About quarter of four in the afternoon on August 1 (EDT), the Sun enters the second Decan of Leo, called The Laurel Crown (the names of the Decans come from Austin Coppock‘s book, 36 Faces, due to appear in a 2nd edition later this year). The classical Greeks and Romans, syncretizing with Egyptian traditions far more ancient than themselves, assigned this period of time to a joyful and happy Isis — the queen of heaven united with her husband Osiris and her son Horus in the ease and contentment of familial life.
It is not always thus, as Egyptian mythology tells us — Isis went through great suffering before this union, spending time as a widow, and as a single mother, and as a mother separated from her child by hardship. That joy is hard-won, through bravery and determination and perseverance.
Leo is a Fire sign, the fixedness of a bonfire in full blaze, and the tarot card associated with Leo II is the 6 of Wands — shown in Pamela Colman Smith’s painting as a triumphant general riding with his army through the streets with their staves and spears garlanded with achievement and victory. Based on the flow of the calendar in a cyclical model like astrology, the present victory of Isis is replaced in the due course of time by mourning and distress. We are at one of the hinge points of the year as Leo II begins — victory is always temporary, and victory is often only a recollection of past achievement, rarely a definitive claim of present circumstances. It is the celebration of a high point — but there is nowhere to go but down.
The Ascendant’s position in Sagittarius backs up this point of view — located in the first Decan, the Poisoned Arrow, the character of the next ten days is like the venomed dart shot from the bow by a skilled archer: we will hit whatever target we aim ourselves at, but the thing we achieve is likely to be like dust or noxious flesh — contaminated and stinking, unworthy of our time and attention. What we seek too ardently, we are likely to destroy beyond our ability to salvage or benefit from. Sagittarius is a mutable sign, the embers and coals left as the fire grinds down matter to the wild and barren cardinal earth of Capricorn. There is still light to see what must be done, and a great deal of heat — but we are coming to a decision point, whether to let the fire die, or refuel it; to accept the coming change, or fight the dying of the light.
The Sun occupies the ninth house, bringing themes of education and tourism to the fore. The middle Decan’s themes have already been explored in some detail, and we should therefore expect the achievement of some hard-won but temporary honors. A strong square to Uranus in the sixth puts emphasis on surprise last-minute reversals in terms of what we do on a daily basis, and unnerving health questions arising.
The Midheaven, representing career highlights in the next ten days is at the bending of the chart, suspended halfway between the North and South Node where eclipses occur. A side helping of duty with a soupçon of money anxiety comes from Saturn’s approaching trine; while a recent paycut or toxic discussion with a boss about a raise may be behind you. The last decan of Virgo is called The Sarcophagus — our old ideas about career and advancement in the workplace may indeed be dead, but Mercury invites you to see this as a good thing, from the Overflowing Cup of Cancer’s third decan: what is not dead, cannot be transformed to something new.
The Ascendant and South Node in Sagittarius show our individual state is weakened in the current climate. Our choices are targeted at specific aims and goals, certainly: but simply achieving the objective is not enough; we may find that the hunt was our goal, but the quarry unworthy of our attention. The place of the eclipse forces us to understand in myriad ways that an individualist mindset is not up to the challenges of the present moment: perhaps it’s beating a dead horse, but both your career and home and spouse depend on you repressing some of your more individualist tendencies for the present moment.
In the second house of money and wealth and property, the Moon holds the middle Decan of Capricorn called The Pyramid — placing a soft focus on the structures which bring wealth our way. By the arrangement of tropical Mansions, she resides in the twenty-third, a place of devouring force and quick diminishment; applied to finances, this is a difficult and stressful warning of coming economic hardship for many. By the sidereal Mansions, the twenty-first is only a little better; here, the Queen of Night offers the ongoing conflict between those who have much and those who have little — both of whom fear joining the ranks of the desperate who have nothing.
Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn cluster in the last decan, called the Throne. There are fiscal challenges which we are expected to handle ourselves, despite the malice and outdated rules which cling to these subjects in America. The jovial aristocrat, down on his luck and under house arrest in Capricorn, nonetheless clings to the creature comforts of home and family with Neptune-tinged expansive avarice; even as a square with Mars promises to pull the whole house of cards down around his ears. The Lord of Riches reviews your accounts, and finds your bookkeeping errors with penny-pinching finality, while The Lord of Old Age and Duty expects better of your long-term planning. Take command, urge the three — but with unequal severity they urge austerity.
Neptune and the Imum Coeli hold to the last decan of Pisces in the fourth house of home and family. A swirling whirlpool of blood provides a turbulent riptide at home. No blood has to be spilled for you to ask difficult questions about family, about who’s welcome under your roof, and who takes up space in your heart. “Family” carries a sense of wider inclusion, but that popping sound is the dissolution of all sorts of quarantine bubbles, all over town — time will tell if those fragile shells were necessary or not.
Mars claims The Crown of the middle decan in the fifth house of children and pastimes. Square to the Moon and Jupiter, Mars promises the expenditure of money in pursuit of pleasure or the education of children — but also the cutting-off of the entertainments before they’re truly enjoyed. The warrior-planet drives us toward normalcy and tradition — the Crown is nothing if not conservative about when kids should be in school — but that very fierceness may be feverishly disconnected from reason or intelligence.
Uranus and the Lot of Fortune in the sixth house indicates ongoing disruptions to the themes of health and illness and daily life. Both planets occupy the Lingam-Yoni of the middle decan, suggesting that, when it comes to health and work, both our habits and the disruption of those habits are strongly tied to both our sexuality and to our ‘masculine’ traits of activity and drive, and our ‘feminine’ traits of receptivity and acceptance. A square to the Sun invites us not to be ON all the time — adopt the fluid languidness of lengthy, almost-tantric, lovemaking when it comes to health and the rhythms of daily life; sometimes be active and hurried, at other times relax and receive.
The Descendant, along with Venus and the North Node, trouble our relationships with business and romantic partners. Gemini, one of the “two-bodied” signs, rules the western horizon. From that, we would expect a distinct separation between business success and matrimonial bliss. AT 24° Gemini, Venus is just past the shoulders of Orion, providing that ancient warrior with a head full of love for the world. However, the ruling power of Mercury in Cancer has left the building, so to speak: they’ve locked the door and set out on a journey toward Leo and Virgo, leaving their two house-guests in charge with nary a cellphone between them. Romance carries a taste of forbidden wisdom, while Venus and the north node in the last decan have the image of an Executioner’s Sword hanging over them. As a result, business and spousal relations overlap and intermingle, while flashes of gnostic insight point to a new way to walk on the earth.
Last of all, Mercury, in the eighth house of death, puts an overflowing cup of emotional trauma and ancestral healing before us. The herald-planet currently floats in opposition to slow moving Pluto, using wit and business sense to coax payments from clients, hiding anxiety from creditors with a brave and smiling face, and filling the cups of communication to regulators with a little more emotion than usual. Only they know if this is a consummate act, an Oscar-worthy performance, or a tragicomic personal revelation.
All in all, the planetary placements point at a complicated truth for the next ten days: living in interesting times can be exceptionally boring at times.
Rising Sign Horoscopes
Sagittarius: As I’ve said elsewhere, the next fourteen months are likely to feel like you’re putting your own priorities on the back burner in favor of your spouse or business partner’s issues. It doesn’t mean you can let time waste away, though. A thorough review of financial matters, good and bad, should be conducted. Start keeping a list of goals for your dream house if you’re not living in it already; and widen your ideas about who lives in it. Think about branding your hobbies in an official way; some of them might prove useful. If you don’t have a health routine yet, both mental and physical, it’s time to create one.
