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August 2015

Rise and shine, Pisces! The Sun sounds the call to order as it blazes through Leo, your sixth house of health and vitality, until August 23. If you've had a sleepy summer or you've let the edges of your life get fuzzy, you'll be ready to get back into action, especially once go-getter Mars joins the Leo parade from August 8-September 24. Throw some veggie kabobs on the grill instead of another hamburger. Start clearing out the clutter, one zone at a time. Use your gym membership—or upgrade to a better place. Why? Well, yes, that sleek Pilates studio with a gorgeous canyon view and gleaming, state-of-the-art reformers might be pricier. But if you actually GO, the investment is easily justified compared to the more frugal gym you joined and took that great I.D. card photo for…in 2012. With beautifying Venus retrograde (backward) all month, perhaps take a trial run—how about collecting a few weekly passes first? When Venus turns direct on September 6, you'll feel better about making a firm choice. The Leo new moon on August 14 is also a helpful day for starting any new initiatives to get your body and your life into fighting shape—a clean eating plan, working with a life coach, hiring a new house cleaning service et al. Or, should we say, “cat al.”

Helping you see the forest for the trees again, structured Saturn ends a nearly five-month retrograde (backward) spin on August 1, which has forced you to step back and evaluate your long-term plans since March 14. For the past six weeks, Saturn dipped back into Scorpio, your ninth house of big-picture plans, travel and optimism. If you've had trouble shoring up faith or seeing the point of it all, that “emo” gloom should lift now. Start taking concrete steps around your highest purpose—whatever that may be. Traveling the world, publishing a book, launching your own business? With Saturn in direct (forward) motion, you'll be able to map out a clear plan and take concrete steps. Since diligent Saturn is all about the slow-and-steady approach, feel free to make something a trial run or a "soft launch." This is not a race: Start small and build from there once you've tested the waters and found out what really works. Saturn will remain in Scorpio until September 17, then it will make its big move into Sagittarius, your tenth house of career and leadership, until late 2017. That's when you'll start moving into the big leagues, Pisces, or making more mission-critical decisions.

A huge turning point arrives on August 11, when expansive Jupiter ends a 13-month tour of Leo, where it's been spotlighting your sixth house of wellbeing, organization and service since mid-July 2014. Pisces, all this Leo energy in the stars is pretty familiar to you, and you may already have been making life-affirming changes to your health for the past year. Jupiter magnifies whatever it touches, so if you dealt with any health challenges, here's hoping that Jupiter got you on the mend. This optimistic planet arrives to help you evolve, take risks and seek new choices. Perhaps you finally found a caring doctor, started working with a naturopath or changed your lifestyle to cut stress—which is linked to so many diseases, after all. Asking for help can be difficult, but Jupiter in Leo taught you it was okay to lean on people, to say "no" (a big one for your give-'til-it-hurts sign), and to set limits. Changes to your lifestyle paid off in spades—and there's still time for fine-tuning while Jupiter rounds out its visit.

Next stop on Jupiter's journey: Virgo and your committed relationship house. From August 11, 2015 until September 9, 2016, the planet of growth and good fortune will spin through your seventh house of partnerships—a cycle that only happens every 12 years. Get ready for major growth when it comes to your closest ties! You could find your ultimate plus-one, either in love or business, and make things official between you. A wedding, an engagement, an exciting work alliance…two is indeed the magic number now. This is a wonderful time for committed couples to renew their vows or to break free of any stagnant patterns by learning or traveling together. Since Jupiter rules worldly connections, a long-distance or cross-cultural relationship could also be on the books. Don't turn your nose up at someone who's wildly different than your usual "type."

Since Jupiter rules evolution, it's possible that you'll outgrow a relationship and find someone who's a better fit for the person you've become. Should you part ways, benevolent Jupiter can help you to let go with love, paving the path for a smooth transition (or as smooth as possible, depending on the circumstances). The last time Jupiter was here was from August 2003 until September 2004, so page back through your personal history for clues of what may be coming back around. The dynamic duo action really kicks into gear once the Sun begins its monthlong visit to Virgo on August 23. And (spoiler alert) a September 13 solar eclipse in Virgo will really help sort out your trajectory. It's all coming together, Pisces—so stay tuned and see what the universe reveals!

