August 2021 forecast – Getting things done

It’s August, so we are in full Leo season! Apart from some Saturn oppositions early this month, which are always a bit challenging, August 2021 is a month to look forward to.

We have a record number of planets in their home sign: Sun in Leo, Mercury in Virgo, Venus in Libra, and Saturn in Aquarius, which means that we have a lot of dignified energy to work with.

The Full Moon in Aquarius is really special too, since it is conjunct the Great benefic Jupiter!

And the Grand Earth Trines that the planets in Virgo make with Uranus in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn will help us materialize our ideas and projects. Things are finally starting to happen.

Are you excited?

Let’s take a closer look at the most important transits of the month:

August 1st, 2021 – Sun Conjunct Mercury

On August 1st, 2021 Sun is conjunct Mercury at 9° Leo. This is the “Full Moon” phase of the current Mercury cycle that started on June 10th, 2021 (when Mercury retrograde was conjunct the Sun and the Gemini Eclipse).

If you’re still processing that eclipse in June, the Sun-Mercury conjunction on August 1st will bring you much-needed clarity.

This mid-cycle conjunction is opposite Saturn, so the revelations the Sun and Mercury will bring will require emotional maturity and discernment. If at times you feel at odds with society, keep in mind that any struggle, any conflict is an opportunity to understand yourself, and your place in the world better.

August 8th, 2021 – New Moon In Leo

On August 8th, 2021, we have a New Moon at 16° Leo. The New Moon is conjunct Mercury, it is square Uranus and opposite Saturn. This is a very important lunation, because it directly activates the Saturn-Uranus square.

If, until now Saturn square Uranus was something out there, outside of ourselves that happened to others, things suddenly turn personal.

Initially, we may feel in between a rock and a hard place. The questions are the same: who am I, really? What makes me different from others? What’s my place in the world?

You may not have all the answers yet, but make an effort and stay with the tension. Sometimes the things that we have the greatest resistance towards can lead to our greatest breakthroughs.

August 11th, 2021 – Mercury Enters Virgo

On August 11th, 2021 Mercury enters his favorite sign: Virgo. Mercury in Virgo is really special because it is the only placement where a planet is both exalted and in domicile. This means that Mercury feels really really good in Virgo.

Mercury in Virgo is as witty and quick as Mercury in Gemini, but it also brings the analytical, practical Virgoan qualities to the table.

No wonder many scientists, researchers, linguists, writers and intellectuals of any kind have this placement. When Mercury is in Virgo, we too have the chance to tap into this energy. If you have a Mercury project in mind now it’s time to make it happen!

August 16th, 2021 – Venus Enters Libra

“When love comes to town”. The Goddess of love and relationships is at home in Libra. No matter what your Venus sign is, you will love Venus in Libra.

Your relationships will improve, because Venus in Libra just knows what makes people tick.

You will feel better about yourself too, because Libra brings balance and promotes a healthy relationship with your feelings. Venus is such an important planet, because it tells us how we feel about life, it describes our quality of life in general. When Venus is at home in Libra, the world feels like a good place to be in.

August 18th, 2021 – Mercury Conjunct Mars

“Show me the details!” On August 18th, 2021, Mercury is conjunct Mars at 16° Virgo. This transit is great for verbal expression of any kind, to voice your opinions, do research, and go deep into a topic.

Mercury is in domicile AND exaltation in Virgo so it is operating at its full capacity. You can’t get a better transit for bringing your Mercury ideas to life.

The great thing about Mercury conjunct Mars is that this time you’re not only talking about your ideas… you also take action. And when Mercury and Mars also trine Uranus in Taurus, you know you’re up for some exciting developments.

You will especially benefit from this transit if you have personal planets in Earth signs.

August 19th, 2021 – Uranus Goes Retrograde

On August 19th, 2021 Uranus goes retrograde at 13° Taurus. When outer planets like Uranus go retrograde, their energy is intensified. So from a few days before, and a few days after August 19th, you can expect Uranus serendipities, revelations and illuminating insights.

