This week, there are two major astral configurations to consider. The first is a lunar eclipse on October 18; the second is the final Mercury Retrograde phase of the year that begins on October 21 and continues through November 11. Time distortion is a signature they both share…so don’t despair if you feel a little like the Mad Hatter on Quaaludes.
When it comes to an eclipse, we often feel its effect six weeks before or after the actual occurrence; occasionally, its effect is experienced when certain planets transit the eclipse sensitive point, or the zodiacal degree at which it occurs—in this case, 25 degrees/45 minutes along the Aires/Libra axis. During a lunar eclipse, practical concerns become more important than emotional or esoteric interests; conscious, practical matters override unconscious, theoretical concerns, a perspective that often affects priorities: What we can see becomes more important than the underlying causes and conditions.
The Aries/Libra axis symbolizes the relationship alignment: Aries represents the individual, and the need to know oneself as separate and distinct from others. Libra represents balanced intimate interaction between equals. We all have this thread somewhere in our birth charts and we’re all working it as best we can, so let’s be clear that we are all affected by this eclipse, even if we are currently single by choice or circumstance. As I often like to point out, on this planet, everything is relational. And whether we smother our existential anxiety with the constant presence of a significant other or we deny our need for connection with the pretense of self-sufficiency, we are still in relationship. You can be bitter, terrified, numb, negligent, or entitled in your interactions, but in the end, the ability to open your heart to another human being is what matters. As this week unfolds, notice how you interact “with all your relations,” especially those that seem determined to maintain distance at any cost, even their own joy.
Mercury Retrograde also distorts time, often contracting or expanding days, minutes, and hours in a seemingly capricious manner, particularly when it comes to keeping schedules and deadlines on track. Mercury Retrograde is also infamous for all sorts of snafus, especially difficulties related to communication and travel. Mail of every variety tends to go wrong, departures and arrivals become a problem, and equipment set to clocks, digital or otherwise, seems function according to a hidden agenda that bears no relationship to yours. If you haven’t backed up everything now, do it today. If you wait until tomorrow you will violate the 3-day retrograde rule, which states that as Mercury prepares for its “turn around” time gets too mushy to trust with the details of important matters.
The good news is this Mercury Retrograde is characterized by a Mercury/Jupiter trine. Both planets are currently in Water Signs; Mercury is in Scorpio and Jupiter is in Cancer. Mercury rules all things related to the mind; Jupiter is the planet of expansion. And because trines are positive, the whole bundle is likely to manifest as strong intuitional surges, so strong they seem downright psychic. Trust them—at least those that aren’t completely wacky or dangerous. (Translation: Don’t bet the bank at the track or the slots.) What this trine guarantees is a mindset that buoys the spirit with a positive outlook. It’s the perfect antidote to cynicism, something we seem to need in ever increasing doses.
If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.
Aries March 21-April 19
The short and sweet of this eclipse effect is that there is nothing to hide, so put your cards on the table and be clear about your intentions. Your candor will be understood and respected, as well as appreciated.
Taurus April 20-May 20
The eclipse focuses on how to create a better balance between your internal and external worlds. Put simply: It’s a matter of integration, and figuring out how to find greater alignment between intention and action.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Your eclipse challenge is finding the balance between personal desire and altruistic aspirations. They are not separate arenas. Instead of seeing these themes as polarities, think synthesis and you’ll begin to unlock your dilemma.
Cancer June 22-July 22
The eclipse spotlights the classic conflict between work obligations and home responsibilities, and the increasing pull between the two. Delegating your time, wisely, is one solution. Knowing where your heart lies is another.
Leo July 23-August 22
It’s hard knowing what to say and when to say it, especially when an eclipse is making you hyper aware of the power of words. Apply consciousness, compassion, and kindness to all your responses and you’ll navigate a labyrinth of important conversations.
Virgo August 23-September 22
It’s fundamentally a question of your values vs. the values of others. And while I’m not suggesting that you relinquish certain fundamental needs, it might be wise to consider exactly how to create a viable compromise without surrendering what matters most.
Libra September 23-October 22
The eclipse is surfacing old relationship issues—so don’t be surprised if you feel transported back in time or visited by the ghost of past partnerships. Face the feelings that arise, and then concentrate on transforming those emotions by integrating them into present time.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Eclipses are a tricky business, especially when you’re trying to balance thought, word, and deed. Don’t be afraid of making a mistake. Express yourself, even if it is uncomfortable—the truth always has the power to set you free.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
The eclipse frames your challenge as a creative choice: Be true to what is expected of you, or reach for something new and innovative. The best way to decide is listening to your heart and trusting yourself to hear it clearly.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
You’re restless, but it’s hard to pin down why. Something at home feels uncertain, yet work more than the normal amount of concentration Rather than fret or try to control the outcome, let the situation unfold; the solution will eventually reveal itself.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
The eclipse effect stimulates the desire to make dramatic declarations, but those outbursts may not actually be the remedy you’re looking for. So be wary of impulsive declarations and abrupt shifts, and instead, trust that this process is ultimately beneficial.
Pisces February 19-March 20
It looks, sounds, and acts like a money issue, and while it may be, there’s more here than meets the eye. Let the eclipse highlight what’s important, but rather than jumping to conclusions, let all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place on their own.