I’m late, I’m late. So sorry. I have been so busy at my “other” job. If you don’t know, I moonlight as a web designer. I have been busy getting websites ready for a jewelry designer, an artist in Austin, Texas who does abstract paintings of birthcharts, a local massage therapist with a passion for aromatherapy, who I helped write a series of articles about essential oils for each astrological sign. I can’t help but talk up my web clients. It has been a privilege to participate in the creative process with them.

But you, I regret that I haven’t posted my August forecast for you sooner.

August 1-11

As you now know, August 1 and 2 were upbeat, with a rising stock market, that quickly succumbed to the reality check of the Saturn Pluto trine that is exact early on Monday, August 6. I’m not sure what next week (the 6-10th) has in store for the stock market, but the Mercury Jupiter trine that will be in force on Wednesday and Thursday morning tends to infuse the mood of the day with optimism, that will be felt in the market as well as workplaces. If you need to ask a favor, it makes sense to do so when folks are in a better mood. So Wednesday and Thursday are your days. Monday and Tuesday, it looks like some picky issue as Venus in Virgo squares Mars in Gemini. Be careful what you kick up, because retrograde Venus will enter Leo soon. Little picky issues are more subject to morphing into all out Leonine dramatics.

Nice things can come of it too. A round of constructive criticism may inspire revision of existing creative projects. (Venus retrograde is an ideal time to pick up an abandoned art project.) But don’t take that as a license to bitch. People are irritated easily when Venus squares Mars.

The weekend is the Dark of the Moon. So you may feel like relaxing, spacing out, clearing space for a new cycle, which begins with the New Moon on Sunday evening. The Dark of the Moon is also the best time of the month to cut out something you’ve become habituated to, like caffeine or cigarettes. You may feel a burst of energy and new ideas on Sunday evening as the New Moon perfects. If you have Jan Spiller’s book, New Moon Astrology, then you know the Leo New Moon is time to set intentions and make wishes for creativity, love and romance, fun, play, loyalty, leadership, passion and self confidence.

August 12

Just keep in mind that this New Moon chart features Venus conjunct Saturn! This doesn’t mean you’ll be blocked. Quite the opposite. I think it means that if you use this powerful time to set your intentions, the energy of your intention will bring forth the walls and blockages, the obstacles that you must overcome to reach your goal. It takes work, and we can thank Saturn for showing us the work ahead, showing us what needs to be done and asking us if we’re ready to commit ourselves to it.

With Venus being retrograde, even though the object of your affection may be outside you, you are experiencing what is inside you. The outer is only a reflection. Appearances deceive during Venus retrograde. And people often make the mistake of falling for the wrong person, casting aside the right one. Or purchasing an object for its appearance rather than intrinsic value— Venus rules money as well as love. And oh! the Drama of Venus in Leo. Epic sagas. But others will see past the exterior into the intrinsic value of an item (or person), and get a terrific return on investment. It all depends on how well you know the market.

So I’ll use the New Moon in Leo to celebrate myself, my inner light, and wish to see that light reflected back to me in the world around me. And I’ll wish to be shown the work ahead.. what I still need to do to bring forth all the creativity and joy within me. Years ago, I wished for smile lines instead of frown lines by 2012. I have come a long way, but I still have a lot of work to do.

August 13-21

The Sun, Mercury and Venus touch off the Saturn-Pluto trine, one after the other. So it’s a great time for a reality check. It may be heavy, as things tend to be when Saturn meets Pluto, even in a trine. Like the bridge that collapsed in early August, it makes us aware that we need to pay attention. So that maybe we’ll finally do something about it. The trine aspect signals a window of opportunity. And there are three good ones during this 9-day period.

Monday and Tuesday, Venus conjoins hardworking Saturn, but the Sun and Mercury oppose space-cadet Neptune. Monday we’re focused but confused. Tuesday, we’re still unclear on where things are going, but the answer appears Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning as Mercury sails past Neptune and Venus trines Pluto. The ideas and energy keep flowing as Mercury conjoins retrograde Venus and trines Pluto, also retrograde. This is a signal that what you are working with is something that began a while ago, maybe in July, or maybe even when Pluto last passed this place in December 2006.

