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August Stargazer 2015

In Insight and Experience by Stella WoodsLeave a Comment

Venus retrograde 2015 the shadow side of love

On 25th July love goddess Venus slowed to a standstill and began her six week retrograde phase. Venus has been visible as the evening star since early to mid-December –you may have noticed a beautiful, bright ‘star’ in the western skies after sunset reaching full brilliance around the middle of July. A period of 18 months elapses between the end of one Venus retrograde cycle and the beginning of the next one and, while Venus’s apparent change in direction is an optical illusion from our earthly viewpoint, its effects can nonetheless be extremely disruptive. As the planet of love and values, Venus retrograde periods are times when we re-assess what and who we value. Venus will travel ‘backwards’ from 25th July to 6th September, moving from 0ºVirgo back to 14ºLeo and offering special insight to those born with personal planets in this section of the zodiac, as well as to Leos and Virgos with birthdays between the 8th and 24th August.

The Venus retrograde 2015 phase is notable for including two of the three Venus-Jupiter alignments this year, creating the anticipation and desire for true love. However, a recurring Saturn influence suggests that the path to true love will not necessarily run smoothly.

How to handle Venus retrograde

Symbolically, the Venus retrograde period makes us re-evaluate our deepest values and examine our closest relationships. As Venus moves towards conjunction with the sun (25th July –16th August in this cycle), we are challenged to let go of old ideas of purity and ‘right behaviour’. Seduced by our desires, we often feel ashamed and try to hide our actions and thoughts. Venus retrograde can be extremely challenging, particularly for those in unhappy relationships or who are living a life of duty, rather than pleasure. Imagine a beam of light shining into the deepest recesses of your heart –you can no longer hide your true desires or keep up appearances. However, this very same bright light can bring hidden admirers out of the closet or reveal beautiful dreams and desires. When analysing a Venus retrograde transit, look back eight years to see when Venus was retrograde in the same area of your chart (14°Leo to 0°Virgo, and the last time Venus was retrograde in Virgo-Leo was 28th July to 9th September, 2007). Similar themes are likely to emerge.

Here are some possible manifestations:

  • Compulsive attraction to someone or something
  • Joyful liberation from past restrictions
  • ‘Out of character’ behaviour reveals true motives and intentions
  • An instinctive understanding of events and interactions
  • Conscious or unconscious retreat
  • Lovers from the past coming back into your life
  • Sudden declarations of love
  • Forbidden or secret love –breaking social norms and conventions
  • Guilt and shame over feelings of love or lust
  • Infidelity and jealousy –the dark side of passionate and romantic love
  • A cold, hard look at relationships of all kinds, often leading to break-ups but also to reconciliation and to new, more honest expressions of love
  • Understanding exactly what is needed to maintain personal integrity
  • A time of failure, resignation or accident
  • Awareness of hidden needs or desires can create emotional turmoil

The best way to prepare for the Venus retrograde cycle is to be honest about any area of life where you are living a lie and not acting with integrity. Take action to sort out the problem rather than waiting for it to surface and take you by surprise. And as Venus rules aesthetics, beauty, fashion and interior design, this six-week period (late July to early September) is perfect for a physical makeover, wardrobe cleanout or home decorating spree.

Jupiter in Virgo manifesting creative ideas

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, will shift from fire sign Leo to earth sign Virgo on 11th August remaining in Virgo until September, 2016, and offering those with planets in the earth signs, Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, special opportunities to achieve their potential. Jupiter represents our yearning for meaning in life and our desire for expansion and growth. Jupiter in Virgo is a dramatically different energy from the creative ebullience of Jupiter in Leo. After 12 months of glitz, glamour and exciting possibilities, it’s time to come back to earth, take a reality check and work on manifesting creative ideas and making dreams come true. On 27th August, Jupiter makes his annual conjunction with the sun in Virgo, a particularly fortunate day.

August new moon 

This month’s new moon falls on the 15th in exuberant fire sign Leo with the sun and retrograde Venus also in Leo trine Uranus in Aries. The Sabian symbol for 21-22°Leo shows a carrier pigeon delivering its message representing the constructive use of spiritual energies to bring messages from other realms. This new moon asks us to open our hearts, connect with others and serve mankind. And it’s a great new moon for attracting love and improving current relationships

August full moon

The August full moon falls on 30th August at 6-7°Pisces. The Sabian symbol shows a large cross lying on rocks surrounded by sea mist and illuminated by a shaft of light, representing the spiritual blessings which strengthen those who are true to themselves and have the courage to follow their personal destiny. The sun in Virgo conjuncts magnanimous Jupiter, while the moon in Pisces travels alongside idealistic Neptune pushing us to speak our truth and live our dreams. Venus is conjunct Mars blending yin and yang energies and communication planet Mercury is conjunct the Nodal Axis helping us honour our intuition

Celebrate the coming of spring

In the seasonal calendar, the beginning of August is the time of Imbolc –the Pagan Festival of Lights known to Christians as Candlemas. The older Pagan names were Imbolc and Oimelc, ‘Imbolc’ meaning ‘in the belly’ (of Mother Earth) and ‘Oimelc’meaning ‘milk of ewes’. Although the nights are still long and dark, we sense intuitively that spring with all its delights is just around the corner.

To celebrate the coming of spring, light a blue candle and place it in the main room of your house. Blue represents peace, wisdom, communication, truth, patience, health and calm. Fill a small bowl with water and add a pinch of salt for protection and purification plus a few drops of your favourite essential oil –something calming like lavender is a good choice. Tie together small bundles of herbs and starting at the front door of your home, dip the bundle of herbs in the water and gently wipe them over the door frame. Continue to do this to all doorways and windows in the house visualising the protection and peace spreading from the front door to the rest of your home. When you have finished, leave the bowl of water out overnight to anchor the protection and let the bundle of herbs dry before burning it with your blue candle.

Featured sign –Leo

The sun travels through fire sign Leo from 23rd July –23rd August. Leo is the fifth sign of the zodiac with keywords ‘I express’ and ‘I stand out’. The symbol for Leo is the lion, king of the beasts, but also the beast within, which must be subdued and civilised. Lions in art and myth are symbols of strength, supremacy, glory and brilliance. Leos are extremely creative, love to show off their talents and are often attracted to the performing arts or any role where they can shine and lead others. At best they are loving, loyal, affectionate and sincere, displaying willpower, integrity, courage, dignity and leadership and radiating confidence. Negatively, Leos can be arrogant, bossy, vain, childish and over-dramatic. Leo rules the heart, circulatory system and spine. So when Leos are out of balance they can suffer from back pain, nervous palpitations, high blood pressure, fever, stroke and heart disease. The Leo colours are gold and orange. Leo is ruled by the sun; so those with a prominent sun in their chart often display Leo qualities. Leo’s greatest lesson is to learn that, despite their brilliance and talent, they are not the centre of the universe. The true leader is the servant of all!

August moon calendar

Launch projects at the new moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the full moon to the third quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next new moon. Important events such as parties, conferences and weddings are best held close to the full moon or when the moon is in the same sign as your sun (or star) sign.





Moon phase













Third quarter










New moon 15th










First quarter













Full moon 30th





Stella Woods is an astrology teacher and consultant based in St Kilda, Melbourne.

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