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The Wheel of Light

Monthly Newsletter - August 2020

Two important themes emerge this month. One is more immediate, the other has longer-range implications. The first is the transit of Mars. Mars rules Aries, and it entered Aries on June 27, where it will remain until early January 2021. Mars can represent new beginnings. In March, the beginning of our collective awareness of the pandemic, Mars was part of the conjunction with Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. This month, and again in December, Mars will square to that Stellium in Capricorn. This is what is called an opening square, and often brings some type of crises, or at least a heightening of the energy that began at the time of the conjunction. We might assume that this month either or both of 2 challenges. One would be something that increases or makes more acute the difficulties most of us are facing due to the health and economic issues of Covid-19. As I write this in early July, cases are already spiking all around the country, so one shudders to think it could get much worse.

The other potential issue has to do with the social protests that have been taking place since the murder of George Floyd. Mars pertains to anger and violence. Capricorn can pertain to the government. So this transit could either indicate another round of street protests against the government, especially in the form of police departments. It could also, however, suggest a backlash against the Black Lives Matter movement. This could be from the government or it could be from people who feel threatened in some way by the changes that people of color are demanding relative to systemic changes in our collective social dynamic. Mars and Aries can be impatient and tempestuous. They also represent archetypes of independence. This combination at this time could stimulate a person to take aggressive, even violent action against others, regardless of actions or points of view of the victims.

Similarly, the pandemic could reach heights previously thought unimaginable in the early 21st Century. With all the advances in public health, with endless media coverage and the financial resources, we could expect that such an extensive threat could be contained if not completely controlled. This is, however, not the case.

One of the consequences of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction is a tendency for leadership in powerful places, both governmental and corporate, to be deposed either by election, disease or armed conflict. This can be preceded by attempts by those leaders to hang on to their power at any cost. This month could see backlashes from powerful people who fear the imminent loss of their power. They could, collectively or individually, use this Mars transit to initiate conflicts within the people that create confusion and dissipate the collective will, clarity and goals.

A more positive way to respond to this transit would be for each of us to calibrate where we are in our personal response to this ongoing crisis. Aries and Capricorn are action-oriented signs, so the energy supports the opportunity to do something that can help us maintain our health and well being in all areas. It could also be a time to configure or create new economic opportunities that will enable an individual or the community to create new economic opportunities that are in alignment with the challenges and limitations of this period.

The second theme is that the five outermost planets will all be retrograde. These bodies pertain to collective experience and consciousness development. When a planet is retrograde it’s time to pause, reflect, review and revise our awareness and expression of the energy. Thus, this can be a time when we all can focus on ethics in our interactions (Jupiter), goals and ways of achieving them (Saturn), our sense or need for personal freedom (Uranus), our connection to the Divine (Neptune) and the need to transform parts of ourselves or our life style that has become obsolete or unsustainable during this time (Pluto). But from August 15-September 12 the retrogradation of these planets can serve to shift our consciousness in ways that enable us to respond appropriately and function more effectively.

When a planet is retrograde, we tend to experience its energy in more personal way. Hence our expression of that energy may similarly be more personal and less reliant or focused on the collective response. For example, with Jupiter retrograde, we can each seek a point of view that feels like the truth and can be logically supported as such. We can use that point of view as a guide in our relations to others both politically as well as in our personal response to Covid-19.

With Saturn retrograde, we can become aware of to what degree do the ends of our actions justify their means. If we are against violence, for example, we wouldn’t use violence to achieve a certain end, even if that end is desirable. We could other methods such as talking and teaching.

Uranus represents uniqueness and the personal freedom we have to be who we are. When Uranus is retrograde, we can be more self-aware and self-confident in defining and acting in accordance with our true self. By extension this can enable us to inspire others to engage in a similar journey or awareness and personal liberation. The comfortable one is in being themselves, the less they will feel a need to prevent others from acting out their inherent uniqueness.