Uranus brings clarity even – and especially – when it goes retrograde. Uranus’ station will make you more aware of the subtle energies and information that surround you all the time, but are usually more difficult to access.

When you tap into Uranus’ energies, when you align yourself with Uranus, you are on the same frequency as the Universe, and gain incredible insight and clarity.

August 22nd, 2021 – Full Moon In Aquarius

On August 22nd, 2021 we have a 2nd Full Moon in Aquarius. Last month we had a Full Moon at 1° Aquarius, and this time we have a Full Moon in the last degree of Aquarius.

We are coming full circle. This is a highly auspicious Full Moon because it is conjunct Jupiter. This Full Moon is in a way, our saving grace.

Everytime we have 2 lunations in the same sign (and this doesn’t happen too often) the universe gives us the chance to make things right.

If the New Moon in Leo early this month has come with the problem, the Full Moon in Aquarius brings the solution. You will finally be able to connect the dots. Things will finally start to make sense. You will finally find your place in the world.

August 22nd, 2021 – Sun Enters Virgo

Hours after the Full Moon, the Sun leaves Leo and enters Virgo. Happy birthday to all Virgos out there!

Once it has understood what its mission is (thanks to the insights revealed by the Full Moon), the Sun is now ready to make things happen. Sometimes we are crystal clear about what we want, but we don’t know what exactly we need to do to turn our idea into a reality.

And that’s exactly what we have Virgo for. Virgo will diligently break down plans into manageable tasks, and will show us, step-by-step, what we need to do.

August 30th, 2021 – Mercury Enters Libra

On August 30th, 2021 Mercury leaves Virgo and enters Libra. During this transit, we’re more diplomatic and we find it easier to see other people’s points of view.

With Mercury in Libra we are more likely to talk things through, get things straight, and find a “win-win” solution. When we have clarity around where we’re coming from, as well as where other people are coming from, we find that middle ground, that perfect balance between give and take, and this is when magic happens.

–Astro Butterfly (

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800 years ago at All Saints Church in Hereford, England, a sklilful carpenter carved this gentleman high up in the dark roof where nobody could see him. Five years ago they built an extra floor with bright lights for a restaurant.

(Contributed by Gwyllm Llwydd)

Tarot card for August 2: The Six of Swords

Angel Paths Card of the Day

Your daily Tarot card, drawn for 2 August 2021 from Alan Blackman

Following on from Friday’s card today we have the Six of Swords. This shows that we have passed through strife and discord into a period of peace.

The Six of Swords

The Lord of Science appears in a reading when we have passed through a stormy or difficult time, and into the safety of a sheltered harbour, where we can recuperate, and consider the difficulties which have arisen around us.

Often we will have passed through a period of dreadful confusion – and frequently a time of emotional suffering. But this card indicates that, at least for the moment, pressure has eased, and we can try to sort out what we really feel. Frequently we need first to rest until we feel refreshed, but eventually we will be required to assess events and make new decisions for our future.

Because we will find ourselves seeing things more clearly, difficult and demanding decisions will be easier to make. We will find ourselves with a more clear overview of the issues we are facing. And we will be able to make choices which bring us peace of mind and happiness.

Expect to find greater objectivity, clarity and new perspectives as a result of the 6 of Swords. This is a card that indicates a healthy balance between the emotions and the intellect, where we can think through even delicate situations, with detached impartiality.

The Truelove: Poet and Philosopher David Whyte on Reaching Beyond Our Limiting Beliefs About What We Deserve

By Maria Popova (


Few things limit us more profoundly than our own beliefs about what we deserve, and few things liberate us more powerfully than daring to broaden our locus of possibility and self-permission for happiness. The stories we tell ourselves about what we are worthy or unworthy of — from the small luxuries of naps and watermelon to the grandest luxury of a passionate creative calling or a large and possible love — are the stories that shape our lives. Bruce Lee knew this when he admonished that “you will never get any more out of life than you expect,” James Baldwin knew it when he admonished that “you’ve got to tell the world how to treat you [because] if the world tells you how you are going to be treated, you are in trouble,” and Viktor Frankl embodied this in his impassioned insistence on saying “yes” to life.

