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…
Last night Pluto turned direct after being retrograde since Apr 14th. When a planet prepares to change directions (or more accurately, its apparent motion from our perspective on Earth), it gradually and increasingly slows down first, comes to a full stop, and then slowly begins to move in the opposite direction. If the planet changes directions at a degree of the zodiac that aspects your chart, the experience of that aspect will be prolonged and intensified. In the case of Pluto, the slowest moving planetary archetype that we study in astrology, this means that if you have any significant planets or points in your chart at or close to 11º Capricorn or 11º of the other Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, or Libra), you will be feeling this Pluto station especially strongly during all of Aug, Sept, and Oct 2014.
So what does an intense Pluto aspect feel like? Well, Pluto is the god of the “underworld.” If you have been “abducted,” like Persephone was by Hades, you will be feeling it — maybe only symbolically or internally but possibly more literally, depending on what is needed for your personal growth. Read more...
In modern astrology we try to emphasize the positive psychological benefits of all planetary influences, so we use words like transformation, death and rebirth, and rising anew like the phoenix from its ashes, when speaking of Pluto. We talk about going within into the depths of one’s being and taking an honest look at what is hidden and lurking in the darkness of one’s unconscious. All of that is relevant and true, but sometimes Pluto transits are described that way instead of being described simply as being in hell, faced with cruel circumstances or actual criminals, and only to be released after a long and tortuous nightmare is over. During an intense contact with Pluto, it can truly feel like being in hell and it is possible you will meet some dark characters while there. I want to honor that fully. But in time, like Persephone, we may come to appreciate our time in the underworld. We have learned so much about ourselves and about life from the abyssal voyage. We have probably lost a bit more innocence and naiveté, painful as it is necessary. In Jungian psychology it is said that what is not given a conscious outlet in oneself will be encountered externally in others. By the time we return to the surface where the sun shines, we will not only be wiser and stronger, but we will be more whole, as we integrate our experience of Pluto. That is why Pluto is also associated with hidden treasures, riches, and wealth. We must venture down below in order to discover and take them for ourselves.
Pluto went retrograde on April 10th. Because Pluto moves so slowly, when it is stationing to change directions, it stays in the same degree of the zodiac for weeks to months at a time, creating a powerful force field of Plutonian energy in one spot. If activating one’s natal chart, Pluto stationing can feel as though a hole is being burned through the part of oneself that Pluto is touching. Pluto is the planet that most correlates with depth psychology and integrating the shadow, because Pluto aspects or transits are known to bring to light things that we would rather keep hidden, even from ourselves. Read more...
Pluto, aka Hades, rules the underworld. As in the Greek myth when he abducted Persephone down into the underworld, Pluto transits may feel as though one is being carried off unwillingly to an area of darkness and forced to face a difficulty, while feeling powerless to overcome it. The experience often involves a letting go process of some sort — letting go of control, letting go of what is comfortable and familiar, letting go of a superficial reality — for the purpose of admitting in a deeper inner truth and going beyond old limitations.
“Pluto’s transits are ordinarily concerned with the death and destruction of the old, this destruction being necessary in order to make room for the new… Pluto, by transit, therefore symbolizes the power to release the more enduring from the transitory, whether it be the soul from the body at death or the individual self from the old shell of personality and ego. Transiting Pluto brings to the surface hidden or subliminal conditions in order that this energy can be released from the old shell and transformed into a new source of consciously-usable power.” ~Stephen Arroyo
Pluto: the underworld, healing, and true empowerment
Pluto is preparing to turn direct on Fri, 9/16/2011, after 5 months of being retrograde. When a planet slows down to stop and change directions, it is often felt more powerfully because if your chart is being aspected by a more or less stationary planet, you are getting a longer lasting and more intense hit, a slow burn, from it (Pluto is basically in the same spot, 4º53” Capricorn, from 9/12-9/21!). Even if you dont have any planets or points in your chart being stimulated by Pluto at the moment, the core features of the Pluto archetype may still be resonating in you right now because Pluto is stationing direct.
Pluto (known as Hades in Greek mythology, god of the underworld) is symbolic of the dark unconscious places within the psyche. This includes all the painful emotions (grief, rage, shame, etc) that we have ever experienced and then repressed in order to go about our daily lives without falling apart. But those shadows do not go away — they simply lie dormant, buried deep within the heart, until something happens in life to trigger one of our old core wounds. And then boom, we explode. Or alternatively we implode, collapse, or dissolve. When this happens, usually we are surprised and caught off guard by our own or anothers reactivity. Read more...
All along Pluto has been waiting and watching. He senses when we may be strong enough to finally face those buried wounds within (possibly showing up as an intense Pluto transit to our natal chart). Perhaps after experiencing a troubling reoccurring pattern, or an addiction, or a painful breakup, etc — we decide we want to get to the root, we want to change, we want to heal. Often this means acknowledging that the current situation or conflict is triggering something deeper. If we are brave and willing to dig around, we usually find a hurt little child self — abandoned, abused, traumatized in some way, and then possibly dissociated or shut down. As children and as adults we find ways to cope and live through traumas. Weve all had them. Its part of life. But Pluto demands that we integrate those painful scenarios into consciousness so that we are no longer unconsciously controlled by them.
