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The Wheel of Light

Monthly Newsletter - August 2014

There are two significant astrological events taking place this month. Neither are as powerful as the Grand Square that took place in April, but they are important nonetheless. They involve transits of Mars and Jupiter into new signs.

As the Grand Square of spring fades into the past, two interesting aspects present themselves this month. They are both conjunctions. One connected the planets generally considered to be the “benefics” and the other combines planets thought of as the “malefics”. The alignments combine Venus with Jupiter in Leo and Mars with Saturn in Scorpio.

The designations benefic and malefic are terms that have been part of astrological terminology since at least the ancient Greeks. They are not meant to be interpreted as good and bad. Rather, they highlight the energy of these planets in ways that are descriptive of their influence on our lives. Venus and Jupiter, the benefics, pertain to growth, development and stability of things. Mars and Saturn, the malefics, focus more on the decline and deterioration of things. Most people would probably define things building and coming to fruition as beneficial just as they might assume that things being torn down and destroyed are not. Obviously that’s not always true. For example, a cancerous tumor that is growing in not good news, although the destruction of it definitely is. So the terms benefic and malefic refer to the nature of an experience. Yet, too much comfort (Venus) and joy (Jupiter) can create laziness and lack of growth. Similarly, too much conflict (Mars) and blockage (Saturn) can lead to inertia and depression.

Venus represents harmony, balance and equality. It tunes into beauty and enjoys creating it in many ways. It is oriented toward interactive, socially beneficial relationships and prefers those interactions to be based on diplomacy and thoughtfulness. One drawback to Venus is a tendency to stay on the surface. Keep smiling and everything will be just fine. Jupiter represents the principal of expansion. This could be attitudinal, intellectual or experiential. Attitudinally Jupiter is positive, joyful and optimistic. It assumes that the glass is always half-full and that good news is just around the next corner. At times it can be too idealistic, preferring to see life through the proverbial rose colored glasses than dealing with it realistically.

The conjunction of Venus and Jupiter is what I refer to as the aspect of amazing grace. When it appears in a natal chart it can indicate an ability to see goodness, beauty and truth in everybody and everything. This is a great attitude that can lead to being generous toward and accepting of others. When we give others the benefit of the doubt we allow them to overcome their mistakes and give them time to grow into their potential. This is useful for a parent in relationship to their children or a teacher in relationship to their students. It can also create, however, and energy deficit between ourselves and others when our magnanimity toward them is responded to with selfishness toward us.

This conjunction occurs between the 14th and the 21st. This is a week to be open to the joy of life, humor should flow easily and our social connections should grow and thrive. Because of its duration, there is probably little chance of being taken advantage of, at least in ways that have long range ramifications. This is a great opportunity to tune in to a human birthright that is often overlooked and not tapped into very much. That quality is joy. It helps us to feel comfortable being who we are, to enjoy the life we are living and to give ourselves credit for our growth and achievements.

Mars is the warrior of the solar system. It can act like a trigger – starting things or moving them along with courage. Mars enables us to act with authenticity and to be physically engaged in our lives. It can also be caustic, arrogant and entitled. It can act so abruptly that mistakes are made and feelings, as well as bodies, can be hurt. Saturn represents the principal of personal responsibility. It helps to provide us with a sense of structure and direction that enables us to achieve important and worthwhile goals. However, it can also bring restriction and inhibition. Saturn is about control. If we don’t act with self-control, we are often guilty of trying control others or giving our power away to others.

The Mars-Saturn conjunction can help us to clearly define our goals and to work in diligent, self-disciplined ways over time in order to accomplish them. It can also act as force of blockage that can discourage any action at all. It’s like driving the car with the brakes on. We put a lot of force and energy (Mars) into something only to find ourselves too limited in various ways to actually accomplish anything.

The Mars-Saturn conjunction this month is from the 18th to the 28th. This is a good time to accomplish short term projects. It’s also a good time to notice what we aren’t getting done due to fear or simply because we are not giving ourselves the permission to do it. One key to this aspect is that it helps us remember that we are the responsible adults. We are the source of permission and approval and, ultimately, recognition of who we are and what we do. The so-called malefics can be difficult because they can bring aggression and conflict (Mars) or power struggles and awareness of our limitations. They are useful because they also give us the energy to grow and get things done.