Relationship luck is always welcome news, but in order to flourish, you need to feel great about yourself as an individual. You'll get a boost in the self-love department later this month, because August ends on a triumphant note that's all about YOU. On August 29, the annual Pisces full moon puts the spotlight on Numero Uno and your personal desires. With your ruling planet Neptune traveling in tandem, this could be a glamorous day in the spotlight, or a moment when your dreams come true—and you don't even have to force anything! Neptune's enchanting, gentle touch helps you manifest what your heart truly wants. 

 This full moon is a MAJOR moment for you, because it's the culmination of the March 20 Pisces new moon, which was also a potent supermoon and a total solar eclipse. Wow! Solar eclipses mark bold new starts, ones that can rip the Band-Aid off and launch us into an entirely new reality—ready or not. No, it's not the soft-and-gentle transition you prefer, but let's face it, Pisces, your sign sometimes needs to be rudely awakened from denial or pushed to make a big change. For the past six months, you've been evolving by leaps and bounds, and your life may not even resemble what it did at the beginning of the year. Even if everything looks the same on the surface, who you've become inside has undeniably shifted. At this full moon, celebrate your own personal evolution—and take stock of where you'd like to go next. 

Don't forget to inform your tribe that Pisces 2.0 has arrived on the scene (not that the change has gone unnoticed). On August 31, the Sun in your partnership house makes its annual opposition to Neptune in Pisces. This can be a confusing day when other people demand answers and you retreat. Instead of being vague or caving to pressure, use this time to clarify everyone's expectations. Don't let a dominating personality push you into anything you're not ready for now. Summon the strength to assert your boundaries and to say what YOU want, or to request the time to explore your options. Any arrangements have to work for both parties, not just one. 

A steamy cycle is winding down, as red-hot Mars spends its last week in Cancer, your fifth house of romance, lust and fertility. Mars arrived in this passionate zone on June 24, heating up your summer (and bringing a possible visit from the stork, as well as from Cupid). On August 8 it will move on, not to return here for a couple years. If you haven't sown your oats or enjoyed some memorable summer action, circle August 6, when Mars will form a supportive trine to Saturn in your adventurous ninth house. A short day trip, a vacation romance or even some business travel (mixed with pleasure on the side, of course) could add a few thrills to your agenda. With stable Saturn in the mix, even a fling won't turn your world upside-down—in fact, you could meet someone who has staying power, or at least, who treats you with total respect even if you do just have a fun, mutually agreed-upon affair. This Mars-Saturn meetup gives you excellent screening abilities, helping you filter out (and hopefully delete) any subpar suitors.

You'll also need those filters in place—on YOU, Pisces, because love planet Venus is retrograde (backward) from July 25-September 6, a six-week cycle that disrupts interpersonal harmony every 18 months. All month, Venus will be retrograde in Leo, your perfectionistic sixth house, which could make you ultra-picky or defensive. (This silly but amusing video "Left Swipe Dat" could chronicle your online dating woes now.) Sexy, intense Mars is also in Leo from August 8-September 24, ramping up this overanalytical energy. Beware of having what life coach Lois Barth calls "one wrong move syndrome"—i.e., a date is going swimmingly until they make the fatal flaw of using the wrong fork or breathing too heavily or stealing the last breadstick. Suddenly, you can never see them again, or your entire mojo is killed. Really, Pisces—does that actually qualify as a dealbreaker?! (For more on surviving Venus retrograde, see our post here.)

Beware the hypersensitivity of this month in other relationship areas, too. You could feel criticized by a benign comment your partner makes, flying off the handle. Pointing out a small blemish is NOT tantamount to saying you're hideously ugly, Pisces, but you could feel that way. Or maybe you're just irritated by anyone close to you, noticing all their annoying habits and tics. Since the sixth house rules health, use this time to de-stress by exercising and hitting the spa instead of projecting all your anxiety onto your partner or love interest. And if you need some space, just say so—better to work out your emotional knots by hitting the treadmill than by making your mate play therapist. (For more on surviving Venus retrograde, see our post here.)

