Mercury Retrograde is here! Eclipse season is on! Here are some suggestions for moving through July with grace and ease…
The New Moon was 15 degrees of Pisces this morning (March 6th PST). A conjunction to Pisces’ ruling planet Neptune has been greatly intensified the energy surrounding this week and day. Neptune is the planet of higher aspirations, visions and sometimes confusion and deception. Pisces can be wise and compassionate or a martyr and one who avoids facing reality.
In addition, Mercury just went Retrograde at the last degree of Pisces on March 5th and Uranus has made it’s re-entry into the earth sign of Taurus where it will transit until April of 2026. Shocks, reversals and changes of plans have been occurring and may still be expected during the next few days.
This New Moon is a rather intense one. It squares it’s original planetary ruler Jupiter which is currently transiting Sagittarius. Some of the themes that may be widely experienced and may need to be dealt with immediately are a trespassing of boundaries, extreme narcissism, thievery, manipulation, emotional blackmail. Some may be drawn more toward tending of those who are sick, homeless or otherwise destitute.
Whatever is happening during this time requires some major adjustments and probably a few upgrades. Positive manifestations could include creative inspiration, generosity, fertility, prosperity, emotional release and spiritual attunement. Things should mellow out a bit this weekend when the Moon enters Taurus, especially Sunday and Monday.
Wondering why there has been a bit of a break-down in communication and electronic appliances during the past few days? Since October 27th, the planet Mercury has been in the pre-shadow phase before turning Retrograde on November 16th until December 6th. When Retrograde, mistakes and mix-ups are more likely to occur or become widely noticed in general. This phenomenon happens three to four times every year, for approximately three weeks at a time. During these phases, Mercury is simply moving slower in its orbit, which produces the optimal illusion of moving backward in the sky from our perspective on earth.
This planet astrologically relates to all things pertaining to the brain, the mind and their various functions, including nerve impulses which are basically waves of electrical activity that travel through the body to protect and guide it throughout the day. It also influences electronics, automobiles and transportation, and certain metals including mercury. No wonder that computer programs and internet pages often seem to go haywire at this time! Because of Mercury’s influence over the mind, depression can set in for many. This period of time is geared more toward introspection and review than it is new beginnings and outer activities. That is not to say that such activities are doomed to fail but that there is a definite advantage to “thinking twice” before making major decisions, going with the flow and observing instead of pushing for results.
Mercury was named after the Roman god of merchants, travel and theivery who came to be synonymous with Hermes, the fleet-footed messenger of the Greek gods. This was a mischievous god who always had tricks up his sleeves, hidden in his cloak or helmet. The planet seems to function in a similar way, ruling over speech but favoring speed. Put those two together and you can understand why Mercury Retrograde causes so much confusion and misunderstanding for people. Mercury is the planetary ruler of two signs, Gemini and Virgo. For this and other reasons his tricks often seem to appear in pairs. One of the less discussed aspects of Mercury is that due to his clever nature he can help to figure out creative ways of making money.
This time around, Mercury will be Retrograde in Sagittarius, moving back into Scorpio on December 2nd. The subject matter of many conversations are very dramatic and imaginations are running wild. People might seem more dogmatic, hot-tempered and scattered over the next few weeks. The first couple of weeks of December may seem especially volatile. To understand how Mercury might affect your daily affairs overall check the house in your birth chart that it will be transiting and any planets it may come into contact with.
There is a lot more than Mercury Retrograde bearing a strong influence at this time but that is for another post!
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Above is a photo of a metal plate featuring the fleet-footed Mercury, in the Rijks museum in the Netherlands.
Things become much more manageable and also fun when things are lumped into piles that can be addressed one at a time, although Mercury, or Murphy’s Law does not always seem to allow such organization to take place. Some of us do this automatically without question. Instinct or intuition guides us to take actions that simplify our life and increase productivity. Some of us need a little push or a nudge to become more resourceful and efficient. A few need a disaster to shake them out of a rut. Some just don’t have a clue as to where to begin.
