Does it feel like we’ve been having much fun in the sun yet? Have vacation or other recreational plans gone awry? It’s been a Leo Season for the books, and this New Moon brings its own set of challenges. Welcome to the Leo 2023 Lunar Cycle.
The New Moon Itself
New Moon Leo peaks at 23 Leo 17’16” on August 16th, 2023 2:38:09 AM PDT / 9:38:09 AM UTC. This New Moon in the Sun’s domain of Leo, the fifth sign of the zodiac. A little late into Leo Season, yet this is where we have a focus on creativity, recreation, children, basically the fun stuff that makes life enjoyable.
The New Moon being in third decan of Leo gives it a more subtle Aries/Mars as well. We’ll be feeling like we want to take charge and assert ourselves in the pursuit of happiness and some respite from the chaos going on.
Sun conjunct Moon, as the primary aspect, also denotes new starts, new beginnings, and the commencement of activities where the New Moon is taking place. New projects, new jobs, even new positions within those jobs, as well as new ideas are more apparent now. Workings and intentions set for initiating tasks and projects usually are done now. It’s a little more involved with the major amount of retrogrades active, and yet another one set to start within a week of this lunation.
Shifts Occurring Around This New Moon and Lunar Cycle
Mercury Retrograde Begins
Mercury retrograde begins on August 23rd 2023 at 12:59:27 PM PDT / 19:59:27 PM UTC, almost a week after the New Moon as Venus retrograde did with the previous New Moon in Cancer. This is in third decan Virgo, affecting themes of obligations, health, messages involving money, travel for work, career and reputational matters. This is expected to be active for the remainder of the Leo lunar cycle, and also begins right after the Sun’s ingress into Virgo on fixed star Regulus. This will be fun.
Venus Retrograde Ends
Venus retrograde ends on September 3rd 2023 at 6:20:03 PM PDT / September 4th 2023 1:20:03 AM UTC. This retrograde ends right before Jupiter begins its own retrograde in Taurus, barely preventing an all planets retrograde scenario. Venus shifts back into forward after the next Full Moon in Pisces. Money and relationship matters continue to be a focus for the lunar cycle, but won’t be in full operation until at least October when it finally exits post-retrograde shadow.
Concepts of “summer love” just aren’t going to happen smoothly for many of us this summer, sorry. Focus on making sure your own life is getting in order before we start swiping right again.
Other Aspects to the New Moon
Full Desires, Empty Wallets
New Moon Leo squares Uranus while also tightly conjuncting Black Moon Lilith, widely conjuncting Venus retrograde, and with a semisextile to Mars in Virgo too. That’s a lot to take in. One step at a time:
The square to Uranus is the strongest and most obvious aspect going on here. Uranus is rebellion, shaking things up, surprise events, and it’s in Taurus which is usually fixed, stable, and content. For this lunar cycle, do not expect money and funding to be as stable as we’d like. That goes both ways: If we’re fortunate and take advantage of actual good or beneficial opportunities, we could wind up with a surprise upturn, but it will take work. Don’t go chasing rainbows for that pot of gold.
The conjunction to Black Moon Lilith shows us that we’re confronting the deep shadows in our shadow work. You’ve got some issues you haven’t yet sorted out, and it is likely going to be very apparent that you need to deal with them. Matters involving women’s rights to bodily autonomy, breaking free from patriarchal norms, and equality/equity will become quite prominent. Especially now in the post-Roe era in the United States in some areas. A certain adult website has also started blocking users from at least two states now in response to tighter age-verification laws in those states. Expect more sexual issues in the news.
The semisextile to Mars in Virgo indicates that we will have to put aside some of more fun desires to get some work done. As Mars is trine Uranus at the same time, that nose-to-grindstone just-get-it-done vibe will be because of that instability and uncertainty. But with that trine, unless we’re just sitting on our asses, we can get the work done.
Next, the wide conjunction the New Moon makes to Venus retrograde, now a morning star post-cazimi, has the influence of us moving on from previous heartbreaks and other financial issues. We know some of the failures we’ve experienced in love and wealth, but now we need to apply the lessons and start moving on from those disappointments. Venus will go forward and pass the Sun again at some point, but it won’t e anytime soon. Apply the work you know you need to do.
Should We Harness the Chaos?
It gets a little more interesting when we consider New Moon Leo’s trine to Eris retrograde in Aries, and quincunx 157 Dejanira retrograde in Capricorn. These are wider aspects, but still need to be noted.
Eris is the dwarf planet associated with discord, chaos, stirring things up. New Moon Leo trine to this body shows us that we can use the uncertainty of events in flux to see where we’re selling ourselves short. A planned work or errand day not working out could become a welcome walk in nature, for one example.
