MEDITATING with the MOON – Friday, January 6, 2017
MOON in ARIES then TAURUS
Excellent timing to speak your mind around your beliefs and philosophies on life. Be assertive, but not aggressive, and be clear. Fact check! Be sure of details. And don’t forget compassion.
WORDS FOR MEDITATION
I speak my truth with passion, not judgement; God is in the details (Mercury Retrograde reference)
Waxing Gibbous Moon – 66% Illuminated – 9 Days Old
Moonrise: 1:05 pm Eastern
Moonset: 2:16 am Eastern on Jan 7, 2016
Moon Void 1:41 pm until 3:18 pm Eastern
Three Kings Day / Epiphany
HOW TO MEDITATE WITH THE MOON
Using these simple Moon thoughts are a wonderful way to begin a daily meditation practice that keeps you focused on, and grounded in, the emotional energy of the Cosmos each and every day.
You can do a very simple 8/4 count meditation, which means you settle into a comfortable position, close your eyes, focus on your breath, and breathe in to a slow count of 8, hold it for 4 counts, and then breathe out for a slow count of 8. Hold your breath again for 4 counts. On the in-breath recite a word or phrase from the Moon Meditation in your mind, focusing on that energy and holding it, and then consciously release that same energy out into the world on the out-breath. Then empty your mind space for 4 counts, and begin the process again on the in-breath with the next word or phrase from the Moon Meditation.
WED. DEC 28, 2016: Spend some time alone today mulling over where you are in life in order to align yourself with the New Moon in Capricorn, the New Year, and the resolutions that are knocking on your heart. The New Moon is exact Thursday morning, Dec 29, at 1:53 AM Eastern. And as the Moon becomes dark today, with no visible crescent… this is when we can tap into the fruitful, fertile darkness of our psyches. When we go into our internal darkness digging for rich, redolent emotional fodder with which to grow, we are often rewarded with evolutionary bounty that was previously locked in our unconsciousness. Be fearless and completely honest in this dark space of the unconquered Self. Now is absolutely the time for this kind of inner questing. It’s also the time to retreat away from others in order to reflect, restore, and rejuvenate.
Themes of this New Moon are Capricornian in nature – so ponder these words and phrases to help you capture the spirit of this Cosmic moment meant for regenerating your Self, renewing your emotional structure, and planning your new beginnings:
integrity conscientiousness structure foundation groundedness framework commitment
determination perseverance achievement goals and goal setting work and career responsibility practicing reliability self-security self-control being or becoming supportive security minded tradition status-quo the time-tested time patience
This New Moon is more than simply about Capricorn however.
First, there’s a distinct emphasis on Mercury, and Mercury is Retrograde. To me this emphasizes the right timing to retreat, if only for short time, into alone-ness and into the unconscious, while using Mercury to delve into the ways of your mind… how do you process? How do you communicate? How do you “travel” through your life? Could your mental workings benefit from being more grounded, more serious, more pragmatic… or less so?
Then, there’s a connection to Neptune this new cycle that lends a less defined edge to this straight-laced Capricorn Moon. Neptune offers opportunities to deeply spiritualize this process, to open to grace, to seek the sublime. There’s the potential for a softer, more yielding sensation around this new emotional cycle than straight Capricorn energy would afford. There may be artistic possibilities – whether being artistic or appreciating art – to tap into that would enrich your New Moon experience. And while the Capricorn Moon may feel the need to retract away from emotionalism, its connection to Neptune and Pisces brings the need for connecting, for union – for communion. So try to make efforts to be alone for a period of time, but if you’re feeling the need to be with loved ones or to make deep connections, move gently into that space as well. It’s a very interesting combination of energies that wants to be both practical and dreamy simultaneously.
Mars is also in this mix of very different energies… Mars in Pisces, is also closely aligned with Neptune. Playing with the symbols we can come up with 1) taking action on dreams 2) the non-violent warrior 3) conquering through yielding 4) yearning for the Divine 5) striving for the boundless 6) love conquers all. There are certainly other possibilities that aren’t quite as positive… but we’re not going there right now.
By 7 pm Eastern the evening of the 29th, the Moon encounters Pluto… deepening and intensifying this New Moon moment. Again, there’s emphasis on diving deeply emotionally, and going into the dark. Pluto assures us that there, in that blue-black space, we can emerge with gold if we dare to see and experience totally, fearlessly, and without holding back. Extremes are probable. 🙂
And finally, this New Capricorn Moon connects with the North and South Nodes of the Moon, connecting us with the past and pushing us toward the future. It may be that emotions arise around things that happened some time ago. If that’s your experience, honor those emotions and see how you can distill something that can propel you forward – toward you purpose.
So, I’m wishing for you this New Moon and this New Year the experience of going deeply, profoundly into your being – going there with beauty and compassion, with imagination and with vision – and finding something concrete, some kernel of self-truth and integrity, that you can form a solid framework around. Something new that you can commit to, work hard toward and bring into manifestation… something that will grow stronger and better over time. I wish for you to do your best so that you achieve your best – not just for you, but for all of us who will receive the bounty of the gifts you provide to the world.
