The theme continuing throughout the week is Friends getting together with friends. Many of those friends are professionals whom you have not seen for a while and who, frankly, miss you as you miss them. Both of you have much to offer in the way of ideas, insights, and opportunities where someone knows someone who knows someone — well you know what I mean — again — that of networking — in person rather than on social media. With the New Moon at 27° Virgo 27′ on Tuesday, a 28 day cycle begins involving lots of detail work — editing, sorting, clearing, donating, and even organizing your daily health routines while partnering with healthier daily menus. Healthy habits provide you with the energy required for withstanding the task master energy of Saturn finishing in Sagittarius in December 2017..

Transiting Jupiter completes its one year cycle over the course of the next two weeks and begins transiting the sign of Scorpio on October 10. Jupiter has been in the sign of Libra for a year and will not return to Libra until 2028! Libra is about equality and fairness and over the course of this last year Jupiter has been dancing the tango with chaotic and revolutionary and extremist Uranus. Over the course of the next two weeks, that dance accelerates. State of mind is the key to successful navigation through this potentially tumultuous period. If you are calm and patient and non-reactive things work out. Carving out a quiet time for yourself each day eases you through this time. Meditation, exercise, even taking a little nap helps the heightened pace of Jupiter leading us towards the Fall Equinox. Fall Equinox is on Friday September 22, 2017, the part of the year where days become shorter and the nights grow. We begin an internal journey at this time of year and it is hearkens a rich and textured time for soul work.

This week many planets interact with Saturn, suggesting that this is a great week to focus. You have the energy to put in longer hours making better use of your time. The positive aspect between Venus and Saturn on Tuesday puts you together with the right person or team or organization working together on an idea you’ve had in mind for a while. Whether this is community service or a pet project that you’ve wanted to complete, this is the week to gather up the right people — by just telling friends or acquaintances what or who you need to help you. With all the texting of late — we’ve lost the simple art of talking with each other. Make a dinner date with friends — tell them what you want to do and ‘ask’ for the orders — in other words — do they know someone who fits the bill for your idea?

As Friday arrives and Venus and Jupiter are in a positive aspect to each other — you find the right job, a placement, or even the right article of clothing or equipment! Take your time over the course of the weekend as Mercury and Mars are connecting. This combination creates impatient energy often more destructive than constructive. By Sunday’s Venus aspect to electric Uranus, you are in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people, and setting on a path of innovative possibilities. Buying a car? Don’t decide Saturday and by Sunday you have the better price or a better car.

Mercury is direct on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 and by the time it reaches its shadow position on September 19 many of the communication issues of the last few weeks begin to see headway. With the Full Moon on Wednesday, September 6, falling near Neptune, this might be a great week to plan some time off from your newly focused schedule and go near the water, listen to some music, see a play or paint a wall! It is important to keep things in balance during times of stress. Often when Mercury begins its direct motion, you hear from people you haven’t heard from for a while, or, you contact them. With this very important Mercury direct on the eclipse degree, it may be that people show up from a long time ago — perhaps even back to 1998 or even 1979! Another way this plays out is that a business you might have started, wanted to start, or thought about starting during those years may present a window of opportunity allowing you to try again.

Mercury going direct is about taking classes, learning new skills, even if there is no purpose but your personal interest. This changes your day to day patterns that have, perhaps, blocked your creativity and opens up new brain patterns that also bring in new types of people — for both personal as well as professional relationships. Perhaps you need to upgrade equipment, software, or systems. This is a perfect time to start thinking how to best improve your quality of life. And, of course, getting those budgets down for the rest of the year is key for planning some of the big opportunities opening up in 2018. Those who prepare will be ready when the moment finds them.

