Current Weather: Mercury Is Retrograde in Leo…

Mercury and Paris by Annibale Carracci
Ceiling of the Farnese Gallery. 16th/17th Century Baroque Italian Art.


Just a note to you as a reminder that on July 14, 2012 we’ll be in a Mercury Retrograde phase once again.

Mercury is already slowing down a bit in preparation for its 3-week back-track, so I thought you’d want to start thinking about ways to prepare. This coming Retrograde is in Leo – so all of you who have a strong emphasis on Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius in your birthcharts will probably experience the strongest effects.

To prepare, begin to explore ways to still your mind, particularly around your creative ideas and heart attachments. Set aside some time in your calendar to have quiet introspective moments every day between July 14 and August 8, 2012… and then plan to use that time to review, revisit, and revise the following Leo ruled areas of life:  ego attachments, career in terms of your creativity, where you want to shine in life, your convictions, your self-confidence, your children and any creative progeny, where and how you are generous and giving, where you find and offer joy, how you respond to criticism, and your actual heart health.

Read that list again slowly and visualize each area of your life as you do… check to see what needs a do-over and then commit to spending some down town ruminating and mulling it over. 

The time you set aside for introspection doesn’t have to be excessive – a few minutes a day will do.  But as always, anytime you work with an energy you benefit tremendously – whereas if you work against the energy (refusing to slow down and reflect, pushing through with projects rather than letting them breathe, making large purchases, signing contracts – those are all “don’ts” during Mercury Retrograde) you will feel the more negative side of its impact… and those are really not pleasant. Some for instances are:  mis-communications, technology devices that break and need repairing, car break downs, contracts back-firing, flubbing speeches and the traditional favorite, travel troubles. 

Mercury Retrograde can be a very positive and restorative experience… just be willing to slow down and breathe, rather than forcing your way forward. In that way you get the benefit of some well-deserved down time. 

So get ready to put your check book, your debit card, and your signing pen away for a few weeks… see what you can put on the back burner for a little while to free up some space, and get comfortable with the idea of going inside. This is your chance to rest and restore your mind… take it! Have fun introspecting!

Please read my article “Mercury Retrograde, The Unlikely Healing Gift”… it’s a great read and covers everything from mythology and history to what to expect. Enjoy!

Dec 13, 2011 – No More Mercury Retrograde as of 8:43 PM Eastern time… Look at Mercury Retrograde as Your Own Personal Adjustment Bureau

Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in The Adjustment Bureau - A very Mercury Retrograde kind of movie!

So many of you have struggled with the current Mercury Retrograde… I’ve heard story after story from clients and friends – some of them quite funny and some of them very serious. I’ve had my own misadventures this Retrograde as well! 

When you realize that this Mercury Retrograde period coincided with the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on Nov. 25, the very powerful Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Gemini on Dec. 10 and Uranus going Direct (after 5 months of being Retrograde) at the zero point of Aries, you may begin to understand just how powerful this Retrograde has been. In conjunction with the eclipses it had the potential to be life changing. 

But as of tonight at 8:43 PM Eastern Time Mercury starts to travel forward again and we can begin to get our ducks back into their neat little rows ( or maybe new rows that align with us better) and make sense out of the glitches, accidents, and miscommunications of  the past 3 weeks. Mercury went Retrograde on Nov. 24 – Thanksgiving Day in the United States. I’m sure you’ll look back on that day and laugh about the arguments, travel mishaps and late guest arrivals – once a little more time has passed. 😉

I just want to remind you that if you did experience personal, business, relationship or career issues during the past 3 weeks, they happened either to wake you up to something or to remind you that something needs a little adjusting. Remember the movie The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt? That whole story was like one huge Mercury Retrograde. There was a team of officials who reported to the Universal Master Mind/God – and who behaved and looked like the FBI. These Adjustment Bureau officials were meant to keep people living in line with the course of their destiny. That film brought up all kinds of questions about free will and fate, but setting those questions aside – I tend to look at Mercury Retrograde periods as your own very positive version of an Adjustment Bureau – not an outside force trying to keep you on their track from the outside, but an Adjustment Bureau from within – as a human responding dynamically and with intention to the energy that is around you.