Happy New Moon. Happy New Year!
New Moon in Capricorn – Dec. 29, 2016 at 1:53 AM Eastern – yellow lines show connections from the New Moon to Mercury, the Sun, and Pluto. Green lines show connections from the New Moon to the South Node, Mars, Neptune, and the North Node.
Please click the audio bar below to begin listening to the meditation.
Welcome to the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Virgo guided imagery meditation. I’m Michelle Gregg, Counseling Astrologer.Please join me for a few minutes of quiet, relaxation, and beautiful imagery, so that we can align together with this powerful lunation, this brand new beginning, and raise the vibration of this energy for the world.
The New Moon Solar Eclipse occurred on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 at 5:03 AM Eastern time. The energy of this event is potent and compelling and will be felt for months to come. The energy of an eclipse generally unfolds over time. Feel free to do this meditation whenever you choose over the next year.
The New Moon is the time to retreat into the darkness to reflect, to restore your soul, and to set intentions. An eclipse is the time to consciously let something go that no longer serves you – the beginning of a new cycle.
Ideally, come to the meditation with your New Moon intentions to hand. You could even imagine that you have placed them in a sheaf of wheat… and as your intentions change, re-align them in a new sheaf of wheat and revisit the meditation.
For those who may not be able to access the audio file above, here is the entire meditation in written format:
“Welcome to the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Virgo guided imagery meditation. I’m Michelle Gregg, Counseling Astrologer. Please join me for a few minutes of quiet, relaxation, and beautiful imagery, so that we can align together with this powerful lunation, this brand new beginning. The New Moon Solar Eclipse occurred on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 at 5:03 AM Eastern time. The energy of this event is potent and compelling and will be felt for months to come. The energy of an eclipse generally unfolds over time. Feel free to do this meditation whenever you choose over the next year.
The New Moon is the time to retreat into the darkness to reflect, to restore your soul, and to set intentions. An eclipse is the time to consciously let something go that no longer serves you – the beginning of a new cycle.
Find a place that’s quiet and restful, away from your daily routine, and preferably in the dark. Sit comfortably in any position that feels good to you. Gently close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Begin relaxing your body. Breathe slowly. Relax your feet, ankles and legs. Breathe deeply. Relax your hips and belly. Breathe slowly. Relax your solar plexus and ribs and breathe deeply. Relax your back and your chest and breathe slowly. Relax your hands, your wrists, and your arms and breathe deeply. Relax your shoulders – let them be loose, and breathe slowly. Relax your neck. Relax your chin, and now your face. Breathe slowly. Relax your eyes and your brow, and now the top of your head. Breathe deeply………………. Breathe slowly.
Now, see yourself on a very dark night, no moonlight at all, standing on a beach, with the ocean rolling in, wave after glorious wave, bringing the sea closer with each moment. Beside you is Virgo, the Goddess of the Grain, holding aloft a sheaf of wheat, both hands raised to the sky. You realize as you look at her face and her arms raised high that there a millions of stars above you, constellations clearly visible, and the Milky Way is enormous, filling the darkness with hues of pink, blue, gold, and green, breathtaking in its glorious diaphanous beauty as it descends toward the water.
The Goddess is offering her wheat, the staff of her physical, tangible life, and the bearer of her intentions, to the glory of the sky and the power of the sea – to the Universe, to Source, to the Divine. She turns to look at you, and you instinctively know that it’s your turn to raise your wheat high, lifting your arms in a promise to serve yourself, to serve others, and to serve the Divine with the purpose of your life, with your new intentions, with discernment, with competence, and with the gifts that only you possess. You promise, with a whisper to the winds and the roar of the ocean, to live your life from the spark of your own inner divinity, and to serve life from a place of perfect love.
Now, you realize that there are many others all around, standing on the beach to either side of you as far as you can see. Each one is holding aloft their sheaf of wheat – offering their lives, their intentions, in service to the glories of the Earth, to the wonders of the Divine, to themselves and to all. Now, as the Goddess lays down her wheat in the wet sand, everyone follows suit, bringing their sheaves to create an enormous cairn. As the offering is being built, one sheaf at a time, the waves of the ocean become bigger, and louder, and closer, until a mighty figure appears far out in the ocean. He is enormous and powerful, with seaweed hair and beard streaming all about his face. He is holding up a trident – and with a sharp communal intake of breath everyone present recognizes Neptune, God of the Sea. He comes closer and closer to land, very close to where you all stand, and as he does, you see that his face is creased with lines of kindness, his eyes shine with love and compassion, and his gaze seems to encompass everyone at once, leaving each of you with the feeling of acceptance, just as you are.
