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I find your blog really helpful, and appreciate very much having this weekly guide to the cosmic powers, and that you share what is going on in your own life – not only because we (your regular readers) care about you, but because it’s so helpful to see how the astrology is playing out for you personally. The year-ahead report also continues to serve as a wonderful map for me. Thank you!! Laura
The Astrology Blog 8 July 2019
Your Retrograde Mercury Survival Guide, Love’s Rollercoaster & Celestial Traffic Jams
“ Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.”
“I have long thought that anyone who does not regularly – or ever – gaze up and see the wonder and glory of a dark night sky filled with countless stars loses a sense of their fundamental connectedness to the universe.”
– Brian Greene, American physicist born 9 Feb 1963
The heavens are extremely busy – and in a complex way. You may remember that I’ve quoted before the analogy I use in my book Be Your Own Astrologer, and as we go into this week it’s an especially apt description:
Think of the heavens as a busy railway junction. Signal boxes are constantly at work with red or green lights as some trains zip through at speed on their way to a distant destination, while others serve a smaller neighborhood. Some slow down to stop, to pick up passengers and then move off again. Some stop at their terminus and then do the same journey in reverse, others get delayed while yet others move in and out of different platforms all in a masterminded synchronized production. It is a picture of many moving parts making up a perfectly orchestrated whole. As to whether you can expect a “good” or a “bad” day/week/month/year depends on which train you are on and why.
This week’s timetable is nuts, starting with five separate events on the first day of the week, so here are the kind of things to expect – along with more huge upsets at Wimbledon!
Monday 8 July
- Mercury turns retrograde 4 Leo 00.16 BST
- Chiron turns retrograde 6 Aries
- Venus 6 Cancer sextile Uranus 6 Taurus 16.33 BST
- Sun 16 Cancer quinqunx Jupiter 16 Sagittarius 16.49 BST
- Mercury conjunct Mars 4 Leo 23.28
Mercury turns retrograde three times a year for three weeks at a time. Regular readers know how much I love these times – not! Maybe it’s because I have a retrograde Mercury natally that I notably struggle with his retrograde periods, but I’m certainly not alone. Even my non astrologer friends who don’t read the blog frequently ask, “Is Mercury retrograde at the moment? Thought so!”
They’ve heard me reference the things to expect often enough to recognize the signs. And on the plus side it’s one of the events that often stirs the interest of the sceptic. I’ve long since realized that I don’t need to argue astrology’s case, Mercury can do it for me.
So, what does it mean? Textbook interpretation says “problems with transport and communication”, which encompasses a wide range of possibilities and is the umbrella title for potential havoc with everything from cars to computers. There are many psychological factors at work too. At a universal level, regardless of whether you have planets or angles at this particular degree (4 Leo), these are the kind of themes to look out for, now and over the next three weeks –
- Guard against trying to construct situations or distress yourself with regard to anything beyond your control. Forcing any kind of round pegs into square holes won’t be worth the effort and could cost you dearly
- Know that there are things you don’t know – yet
- Try to operate by “re” words – review, revise, research, reappraise, rethink, repair, redress the balance and so on. Also remember rest and relaxation, give the brain some time off and try not to put yourself under unnecessary pressure
- Buy yourself time wherever needed – keep options open
- 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
- Write things down and double check everything – forgetfulness, being distracted, inattention etc can be a troublesome theme
- Back up all your computer work
- Don’t delete any documents – you may need them at a later date
- Getting back to ideas on the back burner
- Getting back in touch with those who’ve been neglected or important to you in the past – let them know how much they matter, especially those in crisis bearing in mind the presence of Scheat
- Keep a close watch on all belongings – especially keys or anything linked to communication such as phones, laptops, tablets, cameras etc and don’t even think about buying new ones for the time being
- The same for cars – never buy any mode of transport under a retro Mercury
- Plan any journey with extra care, don’t trust to luck, don’t travel unless you have to and make sure tickets are covered on your insurance
- Kill your speed when driving – allow extra time for getting there slowly but safely
- Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines – paperwork and admin of all kinds are a minefield
- Decide to ease the pain or cool the resentment. Write the letter you can’t send or you’ll never send – whether it’s to someone you’ve lost or to someone you want to strangle it’s great therapy
- Turning this the other way around you can also write a letter to yourself from someone you’ve lost – which is even greater therapy. I did this myself on the last retrograde Mercury in March, from my twin Sue, and it was unbelievably powerful
- Stop trying to fix others – just focus on yourself. Changes starts with us, and within us, from the inside out, not the other way around
- Assume nothing. 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 …
- Reserve the right to change your mind/keep an open mind. As you start to see something from a different angle the truth, reality or logistics will evolve in a way that you couldn’t possibly have planned or expected
- KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOUR J
If you do have planets or angles at or close to 4 Leo then any developing situation, or one about to develop, will carry one or many of these hallmarks. Mercury will turn direct again 1 August.
