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As you likely know, we are on the brink of another Mercury Retrograde. Within the past hour (ADT), Mercury turned around and is now appearing to be traveling backward, from astrology’s Earth-centered perspective, of course.
I didn’t get a weekly weather forecast out by Monday this week because my focus was on creating the Eclipse Primer (see last post), but I wanted to make a contribution to the Mercury Retrograde astro-reporting at its launch, since this Mercury cycle is significant. The last Mercury Rx occurred April 9th – May 3rd, 2017. It was clearly tied into the Venus Retrograde story, with its other point of emphasis being its prolonged station conjunct Uranus in Aries – a fiery explosion of insights and communication! Remember that? This Mercury Rx cycle will be intricately woven into the August 21st Eclipse story, so stay tuned!
Aside from the Lunar Eclipse on Monday, Mercury Rx is the biggest cosmic event of the week. However, I’ll do a quick summary…
The other weather of this week worthy of a brief mention, includes the Sun quincunx Pluto on Wednesday, August 9th. In the emotional aftermath of the Lunar Eclipse we may have gotten an extra dose of insecurities with this transit. Transformation and regeneration may have seemed an impossible dream. Out of touch with our power, we may have doubted our progress.
On Thursday there was some lovely astro lighting up the sky with Mercury sextiling Venus, and the Sun sextiling Jupiter – supportive aspects with two of the solar system’s key benefics. With so much tension still in the air, and the Moon moving through the depths of Pisces making some rough transits to the Sun, Saturn and Chiron, these sextiles may have been drowned out. Did you feel an extra spring in your step? Did you partake in a conversation of sweet loving words? Thursday was a crummy day for me overall, but I did have two supportive exchanges with peers in my professional field who I had reached out to earlier for advice, and the previous evening, I had gone for a wonderful restorative hike near the ocean.
Now we have arrived at the threshold of Mercury’s much heralded turnaround, occurring at 10:01 pm, Saturday, August 12th (ADT).
I LOVE MERCURY RETROGRADES!
There. I said it. Maybe it’s because I was born with Mercury Retrograde – also in the sign of its detriment (Pisces) – so maybe I’m just used to blurry, forgetful, dreamlike mental processes, but, nevertheless, I insist that Mercury Rx periods can be magical times for everyone.
Mercury’s retrograde begins at 11°38′ degrees Virgo, in an opposition to Neptune at 13°28′ degrees Pisces on the other side of the zodiac. Mercury’s Retrograde journey will take it back through Virgo, returning into Leo where it will reach the Rx finish line on September 5th at 28°25′ Leo. This is significant because 28° Leo is the exact same degree where the August 21st Total Solar Eclipse will occur. When a powerful cosmic event, like this upcoming eclipse, occurs at a certain degree in the zodiac, this degree remains extremely activated for quite some time afterwards. Its cosmic cells carry the memory of what has happened (arguably for years, according to some). Post-eclipse, there will be a particular rawness, there will be embers still burning, at 28° Leo.
Mars, the fiery warrior, will conjoin Mercury at this same potent degree only a day earlier just before Mercury pivots and turns Direct. Whatever the eclipse is correlated with in your life, it will pack another punch on September 5th when Mercury Stations at 28°25′ Leo. The magical synchronistic timing of the Universe always holds me captivated in wonder.
Early Saturday morning (ADT), on the same day that Mercury turns retrograde in opposition to Neptune, Venus trined Neptune (while still in a separating sextile with Mercury). Clearly, Neptune is very much involved in Saturday’s cosmic weather and Mercury’s Rx launch. At its best, Neptune symbolizes spirituality, unconditional love, the interconnectedness in life, dreamlike bliss, and imaginative creativity. At its worst, it can bring escapism, confusion, lies, and deceit.
Mercury in Virgo is exacting. Perfecting. Discerning. Organized. Consumed by having the details just so. Mercury in Virgo is like a writer working carefully at editing their manuscript. The opposition to Neptune could be a glass of water spilled on all their hard work, blurring the ink into indecipherable chaos.
Mercury in Virgo is like an outdoor summer wedding that has been meticulously and thoroughly planned and prepared for, from the designer napkins to the intricate flower arrangements. The opposition to Neptune could be that downpour of rain that occurs just before the procession begins, soaking the guests and turning the beautiful placeholders into paper mush.
Mercury retrograde is already a time period known for its confusion, its miscommunications, its technology screw ups, its travel delays.
“Universe!” We may protest, “Perhaps you have made a timing error of cosmic proportions?! Did we really need Neptune’s ocean smothering Mercury’s already disintegrating clarity with its ocean of transcendent other-worldliness, much to Virgo’s consternation?”
Yes. Yes, we did apparently.
Face the incoming wave head on. Instead of bemoaning the delays, the crossed wires, and tech blips, capitalize on the deeper knowing that Neptune and Mercury Rx welcomes you into. In the thick of Eclipse Season it may feel like you are in the surreal realm of the twilight zone, but look closer.
Penetrate the mysterious swirling Neptunian fog with a piercing gaze into your psyche and the undercurrents beneath the surface of tangible reality – the magic super powers of Mercury Retrograde allows you this precious opportunity.
During Mercury’s 3-week long Retrograde, look for themes in your life relating to: siblings; friends from the past; new insights; the development or validation of communication skills and your learning capacity; the discovery, or rediscovery of important and unexpected information.
If I can give one piece of advice for Mercury Rx, I would highly suggest journaling! If you are astro-savvy, journal while simultaneously making notes about the global and personal aspects Mercury makes on its backward journey.