Dejanira, this asteroid is associated with victimization, victimhood, events out of our control. The New Moon quincunx to this retrograde asteroid is warning us not to adopt a “victim mentality.” Take control, but don’t do so in a way that puts you in unnecessary bullseyes.
Other Noteworthy Aspects During the New Moon
Standing Up to Gaslighting
A Yod Kite pattern apexing Nessus retrograde in Pisces, from Venus retrograde in Leo, Ceres in Libra, and with Pallas and Mercury in Virgo pulling the bowstring makes for a contentious mix.
With Venus retrograde sextile Ceres, we’ve been reexamining who we’ve been connecting with. The questions of whether we’re with or seeking a partner that would be an ideal home partner, versus someone who’s just fun to be around, is on our minds. In business, it’s the difference between going for the flashy startup versus the stable company that’s been around for awhile and is more of a steady paycheck.
Both of those quincunx Nessus in second decan of Pisces, that’s where the trouble lies. Nessus is obsession at best, and straight up abuse at worst. This also can represent revenge from the grave, as it was Nessus’ dying advice to his victim Dejanira that ultimately doomed Heracles when Dejanira questioned Heracles’ loyalty and put Nessus’ cloak on him… which was poisoned.
The second decan of Pisces has a Cancerian/lunar feel to it, so it’s quite mental, illusionary, and thus Nessus here is especially prone to global gaslighting. With it retrograde, we need to make sure we aren’t making ourselves believe made-up nonsense. Do not tell yourself you’re not good enough, because you are.
The Nessus opposition to Pallas and Mercury (and by extension Mars via its conjunction to Mercury), we need to speak up. Call truth to power, where Pallas is wisdom, good sense, and judgment. Mercury is, of course, communications, messages, getting from here to there. And Mars, that’s power, vitality, passion, and the more aggressive emotions of anger, rage, and can get violent at worst.
Put it all together, and you’ve had someone who was like the proverbial “bull in a china shop” who is now being called on the carpet, ordered to answer for their transgressions. If not someone in our lives or awareness, then events that share this quality.
The recent fourth indictment of Donald J. Trump, as well as the Georgia RICO and related charges to 18 other named individuals serves as an example of this theme. I will leave it to you to interpret who is doing the gaslighting. It is possible everyone involved is “full of it” to some extent. But who, and to what degree?
To partly quote Ezio from Assassin’s Creed: “…nothing is true, everything is permitted…”
Vesta in Gemini square Mercury and Mars in Virgo points to rapid events and news regarding the most sacred foundations of what we profess to believe. This also affects what we claim to be cornerstones of our society.
Mercury and Mars together indicate forceful and rapid communications, especially in second decan of Virgo. Reputation, fame (or infamy), and a sharp statement of committed actions are apparent, and it’s in conflict with what people are said to be supposed to be doing. Breaking vows and oaths is one example of this complex square.
This Mercury-Mars to Vesta square is heavily afflicting Donald Trump’s Gemini Sun/North Node/Dejanira/Uranus and Sagittarius Moon/South Node opposition, as is the previously mentioned Nessus retrograde Yod Kite. I provide this as one example of how this can manifest, and his situation serves as a prominent demonstration of this aspect at work.
Money Can’t Buy Happiness, but It Can Make It Look That Way
Venus retrograde square Jupiter and 10961 Buysballot, as well as Uranus in Taurus tells us that we need to not get our hopes up if we think we can buy our ways out of some messes.
We’ve largely covered Venus retro and Uranus square back with the New Moon square to Uranus. Shakeups in love, money, value. That piece of art or digital collectible we thought was going to go to the moon wound up dipping all the way to the Marianas Trench in a bad-case scenario. If the cards were played right, the opposite also works, but with the square, there’s a catch.
The square to Jupiter and Buysballot is another view of the story. Venus square Jupiter denotes overoptimism in some cases, and pessimism in others (not enough hope).
Buysballot denotes “ballot box stuffing,” or graft of some kind. Jupiter expands what it touches, so there’s some big shenanigans in the crosshairs regarding getting favors and honors. With this square to Venus retrograde, those schemes are blowing up in the perpetrator’s face.
You want something of value? Earn it, or convince people ethically. It will not end well otherwise, especially with this aspect and the other ones.
Venus retrograde trine Chiron retrograde in Aries marks a period where we’re going back over previous projects, purchases, and relationships and seeing where we damaged ourselves. It’s a time to take stock of previous bad purchases and poor decisions. Figure out why we thought it was a good idea at the time, and resolve to not make that mistake again.
Ceres in Libra opposite Chiron retrograde works with Venus retrograde to create a wedge pattern. Some of our more bold plays have had some repercussions at home, serving to destabilize things. But we can learn from those mistakes and tighten the home budget a bit and be more discerning with future plans.