The more vulnerable-making the endeavor, the more reflexive the limitation and the more redemptive the liberation.

That difficult, delicate, triumphal pivot from self-limitation to self-liberation in the most vulnerable-making of human undertakings — love — is what poet and philosopher David Whyte, who thinks deeply about these questions of courage and love, maps out in his stunning poem “The Truelove,” found in his book The Sea in You: Twenty Poems of Requited and Unrequited Love (public library) and read here, by David’s kind assent to my invitation, in his sonorous Irish-tinted English voice, in his singular style of echoing lines to let them reverberate more richly:


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngTHE TRUELOVE
by David Whyte

There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours,
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides,
I remember an old man
who walked every morning
on the grey stones
to the shore of baying seals,
who would press his hat
to his chest in the blustering
salt wind and say his prayer
to the turbulent Jesus
hidden in the water,

and I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
the distant
yet familiar figure
far across the water
calling to them

and how we are all
preparing for that
abrupt waking,
and that calling,
and that moment
we have to say yes,
except it will
not come so grandly
so Biblically
but more subtly
and intimately in the face
of the one you know
you have to love

so that when
we finally step out of the boat
toward them, we find
everything holds
us, and everything confirms
our courage, and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don’t
because finally
after all this struggle
and all these years
you simply don’t want to
any more
you’ve simply had enough
of drowning
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness
however fluid and however
dangerous to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.

“The Truelove” appears in the short, splendid course of poem-anchored contemplative practices David guides for neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris’s Waking Up meditation toolkit, in which he reads each poem, offers an intimate tour of the landscape of experience from which it arose, and reflects on the broader existential quickenings it invites.

Couple this generous gift of a poem with “Sometimes” — David’s perspectival poem about living into the questions of our becoming, also part of Waking Up — then revisit the Noble-winning Polish poet Wisława Szymborska on great love and James Baldwin, who believed that poet are “the only people who know the truth about us” — on love and the illusion of choice.

With Steven Weinberg’s death, physics loses a titan

He advanced the theory of particles and forces, and wrote insightfully for a wider public

By Tom Siegfried

Contributing Correspondent

JULY 24, 2021 AT 9:17 PM (

Steven Weinberg sitting in front of a chalkboard covered in equations
Steven Weinberg in his office at the University of Texas at Austin in 2018.T. SIEGFRIED

Mythology has its titans. So do the movies. And so does physics. Just one fewer now.

Steven Weinberg died July 23, at the age of 88. He was one of the key intellectual leaders in physics during the second half of the 20th century, and he remained a leading voice and active contributor and teacher through the first two decades of the 21st.

On lists of the greats of his era he was always mentioned along with Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann and … well, just Feynman and Gell-Mann.

Among his peers, Weinberg was one of the most respected figures in all of physics or perhaps all of science. He exuded intelligence and dignity. As news of his death spread through Twitter, other physicists expressed their remorse at the loss: “One of the most accomplished scientists of our age,” one commented, “a particularly eloquent spokesman for the scientific worldview.” And another: “One of the best physicists we had, one of the best thinkers of any variety.”

Weinberg’s Nobel Prize, awarded in 1979, was for his role in developing a theory unifying electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force. That was an essential contribution to what became known as the standard model of physics, a masterpiece of explanation for phenomena rooted in the math describing subatomic particles and forces. It’s so successful at explaining experimental results that physicists have long pursued every opportunity to find the slightest deviation, in hopes of identifying “new” physics that further deepens human understanding of nature.

Weinberg did important technical work in other realms of physics as well, and wrote several authoritative textbooks on such topics as general relativity and cosmology and quantum field theory. He was an early advocate of superstring theory as a promising path in the continuing quest to complete the standard model by unifying it with general relativity, Einstein’s theory of gravity.

