Mercury Retrograde in Libra, September-October 2015

Hermes from Alistair Crowley Tarot deck

To represent this event I’ve chosen a Tarot image from Alistair Crowley’s deck representing the ‘Magician’ or ‘Magus’, first of the Major Arcana. To my eyes it depicts well the cosmic side of our little brother, his connection to the spiritual realm, his ability to ‘magically’ interconnect the physical, the psychic and the metaphysical. Mercury, and his Greek counterpart Hermes were the only gods permitted to travel between the three worlds, the earthly, the heavenly and the underworld, signifying the human mind’s potential to function at the rational level (earth realm), the spiritual (the heavenly realm) and the psychic level (the underworld) and to be thus the go-between these different level of awareness.

Mercury Retrograde

On September 17 Mercury began its Retrograde period that will last until October 9 2015, from the middle to the beginning of Libra. Mercury, now an Evening Star, will conjunct the Sun on October 1 (Inferior Conjunction), and afterword return to the morning sky.

This special Transit will be felt by everyone, at some level, but in particular those people who were born with the Sun, Moon, Planets or Chart’s Angles in the first half of the Sign of Libra (0 to 17 degrees); and also people with natal placements in the other Cardinal Signs, Aries, Cancer and Capricorn. The effect will vary in intensity and quality of experience depending on the nature of the celestial body or Angle involved.

During the whole Mercury retro’s period we may encounter many opportunities to review our thinking, to become more flexible so to be able to adapt to changing circumstances. To have too rigid plans and expectations, from others as well as ourselves, may not work during this time.

Stay tuned to your inner feelings, listen to your intuition and don’t try to rationalize too much. Creativity, dreaming, imagination can all gain from a retro period of Mercury, especially in the artistic and aesthetically minded Sign of Libra.

Mercury/Hermes represents our inquisitive spirit and intellectual curiosity. He was he who ‘invented’ the spoken and written languages we use to share ideas and thoughts. Despite this, during a Mercury’s retro phase, non verbal communication are naturally facilitated over verbal, because we all can more easily tap into our innate abilities to ‘read’ other people’s feelings and thoughts.

October 1 will be the turning point of this period, with Mercury conjunct the Sun, when those inner experiences may be at their strongest. At this point in fact Mercury will be passing directly between the Earth and the Sun, the closest he can ever be to our planet.

Apart from the conjunction to the Sun, the major alignment of Mercury during his retrogradation will be the 90 degrees angle to Pluto in Capricorn, repeating three times (earlier, in direct motion, on September 10; again, in retro motion, on September 25; and lastly, in direct motion, on October 23). This type of connection indicates generally a time not suitable for small talk or superficial conversation and reading, but rather a time when we can all penetrate a bit deeper and explore more courageously subjects that we may usually consider taboo or just too hard to discuss, demanding a level of intimacy and trust that is difficult to achieve in normal circumstances.

It could be an ideal time to embrace some form of ‘inner’ therapy, meditation, visualization etc. and also confront deeply buried issues festering in our unconscious: fears, feeling of inadequacy, dislike, resentment, jealousy, even undisclosed stuff we suspect others are hiding from us, or those lies we like to tell ourselves when too scared to look into what’s really going on. Sharing secrets and, by doing so, building trust with the people who matter to us could be scary now as always, but it could also prove incredibly rewarding during this suitable cosmic time.

Considering that most of the Mercury’s retro period will fall between two Eclipses (Solar on September 13 and Lunar on September 28) a period that some astrologers defines as a sort of twilight zone, there is even a greater chance for this Mercury’s phase to stir up our longing for a better knowledge of ourselves and others, transcending our habitual way of thinking and sharing ideas. Even in his more mischievous aspect of disrupting our routines and muddling our plans, Mercury retrograde offers an opportunity to think out of the box, to stop and consider things in greater depth, to understand what it’s really important and what instead we can do without or do in a different, less ‘straight’, more creative way.

Libra is a Venus’ Sign. This Mercury’s Retrogradation in Libra coming up just after the end of a difficult Venus’ Retrogradation (July 24 to September 7) will impact particularly on love relationships, heightening difficulties while offering opportunity for more real closeness and honesty.

If interested click here for a recent post on the general mechanics and meaning of Retrogradation, focusing mainly on Mercury.

An aside: Saturn in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Virgo, the time Keepers’ recent Signs change

Contemporary with the beginning of the Retro Station of Mercury is the ingress of Saturn into Sagittarius, where ponderous Saturn will reside until 2017. Hopefully this is not such a negative event, as some astrologers have been predicting, but rather a lift from Scorpio’s emotional quagmire to Sagittarius’ more open and philosophical outlook. Because Sagittarius is known to presides over religious dogma and matters of faith, many believe that Saturn transiting this Sign could spell more religious divisions and prejudices. I am more optimistic about this (wishful thinking, fear that the international situation could get even worse than what it is?). I sincerely hope but also see the real potential for this Transit to help to lighten the situation, offering a more enlightened, less personal approach to everything. Moving into Sagittarius Saturn has also finished his mutual dangerous dance with Pluto in Capricorn, each transiting the Sign traditionally ruled by the other during the time Saturn was in Scorpio (Mutual Reception 1).

