Friday, 31 July 2009

August Astrology: The People's King


Over the last couple of months I’ve been writing a lot about the need for us as individuals and for the world, to acknowledge the power of the feminine, Ying energies and bring them into balance with the masculine, Yang energies. It feels like its time for women to seize their power and for both sexes to respect and embody those qualities associated with the feminine, such as compassion, gentleness, yielding, giving to others and nurturing. The world sorely needs this.

I sense that these issues came to a head, in a very personal way for many of us, during the July 22nd Total Solar Eclipse. A Solar Eclipse is a very special New Moon, a dark Moon phase which plunges the Sun into darkness with it. The Moon’s special mission, in her incarnation as the dark Goddess, was to guide the Sun through the dark minutes of the longest Eclipse of the 21st Century. That the Sun and the Moon were at the very last degree of the sensitive, receptive, feminine sign of Cancer, underlines the urgency of the mission.

How many of you felt relief the day after the Solar Eclipse? I for one felt a sense that, after all the stress in the build up, the path was re-set and all was as it should be.


This relief, I’m sure, was partly because the day after the Eclipse the Sun emerged out of the darkness and into the majestic sign of Leo. In Leo, the sign of its rulership, the Sun is in a place of splendour and dignity, like the great Sun God Ra sailing across the heavens in his sky boat, powerful and glorious.

With the Sun in Leo, our hearts are warmed and we feel hopeful and optimistic, magnanimous and generous. But following his journey through the underworld, the Sun King carries with him a renewed understanding of the power of the Goddess. He must understand that his Leonine generosity should truly help others and not merely be used to boost his popularity, that as King his power should be used responsibly to serve and benefit his people. He must learn that he is his people’s servant, not the other way around. This is also the lesson that Aquarius brings to Leo and it becomes a major theme for August. It is a lesson that we as individuals, as well as the politicians, leaders and bosses who represent us, would do well to absorb.

That the Leo-Aquarius axis is very prominent in the horoscope of Barack Obama is no coincidence. Obama has Aquarius rising and Jupiter in Aquarius, with Sun, Mercury and Uranus in Leo in the public-seeking Western hemisphere of his chart. The karmic, lesson-giving nodal axis also falls across Leo-Aquarius in Obama’s chart. (4th August 1961, 7.24pm, Honalulu, Hawaii).

“Yes We Can” - what a wonderfully positive Leo-Aquarius refrain!


As early as 6th August, we are reminded that our hero the Sun will never be done with Lady Luna, when they meet again during the Eclipsed Aquarius Full Moon. The Moon has completed the exact half way point of her monthly circuit around the Zodiac and is in an opposition with the Sun, the position of the Full Moon. The Full Moon is usually the brightest and fullest of times, when the Goddess is in her incarnation of the fertile mother. However, this month, as the Sun and Moon face each other off, the Moon passes behind the Earth, where she can’t receive the energizing rays of the Sun. At her ripest time she is Eclipsed.

The Lunar Eclipse, therefore, is a time of deadlines and endings, a time to let go of stubborn ideas and worn out attachments, a time to play out the themes of the Leo-Aquarius opposition.
The Leo-Aquarius axis symbolizes the need to balance the individual need for personal gain and acclaim with the collective responsibility to abide by rules set to benefit all of society (and if you think that following rules is not very Aquarian, pause to remember that Aquarius’ ancient ruler is none other than stern father Saturn).

Aquarius will never deny Leo’s right to be king, but will absolutely insist that the king serves his people with integrity and honesty. Teamwork and delegation of authority is everything to Aquarius and selfish greed is just not acceptable. Aquarius teaches that ultimately it is through serving the group, the community, the team, our friends, that we gain the honour and significance that is so crucial to Leo.

Conversely, Leo teaches Aquarius that sometimes you have to take the lead if the cause is important enough. Somebody has to stand up for the masses, rebel against the status quo and shake the system up, if there is to be any chance of a lasting change for the better and what better than Aquarian energy to do this!

On a personal level, look for help from the significant groups to which you belong (your community, your team, your friendship circle etc) during this Lunar Eclipse for clues about what might need to be released in your life right now, then seize your power, remembering to act in a way that will benefit the group, whilst still honouring your own unique, highly individual needs.
Mercury, who moves into discriminating, rational Virgo on 2nd August, will be there to assist in this process and a helpful aspects to Pluto on the 3rd will make it easier to think deeply, weigh up the pros and cons and make level headed decisions. Additionally, on the 10th, a hard working square between Mars and Saturn will give you the energy and resolve to follow through.

This Eclipse, at 13 degrees and 43 minute of Aquarius will affect Aquarians born between 31st January and 4th of February and Leos born between 3rd and 7th August, as well as as well as people who have other planets or angles between 11 and 16 degrees of Leo or Aquarius. Additionally, any planet or point at 11 through 16 degrees of Leo or Aquarius will be activated by the August 6th Lunar Eclipse.

If you do not know your chart and want to see if the Eclipse is in close contact with your chart, you can quickly and easily download a free birth chart from which also includes a basic interpretation.

