by Pam Younghans

Posted on August 4, 2013 by


Today’s photo: Meteor passing in front of the Milky Way on July 16 over Acadia National Park, Maine (photo by Mike Taylor, posted on

IT SEEMS INCREDIBLE that it is already August! Astrologically speaking, this is probably the most highly-energized month of 2013, due to the T-square configuration that is forming between Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter. We begin working with that transformative energy this week, with the Pluto-Jupiter opposition (exact on Wednesday).

We usually don’t think of Jupiter as being intense or confrontational — but, true to the planet’s immense physical presence, it usually acts to emphasize or exaggerate the influence of whatever other planets it interacts with. As Jupiter opposes Pluto this week, we are likely to see (and feel) the effects of Pluto more profoundly.

PLUTO is a very passionate planet. When we work with its energy, we feel all aspects of life more deeply, and tend to react instinctively instead of thinking things through logically. Externally, this week’s opposition can manifest as heightened conflicts between opposing belief systems and between governments or groups with differing philosophies.

The higher intention of Pluto is to get truth out into the open, to reveal where band-aids have been used to cover but not heal systems or relationships that are wounded or decayed. When Pluto unleashes feelings we’ve been stuffing down, it may feel intense — but it is also a necessary step. Exposing those emotions is the first step in Pluto’s process of regeneration.

THE SYMBOLISM of the phoenix rising from the ashes is appropriate when describing Pluto’s process. The fire may feel intense, but it is what allows the phoenix to be reborn, ultimately to rise again and begin a new life.

I especially like how astrologer Jeff Jawer has described the transformative process associated with this week’s Pluto-Jupiter opposition, in the current issue of The Mountain Astrologer:

“Beliefs can be intensified, and judgments may be extreme. But rather than inspiring rants against the government, corporations, the right or the left, its purpose is to examine the so-called truths we hold dear and see how we’ve fabricated them. Passions that arise after such deep examination can positively transform our world, while blind faith in personal or collective ideas is likely to perpetuate intolerance.”

If things get particularly stressful this week, it may also be helpful to consider that we have most of this month to work with these themes — and that by the time of the Uranus-Jupiter square on August 21, we’ll be primed for a breakthrough. Together, Uranus and Jupiter will provide the courage we need to reinvent ourselves based on what Pluto has revealed.

WE HAVE A NEW MOON in Leo on Tuesday. New Moons are always opportunities to begin anew, and this one is particularly strong for beginning new creative projects. In fact, the Sun and Moon are aligned with the asteroid Vesta at the time of the lunation, which increases our need for creative free rein in whatever we undertake.

The Sabian symbol for the New Moon indicates that Leo’s dramatic flair and desire for attention may be especially strong this week:

“A pageant, with its spectacular floats, moves along a street crowded with cheering people: Public demonstration and release of energies.”

This New Moon could tend to increase people’s need for power and control, especially with the Pluto-Jupiter opposition exact the next day. Our challenge will be to stay in balance — staying in our power without defaulting to manipulation or over-control (Pluto in Capricorn), and taking care of our emotional needs without running away or reacting defensively (Jupiter in Cancer).

MERCURY enters Leo on Thursday, further increasing our focus on creative endeavors and turning our thoughts to what will bring greater joy into our lives. This is a time to brainstorm about any problem or area of concern that requires creative thinking.

Mercury is moving pretty quickly now. Its journey through Leo will last only about two weeks, until August 23. This is a short period for taking advantage of what can be very inspired thinking — but since Mercury in Leo can also increase our stubbornness and our need for accolades and appreciation, Mercury’s short journey through the sign may encourage just the right amount of self-involvement without allowing us to drift into self-importance.

We will see exactly where we are on the Leo spectrum when Saturn squares Mercury on Sunday. If we’ve wandered too far into arrogance, Saturn in Scorpio will reveal the truth of our motivations. On the other hand, if our ideas are worth the energy we’ve put into them, the Saturn-Mercury square will help us see how to bring our fantastic visions more fully into reality.



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