It’s Been a Long Time Coming: August Eclipses + Mercury Retrograde

August is upon us! If you haven’t checked out your monthly horoscopes, be sure to see how this month’s Eclipses will affect your Sun Sign. Where to begin? Let’s start with a brief recap of the Summer. We’re in the midst of a Grand Trine in the Fire Signs that began on May 10 and will continue until the first week of November. This energy has been offering us the courage to make the changes we know we need to make in order to fulfill our potential. It’s been particularly potent during the second half of June and all of July as we’ve been free from retrograde energies. But, that’s all about to change.

Don’t worry, if anything August will be the most powerful month for personal transformation yet, but don’t expect to make what you’d consider to be “progress” in a traditional sense. Instead, think about some of the prep work that goes into a big project. This month will be about all the work you do before you can start the real work. You might spend days cleaning a room, clearing the furniture, maybe removing wall paper, applying primer. After all this work, you can look at your newly prepared space and it’s nowhere near the finished version you envision. But, some of the old, worn-out parts of the room have been removed and you’re now ready for the work of painting the room with a fresh coat (or two). I think it will kind of be like that.

Mercury will station retrograde on August 12, but we’re already in the “shadow phase.” This means it’s time to focus on works in progress and resolving the past. We’ll be under the influence of Mercury retrograde until about September 19, when the shadow finally clears. Between now and September 19, avoid making new commitments, or any type of agreement that would be hard to renegotiate later. This will be a time to dot your I’s and cross your T’s. We’ve been on a bit of a tear this Summer, with all the fire energy at work. It’s been a great environment to stop procrastinating, but the “just do it” attitude hasn’t left us a chance to focus on the details. We should all welcome the opportunity to slow down and make sure we’re getting it right. But, I’ll be honest, at times it may feel frustrating as we’ve been becoming addicted to the rush of moving quickly.

This month’s big headline, of course, are the Eclipses. This will be our second pair of Eclipses in 2017, with the first two occurring back in February. It can be useful to think of the realizations and changes that began around that time as this Eclipse pair will serve as phase two of your 2017 growth process. Several scenarios can play out. If you are right on track, you’re likely to get a thumbs up from the Universe, and you could receive the missing information or resources needed to put you right where you want to be. If you’re truly on your way, even immediate setbacks will likely work to your favor in the long run. On the other hand, if you have been dragging your feet and avoiding what you know you need to do for your wellbeing, this second set of Eclipses can offer a swift kick in the pants.

There’s a third way you may feel these Eclipses, too. Suppose you really felt called to follow a certain path back in February, but something has felt off. It’s possible you either don’t want what you thought you wanted, or you need a new approach. Either way, you can use this month’s Astrology to revise your plan. Remember, you’re the one in charge. The planets simply offer a natural set of environmental circumstances, much like the Moon guides the ocean’s tides. It’s you who will choose how to make the best use of the available energies.

The Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius will be on August 7—prepare for an emotional awakening. As it is, Full Moons can bring out the drama in even the most stoic among us. When a Full Moon is combined with an Eclipse, the emotional energy will be magnified. Themes may include romantic partnerships, passion, creative aspirations, finding a sense of belonging, friendships, group dynamics, and your big picture hopes and dreams. It will be a great time for insights, and for some, this could be a good time to engage in an unabashedly honest conversation that comes straight from the heart. But if you’re feeling extra sensitive or sense that others may be taking things too personally, wait until a few days after the Lunar Eclipse has passed to share your feelings with another.

Then there’s the biggie, the “great American” Solar Eclipse on the 21st. This one has been hyped by every tourism board in every tiny town along the United States Eclipse corridor from the coast of Oregon down to the coast of South Carolina. I am on a personal mission to determine if there will really be a huge difference between viewing the Eclipse in Portland, OR vs. driving an hour or so to the Southeast or West. NASA states visibility in Portland at 94 – 99%, which seems pretty dang close to total. I’ve had one Eclipse enthusiast tell me it’s all about the corona. I guess in Portland the edges could look a little smudged, but we will still get to see it. If anyone out there knows other reasons to leave Portland and risk record-breaking traffic, please let me know. I honestly want to learn more and determine if the totality path will offer a drastically different view than being an hour away and just stepping out my front door with Eclipse glasses on.

But, let’s talk about the astrological influence. Solar Eclipses represent endings and beginnings, and this Eclipse will be in the sign of Leo. Well, guess what? Last February’s Lunar Eclipse was also in Leo. Relationships and other matters of the heart will take center stage. However, it can represent changes in other areas of life, depending on where it falls in your personal birth chart. A Solar Eclipse is a high-powered New Moon, making it a great time to set intentions for the next short-term Eclipse cycle of 6 months, as well as the longer-term 19-year cycle. But, we’ll be in the midst of Mercury Retrograde. Therefore, write your intentions down at the New Moon / Solar Eclipse, but review your intentions again at the September 20 New Moon to be sure they still resonate with your heart and mind.

There’s been a lot of speculation out there about this Eclipse’s effects on U.S. politics, especially since it falls right on a key part of Donald Trump’s chart called the ascendant. Because there’s already so much out there on this topic, I’ll leave that to the astrologers who specialize in politics. I do think it signifies a change for the U.S. since its path crosses our great country. If you’re looking for a more in-depth analysis, there’s a lot out there. Eric Francis’s is one of my favorite astro-journalistic sources.

Be well everyone and hold steady this month. Don’t resist the changes in store for you. They’ve been a long time coming.

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