Keep your to-do list handy and get ready to check off as many items as possible. It’s a week of preparation, which means projects, big and small, require attention and that translates into beaucoup details. Not everyone will want to knuckle down and wrangle through the many-knotted situations in need of organization. And those who actually love a good mess…try not to be smug about it. One of the most important challenges of the week is skillfully embracing a spirit of cooperation that allows those in need to join those with know-how in a combined effort to take care of what needs taking care of. If someone can’t figure out how to use a smart phone and you’re a tech-wiz, rather than shaming that Luddite with an air of techno superiority, just fix the problem. Likewise, if you need help finding the right piece of equipment to make the fan work, just ask for it. It’s through and in all the little details of life that we build connective tissue strong enough to hold the big moments of emotional and spiritual stress and strain—moments when we really need each other and never need to ask.
The big news of the week is really big. First, Mercury Retrograde begins on August 30 at 6 am PDT—six days from the publication of this column, so if you’re reading it late, I hope you’ve already followed the standard retrograde advice: Back up everything now. And if you are concerned about specific elements of a project or plan, back up twice, and put all that work on a separate hard drive. For the retrograde novice, here’s the reason for this precaution: When Mercury goes retrograde (when it appears to be moving backwards relative to Earth’s orbit around the Sun), all things within Mercury’s vast astrological domain seem to also move backwards. And that’s a problem because Mercury symbolizes three essentials of the modern world: communication, travel and commerce.
During a Mercury Retrograde, emails vanish into the same place that socks disappear in the dryer and snail mail simply evaporates—send two-day priority mail and it’s likely to get delivered two months later. Okay…I am exaggerating. But anyone who has tried to get a computer fixed under Mercury Retrograde or been caught in traffic or held hostage by travel delays and snafus knows I don’t have to stretch too far to start singing The Mercury Retrograde Blues.
Here’s the gist: Mercury Retrograde is not a good time to initiate anything new. It’s an excellent time to review, reflect and reconsider the details of all those plans already in motion. Be aware, there is a retrograde rule that warns about the three days prior to the start of a retrograde and the three days after it ends: These days are just as dicey for implementing new things.
But the really big news is that Mercury goes retrograde in a conjunction to Venus, which enters Libra on August 29, as well as a conjunction to Jupiter, which enters Libra on September 9. This is a powerful, positive trio of planets, and their combined influence bodes well for thoughtful as well as skillful communication. We may be repeating ourselves (as often happens during a retrograde) but we won’t mind because the presence of Venus and Jupiter make most of what’s repeated well-spoken, if not downright eloquent.
But that’s not all. This Mercury/Jupiter conjunction takes place in Virgo, Mercury’s Home Sign, which amplifies all of Mercury’s nitpicking attention to detail. Expect to be dealing with lots of overlooked information. Jupiter’s presence not only expands the actual amount of details to deal with, but it also indicates a power to move many projects to a higher level of thoughtfulness through a higher level of thoroughness.
To top it off, two days after Mercury Retrograde begins on September 1, there’s a solar eclipse, in Virgo. During a solar eclipse, the Moon overshadows the Sun, and from an astrological perspective, that overshadowing symbolizes the power of unconscious patterns to override conscious intentions. As a result of this reversal, previously hidden material is revealed. The effect of an eclipse can be felt six weeks before or after the actual event, as well as on that specific date. Occasionally, it’s possible to track specific events, especially when they involve newly revealed data, but that might be difficult with this solar eclipse, given the enormous attention to detail that Mercury Retrograde insists upon.
Here’s the really good news: During the eclipse, that Mercury/Jupiter conjunction is exact, which translates into a Jupiterian optimism about sharing common goals and working together to integrate those ideals into practical action. Put the power of that conjunction to work for you. And when possible, help others to do the same. Be willing to embrace life’s minutiae and you’ll manage the next several weeks with grace.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Just whistle while you work and attend to the necessary preparations that ought to be put in place before the retrograde. And don’t worry if new information emerges that requires one or even several adjustments. You’ve got the stamina to handle all the details, especially if you take them one at a time.
Taurus April 20-May 20
Of course there will be details you didn’t notice and other surprising developments to deal with. But you have the skill to handle what arises, especially if you stay focused on the big picture. Concentrate on how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together and you’ll stay on track.
Gemini May 21-June 21
It’s all about how you handle the situation at home—your actual home—and then how you manage your inner home, especially as a wide range of feelings flood your awareness. You don’t have to process each and every emotion all at once. There’s plenty of time to work through all the details of the heart.
Cancer June 22-July 22
You’re talking—there is just no stopping you—and you’re sharing your opinions with everyone. While this behavior is uncharacteristically forthcoming, take advantage of the moment and share your feelings with those who mean the most to you. And don’t worry—if you speak from the heart, you will be heard that way.
Leo July 23-August 22
It’s still about the money and you are going to be combing through the financial details for quite some time. So rather than resist the process, welcome it because it is a chance for you to set your financial house in order in a way that you haven’t been able to before. Despite how tedious this process might be, it’s nonetheless beneficial.
Virgo August 23-September 22
If you stay focused, you can handle all the details and surprises in stride without missing a step. All that’s required for your success is to embrace success, itself. You might be inclined to say that sounds easy, but there are likely to be moments when you feel overwhelmed and stymied about what’s next. If that happens, just breathe and keep going—you’ll be fine.
Libra September 23-October 22
There’s an expression—the devil is in the details—and never was that more true than this week, especially as you try calming your monkey mind and staying on course. But not every distraction is bad and not all tangents are detours. Pay attention to where your mind wants to go and you might make several interesting discoveries.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Make the most of your current situation even if it feels as if you are going nowhere fast—sometimes it’s important not to have anywhere to go. Simply hanging out wherever you are allows you to notice your environment and recognize what brings you joy. And that awareness alone is an indicator of progress.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
This week it’s not about holding back—it’s about allowing yourself to notice all the details of what still needs to be done and doing just that. Just be aware that some of those tasks might require enlisting the help of others. Don’t be shy about asking for assistance—it won’t lessen your power and strength.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
Give yourself time to mull over all the details, even if it takes longer than you or others think it should. It’s important to honor your rhythm, your pace, and most importantly, your intuition. Trust yourself, Grasshopper. I know this advice might sound like a cliché, but sometimes clichés have a time and place—and this is one of them.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
You have a lot of decisions to make and some of those decisions have a lot of moving parts, a condition that could translate into an overwhelming amount of detail. And while you may not want to tackle the hard work, it still has to be done. Don’t pressure yourself, but also do your best to make procrastination a thing of the past.
Pisces February 19-March 20
It is all about all types of relationships—lovers, family, friends, pets, and any other type of being you find yourself attracted or attached to. Expect old lovers to return as well as new lovers to emerge. Here’s the good news: Even though this phase is all about the details, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the process.
Ralfee Finn specializes in Transformational Astrology. For readings, call 1-212-222-3232, write P.O. Box 343, New York, NY 10025, visit AquariumAge.com, or e-mail email@example.com. Copyright © 2016 by Ralfee Finn