The Astrology Blog 13 August 2018
All times given are stated in BST
Mercury Stationary Direct
I’ve got to the stage where I now wake up in the morning and think, oh good, one day nearer to Mercury turning direct again! Mercury is slowing down now in readiness to switch direction and the end is in sight…
Sunday 19 August
- Mercury turns direct 11 Leo 05.26
Not that I want to wish my life away but, as always, these three week periods (three times a year) when Mercury is in reverse are troublesome. Our roads are suddenly filled with potholes and daily life is peppered with noticeably more annoying, frustrating or anxiety making incidents. Traditionally these testing times are connected to anything under the umbrella of “communication and transport”, which is true beyond doubt, but Mercury the mischief maker loves to tie us in knots in all kinds of other ways too. We often feel that life simply isn’t going according to plan (it is, but not the one we consciously planned or expected) or that we’ll never find a way of getting what we really want. Possibly the worst hallmark of these times is a sense of helplessness or hopelessness.
In terms of learning lessons, however, retrograde Mercury is often a time of trial and error, when we find out what works and what doesn’t, up to the point when we experience something that makes us resolve, “I won’t be making that mistake again!” This can relate to major life issues and decisions, or just the little things that can make life more stressful than it need be. The saying that it’s not the problem that’s important but how we react to it becomes highlighted and heavily underlined, and the message of “stop and think” becomes extremely helpful.
In terms of the ever present question of, “What is astrology for?” the answer is that it’s for many things, everything from psychological understanding through to divination, ie predictive work. In the middle of these loftier issues though, and the reason I write the weekly blog, is using astrology as a reliable voice in the ear, the travelling companion who’s got the real map. Here’s a story from Saturday night that illustrates this. I let the dogs out into the garden for a last run before bedtime, without realizing that my 16 year old cat Lulu was sitting on the doormat, obviously enjoying the cool of the evening here in a Greek August. She got trampled on in the rush, the bigger dog thought it was a game and immediately chased her around the entire garden before she shot up the mulberry tree. This might not sound like such a big deal but then you haven’t seen my tree. It’s huge! Lulu was way out of reach, frightened and crying her head off. I got the step ladder but then had that “stop and think” moment. Mercury retrograde – and Mars retrograde – means that risk taking is a no-no…. this is really not one of your better ideas Jo, not worth breaking your neck for!
The guys who do my garden, and who would have climbed up the tree like monkeys, weren’t answering their phones – unsurprisingly as it was nearly 11pm – and a friend’s advice of just leave her or you’ll freak her out even more, even if she spends all night up there she’ll be ok and we’ll get her in the morning, was obviously the right thing to do. At some point between 3am and 7am she found her own way down.
Would I have gone up the tree to try and grab her if I hadn’t had that voice in my head about the warnings of retrograde planets? Probably not, I like to think I would at least have had more sense than to try it! But being aware of the current celestial climate made the decision an immediate no-brainer. The lesson was handling anxiety and the feelings of anguish, the feelings we get when our loved ones – human, canine or feline – need help that we can’t give.
The other lesson to pass on I think is something along the lines of, leave things alone. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, and even if it is broken don’t make it worse. Even if help isn’t immediately available it will come, or an issue will naturally resolve itself given time. Cats do find their way down trees and we all worry too much, especially when it’s late and we’re tired. And we probably all expend too much energy on trying to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Whatever is preying on your mind right now – leave it, sleep on it. The heavens know what they’re doing.
What else is Happening this Week?
So Mercury is getting ready to start moving forwards again and, happily, will harmonise with Venus just before making the turn –
Saturday 18 August
- Mercury 11 Leo sextile Venus 11 Libra 16.36
Venus is strong in her own sign of Libra and this combination is textbook for Love Talk – making agreements with your partner, hearing the words you’ve been waiting to hear, saying the things you’ve been waiting to say, including marriage proposals for some, new information about or contact from someone you’re attracted to, especially if they’ve been absent or if they’re unavailable in any sense, meeting the right person, going on a date, being clearer about your romantic expectations and real needs, and so on. Expect feelings of happiness, relief, “it was worth the wait” and now we’re talking the same language. Similarly, but on the flip side of the coin, for some it will be clarity about ending a relationship and moving on. No matter how difficult this may be there will nevertheless be a sense of it being right and necessary.
