The Astrology Blog 19 October 2020
All times in BST
“What I’m looking for is not out there, it’s in me”
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
Helen Keller – was an American author, political activist and the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree
Last week I was writing about the issues connected with the communication planet Mercury turning retrograde in “mute” Scorpio, flagging up the usual trouble spots with everything to do with communication, information and transport, but also deeper concerns with our emotional world, especially in terms of truth/lies and intense feelings. The link with Venus at the beginning of last week, just as Mercury was switching direction, indicated that –
“Connections are still important but the content is likely to be of a more serious nature. Mercury is what we say and how we say it, but in a mute sign this becomes harder work. Scorpio is Fixed (immovable, intensified) Water (our feeling world). Then add the retrograde factor in and we get images of a deafening silence, being frozen out or struggling with matters that are unfathomable. A naturally secretive Mercury clams up completely or starts doing things behind our backs. Or you’ll find out something that contradicts what you previously believed to be true.”
No doubt you had your own experiences that reflected these themes and for me the astrology was particularly resonant. Holding that picture in mind helped me to deal with no less than six different issues, all connected to female (Venus) friends and clients, and all within 24 hours of writing those words. Subjects ranged from serious illness, medication for depression, a job loss and money panic, a relationship crisis to a teenager hiding drug issues.
One of the things that struck me about all of these concerns is that they are all ongoing. It was a reminder of how, when Mercury is retrograde, there are generally no quick fix solutions or easy answers. The sign of Scorpio too is connected with endings and major changes, and therefore with transformation, but usually not of the magic wand variety. I prefer the term “transformative process”, the things we have to work through in order to arrive at that moment when changes can finally be made in a lasting way.
Mercury is the most important player again this week and his activity brackets everything else, with key aspects falling at both the beginning and end of the week –
Tuesday 20 October
- Mercury 9 Scorpio opposite Uranus 9 Taurus 03.55
Sunday 25 October
- Sun conjunct Mercury 3 Scorpio 18.24 GMT
This sequence carries more than the usual importance for several reasons. Firstly a reminder of what Uranus symbolises –
In mythology Uranus is the sky god and he rules all that comes “out of the blue”. He challenges all that Saturn stands for, such as hierarchy and traditional rules, and his nature is innovative, explosive, sudden, unexpected, erratic or unpredictable. In natal horoscopes typical Uranian types are primarily different. Brilliant, quirky, nervy, eccentric, unstable, a wild child or a genius, a scientist or social misfit, they are always unusual, unconventional or original in some way.
Why Mercury’s aspects this week are demanding extra attention –
- Mercury has already made the opposition to Uranus once (7 October), also at 9 degrees of Scorpio/Taurus
- Mercury turned retrograde a week later on 14 October (last Wednesday) at 11 Scorpio, so is now appearing to travel backwards and is therefore repeating the aspect to Uranus for the second time
- Uranus is also currently retrograde but this isn’t such a big deal. As this is an outer, very slow moving planet he stays retrograde for months and loops backwards at snail’s pace
- The third and final opposition, when Mercury comes back again after turning direct (3 November), will be 17 November at 8 Scorpio/Taurus. The end of a sequence is about resolution and outcomes, but it’s often the middle one of a chain of three aspects that packs a punch, or at least reveals the heart of a matter – especially when unpredictable loose cannon all change (again) Uranus is involved
- Pay special attention to what happens on this middle contact, as this happens at almost exactly the same degree as the next Full Moon (31 October at 8 Taurus)
- In other words, the Full Moon itself will be falling opposite Uranus so unfolding events this week may well be paving the way to some kind of crazy grand finale
- At a universal level Uranus is the planet of the collective so for many communities this activity is already showing as the reinstatement of some lockdown measures and curfew rules
The second Mercury aspect at the end of the week is a central feature of every retrograde Mercury cycle –
- 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.
- This cazimi lasts three hours either side of the exact conjunction, so from approximately 3.30pm to 9.30pm GMT on Sunday. 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.
- As this conjunction falls in the water (feelings) sign of witchy Scorpio play close attention to your own insights and don’t ignore your instincts. You may not be able to put everything into actual words but, back to the Helen Keller quotes at the beginning of this blog, what you feel deeply and intensely in your own heart mustn’t be disregarded. It may be something beautiful.
