|The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California; |
photo by Chad Woodward, 2012.
September 17- October 09, 2015
Aug. 28 00 Libra 54’ Enter Shadow
Sept. 17 15 Libra 55’ Stationary Retrograde
Oct. 09 00 Libra 55’ Stationary Direct
Oct. 24 15 Libra 55’ Leave Shadow
You may be feeling something quite contradictory right now, and this may depend on who you are, but the collective psyche is presently flooded with the desire to retreat as well as connect socially. Venus is just finishing her retrograde in the sign of Leo and will turn direct on Sept. 6. If this cycle touched you personally, you may be going in a very different direction than you were before, and there may have been some big changes happening within you. That might be hard to put into words, other than to say that you feel different, you see things differently, and what you value may have drastically changed on some level along with an attitudinal shift in your relationships.
If you’ve been trying to resist these inner changes, by attempting to distract yourself or avoid uncomfortable feelings, then this process may not be so pronounced for you , or it may not have been so easy to deal with and process. You may feel like you can’t wait until it’s over. In that case, rest assured that Venus will be moving on. But Mercury, the planet of communication is going to turn retrograde in tropical Libra a little over a week after Venus stations direct. We entered the shadow period on Aug. 28, and Mercury is heading toward a square aspect to Pluto (one of three this year) that will be exact on Sept. 9.
First off, don’t panic. While Mercury retrograde is notorious for its unpredictable behavior which can be rather annoying, worrying doesn’t help anyone. Mercury can be quite the trickster, but it has an intention behind its madness. When Mercury turns retrograde, it opens up new realities to us—realities we have been too distracted or ignorant to see. And that should be an exciting thing. The mind doesn’t like to admit what it doesn’t know. Yet, one's sense of absolute certainty can weaken and annihilate the greatest of warriors. Occasionally we need to have some holes poked in our worldview and perception, to keep things fresh, to keep our mind loose and open. So, this is a time to admit what you don’t know. Admit what you have refused or have been incapable of seeing.
The sign of Libra is a “social” sign. All the air signs have this quality, but Libra, in particular, relates to the instinct within the psyche that seeks to build “bridges of rapport”, as astrologer Steven Forrest likes to say. Libra connects disparate things and attempts to build something coherent out of them. If successful, Libra’s creations are beautiful, even mesmerizing. We’re left impressed, in awe, and we feel a sense that things are going to be okay, if only for a moment. The sign of balance, harmony, and equilibrium, Libra seeks to keep the chaos at bay. We know this isn’t indefinitely sustainable. Chaos is always ready to rear its ugly head just when we think everything is running smoothly, but Libra keeps on going, keeps on attempting to maintain homeostasis.
You have to appreciate that—that the universe is in this beautiful dance between chaos and balance, yin and yang. That balance is what our very existence hinges on. Mercury turns stationary retrograde on Sept. 17 and will be retrograde (appearing to move backward) until Oct. 9. Those two dates (Sept. 17 and Oct. 9) and the days surrounding them will be the most hectic and chaotic for people, yet it’s hard to predict if or when Mercury will strike. Each retrograde is different, and we all respond in our own unique way. I have to say, that Mercury retrograde is the most unpredictable of cycles we have in our astrological toolbox. All we can say is that it’s better to be prepared and forewarned than to be taken completely off guard.
What does Mercury retrograde tend to go after? Mercury governs anything involving communication. In our fast paced, high-tech world, we are completely immersed in technological environments and so Mercury has even more at its disposal—more things to play with. Just be mindful of potential disruptions and breakdowns with any kind of technological device or equipment, and be on the lookout for misunderstandings in your social interactions. Mercury retrograde is a time to review everything that you’re doing. Before hastily pushing forward with anything always double check your work and all the variables involved. This is particularly important when it comes to signing any kind of contract. Read the fine print carefully.
And if you’re in doubt, back off, and wait it out. Mercury retrograde setbacks can sometimes be costly, sometimes painful. If you work with this cycle, you will find that you have extra time, and that whatever you thought needed to be urgently initiated could actually wait a few weeks. In fact, you’ll find that things will work out far more successfully if you do. The sign of Libra, as I stated, relates to this instinct to build bridges, and every retrograde connects us to the past. This is a time to potentially rebuild some bridges you may have thought you needed to burn. Sometimes, burnt bridges can be reestablished. We can mend past conflicts and misunderstandings, just to keep things peaceful and to clear ourselves of the karma.
What bridges do you need to rebuild now? How can you reestablish harmony with certain people and situations in your life right now? While some bridges need to be left in the past, others may truly benefit you in the future. Trust your instincts, and trust the moment as it presents itself to you. This cycle may have us needing to reach out a little just to clarify ourselves and where we stand, even though we may feel more introspective and less inclined to do so. So, try to find that beautiful balance, that yin and yang between reaching out and reaching in with this cycle. It’s always a good exercise to connect both the internal and external worlds. Look to the house in your natal horoscope that Mercury will retrograde through. This will give you more information about where in your life these bridges are being rebuilt, as well as where you need to reestablish peace, harmony and equilibrium. Mercury will move from 15 to 00 degrees of tropical Libra. It will station direct right on the point of the autumnal equinox. This is a profound statement that further amplifies the need to recreate harmony and balance in our lives with this cycle.
And as I stated before, Mercury is an archetype that seeks to expand our perception of reality. During this cycle, humble yourself enough to see things from both perspectives, even that of someone else. This is a time to open your mind and consider the input from others so that you have a more well -rounded perspective. When Mercury stations direct in October, you’ll have a better understanding so that you can move forward with something or with particular relationships. Mercury will make three squares to the planet Pluto in Capricorn during this cycle. The first square, as I mentioned, occurs on Sept. 9; the second will occur on Sept. 24 while Mercury is retrograde and a day before Pluto itself turns stationary direct. The final square (once Mercury is moving direct) occurs on Oct. 22.
Pluto is putting some pressure on Mercury to face some uncomfortable truths. As Mercury and Pluto come into contact, you may encounter people or situations that require you to speak honestly and directly about where you stand. This is a time to work things out and lay some things out on the table, but it will require taking the initiative and maintaining your integrity. If you succeed, you may make a breakthrough in the way you relate and communicate to others. Pluto in Capricorn will require complete authentic, clear, and honest communication, and that will be difficult to achieve. If you can avoid blame and projection, by maintaining accountability and taking responsibility, you will be able to clear the air of some heavy karma and potentially toxic emotional baggage.
The midpoint of Mercury’s retrograde cycle through Libra occurs on Sept. 30. This is the rebuilding phase of the retrograde cycle. Often (though not always), Mercury tends to deconstruct things in the week and a half leading up to the conjunction of Sun and Mercury. During the rebuilding phase, we are slowly integrating and putting the pieces back together again; though as I said, Mercury retrograde can be quite unpredictable, so don’t expect all the annoying setbacks to completely cease. Use this time wisely to step back, reflect, and look for missing pieces or details in whatever you’ve been working on. If you can do that, you’re less likely to be attached to any of the potential setbacks or delays that you may encounter. With this cycle, we are coming to a particular bridge. It’s time to decide whether or not you wish to cross it. If you do, you may enter an entirely new terrain. If you don’t, that’s okay too. Like I said, some bridges need mending and others may need to be left alone. And that choice is always yours to make.
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