The Sun is bolting through Leo following last week’s Leo New Moon (Aug. 11) which gave us an opportunity to ask about the sources and nature of our generosity towards others and why we give what we give. Is your generosity based on a sense of scarcity or lacking? Do you give in order to get? Do you puff yourself up with an image of “Mr/Ms Generosity”? This sort of self-image as well as other reflections on reciprocity could be examined while under the influence of this Leonine New Moon—plus a little Mercury and Mars retrograde to amplify the inquiry and our capacity to reconsider or take a different perspective.

Mercury’s current retrograde is wrapping up, when they will station direct at 11° Leo on August 18, right as they are making an easeful sextile aspect to the planet of love and connection, Venus. Disagreements, misunderstandings and frustrations which cropped up around the time of Mercury’s turn to retrograde motion on July 25 may work themselves out or find resolution or some kind of completion. But Mars’ continued retrograde motion will point us towards looking even deeper to confront patterns of self-sabotage, misdirected passions and karmic obstacles. How do your bodily needs, instinctual or survival-based habits and basic predispositions conflict with your desired self-image, your vision of the future and your various goals? Locating these internal incompatibilities may bring frustration at first, but pay close attention! You can gather important information which will help you to take appropriate action once the planet of pursuit, direction and energy, Mars turns direct on Aug. 27.

image by Joshua Halpern :::

Be wary of emotional explosivity on August 16 and 17 while the Moon travels through the churning depths of Scorpio. The Moon describes the unconscious and signifies our somatic self, our emotions and our basic needs—and therefore our vulnerability. Scorpio’s intensely searching nature can leave us feeling a little exposed if not totally raw, when put into contact with what is already typically hidden from view (the Moon’s province). Taking a moment to actually feel your emotions—rather than reacting or lashing out—could actually bring a great gift of insight into some of your basic unmet needs. Don’t waste time trying to analyze other people on the basis of your feelings. What do your feelings say about you, what you value and care for, and what you wish to protect and serve? How can you uphold your values and serve what you love?

Also this week, expansive, optimistic Jupiter makes its final exact trine aspect to the visionary dreamer Neptune (exact Aug. 19), asking us to look closely at our philosophies of life and any need for adjustments. Are our goals too lofty, or perhaps we just need to add a few more measured steps to get from A to Z? Can we engage our shortcomings and wounds with a mature heart, with a steady hand, with faithfulness to our own divine nature? It is an amazing gift to be able to see what needs repair—it is the first step in the process of moving towards greater wholeness. Don’t despair in the recognition of what is yet to be addressed; give thanks that your path is becoming that much more clear!

Key dates for Mercury retrograde:
July 6, 2018 – Mercury enters shadow 11° Leo
July 25, 2018 – Mercury stations retrograde 23° Leo
Aug. 18, 2018 – Mercury stations direct 11° Leo
Sept. 1, 2018 – Mercury exits shadow 23° Leo

Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

SATURN RETURN SPECIAL    In honor of the generation born roughly 30 years ago with a Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, I am offering everyone with natal Saturn placed from 25° Sagittarius to 29° Capricorn ~ roughly those born Jan. 1929 – Nov. 1932; Mar. 1958 – Jan. 1962; and Dec. 1987 – Feb. 1991 ~ a special Saturn return reading at the following reduced rates for a limited time only:

Returning clients
$65 for 60 minutes
$35 for 30 minutes

New clients
$75 for 60 minutes
$40 for 30 minutes

This week of the Scorpio New Moon can recall us to our wholeness, if we are willing to accept the unknown into our lives, the mystery of our being. On Tuesday, make an offering to the receptive parts of you, that which chooses to receive and that which cannot help but receive. Come Wednesday, you might inquire into the health and well-being of your assertive parts or that portion of you which protects you. How are these working together, or not? Are we trying to force, where we should relax? Are we trying to allow, where we should be exerting more will? What does it mean to cooperate with the greater stream of life in which we are carried? Above all, how can we honor the becoming that we each are, a process that has its own timing, its own motive, its own messy and wonderfully intact aspects.

