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November 20, 2014
Squares to Neptune = up in the clouds
Venus squared Neptune earlier today (Nov 20), the Sun squares Neptune on Nov 26, and Mercury squares Neptune on Nov 30. It could be challenging to stay grounded during these times. Fantasies, daydreams, idealism, mental distractions, and atmospheric disturbances may abound with these aspects. Yet intuitive, non-rational, inspirational, and mystical revelations of truth are also more available with these connections to Neptune. The challenge is to have discernment and discrimination. What is real? What is my psyche vs. someone else’s psyche? Boundaries are more blurred, which can be challenging but also a wonderful opportunity to access other dimensions and surrender to Divine intelligence. In the middle of these aspects, Mercury also conjuncts Saturn on Nov 25. This will encourage the capacity to focus the mind and take steps to manifest into tangible reality the perceptions that sift down during the squares to Neptune.
As Mercury continues to move backwards, he converges with the Sun today and is fully absorbed into the Sun’s light. I have heard a couple of explanations about this that I really like. One is that when a planet is conjunct the Sun, it becomes purified by the heat and fire of the Sun. Since Mercury represents the mind, thoughts, and how we communicate, we can take this moment as an opportunity to consciously choose to place certain habitual thought forms or patterns of communication that are no longer serving us, into a symbolic sacred fire to be dissolved and burned away. The other explanation I like is that the conjunction with the Sun represents a significant moment to seed a new beginning. So after the fire there is a space, an opportunity for regeneration, and a freedom to create a new thought, a new idea, a new way of communicating that represents how we want to think and express ourselves moving forward into the future. The rest of the Mercury retrograde cycle (through Oct 25) can be an incubation period providing time for further research, development, and clarification for this new consciousness or intention.
The next Mercury retrograde period is immanent (Oct 4th thru 25th), and we have been in the shadow period since Sep 13th. Mercury goes retrograde 3 to 4 times a year, so it is something to embrace! Yes, Mercury is a little mischievous, but there is nothing to fear or dread about Mercury appearing to go backwards for a few weeks! Having awareness of when it is and what it means, however, helps to either avoid those stereotypical mishaps associated with it, or have more patience and understanding about the message Mercury is trying to convey through those mishaps, when they do happen. If I were to try to briefly sum up my observations about Mercury retrograde it would be this:
Mercury retrograde gives us an opportunity to slow down and be more conscientious about how we are thinking, speaking, connecting, and interacting. Things that are said, heard, decided, bought, sold, created, or destroyed, etc. by you or those you are dealing with or relating to, during Mercury retrograde and possibly during the shadow period before it, will often need to be revisited and altered after Mercury goes direct. Knowing this makes all the difference. Read more...
So, for example, when you find yourself making an important decision, judgement, or purchase during Mercury retrograde, remember it might not be written in stone, as more information will often be revealed in the situation after Mercury goes direct, which may add to your perspective at that point. Regarding electronics, vehicles, and other equipment having problems during Mercury retrograde — Mercury is just the messenger. These problems were most likely developing for a long time under the surface and thanks to Mercury, they are now brought to your attention so you can deal with them.
In Mythology, where we glean much of our astrological symbolism from and apply it psychologically, Mercury is a complex archetype. He is not only associated with day-to-day things like commerce and communication, but he is also the only god who can travel freely between the worlds, transporting souls to and from the underworld, and the staff that he carries, the Caduceus, is a mystical symbol indeed…
Today Mercury retrograde is conjunct the Sun: “Mercury is in the Heart of the Sun, symbolically in the throne room of the King. This is the ‘seed moment’ of the Mercury cycle — as the Earth, Mercury and the Sun all line up in a straight line. Thus, it is a wonderful time to set your intentions with respect to communications, movement, learning, teaching and any other Mercurial significations” (Gary Caton). This conjunction of Mercury with the Sun is near where the eclipse happened — once again highlighting the area of one’s chart where Scorpio lies, and showing a specific area of life and self where one can focus the intention. “I believe that if there is something you wish to achieve or master, it helps to sit down first and have an image of yourself already there” (Howard Sasportas)
Mercury is now direct as of 1:40am (eastern time) today (after 3.5 weeks retrograde). Things may progress forward now, though the day or two before and after Mercury changes directions can be a little hectic.