1 Section on Mutual Reception from my Tutorial on the astrological Aspects. Click here to see the whole Aspect Page.
Mutual Reception is one of those astrological terms that often baffle the beginner. It may be at first a bit difficult to understand, having to do with the Planets’ connection to the Signs rather than with actual distances or angles between Planets. To ‘notice’ these types of Aspects in a Natal Chart one needs to know the Planets’ rulership over the Signs by heart. This Aspect joins the Planets in a mysterious, subtle but very real way. Such mingling of energies can be very creative.
Definition: two Planets are in Mutual Reception to each other when one is positioned in the Sign ruled by the other and vice versa.
A few examples should make this more clear:
Venus in Gemini (Sign ruled by Mercury) is in Mutual Reception to Mercury in Taurus (Sign ruled by Venus).
The Moon in Capricorn (Sign ruled by Saturn) is in Mutual Reception to Saturn in Cancer (Sign ruled by the Moon).
Jupiter in Virgo (Sign ruled by Mercury) is in Mutual Reception to Mercury in Sagittarius (Sign ruled by Jupiter).
The Moon in Aquarius (Sign co-ruled by Uranus) is in Mutual Reception to Uranus in Cancer (Sign ruled by the Moon).
The Sun in Aries (Sign ruled by Mars) is in Mutual Reception to Mars in Leo (Sign ruled by the Sun).

Leo Full Moon, Venus entering Aries and meeting Uranus, a fiery time

What difference a day makes!  It seems only yesterday that I was raving on about the watery realms of Neptune and Venus in Pisces, and here we are now, enveloped by a highly charged Fire energy, not only from the Leo Full Moon, but from other fiery events happening around the same time. The effect of the Full Moon will last up to the next Pisces New Moon on February 22.

The Full Moon in Leo on February 8 or 7, depending where you happen to be in the world (February 8, 8.56 am, my local time), has the power for firing up many areas of our lives, in particular if the 17th, 18th and 19th degree of the Fire, Air and Fixed Signs are constellated in our Birth Chart (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Libra, Aquarius, Gemini, Taurus and Scorpio). The birthdays actually aligned to the Full Moon will be Leo, born August 9 to 11, Aquarius born February 7 to 9, Taurus born May 7 to 9, and Scorpio born November 9 to 11. Also if you have your Natal Moon, Mars, Venus,  Mercury or one of the four Angles (Ascendant, Descendant, Mid-Heaven, Lower-heaven) on these degrees you are in for some pleasantly warm or unpleasantly hot times. For you this will be a more remarkable event than a round of the mill lunation.

Also particularly susceptible to the intensity of this Full Moon will be the Baby Boomers born between September 1949 and June 1952 because the Leo Full Moon will be conjunct their Natal Pluto. And  those individuals born from the middle of 1959 to the middle 1960 because they have their Natal Uranus around the same degree at birth. Both Uranus and Pluto are known as powerful agents of change. The Full Moon will make more openly visible to you and those around you the need for a general reorientation of your life, involving a radical departure from the past.

The way the Full Moon climax will turn up for you depends on the use or abuse you have made of the transits active during the last fortnight. You can either reach the peak of your creative endeavors shining in the full glory of success, being loved and appreciated for your efforts, or just create more emotional dramas in your life and relationships, in order to feel alive. Negatively in fact the Leo Full Moon, especially this year, could prove a stressful event for many. Positively it could instead bring some passion and enthusiasm back into our routine, enlivening everything.

Here is the Horoscope for this event, calculated for the coordinates of my place in Eastern Australia. While the orientation of the planets will be different in different places (the celestial bodies’ relative distance to the local horizon and meridian) the mutual relationship between the Sun, the Moon and the planets remains the same all over the globe.

click to view larger image

On February 7, few hours before the Full Moon, Mercury reached his Superior Conjunction to the Sun (transiting on the other side of the Sun from us). When the Moon becomes Full on the 8th she will not only oppose the Sun but also Mercury. The power of the Moon to stir passions and emotions will be more keenly felt because of this double opposition, affecting also the way we think, our reason and rationality. The call within our hearts will be a better guide at this time, while attempting to rationalize our feelings too much could bring poor results.

Mercury, at the moment completely invisible, lost in the glare of the Sun for the rest of February, is preparing for his next appearance as an Evening Star in early March, especially for people in the Northern Hemisphere. Mercury will form his next Inferior Conjunction (transiting between the Earth and the Sun) on March 21, day of the Aries Equinox, after that returning to visibility as a Morning Star.

As you can see from the above Chart Venus is on the threshold of a new Sign, moving from Watery Pisces to Fiery Aries just a few hours past the Leo Full Moon. Two days later, on the 10th, Venus will align to Uranus in Aries. A great deal of excitement generally accompanies this transit, even more so this time due to the proximity of the Leo Full Moon. Negatively it could however enhance the stressful potential of the Leo Full Moon. The need for independence and self-determination is such in this aspect that it could affect negatively the harmony and cooperation within relationships, causing emotional rifts, arguments and uncompromising attitudes. At the same time Venus is also activating the trine Saturn-Neptune, by forming meaningful angles to both of them (semi-sextile to Neptune in early Pisces and quincunx to Saturn in late Libra). This is great, but lasting only a day or two, at the start of Venus’ transit through Aries. It will help to tap into our imagination and intuition without forgetting the practicalities. Positively Venus in Aries can help all of us in fact, and especially women, to be more assertive and positive, without  becoming too bossy or arrogant. We can go after what we want with more passion, courage and initiative. Venus will remain in Aries until March 5.

To add to this list of events Saturn is becoming Stationary-Retrograde on February 7, thus refraining, for the time being, to enter Scorpio (the actual ingress of Saturn in Scorpio will happen only on October 6 2012). Saturn Retrograde’s period represents a positive time to re-think the way we organize and structure our lives, routines, work, business. An opportunity to catch up with all the jobs that have been left behind, unfinished, weighting on our back and stopping us from moving forward. Roll up your sleeves again, says Saturn, not time for procrastinating. You either do it in the next few months or forget about it . Mars is helping this trend too by moving backward in Virgo, a Sign bent on work and healthy routines. I have discussed the retrogradation of Mars in Virgo in earlier posts.

Let’s make this a joyous and passionate Full Moon.

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