If you want to go deeper, please also see my article Working with Eclipses, for information on how to work with Eclipses which closely aspect your natal horoscope.


Between 13th and 18th August the Sun in Leo meets the Aquarius energies head on again, this time when he opposes the current and rare Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron triple conjunction.
Hope and idealism are fine keywords for both Jupiter and Neptune and healing is a reliable keyword for Chiron. But we must also remember that with Neptune we are also in the world of scandals and deception, a nebulous place where nothing is ever quite what it seems and our physical and emotional boundaries can easily crumble. This is also the space where Chiron brings his healing through pain and suffering. At worst, Jupiter exaggerates and spreads the negative affects of Neptune and Chiron, but at best, Jupiter will also boost their most positive expressions.
During this triple conjunction, we have already seen the swift spread of the Swine Flu outbreak and the media and government reaction in the UK, which has been vastly overblown and disproportionate in many people’s opinion (which is not to belittle the suffering of those affected of course). The MPs expenses scandal in the UK is another example of the effects of this conjunction, especially when viewed in the wider context of the ongoing Saturn-Uranus oppositions.

On a personal level, while we may feel invigorated by the energies of the Sun in Leo, and relieved to have let go of some of our old ‘stuff’ during the Lunar Eclipse, we may still be licking our wounds and mourning what we have lost, for even in negative emotions, relationships and situations, we feel the comfort of habit and inevitably miss them when they are gone. Such is the human condition.

Jupiter, Saturn and Chiron are currently all Retrograde (in apparent backward movement). In fact, any planet that opposes the Sun will always be Retrograde (except the Moon, which is not strictly a planet of course). This means that whenever the Sun opposes a planet, it provides us with a counterpoint, an opportunity to view things from a different perspective. So, during mid-August it might be wise to review the last few months and make adjustments as necessary. Are your old hopes and dreams still appropriate, or even possible? From this fresh perspective, are your recent disappointments really as bad as they once seemed? Has the healing process reached the point where you can finally let go of past hurts? Mars’ square to Uranus on the 19th August, will provide the energy boost needed to make the necessary changes following your review.

The Sun opposite Jupiter-Saturn-Chiron will particularly affect Leos born between 13th and 18th August; Aquarians born between 9th and 15th February; Taureans born between 11th and 17th May and Scorpios born between 12th and 18th November.


On 20th August, fresh off the back of the Sun’s opposition with Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron, the Moon joins the Sun once again for a new Moon, carrying the themes which came up in the preceding week and taking them inwards for assimilation. You may be unclear on what is next for you, in the dark about what lies ahead on your path. However, the seeds planted now, must germinate in the dark, we cannot yet know the outcome. But, in the spirit of Leo, be sure to plant your seeds with pride and creativity, confident that one day, like the great God Ra, they will find the Sun.

On 22nd August, the Sun moves into exacting, discriminating Virgo, where, by mid September he will add his energy to the third exact hit of the long-running Saturn-Uranus oppositions on September 15th.

More on that and on all the other major aspects during the Sun’s passage through Virgo in my next article/blog. In the meantime, enjoy the Sun’s passage through bright Leo and don’t forget to wear your shades if things get too bright.

I offer personal consultations, based on your time, place and date of birth. If you are interested, email me at or see my website at

Saturday, 11 July 2009

July: Eclipsed, Bewildered and Bewitched

Hello, I'm an astrologer, my name is Mandi

I have just this minute set up this new blog!

I have lots of cool content on my website at & will from now on post all my astro-rambles on here as well.

Here's my piece about astrology for July - an eclipse month - enjoy!

July is Eclipse season, bringing with it some powerful energies. This blog is my astrological and personal take on what these energies symbolise and how they might be worked with at this special time. I hope you enjoy it.

July sees two Eclipses, a Lunar Eclipse on 7th July and a Solar Eclipse on 22nd July. An Eclipse is a special kind of New Moon or Full Moon, occurring when the Earth, Sun and Moon align. During a Lunar Eclipse, the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon, temporarily blocking the reflected light of the Moon and during a Solar Eclipse, the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking out the light of the Sun. Eclipses are most dramatic events to observe, as those lucky enough to have witnessed a Total Eclipse of the Sun or watched on a clear night as the Moon disappeared behind the shadow of the Earth will verify. However, you do not need to directly experience an eclipse for its symbolism to reflect in your personal experiences. The old adage as above, so below, stands firm.

That said it is very difficult to predict exactly what will happen when an eclipse touches your personal astrological chart. Their effects are sometimes exciting, sometimes stressful, often passing by without having any sort of obvious effect at the time, only to manifest as an event some weeks later. In most general terms though, eclipses represent endings, times when the light goes out and something is taken away, creating a space for something new to germinate safely in the temporary darkness.

Looking at the two eclipses for July, rather than try to make predictions about what they might mean for a particular birth sign, I will focus more generally on what energies are passing out and ending, what each eclipse brings in terms of its energies and how we might positively and consciously work with them.