Capricorn: It will be easy in the next ten days to confuse the contents of your bank account with your identity, especially since your money seems to be the focus of a lot of other people’s greedy eyes and fingers. Safeguard what’s yours, of course, but recognize that you may need to form a side-hustle from one of your hobbies; keep your ears open for the unexpected opportunity to launch, and set some plans in motion. A discussion about household side projects has a chance to devolve into a shouting-match, or worse; the issues of siblings or extended family seem to soak into your home ground and garden. A spouse wrestles with creative burnout and way too much to do — know that your inspired, encouraging word may provide the necessary insight to keep going.
Aquarius: You’re likely feeling that the pressure’s off of you — except when you’re alone. Then, a review of your present circumstances likely feels weighty or overwhelming. Where are your friends? Why are family members cutting you off? A sudden revolution is taking place at home, too — if you’re working from home, that’s great; you’re in a good position to earn good money there, even if you’d rather be on the road. Yet all your usual home routines are thrown into an almost sensual confusion by duty, while a spouse or housemate may be passing time in relatively listless ways. Don’t be angry, but do communicate to attain clarity about how your current careers are on different trajectories, in order to avoid resentments.
Pisces: The capacities of your heart to overflow in all directions is probably in overdrive; pandemic, for you, is just another word for “living the dream!” especially when you get to be at home. You get to do all the things! Be all the things! But… a review of your professional and social circles is in order. You have responsibilities to some of those folks, and you’re a leader to others, and still others expect you to help them structure their lives. Oh, yeah, and some of those people are revealing themselves, not as genial cranks but as potentially-dangerous blackguards, who dress old ideas in modern clothes. Also, hate to say it, but your finances may be way overextended, particularly as regards your kids or your hobbies. A sibling may be getting a much-needed promotion or change to their work-schedule, but it may mean they’re more involved with your pod of people than you’d like.
Aries: My mom likes saying, “you are your projects.” you’ll find it useful to list your own projects on paper and then prioritize them. If you think of these tasks like members of your royal family — either goofy nitwits not worth the money they cost, or useful tools for the management of your reputation, power and supremacy — you’ll find that you can put in the work necessary on each to help you personally thrive. A surprise in-flow of cash may be countered by a similar necessary expense; don’t delude yourself into thinking a personal pleasure counts as essential. Your career? Yeah, that’s a huge pile of work. You’re still the one with the right combination of skill and authority to handle that mess; try not to poison too many people with the bad attitude while you sort it out.
Taurus: You’re probably at the point when you just want to cut, burn and destroy every cordon sanitaire and eliminate all solo time. Where are your friends? Can things go back to the way you dream they used to be? No travel to wild places, no adventures, weighs on your soul — Tauruses are thought of as comfortable homebodies, but that’s not quite true; sometimes you escape from fenced pastures and travel in new wilderness; for the moment, the fences are secure. Your partner’s resources may be under some strain in the near future; like it or not, you may be taking in your own slack. A sibling is overwhelmed, and yours may be the friendly communique that puts their feelings in some kind of order. Recent efforts to set your house in order result in temporary laurels; but you’ve buried your hobbies beneath the veneer of cleanliness —all that stuff may need to be re-excavated
Gemini: You may be of two minds about a spouse or current lover or even business partner; they’re creative and capable, and diligent about getting stuff done on your behalf — but it also feels like maybe you’re not getting what you want, or trying to make this horse carry you to water when it’s already dead in the desert. Money is going out almost as fast as it’s coming in; maybe you need a better way to catch and hold it for a time — and scheduling some time to think through your own work process alone would be worth the extra time. Your fortunes would improve simply with a clearer work-flow and time-management system. The trouble is, your career goes in too many directions right now: you’re living your dream, but you’re overextended by the challenge of living at home and managing a career from the same place. Are you having a career for the sake of having a career? Or are you trying to create a home that’s worth coming home to? Some career habits may have to die for the sake of a renewal of the home-life at the heart of your life.