If I had to choose one word for the week ahead it would probably be “frustrating”. Mercury turning retrograde alone is enough to conjur up that word, but this time Mercury’s turnaround also coincides with a stack of tough aspects. At this point it does help to remember that astrology teaches us that things really do happen at their appointed time and for a reason, no matter how unfathomable. For some reason we like to believe that life should be neat, orderly and settled, even when we know that it rarely is, and that answers should be obvious. Astrology is at least a road map. Only this week it might be upside down.
With reference to this week’s quotation, the ability to “tolerate uncertainty” is what keeps us sane and stops our blood pressure from soaring. In psychotherapy this is more commonly referred to as the ability to “tolerate ambiguity”, a hallmark of emotional maturity and effective stress management. Have you ever watched a movie with a child who constantly asks “What’s going to happen? Why is he/she doing that?”
A child finds it hard or even impossible to bear the suspense of ambiguity, how something may or may not work out. As adults we gradually learn that such is life. This might sound odd coming from an astrologer! The business of prediction certainly goes some considerable way to appeasing that angst that we all live with to one extent or another, divination more often than not yields definite answers, but even astrology has its grey areas. Ask retrograde Mercury … but is he telling the truth or not??
Back to the astrology and the tough stuff! There’s another turning point with Chiron turning retrograde at 6 Aries – and he won’t turn direct again until 13 December, at 1 degree Aries. The Wounded Healer in the sign of the self urges us all to look at what is ego driven and to look at the world through another’s eyes rather than just our own. If you’re up against an egoist then make your own turning point, stand up for yourself and refuse to be dominated or unheard.
One of the two harmonious aspects of the week is the Venus – Uranus sextile. This is Venus’ first major aspect since changing sign (moved into Cancer last Wednesday) and is encouraging for love/pleasure/money developments of the fun or spontaneous kind. It’s also great for groups, socializing or fundraising.
At a deeper level, however, note that Venus is poised to make a series of challenging aspects next week, the same ones being made by the Sun this week, so this link to Uranus (always the wild card) may also reflect an event that lights the blue touch paper. Rocky situations or relationships already in a tailspin are unlikely to be rescuable, but sometimes we just have to let troublesome things fall apart. If you’re conscious of leaning on bulging cupboard doors the time is right to move away and let it all tumble out. Then you can sort it. Sometimes it takes a lot less energy to deal with something than it does trying to stop it from happening.
Note that this aspect coincides exactly with the Sun’s quinqunx (blind spot) aspect to Jupiter. This is very much in keeping with one of this week’s themes, uncertainty or knowing that we don’t know. It’s also the classic aspect of a misalliance (ne’er the twain shall meet) or deception. If you suspect that someone’s lying to you or hiding something then they probably are.