Neptune can bring gentleness, compassion, receptivity and surrender. When it is retrograde, it is easier to look within for Divine Guidance. Instead of acting from a point of ego-expression, trying to overcome our sense of inadequacy by showing others how important we are, we become humbled by the awareness of the power of life. We can be more comfortable in the diversity that is life and stop trying to control reality so that it conforms to our needs or enables us to hide our insecurities.

Pluto brings us to the awareness of the core cycle of life: death and rebirth. At this time we can be aware both individually and collectively of what is passing away, but also what can be created. On the personal level this requires us to let go of certain assumptions we may have about the nature of life and our place in it. This could be humbling or empowering or both. Collectively we are reminded of the preamble of the United States Constitution which begins with the phrase "in order to create a more perfect union". Do we have such a state now? Have we ever? Or is this country, like all life, striving to achieve that state of being. Now is a good time to realize what isn’t working and be willing to tear it down in order to generate new ways of being that can enable us to get at least a little closer to stated desires of the founders of this country.

AriesAries (March 21-April 20)
Aries: A time of new beginnings is at hand for you. Concentrate on doing things that will enhance your physical well-being as well as your confidence. Growth can come from being disciplined in the attempt to achieve your goals.

TaurusTaurus (April 21-May 21)
Taurus: Normally this would be a time of enjoyable social activity. Due to Covid-19 keep your get-togethers more local. Organizing neighborhood outdoor events or getting together with extended family can be realistic and fulfilling.

GeminiGemini (May 22-June 21)
Gemini: Given the challenges of schools opening, this is a good time for you do what you can to enhance academics in your area. Volunteering or even offering on-line or Zoom classes can enable you to contribute and to feel more connected.

CancerCancer (June 22-July 22)
Cancer: Staying safe and avoiding being collateral damage in these times of unrest is a viable goal for you. Being creative and indulging in hobbies can make this time fun and genuine.

LeoLeo (July 23-August 23)
Leo: Early month could bring unexpected changes or challenges professionally. Respond by being willing to experiment or innovate. Mid to late month is a good time to explore new avenues of adventure or intellectual pursuit.

VirgoVirgo (August 24-Sept 22)
Virgo: This is a good time to satisfy your curiosity about new intellectual pursuits. Growth can come from taking ideas that are conceptual or theoretical and finding practical applications for the information.

LibraLibra (Sept 23-Oct 23)
Libra: Changes in career could bring inspiration and new opportunities. Ease into them gradually as there may be certain challenges that don’t become apparent until late month or early September.

ScorpioScorpio (Oct 24-Nov 22)
Scorpio: This could be a time of volatility and confrontation for you. The biggest challenge may be with yourself, however. The true warrior knows that the real battles always lie within. Confronting yourself can lead to significant transformations.

SagittariusSagittarius (Nov 23-Dec 21)
Sagittarius: Be careful not to get ahead of yourself this month. This is a good time for action and new beginnings, but avoid being overly expectant of immediate results.

CapricornCapricorn (Dec 22-Jan 20)
Capricorn: This is a good time to question your own authority. Are you owning it and using it effectively? Are you being overly controlling? Are you avoiding it altogether? Growth can come being developing the self-discipline that can lead to an enhanced sense of personal power and greater achievement of your goals.

AquariusAquarius (Jan 21 to Feb 19)
Aquarius: The full Moon in Aquarius on August 3 can enable you to get more in touch and expressive of feelings and emotional needs. Not necessarily comfortable or familiar territory for you, but if you take advantage of it relationships could be more fulfilling.

PiscesPisces (Feb 20-March 20)
Pisces: Avoid the crises in the world by seeking internal connection and clarity. Spiritual truth abounds for you at this time. Use it to enhance your awareness of the Divine Presence.

Rio Olesky has been a professional astrologer since 1976. He is the author of A Manual for the Modern Mystic and Astrology and Consciousness and The Astroreader. He offers both private readings as well as classes for both beginning and intermediate students. Call Rio at 707-887-1820. Check out his website:

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