually expectations (ours or others for us), and use this energy as a time to simply notice and learn what energy is blocking. Our energy is powerful, and if we are sending negative thoughts out, that is what our story becomes. Energy can be shifted, and if we are aware of how our thinking and our actions help shape the energy we send out, we can work to shift the energy into something that is healthier and more productive for us. This does not mean you never say or feel anything negative, but it means you notice what your thoughts and feelings are and how the negativity is weighted against its counterpart. This is something you do have a choice over. Not denial, but acceptance of what is. Not wishful thinking, but hopeful acceptance of what is to come. Not blind gratitude, but thanksgiving for the graces, gifts, and life you already have. If you doubt this, turn on the news for half an hour, and your life will come into perspective. Get out of yourself for a while, and do something for someone else. Get off the pity pot and have a party. Celebrate something or someone! It helps.

On August 18, to my dear Leo friends who celebrate their birthdays today, the gift of Jupiter conjunct Venus in Leo! Enjoy the beauty, abundance, and grace of your lives, and receive the gratitude, love, and joy that being your friend brings to those you befriend. Dance the Life Dance, and celebrate and know that all you need is yours and what you do matters and is honored. Do what you normally do, with more joy, more grace, and more gratitude. Whatever you need more of, count on it for Monday, August 18 when this lovely conjunction warms us all with the infusion of fiery passionate Leo energy. Express that energy in ways that honor, bless, and bring peace to others. Happy Birthday Leos everywhere! Regardless of your birthdate, this is a day of special blessings.