If you’re strongly impacted during a Retrograde, you likely to have planets or points in your chart that are in the same sign (or a sign squared to that sign) and near the same degree as Mercury during those 3 weeks of retrogression.  You’re being given an opportunity, via communication, transportation, contract, and/or technological mess-ups to pull back, re-evaluate, take a deeper look at and restore whatever it is that’s not quite in sync with who you’ve become and who you are in fact becoming from your own mental perceptions. You’re given the opportunity to adjust your mental attitudes, the way you think about things, the way you communicate with the folks around you. It’s kind of wonderful when you think about it!

This Retrograde was in Sagittarius traveling backwards between 20 and 3 degrees (there are 30 degrees in every astrological sign). So for the signs Sagittarius, Gemini, Virgo and Pisces, this would have been a great time to pay attention to any obstacles or cranks and ask why they were there. And then ask what you can do differently that would put you on a smoother track. Sagittarius is all about the belief system, your philosophies on life, your moral compass and how you judge yourself and others. It’s also about the freedom to expand and grow beyond your current parameters – which are almost definitely parameters that you have set for yourself – even if they came in the guise of job, career, or  family restrictions. So this particular Retrograde will have many of us questioning our current life path en toto – because this one is about adjusting what you believe in.

Now – the Retrograde motion itself is officially over tonight – but the planet doesn’t reach it’s normal speed until early January – the same time as it passes the 20th degree which is where it started its backwards movement. That means we aren’t “out of the shadow of the retrograde” until the first couple of days of January. So you have time to continue to reevaluate, relax, re-do, and restore whatever is appropriate. I encourage you to wait until after Jan. 1 to sign contracts and push forward fully with anything that has come into question. You’ll definitely feel the difference and do begin to flow with the forward motion. Just give yourself plenty of time to plan and lay a strong foundation for any changes that you’re making as a result of this time of adjustment.

And give thanks! Your personal, internal adjustment bureau is looking out for you – not making your decisions for you… just showing you the best places inside or out, that need a little conscious tweaking.

Today’s Solar Eclipse, New Moon, and Mercury Direct

It’s probably no surprise to any of you that there’s alot going on in the sky at the moment – because there’s alot going on down here. I’m going to try to break it down a bit in astrological terms for you.

This morning, Jan. 15, 2010, at 12:45 AM EST an annular Solar Eclipse began, and at 2:11 AM EST we experienced the New Moon, both events in Capricorn at 25 degrees. This powerful energy, demanding a new course, is filled with the earthy, practicality of Saturn (Saturn rules the sign Capricorn and there are currently 5 planets and the North Node in this sign. That’s alot.) as well as the challenges, boundaries, and restrictions that are also the domain of Saturn.  Known traditionally as the Grim Reaper and harbinger of death, Saturn energy can be  harsh and cruel (Charles Dicken’s Scrooge before his happy transformation is a great example of the shadow personality of Capricorn), and it can also be clear minded, sensible, responsible and will carry through with complete perseverance to the end of whatever is set before it to accomplish. The way I see it, the earthquake in Haiti and the huge response to it is showing us both sides of the Saturn/Capricorn coin pretty clearly.

New Moons always equal New Beginnings and Eclipses require us to change direction or course, and have been known historically to occur simultaneously with huge, life changing events. The ancients believed that an Eclipse was a omen of doom. I don’t cater to that belief as the only possible outcome of an Eclipse, but see them as portals into something new. I believe there can be miracles and evolution – certainly transformation – within every catastrophe, whether personal, local, or global. This New Moon Solar Eclipse has provided us with a very real, very HUGE, portal into evolution and transformation in the very tangible form of this tragic and devastating earthquake. The transformation is certainly occurring for Haiti and Haitians, but also for all of us as our hearts are wrenched, our feelings of helplessness rise, and as we move forward despite hardship to rally forward to help. It is our job to see the miracles that are occurring moment to moment during the rescue and relief missions, and to continue to see them as countries from across the globe pull together to bring relief to this small Caribbean country as it rebuilds, after the shockwaves have dissipated. I am hopeful that somehow the spotlight on this suffering place will open eyes, minds,  hearts and wallets – that it will shift enough people – so that a critical mass occurs and something is done to finally bring Haiti out of such horrific poverty and long-term disease. It IS possible.

If you’ve been reading here, you know that not only is there a Solar Eclipse at hand, but there’s also a Saturn/Pluto square, which is “actual” for about 9 months (Nov. 2009 – Aug. 2010) and”felt” for alot longer. When we combine this energy with the New Moon Solar Eclipse, Mercury going direct, and Saturn going Retrograde, we come up with moment in time and space that is DEFINING. Resources are limited, so we are forced to do more with less, which is a HUGE lesson of our time in our culture.