Now that the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 is over — is it really? Eclipses are often not seen — in other words clear as to their meaning — until about 87 days later or another 87 days after that, which translates to the month of November, 2017 and the month of February 2018. Personally, I think whatever the outcome; it will be for the best. As mentioned last week, the eclipse occurred on the fixed star Regulus which is found in the constellation of Leo. Leo is all about heart, generosity, courage. It also has its dark side, which can be very self-centered and narcissistic without taking into consideration others. Regulus is a very ‘karmic’ star in that it can bring people, honorable and just people and situations, to the front of the line. But if there have been any shenanigans along the way, it can just as quickly put you to the back of the line until you attain some humility! Over the course of the following year, the fallout of this eclipse is witnessed. I am banking on creative solutions or new perspectives to old psychological blocks begging for discovery. Courage, folks, because change — real change — requires courage.

As for other news this week, Saturn finally went direct at 21° Sagittarius 10′ on Friday August 25 so if any of you feel as though you are now on track for fixing things at home or the office (i.e. construction), looking at new jobs or getting new bosses; re-organizing your lives or files, these are some of the things we see during Saturn directs. Now that Saturn is direct, it continues through the last degrees of Sagittarius all the way through December 19, 2017 when it enters the sign of Capricorn for two and a half years. Finishing up what you started or were trying to complete as far back as December 2014 is the best use of this time over the course of these next few months. The big lesson with Saturn going direct at this degree, (also falls in the decanate of Leo within the sign of Sagittarius) is an insight regarding what we do to be loved — is it for attention — or something else? Is it about generosity, which is wonderful, but does it let yourself receive? Receiving help, asking for advice, and letting others help you finishes the one-way circuit of just being a giver while not letting you receive. Receiving completes that same circuit, making for happier relationships filled with heartfelt joy.

Mercury, too, has been retrograde in Virgo since Friday August 12. It starts moving in a direct motion on September 5, 2017 at the same exact degree as that eclipse of August 21. Mercury (thinking and insight) on an eclipse degree could be that lightning bolt of resolution or insight you’ve been craving, the completion of an agreement or contract, finally understanding something you’ve been struggling to learn in recent weeks. Persistence is what it is all about. The more you do, the more you get. With this Tuesday’s Second Quarter moon, you get organized, structured, scheduled and ready for anything. During the next week, lots and lots of great things can happen if you just let them in.

The TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE passing over the USA.

Many of you receive my free newsletter (available by signing up on the right) that publishes every six to eight weeks when there is something newsworthy. If you are interested in seeing last week’s newsletter, here is the link, ….. because it is a very extensive piece on today’s eclipse, far more than can be mentioned in this week’s forecast. Time is moving so quickly that the ideas of last week or yesterday often change in almost a 180° flip and have even this morning as the news told us that Steve Bannon of the US White House is now out. There will be fallout from this eclipse over the course of the next few weeks as well as the fallout from the (what I think was far more powerful) Lunar Eclipse of August 7, 2017 in middle degrees of Aquarius and Leo which I believe sparked the mass riots and chaos of the last two weeks. For your information, Lunar Eclipses affect the people of a nation rather than the leaders of countries and the recent events of the last few days alone, the terrorist in Barcelona, the events at Charlottesville, and the less covered events like the earthquake in the Chinese province of Sichuan which killed at least 19 people and injured 250.

Today’s eclipse is a Solar Eclipse and a Total one at that. Total eclipses are the most powerful, last the longest (i.e. are darkest longest) and where the shadow of those eclipses pass as this one is passing over the USA, is where many believe is the area of the world that is most likely affected. Shadows are just that – they are the ‘bad witch that didn’t get invited to the party’ in the story of Sleeping Beauty as Alice O Howell states in her book, Jungian Symbolism and Astrology, one of my favorite books of all time. In that story, all the little fairies of the kingdom are invited to the christening of the new little princess, but one of the witches was not invited – the bad witch. The question that Howell poses in her essay is what would have happened if, in fact, the bad witch had been invited to the party? Would she have cursed the child to die? Probably not. She would have been unpleasant, yes, but in the light less harmful.