Mercury is all about communication, both written and verbal, as well as our thought processes. A retrograde is all about reviewing, re-assessing, re-thinking, re-imagining, re-working… and journaling is a powerful tool to facilitate that. Furthermore, when all is said and done and we’re clear and sailing into the post-Rx period, you’ll be able to connect the dots and see the big picture; the gifts Mercury delivered while you were cursing at your malfunctioning phone or tapping your foot impatiently while waiting for your train to arrive.
The Goddesses have your back this Rx Cycle.
You have additional cosmic powers at your disposal this season 😉 While I consider the placement of Asteroid Goddesses in individual charts, I don’t normally comment on the transits of the Asteroid Goddesses in global forecasts. However, aspects to a planet’s two retrograde pivot points are important to take into account in order to better understand the nature, the themes, of the retrograde journey.
Three of the four commonly used asteroid goddesses are closely involved in Mercury’s initial pivot this weekend – Vesta, Ceres, and Pallas Athene, along with the True Black Moon Lilith (the Moon’s apogee). Finally, Mercury will trine Juno, the fourth Asteroid Goddess, later in its travels on August 27th.
We already know that Neptune’s spiritual transcendence is playing a role, but Mercury is also in a close conjunction with Vesta, at the time of its pivot. Vesta is the archetype of the priestess; devoted to her holy purpose, to serving others, to seeking spiritual rejuvenation and wholeness. Beneath Vesta’s careful guidance, the most mundane matters become imbued with sacred, numinous energy and meaning. Vesta’s placement in our natal charts indicates where our innermost fires burn, which we must dutifully attend to – otherwise we risk energetic depletion and a sense of looming emptiness.
At Mercury’s pivot, Vesta whispers to us, “Walk gently. You are on sacred ground.”
Proceed with grace, divine creatures. Replenish your inner stores, add fuel to your soul’s fire, and rededicate yourself in service of humanity.
At the time of its Retrograde commencing, Mercury will be in a sextile to Ceres, currently conjoined with Venus in Cancer, which is also still sextiling Mercury. Ceres is the archetype of Mother Nature, the Earth Mother. She is associated with the Earth’s seasonal transitions and cycles from Spring to Winter, from seeding to harvest. While the Moon references the way we nurture ourselves emotionally, Ceres focuses more on the way we nourish ourselves physically; the way we take care of our embodied selves as we move through time.
According to Greco-Roman myths, after Pluto abducted her beautiful daughter Persephone and took her with him to his Underworld kingdom, Ceres turned the Earth desolate with her grief until humanity’s suffering prompted Zeus/Jupiter to intervene. However, because Persephone had eaten the pomegranate seeds offered by Pluto in his underworld, she was bound to him. A compromise was struck. Persephone would spend half the year on the Earth with her mother, and the remaining six months of the year, in the Underworld with Pluto. Along with her association with season changes and life cycles, with death and renewal, Ceres is also associated with the raw, wild grief and rage that can accompany loss.
With her involvement in Mercury’s pivot, Ceres may be reminding us to take good care as we move through feelings of possible loss that come with the changes initiated by eclipses. Honour your cycles, honour your body’s need for nutritious food, for plentiful sleep, for healthy exercise, for tears that may flow. Mourn for that which is taken from you, for that which ends. Mourn the pain and suffering of humanity, and yet ground yourself in the hopeful promise of abundance; when the gifts of the harvest can be distributed and shared with everyone.
Mercury will form a nearly exact Earth trine with Pallas Athene in Taurus at its pivot point. Pallas Athene is the wise, diplomatic and strategic guardian and warrior goddess, protecting cities from harm. Unlike Mars, whose impulsive, assertive nature sends him catapulting into battle, Pallas Athene remains cool-headed, rational, and considers every option to determine the best course of action – always with the aim to resolve conflicts and uphold justice, without resorting to violence. Pallas Athene – the patroness of the arts and crafts, gifted with pattern recognition and prophetic abilities – is also a creative big-picture visionary with the ability to manifest her plans and bring them into reality.
With her blessing on Mercury’s Retrograde launch, Pallas Athene grants us the ability to perceive the underlying patterns in our lives that need to be addressed, to problem-solve issues whose resolutions have thus far eluded us, and to access the guidance required to bring our latent dreams into tangible forms.
Both Pallas Athene and Mercury form two points of a Grand Earth Trine that is made complete by (True) Black Moon Lilith at 8° Capricorn. All three will move into an exact trine formation within 24 hours of Mercury going Retrograde.
The trine to Black Moon Lilith in Capricorn lends this Mercury Rx period the guts and the courage to face, and express, uncomfortable truths – and to hold authorities accountable for their misdemeanors. Lilith in Capricorn provides the stamina for unearthing the buried structures of your psyche, and for rebuilding anew, regardless of whether or not your method, your direction, aligns with the mainstream.
Finally Mercury will meet Juno, the final Asteroid Goddess (at 2° Virgo/ Capricorn), on August 27th, through a trine. Juno here, supports our efforts to seek cooperation and harmony as we navigate this tumultuous season, rather than surrendering to fragmentation and conflict.
When considering these gifts and blessings from the cosmic Goddesses, combined with the natural increase of insight that accompanies a Mercury Retrograde period, it becomes clear we are being supported by the Universe for the tasks that lie ahead.
Translate it into whatever religion or spiritual beliefs you abide by: You are supported by the Universe.
Now go forward. Your retrograde journey awaits.
The very next day, on Sunday, the Sun will form a sturdy, stabilizing trine to Saturn. Find your ground. Find your feet. You are a beautifully embodied soul. Stand firm in your incredible strength and resilience.
And remember, the goddesses have your back.
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