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Nadia Akingbule

gal-dem horoscopes: Follow routes to freedom this Leo season

August’s skies push us to confront our fears, and to live as our authentic selves.

02 Aug

What does freedom feel like to you? It’s August, and Leo season is here.

When we embrace Leo energy, we embrace the formidable task of showing the world exactly who we are. This is what lies at the core of this fire sign’s fearlessness. The lion’s heart and courage that we love about our dear Leos.

From a young age, we’re taught we must hide certain parts of who we are to be worthy of love, respect, and (often sadly) basic humanity. Whether this begins from our loving but imperfect caregivers, or the taunts from other children in the playground, it’s only human nature that we want to evade shame, win the approval of others, and protect ourselves from ostracisation. As we reckon with our craving for acceptance and community (two important facets of the drive to be understood), a constant negotiation happens within us. How much of myself do I reveal today? Which mask makes the most sense to wear in this setting?

It’s a dialogue that queer folks and people of colour are all too aware of. That cleanly bifurcated consciousness of how ‘norms’ function and what ‘should’ be done, while still knowing so much of themselves is yet to be revealed. Parts of us we yearn to show the world.  

August’s astrology forces us to confront our scarcity mindsets, and the modes of fear we’re operating from. To merge that duality is an act of rebellion that both liberates the authentic self, and gives others permission to be courageous, too. 

Many of the journeys we’re most worried about starting are about to abruptly begin, whether we’re ready or not. On 1 August, action-oriented Mars’ overlap with freedom-seeker Uranus moves us aggressively towards freedom and core life changes. This all happens with the North Node of destiny too, making sure that events occurring around this time, no matter how spontaneous they seem, move us towards karmic alignment. On a societal level, expect radical power shifts and political leaders to fall from grace.

A few days later on 4 August, communication planet Mercury moves into earthy Virgo which brings some rationality and reason into our no-so-organised worlds. For the duration of the time that Mercury moves through Virgo (until 25 August), focus on the facts rather than getting lost in the opinions of others. Lists and routines are more grounding than you think.

“Focus on the facts rather than getting lost in the opinions of others. Lists and routines are more grounding than you think”

Venus, planet of aesthetics and value, blazes into Leo on 11 August and injects us with that perfect ‘fake it till you make it’ attitude; helping us strut (not sulk) through the rubble of whatever feels unstable at the moment. Then, in the wee hours of the night on 12 August, the full moon in air sign Aquarius lights up our sky. Expect it to resurface the emotions brewed and catalysed by events which kicked off at the beginning of the month. Release toxicity in your social circles, relationships, and whatever isn’t serving your wider dreams.

19 August brings Mars’ move into chatty air sign Gemini, stimulating our sense of urgency and desire to ‘do it all’. Remember, you don’t have eight arms, so don’t pretend you do. Multitasking might be easier during this time, but so is the onset of burnout. Be aware of your energy levels, and respect your bodily needs.

Messenger Mercury moves into Libra on 26 August, creating an environment for communication where smooth talkers and diplomatic delegations flourish. Brush up on your poetics, and let yourself be as long-winded as you need when getting a point across. It’s all part of the process. 

Finally, the month rounds off with a new moon in Virgo on 27 August that serves us tough love and cold, hard facts. Try not to over-rationalise your feelings during this time just because it’s easier. Starting again is never easy, so don’t expect it all to make sense at once.

“To be genuinely loved and understood, we have to be our genuine selves. Trust that the right people will see your light”

Work towards developing a comfort in being misunderstood this Leo season. Ask yourself: what excites me about beginning again? What scares me? Remember that no one can take away what deep in your mind and soul you know is yours. To be genuinely loved and understood, we have to be our genuine selves. Trust that the right people will see your light.

With all of this in mind, here are my thoughts for each sign this Leo season.

Aries & Aries Rising

What material needs are you afraid to live without, Aries? Do you trust enough in your community to show up for you when you’re in need?

August is asking you to reframe your relationship to how you fear ‘dependency’. Look for bonds in your communities that are consistent and fill your cup; that never make you feel rejected at your core. As money matters shift, new pathways towards your goals will unfold. Put faith in the fact that moments of turbulence and change will eventually amount to you finding a more grounded way forward. Focus your manifestations on feeling empowered in your fiscal adventures. Set intentions around trusting your intuition in group dynamics.

Taurus & Taurus Rising

When essential parts of who you are begin to evolve, you’re not betraying anyone, Taurus. Can you release feelings of guilt when your path no longer aligns with who people expect you to be?

This month’s astrology is pulling you away from ‘the old you’. It’s a soul-altering departure that tugs at your fixed nature; begging your ego to detach from a sense of identity that no longer serves you. It’s time to step into leadership roles, make that difficult career decision, and take responsibility for your true feelings and expressions of self. Let people raise eyebrows at behaviours you develop that don’t connect to their narrative of you, or a surprising and sudden wardrobe change. Manifest strength to commit to responsibilities you’ve ignored up until now, and set intentions around honouring your needs rather than losing yourself in interpersonal dynamics.

Gemini & Gemini Rising

August is a major purge for you, dear Gemini. Are you trying to rationalise the change away, or diving into the unknown headfirst?

Saying goodbye is never easy; especially when you feel it’s not a choice you had any say in. Whether it’s plans that you’ve had your heart set on for a long time unravelling, or your relationship(s) falling apart, remember that rebuilding something new is always an option no matter your age and stage. Your ability to see infinite options in front of you is a superpower that will make this next phase as exciting and invigorating as it is tricky. Seek the support of books, new philosophies, and above all, the friendships that need nurturing. On the full moon, reset your perspective on the future and make some exciting travel plans. Set intentions around finding home within yourself.

