Mercury retrograde in Libra, Lunar eclipse in Aries
We’re past the halfway point of this Mercury retrograde (Sep 17-Oct 9, 2015), and so I have a few observations (The deepest learning of astrology comes through observation). Like all Mercury retrograde cycles this one is providing opportunities to revisit and reconnect with projects and relationships from the past, review misunderstandings or mistakes, and move towards resolving old issues. Since this Mercury retrograde takes place fully in the sign of Libra, the revisits may revolve around Libran values, such as interpersonal relating, empathy, and understanding the feelings and needs of both sides of any difference or conflict. Depending on the house of your birth chart where you have Libra will determine more specifically the types of things you may be reworking during this Mercury retrograde period.
Meanwhile the Lunar eclipse on Sep 27th was an interesting counterbalance occurring in the opposite sign of Aries. A Full Moon is always the peak, climax, or crisis point of the lunar month, but the addition of an eclipse takes it to a more intense level. Even though the deeper significations of an eclipse take place over a period of months (before and after the exact date of the eclipse), the day of the eclipse itself can certainly be telling too. I knew of three people who had this eclipse tightly conjunct one of their Aries planets, and they were all sick during the few days around the eclipse. Since this was an eclipse occurring near the South node of the Moon, it suggests a time of letting go. For those who were sick, I’m interpreting this as a detoxification process. But more generally this eclipse could be seen as a detoxification process for all of us in whatever part of our natal chart where we have Aries. I have Aries in my 7th house of one-to-one relationships, and right around the time of the eclipse, I had fleeting but important differences to attend to with a few people I connect with in a one-to-one way. Each one involved letting go of old thought forms or patterns. The fact that it was a Full Moon, an eclipse, and being in the fiery, impulsive, assertive sign of Aries added a higher degree of emotionality than might otherwise be present.
How did this eclipse play out for you? It’s always fruitful to note these things, in the same way it is fruitful to remember and explore the meanings of one’s dreams. These practices help us along the path towards greater self-knowledge and self-mastery.
During Mercury’s apparent travel backwards, at the midpoint of the retrograde phase, is a special moment when Mercury meets up with the Sun. This occurred on Sep 30th. It can be thought of as Mercury’s New Moon so to speak, the beginning point of a new Mercury cycle. Things are sown, either consciously or unconsciously, at this conjunction, so you can note what occurred on that day — ideas, discussions, events, or flashes or urges for a new and different way. It is an inception point, though it may not be clear just how those things will grow up and expand until after Mercury goes direct.
Before the Sun leaves Cancer and enters Leo tonight, I want to be with the Cancer archetype a little. Some images associated with Cancer, such as the turtle (who carries its home on its back) and the great mother — are all about the nurturing, safety, and comfort we associate with the sweetness of feeling at home. Having a place to call home — where we don’t have to be “on,” where we can gently remove any personas and just be — is so utterly important and basic to a solid sense of well-being that sometimes we take it for granted. Any success “out there” is dependent on having a place to come from and return to for rest and rejuvenation. A given sign of the zodiac follows the sign before it and grows out of it, is its fulfillment and completion in a sense, and produces a wholeness-making circle of the 12 signs. So Leo, which follows Cancer, is able to walk out all shiny and ready for creative self-expression after Cancer has taken care of basic needs and created a stable home from which to emerge.
“I feel for myself that being at home happens whenever I enter into the vibration of feeling completely, 100% invited to be what I am, to feel what I am, to abide in the sense of safety and wholeness in whatever is being experienced. An unconditional acceptance that I belong, I am loved. I am held.” ~Ari Moshe
Saturn takes about two and a half years to travel through each sign of the zodiac. Since October of 2012 Saturn has been in Scorpio, but tomorrow morning (Dec 23) Saturn will enter Sagittarius. Wherever Scorpio is in your chart is the area in which you had the opportunity to transcend yourself and your typical patterns for the last 2+ years, through the process of facing obstacles and restrictions presented by Saturn’s demands. Where Saturn is traveling represents the realm of life where you may currently need to restructure things, pay your dues, be disciplined, be patient, and be ultra responsible, etc. Saturn can be a stern taskmaster but if we listen and do as he urges, it will create positive results and changes over time. Over time is the key phrase here. The work we put in for Saturn takes time to develop and come to fruition. Integrity, achievement, and mastery are the rewards for obeying Saturn’s long-term plans and principles. Read more...
