Prior Mercury retrogrades this year were in February and June. February’s was a rapid downslide into peak volatility — late 2013 was the eye of the storm. February snapped us from that stagnation and threw us full-throttle into fight or flight mode against a bunch of things we’d been busy pretending weren’t issues.
An object in motion remains in motion, however, and June’s retrograde slowed the chaos down enough for us to reach a point of inward clarity and remake our allegiances.
This retrograde is in Aries, the sign of independence, and asks us to re-evaluate how much independence we need. When do support systems become pathological dependencies? When does bullheaded self-reliance mutate into the destruction of intimacies that actually aid us? When do we stand tall and alone, and when do we call in the troops? When we choose to shed blood, even for vengeance, for justice, for legitimate reasons, can we still absolve ourselves of guilt? At what points are our shields and swords a means of resolution, and when do they actually prolong conflict? These are the questions we struggle with this month.
Of course, as always, remain vigilant about technological mishaps, be wary of signing contracts (UNLESS you are moving forward with an offer you’d dropped the ball on earlier this year), and be extra clear and kind in your communications because you might be easily misunderstood. Much of this retrograde will be a revisitation of dynamics from earlier this year, either to serve belated justice, or to revisit a conflict or problematic pattern in a relationship or dynamic to affirm you’ve internalized it.
I’ll also remind you not to make a change to your appearance — unless you are going /back/ to something you’ve already done (I just went back to my natural color for the first time since I was 16 years old!) — and not to travel, unless you are going back to somewhere you’ve already been, or going back to something familiar (a place of your ethnic origin, visiting someone you know really, really well.)
Always remember that retrogrades can bring back problems from the past, but they can bring back good things, too. They can also slow down the procession of events long enough for you to double-check your work, or catch up if you’ve fallen behind. It’s actually great that this retrograde occurs during midterm season!
I also recommend from laying off the alcohol during Mercury retrograde — befuddled, drunken communication + fuzzy energy levels = bad news.
SATURN IN SCORPIO
I haven’t spoken about this much since I’ve started this column, but I’m actually of the opinion that Saturn’s 3-year-long cycles per sign are the most important and revelatory in terms of our happiness. Saturn is the opposite of Jupiter; Jupiter expands so you can’t ignore, Saturn takes and takes piece by piece until you are left with so little you feel the echo of a loss. Some astrologers call it the planet of hardship and say those born with strong Saturn are unlucky. I call Saturn the planet of minimalism. She is a professor goddess who teaches us to be resourceful, grateful, and sharp wherever she touches us. Those born with strong Saturn are street smart, adaptable, and fight up until the last breath.
Around 2007-2010 Saturn was in Virgo, restricting practicality. This enabled us to develop very grandiose dreams, but it hampered our critical thinking.
After that, Saturn was in Libra. This gave us focus to our personal relationships and what they lacked; some relationships ended, and others learned to make do with what was there and allow their expectations to be cautious enough to be exceeded.
For the past 2 years, Saturn has been in Scorpio. Scorpio rules power, secrecy, and debts owed. Here, Saturn has been flipping on and off like a light switch both the perception of who holds the power in interpersonal relationships, and the perception of those in power on a global scale. It has opened us to critiques of power, but it has strained our ability to communicate by strangling us with our own emotions — a lack of secrecy; these years have been characterized by a lack of privacy. This is related to everything from big data to call-out culture to even small things like the pervasiveness of the selfie and confessional content. These issues will continue to pique our interest over the next few months. We will both feel mastery over them as well as feel frustrated/bored/restless about them as we near the end of this transit.
On the interpersonal level, Saturn in Sag is a foil to Jupiter in Leo’s partygirl priorities. Jupiter in Leo asks “Why not?” and Saturn in Sagittarius slams the reality. In romance, this isn’t a time for sweet nothings — this is a time that prioritizes logistics and hard work over just love. For people who are committed to an ideal already, this will help them formalize that and bring it into reality. For people who aren’t as devoted, this is a time when that phobia of staying still will singe them. The idea from December 2015-2017 is that it is excellent to have dreams, but to truly respect and honor them, you must realize them. An ideal isn’t the unmoored absence of regulation, it isn’t fantasy: it has to be pragmatic, it has to adhere to its own structure. Or else it fails.
JUPITER IN LEO
Jupiter moved into Leo this past July. When it did, it relieved a lot of tension; you could feel the mood of everything lighten up a lot this summer. That’s because Jupiter in Cancer was kind of sluggish, introverted, low energy. Jupiter in Leo is a lot more lively, and it’s about balancing our identity in relation to others. There is a tendency for people to be egotistical and strongly adhered to their own beliefs, at least, those that make up their perception of themselves. Outgoing behavior is rewarded with this transit, but not so far as it becomes self-absorbed: truly being brave and in front of the world is more about speaking truth, being generous with our affection, and fostering admiration between each other.
