Riding the waves of consciousness this week—and for the next several weeks—is going to take patience, skill and an expansive perspective that’s flexible enough to include a variety of ideas and opinions, even those contrary to common sense. We’re between eclipses, a lunar and solar, a confluence of celestial activity that is simultaneously mesmerizing and confounding. It is the Twilight Zone of the astral screen, where dimensions appear and disappear in the blink of the mind’s eye. Those skilled at surfing the waves of daily life will know when to bail and when to ride the wave safely to shore. Those less able are likely to feel lost in distorted time signatures as well as oppositional everythings. Keep in mind as you paddle your way through this constant flux that this is both a deeply transitional phase for just about all of us as well as a highly creative phase for those interested in exploring new territory. There’s been a lot written about this point in time, some of it extraordinarily insightful. Again, for those less traveled in the realms of awareness, the next couple of weeks could be difficult to handle. So those more traveled would do well to lend a helping hand to their fellow travelers in need of assistance.
The source of dimensional distortion is the time warp attached to the eclipses—the shadow started in May, but traditionally astrologers allow a six-week window on either side of the actual eclipse event. The lunar eclipse was on Monday, August 7, and the solar eclipse will be Monday, August 21. Adding astral insult to injury, Mercury Retrograde begins on August 13, and as most readers are well aware, Mercury Retrograde phases can often unfold like a slo-mo slog through the regular routines of daily life, and the time signature for this particular Mercury Retrograde is more than a little bit wonky.
First, Mercury “turns around” in an opposition to Neptune, indicating that the normal boundaries of daily life are certain to be stretched for the duration of the retrograde, which ends on September 5. Neptune is in Pisces, its Home Sign, a position that amplifies its penchant for destroying the illusion of borders and boundaries—Trickster is, after all, one of its nicknames. Mercury is in Virgo, its Home Sign, a position that amplifies its obsession with detail, and although every Mercury Retrograde phase is about reviewing the details of existing plans and projects, this retrograde phase concentrates on those details with increased vigor. Mercury too is known as a Trickster, and as its negotiating skill combines with Neptune’s, we mere mortals must be careful about what we commit to.
But that’s not all. At the moment Mercury Retrograde begins, there is a trine among the Moon, in Aries and conjunct Uranus, also in Aries, and Saturn, in Sagittarius, as well as the ongoing Mars/Sun conjunction, in Leo. This is a Grand Trine in Fire that is certain to heat up the atmosphere with passionate and creative endeavors, which is good. The bad news is that Mercury Retrograde is not the ideal time to initiate new plans and projects. Do your best to be patient, but don’t let astro-fundamentalism keep you from doing what’s needed.
And there’s more: Mercury goes direct on the solar eclipse sensitive point, which means its retrograde intensifies the eclipse effect, impeding certain features of its forward motion—so don’t expect those after-the-retrograde plans to take off at the speed of light.
As the world muddles through the crazy, mixed-up mess of the next several weeks, try not to get embroiled in the madness. I’m not suggesting turning a deaf ear or moving into a deep state of denial about what our planet needs to right its course. Not getting embroiled in the toxicity that tries to pass itself off as normal is going to take a huge effort. And then there’s the Trump regime (Did you really think I would write the entire column without mentioning his name?) with all its seeming stupidity, which has gone to great efforts to create a chaotic environment whose purpose is to mask consistently mendacious behavior. Do not be fooled—this cosmic moment is of great consequence and each of us is a prime player in the unfolding drama. For while the Earth continues its daily spin as well as its yearly revolution around the Sun, it is our efforts that determine the quality of life on this beautiful blue planet.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
The lunar eclipse takes place in your Solar House of community and the solar eclipse, in your Solar House of self-expression—the emphasis on creativity and how you share those gifts with your community. Mercury Retrograde takes place in your Solar House of service, health and work, but retrogrades into the same house as the solar eclipse. This could only mean one thing: Creativity is your shelter from the storm as well as your salvation in the midst of madness. Take heart and devote yourself to sharing the poetry of life.
