Mercury retrograde in Libra, Lunar eclipse in Aries
We’re past the halfway point of this Mercury retrograde (Sep 17-Oct 9), 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.
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.
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 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)
Sun square Neptune today: Vitality may not be at its height, nor logic and clarity. It could be more productive to slow down and nurture the right brain side of life. The demand of a square can help one make a shift. With some effort — one may discover intuition, vision, compassion, or mystical love. Even in practical pursuits there may be a dimension of art or transcendent inspiration... Planetary transits are opportunities — we can partner with them to go with the flow instead of resist it.
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
With Venus and the Sun opposite Neptune, the urge to escape from ordinary reality may be strong. Anything from fantasy and glamour, to deception, delusion, and addictive behavior, to mystical love and deep communion with the Divine through art, nature, and contemplation is available... And we can use our inspired imagination for conscious creation.
Venus opposes Neptune Sunday at 9:41am EDT, and the Sun opposes Neptune on Monday at 7:28pm EDT. The influence may be felt for a day or two on either side of the exact times...
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…
The Sun, Venus, and Mercury (retrograde) join in radiant Leo
Today the Sun, Venus, and Mercury are closely aligned together in Leo. The Sun is all about creative self-expression, Venus desires [or demands] love and affection, and Mercury needs and must communicate! This is a potentially sweet combination of energies. With these three celestial bodies in the extravagant sign of Leo, the archetype ruled by the radiant Sun itself, there may be a strong pull to share ones unique expressions of love and beauty that pour forth from the heart... (But with Mercury still retrograde, and an extra long Void-of-Course Moon yesterday and today, patience is helpful to deal with possible misunderstandings, confusion, and delays.) Read more...
One side of Leo is the playful, spirited child who expresses love innocently and freely. Yet another side of Leo is the noble king or queen who expresses love in a dignified manner, and only to those who truly deserve it. Who is deserving to the Leo king or queen within us all (everyone has Leo ♌ somewhere in their chart)? Those who see and honor our authentic, divine selves. To those special ones, the Leo king or queen bestows with fervor the rare gifts residing in the precious inner heart.