Relinquish Control 

For the week of August 15-21, 2012.

This week, even the sharpest listeners among us might find it hard to hear the cosmic click over the din of terrestrial chatter. But a failure to notice what lies beneath the noise won't inhibit the planets from locking into the next phase of intensity. We're on the approach to an exact Uranus/Pluto square on September 19, and as we move toward that marker, many of us will become increasingly aware of an ever-escalating tension that seems to pervade all areas of daily life. This mounting tension is an ongoing condition that continues to aggravate individual as well as collective situations, especially those in dire need of peaceful remedies and compassionate solutions.

The Mars/Saturn conjunction, in Libra, is exact and separating on August 15. This conjunction officially ends when Mars moves into Scorpio on August 23. Whenever a powerful configuration separates, we tend to feel the full brunt of its force. A Mars/Saturn conjunction is characterized as a pernicious interaction that tends toward negativity or violence. Pay attention: This conjunction serves as a period at the end of an important planetary message about relationships. Before entering Libra, Mars gathered its strength for the six months through its retrograde in Virgo, the Sign where we recognize our fundamental interconnectedness. Mars moved into Libra on July 3, nine days after the first exact Uranus/Pluto square; it joined that configuration for the first two weeks of July, when it opposed Uranus and squared Pluto. Mars began separating out of that configuration on July 19, the day and night of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.

Saturn is the principle of discipline, but it is also the principle of loneliness and isolation. Mars symbolizes energy, specifically physical energy, which often manifests itself as aggression. Mars is the archetype of the warrior and signifies the male principle. The current Mars/Saturn conjunction has the potential to turn all sorts of interactions more than a little testy. At best, it is an opportunity to bring greater awareness to personal patterns of assertion and/or aggression with significant others, especially habitual reactions that may not accurately reflect your consciousness, intention, or heart.

Currently in Cancer, Venus also plays a role this week, as she opposes Pluto and squares Uranus. In the western astrological system, Venus isn't typically associated with violence, but considering the stresses of the world, we're sure to feel her presence as part of the current unrest. Her effect could be felt in the financial realms, given that she symbolizes money, but from a personal perspective, it might be wise to be prepared for declarations of divorce as well as passionate proposals — she is the goddess of love, after all. Remember: Venus spent the first two weeks of her recent retrograde in a trine to Saturn, a position that invited us to reflect on how we speak and deliver information to significant others, both personal and professional.

The din that rides the surface of these deep currents is a Mercury/Uranus trine, a positive combination that actively supports innovation and invention. This trine also feeds a need for almost constant information, so be careful not to let that hunger agitate your nervous system.

As the coming weeks unfold, the Uranus/Pluto square will tighten its position, a process that will only exacerbate existing stresses — physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual. Forewarned simply means better prepared for what lies ahead and, for those who wish to be of service to their fellow travelers, better able to reach out to those in distress with empathy and compassion.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.

ARIES Reflect on your partnership patterns with an eye toward identifying what may be inhibiting beneficial reciprocity. There's nothing to do — just think about it.

TAURUS Gather the loose ends of projects and pay careful attention to previously overlooked details. You don't want to forget an important piece of the puzzle.

GEMINI Conversations run the gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime — but you don't mind because that range allows you to use your informational "super powers." Share the data, joyously.

CANCER It is a deeply emotional moment, and there are no easy solutions that will satisfy everyone, so it's very important for you to stay calm and centered.

LEO Be realistic as well as optimistic as you identify what you need to create greater balance and joy in your life. Then create a strategy for actualizing your vision.

VIRGO The question of the week: What happens if you let go of your need to control the outcome? A possible answer: Things just might work out in your benefit.

LIBRA There's no need to let volatile interactions with significant others worsen. Put pride aside and concentrate on creating a win/win solution for everyone.

SCORPIO Don't waste your energy on negative thinking. Instead, channel your frustration into positive projects that will increase your sense of personal satisfaction.

SAGITTARIUS It doesn't matter what others think; what matters is that you have the courage to stand for what you believe in and to integrate those beliefs into action.

CAPRICORN If you can find a way to compromise on key issues, you'll have a much easier time managing the eccentric needs of significant others, personal and professional.

AQUARIUS You don't have to have all the answers. Just continue to be patient, and you'll continue to handle what might otherwise be a volatile situation with ease and skill.

PISCES Finding a still point in the midst of change requires determination, but it can be done, especially if you're willing to give up the need for a specific outcome.

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