Virgo walks into the shallow waves to meet him – earthy, grounded, beauty meets the mystical, boundary-less transcendent. As they embrace, calm and gentle waves roll in at your feet, and begin to disperse the alter of wheat. Each intention, each promise being carried into the sea to become one with all that is.
As you watch the sheaves being taken away you feel a sense of calm and deliberation flow through you. Your intuition is powerful. You know your course. You feel as though this magical experience has imbued you with fearlessness and has ignited the passion of right action, and a practical plan to begin to realize your intentions. You are strong in your sense of self-worth. You course with authority over your own life, even as you stand in your certainty of service to others.
As you turn to leave this wondrous beach, you are strengthened with the wisdom that moves in you, knowing that when the time is right, when the Moon wanes her gibbous light and Mercury moves forward again, you will rise to your new course of action. All is well.
Now, impress those images you’ve just experienced into your memory, so that later they will return with ease. Continue to breathe deeply and slowly for a few moments more… and now, when you’re ready, open your eyes. Begin to feel at one with your body again. Stretch each limb and muscle, pulling the Virgo energy of the physical into your being.
Thank you for sharing this moment with me.
Go into your daily life and bring balance between the real and the sublime, with beautiful intentions, and practical service.
This Retrograde coincides with the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Virgo on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 at 5:03 am. That’s a lot of energy! What I want to impress on you about this Retrograde and Eclipse is to let your heart come before your head… allow Luna (your emotions and the expression of those emotions) to feel her way into where you are; and let Mercury (your mental processes) take a back seat. He is going backwards after-all. 🙂
Trusting your intuition and making space for emotional connectedness is a great way to make new beginnings at the New Moon. Go into the dark of the moon and let yourself explore emotionally while letting your mind’s whirling have a rest – internalizing thoughts and reevaluating how your process is appropriate – just please be sure that you’re also tuning in to the feeling aspect of who you are.
Both of these events, Mercury Retrograde and the New Moon Solar Eclipse, activate Virgo and Pisces – so bring balance between analyzing and blurring the details, between discernment and “it’s all good,” between feeling in-control and out-of-control – and most of all, between being a martyr and being a victim. Both the darkness at a New Moon and Mercury Retrograde ask us to introspect and to restore – not to push forward hastily without feeling or thought.
Here are a few specifics to know about this Mercury Retrograde: Mercury will travel backwards from 29 degrees of Virgo to 14 degrees of Virgo… so that Virgo/Pisces axis is being strongly impacted, as is the Gemini/Sagittarius axis. If you have have planets in any of these 4 signs, this Retrograde is very much yours.🙂 Especially if your planets are between 12 and 30 degrees of those mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, & Pisces).
This is the chart for the beginning of Mercury Retrograde in Atlanta, GA – Aug. 30, 2016 -8:59 AM Eastern
(Pre-Shadow: May 4 – May 18; Mercury Retrograde: May 18 – June 11; Post-Shadow: June 11 – June 27, 2015)
There are SO many ways to look at this powerful Mercury Retrograde in Gemini that’s coming right up, especially with this dynamic Neptune influence… I’ll start with this in case you don’t make it past the first paragraph: First, the practical advice: BACK UP all your data, no matter where it lives or how secure you think it is. Get your tires and your oil changed and your 5,000 mile check-up. Replace that head gasket or that timing belt that you’ve been putting off – but do it quick. Now the good stuff: If you have a spiritual practice, turn to it fully and embrace it wholeheartedly – it will support you beautifully now. (If you don’t, and have always wanted to, then go get one – prayer, meditation, yoga.) It’s not the time to embark on a completely new idea or project, but if you have artistic or design talents that have been sitting on a shelf, take them down and dust them off. If you’re planning to travel… perhaps rethink your plans until later-ish June, unless your journey is spiritual, compassionate (I’m thinking about Nepal), or artistic in nature. If you’re thinking of signing a contract or pushing a project, it’s truly time to step away, allow the Gods their due, and get a more artistic, more inspired, more elegant appraisal of what you’re doing and what you’re expecting – and listen to your intuition around this process – instead of what your ego craves. If you’re musical or poetic and haven’t been practicing, GO! Give you instrument and your voice free reign! If you have addictive tendencies or are prone to overdo ANY feel good props, it’s time discover that inner strength you know is there and just say no. And if you’re into intellectual, inspired beauty, boy howdy, this is the time for you. Deeply connect to that beauty and love…
Bottom line? STOP PUSHING. LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION. OPEN TO YOUR ARTISTIC NATURE. LET GO AND LET GOD. GET SOME PERSPECTIVE. SURRENDER. ALLOW. RELEASE INTO THE SUBLIME. TURN ON YOUR LOVE BEAM. THINK AND SPEAK YOUR INNER BEAUTY. (It’s the THINK part, right? Yes, you can think loving thoughts to and about yourself. )
We’ve been in the pre-shadow period of Mercury Retrograde since May 4. So even though Mercury doesn’t officially go retrograde until May 18 (just 2 days from now!) for all intents and purposes, WE’RE ALREADY IN IT, and have been for almost 2 weeks. Probably not a surprise to those of you who are sensitive to this one.