It is a good week to make gifts of abundant love to the mythical Underworld: to all the forgotten ones, the hidden ones, the repressed ones, the misunderstood ones, those beings who simply travel as the unknown. Getting comfortable with discomfort goes a long way, as you will find support for blessing the Sacred Wound—a core wound that never heals, but which, when we release our old stories around it, can become a source of our Soul’s story, carrying some of our greatest gifts, insight and wisdom. For those who have already been working with this profound and precious vulnerability, you might welcome in a maturation of this Sacred Wound in terms of how it takes up space in psyche, or how it is held within psyche.

This Scorpio New Moon also seems to call for a dance party—move the muscles, feel the way gravity shapes your movement, cut the air with your body. This new moon is for dancing with the dead, dancing with the previously hidden and newly revealed, dancing with the wilds both inner and outer. Don’t just sit and contemplate. Let your body teach you about the unknown, let your body move you towards wholeness. Trust its tempo, and know that the rhythms may sound strange, but so it is with intimacy. We can be intimate with another because we do not know them, and in some sense, can never completely know them…do not focus only on those external to you – tend to the sacred Other within as well!

Beware of being pulled into manipulation by deceit or outward aggression or too forceful action—whether by the unintegrated parts of your own psyche or by those external to you. The damage could run deep. It’s better to find out how to expose yourself to yourself, while being very kind and very gentle in the doing. In this way, you could liberate your assertive nature from old, hampering patterns which do not support the kinds and measures of distance which true intimacy requires. Spending enough time with your patterns of assertion and receptivity, as well as with your Sacred Wound, will allow them to transform and take up a truer shape, or a more fitting-for-this-moment shape but oohhh it needs muscular involvement, not mere cogitation. Performance. Enactment. Making things body-real.

While some of us may still be trying to recover from the emotional tides of last week’s full moon, Mercury saunters into happy-go-lucky Sagittarius on November 5, bringing an optimistic outlook. And instead of the usual three-week stay in Sagittarius, Mercury will camp out there for over two months, due to the upcoming December retrograde through Sagittarius. If we take care now to tether this optimistic Mercury to our more sobering realities, we are in a better position to get the most out of the Sagittarian tendency to expand our views, possibilities and horizons.

Sagittarius is future-oriented, philosophical and adventurous but both the Sun and the traditional ruler of Sagittarius, Jupiter, remain in broody and sometimes swampy Scorpio. Scorpio will be asking us about the ways in which we are compromised and where we should be more cautious than carefree in the ways that we portray ourselves, as we grow into and reach for the future. Venus’s entry into the mysterious and spicy realms of Scorpio (Nov. 5 – Dec. 1) suggests we also tread carefully where others’ hearts and wallets are concerned. Venus governs reciprocity, and all areas of giving and receiving and when she’s in Scorpio, she can be rather guarded and quick to anger. Boundaries are more permeable, and vulnerabilities are closer to the surface. Old resentments, insecurities and relational patterns that need to be tested or released rise up.

Under these influences, thinking, strategizing or communication which is too superficial or grandiose is likely to be called out. The details and nuance which we are missing and the areas or actors we are neglecting will be pointed out by others. It’s worth taking some extra time to be thoughtful, and to choose carefully when and how you communicate. If something you put out into the world is flung back at you in ferocious rejection or accusation, experiment with choosing curiosity, compassion and careful engagement—who knows what deeply liberating relational shift could be occurring. Also try to notice if you are taking the “high road” to avoid the discomfort of seeing more of the whole picture. Mercury in Sagittarius can be filled with so many principles and lofty ideals and yet lacking in basic empathy—not out of spite or ill will, but just out of assuming the best about oneself and the world. The other person really understands that you mean well, right? Venus in Scorpio gives a resounding NO and wants solid reassurance of intentions, or where there is simply a disagreement, she asks for a little more gentleness and compassion than blunt and direct Mercury in Sagittarius may naturally provide.