The headline news arrives on August 11, when lucky Jupiter begins its 13-month visit to Virgo, your relationship house. This could be one of your biggest love cycles in over a decade, as Jupiter only visits here every 12 years. Major growth will color your interpersonal affairs between now and September 2016—anything from starting a serious long-distance relationship to getting engaged to outgrowing a longtime partner is possible. Jupiter is all about seeking new horizons, so positive change is inevitable. And it makes sense, Pisces: Human beings are constantly growing and learning, so your love life needs to adapt in tandem. A great relationship can flex and stretch right along with the people in it, and Jupiter will inspire major evolving. Can your current amour expand along with you? If not, you will almost certainly meet someone who will. This is a year to take exciting risks in the game of love, opening your heart and inviting new partnerships into your life. You could meet someone while traveling, studying or doing personal growth work. Take a chance and get out of your comfort zone—the farther the better.

If you're happily ensconced in a commitment, Jupiter will bring the spirit of adventure back, inspiring you to travel and try new things together as a duo. There may be a few growing pains as Jupiter reveals where you've gotten complacent and let the romance sputter out. It happens to the best of us, Pisces, especially when there are kids, demanding jobs or other real-life obligations after the honeymoon phase. But that's not to say you can't enjoy a few butterflies again by stepping out of your comfort zones. With global Jupiter in the mix, pack your bags and go explore a magical city or country that neither of you has ever visited before—something so far from the norm for both of you that it awakens a sexy sense of discovery. That dopamine rush you'll both feel should be enough of a turn-on to start the engines again…and you'll coast on the fumes of your trip to Paris, Rio or Bali for months to come. Purrr….

Even if you can't leave city limits yet, sign up for a class, get involved in your community or do a joint creative project together (even a home renovation would count). Jupiter in your seventh house can also bring an interesting role reversal. For example, if you were the breadwinner, you might now become the person who tends to the home and takes a less stressful gig while your partner rises through the ranks—or vice-versa. Never say never!

On August 23, the Sun moves into Virgo and gets this dynamic-duo cycle underway. A beautiful day for relationships is August 26, when the Sun and Jupiter make a one-time alignment in Virgo. You find the fortitude to assert yourself boldly and say what you really feel. If you've been casually dating but falling hard, you'll summon the courage to confess your feelings. If you've been subjugating your needs to please someone else, you'll finally use your voice and stand up for an equal, mutually fulfilling partnership. It's about time!

Get those systems in order, Pisces. The Sun and several planets (including go-getter Mars, Jupiter and Venus) are in Leo throughout August, firing up your sixth house of organization, helpful people and administrative tasks. This is a get-'er-done time that's ideal for prioritizing, decluttering and fine-tuning plans. You may decide to delegate some of your duties, perhaps hiring (or replaciing) an assistant, an intern or a service provider who makes your personal life run more smoothly (personal trainer, babysitter, landscaper, et al.).


With harmonious Venus retrograde until September 6, there could be friction on Team Pisces. A go-to person may begin acting selfish or unreliable. (Do you pay this person to check their Tinder matches every four minutes? Didn't think so.) You could be feeling like the disgruntled, underappreciated staff member yourself, especially once stressful Mars moves into Leo and this zone of your chart. The demands and detailed work could pile up while the gratitude seems to shrink in proportion. Watch your stress levels, as they can affect your health and make you look rundown and ragged. If your reflection screams "burnout approaching!" call a time-out and reconfigure your plans.

A great day to do some big-picture planning is August 4, when expansive Jupiter and magnetic Venus make their second of three meetups this year. Venus and Jupiter are known as the "benefics" in astrology, meaning their influence is largely positive and helpful. Their first conjunction was on July 1 in Leo, and their second one falls in the same sign. You could bring in a project manager (or don that chapeau yourself), get inspired to beautify your workspace or begin working with a virtual assistant (Jupiter rules long-distance connections). A "green" or eco-friendly project might cross your transom, or perhaps you'll get involved in something that involves wellness and beauty (time to launch that organic skincare line, Pisces?). The Leo new moon on August 14 could be the perfect day to start on a venture in earnest.

