Back by popular demand! This month’s Skyvibe is written by wonderful Astrologer and Sydney Astrology School colleague Joanne Rixon… enjoy.

As we enter the month of August, Mars and the Sun are conjunct in the sign of Leo, lending their fiery energy to flavour the whole month. However, the big astrological news for August 2017 are two eclipses, a Lunar eclipse on 8 August at 4.20 am, and a Solar eclipse on 22 August at 4.30 am, Sydney time.

Firstly, let’s look at the Lunar eclipse. The August 8 Lunar Eclipse is a partial eclipse in Sydney, as only part of the Moon with be shadowed. It will be visible from 3.23 am to 5.18 am, reaching its maximum at 4.20 am. Some courageous souls among you may be tempted to brave the morning chill to witness this celestial phenomena first hand. If you are located outside of Sydney, check to see when it will be visible where you live.

A Lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are in opposition and conjuncting the Nodes, with the Earth coming between the two Luminaries and casting its shadow across the face of the Full Moon. Lunar eclipses have a different energy to a normal Full Moon as the Nodes are involved, and as the Earth is in direct alignment to both the Sun and the Moon, the impact of an eclipse is deeply felt. This Lunar eclipse is conjunct the South Node and occurs at 15° 25′ Aquarius. It is asking us to let go and release any deep emotional hurts and past issues.

The Sabian Symbol for this degree is a Big Businessman at his desk. This symbol is asking us to get organised and deal with the details so that we do not create a big mess in our lives. It is asking us to take stock of our situation to live the very best life we can, and that does not necessarily mean work, work, work, but to take time out to be creative and have fun too, as allowing creative and emotional energy to flow will most likely increase your success in life and in business too.

Often the impact of an eclipse is not felt immediately, but is activated when another planet triggers the energy point by transit. Mars will oppose this point on 14 August, and Venus will be quincunx the same day. Check to see if you have any natal planets at or around 15° to see what impact this eclipse may have in your own life, and if there are any developments around the times the faster moving planets form an aspect to 15° Aquarius.

Now let’s look at the Solar eclipse. Solar eclipses occur at a New Moon when the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, blocking its light for approximately 8 minutes. They are calling this one “the Great American Eclipse”, as it will be visible in a 108 km wide path sweeping right across 12 states from Oregon on the West coast to South Carolina on the East, and it is the first one to traverse the entire country in 99 years. It will not be visible from Australia, but that does not mean that we will not experience its effects. This eclipse is particularly potent, as it is occurring at a very sensitive point – 28° 53′ Leo, conjunct the North Node and the zodiac degree of the fixed star Regulus, the star related to royalty and rulers. Bringing the North Node into the story gives this eclipse a flavour of destiny, new beginnings, identity and ego.

The Sabian Symbol for 28° Leo is a mermaid has climbed to the rocky shore of a bleak coast; she awaits the prince who will bring her immortality. Like the mermaid, we need to seek transformation by making an effort to explore new territory, “grow legs” to support ourselves and emerge as an individual in our own right, to make a new beginning of some kind. We need to nurture relationships, but not depend upon others to make our transformation for us. Like the Big Businessman, we need to get our house in order. Have a look at your own chart for any planets or angles close to 28° and that will give you the clue what area of your life will be activated by this eclipse.

Eclipses are strange things, not so much from an astrological viewpoint, although they are very strong alignments, but from the way they affect otherwise sane and rational people. In times gone by it was thought that they presaged the death of kings, the fall of empires and general destruction and mayhem. If you Google “Great American Eclipse” you will see that not much has changed really.

As the US have claimed this eclipse for their own, how will it affect the chart of the USA? Based on the 4th July 1776 chart, the eclipse will oppose the US Moon at 27° 07′ Aquarius in the 3rd house of communication, facts and figures, and quincunx Pluto at 28° 09′ Capricorn in the 2nd house of money and things we value. Venus will be conjunct the US Mercury in Cancer in the 8th house, again bringing money into the equation, perhaps affecting Wall Street or the banking sector.

This eclipse is also having a significant impact on President Donald Trump’s chart. Born on a Lunar eclipse, this one will conjunct his natal Mars and his ascendant. The Donald already has a reputation for a firey temper and going rogue, and this eclipse will just add fuel to this already unpredictable inferno. Transiting Saturn will conjunct his 4th house Sagittarian South Node and Venus will conjunct his natal 11th house Cancer Saturn/Venus conjunction. Watch the news for stories about US/foreign relations, power struggles, family scandal, and possibly secret monetary dealings, especially around the first week of September when Mars triggers the eclipse point.

Eclipses occur in cycles that start at either the North or South Pole and spiral around the Earth until they reach the opposite pole approximately 1,280 years later. The term for this is the Saros Cycle, Saros from the Greek for ‘repetition’, as eclipses in a Saros “family” repeat every 18½ years. These eclipse “families” are given a number to identify them, and this upcoming solar eclipse belongs to Saros Cycle 145. It is interesting to look back at events around previous “145” eclipses for a flavour of what to expect.

According to US astrologer Marjorie Orr, Saros Series 145 “places strains on personal relationships, induces hasty decisions on the basis of false information and is associated with tiredness or health problems” (Source: Marjorie Orr She also points out that there was a presidential connection with the previous eclipse in this series when President Bill Clinton was being investigated for possible impeachment from December to February 1998/99. How this one will play out for the US remains to be seen, but no doubt it will be seen by one and all on the nightly news.

Another well known person we may be hearing more about during this eclipse period is Princess Diana as this eclipse is conjunct her natal North Node and opposing her Moon. Saros Cycle 145 has played a role in her life and death story as well: the first one occurred on 31st July 1981, just two days after her wedding to Prince Charles; the 1999 eclipse occurred during the French inquest into the circumstances of her death; and the current one near the 20th anniversary of that sad day. New information or rumours may emerge on what really happened in the Alma Tunnel on 31st August 1997.

However this eclipse plays out on the world stage or in your own life, remember that the planets won’t make you do anything, the choice is always in your hands. They will provide the wave for you to ride, how you surf it is up to you.