Mercury Retrograde…here we go again

I don’t know what made me look again at the instructions for the piece of work I was about to start this morning, but something did. And I saw a piece of information I’d missed the first time through. An extremely vital piece of information. The sort of information that would have led to not only embarrassment but hours of rework when I absolutely don’t have time for hours of rework.

Then there was the decision yesterday that I almost made that could have almost cost us money – and a reasonable amount of it. Ummmm ooops.

I have no idea how I missed it, but Mercury is pretty much stationary and will turn retrograde tomorrow. Actually, I do know how I missed it – that tends to be what happens when I’ve got my head stuck in book writing mode, I don’t really know what’s going on in the sky.

Anyways, Mercury will be retrograde from tomorrow. By now most of us know what this means, and can prepare and act accordingly – if you’re the preparing ahead type, that is. If you’re not sure about what it means and how to deal with it, your survival guide, or How to Survive and Thrive During Mercury Retrograde is here.

Now, I’m off to back up my manuscript.

Pluto direct – a cosmic detox

Every so often our personal power feels a little (ahem) constipated. Stuck. In need of a little, shall we say, cosmic fibre to get it all moving again.

Perhaps you have been feeling like that lately? Like the projects, the real transformative projects, have lost their momentum. Perhaps you’re feeling a little out of control, as if your hands are no longer on the steering wheel. As if that big life-changing change that has been just around the corner for ages is still just around the corner and not getting any closer. Like you’ve started something Big and somehow had lost direction, momentum and control.

It’s at this point that emotions can boil over. Usually it’s a combination of frustration, coloured with a little obsession, more than a little mis-directed self loathing, and a feeling of loss of power and hurry-up already. While mini emotional detoxes such as these are rarely enjoyable, sometimes they are required to enable you to clear whatever it is that is blocking your personal drains and free your energy for the next phase of your project.

What I’m describing is Pluto stationing direct. Pluto is about power, ambition, transformation, truth and elimination, so it’s natural that after 6 months of that energy being turned inward, something needs to give.

The stationing point is always a powerful one – especially if it triggers something else in your chart. If your transformational projects have been feeling stuck, they will very soon start to move. It’s time to eliminate any of the crud that is holding you back from being who you need to be or doing what you need to be doing.

And crud, is very often what it is. This is real truth or dare time.

I’m relatively fortunate, in my case the aspect being made is a sextile to my Ascendant – albeit an exact one. It’s an opportunity to grasp my power in all its dubious glory, and move forward. When Pluto is involved, it’s usually more of an offer that you can’t refuse. Having said that, acceptance of Pluto sextile and trine opportunities make the harder aspects somehow easier to deal with when they come. Somewhat. In theory part of the work has been done.

In any case, have a think about what this is activating for you. Is there any part of your life that is in need of a little cosmic help to get things moving again? Your clue will be that part of your chart that holds 16 Capricorn 51′.

The DIY Guide to Mercury Retrogrades

I’ve prattled on a lot in the past about Bali and why I love it – and the people. Possibly, though, the thing I love the most are the offerings.

The process of constructing and offering the tributes is not just a belief based ritual, but also a deliberate pause to be fully in the moment- regardless of the business of life going on around.

A local I spoke to up there said that every Australian and American he meets work so hard that they come to Bali to collapse and then go home to work so hard again to pay for the relaxation that they’ve just had and to save for the next holiday for the relaxation they need from working so hard to pay for it.

He said he didn’t understand it.

‘What do you do?’ I asked. ‘You work hard too.’

‘Yes, but we also stop for things that matter,’ he said.

‘What about the Europeans,’ I asked?

‘They seem to allow themselves more enjoyment,’ he said.

Perhaps he was typecasting, but I had similar conversations with others so maybe there’s something to it.

In our lives, we are so busy multi-tasking, juggling devices and schedules that we forget to notice the details. We miss things.

