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by Shirley Johnson Astrology continues to remind us that we are part of nature. In the same way that the planets shift, weather and seasons shift, nature shifts, and we shift. We start August with the Sun in the sign of Leo. Leo is naturally ruled by the Sun, and is known for its warm-hearted, loyal, and creative nature as well as for its challenges of detaching. Leo is the ruler of both the physical heart and the energetic heart center in the body. Let this be a time of year that you let yourself “think” from the heart. Naturally at this time of the year, our heart center is illuminated and asking to take the lead. This is a great time of year to practice compassion, not only for others but for yourself. Be compassionate and listen to your needs – take the time that you need for yourself. On August 20th, planet of communication, Mercury, will go retrograde. I envision retrogrades as similar to a yoga inversion practice; it feels scary as we approach it, once we are in the inversion/retrograde we have to make some adjustments to maintain, and once we come out of it, we feel all the benefits of it. Mercury retrograde in Virgo may ask us to 1) commit to our health 2) share our services and help others and 3) spend time organizing the 1st half of the year and filing receipts, organizing shelves, purging our closets, etc. This retrograde will prepare us for the busy fall ahead of us and create space for new business and new acquaintances to come!