August 2021's New Moon In Leo Will Bring Shocking Change

Although the lunar event is hosted by the confident Lion, it forms a tense square to rebellious Uranus, so steel yourself for the unexpected.

Every year, from approximately July 22 to August 22, the sun moves through Leo, the fixed fire sign with an appetite for drama, luxury, and taking empowered action to make even the loftiest goals a reality. This passionate season can pump up your confidence and have you feeling ready to take on whatever curveballs come your way. And while it's awesome to feel so self-assured, you'll want to prepare yourself for surprises around the Lion's August new moon.

On Sunday, August 8 at 9:49 a.m. ET/6:49 a.m. PT, the new moon falls at 16 degrees of the driven, charismatic fixed fire sign Leo. Here's what it means and how you can best cope with the moment's electrifying nature.

What New Moons Mean

The 101 on new moons: As the astrological "counterpoint" to full moons, new moons occur when the moon is not illuminated by the sun from our vantage point on Earth, giving way to a sky that's hauntingly dark, blank, and full of possibility — a sky that can almost serve as your very own vision board on which you can project your most powerful intentions.

In general, new moons are an opportunity to gain clarity around your big-picture goals, dreams, and projects. You might even use the energy to do a ritual like talking to your therapist or a loved one, journaling, lighting a candle, or doing a visualization practice. However, it does bear noting that some new moons are better suited to intention-setting and ritual than others — but more on that in a bit.

New moons are also the first page of a whole new chapter in your life that will reach a culmination point when there's a corresponding full moon in the same sign — in this case, on February 16, 2022, when there's a full moon in Leo. (Pro-tip: Write down what you've been reflecting on around the new moon, and then circle back six months down the road when the corresponding full moon is happening. You can note how far you've come and quite possibly notice that you've hit a culmination point.) But even as soon as two weeks after a new moon, when that same month's full moon happens, you can begin to get answers to any questions you were asking around the new moon. So circle August 22 as a check-in point. (

August 2021's New Moon in Leo Will Bring Shocking Change — and Require You to Put In the Work
Alex Sandoval

Themes of the August 2021 Leo New Moon

Fire sign Leo, symbolized by the regal Lion, is ruled by the luminous, confident, vitality-bringing sun and rules the fifth house of romance and self-expression. Those born under the sign of the Lion — or with other personal planet placements (the moon, Mercury, Venus, or Mars) in the fire sign — tend to be razor-focused, ambitious, shining star leaders, generally capable of taking swift, decisive action to make their visions a reality. They believe in themselves through and through, and contrary to social media memes, they heap just as much love — and luxury and loyalty — onto their VIPs. On the flip side, they're just as susceptible to stubbornness as any of the fixed signs, capable of an alarming combo of egomania, megalomania, and inflexibility regarding plans. And that hardheadedness could very well come to light during Leo's August new moon.

The reason: The moon's main planetary aspect is a tense albeit activating square to Uranus, the planet of rebellion, revolution, and shocking, out of the blue change. Currently moving through fellow fixed sign Taurus, Uranus takes on the obstinate vibe of the Bull, determined to incite change, especially as it comes up against the emotional, intuitive moon and self-possessed sun in resolute Leo. But while Uranus has a rep for doling out jaw-dropping, jarring shake-ups, it's also capable of spurring breakthroughs and fueling inventive thinking, and that could very well be how you experience this August new moon.

Simultaneously, messenger Mercury in Leo will be moving toward an opposition to Jupiter in Aquarius, which happens two days later on August 10. This can make for grandiose, lively communication but possibly also overconfident sales pitching and the tendency to dismiss key details for whatever's flashy, clicky, dramatic, and fiercely opinionated.

That's not all: Romantic Venus is also invited to the party. It's moving toward an opposition with dreamy Neptune, which can set the stage for confusion and delusion in relationships, money, and beauty-related matters (cough — maybe don't do that major hair makeover RN?) and an intense trine to transformative Pluto, which could promote passion as well as obsession.

And as if that wasn't enough, we're still feeling the tension of the sun's annual lonely, restrictive opposition to taskmaster Saturn. Both the new moon — and the sun — will be close enough to that opposition for us to feel its frustration-fueling vibes.

All that said, this new moon isn't exactly conducive to setting fired-up, Leo-charged intentions. Instead, it's about standing in your sense of self while creating space to welcome in change and breakthroughs — and accepting the fact that there's likely still quite a bit of work to be done before you can truly move forward.

Who the August New Moon Will Affect the Most

If you were born under the sign of the Lion — meaning your birthday falls approximately between July 23 to August 22 — or with your personal planets (sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, or Mars) in Leo (something you can learn from your natal chart), you'll feel this new moon more than most. More specifically, if you have a personal planet that falls within five degrees of the new moon (16 degrees Leo), you could have your fair share of eye-opening moments around the 8th.

Similarly, if you were born in a fellow fixed sign — Taurus (fixed earth), Scorpio (fixed water), Aquarius (fixed air) — you'll feel the intensity of this new moon, which could cause stunning shifts, switch-ups, and breakthroughs.

The Electrifying Takeaway

Monthly, no matter which sign a new moon falls in, they're astrological moments primed for gaining clarity. Thanks to its dynamic, driven — and okay, perhaps a bit shocking and chaotic — tone, the energy around August's new moon won't be easily harnessed and zhushed into the perfect intention-setting moment. Instead, it could be messy, passionate, unnerving, restlessness-inducing, and eye-opening. As apt as you might be to dig your heels in now — and oh, how we all are with so many planets in fixed signs — this new moon is about opening your mind to epiphanies and doing your best to welcome change.

While Leo might not be the most flexible sign, it's certainly one of the most big-hearted and optimistic ones, so no matter what this fiery new moon brings, as long as you're channeling the Lion's sunny perspective, you can make the best of it.

Maressa Brown is a writer and astrologer with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to being Shape's resident astrologer, she contributes to InStyle, Parents,, and more. Follow her Instagram and Twitter at @MaressaSylvie.

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