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During this retro and the lead up to it, we’re going to see the gaps in our close relationships, and awareness of that distance will probably be a little scary.’The Early Lovers’ By Eastman Johnson 1870 {{PD}}

Mercury technically switches apparent direction in the wee hours of the 29th PST, at 1:32 AM, but as per usual, it’s been stationary for a bit, so that we know what’s coming, whether we admit it or not. We’ve been previewing change and shifts in what used to make us feel secure, particularly in the realm of relationships and who holds the power. Merc officially takes on retro status closely conjoined Venus, with an exact meeting scheduled right after the retro. This confirms that Love, especially in partner relationships, is on the agenda, hinted at in the run up to the retro by Merc’s sextiles to Neptune and Juno in Pisces (we see where our empowerment in partnership might be a fantasy, and we become aware of what might be ideal), and involvement in a Cardinal Grand Cross with Zeus, Eris, and Pallas (we’re consumed by the conflicts among what we desire, what’s wise or practical, what’s worth going to war over! and what discord has been beneath the surface all along. Note Pallas moves on but this remains as a T-square for New Year’s, suggesting desires and related strife will still be on our minds, and in the air).

What have we been seeing about the partner or other intimate? We’re seeing the places where the foundation might be shaky, where our accord might not be as solid as we thought, where we may not be able to count on them as we have in the past (or conversely, we see that we can count on them, though our contribution or attitude must adjust to current conditions. We may become aware of weaknesses in them, not just in our relationship). These conditions won’t be found just in relationships, but may also be seen in any structure, system, status, condition, or hierarchy we’ve been invested in and relying on–we need to be willing to see the reality of it, as any attempts to deal with matters will collapse if our choices aren’t firmly rooted in real-world circumstances, and the ways these are changing, or need to change, in order to function effectively.

The moment of retrograde, which gives us a snapshot of what to expect over the retro period, shows a Pisces Moon at 29 degrees–it’s painful when our fantasies are shredded, but it’s worse when reality seems to ‘come out of nowhere’ to blindside us, so see the emotional upset as a gift that points directly at what needs attention. ‘A Store Filled With Precious Oriental Rugs’ is the Sabian for both Mercury and Venus at the time of retro=we see the worth of what we hold, see the value of what we have, of what’s ‘contained (the store) in our reality. The emotional impact of all this is shown by the Sabian for the Moon at the time of retrograde: ‘A Majestic Rock Formation Resembling A Face Is Idealized By A Boy Who Takes It As His Ideal Of Greatness, And As He Grows Up, Begins To Look Like It’. If we are willing to see what is in a creative way for what it symbolizes, we’ll find inspiration toward making our ideals a reality, toward growing into our own brand of greatness. If we live our lives as if our ideals are real, embracing them as we act and make choices and interact with one another, we can’t help but become what we revere. It’s a recipe for moving the world toward what we’d like it to be–don’t close the door on these potentials just because some of this will be messy, difficult, and will require recognition of vulnerabilities and feelings we may have lately been sweeping under the (Oriental) rug.

What this time offers us is a chance to revitalize Love, as it lives and breathes in our daily dedications, of energy and attention, effort and interaction. And this retro is also a good time to reconsider what institutions, rules, and boundaries we support, and which need to be retired as irrelevant to our current world.

New Year’s Eve we see a Taurus Moon which will trine the Sun just after 2023 begins (Pacific time). That says spend the evening on celebration that feels like a reward, that feels sustaining, nourishing, a treat for the senses, while the Sun’s square to Chiron and quincunx to still retro Mars tells us to avoid dwelling on, assessing things by, or reacting from our wounds–any attempts to right related circumstances will misfire and aggression will definitely be aimed in the wrong direction. Welcome the coming year with a lighter heart–we’ve made it this far, and that’s something to celebrate.

See the recent New Moon here–