Venus has recently retired from her role as the Morning Star, as she moves toward her conjunction with the Sun. After the shadow period of the eclipses and the heavy energies the outer planet have brought to the fore, this transit brings a welcomed levity to the astrological currents! The Sun and Venus will be exactly conjunct on Aug. 14, in the sign of Leo. However, from Aug. 4 to 24, the Sun and Venus will stay within 3 degrees of one another. Venus is a magnetic energy, attracting love, beauty, wealth, and pleasure into our lives. Mars, the planet of drive and desire, hovers nearby the Sun and Venus, heightening the passion as the three move through the fire sign. As the trio moves into Virgo, fleet-footed Mercury comes up fast on their heels, followed by the Moon. These five astrological planets will form a stellium (a grouping of several planets in a sign) in Virgo at the time of the New Moon on Aug. 30. Our focus transforms as the heartfelt self-expression of Leo matures into the quiet strength of self-possession and discernment of Virgo.
The Summer Triangle is at its most prominent during the season from which it gets its name. The Summer Triangle is another example of an asterism — a readily identifiable pattern of stars in the sky. Unlike the Teapot (featured in the July 2019 edition of Moonshine Ink), the Summer Triangle asterism is not a smaller part of one constellation, but links the three brightest stars of three separate constellations. Geometrically, its shape most closely resembles an isosceles triangle, with one short leg and two longer ones. It is fully visible high in the eastern sky at sunset. At this time, Vega is the highest point of the triangle. Vega is the brightest star of the asterism and belongs to the Lyra constellation. From Vega, a hop down and left brings our eyes to Deneb, the dimmest star of the triplet, but the brightest in the Cygnus constellation. Then, a long leap to the right takes our gaze to Altair, in the Aquila constellation. Using Saturn as a guidepost, we can follow the path of the Milky Way northward to find where it passes through the Summer Triangle. It occupies a large area of the sky, so be sure you have an unobstructed view! These three first-magnitude stars will acquaint you with the celestial neighborhood in which the Harp (Lyra), Swan (Cygnus), and Eagle (Aquila) all reside.