Taurus April 20-May 20
The lunar eclipse occurs in your Solar House of career and the solar eclipse occurs in your Solar House of the home, the place of your deepest emotional concerns. Don’t be surprised if you’re more than a little temperamental at work as well as sentimental about family. Mercury retrogrades back into that same sector of the chart as the solar eclipse, and as it reviews sensitive issues, it could trigger powerful mood swings. Rather than resisting this process, open to it. Remember, you have to feel to heal.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Both eclipses occur along the axis between your Solar House of belief systems and your Solar House of communication, starting a conversation with the potential to continue for several months, or ending a conversation that’s gone on for way too long. I’m thinking the latter is the likely choice, if only because Mercury retrogrades back into that house of conversation, reviewing the details of previous dialogues and illuminating just how much has fallen on deaf ears. If you don’t want the conversation to end, choose your words wisely.
Cancer June 22-July 22
The lunar and solar eclipses occur along the financial axis in your Solar chart: The lunar eclipse in your Solar House of shared resources—family, clients, investments—and the solar eclipse in your Solar House of personal resources. Either position will reveal information about how to manage your money with greater care. As Mercury Retrograde reviews your personal financial situation, think about how you can improve and refine your management of those resources—not from a fearful perspective, but from a responsible one.
Leo July 23-August 22
It is all about relationship—and no, I don’t have you confused with Libra. The lunar eclipse occurs in your Solar House of partnership and the solar eclipse takes place in your Solar House of individuation, the sector of the chart that Mercury focuses on as well. Okay, take a deep breath and realize that the eclipses are surfacing information about significant others, and how you handle that data reveals information about your relationship with yourself. It’s complex, yes, but it’s the next step in greater self-awareness.
Virgo August 23-September 22
The lunar eclipse takes place along the axis of your Solar House of service and your Solar House of the unconscious—a powerful axis that can often be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t clear how they are related to each other in the practical application of your daily life. As Mercury retrogrades back into your Solar House of psychological patterning, use its presence to inspire greater insight into what motivates your choices, particularly as those choices relate to caregiving for others as well as for yourself.
Libra September 23-October 22
The lunar eclipse takes place in your Solar House of creativity and the solar eclipse, in your Solar House of community, where you share your gifts with the world. As Mercury retrogrades into the sector of the chart concerned with sharing your gifts with the world, you may find yourself reviewing how you might better engage with others creatively. Whether it’s through a garden, quilt or newsletter, one thing is for sure: you’re going to have opportunities to work for the benefit of others.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Both eclipses occur along the axis between work and home. The lunar eclipse occurs in the deepest part of your Solar chart, which is the Solar House of the home, and the solar eclipse takes place in your Solar House of career, which is the most elevated sector of the chart. The emphasis is on work, if only because Mercury retrogrades into that same sector, illuminating the details of your endeavors. But don’t let that distract you from taking care of practical matters at home—as you know, both are equally important areas of life.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
The axis of the eclipse has you talking—a lot—but what else is new? The lunar eclipse occurs in your Solar House of communication and the solar eclipse, in your Solar House of existential curiosity—your most favorite sector because it allows you to strut your philosophic self. Hold forth and have at it, but keep in mind that Mercury retrogrades into that house of spiritual search, and as it does, you could find yourself questioning belief systems you once thought were so tried and true they could never be questioned.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
Both eclipses occur along the financial axis in your Solar chart. The lunar eclipse takes place in your Solar House of personal finance and the solar eclipse, in your Solar House of shared resources. And if that isn’t enough to get your attention, Mercury retrogrades into the house of joint finances, asking you to pay particular attention to how those joint ventures are organized. There’s nothing to worry about. These events are designed to illuminate what needs attention, and when you have a task, you’re happy.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
The lunar eclipse occurs in your Solar House of individuation and the solar eclipse, in your Solar House of partnership, illuminating new information about who you want to be in relation to yourself and in relation to others. Embrace this process, especially as Mercury Retrograde amplifies your awareness and assists you in reviewing previous choices. All relationships are modeled on how we take care of ourselves, and while it’s wise to be kind and compassionate with others, it’s equally wise to treat ourselves with the same care.
Pisces February 19-March 20
The lunar eclipse happens in your Solar House of the unconscious and the solar eclipse occurs in your Solar House of service, which is also the sector of the chart that is specifically about caregiving. This is important because as Mercury retrogrades into that house it illuminates patterns of self-care that need refinement. If you can make the connection between habitual behavior that’s based on negative unconscious patterning, you’ll be able to let go of persistent indulgences that no longer serve—and that would be great.
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