I started hearing the lamentable stories right at the beginning of May… and simultaneously began to hear the incredulous question, “Why does it feel like Mercury is retrograde?” I was surprised at first, knowing the retrograde was a couple of weeks away, but when I started looking at it I realized how this particular retrograde is probably a precocious one. 🙂
Understand then that from a FEELING PERSPECTIVE Mercury IS and HAS BEEN retrograde since May 4. The trickster planet is really slowing down in its orbit right now, which is the initiation into the actual retrograde. And that phenomenon is made extravagant by the fact that Mercury is in its own sign of Gemini – the sign it naturally rules. AND, Mercury is in a square aspect to Neptune… confused much? That’s frequently what Neptune combined with Mercury brings on when operating at the lower vibrational level… lots of confusion and chaos in processing information, communicating effectively, memory, travel, technology, basic intellectual understanding, etc. etc. etc. So even without the retrograde motion of Mercury, due to the connection between Mercury and Neptune, we have this type of non-focused energy as a base line…
AND THAT’S WHY YOU WANT TO ELEVATE THE ENERGY. Consciously operate from the higher vibration level of Mercury Retrograde in its own sign of Gemini squaring Neptune.
HOW??? is obviously the question.
This is all truly about the God Mind, so the answer is by doing the suggestions I gave earlier: connect to God(s) and your spiritual core; align with your artistry – whatever form that takes; surrender your ego and listen to your intuition (it will pay off I promise). TELL YOUR STORY WITH TRUE FEELING… because in the telling will arise insights and aha’s that need to be pulled from your unconsciousness.
Let your thoughts, your speech, your writing, the way you move through your life reflect the goodness within you. If you’re having a hard time connecting with that loving place within, then mentally AND emotionally go inside… Mercury Retrograde is the king of digging deep and coming back with amazing personal insights that inform the current energy pattern.
During this time, between now and June 27 (when we’re past the post-shadow), if you’re challenged by a choice between logic and compassion – go with compassion. The purpose behind this retrograde is to learn to find the peace of compassion and grace despite a busy mind; to connect to your inner divinity even while questioning everything; to engage your dream now and in a few weeks give it a voice rather than simply staying in the dreaming. The goal is to rest and restore your mind with indulgences into fantasy and beauty so that they can inform your future with a new, divinely inspired perspective.
Obviously this Mercury Retrograde impacts everyone, but if you have the Sun, Moon, or personal planets in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces, this Mercury Retrograde is especially for you! 🙂
To get you in the proper head and heart space for this Mercury Retrograde, please enjoy watching this video: 40 Acts of Compassion
I promise you’ll love it!
As most of you know, Mercury is definitely Retrograde.
The Retrograde was initiated this past Thursday with Mercury in Pisces in a tight connection to Neptune... some challenging areas to be aware of during this period of time are self-delusion, understanding what you want to understand rather than what is actually being communicated, excessive sensitivity, and feeling victimized. Areas of strength to operate within are your spiritual practice, allowing your imagination free reign, and connecting to your intuition and your sense of empathy and compassion.
As Mercury moves back into Aquarius on the evening of Valentine’s Day, it will be opposite the Full Moon in Leo. Think about that for a second – the Full Moon in Leo will be trying to come to balance with a Retrograde Mercury. Hhhhhmmmmm. Add to the mix that the Sun, Moon and Mercury are all connecting to Saturn (in a challenging configuration) and to Mars (easy flow) and you get a bit of a interesting mix of energies. My take is that we could get a little fixed in our attitudes and perhaps come up against that same emotional mindset in someone else… perhaps with a few fireworks. The point though may be to illuminate somewhere you’ve been stuck and, one way or another, help you out of it.
For those born between 1957 and early 1962, this Mercury Retrograde is going to transit across your natal Chiron – or get very close to it. If you know the house of your natal Chiron (it’s going to be in late Aquarius or early Pisces) that will help you navigate. Look to that house and how it’s aspected to other natal planets for areas due a bit of mending and restoring.
Wherever Chiron is, it’s to do with your karmic wound – and this Mercury Retrograde trigger could bring stuff up around that wound – maybe offering opportunities to talk about it, heal it, review it – or provide you with chances to help someone else with their wounds. When these issues come up, don’t flinch and push them back down. The beauty of Mercury R is that really fantastic material can arise from the deep psyche and the unconscious self. Take advantage of that.
Remember that Mercury Retrograde is a time for the “1-step back” part of the natural “2-steps forward, 1-step back” process… so take the time to review, reflect, and refine what you’ve already put in motion rather than being in hot pursuit of something entirely new.
Relax! This is nature’s gift telling you to slow down and engage in your internal navigation… there’ll be time for pushing forward again soon!