Mercury is now direct, as of this morning. However, he is stationary, in the same degree or so for a couple of days before gaining momentum forward, possibly bringing some intensity to all Mercury related things (thinking, communication, commerce, travel, etc) as they become “un-stuck.” Mercury is still in his “shadow,” in that he will be traveling over the part of the zodiac that he traversed while moving “backwards.” But this time he is moving forwards, without needing to go back over this same ground again after this. So although Mercury will not reach new territory, so to speak, until about Apr 23rd, this post-retrograde shadow is not the same as the pre-retrograde shadow. This period may still include working through some issues that arose in the past, but final resolution is more likely now. Whatever is agreed upon from this point forward will most likely not need to be redone or revised, as is often the case with agreements made during the pre-retrograde shadow and the retrograde period.
Though Mars is still retrograde in Virgo through Apr 13th, Mars retrograde may not affect the agreements per se, as much as Mercury does. Rather, Mars affects the actions that need to happen in order to follow through on those agreements. This just suggests that the actions to fulfill the agreements may still take more time while full analysis is completed during the end of the retrograde cycle... In short, moving forward on agreements is supported, while patience for the fulfillment of them may still be needed.
A week of internal new beginnings and “seed moments”
We have a New Moon each month as the Moon conjoins the Sun. This moment marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle. When the Sun meets up in this way with any planet, it marks a new cycle, a sort of new birth, for that planet. So in addition to a New Moon we could have a “New Venus” or a “New Jupiter”. The conjunction with the Sun is said to be a “seed moment” for the planet. This week has been full of new beginnings and seed moments: Read more...
The Spring Equinox on 3/20 — when the Sun enters 0º Aries, it is the astrological New Year, an opportunity for overall revitalization.
The seed moment of Mercury on 3/21 — A New Mercury is an opportunity to grasp a new perspective and create new mental patterns and thought-ways.
The seed moment of the Moon on 3/22 — A New Moon marks an opportunity to discover and honor where one’s heart is in the now.
The seed moment of Uranus 3/24 — A New Uranus signifies an opportunity to embrace change, which will support underlying soul longings for freedom from bondage.
Yet these new beginnings are happening mostly on a deeply internal level for now, as Mercury is retrograde (Mar 7-Apr 4) and Mars is also retrograde (Jan 23-Apr 13). Although the excitement of change and newness is brewing, I am reminding myself that there may be little decision-making, external proof, or action that needs to take place just yet. These transitions are all still occupying the inner realm of intention and will unfold with more clarity and drive after Mercury and Mars go direct.
Mercury goes direct tonight at 8:43p EST. While Mercury is changing directions (apparently to us from our perspective on Earth), his trickster ways can be even more active. In response to miscommunications, misunderstandings, delays, or mistakes — I am reminding myself things like: the same word can mean very different things to different people, and there is no real rush, everything in its perfect time, etc. Typically, Mercury retrograde issues can be remedied with a little extra care. And after today, communications, purchases, contracts, and moving forward in general will most likely have less resistance and more momentum.
Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius ♐ (Nov 24-Dec 13)
Sagittarius is sometimes known as the archetype that likes to share thoughts, beliefs, and wisdom in an enthusiastic and outspoken manner. Jupiter, the large planet that rules Sagittarius, expands everything connected to it. When Mercury is in Sagittarius — we may like to express ourselves — a lot. However when Mercury is retrograde, our minds may not be as clear, we may not have all the facts yet, we may misunderstand what we hear, or we may say too much (but we may also be more intuitive, imaginative, and free thinking during Merc retro)! Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius can be a potent combination — challenging us to be more reflective, mindful, and sensitive about what we say, how we say it, and when we share…
Mercury turned retrograde early on Thanksgiving morning
It can be helpful to know that small travel issues, communication delays, or business glitches (such as being charged twice for something accidentally or not receiving an email) are more common during Mercury retrograde. I mention this not so that we will expect these things, but so we can try to be flexible and flowing if they do occur. The deeper purpose of this part of Mercury’s cycle is to give us a necessary review period, which may include fixing things or situations that we hadn’t before realized were neglected or in need of extra attention. Or perhaps we didnt have the time or it just wasnt the right moment before, because we were too involved with going “forward” in our lives... Mercury is traveling back from 20° to 3º Sagittarius ♐. Where this falls in your chart will be an area of focus over the next few weeks.