New Moon in Leo – Time to Risk Doing Something Unexpected and the Results Could Be Magical (August 16, 2023) 

by Anne Reith, Ph.D.
Astrological wheel with symbols and backlighting of brilliant white, pink, purple, and blues
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Astrological wheel with symbols and backlighting of brilliant white, pink, purple, and blues

In the Pacific Time Zone, the New Moon will occur at 2:37 a.m. on Wednesday, August 16.  This New Moon finds the Moon and Sun conjunct (0°) at 23°17’ of Leo.  To further clarify how this New Moon will impact you on a personal level, locate 23°17’ of Leo in your birth/natal chart.  The issues associated with that house are going to be most influenced by this New Moon’s presence.  (NOTE:  Click here to learn how to find the transiting Moon in your chart.)

New Moons always provide us with an opportunity for a new emotional start in the areas associated with the sign.  This time, we are focused on Leo: 

  • The higher expression of this sign includes being self-confident, big hearted, loving, idealistic, and loyal. 
  • The lower expression can lead to being overly prideful, dramatic, or self-centered.   

Leo is a fixed fire sign, and, as such, it wants to go after something with fiery determination and dedication.  Think of the lion on the savannah that fixates on its prey and will not be deterred.  There is often an exciting and refreshing feel with Leo New Moons, partly because Leo is also associated with playfulness.  It wants to have fun creating something that expresses its true essence.  This could involve anything that we bring forth into the world, including everything from typical artistic endeavors to building a business.  Given Leo is associated with the heart chakra, it can also involve romance.  But, it’s also important to remember that part of this lunation is a reminder to love ourselves.  Not in an egotistic or narcissistic manner.  We need to humbly love and respect every aspect of ourselves, warts and all. 

But there are some very interesting influences impacting this Leo New Moon.  The Sun and Moon are conjunct (0°) Venus, which is currently in retrograde.  Venus’s sweet energy will bring a kindness with it and a greater chance of connecting with whomever or whatever we desire.  This is definitely a good time to express love toward those who are special to us.  Venus is associated with relationships and finances.  Having this planet conjunct a New Moon means that a new, positive chapter may be starting in one or both of these areas. 

However, the Sun, Moon, and Venus are all squaring (90°) Uranus.  In fact, the squares between the Sun/Moon and Uranus are exact at 0°15’, making it extra powerful.  I think the easiest way to summarize Uranus’s impact is “Expect the unexpected”!  In order to reap the benefits of this New Moon, we need to be willing to break free from something in our lives and try something different.  The fiery energy of Leo and Uranus’s often erratic energy will likely make it difficult to sit still.  We may feel a need to move, even if we aren’t exactly sure where we are going, and that’s OK!  We should follow our instincts, go, and figure out the rest on the way there . . . wherever there ends up being.  And even better, take someone special (Venus) along for this ride.  Doing something spontaneous and unexpected can bring new energy into the relationship. 

Additionally, the Sun, Moon, and Venus are also in trines (120°) to Chiron, and the Sun and Moon are in trines (120°) to the North Node, which means they are sextile (60°) the South Node.  Without going into a lot of detail, this again reinforces the idea that we need to bravely move away from something from our past (South Node) and move toward something new (North Node in Aries).  Luckily, all of these supportive trines to Chiron means that we will likely feel less vulnerable than usual.  The trine (120°) between Venus and Chiron also reinforces the energy of Leo and Venus by telling us that this is a good time to tenderly express our love toward those who are important to us. 

Just a reminder that we are still under the strong influence of Pluto squaring (90°) the North and South Nodes.  Although the squares are slightly wider (and therefore slightly less powerful) than during in the last two Moon Updates, many of us are probably still feeling the impact.  You can read more about it in the last Moon Update, but in general, these squares indicate that something from the past needs to transform in order for us to move forward into the future.  With Pluto involved, this means that anything that is no longer serving us needs to be left behind so we can evolve into our next stage. 

But at the time of this New Moon, we are receiving a great deal of support when it comes to resolving these issues because Pluto is part of a very strong earth grand trine in kite formation.  This planetary configuration is formed when there are 3 planets trining (120°) each other, which forms an equilateral triangle.  The “string of the kite” is created when at least one of the 3 planets is in an opposition (180°) to another planet that is outside of the grand trine.  Additionally, the planet in opposition should be in sextiles (60°) to the other 2 planets in the grand trine that are not involved in the opposition. 

