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). Current UT date and time appear at the top of this page. (To update display, use your browser's reload/refresh button.)
August shapes up to be one of the more historic months of 1999, judging from the patterns unfolding in the heavens. There's the August 11 Grand Cross eclipse at 18 Leo that has set everyone atwitter, for one thing. While not exactly rare, this one is notable for the unusual combination of factors it comprises: a total solar eclipse opposing Uranus and squaring a Mars-Saturn opposition (with Saturn for all practical purposes stationary). Followed as it is on the 26th by a full moon in T-square configuration with Pluto, there's every sign of tremendous stress building on all levels through mid-month - and then some kind of resolution in the last week of August. Of course, there are different ways to resolve stress: through conflict, through compromise, through collapse. I expect we'll see a bit of all three this month.
Many hundreds of the celebrity and national charts in my files are strongly impacted by the August 11 solar eclipse - even if only those horoscopes with Sun, Moon, Mars, Saturn and the angles in hard aspect to the eclipse are considered. That still leaves plenty more notable horoscopes, which are aspected by this eclipse in different ways. For example Pope John Paul II, whose Mercury-Venus conjunction at the eighth house cusp receives a Saturn transit during the eclipse. And then there are the throngs of Baby Boomers born from 1946 through 1952, whose charts feature Pluto within a few degrees of the eclipse. Not to mention the April-May 1941 Super Taureans (like actors Ann-Margaret and James Mitchum), the August 1955 Super Leos, the February 1962 Super Aquarians (like country singer Clint Black), etc. Suffice it to say that many, many millions of people were born under a celestial signature that is somehow singled out by this month's Grand Cross solar eclipse. One more reason to suspect this 18 Leo alignment will not be business as usual. But I'm getting ahead of myself . . . I should begin at the beginning.
The storms and seismic activity associated with the July 28 lunar eclipse should have largely tapered off as August gets underway. Once that turbulence subsides, all of August is marked by major planetary stations. Jupiter and Saturn spend the entire month within a degree of their retrograde station points at 5 Taurus on the 25th and 17 Taurus on the 30th respectively. Likewise Pluto with respect to its August 18 direct station at 8 Sagittarius. These are potent degrees throughout August.
But first among the planetary stations this month comes Mercury, which makes an apparent standstill in the heavens at 29 Cancer on the 6th and then resumes direct motion. If you're a regular, you know what to expect: Murphy's Law remains the order of the day at least through the 6th, and whatever can go wrong probably will at the most inopportune time. So double-check everything, figure that normal channels of communication will suffer delays and disruptions and plan accordingly. Don't assume that instructions are understood and being carried out according to plan: follow up, follow up, follow up. Telecommunications - including the 'Net - are prone to outages, power is subject to brown-outs and black-outs, transportation tie-ups are commonplace, computer viruses and software glitches rear their ugly heads. So, what's a Mercury retrograde good for? Finding and fixing mistakes, of course: there's so much material to work with at times like this, after all. The worst of this tangle is behind us after the 6th, but the aftermath may linger until the 19th (when Mercury reaches 9 Leo, the point where it went retrograde back on July 12).
This month's Mercury station serves as the trigger for the Grand Cross eclipse, it seems to me. It's followed the next day by a T-square involving the Sun, Mars and Uranus. Two days after that (on the 9th), the T-square turns Grand Cross as the Sun moves into a square to Saturn. And then of course on the 11th the whole celestial line up is in full array with the addition of the solar eclipse and the Mars opposition to Saturn. So pay attention to this Mercury station . . .
Annoying as it can sometimes be, Mercury's retrograde and the station that ends it on the 6th is hardly the preeminent planetary station of the month. Trouble is, it's hard to pick which of the remaining three should get top billing. Probably Saturn's, which I have indicated for quite some time now is a likely timer of this year's major correction in the equity markets. The Ringed Planet being within a single degree of its August 30 station from July 26 through October 2, that correction could occur at almost any time during this period - may already have begun by the time you read this, in fact. Still, the likeliest period for this kind of drop - something in the neighborhood of 20%, as I've mentioned - appears to be the second or the last week of the month. The first option is of course suggested by the August 11 eclipse; the latter by the August 25 Jupiter station, the full moon (square Pluto) on the 26th, and of course the actual day of Saturn's station (the 30th). The Jupiter station at 5 Taurus (square Neptune) suggests inflationary pressures building, but I expect these to be fairly short term - dissipating by late October. (Although they will resume in 2000.) Remember, this won't be a 1929 type of stock market crash - that won't happen again this century. There will be a fairly quick and complete recovery from this correction. So if you followed my advice and sold short or took your profits over the last few months, you'll be in a position to buy back in at a discount fairly soon now.
