August has something for everyone. Vacation days, focused intent and relationship matters are all part of this month’s makeup. For many of us, August is the time for summer holidays, downtime to recharge our batteries, take a break from our normal routine and re-create. It is also the month when we give thought to the school year ahead. As if conditioned into the belief that the school year start is also the time for us to focus on getting back to work and the work year ahead, August also has us preparing for getting back on track, with purchases for school or wardrobe purchases for the Autumn. With an influence of Libra seeping in, this month also raises the question of our relationships and a desire to spend sultry summer evenings with our special someone.

This August also has highlights of spectacles with first the Summer Olympics in Beijing for much of the month and the Democratic National Convention at the end of the month. And what spectacles each of these two events are likely to be! We may be highly entertained from our armchairs with the extravaganzas and the competitive spirit at its best.

The month begins with a Solar Eclipse at the Leo New Moon on the 1st. The month begins with a Stellium of three or more planets in Leo with the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus all occupying the Fixed Fire Sign. Our focus is on fun, creative self-expression and finding venues in which we can stand out and put our imprint on our world.

As we start August, there are five planets in Fire Signs, three planets in Earth Signs, one planet in an Air Sign and one planet in a Water Sign. One planet is in a Cardinal Sign, five planets are in Fixed Signs and four planets are in Mutable Signs. Six planets are in Positive Signs and four planets are in Negative Signs.

We are on fire, impassioned but not blinded by the light. We have a focus on what needs to be done and how we can do it. We are looking for a practical approach to our life’s problems and a pragmatic means by which to find creative outlets for ourselves.

None of us may like some of present days’ circumstances, but they do allow us to stretch, challenge us to take a proactive approach and ask that we come up with a best practices way of doing things and getting things done.

As the saying goes: ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.

We can discover that fun times do not have to break the bank. We might experience the simple joys that cost little except for time and expenditure of energy. We may even come to realize that creating, producing and exerting have incredible side effects that build our self-esteem more so than having something handed to us or done for us as a monetary exchange.

There are two catch configurations we have to watch out for as we start the month.

The Venus opposition Neptune that was exact at the end of July on the 31st influences the beginning of August. We need to avoid becoming infatuated by the image or the appearance without checking the reality of the situation. We could easily see the potential in a person or in a situation, but the appearance may not mesh with reality. This energy configuration is akin to the trickster, a person or situation that appears one way, the reality being totally different. It would be wise not to give benefit of the doubt or accept anything at face value. If we get carried away with our quest for good times without considering the facts and all the facets, we could easily build ourselves a very deep hole from which it would be hard to climb out.

Although we are desirous of realizing the idyllic in our lives, if we do take the time to look deeper than surface appearance, we could find our heart’s desire. For the Venus Neptune opposition also has Venus moving towards a trine with Pluto exact on the 5th. Allowing ourselves time to reflect, consider and experience a situation or a person before we dive headlong into commitment might eventually create a scenario whereby we witness the depth, passion and essence of that person or situation.

Even though we are living fast-paced lives in which there is little time for reflection and deep thought, slowing things down and savoring the experiences give greater depth to our enjoyment and our appreciation of all that life has to offer.

Instead of channel surfing our lives with one experience after another, all the while that each one is becoming a blur in the kaleidoscope of events, activities and interactions; we can manage our time in order to fully experience all the sensations associated with each event, each activity, and each interchange.

The second configuration at the beginning of the month we need to watch for is the Mars opposition Uranus exact on the 6th. The potential for impetuousness is strong, could lead to miscalculations and result in accidents or other disastrous consequences. Physical force can ratchet up and express itself in outbursts and assaults. On the 6th, not only is Mars opposed Uranus but Mercury opposes Neptune. Our thinking may be cloudy, even delusional. We could easily buy into wishful thinking and assume that by our will we can make our desired so.

Around the 6th is a time when we need to count to ten before reacting, consider our actions and their likely consequences before acting, and keep ourselves from rash or impetuous actions. We might want to make changes, assert our individuality but without enough forethought and consideration of the conditions we could race headlong towards precipices.