Mercury going direct means that the channels needed for transporting goods, services, ideas, technology, vehicles etc. are opening up – but slowly. Communication can begin to get back on track. The shadow of the Retrograde continues until the first week of February. It may be that long before the road blocks are cleared and traffic can move effectively, and before we have confirmation of the full extent of the devastation and loss of life in Haiti.

I’ll inform you of the significance of Saturn moving Direct tomorrow.

Yes…it’s Retrograde Season, Saturn and Pluto are squared, but here’s something to inspire you!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I’ve been thinking about the current Saturn/Pluto square, and all these Retrogrades. And just like that, I came across, for the hundredth time in my life, my favorite quote ever. It’s by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, that wonderful German poet, writer, philosopher, dramatist, playwright, and civil servant. (He was a good Virgo, with a Pisces moon – a man of service and discrimination with a soul connected to the pulse of his world. He was born in 1749 and died in 1832 – like us experiencing the turning from one century to the next. He is known as one of most influential writers of all time.)

The quote I love so much, and that presented itself to me today, is this:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

I do realize of course, that Saturn and Pluto are squared, seemingly wreaking havoc on our very foundation; and that Mercury and Mars are Retrograde – and that in just a few days Saturn will be Retrograde as well. All this Retrograde action translates to a time for mental and physical retreat, and a true internal reality check.  This is not the best moment in time to begin anything new.

HOWEVER – there are words and ideas in the quote above that at this time on our journey, the time of Retrogrades and a Saturn/Pluto square, are of utmost importance. Goethe speaks of commitment, the realm of Saturn. He also speaks of hesitancy, drawing back and ineffectiveness – also the realm of Saturn, but from the lower vibration. He tells us that without commitment we can never be fully engaged in our dream! As long as we hesitate, i.e. as long as we act from a place of commitment phobia, our intentions are not clear to the Powers that Be, and therefore cannot gather force beneath and around us, to rally us forward toward our goals. As long as we are wishy-washy, even a little, Providence cannot help us fulfill our dreams, goals, and aspirations.

So take heed of the Retrogrades and ruminate, stand still instead of running forward just for now, and work with Saturn to get the REAL dream in place so that the Pluto purging of whatever is getting in your way or holding you back can work its mysterious magic that will lead to an incredible transformation in your life as you know it! (Think “work toward transformation”.)

This month and through the next several weeks, during this time of introspection, renewal, rehearsal and not so intrepid and forthright action, go inside and figure out what you WILL COMMIT yourself to. Make lists, meditate, visualize, test and rehearse. Be bold and allow your genius to arise from within – and then, when the time to move forward is ripe (you’ll feel it), the magic will happen – the support will show up, the people of like-mind will appear to help, like the shoemakers elves.


Read the quote from Goethe several times, only say it in the first person (Until I am committed…etc.) until you can recite it without reading it. Allow it to become a part of you. Internalize it and meditate on it. Feel it. And then…when it’s time to move forward…feel your power, be BOLD and do it! Commit with no concept left of turning back.

See? Retrogrades, Saturn and Pluto really can be your friends!

Mercury Direct! Now the shadow…

Mercury - Roman MythologyTuesday, Sept. 29, 2009 – Happy Mercury Direct everyone! Mercury began its forward motion at 22 degrees of Virgo and will continue into Libra as the days progress. We’re now entering the after-shadow period; the down-time during which Mercury heads back to the same degree it was in when it went Retrograde 3 weeks ago. That means we have until October 15 to assimilate all that we’ve re-structured and received around our communication skills and needs within relationships (Libra), how and where we can truly serve from the heart while engaging our heads and our hands (Virgo). This time also gives us a couple of weeks to re-engage our brains into forward movement and to pull together a mental plan for the next 3 months so that we’re prepared for the next Retrograde that begins the day after Christmas in Capricorn (that should make for some interesting last-minute holiday shopping and party going! Word to the wise – if you’re buying electronics, cars, or anything that includes a contract this year, shop early!)  We can utilize the current shadow time to figure out how we can now take action and move forward on the juicy information that we may have been able to harvest from our psyches during the Retrograde. We can still expect communication glitches and other Mercury antics for the next few days, but if you’re paying attention you can feel the energy shifting. Don’t expect too much too fast; just breathe in the newly forward feeling and focus on what you’ve learned and how you incorporate that new knowledge into your daily experience of life.


