Calendar Page

Special Days and Aspects for August 2004

August 2004

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Welcome to August! Click on a date in the calendar to see the current aspects and events for that day.


August 1, 2004


Happy Birthday to
Eleonora!
 

Mercury at 5 degrees Virgo opposite retrograde Uranus in Pisces
Mercury opposite Uranus is an impatient transit, and mental processes and communication can be prone to error and sloppiness. There’s a chance for insights, but don’t run with them. Write them down and check them in a few days, because they might be just plain wrong. With Mercury in perfectionist Virgo while Uranus is retrograde and in Pisces, you might even find yourself insisting on the correctness of something you later find out is incorrect.

Lammas: Under its original name, the Gule of August, this festival marking the first harvest of the year was one of the four major holidays in Britain in pagan times. The others were Imbolc (February 2), Beltane (May 1) and Samhain (November 1). In the medieval era, the August festival took on Christian trappings and came to be called “Lammas” — a foreshortening of “Loaf Mass” — because people would bring loaves of bread made from the first ripened grain to Mass to be blessed. In Ireland, the ancient pagan harvest festival on this day is Lúgnasa or Lughnasadh. It was once a day for hilltop water rituals, but is now more often celebrated with picnics and berry-picking in the hills.

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August 2, 2004

Nebuta Matsuri: The story behind this Japanese festival in Aomori Prefecture centers on an eighth-century military leader who padded his army with dummies and fooled rebel soldiers in the area into abandoning their fight because they believed they could not win. The festival features parades of “nebuta,” papier-mâché animals, monsters, birds and warriors illuminated from inside. Revelers dance in the streets, wearing hats made of flowers. The party runs August 1-7.

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August 3, 2004

Dog Days continue: The brightest star, the Dog Star Sirius, rises with the Sun and oversees the hottest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, lasting from July 3 until August 11.

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August 4, 2004


Happy Birthday to
smackerbox!
 

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August 5, 2004

Dog Days continue: The brightest star, the Dog Star Sirius, rises with the Sun and oversees the hottest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, lasting from July 3 until August 11.

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August 6, 2004

Sun at 14 degrees Leo opposite retrograde Neptune in Aquarius
The heightened sensitivity and vulnerability that this transit evokes can be deeply moving in the right context, particularly if one is able to spend the day with the right understanding companion. Or it can make people feel misunderstood, confused, demoralized and not up to the challenges around them.

Jupiter at 19 degrees Virgo square retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
Desire to improve the way things are squares off with resistance in some form, possibly including a conflict with authorities. Be scrupulously ethical, stand up for what you believe, but be prepared to let the chips fall where they may. Success, if it comes, will be hard-fought.

Hiroshima Peace Ceremony: It was August 6 in Japan (August 5 in the United States) when U.S. forces dropped the atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima in 1945 in the last stages of World War II. The war ended August 15 with Japan’s surrender. A ceremony is held every year on August 6 at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima in honor of the victims of the first atomic weapons. Lanterns are set adrift and prayers are offered. For more about Hiroshima and the human toll of nuclear weapons, please see the article in the March 2003 issue, Lest We Forget... (A graphic look at nuclear horrors).

Feast of the Transfiguration: Religious holiday for Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican/Episcopalian churches, celebrating a transcendant event in the lives of Jesus and his closest disciples. Praying on a mountaintop with Peter, James and John, Jesus’ face shone like the Sun. Moses, representing the Law, and Elijah, representing the Prophets, appeared and spoke to him. Then a voice from a bright cloud announced, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased. Listen to him.”

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August 7, 2004

Moon Phase
Last-quarter Moon in Taurus, 22:01 Universal Time.

Venus enters Cancer
Venus expresses her love through family relationships this month, as she begins her turn in home-oriented Cancer. Even the most stoic of earth signs and the flightiest of air signs will feel the odd stab of sentimentality and take secret solace in the warmth of nostalgia as bridge-building Venus concentrates on our closest and most permanent relationships.

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August 8, 2004

Dog Days continue: The brightest star, the Dog Star Sirius, rises with the Sun and oversees the hottest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, lasting from July 3 until August 11.

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August 9, 2004

Dog Days continue: The brightest star, the Dog Star Sirius, rises with the Sun and oversees the hottest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, lasting from July 3 until August 11.