THE STATS: This particular Retrograde began Thursday, Feb 6, 2014 with Mercury at 3 degrees of Pisces and will run through Fri. Feb. 28, 2014 with Mercury going back to 18 degrees of Aquarius. The shadow period, that 16 to 21 day period after the Retrograde when Mercury is making its way back to the point where it first started its backwards trek, ends on March 21, 2014.
Just a reminder that Mercury has been slowing down over the past few weeks and stationed (meaning he appears to have stopped) at 18 degrees of Scorpio on Friday, Oct. 18, and will turn Retrograde on Oct. 21. He will be Retrograde until Nov. 10, reaching back to 2 degrees of Scorpio. (Read the article Mercury Retrograde: The Unlikely Healing Gift here for an in-depth look at the meaning of this phenomenon in general, a bit of Mercury mythology, and how to navigate the Retrograde with better ease and understanding.)
If you’ve been feeling, like I have, that it seems Mercury Retrograde has already been happening for a while, remember that there are two shadow periods during every Retrograde phase. The pre-shadow that occurs for about 2 weeks when things feel as though they’re slowing down prior to the actual Retrograde and when, if you pay close attention, you are getting clues as to how a particular Retrograde period will impact you; and the post-shadow that occurs for about 3 weeks afterwards, when things are picking back up, but you are still integrating and seeking resolution. So really, the entire Mercury Retrograde phase takes about 8 weeks.
Our typically fleet footed planet appears to slow down, stop, and then turn and trudge in the opposite direction once every 4 months. This phenomenon occurs when Mercury is at his greatest distance from the Sun (when he appears as the Evening or Morning Star), and then turns back toward the Earth, appearing to us as though he’s going backwards. It’s as though Mercury is conferring with the Sun who gives him information to bring back to Earth for the use of us mere mortals – thus Mercury’s ancient reputation as the Messenger of the Gods.
If you know your birthchart, look to the house that contains Scorpio, and to any planets in that house to gain understanding of how this particular Retrograde period will impact you. Also look to any planets in your birthchart that fall between 2 and 18 degrees and find what sort of angle (the geometric distance between) this Mercury in Scorpio is making to them. This will give you further insights.
Folks born between 1956 and 1970 all have Neptune in Scorpio. If you were born between late 1956 and late 1966 your Neptune is somewhere between 0 and 22 degrees of Scorpio, meaning that it is in range of being impacted by this particular Mercury Retrograde. If your natal Neptune is also in aspect to (having a significant geometric distance between) any of your natal personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars), then this Mercury Retrograde period could be a significant one for you.
Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio brings our inner attention to probing topics like sexuality, long-standing emotional issues, death and dying, our deepest psychological fears, profound shamanic healing and making the unconscious conscious. The tendency and purpose is to thin the veil between our typical movement away from these somewhat taboo areas of life and bring them into greater awareness – and ultimately greater integration. Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio can help us heal our Shadow. (What more perfect energy could be afoot for Samhain / Halloween / All Saints Day when the veil between the living and dead is reportedly thin, allowing connection between the two worlds!)
Mercury connected to Neptune (just for those late forties and fifty-somethings among us that I mentioned earlier) is a complex combination of energies. On the one hand Mercury and Neptune combined can bring up visionary experiences, loosen the imagination, prompt us to express our dreams and give voice to the images that arise from our Souls. On the other hand we can feel muddled in our thinking, express ourselves chaotically, or tune in to our fondest modes of escape – which can translate into a Mercury Retrograde double whammy. Watch for your tendencies, one way or the other, but understand that you have the choice of which way to direct yourself.
If you’d like help figuring this Mercury Retrograde phase out in your own life, please contact me ASAP for a Mercury Retrograde consult by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It will only set you back $25. Mayhem possible during Mercury Retrograde = frustration and anxiety. Navigating Mercury Retrograde with confidence = priceless. 🙂
I’m delighted to let you know that Mercury is going Direct in Scorpio today as of 5:48 PM Eastern Time. I can hear you shouting “Yay!!” as you jump up and down… No more Mercury Retrograde until February 23, 2013! I’m saying that just as a reminder that Mercury turning Retrograde is a very regular cycle in our lives that occurs every 3 months – 4 times a year – and it stays Retrograde 3 weeks each time. This is an example of the natural inhale and exhale, ebb and flow of life – of two steps forward, one step back, of needing rest after forward motion. Learning to move gracefully and fully engaged with that cycle is a terrific goal to have. (See my article “Mercury Retrograde: The Unlikely Healing Gift” for insights on that.)
This Mercury Retrograde for me has actually been quite smooth and fruitful… perhaps that’s the result of consciously working in accordance with the energy, or maybe, I’ve just been lucky this past 3 weeks. Trust me – I’ve had my share of truly DOOZIE Mercury Retrogrades! Whatever the reason for the ease of this one, I’m looking forward to the next 3 months as Mercury moves forward to see what will bloom fresh and new in my mind and how I will determine to express it to others.
Time-lapse image showing Retrograde motion in space.
