By Heather Ensworth

These are challenging times that we are all navigating right now as we deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and the political, social and economic turmoil in the world.  In this intense time of transition, we are being asked to face the shadow side of ourselves — individually and collectively.  Individually, we need to face our fears, our reactions to turmoil and uncertainty, our prejudices and projections, our unhealthy thoughts and behaviors and our unresolved wounds.  In this challenging time, whatever is unresolved within us is likely to get triggered and to come to the surface.  If we are able to face these aspects of ourselves and our unresolved wounds, then this can be a profound opportunity to heal and transform, becoming more empowered in our true selves.
We are also in a time when we are also needing to face our collective shadow— our arrogance, injustice, financial disparity, racial prejudice, fear and hatred of those who are different, the exploitation and devastation of the Earth and the other creatures on this planet.  If together, we can face our collective shadow, then we can heal as a global community and become more compassionate, more aware of our collective complexity and diversity as well as our unity.
These can feel like dark times, and many of us feel mired in fear or despair, while others are acting out of anger and reactivity.  This is a turbulent time.  However, the guidance of ancient wisdom and the understanding of the precessional cycle with the movement of the stars allow us to know that this is a time of transformation, healing and transmutation for humanity on this planet.  We have the choice as to how we will navigate this intense time and whether we will move through this in a self-destructive way or in a way that is allowing us individually and collectively to move into a new consciousness and new ways of being. The paradigm of the Aquarian Age that we are at the cusp of is one of compassion, justice, collaboration, equality, acceptance of diversity and openness to complexity and creativity.
In the midst of this intense and turbulent time, the theme of this new lunar cycle is one of illumination, of light coming after a time of darkness. 
We begin the new cycle on August 18th (10:42 pm EST) with the Sun and New Moon at 26 degrees of Leo.  The meaning of this degree of the zodiac is “the luminescence of dawn in the eastern sky” (Dane Rudhyar, Sabian Symbols).  
At the time of the New Moon, the Moon, Sun and Mercury in the sky are all next to the royal star Regulus, the heart of Leo the lion.  The star Regulus signifies empowerment and the ability to move through life with integrity and courage. This star is the heart of Leo, the Lion which is a symbol for courage, creativity, wisdom and strength.  
The sign and constellation of Leo are associated with the Sun.  The energy of Leo is about allowing the energy of the Sun to move in and through you. When you work this Leo energy in a balanced way, then you are living from the heart and allowing this light and love to manifest in how you touch the lives of others and in how you allow your unique creativity to manifest in the world.  When out of balance, this Leo energy (which is in all of our charts) operates from a place of insecurity and feelings of inadequacy.  Then, it may manifest as a need to be the center of attention and to be constantly affirmed and validated and, if hurt, to lash out at others in anger or in a critical and devaluing way.  Or it may manifest in a fear of being visible and in the feeling that you are not good enough, so that you hide your light under a bushel and don’t allow yourself to show your true self or express your unique creativity in the world.  
This lunar cycle is calling us to honor the light within us.  We are children of the Sun and are made of stardust.  This new Moon in Leo with a strong aspect to Mars is calling us to step out in courage, to trust in our deepest selves, to live from the heart and to share our creative spark with others.  If enough of us do this, then together, we can spread that light and love and co-create a new world.  This is the dawn that can come after the darkness and the awakening of new ways of being and a new consciousness.
At the time of this New Moon, tune in to what is unresolved within you.  What is it that blocks the light of your true self?  What fears or shadows are you needing to face to heal and to allow your light to shine forth?  What wounds keep you from living from your heart and have resulted in ways that you cope with those unresolved issues that lead to false beliefs about yourself and destructive patterns or ways of interacting with others?  Allow yourself to align with the energy of the Sun and to take in and honor the energy of Regulus and of Leo. Let the light of the Sun heal you, illuminate you and radiate through your heart.  Then, you can allow it to shine through you, and you are able to share your creativity and the unique light that only you can offer to the world. 
As we move into the time of the Full Moon on September 2nd (1:23 am EST), the Moon is the sign of Pisces and is close to Neptune and Ceres.  As we heal and open our hearts, we deepen in our compassion for others and for the Earth. We remember our connections with each other and are no longer caught in our wounds and sense of separateness.  

In the sky, the Full Moon is in the stars of Aquarius, symbolizing the Water-Bearer who holds the urn and is pouring the living waters to the Earth.  The Full Moon is right at that opening of the urn and symbolizes those living waters of truth, justice and compassion that are available to all of us.  As we open our hearts and deepen in our understanding and compassion for each other, then we are in the flow of the living waters and are in those currents in a way that can guide us through these turbulent times.  

May we all have the courage to face our shadow and our wounds in order to heal.  And then may we all open our hearts, allowing the light of the Sun to shine in us and through us and supporting us in letting our creativity and compassion flow, bringing healing waters to ourselves, each other and the Earth.



— Sky Watch for this Month —

Mercury– is invisible and under the beams of the Sun at the beginning of the lunar cycle but appears in the west above the horizon after sunset by the time of the full moon
Venus – is a morning star and is visible in the eastern sky before sunrise
Mars– is visible in the sky before sunrise at the time of the new moon and is towards opposition with the sun by the time of the full moon
Jupiter– rises in the eastern sky as the Sun sets in the west and moves higher in the sky by the time of the full moon
Saturn – is close to Jupiter and continues to rise higher in the sky after sunset during this lunar cycle