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August 10, 2004

Mercury at 8 degrees Virgo goes retrograde
One step forward and two steps back. You know the drill — avoid signing contracts while Mercury is retrograde, or at least double-check them. Back up important computer files. Expect glitches and delays involving transportation and communication technology. Prepare for misunderstandings. Try to be clear and patient, but don’t try to over-control. Some of this is simply out of your hands.

Mars enters Virgo
The stage is set for some serious accomplishment as the Mars energy of initiative and action gets down to business in hardworking Virgo. There is a tendency towards the quarrelsome here, if the work requires cooperation with others. But if one makes the opportunity to cloister herself away to work alone, much can be achieved while Mars transits Virgo.

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August 11, 2004

Perseid Meteor Showers: August 10-12 is usually the peak viewing time for the annual meteor showers in the area of the constellation Perseus. The shootings stars have made a yearly appearance since the year 830.

Dog Days end: The brightest star, the Dog Star Sirius, rises with the Sun and oversees the hottest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, lasting from July 3 until today.

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August 12, 2004

Sun at 19 degrees Leo trine retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
The strength and power of the Leonine Sun is magnified today through the lens of intense Pluto. Pluto’s magnetism drives the strong Lion, and together they give us a day perfect for asserting our needs and finding resolution to uncertain situations. Just know when to hit the brakes, as there is a big difference between being confidently assertive and downright ruthless!

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August 13, 2004

Venus at 5 degrees Cancer trine retrograde Uranus in Pisces
Venus, the patroness of the arts, trines dynamically space-age Uranus, lending a beautiful, creative, inspiring quality to the day. Carve out some time to paint, write, dance or dream — you won’t be disappointed!

Obon, Festival of Souls: This is a Japanese Buddhist holiday, during which the spirits of the dead are believed to make joyful visits home. Family-based rituals take place on the 13-15 of July or August, depending on the region of Japan. Japanese communities in California and Chicago also celebrate the occasion. Traditionally, bonfires are set outside homes to welcome the spirits, meals are prepared for them and people speak to them as though they were present. Communities join together for a Dance of Rejoicing, or Bon-Odori, to please the visiting souls. On the final night, bonfires are set again, to light the spirits’ way back whence they came.

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August 14, 2004

Pakistan Independence Day: Part of the British colony of India since the 18th century, Pakistan gained independence on this day in 1947.

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August 15, 2004

Retrograde Mercury at 7 degrees Virgo sextile Venus in Cancer
This is a good day for being a homebody, puttering around and enjoying little, lighthearted projects with the family.

India Independence Day: India won its long nonviolent struggle for freedom from Britain on this day in 1947, following passage of the India Independence Act by the British Parliament.

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Known as the Assumption to Catholics and as the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God in Eastern Orthodox churches, this is a religious holiday honoring the belief that the body of Mary the mother of Jesus was resurrected just after her death and assumed into heaven to rejoin her soul.

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August 16, 2004

Moon Phase
New Moon in Leo, 1:24 Universal Time.

St. Roch’s Day: Italy and Spain hold summer festivals in honor of St. Roque, Rock or Roch, a Frenchman who made a pilgrimage to Rome in the late 1300s. The plague struck while he was there, and he spent his time doing miraculous healings. When he fell ill himself, his faithful dog kept him supplied with food until he recovered. He is a patron saint of the sick.

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August 17, 2004

Jupiter at 21 degrees Virgo sextile Saturn in Cancer
Here’s an aspect the planet can really use, and it will be in range for a few weeks. The sextile of Jupiter and Saturn provides the opportunity to attain maturity and balance, to understand and embrace one’s duties with pride born of understanding the value of what one does for the sake of what is good and right. Enthusiasm and prudence work together in harmonious balance. The signs involved, Virgo, representing service to others, and Cancer, representing the home, indicate the arenas where a new sense of maturity can well be applied.

San Martín Day: This national holiday in Argentina honors José Francisco de San Martín, a fighter for independence who led forces across the Andes mountains to defeat the Spanish in Chile and Peru in the early 1800s, freeing much of the region from colonial rule.

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August 18, 2004

Mars at 5 degrees Virgo opposite retrograde Uranus in Pisces
It can get ugly when these two planets face off. This transit gives rise to explosive releases of tension, perhaps in response to situations that suddenly reveal secret enemies or other disturbing things people would rather not face. Then again, the idea that a secret enemy has been revealed could be a deception or excuse for lashing out rashly at others. There’s a danger of sudden violence here. Find better ways to blow off steam.