For me, Mercury retrograde has always been that time when we’re reminded that a little back-tracking, a little revision, a few deliberate pauses in the day can be a way in which we can reconnect – to our own creativity, to what’s important, to the moment.

It can be as simple as the reminder when you’re in disgusting traffic that as late as it’s making you, someone up the road may, as the result of a mechanical failure or an accident, be even more inconvenienced than you are.

Or the next time you’re delayed at the doctors being grateful that you’re not the one whose made her run late with something that could be more life threatening than what you’re presenting with.

Some years ago (back in 2010), I read this piece by Sarah Wilson:

“In my case, my computer short-circuited before I did. Yes, it’s only a computer. Computers don’t have free will. But there is NO TECHNOLOGICAL REASON for it doing what it did… So I’m taking the metaphorical route.

In the lead-up to all this, I was going too fast, loading up too much, taking on more than I could handle. My circuitry was overloaded. I was about to explode. But my computer blew up instead of me. It’s happened twice before. My computer implodes when I need to slow down. It stops me in my tracks, holds up a mirror to myself and I face what I’m doing.”

The fall out from Mercury retrogrades hits us because we need to slow down. It really is sometimes that simple.

These days our lives are ruled by Mercury things. There’s no avoiding it, and it’s great. I’d be lost without my smart phone and social media and google maps etc, but Mercury retrogrades are like a push in the e-tox direction. It’s back to basics time – almost as though the Universe is telling us that every so often we need to slow it down – listen to our own thoughts, revisit those things, issues, ideas, people, plans that need revisiting, and then move on again.

Much of what goes wrong during Mercury retrograde periods goes wrong because we haven’t done what we know that we should be doing. We should be backing up important documents/ photos/ music/whatever. We should be confirming appointments and travel plans. We should be carrying a spare pair of knickers in our carry-on. We should be leaving in plenty of time to get to where we need to get to.

We shouldn’t need a Mercury retrograde period to force ourselves into being just a tad vulnerable, but sometimes that reminder is necessary. Meltdowns as messy as they are, can also be therapeutic.

What is the Mercury retrograde?

  • The planet isn’t really going backwards, it just appears that way from where we stand here on Earth
  • During any retrograde cycle of any planet we bring our attentions within. The energy of the planet is intensified, and that energy is brought within. In that case of Mercury that means how we think, how we transmit messages and how messages are communicated and understood around us
  • this is your signal to slow down, go within, review, revise, rewind. We review and revise in our head the nature of the area of life this retrograde is happening in for us. With our brains occupied in a different way we lose focus on what is happening around us- and that is when things, generally shitty things, happen.

What is Mercury retrograde good for?

It can be a time of heightened inspiration – and as a writer, that’s a good thing. Besides, I have Mercury natally retrograde in Pisces – and that’s a little like permanently living with Mercury retrograde while the rest of the world is fast forward.

Ideas that have been lost in the whirl of busyness, pop back into my head, the words flow freely onto the manuscript, unrelated and random concepts can somehow make sense.

Mercury retrograde periods aren’t good for starting new projects, but it could be about assessing the value, scope or outcome of an existing one. It’s not about pushing forward, but rather holding back and planning. It’s when blasts from the past return to the present; and when lessons from yesterday can help you with today and tomorrow. It’s about considering your words before you say them; rethinking your message before you send it; going within and evaluating the consequences before making an irrevocable decision.

  • Take the time to recharge your batteries
  • Revise your goals
  • Review your bright ideas
  • Regain your faith in the future
  • Recommit to habits, goals, the things you need to recommit to
  • Reconnect with colleagues & friends you haven’t seen or spoken to for some time
  • Renew and refresh whatever is jaded and old
  • Revisit places, books, movies that mean something to you
  • Rest and relax

What can Mercury Retrograde affect or impact?

