New moons are a time for planting seeds and setting intentions, and, in the case of this month’s new moon in Virgo, consider any pressure that may be mounting. We asked astrologers what to know ahead of this new moon, plus how to work with it—here’s what they had to say.

The astrology behind this new moon.

August’s new moon arrives Saturday the 27th at 4:16 a.m. EDT in the sign of Virgo, and according to astrologers, it might have us all feeling a bit uneasy. As astrologer Molly Pennington, Ph.D., explains, Venus (the planet of love) is opposing Saturn in retrograde, while Mars (the planet of action) is in Gemini, squaring the moon.

So what? you might be asking. In simple terms, this is going to create mounting tension, with the potential for a lot of mental unrest. As astrologer Jennifer Racioppi tells mbg, “This new moon is going to kick up insecurities in the mind. The mind is likely to go into overdrive if we let it, so the invitation is to return to sacred values and practices within.”

The good news is, this tension has the potential to pay off in the long term. Mars will be in Gemini for the next seven months, Pennington explains, so the seeds planted now can have lasting effects. “There’s a real chance to get things done, and Mars allows that kind of impetus to jump in and be spontaneous,” she notes.

Virgo is, after all, a sign that’s all about making practical adjustments in the name of self-improvement. Racioppi explains that the focus at this time will be on returning to your sense of center, as well as your sense of service—observing details, adjusting, and realigning. “Virgo is mutable, and that means it’s preparing us for change, and it’s an earth sign, so that means it’s practical. So these are practical changes that we’re being asked to make to acclimate with the changing of the seasons,” she says.

How to work with this energy.

Between the sun and moon in Virgo, and Mars in Gemini, things may feel a bit fraught or frenetic right now, and that’s OK. The key, Pennington and Racioppi both say, is to come back to your sense of grounding, and potentially even slow down.

“People can think about asking Mars to wait, asking Mars to plan, and this is what Virgo’s really good at. Virgo is great at planning and also thinking things through, and with the sun and the moon together in mutable Virgo, I think it can get Mars to adhere to a slower speed limit,” she explains.

As Racioppi puts it, now’s the time to get grounded and come back to practices that serve you and others. “The extent that you can do that is the extent that this new moon will really function highly, and the upcoming Mercury retrograde blues will be better compensated for,” she says.

What you decide to do to get grounded is entirely up to you, though this moon’s relation to the earth element makes it a great time to lean into earthly and practical matters, Pennington says. So, maybe you find grounding by walking outside barefoot, taking a ritual bath, or amping up your nutrition with plant-powered meals and calming supplements.*

While this may not feel like the easiest or most lighthearted new moon of the year, it does have the potential to create a lasting impact. Try not to get lost in the Gemini-Mars sauce, keep your two feet on the ground, and allow Virgo’s visionary focus to help you make the changes you’re seeking.