Horoscopes for Av 5779: Now is the summer of our discontent

"When Av returns, we diminish joy."

astrology (photo credit: yael yitzchaki)
(photo credit: yael yitzchaki)
(July 22 – August 19, 2020)
Av is normally a challenging month, this year even more so. The sages say: “When Av enters, we diminish joy,” though it’s hard to imagine joy being even more diminished as this extraordinarily stressful year continues. With the Sun in proud, passionate Leo, Mars/Ma’adim in aggressive Aries, and a world under pandemic siege divided between compliant believers and defiant deniers, “joy” seems a distant memory. Clueless governmental missteps and missed opportunities compel us to take repeated insults to our collective intelligence and offenses against our communities very, very personally during the long, hot, dog days of summer.
Explosive public revelations rock the already crumbling foundations of stability at Mercury/Kochav’s opposition to Pluto August 1. Pride goes before a fall when Leo Sun square Uranus/Oron in Taurus August 2; the Full Aquarius Moon of Tu Be’av on August 3 with Mercury opposite Saturn/Shabbtai and Mars square Jupiter/Tzedek August 4 tells us there is no love without justice, and demands that justice be delivered in the court of public opinion. Closed-door deliberations and back-room dealmakers trading ideals for short-term gain find their doors kicked in by August 13’s inflammatory square of Mars to Pluto. Nobody is in the mood to cut the status quo any slack when calls for change are routinely ignored.
Revolutionary Uranus stations retrograde August 15, ensuring collective cultural consequences until the harsh lessons of our communal history are internalized. Sun and Mercury trine Mars August 16, introducing a powerful new communications security initiative. Though global implosion of the status quo triggers universal fears, discovering individual moments of pleasure, personal creativity, meaning and significance while letting go of things we can’t control helps takes the edge off what surely promises to be the summer of our collective discontent.
Mars/Ma’adim in Aries through January 2021 empowers you, but what will you do with all that raw power? As Judah had to learn self-control by experiencing the consequences of his own choices, the square of Mars to Jupiter August 4 and Pluto August 13 is a monumental test of self-control, reflecting external tensions that must be resolved by your own conscious decision-making. As revolution calls, you’ll either want to burn everything down and start over, or if invested in the status quo, take up arms to defend the old regime to the end. Pick a side!
Venus/Noga enters family-oriented, emotional Cancer August 7, recalling remembrance of things past. Last Quarter Moon in Taurus August 11 inspires a sentimental journey; you’re looking behind you through rose-colored glasses; romanticizing what you’ve already outgrown gets you nowhere but backwards. As Issachar discerned the times and seasons, your natural ability to tell heart-time is aroused when Venus sextiles Uranus at the New Moon in Leo August 18. A door for a new and unusual relationship may open, perhaps with someone extremely “different” than your usual cup of romantic tea. Walk through the door without looking back.
As external restrictions force your Zebulun-like need for variety to turn inward, discover new facets to your inner performer when Mercury/Kochav transits Leo August 5-19. Sun/Mercury conjunction August 17 focuses the spotlight on you: it’s your time to shine! Confrontations over power and control come to a head August 10; Mercury’s trine to Mars August 16 activates your fighting spirit; come to the defense of your originality and take unambiguous ownership of your own ideas! Mercury’s entrance into Virgo August 19 replaces grandiosity with rational logic in decision-making. Negotiate from power when you know your own worth.
Though the past is your favorite fantasy destination, the Full Moon in forward-thinking Aquarius August 3 reveals compelling future potential. Moon in Cancer August 15/16 seeds new growth, Venus/Noga in Cancer from August 7 nourishes old love. Tribal leader Reuben’s preference for someone who “feels like family” slips on easily like a comfortable old shoe, but is familiarity really the best way to challenge yourself to grow? Can something new develop when the status quo is too comfortable to leave? The best of both worlds might be an old dog willing and able to learn new tricks.
Sun in Leo through August 22 is normally your annual party time; this year it’s a house party with a tiny, exclusive guest list. Surprising realizations when Sun squares Uranus/Oron August 2; Full Aquarius Moon August 3 reveals the reliability of your most significant friendships. Who shows up for you when the going gets tough? Tribal leader Simeon’s legacy of powerful ego-based defense mechanisms kicks in August 16 at the Sun’s trine to Mars – your task is to not allow defensive anger to become offensive aggression. New Moon in Leo August 18 refreshes your resolve and strengthens heart-based priorities.