Anything Mercury ruled. This could include – but is not limited to:

  • Appointment times
  • Travel times and arrangements
  • Computers, phones and other electronic devices
  • Getting to and from places
  • Contracts and other documents

How to survive and thrive during Mercury retrograde

Dealing with it requires common sense, flexibility, clarity and patience. I often tell people to act as if they don’t have a smart phone, or are overseas with the data roaming turned off.

What do I mean by that?

Remember back to when you made appointments with people and you called them up and agreed a time and a place. You never knew if there’d be a pay phone handy, so you mapped out your route before you left, and made sure that you caught the train before the last train you could catch in order to ensure you got there on time. Remember then?

You didn’t squeeze in an extra coffee meeting knowing you could punch out a text to the person you were going to be keeping waiting. You didn’t turn up for meetings late knowing that you could dial in on the way.

If you needed a map, you’d print out the directions, or at least make a note of the details in the notebook you always carried.

Despite what some will tell you, life doesn’t stop just because Mercury has decided to pass between the Sun and the Earth and look like he’s going backwards. I might suggest that you delay signing contracts and making major purchases – if at all possible – but the reality is, there’ll be times where it can’t be delayed and how would you feel if you missed out on a fabulous opportunity just because Mercury was retrograde?

How to mitigate the possible damage?

  • Re-confirm appointments
  • Check and re-check your travel arrangements
  • Insure your luggage and tickets and make sure you have copies of all travel documents – preferably not in your bag
  • If travelling carry a spare toothbrush and change of clothes as carry on – just in case
  • Avoid mechanical problems, by making sure your car services are up to date
  • Back up computers
  • Avoid purchasing any major technology over this period
  • Avoid signing contracts, but if you have to, make sure you have read & re-read all the fine print
  • If you must commence a new project, do the scoping work carefully – and seriously people, we should be doing this anyway!
  • If you have any changes going “live” or being implemented, test, re-test, regression test, test the back out, test the install & test again. Test. Oh, and schedule enough time for testing and re-testing.
  • Don’t overbook
  • Leave plenty of contingency between appointments
  • Make sure that meeting minutes are thorough and accurate. The same goes for emails and change communication

Hmmmm sounds awfully like common sense, doesn’t it? Like the sort of things we should be doing anyway?

If it’s a major purchase ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need it?
  • Do I really need it?
  • Do I really need it now?
  • Have I shopped around?
  • What’s my back up plan?
  • Can I afford it?
  • What happens if I don’t buy it?
  • Do I really need it?
  • Does it fit?
  • Am I buying it with a view to changing or renovating it?

If it’s a contract, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need to sign?
  • Do I need to sign now?
  • What happens if I don’t sign now?
  • Have I read the contract?
  • Have I read the contract properly?
  • Have I read the fine print? Twice?

Get the idea?

Doing the above doesn’t mean things are perfect – heaven forbid. But if you keep your plans flexible and don’t get too hung up on frustrations, it’s all quite ok.

I dare you to give it a try.

Who is most affected by Mercury Retrograde?

  • People with strong Mercury charts eg people with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mercury in Mercury ruled signs ie Gemini or Virgo.
  • People with these planets in the 3rd house
  • People who have the Sun, Moon, Mercury or Ascendant in the sign which is receiving the retrograde
  • People who have planets or chart points at the position where Mercury stations – either to go retrograde or direct.

What about the shadow?

Lots of astrologers will talk about the “shadow” period of any retrograde phase. Some will go as far as saying the rules above apply through the shadow period. I’m not convinced- but don’t take my word for it…you might be one of those that is sensitised to all things Mercury.

What I have found is that whilst things tend to have the potential to go more haywire during the actual retrograde period, things that stall early in the shadow period tend not to be resolved or green lighted until the end of the shadow…if that makes sense.

The shadow period lasts from when Mercury first passes the point at which it will later turn direct and lasts until it passes for the second time the point at which it turned retrograde.