So this is all undeniably serious and/or mysterious stuff but I think that one of the key points is that for now you don’t have to explain to others anything that you can’t even explain to yourself. Things don’t always have to be logical or “make sense”, and you don’t always have to have “a reason” for following your heart. This is Mercury’s last aspect before sliding back into Libra (in the early hours of next Wednesday), the sign of relating and “the other” so between now and then it may be better to hold your own counsel, to keep your feelings to yourself in a healthy way, as in letting things unfold and settle until they “feel right” to you.
THE LOVE PLANET VENUS
The other planet playing a lead role this week is Venus, planet of love, life’s pleasures and also money. Venus is currently travelling through Virgo, her sign of “fall”, her most challenging sign. Virgo belongs to the mind planet Mercury and is known for powers of analysis, precision and perfectionism, fantastic qualities for conscious understanding and practical skills, but not always especially helpful for emotional or sexual issues. It’s a combination that often indicates an “over thinking” approach, sometimes a very neat device for avoiding our deeper or scarier feelings.
These are Venus’ final aspects before changing sign. She’ll be moving into her own sign of Libra also in the early hours of next Wednesday, in fact just 7 minutes after Mercury. That in itself is rather an intriguing picture as Mercury being retrograde will be at the end of the sign 29 Libra while Venus entering the sign will be at 0 Libra. I’ll be talking more about that next week but for now Venus is making some very definite statements, aligning with Pluto and then Saturn, aspects which fall either side of the Sun’s arrival in Scorpio just as we tip into Friday, which is Pluto’s sign –
Wednesday 21 October
- Venus 22 Virgo trine Pluto 22 Capricorn 22.40
Friday 23 October
- Sun ingress Scorpio 00.01
Saturday 24 October
- Venus 26 Virgo trine Saturn 26 Capricorn 16.42
Saturn is now slowly picking up speed having turned direct three weeks ago at 25 Capricorn, but Pluto is still “stationary direct”, being much slower moving and having only just turned direct at 22 Capricorn two weeks ago. So this is still the astrology of turning points and tipping points. Both Saturn and Pluto rule endings, everything connected to death/rebirth themes. So “replacing” is a big theme to look out for (especially as this is a “re” word that is also associated with a retrograde Mercury, see the checklist at the end of last week’s blog), and so is “releasing”, whether that be fear, another person’s control or power over you, or letting go of the wrong job or relationship so that you can create the space for the new, and so on.
These themes can show either in terms of your own awakening or in the shape of outside factors bringing things about in a way that you hadn’t consciously planned or expected. Remember that these Venus aspects are unfolding alongside Mercury’s challenging links to Uranus so in many ways it’s better not to try and orchestrate anything. It’s going to unfold anyway! Lockdowns or curfews are not bringing everything to a halt, even if it seems that way. There’s a lot of inevitability wrapped up in this week’s astrology.
But be aware nevertheless of what you would like an outcome to be, especially in your love life. There’s no point in holding onto relationships already well past their sell by date, which are holding you both back or which have become breeding grounds for resentment, frustration and deep unhappiness. Difficult Pluto stuff is about control, fear or absence, but the positive flipside to Pluto is healing. If you don’t want to end it, then mend it. Stop sitting on the sidelines and see what happens when you decide to be fully present and enter the emotional scrum.
If you’re single and searching then start with Pluto’s turning point message around awareness. Look back to Helen Keller’s quote about what you’re looking for being inside of yourself rather than “out there”, especially in the shape of another person. In other words, if you believe that a relationship is The Answer to your happiness then you are probably setting yourself up for disappointment or failure. When we are happy and fulfilled within ourselves then we have so much more to offer, rather than basing our happiness on what we imagine someone else can offer us. If you’ve ever hopelessly pursued someone you’ll know how true this is. If you’re already getting involved with someone new take it nice and steady. Venus entering Libra in the middle of next week is bringing a positive new cycle in terms of equality and mutual commitment, worth waiting for.
And no matter what your current challenges may be the road to success starts with self empowerment. What happens when you stop feeling sorry for yourself? Helen Keller also famously said that self pity is our greatest enemy. What happens when you identify the things you do or say for someone only because you feel sorry for them? Try asking yourself to what extent you are living your life in a way that suits others but which is not that great for you? What happens when you take the words “should” or “can’t” out of your thinking? This is not selfishness, it’s the opposite. When we are “self”ish in a healthy and proactive way we become our best possible self, which can only be good in turn for those who matter to us and for the world at large. I’ve never read a better expression of this than in the 5 Top Deathbed Wishes which I’ve quoted before and which I’m copying in again now. Serious food for thought.
Until next week,
With love from Greece
5 Top Deathbed Wishes – written by a hospice nurse about her cancer patients
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content. When, deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.