Power struggles at Mercury/Kochav’s opposition to Pluto August 1, control issues August 3 at Mercury’s conjunction to Saturn set the stage for unconscious projection and unexamined subconscious fears through August 18. Secrets you’ve been keeping forever threaten to jump right out of your mouth August 10; the temptation to use information as weapon is high August 16 when Mercury trines Mars/Ma’adim. Knowledge is power when Mercury enters Virgo August 19, followed by the Sun August 22. Your normal desire is to use your communicative powers for good; fight off the desire for petty revenge by taking the high road.
A troubling midrash on the disastrous results of tribal leader Ephraim’s premature exit from Egypt informs the Venus/Noga square to Neptune at First Quarter Moon in Scorpio July 27. Do not jump the gun in your eagerness to escape restriction. Social distancing is so difficult for your relationship-oriented sensibilities but allow Venus in home-and-family-centric Cancer August 7 to refocus your priorities toward those lasting, lifelong connections. “And now for something completely different” August 18 at the New Moon in Leo with Venus trine Uranus – someone previously relegated to the Friend Zone makes a surprise relocation to the Heart Zone.
First Quarter Moon in Scorpio July 25 with Mars/Ma’adim, in Aries renews your quest to achieve ambitious goals, despite the pervasive negativity of our current zeitgeist. Social instability is your advantage if you’re positioned as a pragmatic, persistent and prescient leader when Mars squares Jupiter August 4. Tribal leader Manasseh’s interpretive skills and insight are your strength when what others see as social destruction is correctly perceived by you as an explosive opportunity around August 13 at the Mars-Pluto square, a chance to dynamite an opening through the wall of status quo previously blocking you from achieving your desires.
Retrograde Jupiter/Tzedek in Capricorn rewinds to December 2019 when opportunities available at that time reappear in a slightly altered, more flexible form. Jupiter’s sextile to Neptune July 30 invites you to imagine an entirely new approach to an old challenge, Mercury’s opposition to Jupiter July 30 opens door to re-negotiating deals to your advantage. Allow your inner wolf, tribal leader Benjamin’s sigil, to howl and bay at Full Aquarian Moon August 3: you deserve to make some noise around your achievements now. Mars square Jupiter August 4 empowers you to demand the full measure of your worth.
Mercury/Kochav opposite Saturn/Shabbtai at the Full Aquarian Moon August 3 inspires frank, bottom-line oriented conversation around proper boundaries, personal sovereignty, and individual independence. Communications you’ve been dreading turn out to be easier than you thought when seeking common ground. Finding the happy medium isn’t a sign of weakness; compromise can strengthen your position when Venus enters Cancer August 7. Last Quarter Moon in Taurus August 12 sets the stage for sensual connectivity. Allow yourself to accept and receive the love you’re being offered without looking for the trap door/disclaimer where there isn’t one.
Tribal leader Asher normally inspires communal loyalties, but August 2’s Full Aquarius Moon and Mercury/Kochav’s opposition to Saturn/Shabbtai August 3 abruptly demonstrates that your own opinions are your priorities. Those accustomed to your detached, cerebral style may be shocked by the explosive passion you bring to promoting causes dearest to your heart. Mercury’s square to Uranus/Oron August 10 and Uranus’s retrograde August 15 prompts abrupt and unexpected public truth-telling; social consequences of fidelity to your ideals may bring unexpected loss of traditional allies. Though this usually doesn’t concern you, this time it might.
A midrash tells us that tribal leader Naftali ran from Hebron to Egypt to fetch the title deed to the Cave of the Patriarchs, to prove family burial rights. First Quarter Moon in Scorpio July 27 inspires your run toward family history. Full Moon in Aquarius August 3 reveals ancestral secrets, some of which are hurtful. Mercy may be extended, and forgiveness offered when Moon conjuncts Neptune/Rahav August 6, but consequences of subterfuge and past betrayals may force you to engage in assertive and healthy boundary-setting. Deciding who to trust is your hardest and most important work now.
The writer, an author and multimedia communicator, began her career as a professional astrologer in the 1980s. She holds a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University and an MA in Jewish studies from Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union, where her thesis topic was astrology in Jewish cultural history. Find more of her work at astrolojew.com