I’ve always found the point at which a planet representing major energies begins apparent retrograde motion as important in terms of the ‘statement’ this seems to make about what we can expect during the retrograde period itself. The relationship to other bodies appears to speak reliably of what we will see during the symbolic (that sometimes feels literal!) withdrawal of related impetus and momentum. It’s not so much like the retrograde builds a dam holding back the energetic waters, but like a large boulder falls into the stream of a narrow, rushing river; the energy is still flowing, but is suddenly forced to find another path. Of course, a new course can feel a great deal like denial and can foster frustration at a lack of expected progress–but that’s just it, our expectations failed to take note of the subtle shift that was building. Knowing where and when a body will retrograde gives us a preview of where and in what manner that forward push may stall.
The more I do these ‘moment of retrograde charts’, the more I see the bodies as interconnected; it’s not just the turnaround of one planet, but a shift in every single relationship this body has. It tells a bit of a story; here’s the one I see for the Mercury retrograde at 15 Libra 55 at 11:10 AM Pacific time on September 17th.
Mercury is turning around in Air, asking us to review what we think, especially about relationships. But, we have a bit of a surprise if we have been thinking we’ll come up with something definitive during this period. We instead may have our attention taken away from direct scrutiny of both love and money (Merc was within one degree of perfecting a sextile to Venus). Ambitions and desires, too, will take a back seat (Merc was near conjunction with asteroid Zeus). Our ideas in these areas will change; we may feel successes or bonding with another slip away after appearing to be inevitable. We’ll be asking ourselves in all things Libra, as well as in the subjects of the House in the natal chart where the retro happens: ‘What do I think about that?’ And we may not form an answer right away–though we may get a feeling (the first body to aspect Mercury will be the Moon, by sextile). So what will occupy us?
On the surface it may appear that we are still in relationship territory, or reviewing finances or cooperative efforts, but we may actually be taking a trip into mental darkness, an exploratory into the depths that will allow not just for relationship examination but demolition, refurbishing, or complete transformation. (A square to Pluto is the first aspect retro Merc will make to another body.) It all starts because we’ll be thinking about what’s fair. We’ll be vetting and tidying up what already seems more or less as we want it, or we may see talk or thought as the big reformer in relationships and over money (Merc is in Air) but we’ll soon find that it’s really the structure of our interactions, those things we’ve ‘invested’ in, the current parameters of relationship, the restrictions and unspoken warnings and ‘Do Not Touch!’ signs that we normally negotiate and play along with which will disintegrate, reconfigure, and regenerate in an entirely new shape, with entirely new rules (Capricorn).
Look for the strongest effects, of course, in the House of the natal chart where the turnaround occurs; the matters of this House will likely be the starting point for examination and change. Though I characterized this period as one of “mental darkness”, I don’t mean depression, anger, recriminations, sadness or madness–I mean a kind of seriousness that will actually be more below the surface than it will be conscious, with the majority of the change in perception and thought happening, iceberg-like, out of our sight and awareness. The darkness will still the mind long enough for what we really desire to make itself heard.
What will be the result? Anything that doesn’t offer passion of one kind or another could be destroyed–or, current affections could be ignited into something truly exciting, as each person discovers depths in the other they’d never seen before. Shared material matters and finances might also move in the direction of passion (in the form of volatility or excitement about new ideas and plans), and our review will likely take into account alterations in aesthetics that we experimented with during Venus retro–we may decide by the end of Merc retro that that style or image or enhancement we toyed with is just what we need to build into the life, to make, for now, permanent.
‘We Are All Vessels: Vesta in the Natal Chart’ comes out tomorrow.
Thank you, er… I think Julie lol! I usually enjoy Merc rx as have it rx natal so it often improves things for me and I feel comfortable, this time however, I am not feeling too wonderful as he goes rx on my Libra 15 moon (which is conjunct poseidon point) so ultra sentient, in my 12th house??????? not sure what i am feeling to be honest and thats not common for this Cancer sun merc, no idea….just hoping its not another guided tour through purgatory…
However I did feel to mention, this is a point that had one of the cardinal crosses land on it, so I assume it may have a more noticeable global affect?