Well I’ve now reached the usual word count for the weekly blog and I haven’t even finished talking about Monday yet… which says a lot! The last on Monday’s list is the Mercury – Mars conjunction, classic for everything from incisive thinking, inspired decision making or verbal punch-ups. But, guess what, it’s complicated. This is Mars’ first aspect since changing sign (moved into Leo last Tuesday, so both the love planets Venus and Mars encounter “anything could happen” Uranus at the beginning of their respective new journeys) and it’s Mercury’s first aspect on turning retrograde, which means that these two have already met and will meet again. Here’s the sequence –
- Mercury conjunct Mars at 21 Cancer – 18 June
- Mercury retrograde conjunct Mars at 4 Leo – 8 July
- Mercury conjunct Mars at 10 Virgo – 3 September
In other words Mercury first caught up with Mars mid June. Mercury moves faster than Mars so would normally have left him behind, but this time started to slow down in readiness for turning retrograde, allowing Mars to catch up again. Mercury will stay on a go slow whilst looping backwards, turns direct 1 August, will gradually pick up speed again and then overtake the slower moving Mars, forming the third and final conjunction beginning of September.
If you have planets or angles at any of the three positions listed above then this sequence will be especially relevant. Look out for things that you would normally have expected to resolve quickly but which somehow end up being long and drawn out. Any kind of dispute has got a long way to go. But a gloves off (Mars), speaking (Mercury) from the heart (Leo) will at least make a start with a necessary conversation or challenging misconceptions, including our own.
Moving on, hurray, Tuesday! Or maybe not hurray. The big Saturn – Neptune sextile is separating (it was exact 18 June) but as both of these planets are very slow moving right now they’re still only one degree apart, so the Sun is playing into that aspect and then opposing Pluto –
Tuesday 9 July
- Sun 17 Cancer opposite Saturn 17 Capricorn 18.08 BST
Thursday 11 July
Sun 18 Cancer trine Neptune 18 Pisces 05.33 BST
- Mars 6 Leo square Uranus 6 Taurus 19.01
Sunday 14 July
- Sun 22 Cancer opposite Pluto 22 Capricorn 15.49 BST
No matter which way you look at this sequence it’s troublesome stuff, especially as it coincides with militant Mars squaring up to Uranus right in the middle of the fracas. The thing you didn’t bank on could be the spanner in the works. Stay flexible and think on your feet. Family and property issues are especially sensitive so look out for those who are vulnerable. Generally it’s all got the flavor of something grinding to a halt or having to get worse before it gets better or the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Whatever falls apart on you is best left well alone, accept that you’ve got the message and don’t put yourself in the position of having to learn the same lesson twice. However, issues that are just plain hard work or which are a matter of duty or responsibility that leave you no choice will have to be shouldered. Enlist help and trust that it will all somehow get done.
Bear in mind that this sequence is also paving the way to the second Eclipse of this season, the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse at 24 Capricorn (conjunct all or nothing, death/rebirth Pluto) next Tuesday, followed by Venus in Cancer making all the same aspects as the Sun has done this week. Symbolically the Sun’s role is to illuminate so we won’t be able to ignore what is now coming to light. The Sun is also the life force, so identifying what is unhealthy, dealing with health issues or dealing with major life transitions are all part of this picture. Venus following in the Sun’s footsteps will swing the focus onto the emotional or financial implications and practicalities, and I’ll be talking more about this next week.
For a night to put all troubles aside and enjoy yourself circle next Saturday, the time of the monthly Moon – Jupiter conjunction –
Saturday 13 July
- Moon conjunct Jupiter 16 Sagittarius 21.12
If you have planets or angles at or close to this degree you can also expect something special, like a lucky break, an opportunity, giving or receiving generosity, good news connected to anything overseas or the law, the arrival of a new face who will lift your spirits or a welcome injection of optimism.
Back to the second quotation at the beginning of this blog, if you want to choose a night to gaze up at the sky then this is top of the list. Jupiter will be that brilliant white planet blazing away next to a nearly Full Moon. Make a wish, know that you are not insignificant, feel your place on this earth and your fundamental connectedness to the universe. Life, no matter how hard, is a wonderful gift.
Until next week
With love from Greece