August Horoscope 2011
Make the Most of Mercury Retrograde
The key astrological event of August is Mercury’s retrograde cycle from August 2-26. This backward turn of the communication planet happens three times a year, and is well known for complicating conversations, muddling messages, blurring details, and triggering technical difficulties and travel troubles. While some astrologers recommend avoiding starting new projects or signing contracts during this period, it’s often impossible to do so. Just make sure to double-check data and confirm details carefully to limit the risk of making mistakes. In fact, Mercury retrograde can be very useful for completing unfinished business or returning to an old creative interest.
The contrasting sign positions of astrology’s lovers — Venus and Mars — are a complicating factor in relationships this month. Alluring Venus in bold Leo until August 21 favors splashy displays of affection and romantic drama. Hearts can open wide in expressive displays of generosity and adoration. There is a narcissistic side to this transit, though — some egos may overinflate as individuals demand more attention and approval than usual. The fun of this playful combination is countered by passionate Mars’ move into super-sensitive and self-protective Cancer on August 3. Instead of taking initiative with confidence, this transit evokes a more careful and timid approach to partnerships. Venus in Leo needs heroes, yet warrior Mars is more into playing it safe in cuddly Cancer. Venus’ shift into pragmatic Virgo on the August 21 brings these two planets into a more cohesive relationship, as reason and security take precedence over big displays of affection.
The bold and outgoing qualities of fiery Leo are fueled by the Sun’s presence in this grandiose sign. Chests may expand with self-importance, even as macho Mars is wearing Cancer’s apron. Leo is wonderful when confident individuals express it joyously. However, insecurity during Leo days often draws unpleasant pictures of bullies and showoffs whose external displays of self-importance are not matched by the quality of their work or by generous spirits. The Sun’s entry into earthy Virgo on August 23 tones down brash behavior as the focus shifts to taking care of business rather than putting on a show.
The Leonine need to be the center of attention is highlighted with a lunar opposition from egalitarian Aquarius on August 13. This Full Moon contrasts personal authority (Leo) with collective concerns (Aquarius). Cool Aquarius can put a chill on overheated romance and hyper-inflated egos. Bossy people may be put down by clever comments, but the purpose of this lunation is not to embarrass anyone. It is meant to serve as a reminder that even the greatest among us requires a community of friends, fans and supporters. We can sometimes feel pulled apart by the lunar opposition to the Sun during a Full Moon. Yet its message is to make us aware of the spectrum of responses available to all of us so that we can stretch our behavioral vocabulary. Learning when to take the lead and be a star (Leo) and when to be a cooperative member of the chorus (Aquarius) teaches us to play a variety of roles.
Mercury’s forward turn on August 26 and the New Moon in analytical Virgo on August 28 complete the transition from Leo’s fiery explorations of self-expression to more modest and detail-oriented ways of operating. The upside of Virgo is the refinement of skills and the ability to apply them with purpose and precision. Its downside is being overly critical. Constructive criticism that provides useful solutions to address flaws is an excellent way to make the most of this productive and practical sign.