August 1st-7th: Spin Cycle

August 1st-7th: Spin Cycle


An action packed and not particularly pleasant week.  Mercury stations retrograde on Tuesday night, introducing us formally to the 3 1/2 weeks of twisted words and confused ears.  Hours later, bold Mars enters passive aggressive Cancer.  On Thursday Neptune retrogrades back into Aquarius, dehydrating a dream or two.  The week combines all the joy of a Mercury retrograde with the stressy chaos of a loose Grand Cross.  But you know, it’s full of “challenges” and “growth” and stuff.

Backward, Downward, Inward

Mercury finally goes retrograde on Tuesday night at 2 Virgo.  Mercury will retreat backward through Virgo for the next week, re-entering Leo on August 8th.  Mercury will continue his retreat through Leo until August 26th, when he stations direct at 18 Leo.

Mercury retrogrades often coincide with problems with technology, travel plans and communications.  They also oversee some rather befuddled mental states.

Singularly Inauspicious

I have heard rumor that President Obama has an astrologer.  If these rumors are true, he either doesn’t listen to them, or they are the worst astrologer on the planet.  Pres Obama has had a habit of reaching “agreements” right on top of Mercury’s retrograde stations, ensuring that the legislation that emerges is critically flawed and will need to be reworked.

This Tuesday, the deadline for the debt ceiling, was absolutely no exception. It is the exact day of Mercury’s retrograde station, guaranteeing that no matter what the decision, it’s probably the the wrong one.  The latest news is that the details of debt reduction have assigned to a committee, and that their deadline is just as November’s Mercury retrograde begins.  Well done.

Dear Mr. Obama, this is simple electional astrology.  You can place me on retainer for a very reasonable rate in order to avoid such poor timing.  You’re also going to need some help with that solar return.  Think about it during this Mercury retrograde and get back to me when the messenger stations direct.  I don’t want you flip-flopping on me.

Mercury Retrograde and the Chamber of Secrets

This particular retrograde begins in Virgo, but will spend the majority of time (Aug 8th-26th) in Leo.   This indicates that the retrograde will begin by highlighting technical problems, but the messenger’s destination is really a radical rethinking of who you are and how you present yourself.  With both Mercury and Venus on their way toward conjunctions with the Sun, there is the making of a secret, sacred meeting, a council of the heart and mind concerning who we choose to be and what it is we let the world see.  This sacred council will be witnessed by the Full Moon and continue onto the 16th and 17th, when the Sun, Venus and Mercury are all within a single degree of each other in Leo, hidden beneath the fierce mane of our star.

Friendly Neighborhood Werewolf

Late Tuesday night, Mars changes signs, making his way into Cancer.  Mars’ warrior energy is said to be uncomfortable in the sensitive sign, often indicating difficulty with properly channeling aggressive energies.  Mars’ time in Cancer often presides over a variety of shady moves and Curb Your Enthusiasm style petty conflicts.  For more on Mars in Cancer’s frustrations and virtues, please refer to “Mars in Cancer: Heart of the Werewolf. It will blow your mind like a $10,000 hooker. But it’s not so much Mars in Cancer that we have to worry about, it’s the aspects the planet will make over the course of the next two weeks.

Low Tide In Imagination Land

On the evening of Thursday, the 4th, Neptune retreats into Aquarius, not to return to the mystic-aquatic depths of Pisces until February of 2012.  While Neptune’s time in Pisces (April 4th-Aug 4th) this year called the subconscious to high tide, his retreat backward replaces the veil, creating a distance between ourselves and the dreams which seemed so close.  While for some this may be a pleasing return to more concrete matters, for those who’ve over indulged themselves with dreams the reunion with reality may be harsh.

Running the Gauntlet

Over the next few weeks, Mars will have to endure an explosive square to Uranus in Aries, a power struggle with Pluto in Capricorn and finally a square to Saturn in Libra.

This puts us in position for a series of loose Grand Crosses, difficult configurations which challenge us by stressing us from all directions and triggering complex problems.  The Grand Cross will be most active this week on the  3rd and 4th , but it will be next week, on Tuesday the 9th and Wednesday the 10th  Thursday the 11th that things get extra hairy.  Wednesday the 17th may also hold an aftershock or two.

Unpleasant or not, Grand Crosses are part of the landscape of the month.   Occuring as they do in the midst of a Mercury retrograde, they’re likely to spawn some stressful conditions and gnarly weather patterns.  It’s a bit of a shit sandwich.

