If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget it. This is real astrology. See the section above. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT).
Without SuperMoons or eclipses, and with no major planetary alignments per se, August is pretty much just a prelude to September. There are a couple of spillover aspects, to be sure; one spilling over from July and the other spilling over into September. The July 28 Mars-Neptune opposition at 10 Leo-Aquarius remains within a few degrees of being exact through the 3rd, for example. (It's "negative for the broader markets," as I wrote in last month's forecast, and the risk of "sneak attacks, poisons, betrayals . . . (and) on the financial front, criminal fraud" remains in effect until this alignment separates. Similar in nature, although less focused on terror and violent criminality and more evocative of financial, legal and political skullduggery, is the September 11 Jupiter-Neptune opposition at 9 Leo-Aquarius. I see this as heralding one enormous bear market rally, engineered by people who massage not only individual markets, but the world financial system as well. This particular alignment remains within a few degrees of exact all the way from August 29 through September 26. Funny money, testing the faith of the religious, messages with double meaning, conspiracy theories and the like: that's what late August into late September is all about.
There is a noteworthy long term (one year) cycle that sets in on the 1st: Jupiter's Leo ingress takes a bit of the bloom off the housing market as an investment. I'm not talking about a real estate crash, mind you. But the crest of the hot US housing market now begins to grow smaller in the rear view mirror. The profit torch passes to, among other things, that old stand-by of the hard money crowd, gold. Don't look for the precious metal to take off like a rocket from day one. But you'll see it appreciate nicely in the months to come. This same transit is good for the entertainment industry, particularly film, casinos, resorts and the like. In film, music and fashion, old stars give way to new in the coming twelve months.
A couple of notable Pluto cycles culminate in August. One is Pluto's 15 Sagittarius-Gemini opposition to the lunar north node on the 2nd. This alignment tends to fall fairly near historic economic cycle troughs - and the attendant financial readjustments, including bear market bottoms, peaks in bankruptcy, mortgage and other credit defaults, etc. Pluto and the nodes have been within just a few degrees of their once every seventeen years alignment since the end of March this year, and will remain so until September 19. That's part of the reason I've been telling clients that the current bear market should be at or near its bottom as of late July. But it will probably be trading within a ten to fifteen percent range of that bottom until sometime this fall.
The other Pluto cycle is not so momentous. It's the conclusion of the annual retrograde cycle for this planet, which began in March and ends this month on the 26th with Pluto's direct station at 15 Sagittarius. Of course, slow-moving Pluto has been within less than a half-degree of this point since mid-July, and remains within that range until early October. As I read this one, it's pretty much lost in the stronger Pluto-lunar node cycle at this point. It adds to indications that we're just past but still near the bear market bottom; and, looking ahead to February-March 2003, there could be a second bounce recession in the US.
Mundane astrology students may wish to take note: Pluto's station point and its position opposing the lunar north node are the same; namely 15 Sagittarius. That's the ascendant in the (Sibly) US Declaration of Independence chart, and it's a point in square aspect to the Sun-Saturn conjunction in America's Constitution chart (for April 30, 1789). If it seems like America's survival has been hanging in the balance for the last year or so, under the Saturn and Pluto transits across the mid-Gemini/Sagittarius axis . . . well, sometimes what seems to be, is.
The only other interplanetary developments of note I see this month are the Sun-Mars conjunction at 18 Leo on the 10th (within a few degrees of being exact from the 1st through the 18th); and the Mars-Uranus opposition at 27 Leo on the 24th (within a few degrees orb from the 19th through the 28th). Between them, these two Mars configurations blanket the entire month of August, and that's not a sign of peace and tranquility. Rather, it means assassinations, terror attacks, military clashes; increasing wildfire problems and an upsurge in criminal violence in general. Watch your back, steer clear of places where trouble is likely to strike. Aircraft accidents are likely to be especially noteworthy; also trouble with spacecraft. Celebrity entertainers likely figure into sensational news of criminal violence - as victims as well as perpetrators.
On the geophysical front, a cycle of heightened storm and seismic risk sets in starting on the 5th, thanks to the beginning of the August 8 new moon effect and the lunar north declination maximum on the 6th. Watch for strong storms and attendant flooding, as well as moderate to severe seismic activity (including Richter 5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions), from the 5th through the 13th. Peaks in this trend are likely to fall on or about the 6th (maximum northern lunar declination), 8th (the new moon), 10th (Moon reaching perigee, i.e. closest approach to Earth), and the 12th (the Moon's southward crossing of the celestial equator).
After a few days relative calm, August 18-27 is the next storm and seismic risk window. It's centered around the full moon on the 22nd, but gets underway with the Moon reaching maximum southern declination on the 19th. And it gets extended by the Moon's northward equatorial crossing on the 26th. Again, watch for headline storms and flooding as well as seismic activity. Be prepared, if you live in (or plan to be in) an area subject to such. And be sure to allow time for weather-related delays if traveling during these few days.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)