For example,

Mercury turns retrograde at 11 Virgo 38′ on 13 August, 2017 (or thereabouts- depending on what part of the world you are in) and turns direct at 28 Leo 25′ on 5 September 2017 (or thereabouts- depending on what part of the world you are in). This means that the so-called shadow period will last from July 25 (when Mercury reaches 28 Leo 25′ ) until September 20 (when Mercury reaches 11 Virgo 38′ for the second time). Although the period when Mercury is retrograde will be from 13/8/17 – 5/9/17, the period in which it will be in shadow is from 25/7/17 – 20/9/17. That’s nearly 2 whole months…and therein lies my problem with the shadow theory. With 3 Mercury retrogrades per year, if we also pulled up stumps during the shadow we’d be looking at nearly 6 months each year when we can’t be as productive as we’d normally like to be.

But, as I said, that’s just me.

Mercury is next retrograde from 13 August, 2017

For Mercury retrograde dates, see this page.

For more on planetary retrogrades, see this edition of the Toolbox

For information on the Mercury shadow, see this edition of the Toolbox

Jupiter Direct

Jupiter Direct

A few years ago I read a story in MindFood magazine about adventurer Jamie Fitzgerald.

Jamie and Kevin Biggar were in this 5000km transatlantic rowing race in 2003 (I know, the “why” question occurred to me too…) when they got caught in a storm.

This was one of those storms with massive waves and head winds, so they had two choices: drop anchor and conserve energy or keep rowing. Given that this was, after all, a rowing race, they decided to keep rowing.

For 42 hours they made painfully slow progress- just half a kilometre. Completely disheartened, once the storm had passed, they called their support team on one of those cool satellite phones and discovered that everyone else had dropped anchor and had drifted backwards. As a result, despite covering just 500m, Fitzgerald and Biggar were about 48kms in front.

But what does a rowing race have to do with anything vaguely astrological?

Easy. Jupiter is about to turn direct.

During the retrogrades, we often stop. Forward motion is frustratingly snail paced- very often there is no forward motion. During a Jupiter retrograde, very often what is promised is never delivered- you get close, but don’t quite grab the prize. So we drop anchor until the waters are calmer, the storm has passed and the astro weather conditions are more conducive to success.

The thing is, when we do this, we are behind everyone else once the weather changes and the planet turns direct.

So it is with Jupiter- if you’ve used the last few months wisely, if you’ve kept rowing, you’ll be in the position of being able to move forward with more impetus once Jupiter turns direct. After all- if you’ve been rowing through the storm, you’ve already made more progress than those who dropped anchor, have to start from a stopped position, and then need to make up lost ground.

Jupiter is now at his station position of 13 Libra 12’ and turned direct a few hours ago.

When Jupiter is at station, the affairs of the house he is transiting are intensified. When Jupiter stations at, or in aspect to, a personal planet or chart point, the affairs of that point are expanded. This is also the case if that station point triggers or sets off a natal aspect. Stationing Jupiter will intensify what is already promised in the natal chart.

The bad news is, if you have difficulties with that aspect, you will find the few days of the station more difficult. If, however, the aspect is an “easy” one, you may find the period of the station to be very fortunate.

Once Jupiter turns direct, it will take a bit for him to get back up to his usual speed, and another few months for him to re-trace his steps. This is the “shadow” period and it will last until September. So, while things will begin to improve, it’s at this point that the full potential promised in February will be delivered…if you kept rowing…

Oh, and Fitzgerald and Biggar? They won that race.

How to survive (and thrive) during a Mercury retrograde…

I’ve prattled on a lot in the past about Bali and why I love it – and the people. Possibly, though, the thing I love the most are the offerings.

The process of constructing and offering the tributes is not just a belief based ritual, but also a deliberate pause to be fully in the moment- regardless of the business of life going on around.

A local I spoke to up there said that every Australian and American he meets work so hard that they come to Bali to collapse and then go home to work so hard again to pay for the relaxation that they’ve just had and to save for the next holiday for the relaxation they need from working so hard to pay for it.

He said he didn’t understand it.

