In a year of intense astrological events and equally intense global events, August is a quieter time. Well, relatively quieter. It’s still Leo season; we’ve got fiery Mars in Aries for a long time and some major activity in hustle-hard-don’t-stop Capricorn — but there are less fireworks this month than in the rest of the year. So let’s talk about what this gives us an opportunity to do right now.
First, let’s figure out where we are. We’re more than halfway through a year that began with an isolated illness that soon became a global pandemic. We’re in the midst of a sustained and massive uprising in defense of Black lives. In the US, we’re facing crumbling infrastructure and surging virus spread. And many of us who may have started out strong are now exhausted. Relationships have been tested, many to the breaking point. While there are inspiring and exhilarating possibilities in view, we’re living through a transformational time that means many of us don’t know how to locate ourselves anymore. Whatever we used to identify with is changing. Who we will become together is not yet clear.
Luckily, this astrological lull comes to us in Leo season. Leo energy is all about love, and particularly oriented toward being receptive to love. Leo often reminds me of a puppy — adorable, capable of unconditional love, easy to forgive even when they pee on your shoes. But people can’t always do Leo as easily as dogs do — very few of us get praised for just showing up and being cute. And those that have enough beauty privilege to get that kind of attention soon realize it isn’t doesn’t feed their sense of self-worth. Which is what Leo actually needs: the kind of love that is personal, that sees us for who we are, that doesn’t need us to perform. Too often, people with strong Leo energy get stuck performing. But the real goal of the sign is to drop below status and appearances, to learn how to keep our hearts open so we can give and receive love.
And if that sounds cheesy, I don’t disagree. There are plenty of affirmations and self-help soundbites out there that tell you to keep your heart open. What they don’t say is that it is hard work we have to do again and again, and that it’s painful each time. We close down emotionally because we are overwhelmed. There’s too much grief or fear or pain. Opening our hearts again means encountering that pain, waiting for us right where we left it. Keeping our hearts open means accepting that the pain is worth it, and knowing that grief is the other side of love. With an open heart, we feel our connection to each other. We’re less lonely, even if we’re at a distance. We’re less scared, even when the world is terrifying.
This month’s horoscopes are here to help support you if you’re trying to keep your heart open in these transformative times. This is a time for practicing kindness, which is not the same as niceness or avoidance of conflict. This is a time for melting into the tenderness of your closest relationships, even if you’ve been through stressful changes. This is a time for recognizing when we need to rest, and what will help us feel renewed. Stay close to what holds you right now, whatever brings you joy or uncomplicated pleasure. Let yourself lie on the grass and stare at the sky. Let yourself float in the water. Be here with us and the huge beating heart of this planet, without needing to be anyone or anywhere else.
This month I’m landing in my new home in Philadelphia! I’m open for readings again, so go ahead and book for personalized insight and support. And for a deeper dive into the astrology of this month, join me on Patreon. Only $2 a month gets you extra horoscope content every month, and for $10 or more you’ll be entered into regular drawings for free readings.
Good luck out there this month, sweeties! I hope you can find profound rest and safe ways to love up on each other.
Stay close to: The upwelling of joy that fills you when you are recognized. The urge to share your story. Letting your guard down. Getting comfortable and staying awhile. Your impulse to make something beautiful out of tragedy. Your willingness and courage to keep your heart open after heartbreak. How you can warm and revitalize what’s frozen in yourself or your beloveds. The ease with which you welcome the intensity of intimacy, and let it bring you back to life. Welcome flirtation, passion, and creative outpouring.
Stay close to: The feeling of solid earth under your feet, with a roof over your head and a view toward the distant horizon. What soothes and protects you when you’re tired. The ability to completely drop the stress of the day outside your doorstep and sweep it away from your front door, even. The ability to let your home hold you like a parent holds an infant. Your direct line to a sense of safety however and wherever you can find it, even if it slips away like a fish most of the time. If you are between homes or in a home that feels precarious or unsafe, it’s even more important to tap into this sense of comfort and protection. Welcome a turning inward, a kindness to the body, a release of needing to act or do or think.
Stay close to: All of your options. The many stories that could be true, not just the one you’ve been told to believe. Uncertainty as a guiding principle — the best decisions being flexible enough to change in response to a changing world. Curiosity as your tool of choice. Love being an outpouring of questions that are never fully answered. Welcoming the surprises of your loved ones as they reveal more of their strangeness and unformed aspirations. Welcoming the conversations that help you hold a mental model of what love means and how it branches through the generations and across the map of your interpersonal world. Welcoming knowledge, awareness, sensitivity, and complexity as forms of love that do away with the need for control.