Bear in mind that we will be in the “shadow” of Mercury Retrograde until Dec. 14. This simply means that Mercury goes back over the same degrees of theZodiacit covered while it was going backwards, until it ends up where it started. During this time, the next 19 days, you might expect whatever came up during the Retrograde to resurface. (For this kind of retrospective, it’s helpful to know what degrees of Scorpio andSagittariusthe Retrograde covered – it began at 4 degrees of Sagittarius and moved back to 18 degrees of Scorpio – and where those degrees are in yourbirth chart– and what days over the past 3 weeks specific things happened. Always helpful to keep a journal for things like this so you can look back and find patterns or witness lessons learned or simply life experienced.)
I love watching annual trends with these kinds of Cosmic escapades. Last year, 2011, Mercury went Retrograde onThanksgivingDay. This year, 2012, on Thanksgiving we were in the throes of Mercury Retrograde – just a few days before the end of it. And next year Mercury Retrograde will be over almost 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. But we’ll have a Retrograde Halloween! That sounds like the perfect time to communicate (Mercury) with those already gone before us (Retrograde).
Have fun in your forward journey all!
NOTE: Here’s a wonderful video that shows Mercury Retrograde motion astronomically – a space view of how we see Mercury Retrograde. Fabulous!
From the YouTube Video explanation:
Please watch in Full screen HD-mode! This animation shows from GEOCENTRIC point of view (Earth’ observer) how the innermost planet Mercury moves on its small orbit direct, than suddenly appears to move retrograde (backwards) and turns direct again. The red grid marks the ecliptical plane, in which the Sun and most planets move more or less. The figures indicate the 30° intersection of the ecliptical grid, so 0° longitude is the beginning at the vernal equinox = 0° Aries, Every further 30° step is the next astrological (tropical) sign of the zodiac, so e.g. 30°-60° = Taurus, 60°-90° = Gemini and so on. The movement for Mercury is shown for 2009 and 2010 covering two of its retrograde periods, which take about three weeks and occur four times every Earth year. Mercury’s orbit is shown in orange colour (ellipse). The panel on the left corner is in German and displays the calendar date of the animation. The timestep is 1 day per trail and computation. This is how the apparent retrograde motion of planets actually appears and happens. Stars and other planets are excluded in this animation. The animation was generated with Redshift 7 Premium by USM Media. More explanations will be inserted into the animation soon.
As of August 8, 2012 at 1:40 AM, while most of us in this part (EDT) of the world were sleeping, Mercury once again began his forward motion, freeing us to get on with it. This Mercury Retrograde was apparently a humdinger (translation: CRAZY!) I heard from so many people who were struggling with all kinds of things… and everyone had one question: When will it be over??
So now it is.
And just now, so you know what else is going on, the latter days of this Mercury Retrograde and until about Monday, August 13, Mercury is in a bit of a challenging aspect withNeptune. These two are dancing at about 150 degrees apart, aQuincunx… which means the dance is more of an attempt to keep in rhythm and off of each other’s toes. Neptune diffuses the workings of themind, lending a day-dreamy quality and not much impetus to perform. Neptune can also lend confusion to mental processes and keep communications off the mark of reality. It can make the mind easily distracted and long for peace. So if you’re one of the folks who is still experiencing the proverbial pebble in her mental shoe, don’t fret. This too shall pass. 😉
I’d like to mention a couple of other things that go along with the happy Mercury Direct news. For the future.
1. When Mercury is Retrograde and you feel like you can’t get anything to cooperate in order to get things done… it is a message. Try to listen to it! The best possible recourse is to stop trying to get that particular thing done in that particular way and surrender to the energy. Walk away for a little while to gain perspective. That doesn’t mean to stop doing everything. It just means to stop hitting your head against the same wall when particular things obviously aren’t going to move for you. Surrender. If you’re at the airport and you’ve just heard the announcement that your flight is delayed and you’ll miss your big meeting – well, decide to enjoy the extra hours of free time you’ve been given. You can’t change the delay – but you can change your attitude around it and turn it into a blessing. Or if it’s a project related wall you’re banging your against, change your tactic – meaning, instead of trying to push something into existence, do a little more research instead. Review whatever it is and take it slowly. Relax around it and allow inspiration to come. Mercury, especially when Retrograde, likes to dip way down into the subconscious and retrieve golden nuggets buried deeply within the psyche and then bring them up to the surface to assist you. Let that process happen! The end result will be much richer for it. And you won’t have to keep re-doing things to get them right. And please, if your computer crashes and you have 24 hours before it will be repaired – go outside or meet a friend. Enjoy life without a screen to sit in front of!