Otherwise here are the general themes to look out for, particularly during this coming weekend when Mercury’s turning point is exact, but also take special note of unfolding events during the two to three days before as Mercury is “stationing”:
- Breaking news, expected or unexpected, that affects us or someone close to us
- Important information comes to light or secrets are revealed
- Light bulb flashes of insight – including changing our minds about something that we had previously really wanted
- We replace fantasy with fact
- We stop talking/thinking about something and realize that we need TO DO IT or make decisions
- People get back to us re decisions and deals get done
- We get back in touch with someone, or they get back in touch with us
- We feel more courageous or determined to pursue our true wishes
- We stop pretending or avoiding
- We tackle/say the things we’ve been putting off
- We get back to a matter that was first important three weeks ago
- We’re free to travel or do our own thing
- Memory kicks in and we deal with what or who has been off our radar
- Disputes or areas of miscommunication are cleared up
- We find the right person to deal with the problem beyond our own expertise
- Computer glitches/communication technology are solved/sorted
- Rumours are squashed when the truth outs
- We find what we have been looking for – from lost objects to spiritual needs
Mars still on a Go-Slow
Along the way throughout this week and next bear in mind that Mars is still retrograde, sliding back into Capricorn (Mars sign of exaltation, where he operates best) in the early hours of Monday and won’t turn direct for another couple of weeks. Here’s the sequence of Mars’ activity which covers the period from mid May to mid Sept –
- 16 May – Mars ingress Aquarius
- 26 June – Mars turned retrograde 9 Aquarius conjunct Moon’s South Node 22.06 BST
- Monday 13 August – Mars Retrograde ingress Capricorn 03.15
- Mars will turn direct at 28 degrees Capricorn on 27 August
- Mars ingress Aquarius for the second time 11 September (five days after Saturn turns direct)
Expect to revisit issues that were important in the middle of May (a date that also applies to the Jupiter – Neptune cycle, see next point) especially if you have planets or angles in the late degrees of Capricorn or the other cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer and Libra. Answers and true pictures are starting to emerge but don’t be tempted to rush things even so. Remember, don’t try to make it happen! Mars is the planet of action but he’s going nowhere fast, so right now it’s even more important than usual to allow everything to move at its own speed.
Jupiter and Neptune
The other aspect to coincide almost exactly with Mercury turning direct (Sunday 19th at 05.26 BST) is the harmonizing of these two giants. This is the third and final trine (the aspect formed when two planets reach the same degree of different signs that share the same element, in this case water). Here’s the sequence that has been in play since the end of last year –
- 3 December 2017 – Jupiter 11 Scorpio trine Neptune 11 Pisces
- 25 May 2018 – Jupiter (retrograde) 16 Scorpio trine Neptune 16 Pisces
- Sunday 19 August 2018 – Jupiter 15 Scorpio trine Neptune 15 Pisces 08.49
So if you have planets or angles between 11 and 16 degrees of the water signs this sequence and finale will be especially significant for you.
In terms of what to expect Jupiter often brings blessings, opportunity or liberation. In tandem with Neptune there can be a magical element also at work, and the closing part of this cycle signals the culminating point of a big dream, creative projects, rewards for patience, personal sacrifices and a sense of emerging from sea mists and seeing the blue skies of wider horizons. Some much needed optimism will start to make itself felt, not just in terms of feeling that things are shifting in the right direction but also maybe in connection to feeling the suffering of others who’ve been having a much tougher time than we have. Compassion and rescuing are also big themes for this combination, and our empathy will flow more easily to those who genuinely need it.
Jupiter always wants to show and remind us how lucky we really are. In the words of the awesome Maya Angelou, born on a Full Moon, with the Sun conjunct Jupiter in trailblazing Aries both opposite Moon in Libra, if everyone were to put their problems in a pile in the middle of the room, you’d grab yours back. And “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” And “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” If that makes you say ouch, the truth hurts. But seeing where/how/because of someone else we’ve been holding ourselves back is a vital lesson and the egg timer is running out re waiting on someone who’s never going to come through for us, personally or professionally.
That middle trine in May when Jupiter was retrograde, if you think back, may have been tinged with self pity for some of us as Jupiter doesn’t like to be on the back foot and Neptune is brilliant at martyrdom and victim stuff when he’s not being loved or understood! Counting your blessings may be a cliché – but it’s time to do it. The payoff is feeling more grateful and less fearful, which emboldens us and nudges us towards where we need to be next, literally or emotionally. Bear in mind that Jupiter is in Scorpio – the other sign ruled by Mars along with Aries – who is all about empowerment and doesn’t suffer wimps gladly. Time to read Maya Angelou? She is the opposite to victim. I’ll never forget first reading her account of being raped as a child as “a breaking and entering”. Yet she embraced life at a level that leaves many of us breathless.
Note that the Jupiter – Neptune combo is also brilliant for powerful instincts or psychic insights, your own or from any kind of reading. Also watch for omens.
Enjoying life’s little blessings, and also getting clues to the unfolding bigger picture, are also indicated in the Moon’s conjunctions to the Benefics this week – astronomically beautiful to behold in the evening sky by the way if you are cloud free –
Tuesday 14 August
- Moon conjunct Venus 8 Libra 19.07
Friday 17 August
- Moon conjunct Jupiter 15 Scorpio 14.07
In traditional astrology Venus is the Lesser Benefic and Jupiter the Greater Benefic. In other words, they’re both good for us and they symbolize the beauty and pleasures of life. Push away your doubts and put your faith in the little events or exchanges that take place on these dates, especially if they’re close to the times quoted above. And it’s not just about receiving. Jupiter in particular loves generosity so give of yourself, think about that little thing that could make someone else’s day, you’ll feel so good when you do it, cast your bread on the waters and it will come back buttered.
Wishing you joyfulness
With love from Greece