The Astrology Blog 8 February 2021
All times in GMT
“Democracy is when the people keep a government in check.”
Aung San Suu Kyi
“I now live my life from joy instead of from fear. This is the one very simple difference between who I was before my NDE and who I am today.”
Anita Moorjani (16 March 1959) – from her book Dying to be Me
MERCURY RETROGRADE IN AQUARIUS – THE ASSAULT ON DEMOCRACY
Alexei Navalny isn’t just the leader of the opposition but a strident anti corruption campaigner and has been described as the man that Putin “fears the most”. How he’s been treated bears this out. Navalny’s “trial” was a total travesty and mockery of justice. He was accused of violating parole and not checking in with the authorities. His answer to this was er, I was in a coma from an assassination attempt …. It didn’t make any difference, they still jailed him.
He knew they would. Apparently when he was sentenced he greeted it with a resigned shrug. He also held his hands over his chest in the heart sign as he looked straight at his wife Yulia, which is one of the most moving pictures I’ve ever seen. Even though his face is exhausted from everything he’s been through you can see the love and the pain blazing out of his eyes, emblematic of not just his love and courage, but hers too. The greater the love, the more courage needed in times of anguish.
Russia has made thousands of arrests of ordinary citizens and last week also expelled three diplomats from Germany, Sweden and Poland for joining protests in Navalny’s support. Navalny has denounced the hearing himself as a show trial meant to “scare millions” and quash dissent. You don’t have to know any astrology to see immediately that the themes of a retrograde (repression) Mercury (the voice) in Aquarius (the collective) are glaringly obvious.
We can only hope that the journalists’ reports coming out now, that jailing Navalny will create more problems for Putin, not less, will prove right. While on remand last week he managed to post a message from prison on Instagram calling on Russians to overcome their fear and to protest, and it was liked by nearly a million people. So this is a man who will be hard to silence and international response to the brutality as well as the injustice may yet carry significant weight. Let’s wait and see what happens when Mercury turns direct in a couple of weeks time.
Aung San Suu Kyi
As you have probably already clocked one of the themes for this week is courage. Nelson Mandela’s famous quote, about courage being not the absence of fear but the triumph over it, is one that we can probably all identify with to one extent or the other. Aung San Suu Kyi takes things to another level. Over a period of 21 years she spent 15 of them under house arrest but she wrote – “I was a prisoner, but I always felt free because I was not frightened … so for me, real freedom is freedom from fear.”
This is a woman who has devoted her life to the fight for democracy, the freedom from fear, which is the title of her book, a collection of her essays. She walks the walk as well as talking the talk. She’s now headline news again and back under house arrest again since the military coup last week, on the grounds that her election win last year was fraudulent. Sound familiar?
At the end of last week’s blog I posted a list of things to look out for while Mercury is retrograde. I added that being retrograde in Aquarius, sign of groups and technology, suggested taking care in our use of social media. In Myanmar the military rulers shut down the internet altogether for 24 hours and then gradually restored it to about 50%, but excluding social media sites like Facebook. That’s the last time I moan about my internet connection clicking off in bad weather.
Like Navalny, Aung San Suu Kyi is up against corruption and ridiculous charges. They’re both Geminis (Mercury’s masculine sign) and even her alleged crime is a Mercury one (communication devices). On 3 February she was formally charged with illegally importing ten or more walkie-talkies. She faces up to three years in prison for the charges. According to the New York Times, the charge “echoed previous accusations of esoteric legal crimes (and) arcane offenses” used by the military against critics and rivals. (Wikipedia)
SATURN SQUARE URANUS
Huge demonstrations, peaceful ones so far, are ongoing in Myanmar and protesters have claimed that they will continue for as long as necessary. This and the situation in Russia are foreshadowing the biggest astrological event of the year which is the troublesome square (friction, conflict) between the slow moving Saturn (authority, fear) now in Aquarius and even slower moving Uranus (rebellion, change) on his long journey through Taurus.
The first of these squares will be exact next Wednesday at 7 degrees (middle one 14 June at 13 degrees, third and final one 24 December at 11 degrees) and there’s been a lot of speculation about how these aspects relate to the pandemic, and that may be so. The symbolism certainly fits with the massive challenge of vaccinating the world and keeping up with the virus’ mutations. But these squares are also unmistakable symbolism for civil unrest, and there’s clearly a lot more to come.
Students note that both Navalny and Aung San Suu Kyi have, as to be expected, synastry with these squares – Navalny has Mars at nearly 11 Leo (opposite sign to Aquarius) square Uranus 3 Taurus, and Aung San Suu Kyi has Mars at 7 Taurus square Pluto 8 Leo. At the heart of change we always find the heroism of individuals.