What do you do? I asked. You work hard too.

Yes, but we also stop for things that matter, he said.

What about the Europeans, I asked?

They seem to allow themselves more enjoyment, he said.

Perhaps he was typecasting, but I had similar conversations with others so perhaps there’s something to it.

In our lives, we are so busy multi-tasking, juggling devices and schedules that we forget to notice the details. We miss things.

For me, Mercury retrograde has always been that time when we’re reminded that a little back-tracking, a little revision, a few deliberate pauses in the day can be a way in which we can reconnect- to our own creativity, to what’s important, to the moment.

It can be as simple as the reminder when you’re in disgusting traffic that as late as it’s making you, someone up the road may, as the result of a mechanical failure or an accident, be even more inconvenienced than you are.

Or the next time you’re delayed at the doctors being grateful that you’re not the one whose made her run late with something that could be more life threatening than what you’re presenting with.

I have this theory the fall out from Mercury retrogrades hits us because we need to slow down. Computer breakdowns, delays, mixed messages – they stop us in our tracks.

By making us vulnerable we have no choice but to take a good long hard look at the way we live our life.

But still we resist. We build protective walls around ourselves as we madly back up computers, triple check travel plans and appointments. We spend hours doing stuff that is, when you think about it, really just basic common sense.

We should be testing changes, we should be confirming appointments, we should be carrying a spare pair of knickers in our carry-on. We shouldn’t need a Mercury retrograde period to force ourselves into being just a tad vulnerable. The thing is, meltdowns as messy as they are, can also be therapeutic.

So, that’s my theory, now for the practicalities.

Firstly, the basics regarding a Mercury retrograde period:

  • The planet isn’t really going backwards, it just appears that way from where we stand here on Earth
  • During any retrograde cycle of any planet we bring our attentions within. The energy of the planet is intensified, and that energy is brought within. In that case of Mercury that means how we think, how we transmit messages and how messages are communicated and understood around us
  • this is your signal to slow down, go within, review, revise, rewind. We review and revise in our head the nature of the area of life this retrograde is happening in for us. With our brains occupied in a different way we lose focus on what is happening around us- and that is when things, generally shitty things, happen.

We know all about the re words:

  • Take the time to recharge your batteries
  • Revise your goals
  • Review your bright ideas
  • Regain your faith in the future
  • Recommit to habits, goals, the things you need to recommit to
  • Reconnect with colleagues & friends you haven’t seen or spoken to for some time
  • Renew and refresh whatever is jaded and old
  • Revisit places, books, movies that mean something to you
  • Rest and relax

We also know the type of things Mercury retrogrades can impact:

  • Appointment times
  • Travel times & arrangements
  • Computers, phones & other electronic devices
  • Getting to & from places
  • Contracts and other documents

And we know how to mitigate the possible damage:

  • Re-confirm appointments
  • Check & re-check your travel arrangements
  • Insure your luggage and tickets and make sure you have copies of all travel documents- preferably not in your bag
  • If travelling carry a spare toothbrush and change of clothes as carry on- just in case
  • Avoid mechanical problems, by making sure your car services are up to date
  • Back up computers
  • Avoid purchasing any major technology over this period
  • Avoid signing contracts, but if you have to, make sure you have read & re-read all the fine print
  • If you must commence a new project, do the scoping work carefully- and seriously people, we should be doing this anyway!
  • If you have any changes going “live” or being implemented, test, re-test, regression test, test the back out, test the install & test again. Test.

Who is most affected by Mercury Retrograde?

  • People with strong Mercury charts eg people with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mercury in Mercury ruled signs ie Gemini or Virgo.
  • People with these planets in the 3rd house
  • People who have the Sun, Moon, Mercury or Ascendant in the sign which is receiving the retrograde
  • People who have planets or chart points at the position where Mercury stations- either to go retrograde or direct.

10/4/17 Mercury stations retrograde 4 Taurus 48’

3/5/17 stations direct 24 Aries 23’

Note, dates could differ a teeny amount depending on your time zone.

