gods and devils

the road to hell is paved with good intentions

Seasonal shifts can be felt long before the calendar says it’s official. We’re past the height of the summer season now, and that gradual slope into autumn seems to be taking hold. In many ways, it’s a good time to take stock of where we stand and where we are headed.

The astrological activity of the past few days has been pretty intense. Since last Friday’s Full Moon in Aquarius, Saturn has ended its retrograde phase and turned direct again, forming a 90 degree square with Jupiter in Leo. And retrograde Venus is entering into this mix, meeting up with Jupiter Tuesday afternoon. This represents friction between what we believe we deserve versus what we can realistically achieve. It can seem to be a test of our faith or optimism, or, for some, a time of hard work recognized. The theme of it all is that our future plans are coming into the forefront, and some pruning is needed to make them functional and sustainable.

This planning stage happens seasonally for all of us. Just like after the winter holidays, we buckle down and formulate a game plan for the following year, there’s a tendency in late summer to start mentally organizing our lives for the next phase. The Sun’s transit through Leo in August encourages our self-esteem, inspiring all sorts of ideas for what we really deserve in this life. And Jupiter and Venus are linked together right now, largely inflating our need for appreciation and value. The nice thing about this strong Leo vibe is that our conviction about morality and justice is a potent force for doing what’s right. The outrage over Cecil the lion’s slaughter exemplifies this– public attention was rightfully turned to the injustices surrounding wildlife for elite sporting purposes. But something gets distorted quickly in our modern world, particularly when supposed integrity is involved.

Photo by Eduardo Munoz—Reuters

Photo by Eduardo Munoz—Reuters

And here comes Saturn into the picture, slowly turning around at 28 degrees Scorpio, where it has sat still since early July, and where it will hover through the rest of August. Saturn will teach us through experience, whether we are ready or not for its lessons. It’s square angle to Jupiter and Venus test the authenticity of our moral stance. You can see this in the backlash of petty arguments on social media– people claiming that other atrocities are being ignored while Cecil takes the spotlight. The pedantic fighting over what tragedy is worse and which causes deserve our pity is part of the toxic baggage that Saturn highlights. And the hard lesson to learn is not to get consumed in that emotional darkness, where it seems that doing good is a lost cause. The nasty elements of human nature are with us, and the only possible high road to take is not to contribute to it.

As Saturn moves forward again and wraps up its time in Scorpio (from now through Sep. 17) we have an opportunity to discard some of our own toxic attachments. There are so many things to be overwhelmed by, so many attitudes and habits that we’ve incorporated into our lives without actually questioning if they hold any value. As we approach the end of summer and beginning of fall, there’s a sense of turning a page, or a cycle ending. While it is always important to stand up for yourself and your beliefs, the astrology is reminding us to guard against self-righteousness, to stand down from the soapbox. Judgment is not in our hands, and we’re best served by living out the best possible forms of ourselves. There are injustices and distortions in the world plaguing wildlife, ecosystems, and human rights. We need to get our collective heads in the game of healing, not being vindicated at the “right” one.

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