Current Transits for August 2001

Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...


Full Moon at 11Aq55, 8-4
Saturn opposite Pluto, 8-5
Chiron sextile Uranus, 8-10
Jupiter quincunx Neptune, 8-15
Pallas enters Sagittarius, 8-16
New Moon at 26Le21, 8-18
Jupiter tri-octile Uranus, 8-19
Mars conjunct Chiron, 8-23
Pluto Direct Station at 12Sa32, 8-23
Chiron Direct Station at 22Sa51, 8-26
Ceres Direct Station at 8Cp45, 8-27

An online ephemeris for the month is available.

General Outlook for the Month

August looks like another busy and challenging month, similar to June (though not so super-charged on astrological steroids). The linchpin of the month occurs around the full moon on the 4th, which is leading up to the difficult opposition of Saturn and Pluto on the 5th. Needless to say, Saturn and Pluto are both demanding planetary energies, and the opposition seems to put them at odds with each other, so there's going to be a lot expected of us in coming weeks. Don't get too concerned if you experience some setbacks right away, because this is only the start of a 9 month cycle (lasting until next May) and you'll have a chance to work on these issues for a long time. The other big aspects and direct stations are somewhat calmer influences (mostly). In a nutshell, it's time to buckle down and get serious about some significant life changes that you've been putting off. I don't think you'll get to postpone them much longer.

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Full Moon at 11Aq55, 8-4

This full moon chart is a spectacular fireworks display in many ways. The waveform springs to life, reaching a low Koz Alert (527 units) right at the full moon. More importantly, the Sun-Moon axis is intimately connected with the Saturn-Pluto opposition coming up on the 5th (and several other planets, too) in a lovely pattern astrologers call a "Mystic Rectangle". All the action is focussed at 11 degrees.

The 11 degree group contains the Sun and Mercury opposite the Moon, and Saturn opposite Pluto (very near the main Koz Alert peak) -- that's the Rectangle. Neptune (near the Moon) and Mars (near Pluto) are on the fringes. Throw in Ceres and there's a Yod as well. All the other planets are pretty much in the "background noise" category.

The energy being released at the full moon feels like a gong being struck -- the universe is quickly and decisively getting our attention. As I've tuned into the energies building up recently, there's been a weighty mood to it -- the word "portentous" seems very apt. Dane Rudhyar described the Mystic Rectangle as "practical mysticism". This Saturn-Pluto cycle that is just beginning kicks in like a lightning bolt, starting up a psychic process that will likely change some basic assumptions each of us has about living. I've been in a very introspective mood as this energy has been gathering, having all sorts of intuitive insights about myself -- I think that's Pluto softening up the Saturn foundations of my life. This is a good time to have your eyes wide open. The events this month will likely take until next May to fully resolve, but it wouldn't hurt to get a head start. Be very aware of the gravity of this time, but don't take yourself too seriously in the process. A light-hearted approach will actually come in handy. Dig in...

Saturn Opposition Pluto, 8-5

The most crucial aspect this month is the opposition of Saturn and Pluto on the 5th. This is the 1st of 3 such contacts, with the next contacts coming on Nov 2 and then May 25, 2002. Saturn, is about form, structure and identity, the outward characteristics and behaviors that make us who we are at a mundane level. Pluto is about radical transformation and evolutionary growth, getting past the outward identifications in order to be more like our soul intended. With an opposition, these two tendencies are in a head-on collision and something has to give. In my experience, I'd place odds that Pluto comes out ahead, though Saturn will "get points" for tenacity. In short, some of the important, defining structures in your life are being forced to change. Some of this is about growing up and assuming more responsibilities (both Saturn issues), but I suspect the problem goes deeper than that. When Pluto is active (and about to stand still), some area of your life just doesn't seem to work anymore like it used to. It drags you down and drains your energy and your enthusiasm. It takes too much energy to hold this area together and keep it working. That's usually the spiritual message that this area is expendable in your life, that your inner nature is demanding you simply let go. It may leave a lot of rubble and chaos behind, but eventually you'll clear out this ground and build something new. Listen to that inner advice and act on it!