Early on Weinberg also realized a desire to communicate more broadly. His popular book The First Three Minutes, published in 1977, introduced a generation of physicists and physics fans to the Big Bang–birth of the universe and the fundamental science underlying that metaphor. Later he wrote deeply insightful examinations of the nature of science and its intersection with society. And he was a longtime contributor of thoughtful essays in such venues as the New York Review of Books.

In his 1992 book Dreams of a Final Theory, Weinberg expressed his belief that physics was on the verge of finding the true fundamental explanation of reality, the “final theory” that would unify all of physics. Progress toward that goal seemed to be impeded by the apparent incompatibility of general relativity with quantum mechanics, the math underlying the standard model. But in a 1997 interview, Weinberg averred that the difficulty of combining relativity and quantum physics in a mathematically consistent way was an important clue. “When you put the two together, you find that there really isn’t that much free play in the laws of nature,” he said. “That’s been an enormous help to us because it’s a guide to what kind of theories might possibly work.”

Attempting to bridge the relativity-quantum gap, he believed, “pushed us a tremendous step forward toward being able to develop realistic theories of nature on the basis of just mathematical calculations and pure thought.”

Experiment had to come into play, of course, to verify the validity of the mathematical insights. But the standard model worked so well that finding deviations implied by new physics required more powerful experimental technology than physicists possessed. “We have to get to a whole new level of experimental competence before we can do experiments that reveal the truth beneath the standard model, and this is taking a long, long time,” he said. “I really think that physics in the style in which it’s being done … is going to eventually reach a final theory, but probably not while I’m around and very likely not while you’re around.”

He was right that he would not be around to see the final theory. And perhaps, as he sometimes acknowledged, nobody ever will. Perhaps it’s not experimental power that is lacking, but rather intellectual power. “Humans may not be smart enough to understand the really fundamental laws of physics,” he wrote in his 2015 book To Explain the World, a history of science up to the time of Newton.

Weinberg studied the history of science thoroughly, wrote books and taught courses on it. To Explain the World was explicitly aimed at assessing ancient and medieval science in light of modern knowledge. For that he incurred the criticism of historians and others who claimed he did not understand the purpose of history, which is to understand the human endeavors of an era on its own terms, not with anachronistic hindsight.

But Weinberg understood the viewpoint of the historians perfectly well. He just didn’t like it. For Weinberg, the story of science that was meaningful to people today was how the early stumblings toward understanding nature evolved into a surefire system for finding correct explanations. And that took many centuries. Without the perspective of where we are now, he believed, and an appreciation of the lessons we have learned, the story of how we got here “has no point.”

Future science historians will perhaps insist on assessing Weinberg’s own work in light of the standards of his times. But even if viewed in light of future knowledge, there’s no doubt that Weinberg’s achievements will remain in the realm of the Herculean. Or the titanic.

Questions or comments on this article? E-mail us at

Tom Siegfried

About Tom Siegfried

Tom Siegfried is a contributing correspondent. He was editor in chief of Science News from 2007 to 2012 and managing editor from 2014 to 2017.

James Baldwin on the writer’s life

“I still believe that the unexamined life is not worth living: and I know that self-delusion, in the service of no matter what small or lofty cause, is a price no writer can afford. His subject is himself and the world and it requires every ounce of stamina he can summon to attempt to look on himself and the world as they are.”

James Baldwin


Born this week in 1924 (

Homosexuality and the Bible

Centre Place A look of what the Bible does and doesn’t have to say about homosexuality. In contrast to the claims of many Evangelical Christians, the component texts of the Bible do not condemn same-sex orientation. John Hamer, Pastor of the Community of Christ Toronto Congregation looks at how verses from Sodom and Gomorrah to Leviticus to Paul are routinely misread. This lecture is part of a series of events celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month 2021.

