|AUGUST 2014 FORECAST
©2014 by Richard Nolle
last revised JUL 30, 2014
If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo psycho-babble word salad. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT, aka GMT). Also please be aware that, while I never change a forecast once it's published, I do post errata to acknowledge typographical errors and the like.
PLEASE NOTE: This month’s forecast incorporates elements of (and refers to) my complete 2014 World Forecast Highlights (41 8-1/2 x 11” illustrated pages), focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2014 World Forecast Highlights is available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). Orders may be phoned in (toll-free from anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761) and charged to any major credit card. PayPal orders may be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to firstname.lastname@example.org – or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.
Never make predictions, especially about the future.
-- Casey Stengel
Another SuperMoon (the biggest, brightest and closest of the year), the end of the 2013-2014 Mars Max cycle (punctuated by a couple of portentous Mars alignments); plus a new moon with a special solar twist (snap, crackle, pop!); and some mixed celestial signals (Venus aligning with Jupiter on the 18th and then squaring Saturn and Mars a scant week later) . . . from Mother Nature in an uproar to personal tensions to national uprisings; to international conflict and uncertainties in the global economy and financial systems, August has its risks and surprises for those who blindly venture into harm’s way. You won’t.
SuperMoon Full Moon Shock Window
One down, two to go: next up in the summer trio of full moon SuperMoons is the one at 18° 02’ Aquarius on August 10. This will be the closest, largest SuperMoon of the year, at 356,896 kilometers from Earth. (Check your chart, by the way: if you have significant points at or near 18 degrees of the fixed signs – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, but especially Aquarius and Leo – then this particular SuperMoon window is likely to be a significant time in your life.)
Full moons are always dramatic sights to see, particularly when the moon is just rising in the east as the sun sets. Any full moon near the horizon looks preternaturally large. A SuperMoon looks larger still, because it’s so much closer to Earth than usual. That’s what a SuperMoon is, per the definition I gave it back in 1979: a new or full moon that occurs when the Moon is at or very near lunar perigee - the point in its orbit when it is closest to Earth.
How much bigger does a SuperMoon full moon look, compared to a full moon that occurs with Luna at apogee (the most distant point from earth in the moon’s orbit)? Some critics have charged that you can’t tell the difference, which is just plain silly. A very close estimate of the difference in apparent size can be obtained from the ratio of the full moon’s distance at perigee, divided by the full moon’s distance at apogee. (The result from this method actually agrees to within less than one percent of the actual difference in apparent size as measured in pixels with a CCD.)
Take for example the March 19, 2011 SuperMoon, at 356,577 km. away. Compare that to the 406,434 km. distance of the apogee full moon on October 12, 2011: 406,434/356,577 = 1.1398. This puts the moon 14% (49,857 km.) closer to earth on the March 19 SuperMoon than it was on the October 12, 2011 full moon. The intensity of light being the inverse square of the distance between a light source and an observer, squaring this ratio tells us how much brighter the March 19 SuperMoon appears in comparison to the October 12 apogee full moon: 1.139822 = 1.299, or 30% brighter.
Back in 1997, in his free online Inconstant Moon article, John Walker illustrated the difference, with actual side-by-side photos of the perigee and apogee full moons of August 1987 and February 1988, respectively. People who say you can’t tell the difference between al SuperMoon full moon and the garden variety plainly can’t see the truth when they’re looking right at it! More likely, they’ve never bothered to look, because scoffers by definition don’t bother to inform themselves before making their pronouncements. Where’s a real skeptic when you need one?!
Apparent size in the sky isn’t the whole SuperMoon story – not by any means – although it is the focus of popular media coverage. For one thing, it only applies to full moons. But perigee-syzygy by definition includes any syzygy (new or full moon) that occurs with the Moon at or very near perigee.
New moons can’t be seen at all, of course. (That’s why I have dubbed them “Stealth SuperMoons.) But as the fox told Saint-Exupery’s Little Prince, "What is essential is invisible to the eye." The increased tidal pull (perigean spring tide) of a SuperMoon is invisible to the eye, but its manifestations are not.
The greater tidal pull stirring up Earth’s crust, seas and sky is essential to any SuperMoon, new or full. Which is why, 35 years ago now, I associated increased seismicity (moderate-to-severe earthquakes), elevated coastal tides, and severe storms with the SuperMoon – typically within a "shock window" of plus or minus three days, but in some cases extended a day or two when the SuperMoon shock window melds into another enhanced lunar factor (a declination peak or equatorial crossing).