The ‘shadow’ facing the world during this eclipse is the shadow of issues of love and the heart and the things not addressed or shoved under the table in the hopes that those shadows will disappear. In other words, if we don’t see it, then, of course, it doesn’t exist. “WONK” Not true! There is a huge shadow over the USA right now. They affect the leaders of the country as opposed to the people of a country. This Solar eclipse falls on the fixed star Regulus, which is the start that allows you to become famous, but you can just as quickly fall, if the unconscious refuses growth. This eclipse brings that shadow into the light, if not now, within 90 days (November 2017) or 180 days (February/March 2018) afterwards. This is when the shadow comes into the light and we see what we did not see during the eclipse.

One of the concerns regarding these eclipses are regarding the USA President’s health (this eclipse is right on his Mars (the head and brain-dementia, aneurysms, brain maladies) and his Ascendant (his physical body) to questions arising about his ability to lead as a statesman rather than a self-aggrandizing individual. These issues are laid at his feet begging for a change. At this writing, Steve Bannon has just been fired and by the time this forecast reaches you, my readers, who knows what else will happen? In the end, we really don’t know how this turns out, because change in consciousness is based on everyone’s choice.

And speaking of individuals, this is true for each of us. Wherever this eclipse is occurring in your chart and challenging other parts of your chart is where you are in the dark. The Solar Eclipse is in a fixed sign Leo (the other signs most affected by this are those with lots of Aquarius, Taurus and Scorpio in their charts too). Fixed signs don’t like not knowing – or being out of control. Leo and its opposite Aquarius – from the solar perspective – are involved in clarifying or rectifying the ‘darkness’ in relationships to those close to you as well as the relationship to your own body, your physical container. Where is it that ‘you’ aren’t allowing yourself to receive or taking care of ‘your’ body? Does your identity need something fresh and new? Are you happy? Are you letting light in – in these areas of your life or in the areas of your chart where you find Leo and Aquarius?

For Taurus and Scorpios, look at where it is happening in your charts, but from a solar perspective, they occur in the areas of the chart involving home, family, and your reputation in your professional life, who you perceive to be authority figures, and how authority affects your behaviors. What is it about these areas where ‘your’ shadow is causing difficulty? And what can ‘you’ do to make it better? What is it you are not looking at which involves you as well as those others in these areas of your life that you are unable to invite ‘to the party’. These all involve shadow issues not addressed over 19 and 38 years ago. Addressing shadows requires major courage and becoming the spiritual advocate that feeds your very existence.

A shadow or a specter is intangible, but is a strong force that is frightening. If left to its own devices and left unidentified, it creates illness, anxiety, sleeplessness, and can kill motivation until it is confronted head on. It is the ‘Darth Vader’ inside of us and we all have Darth Vader in there somewhere. What you had the courage to address some 19 or 38 years ago is asking for a higher level of awareness now and because it was identified makes it an easier passage now where creativity and expression reign. However, what wasn’t addressed and shoved under the rug during those same periods, again rears an even larger and uglier head now, and, frankly, isn’t so easy. With that said, this is the perfect time to invite your ‘bad witch’ to the party. Allow her some light while keeping your heart open. We all have a psychological DNA strand, an upward moving coil of consciousness which is accessible. Total eclipses like this one, whose shadow is crossing directly over the USA (first time since 1918) in Leo, the sign ruling the heart, asks that we climb up rather than down and moving towards a more vibrant and heart-centered existence.

This week highlights lots of Venus (value and love) activities. Tuesday Venus is opposite Pluto, the drama begins, where power struggles or confrontations regarding values and relationships may arise. This can be a transformative opposition if one has the right attitude towards constructive conversations rather than destructive criticisms. If something in a relationship has not been working, whether personal or professional, do not walk away but confront what everyone is unwilling to confront. The key in moving through this and achieving a positive result is listening without the compulsion to fire back. If that happens, then the will gets in the way of the solution. Taking a step back from an agreement or a partner issue to answer properly is best delayed until very late on Thursday or early Friday as the Moon moves into the problem-solving sign of Gemini. Now, you have more information for making a better decision. Throughout all this we all must realize we are in the week between two powerful eclipses and people get tense during these times — also exhausted. They are like a cosmic dam holding back highly charged emotions which have no place or vehicle through which to express. Edgy is a good word for how most people feel between eclipses, particularly those that pass over the country in which you reside.