writingI’ve been trying to write a post to remind you of this particular energy for two days now. What’s the hold-up? Hmmm. I’d say, at the risk of sounding woo-woo, that it’s Mercury Retrograde. No kidding…I woke up Monday morning, the first morning of Mercury Retrograde, and my phone, internet and TV were all down. There was a problem with Comcast. I made the call to report the outage, and over 3 hours later my service was restored…but only for a little while. I spent the rest of the day trying to work without much luck. Pretty much the same thing happened Tuesday, except the outage came late in the day instead of early. Late afternoon I finally threw in the towel and decided to take my own advice. I stopped pushing…stopped forcing. I decided that a walk with my family was a better idea than watching the “connected” bubble at the bottom of my screen, hoping for a few minutes of work time. I picked up a book that I’ve been wanting to read…and what happened? I became inspired to start reworking a scene of my own book. Not at my computer, not in my office. I was curled up with a notebook and a pen in a comfy chair with my son beside me, my mom happily watching Turner Classics, and my dog at my feet. And all this stuff just started coming up! It was fabulous. I connected with my immediate relationships, relaxed, allowed myself to take a step back and WOW. Inspiration flooded me. So don’t despair my friends. Yes. Mercury is Retrograde…maybe you should be too!

September Forecast

September 2009 Forecast
A Month of Mercury Retrograde

(sign by sign forecast included below)

Mercury - God of Communication and Transportation

Mercury - God of Communication and Transportation

We enter September a bit wobbly. Many are still incorporating the shifts brought about by the Eclipse Season in July and August. September 4th brings a Full Moon in Pisces. Focus on bringing together visionary ideals with the practical details that are required for accomplishment. Feel the unity symbolized by Pisces, while doing the work necessary to harvest the vision. Mercury turns Retrograde in Libra on Sept. 7th, marking our relationships as the target for misunderstandings and demanding that we look deeply into the way we communicate with our loved ones, rebalancing the manner in which we relate with them. On Sept. 11th, Pluto, harbinger of purging and transformation, turns direct in Capricorn. Expect shifts in business, where locked horns will begin to work their way loose to continue the lessons in “new finance” for our country. Saturn and Uranus make the third of five exact oppositions to each other on Sept. 15th. These opposing energies, in place from 2008 through 2010, represent the archetypal battle between light and dark,

The last Saturn/Uranus opposition brought us The Sixties - the Beatles, Vietnam, JFK's rise and fall, MLK's dream and death, free love, psychedelic drugs, and the overturn of the old into the new for our country.

The last Saturn/Uranus opposition, which happens about every 45 years, brought us The Sixties - the Beatles, Vietnam, JFK's rise and fall, MLK's dream and death, free love, psychedelic drugs, and the overturn of the old into the new for our country.

old and new. Think Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker! This is a season of “tradition vs. the new way” with September as the dénouement. This month will bring much in the news demonstrating this struggle. Our personal goal is to find the balance between our own darkness and light, learning to embrace the past as a wise teacher and the future as a better way. Mercury moves back into Virgo on the 17th, requiring that how we serve others and our ability to be discerning undergo some re-adjustments.  The 18th brings a New Moon in Virgo. This New Moon, strapped as it is by Saturn, brings old emotions with it – perhaps with the purpose of finding new meaning in them. This is a sober, practical and work oriented New Moon, with connections to both past and future. Mark your new beginnings by looking behind you to figure out how to move forward. Mid-month Mercury again becomes shadowed by Saturn and opposes Uranus. For those of us unwilling to reflect and re-evaluate, problems with technology could be on turbo boost. Venus moves from Leo into Virgo on Sept. 20th, shifting our relating principle from creativity and fun to practicality and service.  On Sept. 22nd we very soberly welcome Autumn as the Sun moves into Libra. The Sun is close to Saturn, and this Equinox strongly activates the Triple Aquarians – Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune. This liberating group is the most profound messenger of what is happening in our lives right now:  a new egalitarian belief system, profound social healing, and a unified vision of connection for all of humankind. Saturn is in an agitating relationship with the Triple Aquarians and their inspiring message for the whole of September. We can expect irritation between those who are pushing the new message, and those who would see the rich/poor class system maintained. September 29th Mercury Retrograde is over. This is our opportunity to process the lessons experienced during the Retrograde and incorporate our new-found way of communicating in relationships and service.

