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The Wheel of Light

Monthly Newsletter - August 2016

Two interesting conjunctions occur this month. When planets are within a few degrees of each other the challenge as well as the opportunity is to integrate each of the separate energies. When properly incorporated much can be accomplished, since there is a lot of energy in the same place, at the same time, doing the same thing. If they are not so connected, each planet tends to do its own thing in its own way at its own time. The result can be anything from a confusing mess to a complete waste of the energy. I will be defining and discussing conjunctions further in my beginning astrology class that starts at Santa Rosa Junior College on September 7th. The conjunctions this month are Venus and Jupiter in Virgo and Mars and Saturn in Sagittarius.

From ancient times, Venus and Jupiter have been considered "benefics" while Mars and Saturn are depicted as "malefics". These terms are generally considered outdated in contemporary astrology since they are judgmental, yet the primary meaning of them is accurate. Benefics refer to energies that are enjoyable and easy to experience. Venus is about harmony, beauty, art and comfort. Jupiter pertains to joyful opportunities, abundant success and expansion of consciousness. What could be more desirable and beneficial than these influences? The problem with them, however, and the reason the term benefics is considered inappropriate, is that they can impel one to focus on that which is desirable and pleasant and avoid the hard work that can lead to growth.

The malefics don't provide enjoyable options. Mars is the energy of aggression and conflict. Saturn pertains to authority, rigidity and limitation. Who wants to be limited by conflicts with authority figures? Who wants to be reminded of how limited we are by the practical realities of life? Yet to refer to these energies as malefics implies that they are not only unpleasant, but are to be avoided at all costs. Mars can also represent the drive to assert one's sense of self physically through sports, sex or establishing one's identity in the world. Although Saturn is about limitation, it is also about personal responsibility. It is referred to as the lord of karma. Karma is the concept that what we sow is what we reap. Saturn reminds us that life on earth is limited in ways such as the need to provide for our physical survival. By working consciously with Saturn, and learning to take total responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions, we can actually create a meaningful quality of life. It's important to discriminate between malefics being "bad" as opposed to the energies that, although not pleasant, can actually help us to create who we want to be and the life we want to live. The terms benefic and malefic are considered archaic because they limit our understanding and hence our utilization of the energies.

A Venus-Jupiter conjunction can be thought of as the aspect of amazing grace. It can indicate the ability to perceive goodness, beauty and truth in anything or anybody. This can enhance our willingness to be generous in giving others the benefit of the doubt or simply being generous in giving of ourselves. The obvious problem, however, can be that we may be more aware of the positive potentials rather than what is actually being expressed. This can lead to feeling drained or taken advantage of. One of the benefits of this particular benefic alignment is that the planets are in the sign Virgo, the sign of devotional service. Virgo is a detail-oriented sign that can be highly discerning. Although sometimes given to being reductively critical, it can also notice when something or someone deviates from the ideal. This combination of planets in Virgo can enable us feel joy in being devoted or serviceful even as it can prevent us from taking our actions to the point of being drained.

The Mars-Saturn conjunction can be more problematic. Conjunctions can represent times of new beginnings. With the planets of war and authority conjoined, this alignment is often associated with the beginning of conflict and hostility. Although it's difficult to find any area of the world that does not already seem to be at war, these days, this alignment could either ratchet up something already ongoing or indicate the beginning of something worse. This is especially true since Sagittarius pertains to philosophy. Most of the global conflicts are based on the assumption that we are right and they are wrong. Saturn can be rigid and in Sagittarius religious dogma can be used as the basis for political power and control. Some people look outside themselves to the opinions of an external authority figure such as a clergyperson, politician or teacher to provide answers about right and wrong thoughts, intentions or actions. Sagittarius, however, is an inherently independent sign. In a personal quest for truth one can replace dogma and doctrinal thinking with one's understanding of right and wrong. This can then lead to an open-minded acceptance of the diversity of human perception, thinking and behavior. Thus we are taking responsibility to develop our own higher awareness instead of relying on some else's. The Mars-Saturn conjunction, therefore, can challenge us to do battle within ourselves to discover our understanding and path of truth. It can lead to standing up to those who would rather externalize the fight in order to gain power for themselves.

AriesAries (March 21-April 20)
Aries: This is a good time to begin a long term project that will require discipline. The focus could be physical, such as starting a training regimen. It could also be something intellectual, such as a course of study. Growth for you this month could come from expressing yourself in high minded ways.

TaurusTaurus (April 21-May 21)
Taurus: Challenges arising from confusion about direction and boundaries in early month can give rise to more playful, spontaneous and creative energies from mid-month on. Growth comes from being selective about what you take on and who you provide support to.

GeminiGemini (May 22-June 21)
Gemini: The focus for you this month is home and family. This is a good time to do any repairs, especially of machinery or appliances in preparation for Mercury to retrograde on the 30th. Also, it's a good time for meaningful conversations that clear the air between yourself and a family member.

CancerCancer (June 22-July 22)
Cancer: This month is a good time for you to be self-affirming and pro-active. This could especially be true in financial matters. Whether you are creating a budget and planning ahead or dealing with a business partner, growth for you comes from getting clear about your needs and goals then acting and communicating accordingly.

LeoLeo (July 23-August 23)
Leo: This could be a very interesting month for you. Early month is time to be disciplined yet productive in areas ranging from creativity to investments. Be practical in setting goals, then have fun. In late month be ready for adventures or opportunities that come up unexpectedly.

VirgoVirgo (August 24-Sept 22)
Virgo: Challenges in early month give way to interesting opportunities coming in late month. The challenges could be based on confusion between what you think versus what you feel. They could also be between you and a family member. Joyful expansion and adventure could replace the difficulties from the middle to the end of the month.

LibraLibra (Sept 23-Oct 23)
Libra: As much as you might like to socially interact, this is a month to spend some quality time alone. It's not an either or choice as much as it is taking advantage of where both internal clarity and joy are present for you this month. Late month should bring fulfillment and understanding of the value of introspection.

ScorpioScorpio (Oct 24-Nov 22)
Scorpio: Early month difficulty around work or finance could help you get clear about long range goals. This is a time when you might be charged up and ready to go. Being clear about direction, and applying some discipline will produce both personal growth as well as greater potential to realize those goals.

SagittariusSagittarius (Nov 23-Dec 21)
Sagittarius: The combination of Mars and Saturn in Sagittarius presents you with some potential challenges. You could have a tendency to either be too controlling of others, too self-restricting or overly responsible. Growth and well-being come from getting clear about setting and enforcing limits and boundaries both for yourself and others.

CapricornCapricorn (Dec 22-Jan 20)
Capricorn: Saturn turns direct on the 13th. If you have been looking within to find clarity and direction, this would be the time to start implementing new projects. If you haven't, there is still time to do so. Acting without inner clarity can lead to externalization of internal confusion.

AquariusAquarius (Jan 21 to Feb 19)
Aquarius: The full Moon in Aquarius on the 18th could help you to get more emotionally self-aware and expressive of your needs and feelings. Be patient both with yourself and others in this process, however, as it may be something you are not that familiar with. Others may not expecting this from you based on past interaction.

PiscesPisces (Feb 20-March 20)
Pisces: Mental confusion, romantic fantasies and hostility at work all point to lack of clarity on the inner planes. The way out of any or all of those challenges come from the inner discipline achieved through introspection and time alone. Going within provides the inner directive that provides healthy, fulfilling ways forward.

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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