The 6th ends the Leo Stellium as Venus exits Leo and enters Virgo, creating a Stellium of three or more planets in Virgo as Venus joins Mars and Saturn in the Mutable Earth Sign. Although we are now more likely to critique situations and consider the specifics rather than just enjoying the exuberance of free wheeling fun, people are likely to become increasingly critical. Instead of seeing possibilities, the tendency could shift to only seeing flaws and frailties. Our mind can be laser-like, especially around the 9th when Mercury trines Pluto, but our attitude could tend towards the negative, seeing the dark side rather than the sunny side of situations. This emphasis on Virgo is increased as Mercury enters Virgo, a Sign it rules, on the 10th.

People may be offering their analyses of situations, critical of what is going on and despairing of the prospects for the future. There can be a tendency to lose sight of the forest for the trees as we look at individual pieces and lose sight of the big picture.

Everything may come under the microscope and the critical eye and sarcastic tongue. Even our relationships can suffer as we tend to consider, evaluate, analyze the character, intentions and motivations of another person. This may be especially true on the 13th when Venus conjuncts Saturn.

Although we are still interested in summer fun, our thoughts are moving increasingly to our routine world, our normal experiences and the weight of our daily lives.

The time of the 15th through the 17th could provoke extremes and give witness to the drastic volatility of these times. We might feel schizophrenic as we go from depression to mania. The 15th has the Sun opposed Neptune and Mercury conjunct Saturn. We might be confused, questioning our purpose and second-guessing our goals, feeling as if the wind has been knocked out of us. A sense of resignation could have us giving up our hopes and concentrating on what is right in front of us. If do not give into a disposition of hopelessness, we could use these energies to focus on the right format, the best methods and appropriate action of going step by step to come closer to the realization of our aims.

Certainly the Aquarius Full Moon, a Lunar Eclipse, on the 16th can be inspiring and give us the thrust needed to move forward with our interests and advance our cause. The Full Moon has the Neptune influence so it will be essential that we don’t get carried away by being a daydream believer without connecting the dots, putting plans into action and methodically taking the necessary steps in progressing the realization of our dreams. At the time of the Full Moon, Venus trines Jupiter. We may find the support and encouragement, just what we need to give us the stamina and determination to make our mark upon our world. Some people or someone may provide a sounding board, a necessary grounding, for us to work out the details and specifics as to how we can best proceed with our plans.

The 17th continues the exuberance, thanks to Mercury trine Jupiter. We are feeling upbeat, optimistic, and with Mars square Pluto we might assume that we can move mountains. A most intense configuration, this time of Mars square Pluto can also find people acting out, bomb blasts, explosions and belligerence running rampant. Nothing is likely done in half measure. We would have to be careful not to get caught up in a situation that could escalate quickly and madly.

Mars moves into Libra on the 19th. War and Peace may become the rallying cry on the international front and also on the home front. We have a greater ability to see a perspective other than our own. There is a greater willingness towards conciliation and accommodation.

On the 21st, our soul connection seems strong. The Sun trines Pluto. Impassioned and determined, we are likely to feel transformed with many of the superficial blockages that have often gotten in our way removed. We know what we want from the essence of our being. Our presentations show real strength of purpose. We are coming from our essence, from the core of our very being. Mercury conjuncts Venus, and we have the ability to combine brain and brawn with a diplomatic charm. The 21st can be a very powerful day, a time when we feel that we are more in control of our destiny, when we are convinced that our journey through life needs to have real meaning and express the depth of our individuality. It is also the last day of the Sun’s transit through Leo, and the last time that the Sun will trine Pluto transiting through Sagittarius. Now is a time for us to resolve to focus on the quality of our lives, the essence of our living. No matter the conditions in the world or the circumstances that surround us, we have the indomitable will to follow our heart’s desire and our soul’s intention.

The Sun moves into Virgo on the 22nd, reinforcing the Stellium of three or more planets in one Sign, as the Sun joins Mercury, Venus and Saturn in the Mercury-ruled Sign. Increasingly, our attention is turning back towards our daily lives, our normal routine and what we need to do in order to effectively expedite and carry out our responsibilities. We may have a greater appreciation of the specifics, the details, the different pieces to our lives that make up the fabric of our living.