Take, for example, the July 9-17 shock window my July forecast specified for last month’s full SuperMoon: 30 Magnitude 5+ quakes (including three Magnitude 6 or higher), the strongest tropical storm of 2014 to date (Super Typhoon Rammasun), plus new volcanic seismicity and eruptions in Indonesia, the Philippines and on the Chile-Argentina border; not to mention strong storms in the US West and Midwest.
Now that you know what to expect, here’s when: as for the August 10 full moon SuperMoon, I calculate its geophysical shock window to run from the 6th (a day in advance of the lunar south declination peak on the 7th) through the 14th (a day after the Moon’s northward crossing of the celestial equator on the 13th). This is the period when severe storms with strong winds and heavy precipitation will grab headlines – as will the flooding that comes with heavy rains. Look for extreme tidal surges during this period as well; along with an uptick in moderate to severe earthquakes (Magnitude 5 and up) and newsworthy volcanic eruptions.
As usual, the enhanced SuperMoon tidal pull on the sky, seas and crust of our home planet will have its way with the planet as a whole. True, you won’t get high tides inland (although flooding rains cannot be ruled out). You won’t have volcanoes and earthquakes going off here, there and everywhere: they’ll be most frequent in their known and habitual haunts, such as the Pacific Rim of Fire. In short, it behooves us all to have our emergency preparations ready, just in case Mother Nature draws a bead on us.
Given that weather extremes tend to play havoc with transportation of all kinds, anyone in transit during the August 6-14 SuperMoon shock window will be well served with a flexible itinerary and plenty of alternate routes and means for getting around. If you must be out and about, leave early! And scout out travel alternatives in advance, so that you can readily make changes on the fly if necessary. It won’t be necessary for most people – but for those who find themselves in that kind of need, it can be a godsend.
Although the whole planet is under the sway of a SuperMoon alignment, astro-locality mapping has often offered helpful clues as to the areas most susceptible to extreme tides, storms, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the case of the August 10 SuperMoon, target zones associated with the sun-moon meridian (longitudinal) lines through eastern India, western China, Mongolia and Russia in the eastern hemisphere; plus eastern Canada, the US Midwest, the Gulf of Mexico and southern Mexico in the western hemisphere. Horizon arcs for the sun and Moon sweep from western Africa across the Mediterranean Sea into western and central Europe, through northern Europe and Russia across Kamchatka and into the South Pacific Ocean. (Also note the Mars-Saturn horizon arcs from Scandinavia down through Russia land West Asia and up through the Eastern Pacific, Mexico/Central America and the Gulf of Mexico and on across through the Eastern US; as well as the Mars-Saturn meridian lines through New Zealand in the eastern hemisphere, and through Iceland, the UK, the Iberian Peninsula and West Africa in the western hemisphere.
Remember that geophysical drama isn’t the only kind that comes with a SuperMoon full moon. Individuals are also charged up for relationship issues – which can lead to breakthroughs or breakdowns. It’s often a come together or come apart time when it comes to interpersonal connections. While this sets up an atmosphere that envelopes us all, I do think it will be especially auspicious for those of us born with, as I mentioned earlier, "significant points at or near 18 degrees of the fixed signs – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, but especially Aquarius and Leo." Check your chart!
The August 10 full SuperMoon has a little extra ‘English,’ by the way. This one occurs just a couple days after the Sun’s superior conjunction with Mercury – which doesn’t have much immediate significance, but does point to a heightened risk of a solar outburst around the 23rd of the month, give or take a few days. That just happens to be within a couple days of the August 25 new moon, and therefore suggests an unusual outbreak of strong storms and seismic activity (including volcanic eruptions) within a few days of that date. (More on this subject in a moment.)
A word about astro-locality mapping is appropriate here, if you’re unfamiliar with the technique. The heart of the matter is that these maps show where on earth the planets (and other points) are rising/setting and culminating/anti-culminating at the moment of an event – a birth, a planetary configuration, etc. Rising and setting should be self-explanatory: they’re the places at which a planet is on the eastern or the western horizon, respectively. Culminating/anti-culminating roughly equates to being directly overhead/directly below. The rising/setting lines are curving arcs, while the culminate/anti-culminate lines are longitudinal (straight up and down, i.e. north-south). In the format I use (the Solar Maps module in Esoteric Technologies’ Solar Fire software), rising arcs are white, setting arcs are black; culminating lines are solid, anti-culminating lines are dashed.
Mars Max Culmination
The 2013-2014 Mars Max cycle concludes this month, on the 9th. Regulars know what Mars Max means, as does anyone who read the full version of my 2014 World Forecast Highlights. If you’re not up to speed, here’s the gist of it: Mars Max is the part of the Earth-Mars cycle in which Earth (on the inner, faster orbit) comes up from behind the Red Planet, catches up to it, makes its closest approach (perigee) to Mars, and then slowly pulls away again. (For much of Mars Max, the Red Planet's apparent motion is retrograde in our sky.)