One positive showing of a retrograde Mercury is to reverse anything that was wrong to begin with. During his presidential campaign, Joe Biden said he would work to end the federal death penalty and encourage states to follow suit. Lawmakers in the state of Virginia, second only to Texas for the number of executions, have now voted to abolish use of the death penalty as a criminal punishment. Governor Northam, a Democrat, is known to support the effort to abolish the punishment –
“The practice is fundamentally inequitable. It is inhumane. It is ineffective. And we know that in some cases, people on death row have been found innocent.”
One giant step away from barbaric Trumpism, one giant step towards humanitarianism (Aquarius).
CLOSER TO HOME … RETROGRADE MERCURY & THE PAPERCHASE!
Well thanks to Brexit all the many thousands of people settled elsewhere in Europe have now got to apply for new residency. I’ve had a resident’s permit for the last ten years but we all now have to replace these with the new biometric version. Of course, it’s not a question of exchanging the old one for the new one, don’t be silly …
Here in Greece we have to make an appointment at the police station, armed with a list of required documentation to prove how long we’ve lived here, how we support ourselves, a tax number, a phone bill, official bank statements, rental contracts, passport, photographs, health insurance … we even have to be fingerprinted.
Apparently it’s been a mad rush to the police station in town, everyone in varying states of stress, but there’s no way that I’m joining the scrum until Mercury turns direct lol. I’ve decided that on this occasion the one big plus from a retrograde Mercury is the chance to learn from other people’s experience in advance, and to go through this process when the queue isn’t stretching down the road.
RETROGRADE MERCURY – textbook definition “problems with communication and transport”
Otherwise of course Mercury has already caught me out in other ways. Driving into town last week for an 11am appointment, and the office I was going to had rung to say that it was for 10am but I absolutely know that it wasn’t but there was no point in arguing, I had to brake to avoid hitting a cat. I wasn’t speeding thank goodness and the cat was fine. But the car then lost power and started juddering. I managed to limp along to the garage before it packed up, left it to be looked at and walked the rest of the way. Re the car it turns out I have a problem with rusted brake pads and I was supposed to take it back to the garage again this morning, but the weather is vile. Staying put. Just turned the car and house inside out looking for the garage phone number, to no avail, and don’t even know its name … had to go into lateral thinking and contact the friend who owns the pet shop opposite the garage. Message to self – retrograde Mercury is about problem solving in unobvious ways, and put numbers straight into phone and not on scraps of paper!!
The best – or worst depending on your point of view! – car story comes from my friend Gill here who gave me permission to tell it. Having done a U turn on the bypass behind Nidri she then carried on happily driving … down the wrong side of the road. It was only when she saw another vehicle driving towards her that the penny dropped … thankfully she managed to get over to the other side of the road and no accident happened. Phew.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
Well, guess what, Mercury is in a leading role this week with a mixed bag of aspects but most of them are at least positive. However because Mercury is retrograde it’s important to see Mercury’s current activity as the middle part of a longer journey, as the unfolding of a sequence of events rather than expecting immediate or final results. The rollout of the vaccine program is an obvious example.
Mercury’s first aspect is a one off, the conjunction with the Sun, followed by the square to Mars which is the middle contact of a series of three –
Monday 8 February
- Sun conjunct Mercury 20 Aquarius 13.49
Wednesday 10 February
- Mercury 17 Aquarius square Mars 17 Taurus 12.17
- Moon conjunct Venus 12 Aquarius 22.12
- Moon conjunct Jupiter 12 Aquarius 22.30
Starting with the Sun/Mercury conjunction this is a feature that happens every time Mercury is retrograde –
- Whenever Mercury is in a retrograde period there’s always an exact conjunction with the Sun somewhere roughly in the middle. This is when Mercury is said to be “cazimi” – when he’s conjunct the Sun to within 17 minutes of arc (ie just over a quarter of a degree) and therefore in “the heart of the Sun”.
- The symbolism of this is about Mercury drawing strength from that heat instead of being burned up by it. It’s a window of opportunity – it doesn’t last long! – but it’s the stuff of light bulb moments, vital information or having the chance to get your point across exactly in the right way and at the right time. In that hot spot is a golden nugget of truth or a lifeline of help.
- The cazimi lasts about three hours either side of the exact conjunction, so from approximately 11am to 5pm GMT (1pm to 7pm in Greece). So look out for that Mercury moment, especially things that shine a light into your understanding, help you to make a decision, negotiate a deal, find the right words to get an important conversation started and so on. Look out for the person who can help, the person who steps in, that messenger from the gods.
The Mercury – Mars square is the most difficult aspect of the week as it’s argumentative or connected to the wounding of words. Be careful what you say. If in doubt, bite your tongue and don’t forget the golden retrograde Mercury rule of checking your facts or not firing off an email in anger. You may live to regret it.
