Mercury stations retrograde at 23º Leo on July 25th, 2018, at 10:03pm PDT, and will travel backward through the zodiac until August 18th, where it will station direct at 12º Leo, moving forward again and finally escaping its retrograde shadow on September 1st.
This summer of 2018 is presenting us with some very stormy astrological weather, and this Mercury Retrograde is just one slice of the pie. It’s stationing retrograde just two days before a Lunar Eclipse on the Leo-Aquarius axis (the second of three eclipses), and also joining Mars and four others planets in their retrograde cycles. (Spoiler alert! Venus is ALSO going retrograde in October!) Wow. That’s a whole lot of retrogrades.
Mercury is significant for spoken and written communications, thought processes, and the stories and meaning we’re constantly making for ourselves and for each other. When it goes into retrograde motion, there is a slowing, and an inward turning, a reflective, alchemical process that is taking place. When we can attune our awareness to that process, we can utilize and harness this energy for our development and growth. Yes, Mercury Retrograde is notorious for all the classic pitfalls of miscommunications, plans going awry, technological breakdowns, and so on, but this time is also a rich one for self-reflection, and for pausing to take stock of our lives and our world.
Because of the heavy dose of retrograde energy in the Zodiac and the intensity of this eclipse season, this Mercury Retrograde may take on a deeper spiritual tone and an energetic current of re-evaluating what is and is not serving us on a fundamental level. The mechanism of this is to sift out and presence the energetic ‘gunk’ with ourselves that’s not allowing us to fully step into the highest truth of who we are – as is also indicated by Mercury’s station in very close trine to Eris, which is a warrior energy in support of soul level intention. Because it’s happening in the sign of Leo, ruled by the Sun, there’s also a dimension of fierce individuality, and an invitation to shine our radiant selves boldly into the world – which in order to more fully step into that, oftentimes requires the clearing and healing of past wounds.
Eclipses tend to shake us to the core, allowing to come to the surface that which is ready to be shed, or re-organized and transformed. When we add to this process the other retrograde energies, primarily of Mars and Saturn, we are being asked to bring our awareness to places where we may feel weary, indeed, to constantly travel. Alas, we cannot change a pattern that we refuse to fully presence in our awareness. To do this skillfully, however, asks us to embrace seemingly antithetical qualities. Can we be fiercely unwavering while simultaneously being gentle and kind? Can we hold our seat as the observer of our experience, while also taking actions aligned with our deepest purpose and our most sincere values? Can we hold ourselves in the places of our most profound pain, while simultaneously recognizing and owning our infinite power and grace? Can we be clear and strong in our choices and yet stay soft and supple in our hearts?
On a more mundane level, it is wise not to forget the basics of the Mercury Retrograde time. In its most fundamental principle: try to bring more mindfulness to all that you do, but especially to communications, commuting or short travels, and for heaven’s sake, remember to back up your digital data! It’s not the best time to start a brand new project, but it is a great time to refine and re-design an existing one. It’s not the best time to sign a contract or make a big new purchase, but it is a great time to go through your contracts with a fine-tooth comb and to do some thorough research on that big purchase.
At the end of the day, we aren’t truly in control of much, yet we do have many choice points of how and where we direct our attention and awareness. Through this intense time, may we give ourselves and each other the gift of kindness and caring, and may we be courageous to do both the inner and the outer work we need to persevere through these stormy times.
Image attribution: Citizen59/WikimediaCommons/AllysonFelixRelay4x400London2012
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The Sun represents the Self, one's way of being in the world. It can represent, on different levels, both the ego and the higher Self or soul purpose. It rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is the most important 'planet' in the chart and symbolizes one's will and sense of vitality. When the Sun is afflicted (poorly placed or poorly aspected) it could indicate problems with the father, or male role model. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspect) are emphasized in your personality. If your Sun is prominent in your chart, you will exhibit great power to do and to be.
The Moon represents the personal self, the feelings and the unconscious. It is a reflection of the true self, represented by the Sun. The Moon also stands for security and instinctual or habitual patterns, as well as the ability to relate to others, and to be nurturing to others. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. It is often contrasted with the Sun as the female receptive principle versus the masculine or positive principle. The Moon represents the feminine and nurturing part of oneself. In a male chart, the Moon represents the feminine within, or the 'anima' and also indicates the type of partner you will attract. The Moon also represents an attunement from the past, which operates at an instinctive or habitual level in your present life.
Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and rules Gemini, sign of duality also Virgo, and has its exaltation in Aquarius. Mercury is an airy planet, associated with all forms of communication and the in-flow and out-flow of intelligence. Its position indicates how your mental function will be expressed, and where techniques and skills are available to you.
Venus is the planet of love and relationship. Venus is in-taking, rather than out-going (as represented by Mars), and rules the signs Libra and Taurus. Venus has its exaltation in Pisces, and is associated with aesthetics, beauty, refinement and romance. Its position in the chart indicates the area in which the give and take of love, affection and sensual pleasure will be expressed.
Mars is the planet of outward activity and animal passion. It rules Aries and is exalted in Capricorn. This fiery planet is masculine in action, versus softer more receptive Venus. When strong in the chart it can indicate a volatile temper, and also great courage. Its position indicates how your personality will assert itself, and what modes of activity will stimulate your physical energies.
Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism and optimism. It rules Sagittarius and is exalted in Cancer. Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, versus contraction (as represented by Saturn) and the aspirations of the higher self. Its position in the chart indicates how your faith will be expressed, and what modes of activity will stimulate self-confidence.
Saturn is the planet of limitation and contraction, and the trials of life experience. This includes disciplive, punctuality, and the conservation of material resources. Saturn rules Capricorn and is exalted in Libra, and is limited and material, versus unlimited faith (as represented by Jupiter). It indicates areas where the personality will be restricted by fears and lack of confidence, and also areas which are important to be worked on in this lifetime.
Uranus is the planet of freedom and revolutionary vision, the urge for change and the ability to visualize new possibilities. Uranus rules Aquarius, and is exalted in Scorpio. It is also associated with mental studies, electricity and astrology. Its position indicates the arena of originality and freedom from conventional thinking in your life.
Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. It is thus highly compassionate, also idealistic, imaginative and self login or even self undoing, and can be associated with drugs or media, as fantasy expressions. Neptune rules Pisces, and finds its exaltation in Cancer. Its position indicates where there may be confusion and also great creativity in poetic or musical fields. Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus.
Pluto is a force for change that can be destructive in its power. Pluto rules Scorpio, and is exalted in Leo. Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As god of the underworld Pluto brings the deepest compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution.
Chiron is a small planet, or 'planetoid' that was only discovered in 1977, and which has already shown itself to be quite powerful in an individual's chart. Occupying an eccentric orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and named for the centaur physician of Greek myth who taught ancient wisdom to mankind, Chiron represents the archetype of the "Wounded Healer" and is associated with shamanism and going within to heal oneself. Its discovery is synchronous with the rise of the holistic health movement. Chiron's position in the chart reveals where one has been wounded, and where also there is the opportunity for discovering healing from within and sharing this discovery with other people, since from our wounds arises our compassion for the suffering of others. The position of Chiron, by house and sign, can also show where we have talent and access to ancient wisdom, as well as where we may depart from the mainstream in service to a higher practicality. Those with prominent Chiron are likely to be educators and spiritual healers.
As goddess of the harvest and the natural process of fertility and renewal, Ceres represents the process of nurturing and motherhood in an individual chart, and has been attributed to the sign Cancer as a co-ruler with the Moon, as well as to the signs of Taurus, Scorpio and Virgo.
The astrology of the asteroid Pallas indicates the creative use of the mental faculty in combination with ageless wisdom, and is also involved with the arts, especially the plastic arts such as sculpture and pottery, and with medicinal remedies.
The astrology of Juno indicates partnering energy of intimate relationships, as in the more modern issues of where the boundaries are with another person, how much sharing is appropriate, versus holding back, are there issues of bitterness and jealousy, or projected authority and control onto another person, and intimacy needs in general.
In the astrology of Vesta issues of sexuality and completeness unto oneself predominate. Possible associations are the woman (or man) who chooses celibacy, but as a nun or monk takes on a higher purpose than normal family life, also issues of sexuality and who is ultimately served in the process, self or other.