2. After Mercury goes direct there is a “shadow” period during which Mercury retraces his steps over the same degrees across which he went retrograde.This is important to understand. To illustrate, this retrograde Mercury began traveling backwards when he was at 12-and-a-half degrees of Leo. Keep in mind that there are 30 degrees to every sign (and 12 signs, so that makes 360 degrees total to make the complete circle of the Zodiac, which is actually the Ecliptic, or the apparent path that the Sun and planets follow). So Mercury went backwards from 12.5 degrees back to 1.5 degrees, covering a total of 11 degrees in reverse. Now that he’s moving forward again, he must go back over those same 11 degrees, from 1.5 to 12.5 to get back to the place he started when the retrograde began. Savvy? So during the shadow period, you may revisit things that you thought you’d put into their proper place that need your attention to be finally set right. Also, during Mercury’s Shadow, move forward and start getting things done absolutely. But still, don’t force. You are meant to pay particular attention to that ground that’s already been covered and be sure that your t’s are crossed and your i’s dotted and that the fine print has been read or written properly. Use your intuition to know how far you can go how quickly. The current Mercury Shadow is in effect until August 22, 2012. And don’t let this news dampen your spirit… get out there and do!
3. Every Mercury Retrograde affects every person differently. Where and how the retrograde impacts you depends on where Mercury is transiting around your birth chart. So each person will have a different response and a different place where the energy is the strongest – and where Mercury will play the most tricks. I did actually have one client who said this Mercury Retrograde was a piece of cake! She was the only one, but there it is. 🙂
4. Don’t be afraid of Mercury Retrograde. It is a gift! When you’re afraid of something that’s coming you build anxiety around it and your anxiety focuses your response and your expectations – and hence, the outcome. Focusing on fear creates the anxiety which in turn creates theself-fulfilling prophecythat something negative will occur. Instead, as you anticipate the Retrograde, think of it as a time to restore your mind. A time to amp up your meditation practice or sit quietly in nature or to focus on appreciation of what you’re already accomplished or to curl up with a good book in the evenings researching your next big dream. Mercury Retrograde is an opportunity to step away from the fast, forward push that you’re generally engaged in. Get a calendar and learn ahead of time when the Retrograde periods are coming and plan accordingly.
And now celebrate! I hope you’re feeling refreshed and ready to skip down that new road of possibilities!
And with the New Moonin Leo coming up one week from today on Friday, August 17, I hope you’ll join me for theFree New Moon TeleClass & Meditationwhere we’ll be covering how to get real with your creativity and doing a beautiful guided imagery meditation all about Leo energy! And please remember that if you join this free call you’ll getGreat Gratitude Offerwhich is 20% off when you schedule a consultation with me before the next Full Moon. So happy Mercury Direct and I hope to “hear” you on the call!
Mercury and Paris by Annibale Carracci – Ceiling of the Farnese Gallery. 16th/17th Century Baroque Italian Art.
Every now and then go away,have a little rest and relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer; since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment…Go some distance away because the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and a lack of harmony or proportion is more readily seen.
~Leonardo Da Vinci
Astrologically speaking, there is a particular cycle, which while not always comfortable, has the result of great benefit: the apparent backwards motion of a very mischievous planet. Many of us wouldn’t normally consider a period of Mercury Retrograde a blessing, yet in nature, there is rule: two steps forward, one step back. Without this rule, we’d all experience burn-out, fatigue, frustration and end up relinquishing our health. We must have a period of rest and reflection to maintain balance, and that is precisely what is offered during any Mercury Retrograde cycle.
Traditionally, the 3 week period of Mercury Retrograde (which is the appearance from Earth that Mercury is traveling backwards) that occurs approximately once every four months is that awful time when our cars breakdown, our computers crash, we miss our flight by seconds, our presentations flop, we’re accident prone, we can’t write or think clearly, and when we open our mouths to speak we say the wrong thing or nobody is listening. We are not meant to make any major purchases like houses, cars, boats, insurance, etc., and we are never ever to enter into any contract, (including marriage and mortgage refinances) during this time. People await Mercury’s back peddling atremble with trepidation and fear. From here, it doesn’t sound like much to be grateful for…
Certainly the above is a blatant exaggeration. I pity the poor Soul who could actually have all of these communication and transportation problems during one three week period of time. Yet, this cyclical period didn’t get its bad reputation without reason. So what is it then, really? Why does Mercury Retrograde affect communication and transportation? Why do we lose our minds temporarily? Let’s look briefly at the mythological Mercury so that we can begin to make sense of, and feel gratitude for, this recurring phenomenon.
Mercury the Trickster – God of Communication, Technology & Transportation
Mythologically, Mercury (Hermes in Greek) represents several archetypes: the Trickster; the Messenger; the Guide and Companion; the Psychopompos (the deliverer of the newly dead to Hades); the Puer Eternis (the forever young and charming fool); the Thief; the Teacher; and the Magician, to name more than a few. You may well ask how one God can wear so many different hats? The answer is that of all the Gods, Mercury alone has the power to mimic and portray the attributes of all the other Gods. His cleverness allows him to be a virtual chameleon, and because of this virtue he was favored by his father, Jupiter (Zeus), and was constantly sent on missions to rescue other Divine children, or to lead inept mortals currently in favor out of trouble.
