Mercury stations direct

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When Mercury goes retrograde, the information it imparts has to do with the sign it’s in and the aspects it makes to other planets during the retrograde cycle. It will have a specific message for our own individual natal charts, but it will have a collective message for all of us, too.

Mercury stationed retrograde November 16th at 13°29’ Sagittarius, squaring Neptune in Pisces. Mentally, we were all in a fog about something. It stations direct today at 4:22 p.m. EST at 27°16’ Scorpio. For many of us this has been a rough one, but hopefully it also has brought all of us a little more clarity.

What informs this clarity?

During any Mercury retrograde period, insights arrive both from within ourselves and from the past in some way. Yesterday Shutterfly helpfully sent me this reminder of how incredibly cute Lyndon was. Shutterfly regularly sends me photo memories, and most of them are sweet. But it rarely sends me pictures of Lyndon’s. First. Christmas. And that’s the feeling of the end of this retrograde cycle in Scorpio. What we’re seeing or taking in through any of our senses deeply pierces our hearts in some way. Maybe we missed the learning opportunity the first time around, or we forgot it in some way that was crucial. And if the lesson is deep and powerful enough, it can take our breath away. This was a retrograde of searing truths. So if you’re in that heavy space, honor the breadth and depth of what you’ve been processing.

Mercury retrograde famously is associated with mistakes, misunderstandings, and glitches. And they can be our teachers, too – slowing us down, helping us be more intentional. This Mercury retrograde cycle I tried to pay attention to the interactions I had because of the setbacks. Who or what showed up to help me? Who or what had I not noticed until a moment of frustration or vulnerability? Which creative options did I discover out of necessity that I may want to carry forward with me?

During this retrograde period I also heard my own words or vocal tone comes back to me – for good and for bad. I heard kindness and encouragement from coworkers, a cheery sing-song from my Mom. I heard an aggravated, impatient tone in Lyndon’s voice that never used to be there. They were different illustrations of my own voice, showing me what I like about my communication and what I can still do better.

At the beginning of this retrograde period, Mercury squared Mars. And so in some way, Mars has been our teacher. Conflict and courage were part of the message of the past three weeks. As we encountered anger, aggression, will, or fear, have we drawn a boundary or forged ahead in a new, uncharted way?

Later Mercury aligned with the sun and Jupiter in Sagittarius. Part of this inward or backward retreat has been to reclaim our own faith, hope, light, and immensity. What did we forget or never notice about our own possibility and essence? Because Mercury travels so closely to the sun and retrogrades three times a year, we get this chance symbolically to see and express ourselves anew several times a year. But this sun/Mercury conjunction in Sagittarius related to the self we want to be philosophically. Our beliefs have been in the spotlight. Exploration and wisdom have been in the spotlight. And hopefully this searching period has shown us some risks we needed to take to be more true and free.

As Mercury stations direct on this day when the Sagittarius moon joins the same degree as Jupiter, it could soothe us to absorb and connect meaning to some of the wisdom we’ve personally gained during the last three weeks. Importantly, tomorrow will be a new moon and Mars and Neptune will join at the same degree. Our strength is aligned with something bigger than we are, even if we still can’t yet see the way forward.

This Mercury retrograde has come during Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights commemorating the rededication of the Temple after its desecration, and Advent, the Christian season of waiting for the arrival of Christ. And in that duality we find ourselves: Even as there’s more to prepare for and anticipate, there are victories and signs of hope, big and small, worth seeing and celebrating.

 

 

 

A poem for the Moon in Leo

Yesterday a reader of my posts reached out to me to ask me how I’m doing. I haven’t written in a while. The truth is with my 1st House Aries moon I’m a person of passionate phases, and some (like my Whitney Houston phase) last and some (like my Madonna phase) don’t. I can’t rush or fake them. They confuse even me. I was wondering if writing might be another of my phases.

The past month I’ve looked at the daily aspects but haven’t known what to say about them. I couldn’t find my voice. I was hoping that when Neptune stationed direct last week I would be clearer. I wanted to be helpful and productive again.

I sat down yesterday to write something about the moon in Leo, but this came out instead. The current Mercury retrograde began at the same degree as my natal Neptune, and I’m still in a Neptune-y fog. Neptune can represent dreams, images, poetry, water, inspiration, loss, confusion, longing, and oneness with God and all that is.

I don’t know if this is a poem or a reflection. The moon is still in Leo, combining feeling and mystery with the risk of showing and sharing who we really are. Today I am nebulous and in-between, but still wanting to connect and wish you peace.

----
Sometimes I don’t water the plants in my office,
even when I know they’re thirsty.
Instead we behold each other,
desolate and parched.

One day could become five or seven.
I might water this plant but not those.
I never know how much company I’ll need in my yellowed, drooping state
or for how long.

The tips of their leaves turn brown
until finally I’m moved to save them
with water and not just what’s left of my tea.
The next day they’re greener, grateful.

Maybe I’m not a lily of the field
but a potted plant
on a dusty sill:
Long- waiting and wilted,
Then, suddenly, saved.

The invisible comes to light: sun opposite Neptune

Today the sun in Virgo opposes Neptune in Pisces.

Oppositions can symbolize outside forces or what we project onto others and the sun represents our evolving selves. Neptune on some level represents both letting in and letting go.