By the weekend, there is some ease as the Moon and Venus come together in a joyful conjunction and high spirits and positive energy return on Sunday when the Sun in Leo and Uranus (the catalyst for thinking in new ways) in Aries are in a positive aspect. This is a great weekend for a short break, a getaway, a family vacation, and getting together with friends and family as Monday’s Total Solar Eclipse at almost 29º Leo begins around 11:30 am Pacific time Monday.

Today is a lunar eclipse (full moon) at 15º Aquarius 25′. This is one of the more critical degrees of the zodiac as it is right in the center of the fixed signs affecting those born with many planets in middle degrees of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus and Scorpio. I call this degree a ‘financial’ degree as well as a ‘decision’ degree and with the Moon in a positive aspect to Jupiter (good fortune) this eclipse offers a great opportunity to get your name out there regarding something you’ve cherished and crafted. The more unusual the better, since Aquarius is the sign of the ‘unusual’ along with the ability to work with groups more than individuals. If you aren’t doing that, you might be thinking of something that does engage with organizations or groups in a positive way. This could be volunteering and donating either time or money to a cause in which you believe. With Mercury going retrograde on Saturday August 12 at 11º Virgo 38′ start analyzing a situation that needs a re-think or restructure. Since Mercury goes direct September 5, this next few weeks is about review rather than action. By September 20, Mercury catches up to where it left off and systems, equipment, personnel, software and schedules are sorted.

For those astrologically inclined, I am presenting a workshop for the Sacramento NCGR group on Sunday September 24 on Antiscia (Solstice Points) and for more information on that workshop, contact Linda Byrd at fullofgratitude@comcast.net. The lecture is from 10 to Noon and the workshop is in the afternoon. And for those not attending but knowing astrology, this eclipse has as sensitive degree of 14º Scorpio 35′ or 14º Taurus 25′. If you’d like to explore this phenomenon in your own chart, I do have some phone appointments available in August.

Venus enters Cancer on Monday at 7:54 AM Pacific Time. I really do like Venus in Cancer, but that is probably because I enjoy my home, cooking, hanging with friends and sharing a meal or a movie. Venus in Cancer offers these types of opportunities for a few weeks before it enters Leo on August 27 just after the Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017. In contrast to this transit, Uranus is slowing down this week at 28º Aries 32′ and retrograde late on Wednesday August 2 and into the early morning hours of Thursday August 3. Uranus remains retrograde until late December 2017 and this is really a good period (each year) to sort out or address your obligations to your community as well as restructuring your goals or putting them into a newer more prioritized order. Frustration sometimes arises the few days before, but this is temporary.

This ‘could’ affect the markets since Uranus traditionally rules cycles or cycles performance, but with this coming Friday’s last quarter Jupiter square Pluto at 11:48 AM spending can escalate or markets rise suddenly but drop during the following week. Remember these are opinions. Last quarter squares are very good for deciding on some sort of learning experience, or shoring up skills, or, taking a course that is of interest. Regardless of whether this helps in your chosen professions or not, it is the ‘key’ to a new direction.

The week begins with Venus and Saturn opposing each other — the signature for duty over pleasure — or getting things done before taking a little time off. This is also the week in which Mercury enters its own sign of Virgo at 4:41 PM Pacific time on Tuesday July 25. However, and this is something to remember regarding any contracts, agreements, or negotiations…. Mercury is also entering what we call the ‘pre-shadow’ of the degree at which Mercury will retrograde back to later in August and very early September. “Pre-shadows” are good for reviewing any work or project to which you’ve devoted time. Do you have enough, or, too much? Do you need to step back and simplify? Those questions are the basis for redirecting as the Sun and Mars align in Leo on Wednesday July 26 at 5:57 PM Pacific. I don’t usually put charts in my forecasts, because many of you are not familiar with Astrology, but for those who are, here is the West Coast chart for Wednesday’s Sun Mars conjunction.