Retrograde Mercury at 5 degrees Virgo conjunct Mars
Retrograde Mercury adds to the potential for glitches and misunderstandings and feeds into the tension of the Mars-Uranus opposition.

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August 19, 2004


Happy Birthday to astrojunkie!
Happy Birthday to The Leo Guy!
 

Retrograde Mercury at 5 degrees Virgo opposite retrograde Uranus in Pisces
This is the second hit of the dicey mental energy that marked August 1. The same warnings are in effect. But now, with Mercury gone on its glitch-producing retrograde and now also conjunct Mars-the-warrior, the warnings have gained urgency. Think of this as a tornado warning, an intensification of the August 1 tornado watch. Mercury opposite Uranus is an impatient transit, and mental processes and communication can be prone to error and sloppiness. There’s a chance for insights, but don’t run with them. Write them down and check them in a few days, because they might be just plain wrong. With Mercury in perfectionist Virgo while Uranus is retrograde and in Pisces, you might even find yourself insisting on the correctness of something you later find out is incorrect.

Aviation Day: The birthday of airplane inventor Orville Wright in 1871 was declared Aviation Day by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939.

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August 20, 2004

Pateti, the Parsi New Year: Start of the year 1374 for the Parsi culture, a Zoroastrian sect in India descended from Persian refugees of the seventh and eighth centuries. Some groups of Parsis start their year earlier, with the vernal equinox.

Nag Panchami: In Hinduism, the creator god Vishnu reclines on the coils of a serpent, and this holiday honors the snake, or nag. Offerings of milk and flowers are made to snakes, both real ones and images at shrines.

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August 21, 2004


Happy Birthday to
leohead!
 

Homage to Cuauhtemoc: Conchero dancers in feathered headdresses lead the celebrations in Mexico City in honor of the last Aztec emperor, whose kingdom was conquered by the Spanish.

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August 22, 2004

Sun enters Virgo
Say goodbye to the sometimes brash, occasionally arrogant, but always loveable Leo. Today the Sun enters Mercury-ruled Virgo and ushers in a new phase of learning through your daily activities, with a focus on service and work. Trade in those luxurious Gucci shoes for a practical pair of runners and prepare to buckle down!

Seven Sisters Festival: It’s the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar, making it Seven Sisters Day, now sometimes called Chinese Valentine’s Day. Chinese legends tell a few different versions of the tale, but basically, the hardworking, lonely, youngest maiden of seven sisters marries a hardworking cowherd, but the two are forced to live apart, seeing each other only on the seventh day of the seventh Moon. Now they are stars on opposite sides of the river of the Milky Way: the maiden (a weaver) is Vega, and her cowherd lover is Altair. On Double 7 Day, they cross a bridge made of thousands of magpies to renew their love. In Chinese communities, the unmarried of both genders give offerings and honors to the legendary lovers on this night, in hopes of finding love so lasting.

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August 23, 2004

Moon Phase
First-quarter Moon in Sagittarius, 10:12 Universal Time.

Sun at 1 degree Virgo conjunct retrograde Mercury
The Sun’s enlightening effect on thought and communication brings new clarity to minds buffeted about by some of the sloppy, confusing and menacing mental transits earlier in the month.

Vulcanalia: With the season of forest fires about to begin, ancient cultures in Egypt, Athens and Rome would appease Vulcan, god of destructive fire, by making ritual burnt offerings of food on Vulcanalia.

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August 24, 2004


Happy Birthday to
Biss!
 

Ukraine Independence Day: Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union on this day in 1991, just after a failed coup in Moscow. In a subsequent election at year’s end, 90 percent of Ukrainians voted for independence.

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August 25, 2004

Retrograde Mercury enters Leo
Mercury slides back into the realm of creative, playful ideas, asking us to rethink projects we started work on about this time last month when Mercury entered Virgo. Mercury will station in Leo September 1 and head back toward practical Virgo, so this is a good time to consider conceptual adjustments and prepare to put them in practice.

Belarus Independence Day: Belarus declared independence from the Soviet Union the day after Ukraine in 1991 and likewise secured independence by year’s end.

Uruguay Independence Day: Uruguay declared independence from Portugal in 1825.

