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©2016 by Richard Nolle
last revised July 31, 2016

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). Location for all mundante charts is set for the Great Pyramid at Giza; the choice being strictly arbitrary in any case. 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 2016 World Forecast Highlights (38 8-1/2 x 11” illustrated pages); focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2016 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. Orders may also be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to rnolle@astropro.com – or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.

"Lost time is never found again."
-- Benjamin Franklin

August is the last full month in this year’s Mars Max cycle, and marks the start of the year’s penultimate Mercury Max. It’s also graced with the year’s one and only stealth lunar eclipse. There’s a lot going on up there in the sky, and down here amongst and in us. Let’s get started.

August 11 Moon-Mars-Saturn Alignment Mars Max is in force all month long, and regulars know what this means: an ongoing higher than usual level of murder and mayhem, of fires, crashes, clashes and explosions. This has been in force since February, as attested by the headlines and your own experience ever since then. I’m not saying that nothing of the kind happens absent a Mars Max, of course. But I’m pointing out what should be obvious: the level of intensity definitely increases during Mars Max.

Practically speaking, this intensity applies at all levels of human conflict and belligerence, from interpersonal friction like arguments and fights and assault and murder; to social and collective violence like terrorism, revolutions and war. Remember: martial derives from Mars, and during Mars Max the Red Planet and Earth are in their close approach phase. Being closer, Mars is bigger and brighter in our night sky – and in our lives as well.

I won’t belabor the point in this little forecast. If you’re up for a solid backgrounder, see my article on 9-11 and its connection to Mars Max in the September issue of Dell Horoscope, the world’s leading astrological magazine; or my free online article on Mars Max. (If you already have a copy of the full version of my 2016 World Forecast Highlights, see the Mars Max section on pages 11-18.)

Meanwhile, practically speaking, what Mars Max calls for is care and caution, cool and calm. Steer clear of conflict as best you can, and watch out for "the other guy". People are more hasty, impulsive and reckless during the Mars Max – and particularly at points during the cycle when the Red Planet makes notable alignments in the sky above. This month, this happens around August 11 (when the Moon aligns with Mars and Saturn, as it did last month on the night of the Nice truck terror attack) and from the 19th through the 31st (during which time Mars and Saturn remain within a few degrees of their exact alignment on the 24th).

Another notable cycle this month is the third Mercury Max cycle of 2016, in effect from August 16 through September 28. Here again, this is another perigee cycle: the close approach between Earth and Mercury, in this case. Like other Max cycles, this one includes a retrograde interlude; in this case, when Mercury catches up and passes our home planet, the little Sun-grazer appears to slow and then halt is apparent motion, and then spends a few weeks appearing to move backwards in our sky.

Mercury's Synodic CycleAs Mars Max does with the Red Planet, Mercury Max signifies a greater than usual prominence of all things Mercurial in human experience. At the personal level, this means intellect, communication and nervous energy take on greater importance than usual. At the collective level, all things related to networks, transport, connections and commerce are at peak loads. For more on Mercury Max, see pp. 18-25 in the full version of my 2016 World Forecast Highlights; or my free online Mercury Max article.

Emphasize anything too much, and you tend to see strains and failures. So it will be with this Mercury Max – especially within plus or minus three days of the critical nodes of the cycle. This month, that’s August 13-19 (bracketing the Mercury maximum eastern elongation from the Sun on the 16th), and August 27-September 2 (anchored by Mercury’[s retrograde station on August 30 at 29 Virgo – check your chart!). Notice that both of these critical points fall within range of the lunar eclipse on the 18th and the Mars-Saturn conjunction on the 24th.

Practically speaking, the important thing during any Mercury Max – and most especially around its critical points, such as the two defined above – is to pay extra care and attention to plans and projects then underway. Have a backup plan, and keep good backups. Follow up diligently: assume that nothing will turn out as planned without careful monitoring. Traveling? Be ready for delays due to weather and communication breakdowns. Think alternate plans, alternate routes and travel insurance. And don’t assume that you’re getting your message across readily: tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell ‘em, tell ‘em, and then tell ‘em what you told ‘em.

Bear in mind that one dimension of Mercury Max is that it ups the ante for strong solar storms (M and X-class flares and coronal holes), and the concomitant upheaval here on Earth: strong geomagnetic storms (Kp 5 and up), radio blackouts, and overloaded grids and networks (including power and communication systems, computers and networks, and the human nervous system. On the plus side, pretty lights in the sky (auroras) . . .

There’s a notable geophysical component to those key Mercury Max points (again, August 13-19 and August 27-September 2). Stirring up solar and geomagnetic storms means dumping extra Gigawatts of energy into the skies, seas and crust of Planet Earth. Watch for an increase in powerful storms (high winds, heavy precipitation and intense lightning); also moderate to severe (Magnitude 5 and up) earthquakes, and notable volcanic eruptions. Sure, these things can happen anytime. But they pile up on us under a solar storm onslaught.

August 18 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon)Speaking of geophysical disturbances, I’m expecting the month to get off to a stormy and seismic start, in view of the new moon on the 2nd stirring up a geocosmic shock window from July 30 through August 2. That said, August 13-21 will be the heavy hitter of the month, since it includes the August 18 lunar eclipse, described on page 36 in the full version of my 2016 World Forecast Highlights (published last year) as:

"a very unusual eclipse, what I call a stealth lunar eclipse. By this, I mean a penumbral lunar eclipse where the Earth’s shadow edge is so faint that it’s visually imperceptible. For this reason, such eclipses are generally ignored altogether. This particular stealth lunar eclipse is at 26 Aquarius, free of any major aspect patterns. In effect from the 15th through the 21st, this shapes up to be the least dramatic of this year’s eclipses. But that still ups the ante for strong storms and earthquakes during the August 15-21 shock window."

If you were born with anything around the 26 Leo-Aquarius lunar eclipse polarity – check your chart – it’s worth a look-see and some meditation.

What kicks this eclipse up a notch as a geophysical stress window is that it occurs within a couple days of Mercury reaching its greatest elongation east of the Sun; the start, in other words, of Mercury Max. Take the Earth-Moon-Sun alignment of the eclipse and toss in a simultaneous Mercury Max solar storm signal, and there’s a real possibility for some of the biggest storms, quakes and volcanic eruptions of the month.

Every cloud has its silver lining, and for August it’s the Venus-Jupiter conjunction on the 27th. There’s a saving grace in there somewhere, from about the 25th through the 31st. Things have a way of turning out better than they have a right to at times like this – particularly for people born with planets or other key points around the 27th degree of Virgo. Again, check your chart!


All mundane astrological charts as well as eclipse and astro-locality maps are set for the Universal Time (UT) of the event, and calculated and produced using Esoteric Technologies’ Solar Fire Gold Version 7.0.8. Charts are set for the location of the Great Pyramid - a purely arbitrary choice, since location is irrelevant to these charts. Unless sotherwise noted, sky map images are screen captures from the Pocket Universe or Star Rover apps 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 the QuakeFeed ör Quake Alerts app for iPhone.

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