For those of you who do understand astrology, note the rising sign, which is 27º Sagittarius 34′ right at the Galactic Center, where things can happen very quickly. The Sun Mars conjunction is in the 8th house of investments and in the same area where that Total Solar Eclipse occurs starting on the West coast of the USA in late August 2017. With these two markers plus Saturn in the 12th house and going over this chart’s rising sign on November 29, 2017, this may be the starting point — this week — where one reviews monies owed to others like the IRS, or, your fixed assets and their values needing a review and re-strategizing those values and what to do with them. Overexpansion is not necessarily the way to go right now, whereas prudence is.

In terms of your income or salary or notes or monies owed to you, this is a good time to take actions regarding their payments and either redrafting agreements or reminding those owing that it may be time to act and reorganize themselves as well. Partnership opportunities offering support may appear, but do the numbers. Really do the numbers. It might even be a good week to take a ‘few profits’ out of your portfolio for insurance. If something doesn’t feel right with what is promised, then keep digging until you have all the facts. The Sun Mars affords the courage to ask for what is owed to you regardless of your concerns regarding asking. Sun/Mars gives us courage and confidence and positive returns if we engage with it consciously.

Monday begins with Venus in Gemini in a challenging aspect to Neptune. This often suggests that one might want to extend the weekend into Monday or that if you are back at the desk take the time to sort through things and hold off on making concrete decisions until at least tomorrow Tuesday. Venus square Neptune floats in a fog of romance, or, drift which doesn’t sound so great but is, in fact, a good time to imagine or reimagine your plans allowing other ideas to come forth from the unconscious mind.

Sometimes when we ‘sort’ through things it allows our unconscious mind to figure out the solutions to those items plaguing us or pushing us for a decision. Late on Monday Mars the planet of motivation is challenging Uranus and an insight on how to do something in a more extraordinary rather than the ordinary way shows up so that as Tuesday and the rest of the week unfold, putting that plan into action is possible.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are favorable for ‘getting it done’, for stabilizing what has seemed to be an unstable situation or a situation that held no answers. One of the ways to negotiate a troublesome issue is risking frankness regarding your concerns without taking an accusatory stance. With Mars ending its run in Cancer (not its most favorite place to be for the last few weeks) on Thursday July 20 at about 5:19 am Pacific Time and entering the more hearty and fiery sign of Leo, energy returns. Later that day as the Sun and Uranus challenge each other, the solution emerges combining an old way of thinking and a new way of thinking — a type of hybrid thinking — late on Thursday going into early Friday morning. Key thing here is don’t pick up all your marbles and go home if you don’t get an immediate answer. Wait for Friday and then Saturday’s transit of Sun into its own sign of Leo where it becomes a New Moon (new starts, new ideas and new beginnings) on Sunday July 23 at 2:46 AM Pacific time and 5:46 AM Eastern time. Patience is the key and getting a little exercise helps, too, with all the fire we will see in the sky and on earth during August.

First, I apologize for the incorrect birthday number for the United States — last week. A savvy reader caught my error. The USA is now 241 years old, and, not, as stated… 301!

Think about that only 241 years old — a mere teenager — still in its adolescent phase compared to its older compatriots in Europe and Australia and China who are many more hundreds of years older. I think, however, that this idea of being a nation that is 241 years old bears some examining because the truth is this nation is still quite young and will make many more errors before it transforms into adulthood which it is doing as we speak. Since the USA was founded with its Sun in the sign of Cancer, the sign that feeds and nurtures and caretakers others and then adding Pluto opposite that same Sun during these last few years (a rare 247-year cycle), that mindset is changing as it is for the individuals who are citizens of the United States.

To understand this concept, think of a teenager, who has done something that isn’t kosher as we say. The parent of that teenager takes the car away, grounds them for so many days or weeks depending on the offense, and, hopefully, the teenager will get the lesson — the consequences of their actions — whether those actions resulted from either naivete or done purposely. If we then look at the bigger picture of Pluto still opposing the US Sun sign, the country is in the cocoon phase of transformation.