Saturn in Scorpio was about facing reality regarding intimacy, shared resources, and the depths of one’s own psyche. Saturn in Scorpio did not permit living in a fantasy world in any of these areas of life without some dire consequences. It may be useful to review the last couple of years to understand how this was true for you personally and in relation to the house of your chart where Scorpio resides… Now the hard work/discipline/reality check theme begins to shift to a new part of the self and life (as represented by the next house in your chart where Sagittarius resides) as Saturn shifts from Scorpio to Sagittarius. In Sagittarius Saturn will ask us to get real about our belief systems and ambitions. Anything that isn’t grounded in personal experience could be tested and required to come down to earth to become a more embodied wisdom, rather than simply a philosophical concept. Also, Sagittarius, being ruled by Jupiter, is known for being expansive, ambitious, and buoyant — the opposite qualities of contractive and pragmatic Saturn, so that will be an interesting counterbalance to sustain over the next few years.
Saturn in Scorpio: Oct 6, 2012 — Dec 23, 2014 & Jun 14, 2014 — Sep 17, 2015 Saturn in Sagittarius: Dec 23, 2014 — Jun 14, 2015 & Sep 17, 2015 — Dec 21, 2017
We had a Solar Eclipse New Moon on Mar 20th and there is a Lunar Eclipse Full Moon tomorrow morning (Apr 4th). This Lunar Eclipse (at 14º Libra) is tightly connected with the last exact Uranus/Pluto square, which though ebbing is still very active. So this Eclipse may correlate with moving in the direction of closure regarding the transformative process of internal and external restructuring that took place over the last three years.
The time around eclipses, and especially between a set of eclipses, can be highly charged for many (depending on how it is interacting with your birth chart), because eclipses have a way of bringing things up to the surface, which were previously only brewing in the unconscious. Once in plain view often something must be done or at least seen and accepted as a reality. In this way eclipses necessitate actions and attitudes that usher in needed change. But even positive change can be tumultuous or scary.
As always a Full Moon brings awareness or clarity (though often not until a day or two after the exact Full Moon) as it sheds light where there was darkness (the unknown) before. Also, Full Moons and Lunar Eclipses embody a polarization of some sort as the Sun and Moon are in direct opposition to one another. This opposition between two poles may be felt as an internal tension or experienced with an external person or situation. This eclipse is near the North node, so wherever Libra is in your birth chart, is where something new will be learned, assimilated, integrated, or received.
Jupiter entered Leo on July 16th for a stay of approximately one year. Every sign gets its turn and now it’s Leo’s turn to host larger than life Jupiter, who confers a touch of his divinity, buoyancy, and confidence wherever he goes. This is a welcome shift for Leo people everywhere! The Sun will enter Leo on Jul 22nd and there will be a New Moon in Leo on Jul 26th, ushering in the radiant, playful, noble, and fiery Leo vibe in a tangible and personal way. By the time Mercury and Venus reach Leo on Jul 31st and Aug 12th respectively, they will mark the final welcome celebrations of Jupiter into the sign of Leo. Leo is all about honor, dignity, and regalia, but also fun. Most importantly it is critical for the Leo archetype to have an appreciative audience to applaud Leo’s unique and shiny self-expression. Whatever house in your birth chart in which Leo resides will be the area of life to experience Jupiter’s expansive and beneficial influence over the next year. Read more...