Here are a few suggested piles to play with:
Clear-up Pile – What kind of piles can you gather up to get rid of – as in throw away, destroy, burn, bury, delete, zap, discontinue? You can make one giant Clear-up Pile or several ones under different categories. Any junk accumulating in the kitchen, closet, or basement? Soda cans on the beach? Trash on the widewalk? Papers, papers, and more papers? Excess email? When you do this kind of thing voluntarily instead of wait for a necessity or disaster to force you into it, it can actually be enjoyable. I like to put on a favorite album and clear away to my heart’s content! When things get really deep and disconcerting, Tangerine Dream helps me get through the cinematic horrors of my clutter.
Donate Pile – It’s true that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Sometimes the garbage we keep could benefit someone else. There is something in your life right now – out of sight, out of mind, but its space is definitely being rented in your energetic field. You don’t love it. You don’t use it. You don’t wear it. For God’s sake you don’t even look at it. Why on Earth do you hold onto it? An ugly watch that a relative gave you on Christmas? An unwanted pair of jeans with rhinestones on the back pockets? An old pot or pan way in the back corner of a cabinet that hasn’t seen light in about 7 years? Might be time to grab a cardboard box and start creating your Donate Pile.
Fix-it Pile – This pile is one of my favorites. Another name for it could be “When-I-get-to-it-Pile”. It is the pile of things that may be collected throughout the year until there is enough time to address the items contained in it. See, we don’t have to wait for a bunch of things to break down on us all at once to think in terms of adjustment. There could be a favorite barrette that broke, a blade that needs sharpening, a guitar bridge that needs repair, you get the idea. The things in this pile are not in need of urgent attention but they are useful and worth taking the time and effort to fix or get fixed. So, if you have your Fix-it pile together, take your pick get down to it.
Exchange Pile – This is another fun pile, because you have a choice in whether to donate the stuff inside to a charity or or meet up with someone that has things they are also willing to part with you might find useful. In Sonoma county, many women I know love to throw what’s called a “Clothing Exchange Party”. Women bring clothes and other odds & ends they don’t wear or use anymore and just have a field day picking and choosing from a giant pile or exchanging items in mini piles. The party atmosphere may be enhanced with snacks, music, and special beverages.
Scrap Pile – Scraps can come from fabric used in sewing, construction papers used in crafts, old crayons, cracked garden pots, wrapping paper from gifts received, random ornaments, acorns, copper wires, bones, little whatnots and thingamajigs. Instead of throwing away ribbons and other pretty accents you can save them for future arts and crafts. I mean, don’t go overboard with this and turn an entire room into a scrap pile (unless your profession is directly related to turning scraps into art). One box is sufficient. It can be whatever size box you choose. There is a great sense of satisfaction that comes with turning scraps into art.
Just as the physical body needs circulation to function properly, so does the environment that we inhabit. You might come up with your own kind of piles that work better for you. The point is to make way for creative inspiration to flow with ease.
Mercury enters Libra today, August 27th until November 1st 2015, making an extra long transit through this sign due to Mercury’s Retrograde motion from September 17th to October 9th. During this time we have the challenges of relating, listening and responding, rather than debating, reacting, and sabotaging in various ways. Since most people who are aware of Mercury Retrograde tend to look for or predominantly notice its negative occurrences I suggest considering an alternate view. Sometimes what is lost is found, who is sick becomes healed, what is malfunctioning becomes fixed or more likely replaced. If there’s an area you’ve been stuck in, it could be that you suddenly break free.
With Mercury in Libra, it becomes important for more of us to get our priorities straight. If vacillation or uncertainty has already been an issue somewhere in your life, you may discover the ability to finally decide and act. In some cases, injustices will be reviewed, and justices will be served. Since Mercury will be going Retrograde it may be that ideas must gathered and plans thoroughly laid before they are acted upon. Some of them might have changed altogether by mid-October.
Meanwhile Libra’s ruling planet Venus is in the last phase of her Retrograde motion through Leo and the consciousness of the divine feminine is rising to the occasion. She goes Direct on September 6th, having been moving backward since July 25th. Venus entered Leo on June 5th and will complete her transit in this sign by October 8th. Currently joined with Mars and forming a grand trine with Uranus and Vesta in Aries and Pallas Athene in Sagittarius, she is highlighting the fiery feminine qualities associated with the Sun, which has not always been a masculine symbol.