What’s noteworthy about this week is, everything is happening in the last degrees of Leo (with Pluto in Sagittarius). That means we’re in a stage of finishing up something old, tying up the loose ends, to prepare for a shift in the energy when the Sun and Mercury enter Virgo next week, and more importantly, when Saturn enters Virgo in early September. There is a lot of energy in fixed signs this week. Rigid rules and structures are challenged and tested. The results of these tests may cause us to reform the system from the ground up, down to the minute details, ruled by Virgo. Saturn in Virgo is analytic and thorough, painstakingly critical. Leo is heart energy, and Virgo is gut energy. We will feel it in our guts when something is out of balance.

Thursday the 16th and Friday look like constructive and pleasant days where you can get important calls and tasks checked off of your to-do list. Save Saturday for date night this weekend. Mercury will be conjunct Saturn on Friday night— ideas are hatching, and folks are serious minded, or maybe taking things too seriously. The Mercury Saturn conjunction lasts through the morning hours, then clears out, leaving the Sun Pluto trine— a powerfully creative time when change happens. Necessary but not always fun changes— the Sun will travel on to conjoin heavy Saturn on Tuesday.

August 22-25

Once the Sun passes by Saturn on Tuesday evening, we begin to experience the energy of the upcoming Mars Jupiter opposition more fully. Mars is high-energy, and Jupiter is optimistic, ready to gamble. In Gemini and Sag, it’s a restless, discombobulated pair, full of ideas and prone to foolhardiness. It’s important to see the glass half-full and half-empty, then decide which version holds more truth. Impatience is what gets us on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, Mercury in Virgo forms a tight mutable T-square with that Mars Jupiter opposition that holds until Saturday afternoon. Mutable signs are highly creative, but they lack the focus of fixed signs. There’s changeability in the sky, made of both exuberance and irritability. So this isn’t the time to rush a decision, bring up a touchy subject or try to make your point. We’re all feeling overstimulated mentally, nitpicky, worried and defensive of our own ideas on Friday and Saturday. Sometimes the best skill you can have is knowing when to leave it be. So don’t sweat the small stuff; choose your battles. The t-square weakens as the Mercury Mars square finishes on Saturday afternoon, and we feel the energy of the Venus Neptune opposition into the evening.. creative, psychic, flowing and imaginative.

August 26

Excitement is building as the Moon waxes to Full and a Lunar Eclipse forms in the early degrees of Pisces. This is a seriously vibey Full Moon on Tuesday morning. Pisces governs dreams and dreamers, artists, musicians, mystics, sailors, and fishermen. Pisces is sensitive and open to external energies. If your natal chart shows high sensitivity, no need to beware, but be aware of the likelihood that you’ll be especially open and sensitive today. Everyone should pay more attention to the subtle things around you. This is a good day to take some “me-time” if you are able.

Meanwhile, Mercury opposes Uranus, and we’re charged up with ideas. Uranus jolts us out of old patterns, and turns on lightbulbs of truth, invention, and inspiration. However, if we’re so enamored of our own truth that we forget to listen to others, this opposition can bring conflict. Uranus likes to stir the pot. Watch what comes up on this powerful day.

What a wild ride, eh? You’ll be glad to know it’s mellow yellow from here on out. Thursday and Friday are particularly mellow, with the Aries Moon forming easy aspects with other planets, signaling calm waters. Get ready for a crazy Labor Day weekend though, featuring Mars square Uranus in restless mutable signs as the grand finale on Monday afternoon. You won’t find me on the road with this one, not in East Coast traffic.

Mark your calendar!

Best days for your top priority plans are August 1-5, 9, 16-17, 19, 26, 30.

Scale back on August 7, 13-14, 20, 24-25, 28.