Khordad Sal: Parsis, a Zoroastrian culture descended from Persians and living in India, celebrate the birth of the sixth-century prophet Zoroaster on this day. The occasion is celebrated with prayers and feasting. Some sects of Parsis observe the holiday on a different day according to a different calendar.

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August 26, 2004


Happy Birthday to enchantress299!
Happy Birthday to freesoul268!
 

Susan B. Anthony Day: American women won the right to vote on this day in 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, thanks to the efforts of the suffragist movement led by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.

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August 27, 2004

Sun at 4 degrees Virgo opposite retrograde Uranus in Pisces
See how you are! Surprises from the subconscious mind, or from out of the swirl of some sense of shared human consciousness, could strike from out of the blue, hoping to reveal something to you about yourself, in relation to others. Such realizations could come in a broader sense, showing people something about the human condition and human interactions. The realizations could be upsetting.

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August 28, 2004


Happy Birthday to
Rusty!
 

Feast of St. Augustine: The patron saint of theologians and scholars, St. Augustine is famous for the philosophical quality of his fourth-century Christian writings. But he is just as famous for having converted after a misspent youth. As a drunken and promiscuous young man, he was said to have often prayed, “O, God, make me pure — but not yet.”

Thiru Onam: The state of Kerala, India, celebrates the golden reign of King Mahabali, a legendary king of old whose wish to visit his people once a year was said to have been granted by the Hindu god Vishnu before the king’s death. Carpets of flowers decorate the front of houses throughout the state, and people of every religion join in the feasting, boat races and performances given during the festival, which lasts for 10 days.

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August 29, 2004


Happy Birthday to
woodchiro!
 

Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist: A religious holiday since the fourth century honoring the cousin of Jesus who proclaimed the coming of Jesus and was martyred by King Herod.

Narali Purnima: An important day for the Kolis, a fishing community in Bombay. They pray to the sea and make offerings to it of coconuts (called naral in Marathi). As the word Purnima suggests, it’s a full-Moon day.

Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi): Celebrated today or tomorrow, based on locale. In India, sisters tie a golden thread around the wrists of their brothers and pray for their long, healthy and prosperous lives. Brothers reaffirm their intentions about always protecting and caring for their sisters. For more about Raksha Bandhan, please see the article in the August 2003 issue, August Power Days of India.

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August 30, 2004

Moon Phase
Full Moon in Pisces, 2:22 Universal Time.

Pluto at 19 degrees Sagittarius goes direct
After a five-month retrograde, Pluto, the planet representing veiled but vast transformational power, goes direct in the sign associated with sages, higher education, publishing and the world scene. Sagittarian impulses, and institutions like universities and the media, could be emboldened in their exercise of power.

Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi): In India, sisters tie a golden thread around the wrists of their brothers and pray for their long, healthy and prosperous lives. Brothers reaffirm their intentions about always protecting and caring for their sisters. For more about Raksha Bandhan, please see the article in the August 2003 issue, August Power Days of India.

Yue Laan, the Hungry Ghost Festival: The seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar is Ghost Month, which began August 16. The gates between the worlds are thought to be open, and wandering spirits must be entertained, avoided or otherwise placated all month, but especially today under the Full Moon. Families customarily burn paper representations of things their relatives who have gone on might need to be comfortable in the afterworld, including play money.

Birth of Hazrat Ali: The son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad is honored by the Shia group within the Islamic faith. Sunnis, on the other hand, do not consider Ali to have been one of the holy leaders of the early faith. The martyrdom of Ali’s sons is remembered in another Shia holiday, known as Ashura (or Moharram), which, like this one, is not observed by Sunnis.

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August 31, 2004

Venus at 23 degrees Cancer conjunct Saturn
The practical considerations of Saturn constrict the effusiveness of Venusian affections. A sober loyalty is reflected in family relations, but it’s not a particularly good day for romance.

Solidarity Day: The Polish labor union Solidarnosc was formed on this day in 1980 at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk. The union played a major role in toppling the Polish Communist Party from power, and the changes spread to other Soviet-bloc countries in Europe.

Merdeka Day: Malaysia celebrates its independence from the British, gained in 1957.

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Astrology by Maria Barron and Terri Smallwood
Holidays compiled by Maria Barron, Anindita Basu and Sucheta Shetty
Birthday graphics by Maria Barron for Metamorphosis

For an astrological look at the month as a whole,
please see August Star Watch in this issue.