The Astrology Blog – 19 January 2015
All times stated are in GMT
Astrology works at two levels, the particular – the life of the individual – and the universal – world events. Both however operate on the same symbolic principle of “as above, so below”. In other words, planetary alignments will mirror back to us the matters unfolding in our own life or speak of human evolution on a much bigger scale. In fact, traditional astrology goes so far as to say that an earthly event cannot happen unless and until it is indicated by celestial activity, that there is a time for everything, and everything happens at its appointed time.
With Mercury poised to turn retrograde this week we can expect to feel frustration with a seemingly chaotic world or we may feel that we are up against bad timing so, at some level, it’s quite comforting to know that, as far as astrology is concerned, there is no such thing. There is only timing. More about retrograde Mercury in a while but let me start with a quick recap of last week when I talked about the importance of the aspect of Mercury in Aquarius sextile Uranus, the modern planet that is co-ruler of this sign –
Uranus picking up aspects from the personal planets travelling through his own sign heightens the Uranian themes (the unexpected, rebellion and spontaneity) … (Mercury’s) events are currently part of a sequence – even if they don’t seem like it at the time. Because of Mercury’s backwards and forwards movement to come, there will be some “to-ing and fro-ing” going on… it doesn’t mean that life will completely unravel – it simply means that there is a lot more to come. Mercury will repeat the sextile to Uranus on 28 January and 1 March.
In terms of world events this astrology reflects the dominant and ongoing stories of Charlie Hebdo and Raif Badawi. Mercury is communication – in all its guises. He is the voice, not just of an individual but of a nation or a generation – such as of a newspaper or of a key individual. Being expressed through Aquarius, sign of groups, the collective, organizations, human rights and ideology, and working hand in hand with Uranus, the anarchist and New Age planet, we reach this highly sensitized moment in time in which strongly held beliefs of different factions result in explosions and conflict of the worst kind.
The Mercury – Uranus alliance is the astrological “signature” both for the events themselves but possibly even more so for the public outcry and for mass support. The first edition of Charlie Hebdo to be published since the attack on its office sold out within minutes of hitting news-stands, with buyers including Air France who purchased 20,000 copies to distribute free to passengers at Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports.
We are being reminded that the voice (Mercury) of the collective (Aquarius/Uranus) does make a difference. This didn’t happen fast enough for Raif Badawi but nevertheless his story is thankfully hitting headlines worldwide. I can’t remember the last time a story – for want of a better word – affected me this deeply and I’ve wept for his suffering and his staggering courage. This human rights atrocity is utterly heart breaking and gut wrenching. For his on line forum to encourage debate on religious and political matters in Saudi Arabia, with the right to believe or not to believe, and the right to freedom of expression, lying at the heart of his work, he faces barbaric consequences.
As a fellow blogger I write what I want to write, I may sometimes edit things if I sense the need to be careful, but the point is that I don’t have to. People might disagree with me, they might even think that I’m nuts, but nobody is going to arrest me. In other cultures and in other times the promotion of astrology would be an extremely dangerous act and reason to be the victim of a witch hunt (heresy/apostasy). Raif’s story strikes at something very deep within me and the anguish of his family is simply unimaginable.
Raif’s case has this week been passed by the royal office to the Supreme Court in Saudi Arabia but I hope that with the ongoing Mercury – Uranus alliance and with Mercury turning retrograde (the appeal) that the public outcry will continue as this is the only way to bring as much attention to him as possible. Raif Badawi’s natal Mercury btw is at 0 degrees of Capricorn, and also “stationary direct” (ie he was born just as Mercury had switched from retrograde to direct). This is very powerful –
• 0 degrees is a “critical degree” ie symbolically weighty for change and new chapters
• The change of direction from backwards (retrograde) thinking to forwards (direct) thinking underlines his spiritual role as the voice (Mercury) that challenges the hierarchy/tradition (Capricorn)
It’s a role that comes at a massive personal cost but the current shockwaves could be far reaching. I personally believe that he is a very old soul.
I don’t normally use this blog as any kind of platform but I feel so strongly about this man that I make no apology for doing so this week. I usually rely on Avaaz for the links to petitions but I’ve been unable to find one. I’ve written to them asking why they don’t appear to be publicizing Raif’s case – but if you have a link that I’ve missed, please do forward it. In the meantime, if you feel as strongly as I do, I beseech you to add your name via these organizations –
You can also like Raif Badawi’s Facebook page:
So, back to this week and staying with Mercury –
Wednesday Mercury switches to retrograde (15.55) at 17 degrees of Aquarius
This phenomenon, when Mercury appears to be moving backwards through the heavens, occurs three times a year for three weeks at a time. Traditional astrology gives primarily “problems with communication and transport” – which has been proved right to me over and over throughout the years, Mercury being the winged messenger of the gods – but this is a huge umbrella for many other issues that beset us when Mercury the mind planet goes into mischief mode. I am always threatening to retire to bed and read books for these periods but of course life goes on! Note that Mercury is now stationing (getting ready to turn) so vigilance starts from the beginning of the week (my first downfall being the discovery of forgetting to pay my car tax when getting back from the UK after Xmas, with my head full of other things, the penalty for which is having to pay double and there is no way around it…)
Regular readers will be familiar with my survival check list, which I’ve updated here –
• Try to operate by “re” words – review, revise, research, reappraise, rethink and so on
• Write things down – forgetfulness, being distracted, inattention etc can be a troublesome theme
• Getting back to ideas on the back burner
• Getting back in touch
• Rest and relaxation, give the brain some time off
• Keep options open
• Assume nothing, double check everything
• When in doubt, check it out – second hand opinions are a dead cert for getting hold of the wrong end of the stick – and don’t believe everything you hear
• Keep a close watch on all belongings – especially keys or anything linked to communication such as phones, laptops, cameras etc and don’t even think about buying new ones for the time being
• The same for cars – never buy a car under a retro Mercury
• Plan any journey with extra care and don’t trust to luck
• Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines
• Back up all your computer work
• No matter how certain a situation might seem there is a good chance that it will morph into something else over the next couple of weeks – the “x” factor is at work
As I said last week also note that if you have natal planets at or close to 17 degrees of any sign – but especially Aquarius or the opposite sign of Leo – then Mercury’s turnaround is likely to be especially significant for you.