Chiron Sextile Uranus, 8-10

There's a sextile between Chiron and Uranus on the 10th. This is the last of 3 such contacts, with the others on 2000-11-13 and 2001-7-18. This current influence seems to be quite long-lasting, covering all of July through September. It's a recipe for crazy new situations to enter your life, as these planets overturn some "status quo" areas that have gotten too staid. This is an excellent time to get out of a long, outstanding rut. Most ruts are a kind of misunderstanding of life that winds up sapping your energies. The insight and "aha!" of Uranus combines with the healing, initiatory powers of Chiron to make it much easier to see how to break free of these habits. You're much less emotionally attached to these behaviors now, making it simpler to see how you limit your own power. Try out new ideas, perspectives and approaches (yes, the "Mars thing") -- you may amaze yourself how much easier life could be. Pay attention to new themes that pop into your life from the blue -- these new stories could be valuable tools along your path. Visualize where you want your life to be moving (especially the stuck areas!), letting the universe fill in the details (it's better at that sort of thing). Above all, have fun and enjoy the ride! Giving into fear now will only hold you back and make you miserable.

Jupiter Quincunx Neptune, 8-15

Jupiter is quincunx Neptune on the 15th. This is the first of 3 contacts (2002-1-20 and 2002-4-30 also) lasting 8 months. Jupiter rules the principle of expansion, of reaching out beyond our normal boundaries and taking in new experiences. Neptune works more in the subtle energy levels, some of the murky unconscious parts of the psyche that have an uncanny ability to craft the overall themes of our lives. These two usually work well together, sweeping away limitations you weren't even aware of. But a quincunx often describes an "adjustment problem" , where the planets involved seem to be talking subtly different languages. The connections between the inner world and how it plays out in the outer world are out of sync, causing unintended consequences. It may involve a mismatch between the "spiritual" and "material" parts of your life -- both planets have spiritual overtones. Again, such mismatches are often a profound misunderstanding, since there is no distinction between the spirit and everything else. Look for the fuzzy areas, the parts where life looks confusing -- that's the clue to finding what needs adjusting.

Pallas enters Sagittarius, 8-16

Pallas moves from Scorpio into Sagittarius on the 16th. Pallas is just coming off her direct station (7-18, 27Sc14), finishing up a few loose ends in Scorpio. As she shifts into Sag, the mind switches into a broader, more visionary mode. Pallas represents a unique ability of the thinking mind to see situations in entire gestalts, to visualize all the steps in a process to accomplish a goal, to plan and bring things off. In Sag, the gestalt part is emphasized. What's missing is the details. Pay attention to the nuts and bolts -- that's what will trip you up. It also tends to produce a more philosophical point of view, looking at the big picture. Pallas moves into Capricorn on Nov 21.

New Moon at 26Le21, 8-18

The new moon is considerably less dramatic than the full moon. Like the July 5 lunar eclipse chart, this chart is highly polarized (known as a "SeeSaw" pattern). Nearly all the personal planets that govern "everyday" behavior are sitting below the horizon (for Minneapolis), and all those mystical, unconscious planets, plus Mars, are placed above it. It's as though your awareness is split right down the middle and each of us has a giant blindspot. Conflict is easy to stumble into under such circumstances, so give others your patience because you may not be seeing them clearly. There are many changes going on below the surface, some of it surprising and delightful, others more challenging. Keep your eyes open!

Jupiter Tri-octile Uranus, 8-19

Jupiter is tri-octile Uranus on the 19th. This is also the first of 3 contacts (2002-1-18 and 2002-5-16 also) stretching over the next 9 months. This aspect seems to represent some mental conflicts. There's a disagreement between the more conventional wisdom ofJupiter and the intuitive "crazy wisdom" of Uranus. It can be difficult to know which you should trust more. On the one hand, Uranus is good for busting through limitations in your thinking, of seeing how your ideas can box you in. It's very freeing. However, Uranus can sometimes overhaul matters just to create some amusing chaos. It's useful to check in with others once in awhile, to ground this kind of wildness in some common sense. Again, realize that others have their limitations too and there's nothing common about common sense. It's a balancing act, with no clearcut answers. But the mental detours can still be fascinating. Have fun!