As we enter August’s tensions, make a commitment to yourself not get caught up in the cycles of stress and crisis circling about.  Take control of what you can, and accept what you can’t.   You’ll get through it, just keep your hands to yourself and your eyes on the prize.  Consider the seasonal outline I provided awhile back for the big picture.


Horoscopes are not a real chart reading by an experienced astrologer.  However, they are fun and can be reasonably accurate.  Read your Ascendant and Moon too, if you know them.  If you don’t, find out- I recommend the free chart generating software at

Oh, and if you’re still concerned that your sign has changed, get a little clarity here.

Aries: The Ram

Mercury’s retrograde station emphasizes the looming need to get your fiscal and physical health in order.  Mars’ entry into Cancer begins a month and half of plowing through the foundations of your personal power, ruthlessly rooting out personal weakness.  Or indulging it something fierce.  Your call.

Meanwhile, on Thursday Neptune’s retreat from Pisces sees the subconscious tide go out, perhaps leaving a few of the deep mind’s treasures behind, along with a little medical waste.

Oh, and watch out for the general bullshit the Grand Cross is slingin’.  This next couple weeks is going to be hectic for you.

Taurus:  The Bull

Mercury’s retrograde station emphasizes the looming need to rethink the way you’re spending your energy and rework the fruits of said creative energy. Mars’ entry into Cancer begins a month and a half of random irritations, especially with siblings and in sibling type relationships.

Meanwhile, Neptune’s retreat from Pisces returns your social sphere back to “normal,” returning boundaries to your social flow.

And on a general note, reserve some extra energy for problem solving over the next few weeks.  You may need to work through physical, fiscal, spiritual and communication issues to get the job done right.

Gemini: The Twins

Mercury’s retrograde station emphasizes the need to rethink that pillow fort you call a home base. Mars’s ingress into Cancer sets the stage for a month and a half of financial challenges.

Meanwhile, Neptune’s retreat from Pisces sees the tide go out on your professional fantasies, letting the dreams that have run wild drain away and exposing the bones of what exists without any effort of imagination.

On a general note, keep your eye on your resources for the next couple weeks- fiscal, social, spiritual and otherwise.   Draw on your reserves when you need to, but don’t take more than you need.

Cancer: Pin Chi Chuan

Mercury’s retrograde station this week highlights important changes in the way you conduct your regular communications.  Mars’ ingress into your sign starts a rowdy month and a half.  In fact, you may feel inclined to try your hand at “Crab Boxing,” a singularly ineffective and nearly extinct style of kung fu.  But that’s a terrible idea, so pass on it.

Meanwhile, Neptune’s retreat from Pisces sees your worldview and long term goals begin to restabilize as the onslaught of deeply personal spiritual influences recedes.

Generally, the next few weeks are probably going to be chaotic and high energy.  Plan on it, and plan on how you’re going to be up to the task.  No, no, not by learning Crab Boxing, I keep telling you that shit doesn’t work…

Leo: The Lion’s Paw

Mercury’s retrograde station this week emphasizes financial issues that you know you were supposed to have already taken care of.  Mars’ ingress into Cancer begins a month and a half period of working through some sensitive and icky emotional issues.  Try not to take it out on the rest of us.

Meanwhile, Neptune’s retreat from Pisces sees the easy flow of resources between you and other people slow to a trickle as a more concrete perspectives override the compassionate and spiritual influences you’ve been working with.

On a general note, the next two weeks is going to involve a lot of problem solving, both internally and externally.   Plan on it.

Virgo: The Virgin

Mercury’s retrograde station this week emphasizes the rethinking you’ve been thinking about thinking on.  Keep doing that.   Mars’ entry into Cancer sets the stage for a month and a half of iffy social situations.  Play nice and don’t declare anyone your new BFF until the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Neptune’s retreat from Pisces sees your perspective on personal relationships snap back to normalcy after 4 months of Neptune’s dreamy, boundary-eroding influence.

On a general note, keep an eye on your resources- social, fiscal and spiritual, as the next two weeks are likely to be taxing.

Libra:  The Scales

Mercury’s retrograde station this week asks you to get to work reprogramming that malfunctioning circuit board in the back of your head.  Mars’ entry into Cancer sets the stage for a month and a half of professional challenges, likely involving careful maneuvering with difficult personalities.

Meanwhile, Neptune’s retreat from Pisces opens the way for a little clarity on what the physical and fiscal cost of “living the dream” is.

In general, the next two weeks are confused and action packed.  Take care of yourself well enough to keep up.