Cancer: Quarantine has likely been hard on your emotional life, which “comes at you fast” in the words of Ferris Bueller. The combination of creative solo time, and the insights arising from meditation or spiritual practice, has been good for you; but it has also put you at odds with your community of friends and business associates; lackadaisical networking brings in no new clients or potential romance. There’s an upcoming pleasure-trip you may have to cancel; but the refund will be a nice, temporary boost to the ongoing ‘staycation’ that could turn into wish-fulfillment. A death in the family may require your obvious, public presence at a funeral, and this may be a significant turning point. If you’re in a relationship, your partner may be going through a time of significant emotional and intellectual oppression around money — you can’t relieve their anxiety completely, but you can use the lessened pressures of your own daily schedule to assist them in thinking through the cash-flow.
Leo: is this upcoming trip for work really necessary? Last minute changes to itineraries could bring unexpected good fortune or bonuses, but might also be tinged with unpleasant surprises — or a reunion with an old flame. NOT going could turn out to be as oppressive as the originally-planned trip, though — if you decide to cancel, you may experience sudden bursts of anger or frustration as the big cat lashes out in reaction to ongoing confinement. If this occurs, find some creative ways to reconnect with old friends and old flames alike: make a reconnection plan and stick to it. If you are partnered, find a way to reconnect to that partner in a more dynamic and … mmm, tantric?… way — a long, languid and slow seduction may open your eyes to make the scales fall from your eyes in a shamelessly feline way.
Virgo: Career, career, career — it’s all you’re dong right now, and it’s as oppressive as a tomb. Home takes a back-seat, even when you take aim at specific household opportunities; often, completing those small tasks seems to lead to new ones. Fun? Pastimes? Hanging out with your kids? Everything costs money, which brings us back to … work. Maybe there’s an online class you can take that would inspire you and improve your productivity? A surprise encounter with provocative information — or a provocative person — may provide the jolt you need to get out of your rut. If you’re unattached, it’s possible that you’ll encounter the partner of your dreams this week; but try to remember that dream-partners are often quite fluid in identity, and this one may slip away the moment you try to seize the moment. Don’t rush.
Libra: A broad evaluation of your friendships is a worthwhile goal right now: who are these people, what’s their connection to you, and is there some intrinsic value to this one over that one, these to those? That may sound mercenary, but you have to approach this culling with the attitude of a basic training drill sergeant — a majority of these ‘boys’ may wind up peeling potatoes on kitchen duty, or fixing jeeps or stocking PXes… but one or two of them have the makings of potential front-line shock troops. Do you need front-line shock troops? You may not… but your partner may have need of a few good men, especially if (when?) an old romantic interest might reappear, or the kids are at risk. Home might feel like it’s under siege — again. The problem could be solved by throwing a lot of money at several problems, but a clear-eyed assessment of what you can do for yourself, and what others must do for you, and what is simply a ‘nice-to-do’ vs. ‘essential’ is also on the table.
Scorpio: Lonely? Need the beatings to continue until morale improves? Rehashing the loss of a paycheck or commission over-and-over again? It’s tricky to go to family and ask for more money, or to run some kind of neighborhood fundraiser, or even to contemplate what school or work might be like in the fall. Every option feels either constricting, or limiting, or downright foolhardy. Plus, there’s this ever-growing pile of free and wonderful projects you could do for fun instead! Put some of that energy toward paying work, toward an exercise program, toward breaking free of real or imagined familiar limits. Your partner, if you have one, may have a sudden reversal of fortune in the next ten days; for some this will be good, for others bad. One way or another, they’ll have some deep, two-handed insights about the world. You might get some useful public praise at work, but don’t expect a lasting change like a raise: a pat on the back or a gift card is more likely — the joke is “don’t spend it all in one place,” but the reality is they won’t give you a choice.
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I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time!
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website.
Any errors in these columns are my own.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.
If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.