If we can learn from our mistakes during this lunar cycle, it will help smooth things over with our loved ones. Some roommates too, for the more loose cohabitation situations.
Caught in the Lie
Saturn retrograde in Pisces opposite 8690 Swindle in Virgo warns us against not doing due diligence with questionable schemes.
Swindle means just that, to swindle. Saturn retrograde denotes self-discipline, self-undoing, and holding ourselves back from various actions. That’s not always a bad thing.
To be blunt, this is not the time to jump into a new venture without doing your research. Desperation breeds stupid plays. Don’t jump into a too-good-to-be-true gig, task, or other venture without going over the details very carefully. Especially now with the unstable retrograde energies and Mercury’s reversal coming up.
Finally, we end with a weak, off-sign Grand Cross with Juno at 0 degrees Leo, North Node conjunct Eris in Aries, Pluto retrograde and Dejanira retrograde in Capricorn square North Node and Eris, and South Node and 37117 Narcissus in Libra square Juno and Pluto/Dejanira. Some of these are wide orbs for asteroids, but enough of it is of major bodies and points so I’m counting them.
First: North Node conjunct Eris. North Node is what we’re drawn to, the goals and destiny we’re heading towards or working for. Eris, again, is discord, chaos, events accelerating and spiraling beyond our control.
Pluto retrograde and Dejanira retrograde. These two together, albeit widely, in Capricorn is trouble. Pluto is the destroyer and renewer. It tears down and pulverizes, wipes away, and sets the foundation clean. Dejanira is, again, victimhood and the bullseye on the back. Both of these somewhat together and retrograde indicates a tremendous amount of self-undoing, especially in our reputation and career prospects.
South Node and Narcissus in Libra is also problematic. South Node is the comfort zone where we can retreat to when things get tough. It’s also where we’re coming from, our foundation and root. Narcissus is just that, narcissism and self-importance. Combined, it’s an indication to drop the ego and start moving forward, and think of others in what you do. A relationship cannot support just one individual, but needs to be shared as a whole after all.
Juno in beginning of Leo. Juno is the asteroid of committed relationships. Think of Hera, waiting for Zeus to come home after his duties on Olympus. Of course, Zeus wasn’t faithful in legend. Hera, somehow, still stayed in the marriage. In fiery Leo, that loyalty or staying in the union exists, but there needs to be something for the couple to look forward to to keep the bond strong. Without that thirst for fun and taking time together to play or do fun things together, the bond falls apart. Creative couples also have this aspect.
Now, the Grand Cross altogether. Pluto retrograde is inducing a lot of self-doubt in the more committed relationships, and there’s an element of reinvention going on as far as the public persona of these couples. Dejanira here is also throwing flags up here, drawing some attention to problematic unions.
Narcissus with the South Node denotes some couples here are having more problems, in that the narcissistic qualities are unraveling things and quite frankly pissing the other partner off. Straying and cheating is probably on the list of concerns for some of these partnerships, or some other backstabbing in the name of self-interest. Definitely watch for patterns if there’s a partner in mind that’s pulled some stupid stuff in the past.
Finally, North Node and Eris over there in Aries to complete the cross. There’s a sense of someone throwing the golden apple of discord into the ring in the future, and some event or string of events that just shows that the jig is up. A chaotic event or pursuit of self-interest that finally serves as the catalyst to finally end the more troublesome relationships.
Partners in crime will turn on each other to save their own hides, or otherwise benefit from the downfall of who they see as “the lesser.” Other partnerships that were already on the rocks will face their own breaking points. Project launches that don’t go according to plan or have had one too many revisions. Business planning that was based on a partner’s self-serving ambitions. That sort of thing.
Either people will leave toxic relationships or “situationships”, or it’ll be done by force in some way. The third possibility is the crap continues and ultimately leads to all partners’ ruin.
More stable and loving relationships will have their challenges with this Grand Cross, but much of the more mundane challenges (unless there are a million or so) probably won’t break the back of the bond.
To Sum It Up
This New Moon in Leo will serve to shake things up and let the fire out, if it hasn’t already come out. We want fun, we want relaxation, we want to create. But things aren’t stable enough to just sit down and paint in the meadow, not with the strong wind blowing. We’d have to secure our artboard first and protect it from the dirt and stems blowing around. Of course, there is the possibility of integrating the chaos into the design…
Long-suppressed issues and agitations will come to the surface, and assuredly in explosive ways. These long-running issues will have to be dealt with one way or another. You could kick the can down the road some more, but there’s not much more road left. There’s a cliff. Unless you brought some rappelling gear, or a parachute, you may want to pick that can up and pick a different path.
Time to do things differently.