Illustration by Taylor Dow

Shadow Play

Keep conquering your inner dragons!

So you think you know exactly where you’re going, and you’ve formulated an airtight plan to get there? That’s cute. Monday’s Aquarius lunar eclipse, combined with a freshly retrograde Uranus and a tricky Mercury, definitely disagree. They’ve got jaw-slacking shocks and surprises to scatter onto your certainty. This week (and throughout August, really) we’re dealing with squishy, rapidly shifting situations. That’s eclipse season for you. Nothing’s solid. And yet: There’s also real determination in the Leo air too. You can fight for your goal—you just have to stay flexible.

Aquarius, ruler of this full-moon lunar eclipse, is a future-focused sign that says “Forward!” However, sluggish Mercury, sputtering to turn retrograde next week, hisses “Backward!” Mercury is sending old friends, flames, and associates our way for lesson-learning. Physical objects are already fussy, missing, or busting (my trusty headphones conked out today). Communication is getting garbled. Soon-to-go-backward Mercury is also revealing hot information we previously didn’t see. Similarly, while full moons are always emotional and lit with bright realizations, a lunar-eclipse full moon is hugely emotional and blaring with epiphanies.


The flimsy excuses we make; the unsatisfying dynamics we settle for and call “Good enough, I guess”; the ongoing problems we duct-tape together and promise to deal with later: They’ll all fall apart under the light of Monday’s lunar eclipse. There’s no escaping this moon’s truths. We must face the doubts, fears, and sludge we wish didn’t exist inside us. Luckily, the Leo Sun fortifies us with the courage required to conquer our inner dragons. It’s fitting that Leo rules the physical heart and spine, because being brave like a Leo takes figurative heart and backbone. And we’ll need lion-like strength this week, because a lunar eclipse is messy work. Before we reach the treasure, we have to perform heroic feats.

Imagine entering a rustic cabin in the woods with no electricity, no wi-fi, no books. Your phone battery’s dead, so there’s no scrolling, distractions, or escapism. It’s just you, alone with your shadow. That’s a lunar eclipse. Insecurities, worries, regrets, crappy patterns: Face it and feel it all. You can’t outwit or trick an eclipse. If you ignore or deny problems, the Universe will just present them again, more dramatically. Lunar eclipses also tend to release things—even people—from your life. Since Aquarius relates to groups of people, many of us might be rethinking our connections and, um, refining our social-media friend lists. You’re not who you used to be. It’s OK to let go.


In addition to the emotional fireworks of Monday’s lunar eclipse, the sky is booming with other loud noises. Uranus and Pluto are yelling “Evolve or crumble!” and stirring up inner uncertainty and outward instability all week. And on Friday, when Pluto clashes with Jupiter (a big deal), we must evaluate our resources, finances, and work/home balance to repair glaring cracks in our foundations. The Sun and Mars, both in potent and powerful Leo, are smooshed close together, giving us all a strong will and a short fuse, especially near the full moon. Also, Mercury in Virgo makes our words and thoughts highly critical and perfection-seeking. Oh, and Venus newly in Cancer means that what we want will change every few days. Remember: These are squishy, shifting times.


Uranus goes retrograde Wednesday the 2nd, a day when you could be dealing with addiction issues too. On Thursday the 3rd you’ll need to balance between rolling with changes and digging in your heels. Due to a moon in Capricorn, there’s a rather serious vibe until Saturday, and an obsession with material or physical matters and structures that need adjustment. Try to make room for silly stuff to lighten the mood. We’ll have money (and stability) on the mind on Friday the 4th when Jupiter forms a hard angle to Pluto. Career thoughts will flood your brain, and it’s a good day to discuss shared resources. Saturday the 5th isn’t exactly fun. Prepare to face cold facts and feel pangs of disillusionment. You’ll be annoyed yet motivated to change. You might even generate a list of what “needs work” in relationships too. On Sunday the 6th you can analyze and discuss things matter-of-factly. You might feel a desire to smash old patterns and break through to better things. Monday the 7th is the full moon and lunar eclipse in Aquarius, colored by feisty, red-hot Mars. Any flared tempers should settle down by evening. You may also hear about a cool opportunity, but you’ll have to work for it. A Pisces moon on Tuesday the 8th lets you get quiet and process the lunar eclipse’s emotional points.

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