The other day Lyndon was upset because one step in the video game he was creating wasn’t working. He wanted to give up. I watched Lang ask questions and explore solutions with him. I saw Lyndon reluctantly absorb some positivity and perspective. He went back to his game peppier and more hopeful, and I was relieved, until I saw how depleted Lang had become from the interaction.

Lyndon and I do this: When something goes wrong, we want to throw in the towel. We both have the sun and Neptune joined in our charts, and we start with a perfect dream in our heads. And then we feel doomed and defeated if we hit a snag or a problem. It’s so disappointing and overwhelming that we want to give up the dream completely. What’s the point? Who even cares? We do, and we’re crushed, but when that feeling comes we just want to give up.

And often Lang rides in to help us. So we give him our bad mood, and our litany of complaints, and he helps us break things down into achievable steps. He helps us see the positive. And I don’t know how often, but at least sometimes, we forget to thank him. I’m going on 17 years in this pattern. He loves me and he believes in me, and so he naturally helps and boosts me up. But because he loves me, it takes an emotional toll. How would it feel for both of us if he didn’t always have to help?

We were born to be fluid, but we get stuck in roles: The victim, the savior.

Today we’ll get flooded with images, and they can help us see which side of the coin we might be on in different areas of our life. Try not to let the new knowledge depress you. We can always make adjustments. Today will just open our eyes.

If you’d like, set an intention to rebalance yourself or an important relationship, so you can stop being stuck in one role.

 

The zen of balloon animals: The Taurus moon aspecting Jupiter and Mercury

Lang’s outside power-washing our backyard furniture for my Mom’s birthday party. It might rain; my backyard has too many mosquitoes to sit comfortably outside anyway. But that simple act of effort, of his own volition, just makes me feel better. It strikes me as incredibly sweet. My preparations center around balloons and gemstone stickers. What I’m doing isn’t practical either, but my Mom’s festive and fancy. I think silly touches will make her smile.

Blend some imagination into real life today. If you’re bored or exhausted, something outside of you can give you inspiration, helping you see strategy and purpose: What your work and patience have been building and why.

The shadow of today’s Taurus moon is stubbornness. And no matter what your plans are, that could sap the energy and fun. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, try to absorb the fullness of the moment. There might be another way.

Our steady presence and that little over-the-top extra we add can help someone feel lifted and loved.

Mars and Neptune

Mars stations direct at 10:04 a.m. EDT after two months in retrograde. This morning the Pisces moon joined Neptune.

Neptune is the part of us that follows inspiration and goes with the flow. Neptune doesn’t make plans: It would rather have a drink or a nap or five minutes in a spacey zone. But Neptune is also the part of us that takes on other people’s stuff. Neptune has no boundaries. It lets in everything, and everything becomes us.

While I was writing this morning, I heard Langston typing loudly in the same room and I lost my train of thought. I snapped at him. He snapped back and went upstairs, and I regretted it. That’s Neptune and Mars showing up in our home. I’m trying to enter a spiritual space, but first let me yell at my husband. 

Lang and I apologized to each other, imperfectly, and hours later I'm finishing this piece. Because God has a sense of humor, where I am now is even noisier: Excited chatter fills the hallway; three feet next to me, workers hammer in a new floor. 

It's that kind of day, at least for me, but it's important to me to finish. And so I will -- albeit imperfectly, too.

 

Aries Full Moon

Yesterday’s void Pisces moon was rough. I felt like I was under water. I couldn’t catch my breath. As I drove Lyndon to school and myself to work, in my head I kept yelling, “Where are you, God? Where are you?” Lyndon watched me loudly breathe in and out, in and out, and told me, “It’s OK to cry, Mom.” I snapped at him. “I don’t want to cry. I just want to breathe.” My head was foggy and I was overwhelmed. Why are we here? How do we all go on?

When I got to work there was a Mass for the Feast of St. Francis. Two Franciscan Brothers celebrated their 50th anniversary of service. Their friend, a nun in her 90s, came for the mass and we all rallied to make her physically comfortable: A padded cushion for her chair, fresh fruit, a bottle of water. Would you prefer to use your cane now or your walker? Two male teachers stopped their brisk walk in the hallway to welcome her back to the school. They gently leaned in to listen to her soft, shaky voice.

Later that afternoon at home as the moon changed sign to Aries, I had a Skype session with a client across the world who had been experiencing a scary, tumultuous phase. Yet she was calm, powerful, and grounded.

Before today’s full moon in Aries the moon opposed Mercury in Libra and soon Venus will join with Mars in Virgo. There’s symbolism of partnership and fight, peace and strength, and boots-on-the-ground work.

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Two challenging days: Back-to-back T-squares

Yesterday there was a T-square involving the Gemini moon, the Virgo sun, and Pisces Neptune.

From astro.com: “The T-Square is an aspect figure which is formed when two planets in opposition (i.e. 180 degrees apart) are both squared by a third planet. Both these aspects are considered to be so-called "hard" or "disharmonious" aspects, and the T-square intensifies this quality which makes it… challenging…. The third planet is the focal point of the figure and could be said to carry the tension of the two planets… in opposition.”

Several hours of my day revolved around the fact that Lyndon’s bus drove right past him yesterday morning. The driver whizzed by three minutes early without stopping, never noticing that Lang and Lyndon were standing there, waiting. Neptune: the planet of fogginess and invisibility.

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