“My evenings are taken up very largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth. Some remarkable things have turned up which will certainly appear incredible to you.”
~Carl Jung in a letter to Sigmund Freud (June 12, 1911)
I offer astrological counseling for psycho-spiritual exploration, understanding, and transformation. Astrology utilized in this way can be a missing key for deep inner work and can shed light on the path towards greater harmony with the natural rhythms and cycles of one’s life journey. My approach to astrology is to share the potentials and opportunities I see while exploring how the symbols and archetypes are manifesting uniquely for each individual. Astrology is a wonderful tool for self-knowledge and a help in times of challenge or transition. It can facilitate tremendous insight and peace, as well as provide timelines for certain archetypal or energetic influences reflected in our lives and inner states of being. Consultations available for birth chart exploration, current influences, relationship dynamics, and timing for important events.
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.
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.
Today an astrology friend mentioned to me her observation about the current Mercury retrograde: “It seems like I have to go backward rather than being able to go forward with my plans. But when I really look at it I see that all the stuff that comes up does serve my plans from a larger perspective… Just not the ones I had at the top of my most current to do list.” This is a helpful way to perceive the classic delays or needed repairs that occur during Mercury retrograde.
My experience with this Mercury retrograde is the uncanniness of how unresolved issues from the past pop up like clockwork during Mercury’s retrograde phase. Especially when it is something that was initiated during a previous Mercury retrograde cycle. It seems it will forevermore come up in subsequent Mercury retrogrades, in hopes of resolution! Yet in many circumstances it may be that a final resolution will be impossible until a resolution is reached while Mercury is direct and not retrograde. Remembering this can help when patience for things to be resolved is needed. Because even if it is resolved during Mercury retrograde it may not *really* be resolved, so might as well sit tight and peacefully wait for that desired resolution until after Mercury turns direct!
Likewise, I am once again observing that if a decision is made during the shadow phase, which started on May 4th this time, I should be prepared that it may not be as final as it seems. The issue will probably surface again for review during the retrograde phase, and the decision may even appear to move in the reverse direction (appropriate symbolism for a retrograde planet). Further reviews may occur in the post-retrograde shadow phase. However when a decision is come to after Mercury is direct, it has usually gone through the necessary back and forth process and will actually be final.
The same astrology friend as mentioned above said another telling thing that reflects this back and forth process of a retrograde planet: “It was like ironing. I had to go back and forth till I got the thing ironed out.”
Mercury is preparing to turn retrograde Jan 21st—Feb 11th, and we are already in the shadow period. Mercury retrograde can be thought of as a time when Mercury takes a break from normal duties and goes on a little vacation. This is often considered a frustration for people, but in actuality it is meant to give all of us a vacation of sorts. The pre-retrograde shadow period from Jan 5th—Jan 20th is a built in span of time that can help us prepare mentally and take some practical steps to get ready for this type of vacation. Read more...
Here are a few examples of the ways in which we can try to flow harmoniously with Mercury’s holiday. Mercury retrograde can be a vacation from making big decisions, since one may not have all the pertinent information and clarity until after Mercury turns direct. Or it can be a vacation from shopping for anything beyond day-to-day necessities, since one may be a bit more blurry on details and relevant factors when considering the options presented. And it certainly can be a vacation from jumping to conclusions or assumptions about what someone said or meant, as it will be revealed in time, but perhaps not fully during the retrograde period.
Taking a break from things like this creates room for what Mercury retrograde is actually for: introspection, introversion, slowing down the pace, reviewing the past, clearing up or fixing things from the past, pondering, mulling things over, and sleeping on it, etc. The delays that are often associated with Mercury retrograde can be seen as beneficial and helpful in allowing the type of spaciousness that is needed to balance the habitual go go go energy of typical daily life.
We are in a new lunar cycle (The New Moon was yesterday on Jan 20th in Aquarius). The New Moon is about bravely stepping into the unknown to begin something new. The Moon is dark and the night is dark, with no light illuminating the way ahead. Correspondingly, we cannot see exactly how the new terrain in the journey, with its challenges, endeavors and developments, will unfold. We don’t have all the information yet, and we don’t know precisely what will happen. And that is as it should be – we just have to be ok with it! All we know now is that we must take the first step to begin the process. Over the next couple of weeks things will develop (possibly with some delays due to Mercury retrograde), and on the Full Moon on February 3rd, more will be clear. It never fails. The light of the Full Moon always brings some bit of new clarity or information which was not there before.
We are currently experiencing an exciting and electrifying Grand Trine (a harmonious, flowing aspect pattern) amongst planets in the three fire signs. The Sun, Mercury, and Venus are in Sagittarius, Jupiter is in Leo, and Uranus is in Aries — with trines happening between Nov 26 and Dec 14, 2014 (see exact dates below). In a few words, the Sun is a symbol of the core self, identify and vitality. Mercury is a symbol of the mind and how we express ourselves. Venus is a symbol of love, beauty, pleasure, and wealth. While these inner archetypes connect harmoniously with Jupiter, there is a sense of optimism, opportunity, and grace. While they connect harmoniously with Uranus, there is the potential for flashes of knowing, radical change, and freedom from limitations that have constrained us in the past. A Grand Trine can bring forth rewards for work already completed. Read more...