Mars Max is akin to a SuperMoon: perigee (closest approach to Earth) essential to both. Mars is at its closest to Earth, and biggest and brightest in our sky, at the height of Mars Max, which basically coincides with the Sun-Mars opposition.
As described last year in my 2014 World Forecast Highlights,, "All things pertaining to Mars loom larger and larger in human experience during this period: haste, recklessness, heat, fire, danger, belligerence and conflict - literally and figuratively - are more and more on the rise during the December 22, 2013-August 9, 2014 Mars Max cycle. This means a spike across the whole spectrum of violence, from the individual to the collective, from domestic, school and workplace violence to mass murder and spree killings all the way to suicide bombings and other terrorist atrocities. Criminality, terrorism and military conflict are never rare, but they'll loom larger and larger in the news from late December 2013 into August 2014. Not all of this happens with malice aforethought, mind you. Recklessness, haste and inattention are no less dangerous than evil intent, and can easily cause just as many fires, crashes, clashes and explosions."
"The events so typical of Mars Max are the stuff of headlines," the forecast continued, "but they’re not just ‘out there’ in the sky and in the news. They’re inside us as well. So if you feel yourself growing unusually impatient and short-tempered, if you feel the surge of adrenaline washing over you during this cycle, then slow down and get a grip – lest you end up in a headline somewhere yourself. Those of us born under significant Mars patterns, and in this case also significant early Libra-early Scorpio placements (the signs where the Mars Max takes place) may be quicker on the trigger and more in the crosshairs than others. (Check your chart!) Regardless, we’re all under the same sky as Mars looms large, so this represents a time for special caution and awareness."
If you can’t see and recognize the imprint of Mars Max in the world from December to now, I figure there’s no reaching you. From riots and revolutions to civil wars and clashes between nations, it has all been going full tilt pretty much throughout this Mars Max – not to mention the individual acts of violence that are so much the stuff of headlines.
I’m figuring we’ll all be glad to see Mars Max tapering off this month, even though there will be a couple of notable parting shots: on the 1st (Mars square Jupiter, aligned with the Moon two days later), the 9th (the last day of the Max cycle) and the 25th (Mars conjunct Saturn). In each case, allow as much as a week before and after, because Mars will remain within a few days of exact alignment for that long.
I wish I could say with conviction that the lion will lie down with the lamb as Mars Max fades away, but I know better. Any reduction in mankind’s murder and mayhem is an improvement of course – but sweetness and light just isn’t in the picture. In the meantime, during the wind-down phase of the Mars Max cycle, and especially during the periods just mentioned, think safety and make peace as best you can – and, as the referee always tells the boxers, "Protect yourself at all times."
New Moon & More
The new moon on the 25th anchors the end of August, in a lot of ways. In the first place, although not in the same league as a SuperMoon, it still raises the odds for a string of strong storms, moderate-to-severe seismic activity (including Magnitude 5+ quakes and notable volcanic eruptions), and extreme tides.
The period of special vulnerability for such phenomena extends from the 22nd through the 28th. Mars will be conjunct Saturn on the day of the new moon, and within a few degrees of exact alignment from the 20th through the end of the month. Oppositions to Neptune from Mercury and the Sun pretty well bracket this entire period.
It’s a pattern that, in combination with the after-effects of the superior Sun-Mercury conjunction back on the eve of the SuperMoon full moon, adds up to a stronger than usual focus geophysical activity. Elevated tidal surges and Gigawatts of solar storm outflow pump up the Earth’s atmosphere and crust in ways that make humans realize how vulnerable our support systems really are. Infrastructure is sketchy at times like this: have your back-up plans and systems ready. And if you feel a little fritzy too – well, that’s par for the course.
Relax, there are compensations this month. The Venus-Jupiter alignment on the 18th will be more than a lovely line-up in the sky. Good times, fancy get-togethers and fine entertainment can still be found, by those who recognize that to be human is to celebrate. Celebrate what? Pick anything – and make a party of it! And if that sounds like denial . . . . well, we live in hope.
All astrological charts as well as eclipse and astro-locality maps are calculated and produced using Esoteric Technologies’ Solar Fire Gold Version 7.0.8. Unless sotherwise noted, sky map images are screen captures from the Pocket Universe app for iPhone, or produced by Starry Night for Windows; storm tracks are screen captures from The Weather Channel app for iPhone; and earthquake maps are screen captures from Quakes Pro Earthquake Alerts app for iPhone.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)
||Richard Nolle, Certified Professional Astrologer
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