It’s a moody week on Planet Earth—volatile one minute, deflated the next—and dealing with the flux is going to challenge everyone, even the saintly. It would be best to find your favorite soothing mantra and repeat it as often as possible. Yet even in the midst of these emotional peaks and valleys there are moments of clarity with the potential to provide penetrating insight—but it’s important to use these moments with skill. For instance, even if you have a blinding realization about your lover’s blind spot or your best friend’s irrational fear—one they just can’t see—it might be best to keep that information to yourself rather than share it in a rush of enthusiasm because you finally understand that thing about them that’s been driving you crazy. As the I-Ching advises in Hexagram 13, Fellowship with Men, sometimes, even in the closest and most intimate relationships, the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in silence. Timing is often a determining factor in how our words fall on the ears of others, and this week just isn’t the best week for difficult conversations.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this week’s mood swings is their timing—right before the next Mercury Retrograde phase that begins on December 3 and ends on December 23. For those new to Mercury Retrograde, this is not a good time to initiate new projects and plans, but it is the perfect time to review, reflect and reconsider what is already in motion. It’s the best time to slow down the pace of life and catch your breath and pay attention to the details. Unfortunately, it can also be an extremely frustrating period, especially when you have no desire to take life at a slower pace. What’s more and what is especially difficult for those in a hurry, the days leading up to Mercury Retrograde always seem to drag through the hours and minutes. It’s as if Mercury slows down in preparation to its ‘turnaround”—unless as Mercury goes retrograde it is drawn into activity through another planet with the power to agitate the air. (By the way, we know Mercury doesn’t actually slow down or move backwards; it just appears to do so relative to our position in our own orbit around our shared Sun.)
The problem with this Mercury Retrograde phase is that it occurs during the holiday season, and because Mercury Retrograde always interferes with travel, communication, and commerce, mail and all other sorts of deliveries are likely to suffer—be prepared for delays and snafus.
This Mercury Retrograde is also characterized by a conjunction to Saturn in its final degrees of Sagittarius—a conjunction that continues for the next two weeks and ends on December 13, a week before Saturn moves into Capricorn on December 20. (More about that in the coming weeks.) It would be wise to use these last weeks of Saturn in Sagittarius—especially as Mercury conjuncts it—to review Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius, which began in September 2015. It won’t be back in the Sign of the Archer until February 2044, and given that Mercury Retrograde is a great time to review, the next several weeks could deliver valuable information about important themes and issues stimulated during this Saturn cycle.
As Mercury goes retrograde, it also forms a wide trine to Uranus, and that lively interaction is likely to color much of this retrograde with an erratic pulse. As Mercury moves back through Sagittarius, it will maintain its trine to Uranus until December 14. This positive interaction provides a mental landscape for invention and innovation, as well as a desire to break through old thought patterns, particularly those holding back a fresh approach.
One of the other contributors to this week’s erratic pulse is the ongoing Mars/Uranus opposition that began on November 23 and is exact and separating on December 1. This pernicious opposition exacerbates polarized positions, and as it separates, stands for any and all positions are likely to become even more staunch. Yes, principles are necessary. No, violence will not convince anyone of the righteousness of your point of view.
As the week unfolds, do your best to make kindness your first choice. There just can’t be too much of it right now. We are in the season of goodwill—let’s embrace it and make it work for everyone.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Mercury Retrograde occurs in your Solar House of belief systems, where Saturn is also ending the last days of its more than two-year journey, and the presence of both planets creates an opportunity to reflect on what it is you actually know to be true. Pay attention to the ideas you have discarded during Saturn’s journey as well as to any new ideas that have enhanced your worldview.
Taurus April 20-May 20
Mercury Retrograde happens in your Solar House of other people’s money or other people’s values, the House in which Saturn is ending its journey, a journey that stimulated lots of opportunities to compare your values to the values of others. It hasn’t been easy—there’s no denying that—but if you spend some time revisiting what’s shifted, you might be surprised at just how much has changed.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Saturn has been in your Solar House of relationship for more than two years, and as it ends that journey, Mercury is retrograde in the same sector, which means you will likely spend the next several weeks reviewing all your partnerships, including and especially your relationship with yourself. There’s no need to hurry through this process—there’s a lot to cover, which makes it best to take your time.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Mercury Retrograde happens in your Solar House of service, which includes health and work and because Saturn is ending its two-year—plus journey through that terrain, you could spend the next several weeks reviewing how one or more structures in your life has shifted. There’s no need to shy away from this process—bringing awareness to it might facilitate positive discoveries.
Leo July 23-August 22
Saturn and Mercury are traveling in tandem through your Solar House of self-expression—your home base in the natural zodiac—so don’t be surprised if several old projects that were put in motion in 2015 are up and on the screen again. Embrace this review and you could open doors you thought were shut tight. Opening those doors will have positive, beneficial consequences.
Virgo August 23-September 22
Mercury Retrograde occurs in your Solar House of the home, where Saturn has spent more than two years stirring the bottom of your psychic pond, focusing on what you need to feel safe and secure from the outside-in as well as the inside-out. For the next several weeks, it could feel as if you are moving backwards, but you’re not. You’re just noticing what’s changed.
Libra September 23-October 22
Mercury Retrograde happens in your Solar House of communication, where it unites with Saturn in the final days of its transit through that oh-so-important house. Even though it might be hard to do, stick to your 4-step program from last week. Despite the pressure to make up a story, it’s ultimately in everyone’s best interests to move forward with a commitment to telling the truth.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Mercury Retrograde takes place in your Solar House of personal finance, where it joins Saturn at the end of Saturn’s cycle through that very same sector. So…yes…there are going to be financial particulars that need your attention. But at its core, the next several weeks are about taking stock of what you value most—what key values have endured more than two years of Saturn’s scrutiny.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
I can almost hear the sigh of relief that’s sure to permeate your air when Saturn finally leaves your Sign. But for the moment, as Mercury Retrograde joins Saturn in your Solar House of personality, you’re looking back on two-plus years of really hard personal work. Don’t stop the process now—there are still a few niggling details to take care of before you can truly say bye-bye!
Capricorn December 22-January 19
With Mercury Retrograde in your Solar House of the unconscious and Saturn ending its journey through that sector, you could find yourself dreaming about people, places and projects you thought were all neatly packed away in the past. Don’t be afraid to unpack these areas—there may be valuable ideas and inspired creativity locked in those tidy packages that needs to be remembered.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Mercury Retrograde combined with Saturn in the final degrees of Sagittarius could produce a difficult schedule as you try to juggle more than a few responsibilities. Take a breath—and keep breathing deeply for as long as necessary. For while Saturn has shifted your relationship to community over the last two years, it’s a stickler when it comes to putting on the finishing touches.
Pisces February 19-March 20
Mercury Retrograde occurs in your Solar House of career—a sector of the chart that Saturn has focused on for two-plus years, and while it may not have been a completely joyous journey, these next few weeks have the potential to help you identify what you’ve learned as well as what you’ve been able to implement. So rather than resist or resent this process, open to it and acknowledge its value.
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