Uranian energies on the 23rd contribute to a sense of both synchronicity, the asequential reality of these times, and also unexpected situations that challenge our comfort zone. Mercury and Venus both oppose Uranus on the 23rd. One of my least favorite energy configurations for air travel, the Mercury Uranus opposition can wreak havoc with communications, provoke computer glitches with especially internet connections and create difficulties in getting from one place to another. If we don’t get thrown for a loop, this Mercury Uranus configuration also allows for startling insights, revelations, those ‘ah-ha’ moments when things make sense even if they do not fit according to the old paradigm. The Venus Uranus opposition can create tensions in our interactions with others, especially if we or other people are locked into expectations of personal behavior. There could be interesting contacts made, bumping into people in a serendipitous way as if destiny has taken charge. With such strong Uranian energies on the 23rd, this is a time for us to expect the unexpected. We may come to realize that things can virtually turn on a dime, that during these most volatile times there is a friction, a dynamic which instigates dramatic change, changes that we cannot truly foreshadow or perceive, but can only be open to adapting and shifting according to the abnormal patterns of nonlinear sequencing.

The last week of August has Mercury and Venus creating squares to Pluto just prior to their leaving their transit of Virgo and before their entering Libra. This is also the week of the Democratic National Convention in Denver that starts on the 25th and culminates on the 28th with the apparent crowning of Senator Barack Obama as his party’s presidential nominee. With Mercury square Pluto on the 27th discussions can be intense, even heated. Perhaps the most ardent supporters of Senator Hilary Clinton and PUMA may make their case of the railroading of the nomination to Senator Obama. A desire to get to the core of a matter may be evident and passions heated. While our thoughts can be laser-like, piercing and focused on the important specifics of our ideas, we may also have a critical attitude, a tendency to pontificate or heap scorn on those that don’t get our ideas or agree with our reasoning.

Any disagreements around the 27th with the Mercury square Pluto can die down quickly as Mercury moves into Libra on the 28th. Having won or at least made our point, we become more appreciative of other people’s perspective and could become accommodating and conciliatory.

The Venus Pluto square on the 29th may provoke relationship problems. Instead of seeing the qualities of the other person, we may focus on the character flaws or what we perceive as their negative traits. We might even get to the point of ending some connections, figuring that our contact has served its purpose but no longer merits our interchange. While there can be blow-ups with both Pluto squares, such blow-ups are brief as both Mercury on the 28th and Venus on the 30th move into Libra.

With Venus moving into Libra on the 30th, we now have a Stellium of three or more planets in one Sign as Venus joins Mars and Mercury in the Venus-ruled Cardinal Air Sign. Relationships become a key focal point. Even if we have jettisoned certain people from our contact book, we are more interested in our interactions with other people than going it alone.

The 30th also has the Virgo New Moon at the time of the Sun Moon conjunction being within orb of a conjunction to Saturn. We may find that we are becoming more attentive to the Autumn period, getting back on track with our normal, daily activities. At the same time, we might find ourselves going through a walk down Memory Lane, recapitulating and excoriating the demons of our past. The ‘blame game’ is en vogue but not a healthy way of dealing with our present, much less preparing for our future.

As the adage attributed to philosopher George Santayana states: “those who do not learn from their past are doomed to repeat it.”

Why go there? We can learn from the past but it would be counterproductive to harbor ill feelings of the past. If we knew then what we know today, our choices might have been different. We didn’t, they weren’t, so let’s maintain an air of bemusement regarding any so-called foibles of our past.

As we end August, we can strategize the best practices approach for our return to the fast track. We can appreciate the special people in our lives and be grateful for the blessings bestowed upon us.

No matter how difficult situations may seem, it is important to keep in mind that we never get more than we can handle. Problems present challenges and provide the opportunities for us to stretch, grow and devise ways to successfully meet our tests and develop our skills and grow further into our being.

August… something for everyone…