Hi Debbie, Your comment prompts me to remind everyone that astrologers don’t make the aspects, they just interpret them. That said, I hope you don’t spend any more time in purgatory 🙂
Global events are very rare–say, a volcanic eruption big enough to affect the weather, or a comet hitting the planet and wiping out a species or two. Because of our ability to send information around the world we may get the impression that something affecting another part of the globe, because we know about it, makes it global. It does not. Since my concentration is on the personal, I’m going to say that Merc retro will not signify an event of global proportions–though we could see it that way if we get news that feels like it, it’s still unlikely anything will occur that will touch us all
I’m back to amend this, as I forgot that the US Federal Reserve meets today and tomorrow, and speculation is hot that they mustraise interest rates. If that sets off the other markets, we could have something that might qualify as a global event, as it could potentially affect the lives of a wide array of individuals–so thanks for bringing that to my attention, Debbie!
Thank you for this post, Julie.
Glad to know that the Vesta book comes out tomorrow. Count me in!
OOps… sorry I hadn’t seen that you had actually sent the Vesta book.
What a wonderful gift! I will treasure it and read it in quieter times (going back to work seems to leave very little time).
Thank you so much, Julie. And I do hope you will continue Eclipse, even if it’s in a shorter and different form.
You’re welcome, Katia–I hope you like it!
first of all, so excited to receive your Vesta book!! Thank you 🙂 Looking forward to the weekend so I can enjoy it at leisure.
My natal Pluto is at 16°25′ Libra in 12H.
Since Mercury starts going back before it touches my Pluto exactly, following what you said about aspects not perfected before Rx… oh I see. It’s like I’ll RE-think the relationships and events and, due to the transiting aspects, radically change ideas and perceptions. Then, as Mercury comes back and goes over natal Pluto, the demolition will happen for reals?? Omg I’d so love that, change in the physical plane, I mean. But again, the 12th house… am I in for demolition in the mind only? Twice? arghhh
It works, too, but slower 😀
Also, for fun, I made some Davison and composite charts of the Merc Rx moment and the “players” in my particular situation. Not sure if that’s a valid technique, but it makes sense. I think…
I’m giddy in anticipation of the dark, still moment of deep thought and the after-effects 🙂 Hmmm, why do I find destruction so exciting??
• Thank you for your forecasts; and another vote for continuing the Eclipses even if shorter •
Hi H! Thank you, for all your kind support over the years (yes, years!) I do hope you enjoy the book 🙂
Your assessment sounds right, though with the whole kit ‘n kaboodle located in the 12th, all the change could happen below awareness (a disappointment, I know), so only showing up much later, or it could funnel out through matters of the House with Scorpio on the cusp, in which case it might appear to have nothing to do with Merc and Pluto. The contact of transiting Mercury to natal Pluto often gives a kind of ‘bottoming out’ feeling that’s relatively fleeting–and unfortunately, this may have no physical effect at all (unless we freak out and mistake that temporary dip for a permanent one). However, an alternate possibility is that matters of the Houses that Merc rules may be the site of the change/ destruction, likely the result of the change of mind that occurs during the retro period. So many choices! All we can do is watch–and of course, the upcoming Lunar eclipse may distract us, so that we hardly notice the retro period until it’s over–I think that’s where my vote goes.
I love Pluto, so I understand your crush on the dark 🙂
Thank you, H, and good luck!
Reblogged this on Grandtrines.
Reblogged this on Soul Synchronicity and commented:
“Though I characterized this period as one of “mental darkness”, I don’t mean depression, anger, recriminations, sadness or madness–I mean a kind of seriousness that will actually be more below the surface than it will be conscious, with the majority of the change in perception and thought happening, iceberg-like, out of our sight and awareness. “