For a More Complete Forecast and the Sign-by-Sign Breakdown for September, visit the Current Forecast.

For a complete look at Mercury Retrograde in a positive light, read my article Mercury Retrograde – The Unlikely Healing Gift here.

Planetary Weather for September 2008 – Moving Forward while Holding Back

As all life seems to be, September strikes me as a month filled with dichotomies. Are you feeling it? Are we seeing it in the world? Early in the month both Jupiter and Pluto ceased their long-term backwards motion and moved Direct! Yet, coming up on the 24th, the trickster planet Mercury will begin its tri-annual backwards motion. As you’re pushing forward with one hand, you’re holding back with the other! Additionally, Jupiter and Saturn, two radically different energies are combining efforts for the whole of September, creating a background of pushing the limits toward a new future while simultaneously trying to maintain the status-quo. You can see this clearly in the political arena!

Moving forward:  Jupiter moving Direct frees you to see and experience greater optimism, to make positive advances and to continue your growth and expansion. Jupiter was Retrograde from early May until early September. During this period, you most likely felt that whatever area in your life was being impacted by Jupiter’s backward motion needed more effort and more time than you originally imagined or allotted. This area probably brought you less joy than it did originally. (The area of your life is determined by the House occupied by transiting Jupiter in your personal birth chart) But now you can once again move toward progress with optimism. What a relief!

Moving forward:  Pluto, planet of death, transformation and rebirth, the planet of shared resources (and debt), of magical, profound and subtle healing, was Retrograde from the beginning of April until September 8. With this newly direct movement of Pluto comes the forward momentum for deeper transformation in whatever area of your life that’s being impacted. When Pluto was Retrograde, it could have enhanced the feeling of being out of control of the transited area of your life. Powerlessness is often experienced with this retrograde. You may have felt fearful and were required to do some soul searching. Something in the realm that Pluto Retrograde touched needed to die away, to be reborn in a purer form; but the death has felt too long coming and painfully difficult. The depths to which Pluto can take us might blind us to the true purpose of the required transformation until a later time, when we’ve had the chance to process fully. The shadow now begins to move into the light as Pluto starts to move forward. A release is imminent. 

Holding back:  Another interesting dichotomy is reflected in the trine between Jupiter and Saturn during the entire month. Jupiter expresses, while Saturn reflects. Jupiter expands while Saturn contracts. Jupiter loves excess, while Saturn appreciates frugality. Jupiter represents wealth, while Saturn represents poverty. The combination of these two very different energies can operate harmoniously (as indicated by the trine) creating an atmosphere of restrained and careful positive growth that has the potential to be maintained over time. Think about what’s happening in your life, and ponder on what areas you could best utilize this type of subtle and lasting expansion. Seek new territory and wax philosophical…but still do the work! Throughout September you may be able to express a sense of optimism while being equally grounded by your sense of reality. The downside of this combination, if you aren’t able to utilize it positively, could find you being pulled back and forth between optimism and pessimism, trust and mistrust, or gain and loss.

Holding back:  Mercury goes Retrograde (yes – again!) on Sept. 24 in the sign of Libra, and stays Retrograde until Oct. 15. Mercury Retrograde in Libra bids us to ponder the question, “What is the quality of the relationships in my life?” It’s not so much about how you feel in your relationships. It’s more about how you participate in them. What are the patterns? What techniques do you always use that could stand some true revamping? What sort of creative or social patterns do you generally employ in relationship? Do they work? Do they suck? We’ll probably be given some twists and turns to work out in these areas, slowing us down enough so that we actually spend some time reflecting on these tough questions. Don’t be surprised if you find it more difficult than usual to relate and communicate during this 3-week period. Internalize a bit, keep to yourself more than usual, watch and reflect. Socially this retrograde will be very interesting! To watch this energy at play in the ways that the Presidential Candidates relate to each other could prove quite frustrating. The Retrograde will end less than 3 weeks before Election Day. I feel pretty confident in suggesting that as we move through this period traditionally associated with difficult communication, our own knowledge of the true mind-sets of these opposing forces, and perhaps even our own, will not become much clearer. We probably won’t have any real clarity on who is pulling forward and who is losing ground until about 2 weeks before The Day. I even expect some camp-switching very late into the race. But, for the last week of September (and throughout the Retrograde), focus on yourself and how you can change patterns and habits in your own relationships. Don’t push; simply learn.