In longer-term influences, the final of three exact trines between the planet of stability and responsibility, Saturn, and the planet of change and freedom, Uranus, occurs in a near exact grand fire trine with the Moon in Leo on November 11. The Saturn-Uranus trine (Dec. 2016 – Dec. 2017) has lent ease to transitions, or has perhaps appeared more as a shape-shifting or elusive transition that may now be taking more shape as Saturn begins to speed towards ambitious Capricorn. The chart for this final exact trine speaks to our responsibilities to our philosophy or worldview, and enacting or performing it not only for personal benefit but for the welfare of the whole. Any double standards are likely to be exposed this week, so careful with any swagger as Mystery may step in to take you down a few notches.

Finally, it’s important to consider that a failure to live up to one’s own ideals doesn’t mean that others’ failures should be overlooked—and vice versa. Co-dependency will be especially painful in this season. Pristine perfection isn’t required, but rather recognizing what needs to change. Make Mercury in Sagittarius your ally in this, by being generous with your own faults and incredibly perceptive of others’. What really needs to change here? Let me say it again: Co-dependency will be especially painful at this time. Do not confuse real responsibility with uninspired duty or a sense of obligation driven by guilt.

The Scorpio Full Moon is now upon us, drawing into exactitude on May 10 at 2:42pm in the Pacific time zone.  She offers a fantastic opportunity to dive into our unwanted, discarded or so-called negative emotions, whether in an internal process or in working out interpersonal or community difficulties. Scorpio’s depths can be known for “drama,” but it only becomes drama when we refuse to surrender to the problematic and untidy aspects of relationships.

Scorpio Full Moon in the Pacific time zone

In reality, the Scorpio Moon is searching for emotional truth, but it can be a little guarded because it’s so vulnerable, exposed, and a little raw in expecting betrayal…particularly in emotion-phobic societies, a Scorpionic Moon cannot always trust that it will be met in that place of vulnerability by others.

Occupying the other side of this lunation, the Sun in Taurus is comfort-seeking, especially creaturely and bodily comforts/habits (“what makes me feel good”) which can serve to avoid changes which require presence to discomfort and messiness. On the one hand, a reaction to the discomfort can be to want to go unconscious, and all kinds of escape routines pop up (food, sex, drink, TV, etc). On the other hand, using the tension between Taurus and Scorpio can provide a fantastic catapult to move into a new relationship with old escape patterns which undermine the strength and quality of our relationships.

Here it should be said that some of our escape routines are there because we actually do need them to psychospiritually survive. There is no shame in being where you are, and there is great honor in knowing you are there. The Scorpio Moon can bring you into closer intimacy with your truth, whether this moment provides a pivot point for change to occur, or it is another step of awareness along a path towards greater wholeness. The path itself is the destination.

Bringing awareness to one’s thoughts and feelings may reveal some familiar old patterns of escape. “Oh yeah, I’ve seen this before.” It could even be a rather undramatic display. But the special opportunity of the next couple of days is to FEEL the feelings. Not think about them or form some concept or story about them, particularly if you are familiar with the behaviors that correspond to the feelings. But FEELING the feelings without labeling or censoring them. Then you might ask yourself in compassionate self-appraisal, what your feelings say about you and your values? (Not what they say about other people!) Might you then need to reach out to others to share your emotional realities, hopefully in a nonviolent way, to try to repair or otherwise address imbalances in your social world – and/or to celebrate and reinforce what is working well?

Lovingkindness and compassion provide a great antidote to reacting against unwanted or even taboo thoughts, feelings and behaviors that could pop up these next few days. This would be a way of bringing in Taurus at its best—being slow, methodical, accepting of human realities. Lean into what it feels like to be a mostly unconscious, instinctually driven and highly vulnerable human, animal body. Imagine that everyone is subject to such vulnerability (and struggle with it). A gentle and kind approach to this with yourself and others can bring better results.

In addition, be willing to reconsider old stories about feelings, become re-acquainted with that which has been pushed down deep and out of (your) sight. This could harness the fading Mercury retrograde to more positive purposes and mitigate its tendency to produce miscommunications which could fuel drama rather than serve transformation. The accompanying Mercury-Uranus conjunction could correlate to a fresh burst of insight—even if it may have its unpleasant edges.