(via and Gwyllm Llwydd)

Famed writer/publisher pursued the meaning of ancient myths

Roberto Calasso, Renaissance Man of Letters, Dies at 80

A Florentine by birth, he was a polymath as an author and publisher (Kafka, Vedic philosophy, Greek mythology) who reached a wide international readership.

By Alexandra Alter

Published July 30, 2021 Updated Aug. 2, 2021 (

Roberto Calasso, the Italian publisher, translator and writer whose wide-ranging works explored the evolution and mysteries of human consciousness, from the earliest myths and rituals to modern civilization, died on Wednesday in Milan. He was 80.

His publishing house, Adelphi, announced the death. No cause was given.

Mr. Calasso was a rare figure in the literary world — an erudite writer and polymath and a savvy publisher who was able to reach a substantial readership for books he released through Adelphi Edizioni, the prestigious Italian publishing house where he worked for some 60 years.

As a writer, he produced more than a dozen works over nearly five decades. His writing defied easy categorization, ranging from his first and only novel, “The Impure Fool,” to his reflections on ancient human consciousness, his study of the 18th-century Venetian artist Giambattista Tiepolo, a book about Franz Kafka, books about Vedic philosophy and Indian mythology, and another about the French clergyman and diplomat Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord.

His work drew international acclaim, and was translated into 28 languages and published in 29 countries.

Much of Mr. Calasso’s writing stemmed from his lifelong preoccupation with ancient myths and their meaning, and with uncovering the common allegories and narrative threads across cultures, eras and civilizations. Fluent in five modern languages and proficient in three ancient ones, including Sanskrit, which he taught himself, Mr. Calasso was fascinated by the question of how humans create meaning through shared stories.

“His books are about how the anthropology of stories is universal,” said Jonathan Galassi, president of Farrar Straus & Giroux, the publisher of eight of Mr. Calasso’s books.

Mr. Calasso was best known for a 1988 book (translated into English in 1993) that braided together ancient myths into a novelistic, genre defying work of literature, philosophy, psychology and history.
Mr. Calasso was best known for a 1988 book (translated into English in 1993) that braided together ancient myths into a novelistic, genre defying work of literature, philosophy, psychology and history.

He was perhaps best known for his vivid and poetic writing on Greek mythology in “The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony” (1988), which braided together ancient myths into a novelistic, genre defying work of literature, philosophy, psychology and history. It found a wide international readership and was praised by Gore Vidal as “a perfect work like no other” in reimagining “the morning of our world.”

Mr. Calasso later published “Ka,” an exuberant exploration of Indian religion and philosophy, which The New York Review of Books praised for its “ecstatic insight and cross-cultural synthesis.”

“Calasso carved out a new space as an intellectual, retelling myth as true, certainly as true as science,” Tim Parks, who worked with Mr. Calasso on the English translation of “The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony,” said in an interview. “His implication is always that we are as subject as our ancestors were to the forces that find their names in Zeus or Venus or Yahweh or Shiva.”

In a 2012 interview with The Paris Review, Mr. Calasso spoke about humanity’s search for transcendence, be it through art, nature or religion, as his central intellectual pursuit. “All of my books have to do with possession,” he said. “Ebbrezza — rapture — is a word connected with possession. In Greek the word is mania, madness. For Plato it was the main path to knowledge.”

Roberto Calasso was born in Florence, Italy, in 1941, into a family of prodigious intellectuals. His maternal grandfather, Ernesto Codignola, was a professor of philosophy at the University of Florence and founded a publishing house, La Nuova Italia. His father, Francesco Calasso, taught the history of law at the University of Florence, and his mother, Melisenda Calasso, was a literary scholar and translator.

With the rise of fascism in Italy, his father was persecuted for his anti-fascist views. When Roberto was 3, the family went into hiding after his father was jailed and accused of conspiring to kill Giovanni Gentile, an intellectual who considered himself the founding philosopher of Italian fascism.

