Despite the initial spark of the Full Moon on August 3rd, August has a strong retro feel. Although Venus and Mercury have turned direct again, Uranus will be joining the retrograde slower planets from the middle of the month. He will remain in retro mode until the middle of January next year.

But I am jumping ahead. The month starts off with mixed signals. On August 1, the Sun gives a nod (trine) to Chiron, while Mercury challenges Pluto in opposition. The very next day on August 2, the Sun forms a square to Uranus and on the Full Moon, on August 3, Mercury opposes Saturn, while the Sun and Moon are forming an intense t-square with Uranus. It looks as though there is a battle going on, with some shocking news that is bound to ruffle some feathers.

On August 5, Mercury changes signs and moves into Leo. Mercury is far more creative and flamboyant in this sign than he is in Cancer. Chances are, he is eager to have some fun and we will demand it. For the most part, he is not making many difficult aspects while in this sign.

On August 7, Venus, the planet of love is also changing signs. She is taking up residency in the emotional sign of Cancer. This is a family orientated time, but also a time to give yourself some TLC.

On August 10, Mercury squares Uranus. Remember, how I said that ‘for the most part’ Mercury was not going to give us much trouble? Well, this is the exception. Mercury and Uranus are at loggerheads and this is likely to cause a stir. The effect may range from general irritation to a big blow out. Leo is not a sign that readily gives ground and Taurus is notoriously stubborn. Best to stay clear of egomaniacs.

In general, the week starting August 10 looks rather awkward, as a number of uneasy quincunxes are taking shape. On August 11 and 12, the Sun takes the apex position of a double quincunx, with Jupiter in Capricorn forming one leg, and Neptune in Pisces the other. Compromise is hardly possible without fudging the facts. Then, on August 13, Mars forms a tension-laden square with Pluto and Mercury takes over that apex position of the double quincunx with Jupiter and Neptune on August 14 and 15. This all looks highly awkward and potentially explosive. One can almost hear the sizzle. Especially as Uranus turns retrograde on August 15, while the Sun and Mercury are lining up to form another quincunx, this time with Pluto on August 15/16. This awkward, if not downright ominous.

On August 16, the Sun trines Mars, which under the circumstances could be pretty volatile. A trine indicates an easy flow of energy between the planets in question. August 17 looks particularly volatile, with the Sun and Mercury being closely conjunct and casting a tight trine to Mars, while also still quincunxing Pluto – oh, and Mars in Aries is squaring that Pluto in Capricorn.

Tune your alert sensors! The configuration culminates on the New Moon on August 19, when the Sun and Moon quincunx Saturn. On August 20, Mercury changes signs and enters the analytically orientated Virgo. The Sun follows suit on August 22. The following week continues in that somewhat difficult vein. Mars squares Saturn on August 24, which may be forcing the issue. This is ringed by some other irritating aspect formations, known as the tongue-twisting ‘sesquiquadrates.’ Generally considered a minor aspect, they still add a particular, uneasy flavor to the ambiance, especially when they appear en masse. In this case, there are three of them. Furthermore, Venus is getting ready to form a series of oppositions to Jupiter (August 25), Pluto (August 30), and Saturn (September 2). Diplomacy is not likely to go as smoothly as we would hope. However, on August 27, Venus forms a trine with Neptune, and Mercury trines Jupiter on August 30. These softer aspects are likely to help iron things out a bit, although the challenging aspects, such as Venus opposite Pluto, Sun sesquiquadrate Pluto, and Mercury opposite Neptune, all on August 30, dominate the scene.

Bottom line: enjoy the first part of August. The second half of the month looks to become increasingly tense and awkward.