Mercury is witty, confident, competent, and utterly without conscience. He is constantly on the move, gathering information, analyzing it and either acting upon it, or stowing it away to be dealt with later. He is pure mental process, the governor of the Mind. He is easily bored and often up to mischief. Because he achieved such elevated status as messenger of the Gods, he became the patron of all communication. Because he is so clever and forward thinking his influence is over all devices of communication, even as they are being invented. Because he journeyed via many modes between Olympus and Earth, and to and from Hades so often, and because he led so many, mortal and immortal alike, on their journeys (whether on an adventure, out of a misadventure, or to lead the spirits of the dead to the underworld forever), Mercury has become the patron of travel and all modes of transportation. Hence the breakdown in communication, transportation, and travel when Mercury decides to move backwards, rather than forward!
I believe it highly unlikely that the Universe has come up with a 3-week period of time 3 times a year simply to annoy and frustrate us in our attempts to get smoothly through our lives. Undoubtedly there is a deeper meaning underlying the mishaps and miscommunications that occur during Mercury’s retrogression. Consider this. The natural order of things produces periods of wakefulness and attention, and in balance, periods of rest and simple awareness. The pattern of waking and sleeping created by the rising and setting of the Sun is the most obvious example that comes to mind. The turning of the Seasons also mirrors the need for active attention (Fall) followed by a period of restful awareness and recharging through being still and tuning inward (Winter). So it is with Mercury who represents the energy and archetype that resonates with our inherent need and desire to communicate our thoughts, ideas, and artistry out into the world around us. The period of Mercury Retrograde, then, is an opportunity for restful awareness provided by Universal Law. It’s a time to turn away from full-tilt active attention to our forward driving lives. It’s the time to rest and refresh the Spirit; to re-evaluate where we are, what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how we’re doing life. All of the planets, not only Mercury, have their own periods of retrogression. Mercury, because it is closest to the Sun and has the smallest orbit, simply retrogresses more frequently than the other planets, hence the greater common knowledge of this particular planet’s patterns and its apparent “effects” upon us.
Now knowing what we know about Mercury, his mythology, and the natural need for times of rest and inner rediscovery, the question becomes “How do we best utilize this time to our greatest benefit, and to the purpose for which it exists?” The beginning of the answer to this question comes in the form of understanding that during our typical forward motion, we don’t process much of the information waiting in our unconscious minds. Information is there steeping, awaiting a moment to enter the consciousness in order to provide the thrust toward transformation that is appropriate for the time. Mercury Retrograde periods are when we should take the opportunity to rest and restore ourselves through self-evaluation. During this rest, Mercury will surprise us by dipping down into our unconsciousness returning upward with the most timely and incredible material. We receive a gift that we would have otherwise missed without this period of re-connecting with our internal selves. If we use this time wisely, we will consciously process this gift, alchemically transforming our current paradigm for the new and more relevant one. This process is extraordinarily healing, especially if in the months prior to the current retrogression, we have been experiencing a time of personal transition.
Another incredible gift of the Mercury Retrograde period is that we can place our current projects on hold, or put them on the back burner, so that they can in their turn steep and develop into what is needed toward our best interests. We may feel, however, that we cannot let go of, re-direct, or re-schedule a project or other imminent event. There are deadlines and responsibilities, and we can’t possibly base our modern lives on some ancient form of calendaring like Astrology! However, if we do not, if we resist the natural cycle of moving from forward attention to simple resting awareness, of the two-steps-forward and one-step back nature of all things, THEN we pay the price by experiencing many of the things listed at the beginning of this article. Erin Sullivan, who wrote the preeminent volume on retrogression available today, titled Retrograde Planets, states “The essence of Mercury Retrograde cannot be controlled by the will and when we think we are smugly in control we are most likely to experience the Trickster in all his magnificent glory.” When we can accept this retrogression as the teaching and healing device that it is intended to be we can stop anticipating it with dread and anxiety. We can, instead, receive the gift graciously, recharge and realign ourselves with our true nature and purpose, and then pause to give thanks for the opportunity to do so!
We have, as many consciously understand, through socialization and the raising of technology to such godlike degrees (while leaving the beauty, wisdom, and lucidity of Nature behind) almost entirely removed the numinous and sacred out of our experience of life. We are in the throes of healing an incredible separation from the Divine in our culture. In moving more toward the natural timing of cycles and events in our lives, with respect to informing and reflecting the macrocosm that is symbolized by Astrology, we can begin to reclaim our natural state of being and evolving. We can drive forward with our mission and our intention, and then take a moment to reevaluate and redeem ourselves during the process of achieving. Give thanks then that your computer crashes, or your brakes need replacing! It means you might need to take a break, reflect, restore and enjoy this small moment to replenish your Spirit. This is the hope of Astrology, and the lesson, and true gift, of Mercury Retrograde.