In 1954, his family moved to Rome, where Mr. Calasso fell in love with cinema and with Greek and Roman literature and mythology. In 1962, when he was 21, he started working at the newly formed publishing house Adelphi Edizioni, with the promise that it would be a place where editors could “publish the books we truly liked,” Mr. Calasso told The Paris Review.

A decade later, he became editorial director and quickly developed a reputation for his distinctive tastes and his passion for publishing underappreciated writers like Robert Walser and the German poet Gottfried Benn.

“He was always finding writers who hadn’t had their due and he was always good at publicizing them when he published a book,” Mr. Galassi said. “He was kind of a literary magician.”

Adelphi also published translations of literary titans like J.R.R. Tolkien, Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges and Milan Kundera, as well as books on animal behavior, physics and Tibetan religious texts.

To his authors Mr. Calasso was unfailingly supportive, the writer William Dalrymple said. “If he liked a book and admired an author,” he said, “he could be a loyal and powerful ally and would put his full authority and reputation behind it.”

In “The Art of the Publisher,” his reflections on his decades in publishing, Mr. Calasso was diffident about the commercial side of publishing, noting that “publishing has often shown itself to be a sure and rapid way of squandering substantial amounts of money.” He eventually became the president of Adelphi and helped preserve its independence when he bought a majority stake in the company himself, thwarting a sale to the Mondadori Group, a major European media company.

In a 2015 interview with The New York Times, Mr. Calasso described how perceptions of Adelphi sharply varied.

“At the beginning,” he said, “we were considered rather eccentric and aristocratic. Then, when we started to have remarkable commercial successes, we were accused of being too populist. That was curious because we were publishing exactly the same books.”

As both a writer and a publisher, Mr. Calasso described his works as a single, ongoing project.

“He’s almost impossible to classify, because his range of ideas, his range of thoughts, goes so far and wide,” Richard Dixon, who translated five of Mr. Calasso’s books, said in a phone interview. “He often puts together and juxtaposes ideas where the connection isn’t always obvious.”

Mr. Dixon said that shortly after he learned of Mr. Calasso’s death, he received a package from Mr. Calasso with his two latest books, including a memoir about his childhood in fascist Italy.

“Although Roberto could seem quite intimidating, there was something extraordinarily generous and kind about him,” he said.

Mr. Dalrymple said that though Mr. Calasso could come across as an imposing, uncompromising intellectual in public appearances, he was “charm incarnate” at parties.

And the novelist Lawrence Osborne, who worked with Mr. Calasso on the Italian editions of four of his novels, described him as “quietly inquisitive” and a connoisseur of Negronis, which he and Mr. Osborne drank “in stupendous quantities” while talking about literature and Asian culture.

“For me he was the greatest European publisher of his time and one of our greatest writers — an exceptionally rare combination,” Mr. Osborne said. “Moreover, he was a true Florentine deep down, as I always thought, embodying the urbane tolerance and refinement of that city.”

Mr. Calasso is survived by his wife, the Swiss writer Fleur Jaeggy, and two children, Josephine and Tancredi Calasso, both from his previous marriage to the German writer Anna Katharina Fröhlich.

In his book, “The Celestial Hunter,” Mr. Calasso described writing as something akin to the primordial urge to hunt.

“A book is written when there is something specific that has to be discovered,” he wrote. “The writer doesn’t know what it is, nor where it is, but knows it has to be found. The hunt then begins. The writing begins.”

Gaia Pianigiani contributed reporting from Italy

(Submitted by Michael Kelly, H.W.)

The Akashic Records with Wendy Cicchetti and Misty Tripoli

Wendy Cicchetti | Twixt Earth and Sky Join Wendy Cicchetti and Misty Tripoli to learn how you can access the Akashic Records, what they are and how they will benefit you. To learn more and to sign up for an Akashic Records reading or for classes on how to access the Akashic Records contact (note: just for you, use COUPON CODE ‘akashic’ for discounted pricing on both readings and classes. The next series of classes begins on Sunday, August 29th. Contact Misty at

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