August 19th-25th: Celestial Clean-Up

After shifting into Cancer and Capricorn last week, Rahu and Ketu continue to impact us this week with the upcoming total solar eclipse. The lunar eclipse two weeks back was the beginning of this eclipse season. Eclipses always come in pairs, and happen twice a year. During this time, the Sun and moon enter into the path of Rahu and Ketu, who are known as the north and south node of the moon, or the shadow causers.

This week will begin with a very favorable cosmic association between Mars and Jupiter on Saturday the 19th. Mars is at 25 degrees Cancer and contacts Jupiter at 25 degrees Virgo. Cancer and Virgo are signs in sextile, and help each other out considerably. Jupiter and Mars team up this weekend and allow a greater scope of action and activity. On an individual level, this will increase motivation and encourage goal setting. Travel is apt to be beneficial on Saturday and Sunday. This transit will also help groups to function better together, with each individual playing their role in a much larger scheme. A well-intentioned group will be able to accomplish much this weekend, more than the members might be able to alone.

Monday the 21st brings the eclipse (visible primarily in the United States), but first the day will begin with Venus entering Cancer. The Venusian energies do well in gentle Cancer, but there are some unexpected elements with the presence of Mars and Rahu also transiting the sign at present. Venus in Cancer will bring a peaceful, domestic layer to intimate relationships, encouraging pairs to group off and love and create from the relative safety of their homes or other private locales. This is less about secrecy and more about protection. With the instability of Rahu wandering loose around Cancer, it is more practical and beneficial for the Venusian energies (love, beauty, romance and creation) to be harnessed in relative seclusion rather than openly expressed. Venus will transit Cancer through September 14th, and at this point it will be easier to make certain things public. These next few weeks will be useful for finding certainty. Mercury retrograde adds another element of confusion and illusion, but this is really a blessing as we are given the opportunity to take a step back and make sure our decisions are what we really want. If you are having trouble figuring out which direction you’re going in, reflecting in a quiet environment during the next three and a half weeks can bring a new sense of clarity.

The eclipse carries with it a host of superstition and awe, even from those who reject astrology. Many of our distant ancestors on this planet considered eclipses a terrifying thing, as the light of the sun was snatched away. While we understand logically that this is not the case now, there is still that raw association that lingers in the unconscious of many. This being the first full eclipse in over 20 years, it is being talked up and so emotions and reactions are busy forming for most everyone, in some shape or another. Any event of cultural significance impacts us because of the amount of energy being given to it from all sides.

Astrologically, this eclipse takes place at the Vedic calculation spot of 4 degrees Leo, with the Sun and moon meeting at this point. This is a highly public eclipse, with Leo being the least likely candidate to shy away from the spotlight. This goes beyond actual press and news, and pushes the energetic dynamics of this eclipse into the forefront. Eclipses bring the shadow self to light, and deal primarily with illusion. This has been a big theme over the past month, so this will not feel like a total shock if you have been paying attention. In Leo, we are forced to look at the divide between our public and private faces. (Again!) We may be fixated on the masks of others and forget about the masks we wear ourselves. Leo is about showmanship and expression, and when the eclipse hits here we see the politician and his many faces, which are not normally illuminated. This goes beyond actual politics (though that may be relevant also) and into all arenas of life. The first reaction may be fear or anger, to realize that some person or some group you trusted may have facets and layers that go beyond what you were led to believe existed. Judgment will color this in a negative or positive light depending on individual factors. To see below the surface can be frightening. To see someone’s true intentions can be surprising. This is the energy of the eclipse. People react differently to fright and surprise, and so over the day or two that follow there may be a variety of “fight or flight” type responses. As Mars moves into conjunction with eclipsing Rahu on Friday, it is likely many will opt for the “fight”.

Thankfully, Saturn comes out of retrograde and stations direct on Friday the 25th. This is the final push in a month of intensity. With Saturn back on karmic watch, it is a little like Dad coming home after the kids have been throwing a wild party. There may be consequences to our actions, but something constructive can begin to build where chaos was reigning supreme moments earlier. Saturn resumes motion at 27 degrees Scorpio, and will re-transit the sign until October 25th, when it enters Sagittarius. This is the last time Saturn will be in Scorpio for another 27 years, and so the next two months are important. As Saturn, the cosmic father, tells us to clean up our messes, maybe instead of grumbling and complaining we can realize that they are OUR messes, and by wiping them away we are completing a cycle that is both karmic and necessary. This will be true on an individual, group and nationalistic level all the same. Saturn doesn’t punish; it simply opens the door to our closet. If we’ve cleaned it and kept it organized, things will be fine. If we’ve stuffed everything inside, it will all fall out and we will be forced to reckon with it. The next two months are a constructive time for going back over our work and dealing with the last loose ends. We are making room for new energy, the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2014.