Stay close to: Nourishment in all forms. Having enough, and enough to share. Holding on to what you need without shame — claiming what’s necessary for you to thrive. Deepening into a truer sense of self-worth, that you don’t need to be productive or wise or talented or attractive to be loved. Welcome your messiness, your mistakes, your coping mechanisms — welcome the whole package and know that you deserve love and safety. What this time needs from you is your ability to forgive yourself and love even the parts of yourself that you’re ashamed of. This is a time for building up the resources you need, so don’t be shy about your attachment to anything that helps you feel a sense of wellbeing.
Stay close to: Your innate sense of purpose. How to shed your old skin and become a shiny new version of yourself. Holding the vulnerability inherent in sharing yourself with the world. The tenderness you need to recover from mistakes, to accept failure or embarrassment as part of the process. Knowing your heart and mind in all their fullness. Learning what you’ve been afraid to know about yourself. Welcoming opportunities to say yes or no and mean it. Sharing whatever you have enough of. Welcoming opportunities to ask for what will help you grow and thrive. Knowing that you do this always, always, always in relationship.
Stay close to: The mystery, not the problems. How you can dream yourself into a new way of being more completely than you can think yourself there. What it means to become skilled in dreaming. How to surrender to the forces in you that know what you don’t know—which is to say, how to make friends with your shadows and your depths. The beauty of what you can’t name but propels you toward love, toward compassion, toward a kind of connection that doesn’t have a title. This is a time to let love approach gently, not to chase it down. Welcome the freedom to release needing to know. Welcome to following the ebbs and flows of your heart and body.
Stay close to: Your impact on the broader world, even if you can’t always trace it. How your ability to be with people through the hard parts of love helps add trust and increases harmony. How your patience lets change unfold as it needs to. How your attunement to what’s missing restores balance. How your ideals become part of your everyday actions. This is a time to welcome the way love propels you toward those outside your inner circle — love as an action, not just a feeling. Welcome a fresh sense of connection that holds you and engages you. Welcome being part of something larger than yourself. Welcome relationships that help you address systemic problems. And welcome your own sense of balance for when it’s time to give and when it’s time to receive.
Stay close to: That satisfaction that comes with knowing you’ve done your work. The strength you feel when you’ve challenged yourself not to respond from fear — not to lash out, not to stab inward, not to shut down. The trust you feel in yourself and others when you can face your own shadow and say, “hello, yes, you’re nasty but you’re mine” and even further “I can love you without letting you be in charge.” Welcome experiences that will help you grow up. You’re not going to get many external rewards for uprooting internalized racism, for letting go of an obsessive attachment, for being quiet instead of lashing out at a loved one. So recognize your own achievements. What you’re doing is hard work, and it’s worth doing. Stay close to whatever good feelings — pride, self-compassion, accomplishment — will help you stick with the process of growing up.
Stay close to: The future, which you cannot predict but you can keep aiming yourself toward. Your passion to integrate all the separate strands of past and future, of the cultures that shaped you, of what you learned as a child and what you’re now learning — to weave an understanding of this world from your perspective that can help others locate themselves in time and place. Intimacy as something that expands you, that lets you access your future selves. Welcome adventure as an antidote to fear. Welcome that faith in what you can build with others whose effects will ripple out far past your own lifetime. Remember that you are one of many — not cogs in a machine, but voices in a chorus.
Stay close to: The relief you feel when you’ve faced what you didn’t want to face. The strength of having been equal to the challenges. That sweetness that comes after, when you can catch your breath or cry or run off the adrenaline. This year is transformative for all of us, but for those of you who want to be showing up for the work with integrity (a Capricorn virtue), it can be hard at a certain point to be open to transformation. It’s hard to get things done when you’re not sure what shape you are anymore. It’s hard to recognize yourself. But when you let yourself be open to change, you’re back in touch with the truth, which brings you back to yourself again and again. Welcome coming back to what’s real. Welcome having faced the challenges. Don’t rush to know what comes next.
Stay close to: The spirit of collaboration propels you toward partnership, romantic or otherwise. Recognizing yourself as part of not just a network (or movement or subculture or collective or religion or demographic) but as uniquely important to another individual. Noticing that there’s a lot about teaming up that isn’t so much romantic as necessary — we’re better doing this together. But underneath that practicality is a profound secret about love: everything we do has an impact on those who love us, which means we are never truly flying solo. Stay close to this awareness of who you influence, and how, and how you are influenced in return. Welcome collaboration, especially where you feel you have to go it alone.
Stay close to: The daily rhythm of your days. How your body feels when you lie in a field and look at the clouds. How your body feels when you curl up into a tight ball. When it is time to uncurl. How action and rest weave in and out of your hours and days. The friendship you have with vast dreamworlds and how to bring them into the here and now. Whatever you’re doing to make your dreams real. The sweet unfolding of time that is yours and yours alone. How to cultivate pleasure in your waking life, not just through what helps you escape waking life.