Pluto is about empowerment, but true power means being courageous enough to face the things we are afraid to look at or afraid to admit, own them, feel the feelings connected with them, and ultimately find the real truth of who we are. Often the things that cause us the most pain are based on false conclusions, which we came to in order to explain the trauma. Especially as children we take everything personally and we unconsciously interpret someones failure to be present or loving as our own fault, inadequacy, or lack of importance. This all happens at an unconscious level. Enter Pluto: Pluto shows us that by facing the pain, we also get to recover the truth, which is of our innate worth, lovability, and holiness — regardless of whatever we have lived through. Through our healing process we may also rediscover faith in life and in humanity, which we hadnt even realized was lost.
Recently I was reminded of a special tool that works amazingly well at helping to not only uncover the underlying issues that scar the heart, but also to help heal them — in the context of relationships. It is called an Imago Dialogue (or Couples Dialogue) and can be done within any important relationship in which you are experiencing conflict — feeling distant, unheard, angry, resentful, or hurt, etc.
“Imago theory shows that most conflicts that have a painful ‘charge are only 10% about the present situation and 90% about some past wound that is causing pain now. Imagine if you could truly heal old wounds.” (Tim Atkinson)
The Imago Dialogue is a form of communication that requires active listening, mirroring, validation, and empathy. It may feel tedious to go through the structure of this format (and if you are really angry there is the option of doing it over instant messaging so that you have some space and the emotions dont continue to get out of control with one another). However, If you go through with the process, I can almost guarantee it will have some beneficial results — creating insights, understanding, and even lasting healing.
Jun 27-28: Powerful forces within and without are exerting pressure. Pluto challenges us to the core to surrender that which on the spiritual level is no longer serving us. It can feel like a death. But rebirth into a more self-empowered place must follow (Sun opposite Pluto ☉☍♇).
A comment from an astrology friend about this aspect: “Living with and grappling with ones demons in that underworld subconscious zone below the rational...” In this painting the mythological god, Pluto/Hades, is holding a key. Another comment from the same wise friend in regard to this aspect and the symbolism of the painting: “Facing and dealing with the ‘hot radioactive content at the core of the psyche and transforming it is the key. Otherwise it destroys you.”
Chiron (the wounded healer/teacher) goes retrograde...
Inevitably through life we suffer wounds along the way. We strive to heal the best we can and acquire wisdom from each experience. As Chiron (the wounded healer/teacher archetype) goes retrograde, reflections upon this process could arise. If we become aware of an old scar or a current hurt, we also can see how far we have come and how much we have learned. The myth of Chiron suggests we all help to “heal” others through our own work to heal ourselves.
There is a New Moon Solar Eclipse at 12º Gemini ♊ today at 5:03pm EST. Solar eclipses magnify the effects of the New Moon by eclipsing something in our lives that has become static or is holding us back, and inspires us to change or move forward into a new cycle. At times this process involves stirring up content buried in the unconscious. This eclipse is trine Saturn, which will help us stay strong and steady on our growth path.
In Hindu cosmology and astrology, eclipses are associated with a myth about churning the Ocean of Milk (the Milky Way, and a symbol for the vastness of consciousness, much of which is in the dark, i.e. not known to us), hence the notion that elements in the unconscious might get stirred up during eclipses.
With this New Moon being in Gemini (joining the Sun) it favors making connections, communication of all forms, and the processes for learning and integrating new material...
My favorite note about eclipses: “There is no denying the fact that a few prayers and ordeals undergone with keen concentration, concurrently with the eclipse of the sun or moon, do result in great spiritual benefit to the individual concerned.” ~Meher Baba (Treasures pp. 191-192)
Venus ♀ and Mars ♂ unite at 10º Taurus ♉ today. Venus is the epitome of harmony and beauty. She is passive, receptive, but gets what she wants through the power of attraction, whereas Mars actively initiates and will fight for and conquer whatever he desires. They are opposites, but have an irresistible need for one another, because together they achieve balance...
Venus is in her home sign in Taurus so she may have the upper hand right now — to coax Mars into submission to her wishes for peace and affection...
Wherever 10º Taurus ♉ is in your chart is where you will experience these two archetypes during this influence, which could last a few days on either side of 5/23.
At the same time, Im still feeling the feisty energy in the realm of communication from the Mercury Mars conjunction of a couple days ago... Especially yesterday and today while the Moon is in Aquarius ♒ inspiring us to be true to ourselves, even if that means not pleasing others.
During Mercury Retrograde, Mercury appears to move backwards. It also fades out of visibility in the night sky. As Mercury stations direct, it reappears in the morning sky.
“The Egyptians saw the appearance of a Morning Star as a God rising from the UnderWorld - the realm of the Dead, and thus being re-born... As Mercury Stations direct [in Aries], we are receiving personal messages about how we need to be re-born into the Warrior archetype and how to communicate, move and problem solve like a Warrior... It is not so much about conquering anything or anyone else as much as conquering your own fears or feelings of inadequacy or inability.” ~Gary Caton
As Mercury slows to turn direct tomorrow, we may yet experience a few surprises: Venus, goddess of all things beautiful, artistic, and charming collides with brilliant but rule-breaking Uranus in the impetuous sign of Aries... Not to mention Venus is not so comfortable with fast-acting, trailblazing Aries, as he represents the opposite of her more balanced and receptive nature.
Although Venus (Aphrodite) and Mars (Ares) are opposite, as we know, opposites attract. In mythology they were lovers.