Scorpio: The Scorpion

Mercury’s retrograde station this week asks that you rethink the way you communicate with friends and contacts.  Like you might want to start saying what you mean instead of just giving people the ole hypno-eyes.  Tuesday night, Mars’ entry into Cancer sets the stage for a month and a half of moody irritation.  Try not to murder the other humans.

Meanwhile, Neptune’s retreat from Pisces sees your access to primordial creative energies and unprocessed romantic sentiment diminish, leaving you to consider the ramifications of said depths.

In general, you’ll find that the next two weeks are well stocked with ambient problems.  Plan on solving them.

Sagittarius:  Silver Arrows

Mercury’s retrograde station signals a rearrangement of your professional situation, especially as it relates to your long term goals. Tuesday night, Mars’ entry into Cancer starts a month and a half of challenges to your partnerships and arrangements with people, potentially bringing out the werewolf in some of those around you. Keep silver handy.

Meanwhile, Neptune’s retreat from Pisces sees you gazing at your living situation with less sympathy than you have for months.  You may find yourself growing more concerned about who’s leaving those dirty dishes in the sink and those unwashed towels on the floor.   It’s fuckin’ werewolves, I’m tellin ya.

In general, the next two weeks will ask you to draw on your resources- personal, social, financial and otherwise.  Tap into what you’ve gotta, but don’t let yourself hit E.

Capricorn: The Goat

Mercury’s retrograde station this week signals you to do a little rethinking in regard to your big picture. Late Tuesday night, Mars’ entry into Cancer sets the stage for a month and a half peppered with difficult relationship challenges, amping the ambient level of stress.

Meanwhile, Neptune’s retreat from Pisces sees your thought patterns conducting less sentiment and imagination, as well as your small adventures being marked with a little less pleasurable excess than in preceding months.

In general, the next two weeks is heavy on the stress.  Remember to take care of yourself.

Aquarius:  The Water Bearer

Mercury’s retrograde station this week sets your wheels spinning about what you should be sharing with who, and why. Late Tuesday, Mars’ entry into Cancer starts a month and a half stocked with fiscal and physical challenges.  Keep an eye on your habits, and see that the naughty ones don’t spiral out of control.

Meanwhile, Neptune’s retreat from Pisces sees the generosity you’ve felt regarding your resources recede into the background as facts become more apparent.

Overall, the next two weeks has a strong emphasis on problem solving.  By that I mean there will be a number of problems.  Solve’em.

Pisces:  The Fish

Mercury’s retrograde station catches you rethinking the way you communicate with people, especially those close to you.  Mars’ entry into Cancer sets the stage for some creative challenges, like the epic struggle of being too lazy to be creative.

Meanwhile, Neptune’s retreat from Pisces sees the temporary expansion of your world into greater oceans come to a temporary end, with the small reality of your world are replacing the bigger  experiences of the past months.

Generally speaking, the next two weeks will ask a lot of your resources- emotional, fiscal, mental and otherwise.

Portland and Seattle Lectures and Workshops

On my way to the great Northwest this September!  Events in Seattle the 16th-18th and in Portland the 23-25th of September.


Private Consultations

If you find yourself a little confused by the strange waters of the season, or interested in a personalized map of those yet to come, consider a consultation.  For details, click here.  Send inquiries to

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Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.


  1. Austin 11 years ago

    Comments and questions are appreciated.  Let me know how I did as the week plays out…

  2. Ms. Chardonnay 11 years ago

    Yo Austin I do appreciate your candor – and I will have my shit sandwich with mayo please!!! 
    (Virgo/Leo AC/Pisces Moon) This is gonna suck – I need to find a hole somewhere to crawl into for the next 3 1/2 weeks!!

    Ms. Chardonnay

  3. Austin 11 years ago

    Note:  The amazing Heart picture above is a painting by artist Christopher Ulrich.  The rest of his work is similiarly awesome.

  4. jesse l mabus 11 years ago

    psst. your image for scorpio is a repetition of libra…which of these things aren’t like the others…
    shit sandwich. thanks for the head’s up…been feeling it for a week now…shadow shadow. peace fishy.

    • Austin 11 years ago


  5. Austin 11 years ago

    Going to have to claim a few “told you so” points for calling out the shitstorm this week.  If you bought my 2011 Almanac, you’re not surprised.

  6. Jaime 11 years ago

    No wonder it feels like this week hit me like a ton of bricks. Now bracing self for shitstorm off the port bow.

  7. Amy Wilder Osondu 11 years ago

    Glad to have found you again. I love your tales  they make my week or at least warn me of what is to come.

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August 1st-7th: Spin Cycle

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