Welcome to our Dreamcast series, where we explore how the cosmos—with all of its infinite possibilities—can affect your bedtime vibes. You bring your curiosity. We’ll bring you the stars.

August New Moon in Leo: July 31

With its solar and lunar eclipses and an aggressive Mercury Retrograde, July had a lot of people spinning like a top. If you were among them — and I sure was — August should bring a literal and figurative lightening.

August’s New Moon is the 31st of July, but make no mistake, Cancer season is over. We’re in Leo territory now. Leo, the lion, likes to shine in the sun, and this abrupt change in energy from Cancer, who prefers to hide in the shadowy depths, should become apparent very early in the month. Do you feel illuminated or called into the spotlight? Leo can bring out your confidence in an extraordinary way, so if you don’t feel it yet, you probably will soon. It’s not just the moon in Leo, either — it’s also the sun in Leo, Venus in Leo, and (later in the month) Mercury in Leo. That’s a whole lotta Leo! (Remember: The sun rules over your public persona; the moon represents who you are when you’re alone; Venus is all about what you love and value; Mercury’s domain is communication.) Expect an uncompromising, unrelenting amount of bright, shining light.

Just around the New Moon, the best time for us to clarify our intentions and dig deep into what we want, Mercury will go direct again, casting that Leo light on everything under the sun. You might experience dreams during this time that sort through your subconscious in a way that might almost feel like vacation planning. Not the drudgery of making a list, or the last-minute purchase of an overpriced toothbrush at the airport — but the part of you that envisions what outfit you’ll wear when you go to the tiki bar on a perfect starry night. It takes a little bit of work to scope out what you want to happen, but it’s good, happy work. Enjoy it.

August Full Moon in Aquarius: August 15

Leo, a fixed fire sign, is often considered the sign that most often leads with the heart. Counter, and yet complementary to that, Aquarius, also a fixed sign, tends to lead with the head. Ingenuity and innovation are key signifiers of this sign, and you can always count on them to see straight through to the center of the matter. And here we are, in the light of the bright full moon, with nowhere to hide from Aquarius’ appraising gaze. Don’t flinch, because the moon sure won’t. As always, the Full Moon can be a wild time of growth and harvest, but with the influence of Aquarius on top of it, smack dab in Leo, it might be explosive. Aquarius, in addition to their giant intellect, is known as a truly, madly, deeply accepting sign, which provides a safe outlet for bold, incisive Leo energy. In other words: Let your freak flag fly on the Full Moon. You might as well, anyway, because there’s nowhere to hide in the white-hot dog days of August.

Also, on a more subconscious front, Aquarius folks tend to vibe on a whole different level. It’s as if their antenna catch a radio station only they can hear. You may notice a bit of that wild eccentricity on this Full Moon, with some beyond-zany dream imagery. Write it down! Sort through it like an Aquarius would, and see what you have to learn from your brain’s wild flipbook of ideas and influences. Paying attention to your dreams is evergreen advice. But during an Aquarius Full Moon, it’s even more crucial.

See you in September, for the New Moon in Virgo and the big, juicy Pisces Full Moon, aka the Harvest Moon.

What does it mean for a sign to be fixed, cardinal, or mutable?

Cardinal signs map to the months that lead each of the four seasons: For spring, it’s Aries (fire); summer is Cancer (water); fall is Libra (air); and winter is Capricorn (earth) — one in each element. They’re the trendsetters, and they get the ball rolling for the two other signs in their respective element. Think of them as the catalyst that starts the fire.

Fixed signs are the middle months of each element: They mediate and facilitate what the cardinal signs start. Taurus (earth) is an apt strategizer; Leo (fire) is a superlative instigator; Scorpio (water) is a master balancer; Aquarius (air) is a creative problem-solver. Fixed signs often bridge the gap between the cardinal sign that precedes it and the mutable sign that succeeds it by tending to that same fire.

Mutable signs are the third installment of each element: They’re adaptive, learning from the mistakes and successes of the same-element signs that precede them. Gemini (air) is the end of spring; Virgo (earth), the end of summer; Sagittarius (fire), the end of autumn; Pisces (water) is the end of winter. They are critical-thinkers, doers, movers and shakers, and sensitive feelers. They will grow and modify that fire built and tended by their elemental forebears into something that they can use and harness.

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