Mars Conjunct Chiron, 8-23

The last of the 3 conjunctions of Mars and Chiron takes place on the 23rd. The previous contacts were on May 1st and 29th of this year. I mention this one for several reasons. First, Mars is recently direct again (7-18, 15Sa07) and Chiron goes direct in only a few days. In effect, these two have overlapping and interlinked retrograde cycles, causing them to work together closely for several months running. Second, all this activity is conjunct the Galactic Center (26Sa51), an astrological power spot that has deep spiritual repercussions. As I discussed in May, this pattern seems to be rehabilitating our Mars energies, the basic physical drives and activities that enable the ego to express his desires and will. Mars frequently gets a dirty name these days, as his masculine warrior energies have fallen into disfavor. However, will power is an absolutely necessary part of living on the earth plane and there's no reason to be apologetic about it. As long as Mars is kept in service of a higher vision than throwing your ego around, he's a useful guy to have in your corner. Give your inner warrior a break. Get comfortable with your own power.

Pluto Direct Station at 12Sa32, 8-23

Pluto is standing still on the 23rd at 12Sa32, about to resume normal direct motion. I always consider Pluto's direct station each year to be a major turning point. Pluto (especially during his retrograde cycles) "causes" deep evolutionary change in our lives, stripping away some of the meaningless outer trappings (including your sense of identity sometimes) so you can get back to the essentials of what your soul really intended you to be. There are often powerful unconscious patterns that entrap you until you finally become aware of them and let go. Abuse of personal power or trying to bend others to serve your ego desires are commonly at the root of this issue. If you are going to tap into potent spiritual powers, you have to learn to use them in a self-less, ego transcending manner. Using this knowledge in a self-centered way tends to make the situation backfire on you down the road. Well, the direct station is where you find yourself "down the road" -- take a good look around you. What have you been desperately trying to hold together, only to find it crumbling in your hands now? Which relationships are melting down? Where do you find your efforts most held back? This is Pluto's way of pointing out the inauthentic areas of your life. The resistance you're encountering is his way of saying you can't do this anymore -- and Pluto means it. Don't fight it, let go. The struggle is between the ego and the greater unconscious and higher self -- no contest here. It's simply the real you emerging from a layer of falsehoods. Pick up the pieces and move on.

Chiron Direct Station at 22Sa51, 8-26

Chiron is also standing still by the 26th at 22Sa51, going into direct motion. Here's another major turning point in a very complicated pattern. As I started mentioning last February, Chiron's retrograde cycle this year is intricately intertwined with Mars and (more importantly) the Galactic Center. The GC is one of the most powerful energies of the deep unconscious and/or spiritual realms that humans can currently tap into, and even then, only the most advanced among us are routinely there. Since neither Chiron nor the GC were known or understood at their previous conjunction (1950), this is the first time humanity has needed to face this highly initiatory experience in a conscious manner. It's a real wakeup call for those who are tuned in, as the veil of "reality" is ripped off our experience and the world suddenly becomes very surreal. Issues related to self expression and the proper use of personal power (Mars shadow stuff) may have been big -- sometimes, the only proper response lately has been to politely disagree and stick to your guns. But it's been this response of "things are getting too weird!" that seems to fill many of my conversations lately. This inability to figure things out anymore is a prod to step beyond our limited understandings into a perspective that can easily be called "cosmic" (GC). All the confusion of this direct station is the stepping off point for changes that culminate on the final Chiron conjunct GC, on Nov 10. Keep an eye on where the GC, at 26Sa51, falls in your chart!

Ceres Direct Station at 8Cp45, 8-27

Finally, Ceres has her direct station on the 27th, at 8Cp45. Starting with the retrograde station on May 16 at 22Cp49, the entire cycle has been in Capricorn. Now I find that interesting: Ceres the Great Mother hanging out for a 10 month (Feb 4 to Dec 5) intensive in the sign of Capricorn, the most patriarchal of all signs (though his symbolism goes much deeper than that). It adds a very practical, down to earth overtone to the basic themes of nurturing and caring that Ceres symbolizes. Sometimes caring is simply paying the bills and getting the groceries. Focus on the simple, mundane ways of enhancing your life and the lives around you.

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Martin Bulgerin
BioPsciences Institute
P.O. Box 11026
Minneapolis, MN 55412

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