The first Eclipse of the season is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on 7th July. The Moon, at 15 degrees of Capricorn opposes the Sun in Cancer. During a regular Full Moon, the Moon is at her brightest and under her light we can’t hide, truths are exposed, but during a lunar eclipse her light is blocked by our very own ‘mother-ship’, the Earth, so lady Luna is cast into shadow. But what can this mean?

In my blog of 31st May, June Astrology: Scandals, Healing & The Power of the Feminine I discussed the energies symbolised by the Summer Solstice, the need to find a powerful, fresh perspective and respect for feminine values and described how so many of us have lately felt the need to take a break from our path to rest, recuperate and heal. Now, however, during this Eclipse, the masculine, yang energies, symbolised by the practical, down to earth Capricorn Moon are coming in, pushing us back into the world of ambition, progress and action.What should we do? Leave our cosy, comfortable places and jump back in there? Well, yes and no.

Yes, because we must now leave our protective nests and no, because as we venture out once again we must hold within us the energies of the soft, yielding, receptive, nurturing spaces we have created during our retreat. This is important, because we will surely face the shadow sides of both Cancer and Capricorn and must approach them with compassion.

The shadow side of Cancer is needy, over-protective and emotionally manipulative. Nothing new can be learnt from this position. Rather, the emotions become stagnant and turn in on themselves, with ever diminishing returns. The shadow side of Capricorn is rigid, over-structured and cold. Making progress in the so-called ‘real’ world is the only thing that matters, integrity and taking responsibility for our actions go out of the window.

In the shadow side of both signs, the world is a harsh, difficult, dangerous place. In this expression of the two signs, the energies can’t flow naturally, they are blocked and squashed and transmuted into something which can harm rather than heal and we are locked in a compulsive pattern of doing what we feel we need to do in order to ‘survive’.

During this time, we should seek to express the higher expressions of both signs and thus find a space where we feel truly safe because we have already been through the dark and we are no longer afraid. It is a space where we can nurture ourselves and others, where the healing waters of our emotions run crystal clear and where we are willing to serve with integrity and discipline and administrate progress through responsible action and the right use of our emotional and material resources. In essence, Cancer and Capricorn really are two expressions of the same energies, constantly flowing towards and away from balance, an eternal dance of opposition and harmony.

By holding and grounding these energies in balance, we can each, in our way, create a vessel to positively carry forward the current planetary energies, energies which seem to be prompting us ever more urgently to move towards a world of equality, fairness, responsible individual freedom, cooperation and community.

The second eclipse of July is a New Moon Solar Eclipse. This Eclipse is set to be a powerful one for a couple of reasons. The first is that it is the second of two Cancer New Moons this year, an unusual event, the first being the Cancer New Moon of 22nd June, at the Solstice.The second reason is that this Eclipse takes place in the very last degree of the sign of Cancer. The last degree of any sign is known as the critical degree and any astrological alignment at one of these degrees feels urgent and incredibly intense.

In Cancer, the intensity of this eclipse will revolve around the urgent addressing of imbalances between the masculine and the feminine energies, between home and family life and work and material concerns and between our own very personal inner work and our busy outer lives. It is in following the energy of these themes that we will continue the work we began at the Solstice in June and grounded at the Lunar Eclipse of 7th July.

This Solar Eclipse, then, will mark a time to move forward with those energies and themes and begin to manifest a balance of polarities out in the conscious world. If you plant such seeds at this Solar Eclipse, fearlessly, in the darkness, they will most surely grow into the light, flower and bear fruit. As ever, follow your own truth and trust your intuition to guide your next move.

In Predictive Astrology, The Eagle and the Lark, Bernadette Brady describes how each Solar Eclipse belongs to a particular family of Eclipses, known as a Saros Series, which produce an eclipse once every 18 years. The themes of the Saros Series to which the 22nd July 2009 Eclipse belongs are described by Brady as follows: “This family of eclipses is concerned with the need to make sudden reforms. Old ideas or methods will fail and new systems are required”.

This is very telling when considered against the current world economic and social climate, especially when we remind ourselves that while the series of Saturn-Uranus oppositions which began in 2008 are in abatement, they are by no means over, with the third of five exact oppositions coming in September.

Saturn opposite Uranus is a wake-up call measurement, powerfully symbolising the need to end the old ways of doing things, inevitably disrupting the status quo to make way for new, fair, inclusive values by which to run our individual lives and structure our world, values which will take us boldly into the Age of Aquarius. Remembering that the first Saturn-Uranus conjunction of this series coincided exactly with the election of Barack Obama provides some clue to the energies of this measurement.Until September though, there remains, as reflected by the ongoing Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction, a wonderful opportunity for all gentle souls, poets, spiritual seekers, visionaries and teachers to re-group and heal and in so doing to process, hold, ground, balance and express the intense energies of this July’s Eclipses.

May your dance be a merry one.

Quincunx, Aversion & Venus in Libra

I always have great fun recording the Academy of Astrology UK weekly podcast, hosted by the wonderful Rod Chang. It's never scripted, w...