Although that can sound complicated, I’ll just say that all of the above requirements are present at the time of the Leo New Moon.  Specifically:

  • Mars, Uranus, and Pluto are all in trines (120°) to each other, which forms the grand trine (equilateral triangle). 
  • The opposition (180°) occurs between Mars and Neptune.
  • There are sextiles (60°) between Neptune and the other 2 planets in the grand trine, namely, Uranus and Pluto. 

NOTE:  The trine (120°) between Mars and Uranus is extra powerful because it is exact at 0 08’. 

Grand trines provide an incredibly easy, supportive flow of energy between the 3 planets that are in trines (120°) to each other.  With this grand trine, Mars, Uranus, and Pluto are all located in earth signs (i.e., Virgo, Taurus, and Capricorn, respectively).  Earth grand trines are great times to get a lot done, create solid foundations, and do things that bring material or financial comfort.  When a grand trine is in a kite formation, the opposition (180°) provides increased opportunities to reap the benefits of the grand trine. 

Without analyzing all of these aspects in detail, here is my best summary:  Normally, an opposition (180°) between Mars and Neptune could cause us to feel confused and discouraged.  However, because it is connected to an earth grand trine and based on the other influences described previously, this is a perfect time to take a break and do something that would be “out of character.”  In fact, something quite magical could happen if we spontaneously pursue an activity (Mars) that allows us to create from a heart-centered place (Leo) and give without concern for ego or personal gain (Neptune).

Because Mars (courageous action), Uranus (unpredictable changes), and Pluto (transformation that leads to healing) are forming the earth grand trine, it is likely that any changes will be easier to make now than usual.  Of course, we have the right to resist the nudges to do something different, and we may have a knee-jerk reaction to do dig in our heels because Uranus can bring unexpected events that are initially inconvenient and disruptive.  However, if we put up with the interruption to our plans, the results may be better than expected. 

A week after the New Moon (i.e., Wednesday, August 23), the Sun moves out of Leo and into Virgo.  After the high-energy and sometimes dramatic expression of Leo, this month-long transit of Virgo typically brings us down to earth.  Although it may take a few days to make this transition, many of us will begin to feel motivated to get down to work on an important project (or two).  Or, it may be that we have been avoiding “taking care of business” in our lives, and now we know it’s time to face all those details that have been piling up.  This typically isn’t as much fun as when the Sun was traveling through Leo, but the Virgo energy helps us get organized and often frees us up in unexpected ways. 

However, our progress with certain projects may feel like they are progressing at a snail’s pace because also on Wednesday, August 23, Mercury begins its second retrograde phase of the year.  This will continue through September 15.  This retrograde will occur while Mercury is in Virgo, so this is the perfect time to pause and review recent plans, negotiations, and assumptions to make sure we haven’t missed something important.  Virgo specializes in seeing trees (i.e., details) and not the forest.  Therefore, this is a good time for anything that requires detailed analysis.  But remember that when Mercury is in retrograde, our minds are turned inward, which can result in mistakes or misunderstandings in the external world.  It would be best to doublecheck all figures and facts.  And if we need to have a serious conversation with someone, we are well-advised to carefully think through how we will be expressing ourselves.    

In sum, unlike the previous two Moon Updates that were challenging to write, this Leo New Moon is relatively easy to summarize.  If we are willing to do something different and even take a risk (or two), we could have the opportunity to have fun and move to the next level of our growth as a soul.  The Leo New Moon provides us with the extra confidence to do just that!  However, we need to be willing to “go with the flow” because it’s likely that something unexpected will be thrown into our lives that disrupts our plans and expectations.  Whatever shows up is designed to shake things up, get us to try something new, and move us forward on our evolutionary path.  Yes, the process could be a bit messy at first, but we need to be willing to put up with any disruption in order to reap the benefits.  In fact, if we follow our Leo heart, it’s very likely that magic could happen! 

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  • Anne Reith, Ph.D.©


New Moon at 23°17’ of Leo

  • Wednesday, August 16, 2023, 2:37 a.m. PDT
  • Wednesday, August 16, 2023, 5:37 a.m. EDT
  • Wednesday, August 16, 2023, 9:37 a.m. GMT


  • All New Moons and Full Moons influence us for the 3 days before, the day of, and 3 days after the actual event.



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By Anne Reith, Ph.D.

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