Cancer & Cancer Rising

Revelations are coming your way this August, Cancer. Who or what are you disentangling yourself from? How are you releasing the notion of ‘forever’?

You’re no stranger to nestling yourself in the embrace of your loved ones. Cosying into what feels safe, and constructing meaningful one-on-one dynamics comes easily to you. But how do you need to feel nourished by a community? In what ways do you want to be held by people who share your ethos and creative passions? Watch as your social groups get shaken up simply by you realising that you want more or less from them. Focus on manifesting stability and bonds that you relate to ‘foreverness’, and sow seeds that help you become a more active part of the groups that bring you joy. 

Leo & Leo Rising

Your season is here, Leo. Happy solar return! August lines your sky with serious steps towards your higher truth, and big career-related decisions. Are you ready to look forwards, not backwards?

As you shine in the fullness of who you know yourself to be, have you noticed that there are some expectations being put on you? Titles like role model and inspiration can feel restrictive and intimidating at times, especially when you’re a community connector. It’s time to return to yourself. Refresh what your core values and desires are; the type of leader you want to be. Operating from there rather than the desires of others will make the unexpected events coming your way make more sense. Focus on finding the right pace in your romantic relationships by releasing old patterns of attachment that no longer serve you. Look to build a type of independence that doesn’t require external validation.

Virgo & Virgo Rising

How hard do you lean on your facts, frameworks, and structures to organise your world, Virgo? August’s astrology is shaking up the ethos that you often ground yourself in and testing your flexibility.

This could cause you to confront one of your least favourite aspects of life – not having all of the information you want right away. Escapism might feel like the only option to cope when your world shifts unexpectedly and things simply don’t make sense – but this isn’t the case! Running away spontaneously solves emotions on a temporary basis. Focus on long term solutions that stem from you speaking your truth and embracing new routines. Release becomes easier when you redefine your daily environment and reclaim what was always yours. 

Libra & Libra Rising

Are secrets being revealed around you, Libra? Difficult confrontations come your way this Leo season; putting your relationship to the personal v private in flux. How inwards do you need to be, and who do you trust?

Committing to shadow work and releasing a control-based mindset are two of the most fruitful ventures you can embark on this month. When darknesses that you thought were buried emerge with a vengeance (especially ones you’re tied into), are you able to separate your past self from the current? Practise self-forgiveness, and allow space for your old decisions to follow you without haunting your world. Look for moments of creative joy between the heaviness of it. Seek sexy celebrations and inspiring environments that keep your vision and sensual vibes from being dragged through the mud. 

Scorpio & Scorpio Rising

How does reactiveness play a role in your partnerships, Scorpio? Questions of intentionality and anger in your personal dynamic rise up through this month’s sky; inviting in a reevaluation of how you commit your time to others.

When you devote yourself to somebody else on a soul level, there are few bonds that are more formidable. You understand how serious tying your life to someone else’s is, Scorpio. Do you feel like your lover(s) are as in it as you are? If this isn’t the case, it’s up to you to make your feelings heard rather than brooding about. Rule by fear or possessiveness doesn’t work in love. Focus on fostering feelings of safety in your closest relationships; platonic or romantic. Trust that as someone reveals themselves by reacting to events outside of anyone’s control, this is the universe imparting valuable information about who you’re surrounded by.

Sagittarius & Sagittarius Rising

Do you often push the limits of your physical body, Sagittarius? Frustrations arise this month when you’re confronted with the ways in which you can’t always just ‘power through’.

As you pay more close attention to your form during this time, a change in routine might be in order. The keyword in embarking on any new journey of tending to  your physical well being is patience, dear fire sign. Although your zippy and enthusiastic spirit craves immediate results, only time can tell you the full story. Balance this self-reckoning with the warm embrace of friends who live nearby, and the fruitfulness of your local community. Merge yourself with the environment you’re in, even if it’s only a temporary one.

Capricorn & Capricorn Rising

The places that you find joy and wonder are shifting in confusing ways this month, Capricorn. Which artists inspire you? Who amongst the writers and poets have been your constant companion?

Remember that your playfulness is forever tied to your artistic outputs, dear earth sign. Experimentation and play are core aspects of what you generate. You can’t treat your creative work the same way you treat admin tasks, nor should you. August is about allowing yourself to fail forward in your imagination, and see from new perspectives that you’ve previously written off for being juvenile or mundane. Step off your high horse and play in the mud for a change. What you find there will surprise you.

Aquarius & Aquarius Rising

What in your private world needs dealing with at the moment, Aquarius? Your safe spaces and places are loaded territory right now because of what’s been left unsaid.

August exposes what needs to be uncovered in your familial dynamics and spaces that feel like home. Whether this is an unspoken grudge that’s been causing distance between you and your flatmate, or a gnarly family secret that’s bubbling over, it’s time for you to tackle things head-on. Let this month unearth the messiness that you take time sorting through with care and precision. The full moon in your sign is here to help you detach your ego from those events and take responsibility for what’s yours.

Pisces & Pisces Rising

You’re learning on the job right now, Pisces. The quick exchange of old and new is dizzying in your sky this August; surprising elements in your present are transitioning to the past, and you’re being plunged into new vulnerable positions.

But are you really vulnerable when you’re in a learning phase? Embracing being a student to life is essential in transitory times like now. Ground yourself in the safety of your own heart and community when it feels like it, and trust that whoever you’re learning from has your best interest. Purge as much as you feel called to in order to make space for fresh knowledge and bonds.

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