(As an aside, I am especially thinking about my Leo rising friends who had Jupiter going through their 12th house for the last year, expanding their “troubles” [Jupiter tends to increase everything, not just the positive]. In actuality the 12th house is only “trouble” for the ego. In the 12th house we are forced to face karmic debts, look at repressed hurts and undeveloped parts of the self, and transcend personal desires and attachments. Focusing on spiritual pursuits and tuning into the Oneness is one of the purposes of the 12th house. Another is to offer a span for the completion of life lessons. Wonderful in theory but it’s usually a relief to have respite from 12th house work, which often goes unseen and unappreciated, and can even be hidden from oneself. Now, Leo rising people will have Jupiter in their 1st house over the next year, offering a new beginning and expanding their sense of self, so that will feel quite different from the 12th house transit.)
The Sun opposed Pluto on Jul 4th and squared Uranus on Jul 8th, once again triggering the life-changing Uranus/Pluto Square that started in 2012 and won’t complete until 2015 (I have written a lot about this in other posts, so I’m not going to focus on it here).Then the Sun squared Mars on Jul 19th. For the preceding week while this aspect was building, and for a few days after, irritability and impatience could be high, especially for Cancer and Libra people, yet this same aspect also lends the energy, enthusiasm, and readiness to plunge into action as needed.
Saturn in Scorpio and Uranus in Aries are quincunx for the whole month of July, but this aspect peaks on Jul 20th & 21st. Saturn and Uranus are very different energies — Saturn, being the old man father archetype who demands hard work, discipline, tradition, structure, precaution, practicality, and doing things by the book. Uranus, on the other hand is the wild card of the gods — associated with unpredictable, sudden, lightning bolt change, with a quick and brilliant spirit. Uranus seeks freedom at all costs no matter how shocking to the system and the old framework... The quincunx is an aspect that represents a relationship that is not in harmony, yet not in conflict either. Rather it is one in which there is no grounds for connection at all. The quincunx is where we must learn to make colossal adjustments so that we expand beyond the perspective that we are identified with and the modus operandi we are accustomed to. In this case, the quincunx is between the signs of Scorpio and Aries. A mitigating factor is that both signs are ruled by Mars, which gives the two archetypes some common ground. Yet their ways of expressing the warrior energy is what contributes to the disparateness between them. Aries represents Mar’s diurnal face — a direct and visible approach. Whereas Scorpio represents Mar’s nocturnal face — an undercover, concealed approach. The archetypes of Saturn and Uranus already correlate with two very different agendas and motivations within us, and now a quincunx is also in the mix. So right now it might feel especially difficult to reconcile the different functions of Saturn and Uranus (and Scorpio and Aries). Nevertheless by recognizing the value of both, we support the unfoldment of the the long-term process of reconciliation.
Saturn turns direct on Jul 20th while Uranus turns retrograde on Jul 21st. When a planet is retrograde, its qualities are more subtle, less apparent, and more turned inward instead of manifesting outwardly. This suggests that when Saturn was retrograde (since the beginning of March) and Uranus was direct, the need for freedom had the upper hand, whereas the need for security was more subdued. But now that Saturn will be direct, and Uranus will be retrograde (for the next 5 months), the need for security and stability could gain the upper hand, whereas the urge for freedom could be more subordinated.
On Jul 22nd Mercury opposes Pluto, and on Jul 24th Mercury squares Uranus (two pretty stressful aspects), but then trines Saturn (a flowing aspect). There is a potential for severe mental agitation, dark thoughts, and sudden outbursts over these days, along with huge opportunities for positive transformation and breakthroughs. As they say in Psychosynthesis, the more we can tolerate becoming aware of the lower unconscious (suffering, conflict, turmoil, etc.), the more easily we can access the higher unconscious (healing, beauty. bliss, etc.). These aspects are very motivating to practice self-empathy by getting in touch with underlying feelings and needs, and self-empowerment by setting and sticking to good boundaries and healthy limits. It’s hard work but the more we can do this for ourselves the more we can experience peace and practice compassion in our relationships with others.
There are other notable transits in July, such as Mars entering Scorpio on July 25th, after being in Libra for an inordinate amount of time (since Dec 2013), but this is enough for one blog!! Thanks for reading. :-)