However if an argument just kicks off it will almost certainly be connected to things that have been simmering for a while and it could be a good opportunity to clear the air. But remove yourself from the line of fire if someone is simply going on the attack, and definitely don’t get caught in the crossfire of other people’s arguments. If you do, don’t take sides.
In terms of the Mercury – Mars repetitions here’s the full sequence –
- 9 January – Mercury made the first square to Mars, at 1 Aquarius/1 Taurus respectively
- 30 January – Mercury then turned retrograde just over a week ago at 26 Aquarius
- 10 February – Mercury now in reverse comes back to repeat the square to Mars for the second (middle) time
- 21 February – Mercury will turn direct at 11 Aquarius
- 24 March – this will be the third and final square, when Mercury comes back again and which happens after both planets have changed sign so the square falls with Mercury at 12 Pisces/Mars at 12 Gemini
- The end of a sequence is about resolution and outcomes, but it’s often the middle one of a chain of three aspects that reveals the heart of a matter – or packs a punch especially when Mars in one of his signs of detriment is involved
Pay special attention to what happens on this middle contact, especially if you have planets or Angles at the same degrees/signs mentioned. Look out for the classic unraveling themes, possibly having to go back to something that you had believed to be resolved or simply over. Pay attention to what springs back to life. It might be something difficult but worth fighting for.
LOVE STUFF & VALENTINE’S DAY
The second half of the week is much brighter as we have the annual beautiful Venus – Jupiter conjunction. Note that the Moon conjuncts both of these planets on Wednesday evening, paving the way. These are the two “benefics” – Venus is known as the Lesser Benefic Jupiter as the Greater Benefic – so in other words they’re good for us. Between them they rule all the things that make life sweet, joyful or easier such as love and money (Venus), good luck, fun and optimism (Jupiter). People who come into our lives at such auspicious moments are those who are good for us too, and this year’s conjunction also coincides with the New Moon – fresh starts, opportunities, new cycles, new faces.
Because Mercury is retrograde he’s coming the other way so he in turn meets up with both Venus (a one off) and then with Jupiter (again, as with the square to Mars, the second of a series of three). That’s a lovely aspect for Valentine’s Day, either for traditional cards and gifts or especially for emails or online messages of all kinds, and note that the Mercury links to Venus and Jupiter fall either side of a harmonious Mars aspect to romantic Neptune, strong in his own water (feelings) sign of Pisces. Here’s the full sequence –
Thursday 11 February
- Venus conjunct Jupiter 12 Aquarius 15.01
- New Moon 23 Aquarius 19.07
Saturday 13 February
- Mercury conjunct Venus 14 Aquarius 07.49
Sunday 14 February – Valentine’s Day
- Mars 19 Taurus sextile Neptune 19 Pisces 02.15
- Mercury conjunct Jupiter 13 Aquarius 21.41
The Mercury – Jupiter conjunctions sequence –
- 11 January – at 5 Aquarius
- 14 February – at 13 Aquarius
- 5 March – at 17 Aquarius
On the subject of bravery, if you’re attracted to someone new or even at the stage where you’re constantly obsessing about them, why is it so hard to summon up the courage to let them know how you feel? Because you’re only human! You’re not alone. Even people who are brave about life in general can turn into wimps at the prospect of risking their emotional vulnerability. Top advice with all this Aquarius going on is to build friendship (Aquarius rules 11th House where we locate friends, social life, groups) in any which way you can. And to read and learn about Anita Moorjani’s teachings on how to live fearlessly.
ANITA MOORJANI & SELF LOVE
I never tire of referencing Anita Moorjani and if you haven’t already read it I strongly recommend that you get a copy of Dying to be Me. This is her story of how she came within hours of death from rampaging cancer, she had tumours the size of lemons throughout her body, she went into organ failure and slipped into a coma. Her devastated family were gathered around her deathbed. Anita however was elsewhere experiencing the ultimate NDE (Near Death Experience), the outcome of which is the thesis of the book – “Go back, and live your life fearlessly.”
In her NDE she learned that we don’t have to work so hard at shaping our lives, we don’t even have to worry that so called negative thoughts will create more negativity and we don’t have to concern ourselves with the law of attraction at all. It was revealed to her that health and happiness amount to our natural state. We don’t have to “attract” them, only “allow” them to be.
One of the main points she makes is that we all have an inner dialogue going on and that a lot of this dialogue springs from fear, everything from not being good enough to getting sick. Her biggest message is about replacing that fear with joy and allowing, with self love at the top of the list. Whatever makes you feel great, do it! Living through a pandemic just makes her message even stronger, that it’s more important than ever to focus on our joys (Jupiter) because fear is so disabling. Fear is oppression, which so often lies at the root of depression. Obviously for the sake of space I’m putting this in simplistic terms, but the final chapters of the book go into this subject in depth and it’s a fascinating read.
Wishing you Jupiter blessings,
With love from Greece