AriesAries (March 21-April 20)
Aries: This is a good time to dig deep and look at aspects of your life you many normally try to avoid. In early month this could be emotional or psychological. Later in the month, use the Mars-Saturn conjunction to act on those insights and realizations. Growth comes from directing feelings of intense passion into transforming and renewing important parts of your life.

TaurusTaurus (April 21-May 21)
Taurus: This is a time to focus on home and to hang out with family. The former could be spent on beautifying your environment with a new coat of paint, buying some new art or putting flowers on the deck. Family time can be spent inviting loved ones over for a meal, giving a party or being spontaneous and playful with your partner. Tune into the joy and feelings of abundance and well-being in mid-month.

GeminiGemini (May 22-June 21)
Gemini: Creativity is enhanced, especially in mid-month. This could take the form of writing or doing something with your hands. This is a good time to deepen your mental focus on things that inspire you which will help provide material for meaningful conversations with others or fodder to enhance the creative process.

CancerCancer (June 22-July 22)
Cancer: The full Moon in Aquarius on the 10th provides the energy to deal with your emotions in a more detached way than you usually do. You also may feel deep, profound passions being stirred, especially in a long-term relationship. Growth comes from being able to acknowledge the intensity even while dealing with the situation with rationality and equanimity.

LeoLeo (July 23-August 23)
Leo: The creativity, fun and spontaneity of early month could shift into a more practical focus in mid-month. Taking care of business could include looking at budgeting and expenditures, long-range financial planning or discriminating between necessities and luxuries. Late month could bring a little spaciness and idealism. Growth comes from remaining grounded at this time.

VirgoVirgo (August 24-Sept 22)
Virgo: The new Moon in Virgo on the 25th highlights the theme for the month – you! Normally you may tend to be modest and self-effacing, striving to be of service to others, doing what needs to be done, while staying in the background. Not this month. Now is the time to be present and to let others know what you think, how you feel and what you need. This doesn’t have to be done in a loud, showy way. Being clear and authentic is good enough.

LibraLibra (Sept 23-Oct 23)
Libra: This is a good time to hang out with friends in recreational activities. Key words like fun and spontaneity highlight a joyous, mirthful period. Growth can come from spending some time in early month to work on parts of yourself that are inhibited or restricted. This can free you up to try new things, possibly with new people, later in the month.

ScorpioScorpio (Oct 24-Nov 22)
Scorpio: Mars’ transit through Scorpio can enhance your passion, emotional intensity and desire for physical outlet. Good enough. Growth comes from being deliberate in choosing where, how, why, when and with whom to express that energy. Repression of it is simply a bad idea, not healthy and perhaps not possible. Using your energy with forethought and wisdom leads to more meaningful, and lasting, experiences.

SagittariusSagittarius (Nov 23-Dec 21)
Sagittarius: The social, artistic and creative parts of your life could all be enhanced this month. Getting together with others for an outing, whether that’s a long journey or simply a backyard barbecue, could prove joyful and fulfilling. It could also serve to expand and move forward a meaningful relationship.

CapricornCapricorn (Dec 22-Jan 20)
Capricorn: Miscommunication in early month with friends or colleagues could lead to conflict and power struggles by late month. One way out is to note the inherent limitations in the situation, at least from your point of view. That might help in understanding who you’re dealing with. Clarify the communication and avoid the difficulties before they arise.

AquariusAquarius (Jan 21 to Feb 19)
Aquarius: The full Moon in Aquarius on the 10th leads to a heightened degree of emotional sensitivity that may not be comfortable for you. Growth comes from allowing yourself some time for introspection that can lead to greater emotional self-awareness. Prioritizing self-nurturing and being more open with others about your feelings can enhance the depth and value of those relationships.

PiscesPisces (Feb 20-March 20)
Pisces: This is a good time to establish routines that are healthy, productive and realistic. Be careful not to be overly concerned with others’ happiness and well-being to the point that it limits your own. Growth comes from being direct in letting others know what your needs and desires are.

Rio Olesky has been a professional astrologer since 1976. He is the author of A Manual for the Modern Mystic and Astrology and Consciousness. He offers both private readings as well as classes for both beginning and intermediate students. To make an appointment for a reading or to find out more information about classes and lectures, call Rio at 707-887-1820. Check out his website:

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