The big news of the month is of course the Grand Cross solar eclipse on the 11th. Just for starters, you can expect the usual eclipse chorus: a heightened potential for strong storms, flooding and moderate to severe seismic activity (including Richter 5 or greater quakes and volcanic eruptions) within three days before and after the fact. So keep a sharp weather watch on the period from the 8th through the 14th, at least. (There are so many other celestial triggers at work here that things could start getting wild as early as the 6th.) If your plans include travel, be sure to allow extra time for weather-related delays - just in case. And if you don't have a sensible stash of emergency supplies handy, it wouldn't hurt to stock up on a few things: candles, batteries, a few days worth of canned and dried foods, etc. Stuff that will keep, mind you, in case you get lucky this time around. Better safe than sorry: with Mars and Saturn and Uranus involved, this eclipse will likely be accompanied by a far stronger than usual batch of storms, quakes and other seismic action.
Being planetary in scope, eclipses tend to cut a global swath. So no matter where you live, the potential for severe weather and seismic action is there to some degree. Still, there are a few hints as to the areas of Planet Earth that may be especially vulnerable to such things during this eclipse period. One way to analyze the zones of greatest risk is through the astro-locality map for the eclipse, showing where the planets are angular - rising, setting, directly above or below - at the moment of alignment. In this perspective, as pointed out last year in my 1999 forecast preview, "vulnerable regions include westernmost Alaska, the eastern US (especially Florida), the Mississippi River Valley, Cuba, Central America and the northern Pacific and southern Atlantic sides of South America. Eastern Europe, western Russia and west-central Africa also make the list, along with Southeast Asia and central China."
Another way to localize the weather and seismic potential is to look at the eclipse path itself. In that regard, it appears that Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia are in the target zone this time around. The eclipse begins just off the coast of Nova Scotia, its path of totality cutting the tip of Southern England near Portsmouth, and from there across Northern France and Southern Germany and eastward through Austria, Hungary and Romania in Europe; crossing the Black Sea into the Middle East (Turkey, Iraq and Iran), across Southern Pakistan and India to end up in the Bay of Bengal. Noting that Eastern Europe is a target in both perspectives, and seeing that the national horoscopes of Romania and Yugoslavia are hard-hit by the eclipse, I expect that the political as well as seismic and meteorological shock potential is especially strong in this particular region. But the impact, as I've said, will be far-reaching and in no sense limited to just this little corner of the world. If all we get from this are a bunch of quakes and storms, we should count our blessings
There's a lot more to the August 11 than the strictly geophysical element. Human mischief can be even more awful - if only because it's so avoidable. Trouble is, with eclipses like this, tempers and triggers tend to be on the edge . . . Anyone whose chart features major placements around the middle of the fixed signs - Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius - is in the spotlight during this eclipse, one way or another. Because of the Mars-Saturn-Uranus involvement, expect controversy and high drama - if not outright danger. Examples on the political front include President and Mrs. Clinton: both charts are strongly impacted, with a direct hit on his eighth house Moon and her natal Mars-Saturn conjunction. (Ouch!) UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is also triggered, with an activation to his natal Sun-Moon-Pluto T-square - at the same time the UK's Queen Elizabeth II coronation chart gets hit. And then there's Cuban President Fidel Castro (multiple hits in his own horoscope, as well as to the charts for Cuban Independence and the Castro regime). Aside from those already mentioned, national charts that are a focus for this eclipse include Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Guatemala, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Turkey. Other people in the news whose natal charts are caught up in this Grand Square eclipse include Cher and Madonna, a slew of British royals, actresses Brigitte Bardot, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda and Jodie Foster; and actors Michael Caine, Jackie Chan, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford - to name only a few. That's only the tip of the iceberg, mind you: there are hundreds more target charts for the August 11 eclipse in my files, from George Carlin to Johnny Carson to former President Ford, to whack jobs like assassin Mark David Chapman and would-be assassin John Hinckley Jr. If you're so inclined, watch for them in the headlines.
Unlike the people who told you that the Cassini spacecraft would ruin your whole planet and/or a king of terror would descend from the sky in July, I'm not an alarmist. Eclipses indicate a focus of energy and attention, not disaster per se. However with unstable systems like the Earth's atmosphere and crust, high energy seldom gets released without someone getting hurt. People will get hurt in that fashion during this eclipse, there's no avoiding that. But it won't be the end of the world, either. Remember that people and nations can be unstable as well. On the personal front, avoid conflict where possible during this period - and resolve it quickly if it can't be avoided. An upsurge in violent crime and terrible accidents is likely during this Grand Cross eclipse involving Mars and Saturn, so take precautions and steer clear of trouble as much as possible. National conflicts, as opposed to the personal variety, are more like great storms and earthquakes: it's hard to get out of their way. Terror attacks, military threats, threatening maneuvers - even an outbreak of armed hostilities - are likely to be in the news as governments in conflict throw their weight around during this eclipse period. As I said, it's not the end of the world. But it's no garden party either.
Last but not least there's the full moon on the 26th. While hardly in the same league as an eclipse or SuperMoon, this one is still enough to up the ante for severe storms and moderate to severe seismic activity (including volcanic eruptions and Richter 5 or greater quakes) between the 23rd and 29th. Keep a sharp weather eye, expect travel delays, be prepared.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)