We are also approaching a Full Moon on Dec 6, which is the climactic phase of the lunar cycle, and we are building up towards the next Uranus/Pluto square on Dec 15th. This will be the sixth of seven exact hits of this life-changing and transformative square (an aspect representing a turning point) from 2012-2015. All of this together can be a little overstimulating, but that is the small price we pay for exquisite and welcome changes, breakthroughs, and opportunities that may present themselves during this period.
Nov 26th — Venus trine Uranus Dec 4th — Venus trine Jupiter Dec 4th — Sun trine Uranus Dec 5th — Mercury trine Uranus Dec 6th — Full Moon in Gemini Dec 12th — Mercury trine Jupiter Dec 14th — Sun trine Jupiter Dec 15th — Uranus square Pluto
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…
There is a lot happening today — Mercury is turning retrograde (see post from Sept 27), the Sun is square Pluto, Mars is trine Uranus (see post from Sept 26), and the Moon’s happenings can always be discussed. However, this post is about the upcoming eclipses!
As my wise Bubby (grandmother) used to say, “Life brings changes” — a perfect saying for eclipse season, which comes around about twice a year. There are 2 eclipses in October, a Lunar Eclipse Full Moon on Oct 8th and and a Solar Eclipse New Moon on Oct 23rd. In general, eclipses break up stagnancy and create powerful portals that we must walk through — as something old dissolves away while at the same time something new emerges. Often the changes and transitions marked by eclipses are desired and can feel refreshing and freeing. On the other hand, sometimes the changes are not desired by the ego-consciousness and are experienced as loss. Either way, cosmic intelligence is clearing a path, and we are launched forward into the next phase in our journey of personal growth towards wholeness and Self-realization. Read more...
Eclipses intensify the energies of the New and Full Moons, which can already be emotional, unpredictable, or tempestuous, so traditionally it is advised to exercise more caution around these times. Another traditional piece of wisdom about eclipses is that things started right before an eclipse occurs can literally be “eclipsed” (unexpectedly obscured, changed, or blocked out). So if it is something that you want to grow instead of something that you want to diminish, or if is something serious that you don’t want any surprises with, it is often advised to wait until the eclipses pass before initiating it, when possible
Eclipses happen in sets, slowly working their way backwards through the opposing signs and unfolding a process that affects each of us differently depending on which pair of signs and houses they are falling in within our own charts. If an eclipse is triggering a significant point in your birth chart, the effect of the eclipse is usually felt well before the eclipse occurs and for several months afterwards, especially until the next set of eclipses occurs.
In this current set, the Lunar Eclipse Full Moon (near the South Node of the Moon) on Oct 8th represents reaching a pinnacle of clarity about something that is being released. It may be something you want to be free of, yet the process of letting go can still be difficult or painful. Wherever 15º Aries is in your chart will give clues about what that might be for you. This lunar eclipse seems extra potent, because it is close to where the Cardinal Grand Cross peaked in April, and it is bringing to fruition a process of growing awareness that was strongly activated then. It could be enlightening to contemplate what was happening for you in the Spring, how it has evolved, how you are transformed, and what is now moving towards completion or closure.
In contrast, the Solar Eclipse New Moon (near the North Node of the Moon) on Oct 23rd represents a juncture for venturing into unfamiliar territory and actively taking something new into your life. Wherever 0º Scorpio is in your chart will give clues about what that is for you…
There are two particularly tense times in June that echo the dramatic changes, upheavals, and long-term effects of the Cardinal Grand Cross that peaked in April. On June 14th Mars squared Pluto again, and on June 25th Mars will oppose Uranus again. Squares and oppositions are known to be stressful or hard aspects, but they serve the purpose of pressuring us to turn corners, make choices, and overcome obstacles or problems that require attention, by calling upon our ingenuity, strength, and determination. Mars contributes plenty of vigor and energy to confront these challenges but can spur us into overdrive and add volatility or impatience to the mix. Uranus brings revolutionary thinking outside of the box, but this can also mean being suddenly outside of one’s comfort zone. Pluto tends to dig up buried parts of the self that have been suppressed, revealing hidden wounds, as well as potential treasures. If these Grand Cross aspects are not affecting your chart significantly, all of this may only be experienced as a subtle feeling or in the background of the collective. But many people were and still are being directly and concretely affected by the Grand Cross and these eruptive aftershocks. The Grand Cross can be seen as a Crossroads and with the planets in the Cardinal signs there is a lot of energy for initiating new directions. Read more...
While Mercury is retrograde (June 7-30) it is a fitting time to review, reflect, and fill in additional necessary learning in connection with the complex internal processes and/or life-changing events and developments that have occurred, and which may still be stirring up conflict or confusion especially as new possibilities emerge. Mercury is having us go back and forth over the territory helping us to make sense of and integrate our experiences, as well as giving us an enticing glimpse into a richer existence more aligned with our larger self.
Another thing to note while Mercury is retrograde is that it is common to either not have all the information about matters or to not have good mental clarity about matters, and the pieces may not fall into place or all come together until after Mercury turns direct (July 1st). However, June 19th is a good day to pay attention and listen, as the Sun and Mercury will meet, planting relevant clues in the mind related to the vision of ourselves or our lives of which at this point we can only get an obscure sense.