With the Full Moon in Pisces on the 29th and Saturn in its last degrees of Scorpio, there are many endings of an emotional nature that are taking place. Whether experienced perhaps as cathartic, traumatic, or ecstatic, closure is being brought to issues that have long been present – a major chapter is over and we now pause and prepare to turn the page for another. The Sun’s conjunction to Jupiter in Virgo expands the capacity for understanding and healing, particularly in relation to the physical body and medicines of the earth.
On September 17th Mercury goes Retrograde at 16 degrees of Libra between two eclipses, while Saturn reenters Sagittarius for the next two years. This happens right before the Autumn Equinox when the Sun enters Libra on the 23rd, which should be quite a dandy this year on so many levels. Pluto, lord of the underworld goes Direct on the 24th, after being Retrograde since April 16th. Retrograde Mercury forms a square to Pluto and Mars enters Virgo, squaring Saturn that same day. I’ve heard that basically all hell will break loose around this time, but if we know what we’re dealing with here it can be a lot more fun for us to navigate.
With Pluto Retrograde for the past six months we’ve been releasing something or someone significant in our life; the way that we relate to it or them has either been destroyed or has radically changed, whether we have been conscious participants of this change or fighting it tooth and nail. On a massive level, the world has been receiving a serious reality check in regards to broken infrastructures and business ethics (Pluto in Capricorn). For some people this literally means an identity crisis will finally be coming to a head, blown up so big it must be faced once and for all. The hardest person to love and forgive is often oneself. Afterward a new sense of self will emerge. By the time we made our way out of the thick of so much Retrogradation in early October, what we have left behind and how we have grown from releasing the past will become much more apparent. We will be able to integrate what we have learned and received from our experiences and to move forward with deeper wisdom than before.
If we can hang tight throughout the rest of this year’s push-and-pull planetary alignments and highly volatile transits we might just have some things to celebrate by winter.
The New Moon at 26 degrees of Taurus on May 17th highlights our desires for comfort and our needs for sustenance. Insecurities about money, fidelity, health, and other areas of concern have been making themselves known over the past few days leading up to this. Taurus’s ruling planet Venus is transiting through sensitive Cancer, in opposition with Pluto. This opposition further brings up issues of jealousy, possessiveness, and may trigger highly charged episodes of “OCD”. On a positive note it can facilitate deep intimacy through nurturing rather than dependency through manipulation. We are fed and nurtured as much by giving as by receiving in certain ways. Venus’s trine to Neptune gives us and appreciation for the gifts that may not necessarily be tangible, which is usually what Taurus prefers.
Taurus is a deeply sensual and earthy sign, helping us to slow down and savor the finer things in life. It’s helpful to keep in mind that importance of time-outs, tune-ups, and slowing down in general as Mercury stations Retrograde the very next day (18th) until June 11th. The irony is that people might actually be too hasty, sharp-tongued and reckless with this Retro period since Mars is pairing up with Mercury in chatty, quick-moving Gemini. Add to that Mercury’s set of triple squares to Neptune, causing complete and utter confusion or lack of direction. On the other hand we can receive a lot of inspiration during this time and be energized in our release-and-review process. Mercury’s stretched out trine to the North Node in Libra also helps to make amends in personal relationships.
The New Moon at 26 degrees of Taurus is conjunct the fixed star Algol which is associated with the eye of Medusa. Typically feared as a malevolent influence Algol is known as a star that unleashes both intense rage and sexual energy – not a good combination for bonding. In Greek mythology, Medusa was a priestess who was raped by Poseidon and then punished by Athena for her own misfortune. However, just as in the rape story of Persephone being pulled into the underworld by Pluto, the power of this goddess only grew in the darkness. We may be hard pressed to look at our own repressions, oppressions and coercions not only as the terrible challengers they are but as teachers and bringers of wisdom. One possible lesson to consider is that just as external beauty can easily decay or be destroyed there is a beauty that can be cultivated that eventually transforms us inside out.
Taurus is the sign associated with Gaia, and as such this New Moon encourages us to reconnect with the Earth Mother in ways that heal both ourselves and Her. Spending time outdoors on the grass, in the flowers, hiking, gardening, cleaning up litter or simply and consciously breathing with gratitude can profoundly shift the ways that we perceive ourselves and our world.