Creative pursuits, especially ones that strike a balance between the individual and their surrounding community, are attractive at this time. If you had a dream that you couldn’t attend to for pragmatic reasons the past few years, you may find yourself more committed to making it happen now. Perspective is key: self-obsession is healthy in terms of putting love and work into yourself, but focusing too much on your own needs, demanding others to feed your needs when you don’t need them to — that’s actually self-destructive. This is a time of “taking the high road” rather than succumbing or darkening under jealousy, competitiveness and freedom. Be generous with your positive emotions and do not stifle with your destructive ones. Positivity is productive.
There is a tendency to be overly hedonistic or party-brained during this transit. I would keep an eye on your addictions and any tendency you have to choose the fun thing over the hard thing. Keep yourself in check, and you’ll find this year much more enjoyable. Overindulge, and you’ll feel regretful by this time next year.
Recall that eclipses come in sets of four per year, in pairs of two. There’s a solar and lunar eclipse, then six months later, another lunar and solar eclipse. They tend to be related thematically to the prior eclipse pair. Also recall what an eclipse is: a hyperlunation. Lunar eclipses are supercharged full moons and deal with emotionality, closure, “breakdowns.” Solar eclipses are supercharged new moons and deal with blessings, shifts, and “breakthroughs.” Any lunation can cause a dramatic event to happen very quickly, but eclipses cause rapid maturation very quickly. Think back to April 15th and April 29th. Did an event occur that was painful at the time, but required you to grow up very quickly? Did you sharply reach a conclusion about someone or a situation?
The Lunar Eclipse this month on the eighth deals with a choice: do you take a stand even though it may displease someone? Can you be honest about feelings you have without hurting someone who is important to you? Some astrologers say you should use this moment to let it all the fuck go and do what you want; I am of the opinion that that’s generally irresponsible, and you should try to be considerate and reach a medium, analyze where everyone is coming from, etc. I think that’s a lot more mature than blowing up your life based on a momentary emotional reaction. Lunar eclipses have a tendency to make you throw the baby out with the bathwater. HOWEVER, if you’ve been suspecting for a long time that something is wrong and have been waiting for the right opportunity to oust toxicity from your life, this could be the moment for that. The toxicity might be an actual PERSON, or it might be a FACET of your relationship with someone that needs to be reworked — i.e. “we need to be nicer to each other when we argue,” “we should see each other on a more regular basis,” “we should be careful not to pile everything on one person,” etc. It’s also a lot about resolving issues /within yourself/ that will help you navigate your relationship(s) better — changing behaviors you’re stuck with, being true to your best self so that you can be a healthier partner and friend. When you embody yourself truly, with confidence, everything is easier and seems brighter. This aspect triggers the Grand Fire Trine, so it can be quite healing, actually, if you take control of the situation.The Solar Eclipse on the 23rd is about channeling creativity and also renewing commitments. Relationships could move fast in a positive way at this point. Scorpionic energy is deep and obsessive, and this lunation will be in effect for six months, so make sure you make good, healthy, reasoned decisions with what you want to intuitively focus on at this time. This is a very secret, private, deep, and intimate eclipse and I think it will be a very positive one. It’s on Venus, so artistry and unconditional love are big things here — loving even secret and hidden parts of someone as a source of inspiration.
Finally, the toughest aspect: Uranus and Pluto are at war again, for the penultimate time. This will recall some issues that occurred in 2012 and in the first half of 2014. Don’t be scared: you are prepared for whatever energetic instability this brings up because you’ve already experienced it five times over. Uranus is sudden and quick-working, and Pluto deals with power structures, so the sense of “who is dominant” and “who holds the power” is constantly flipping and being reworked until after March of 2015. We are almost done with these squares, so even though this adds a bit of an anxious undercurrent to this winter, just hold on tight. This is the last time you have to go through this. It’s uncomfortable and unstable, but it isn’t permanent.Have a good month y’all. My overall advice is to play it safe — be kind and consider your words and decisions carefully before you let them leave your head. Chase away negativity and defeatist thinking or else you aren’t going to get what you want. Instead of wheedling people, let them come to you. Keep your head down and write down lists and notes to yourself to ensure you’re staying on the right course. Writing down your goals can help you make them real. Reach out for support, and remember to love yourself and others.