While the lower expression of Eris might manifest as the lust for struggle and violence, there is also a more positive manifestation in the most basic defense of one's rights in standing up to established power, by violence if necessary. By recognizing and coming to terms with this potentially violent factor in ourselves we can grow as humans and become more whole.
The astrology of Haumea seems to be related to love of the natural world and to the fecundity of natural process. This archetype thus signals profound connection to Nature, connection to Source, and a form of natural charisma.
The astrology of Makemake is related to love of the natural world and to the activism associated with defending the environment. This archetype thus signals a profound connection to nature that is quite similar to the archetype of Haumea, his fellow traveler in the Kuiper Belt, with the same astronomical designation and also named from the pantheon of indigenous gods and goddesses.
The Part of Fortune (from the Latin Pars Fortuna) is the only Arabian astrology part still commonly used in modern astrology. It indicates an area of life that is a fortunate one for the native. The house in which the Part of Fortune is placed indicates an area of your life which is likely to be a successful one for you; an area where the applications of your skill will bear fruit. Its is where you will find good luck and happiness.
The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also referred to as the dragon's head, The North Node indicates your goals. The placement of the North Node indicates work that needs to be done in your life, or new faculties that need to be developed in the present lifetime.
The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also known as the dragon's tail, the South Node indicates areas of mastery, often from a previous lifetime.
Aries people tend to be energetic, forceful and outgoing. They are good at getting things done, although they prefer starting to finishing. Like the energy of the first rush of spring, they move into the world in a headstrong, pioneering way. Aries people are likely to rush into things before reflecting, and may also be impatient or unwilling to sit back and allow events to mature.
Taureans revel in the pleasures of life. They crave the security and comfort of relaxing in the warmth of their home environment. They value the senses and the enjoyment of material things. Taureans are likely to work hard to make their home an attractive one. They also have the makings of a healer and have a large capacity for kindness.
Gemini is the sign associated with communication, logical thought processes (based on duality) and the conscious mind. Gemini people tend to be airy and intellectual, glib of tongue and curious about life and other people. They can experience two sides of things at the same time, and may tend to be flighty.
Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Their ruling planet is the Moon, and they tend to be moody, with constantly changing emotions. Cancerians are also likely to be security-conscious and highly value their home life. They may appear passive, and tend to rely on their feelings to make decisions. They are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around them.
Leos are likely to express themselves in dramatic, creative and assertive ways. They are also likely to enjoy the warmth of the physical Sun. Leos have great energy, courage and honesty. They are likely to be self-confident and maybe even a bit self-indulgent as they expect to be the center of attention, and often are. Leos can be quite determined and usually get their way when they really want to. They also possess great integrity, and are a natural leader.
Virgos love work, service to others and the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. They are also likely to be a good conversationalist, with wide-ranging knowledge and interesting ideas. They can be analytical and perhaps overly fond of detail, with perfectionist tendencies, and they may miss out on the big picture by concentrating on the micro. It also benefits them to learn the fine line between discrimination and criticism.
Libra is the sign of harmony and relationship. The Sun in Libra is at the time of the Equinox, when day equals night, and similarly Libra strives for balance between polarities. Librans are known for their good taste, elegance and charm. They are seekers of harmony and beauty.
Scorpio is the most intense sign of the Zodiac, and is associated with sexual activity and with the symbolism of death and rebirth. Their emotions run deep. Scorpios have great personal magnetism and great powers of persuasion or even the ability to coerce others.
Sagittarius is an optimistic, positive-thinking sign associated with the quest for freedom from all restriction as well as idealism, religion and philosophy. Sagittarians are direct and forthright, good-natured and affirmative in their outlook.
Capricorn people are ambitious and practical, and are likely to have an excellent sense of social responsibility. They also tend to be conscious of social mores, perhaps to the point of over-concern. Their natural caution allows them to advance slowly and steadily to the top.
Aquarians have a rebellious nature, and are eccentric, spontaneous and original. They are forward thinking and detached, and can seem conservative though they really are not very much so. They are scientifically minded and logical, and confident in manner.
Pisceans are friendly and likable, and yet can be very moody and introspective as well. Pisces is a watery sign, concerned with subtle emotions and secret mystical depths. Pisceans are not entirely at home in this world.