Remember that if you don’t know the sign and position of your natal planets you can find them here in a matter of seconds – just tap in your date, place and time of birth –
You will see the visual of your horoscope, all the planets positioned on a wheel. By hovering your mouse over the glyph (symbol) for each planet you’ll be able to see which planet it is, what sign it is in and what degree of that sign it holds.
What else is happening this week?
Tuesday Mars conjunct Neptune (00.10) at 6 degrees of Pisces
Mars entered Pisces last week and made a square to Saturn. I urged everyone to look where they were going as Pisces rules the feet! Sure enough a friend of mine emailed to say that she’d forgotten the advice and, right outside her own home, while looking up at the sky, she tripped and had a really nasty fall that put her out of action for days. Pisces and Neptune between them also rule the sea and all things marine/watery. Squares to Saturn spell “no”. I discovered that the local spa has decided to close until April – and it’s one of only 2 heated pools on the island where I live. I’m finding out about the other one, so I expect that I’ll get news about that tomorrow and I can arrange to start swimming again, Mars being movement and exercise!
On a more serious note Mars is a malefic and Pisces/Neptune both belong to the 12th house of the horoscope, the “vale of tears”. Look out for your Piscean friends. Listen out for news of someone in grief. Do not, under any circumstances, drink-drive or get in a car with anyone over the limit. Drugs are in there too so be careful with medication. With Mercury also turning around second opinions for any health issue are well worth the trouble.
A retrograde Mercury often spells deception of some kind – everything from the kindest of white lies to deliberate misrepresentation – and the Mars/Neptune get together also carries an element of confusion or illusion. So this is something of a double whammy and if you think something is not adding up then you’re probably right, it isn’t, and you’ll need to find out why. If you have a regret that’s weighing heavily on your heart then you also need to look more deeply at this and work out if you can put it right, or how you can leave it behind you. Remember though that final decisions or resolution will be most effective, or possible, when Mercury turns direct again in three weeks time.
Within hours of the Mars – Neptune conjunction we also have –
Tuesday Sun ingress Aquarius (09.44)
New Moon (13.00) at 0 degrees of Aquarius
This is interesting to me as this New Moon is part of a highly unusual sequence. We have three New Moons in a row that all fall at 0 degrees of their sign. Astronomically this means that the Moon, who zips through all 12 signs every month, actually enters the sign at the same time as the Sun three months running –
22 December New Moon at 00.06 Capricorn
20 January New Moon at 00.09 Aquarius
18 February New Moon at 00.00 Pisces
Here we are again, back to the point of any astrological events being especially powerful when they occur at 0 degrees. This means that they occur at the very beginning of their sign – and especially with New Moons, it doesn’t get more “new” than that. If you have any planet in your own horoscope positioned at 0 degrees of any sign you will find that this planet symbolizes something/someone very special or powerful for you. Events that unfolded on or around 22 December may prove to be the first link in a chain of change.
So – New Moons, new brooms that sweep clean, the seed moment of new ventures, jobs, desires, relationships and so on. In Aquarius – refer back to earlier in the blog for all the Aquarian issues, but you can also add friends and colleagues. Any new contact made this week will be someone with a major role to play or from whom you could learn a great deal. This 0 degrees of Aquarius New Moon is also fantastic for starting things in relation to technology – but with the proviso that you remember that Mercury is up to his tricks in the same sign! But I do like this combination for “back to the drawing board”. With the 0 degree theme ongoing – brand new – some resolutions or insights could even be life changing.
Pay special attention to events that unfold towards the end of the week –
Friday Sun sextile (harmonious) Saturn (05.25)
This is the Sun’s first aspect after moving into Aquarius. It’s harmonious and also powerful by virtue of the fact that Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius (Capricorn being his other sign, Uranus being the modern co-ruler of Aquarius). This aspect is good for “getting your act together” and dealing with life’s practicalities. Saturn smiles on anything that is connected to work, effort, self discipline and clear boundaries. Saturn is Lord of Time – he likes organization, rules, deadlines and timetables.
For more personal issues this aspect is not quite so friendly. The Sun is in “detriment” in Aquarius (as the Sun rules the opposite sign of Leo) and finds it hard to shine in this sign of fixed air. Saturn has the upper hand in this alliance and, along with Mercury rewinding, look out for over thinking or over rationalizing. Saturn also prefers “should” to being sympathetic. Such issues may characterize a relationship or situation that needs careful handling, a lot of thought or a reappraisal of where your duties really start and stop. The Sun in Aquarius is dispassionate/objective (the Sun in Leo is passionate/subjective) so for now it may pay to take the emotion out of the picture and focus on your understanding.
This is by no means an easy time of the year but it could be an intriguing one, and one you may look back on as pivotal. In essence, it feels to me as if the challenge is to keep our head out of the clouds and our feet on the floor, while in pursuit of or staying true to that which enlivens the spirit rather than deadens it. Wishing you happy balancing acts!
With love from Greece