Just make sure all your plans are being measured against some sort of long-term payoff, too. Jupiter and Venus will form a tense square to structured Saturn in your visionary ninth house. While it's fun to dream up ideas and create, you might also want to have some kind of exit strategy in mind. For example, you might see yourself blissfully mixing avocado-lemongrass scrubs until your golden years, but what if a conscious company wanted to buy you out? You could buy your own avocado orchard one day if that happened…so don't forget to think big, even as you attend to the granular details. Because of the unique planetary mix involved in this square, though, there's a good chance that you WILL be thinking both micro and macro—a winning formula for success!

How about teaming up for mutual gain while you're at it? On August 11, lucky Jupiter sails into Virgo and your zone of dynamic duos until September 9, 2016. For the next 13 months, savvy partnerships become a prevailing theme—as well as an avenue to abundance. Don't look for someone to "save" you or do all the heavy lifting; this is about creating a 50/50 split that benefits you both equally. Merge your talents and you'll both thrive. Be on the lookout for people whose skills complement your own, and explore ways you can team up, perhaps by starting on a project basis. The Sun-Jupiter alliance on August 26 could be a golden day for this. Since Jupiter rules entrepreneurship, you might even go into business with your significant other. Of course, that can come with its perils (talking about work 24/7 can kill the romance), so make sure you have some hours when you both agree to focus on non-career stuff, even though you might be so excited that it's hard to contain yourselves! 

Healthy, wealthy and wise—those are your #goals during Leo season, as the planets power up your sixth house of wellness this August. You're no stranger to health as a front-burner topic, because expansive Jupiter has been in your sixth house since July 16, 2014, putting you on something of a rollercoaster while you got all your systems in check. You've learned your limits and hopefully made some inspiring new lifestyle changes that have you feeling more glowing and grounded than ever. On August 11, Jupiter will depart this zone, not to return for another 12 years. Get one last round of checkups, fire up your clean eating and regular movement and cut out unnecessary sources of stress (really, are ANY of them ever actually necessary?). Interestingly, many people actually gain weight while Jupiter is in their sixth house, because Jupiter rules abundance (it's the mythic god of the feast, after all). Even if you've been eating well, you may notice that you've filled out—and this is probably a GOOD thing.

Revitalizing Mars pours fuel in your tank when it enters Leo and your fitness house for six weeks on August 8. Since Mars only comes to this health-conscious sector every couple years, you could be extra-inspired to get moving. But do watch for workout hazards (strains, muscle tears) and sports-related injuries—be sure to stretch and wear supportive shoes, and to cool down after your rigorous boot camp. (At this writing, Ophi has a sprained ankle courtesy of Mars in our natal sixth house…so we know of what we speak!) Stress can really heat up with aggro Mars here, so be vigilant about that. The last thing you need is a late-summer cold or flu because your fatigued body is breaking down from being overworked.

Watch out for body image issues this month, too, as aesthetic Venus is retrograde (backward) in Leo until September 6, making you unnecessarily hard on yourself. Your flaws will seem magnified in the mirror, and you could feel like your progress has plateaued if you've been working out. Instead of going on a crash diet or doing something foolish, cut yourself some slack. If you're on too rigorous of a program, you may slip and gorge on pie at a barbecue, for example, or decide to sleep in rather than hitting sunrise yoga. Well, Pisces, it's the end of summer, so don't deny yourself the pleasure you crave. During Venus retrograde, you might even do something "radical" and take a break from forcing yourself to eat clean or exercise. You could also experiment with healthy versions of your favorite treats that use dates, stevia or some other natural sweeteners instead of the processed stuff. 

The month ends with an August 29 full moon in your sign, which will be conjunct spiritual Neptune. It's a love moment to reflect on your "soul goals," and to make sure that the rest of this year is spent nurturing those! If there truly is something about yourself that you don't love—a habit or pattern you'd like to break (such as gossiping or taking things too personally), this is a great time to do some healing work in the name of change. This is YOUR full moon, Pisces, so celebrate yourself. Release your fears—and your wishes—to the universe. 

Next Up: Your Pisces Weekly Horoscope >


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