A cocoon doesn’t show whether the transformative body becomes a moth or a butterfly, but we do know it will transform. I don’t know what a cocoon is like but I imagine it is very dark, invisible and, most importantly, inactive probably suspended on the edge of some sort of death limbo. That suspension is necessary for the major transition.

So many people write to me these days about what the heck is going on, or, that they can’t seem to get their footing, or, that they don’t know whether they should move forward and take a chance or just wait. It isn’t just one person that feels this psychic atrophy. It is individuals, cities and those running governments, particularly in the United States. If we think about how the USA has been a world leader and return to the metaphor of the cocoon, I think it offers some insight. But, we say, we must do something, which is very common for a country that has such a strong Mars placement — often reacting without thinking — during its younger iterations. Sometimes that something is learning to live one day at a time and doing the things that need getting done that we put off.

Pluto works well when it either releases things or takes something that is dead or old and transforms it. Remaking, retooling, refurbishing, remodeling are all good action items for Pluto cycles and can produce rather than destroy. As we finish the full moon of last weekend and move into the new week and into a period right before the eclipse coming up in August that traverses the US with its shadow, it is important to pick that one thing and get it done. Get it done before late December of this year when a very new cycle begins for all of us.

I want to reach out to all my readers and wish them a happy Fourth of July celebration in the United States. These last few days have been rather striking, in that Chiron, who often wounds, but ultimately heals, went retrograde just a few days ago — so if any things were said that require an apology or a reframing of a message, perhaps these next few days are the time in which to do that. With retrogrades we often have a discovery of some unknown fact or issue, which surfaces in order to be resolved during retrogrades. With Chiron retrograde at almost the very last degree of Pisces last Friday, then there may have been an emotional bloodletting or release of some sort long overdue. Now take that experience and finesse it with a new way of looking or reacting to those things that continue to irritate and block your progress. Chiron goes direct on December 5 going all the way back to 24° Pisces, but then proceeds to exit Pisces and enter Aries in spring 2018.

When a planet (or comet in this case) is at the end of its run and this run has been for almost ten years, lots of things begin the finishing process that was begun at the beginning of the cycle. Since Chiron has been in very psychic, emotional, creative and sometimes even out of bounds Pisces, the unthinkable has materialized in world tragedies as well as world advancements. The 1960s were the last time Chiron was at these degrees and many of the issues of that time have been revisited in recent years. This is a good thing, although at times it may seem unbearable. I think the biggest learning experience that comes out of this is to check in with ourselves, regularly, when tidal waves of events and emotions take over reason whether in our personal or professional lives. Learning to ride the wave is key rather than fighting the undertow.

This week may be one of those weeks as Mars (the god of war and agitation) opposed Pluto yesterday. Some of the issues that arise with Mars opposing Pluto, is, first, the discoveries mentioned earlier in this text, but then, since Pluto is involved, we have opportunities to make choices regarding our response to these ‘discoveries’. A less mature Mars energy gets angry and wants to fight back immediately, reacting with no back up plan, and just exhausting oneself. A more mature approach to this opposition (which includes communication issues as well), is recognizing there is a conflict of wills and desires, stepping back, and then waiting a few hours or days before one responds and one finds out the facts that belie this confrontation. Another way is to just get in and clean out a storage unit, paint a room or transform something in your living environment.

This opposition affords an opportunity to transform (Pluto) what we perceive to be our limitations and a portion of that transformation’s lesson is letting go of something you’ve really outgrown anyway. This can apply to things as well as attitudes as well as belief systems. Sometimes our belief systems are so deeply embedded that we don’t even realize they are the one thing that get in the way of progress and may not even be true. This suggests that the person or incident causing this stress is actually the catalyst shedding light it (it is an opposition, like a full moon). Once you get that, the next thing to ask is, “What do I do with this added information?” This is far more powerful than holding grudges and remaining immovable — thus holding back any openings to new means of communications far more honest and truthful than before. Happy Fourth of July to my fellow US Citizens and remember there are some great things about our wonderful country — freedom being the most precious of its gifts and the reason for our celebration on our 301st birthday!