Saturn Retrograde 2017

Saturn retrograde until 24/8/17

It is often said that planets become more emphasised when they are retrograde ie appear to be going backwards from the perspective of us here on Earth. Personally, I find that simply terrifying when it comes to Saturn- although many of you won’t share that fear.

The reason their action is emphasised is because it is internalised. We therefore feel it more. And if you have planets or chart points at 27 Sagittarius, Gemini, Pisces or Virgo- you will feel this one even more as Saturn has stationed retrograde at 27 Sagittarius for what has seemed like forever, but in reality has only been a few weeks. His energy focused on this point for longer than usual…and Saturn never does anything by chance.

My Moon is at 27 Pisces…need I say more?

So, what can we expect from a Saturn retrograde? Well, more Saturn stuff of course, but with the prefix “re” inserted in front of the word eg re-structure, re-commit, re-focus, re-calibrate, re-trench.

Saturn rules the supports, structures, rules and responsibilities in our life. In theory, Saturn is the fun cop who says “no, it is time you went home young lady,” when every part of you is crying out to say yes. When Saturn is retrograde, he is sending you back to your room to think very carefully about what you are doing, goals you have started working towards and the commitments you have made. It is sort of like a planetary cooling off period when it is OK to re-assess and change direction or re-assess and say “no”. This is not the time to make new commitments or start new projects, but great to sort out just what you want out of existing goals. Re-prioritise.

Saturn retrogrades give you time to sort your shit out, get rid of any frustrations and re-think the viability of any promises you have already made. It’s a little like having a building inspector come through and checks your foundations and support structures.

The area of life Saturn is retrograde in is emphasised and needs defining. If it is the 7th, relationships will need to be defined. If it’s the 1st, you will be wanting to define yourself- this is generally a nice skinny transit- if Saturn transits can ever be described as being nice, that is. If it is the 2nd, money issues and values will come to the forefront. With Saturn in Sagittarius in 2017, issues of faith and boundaries will be looked at intensely. Saturn will demand that you look with maturity at this part of your life.

Regardless of where this is happening in your chart, Saturn, with a natural association with the 10th house and the ruler of Capricorn, will see most of us trying to define, or re-define career goals.

The structures that are built during a Saturn retrograde will stand you in good stead once he starts to move forward again.

Check out what is in your chart on or around 27 Sagittarius and 21 Sagittarius- this is your area of focus. This is 10h house for me so my focus is around career, profile, work. During this retrograde, Saturn has stationed square my Moon, and station direct square my Sun…I have a pretty good idea of what it is that Saturn wants me to get real about.

In terms of aspects:

If you have a planet or chart point (such as Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant or IC) at 21 Sagittarius-27 Sagittarius, Saturn will conjunct this planet/point during the retrograde period.

If you have a planet or chart point at 21-27 Gemini, Saturn will oppose this point during the retrograde period

If you have a planet or chart point at 21-27 Pisces or Virgo, Saturn will square this point during the retrograde

If you have a planet or chart point at 21-27 Leo or Aries, Saturn will trine this point during the retrograde

If you have a planet or chart point at 21-27 Aquarius or Libra, Saturn will sextile this point during the retrograde.

Saturn will station retrograde from 6 April 2016 (depending on where you are) at 27 Sagittarius 47′

Saturn will station direct at 21 Sagittarius on 24/8/17

How to prepare for Mercury retrograde…

Mercury, as we know, does this a few times a year. For dates and degrees, check out this page.

Dealing with it requires common sense, flexibility, clarity and patience. I often tell people to act as if they don’t have a smart phone, or are overseas with the data roaming turned off.

What do I mean by that?

Remember back to when you made appointments with people and you called them up and agreed a time and a place. You never knew if there’d be a pay phone handy, so you mapped out your route before you left, and made sure that you caught the train before the last train you could catch in order to ensure you got there on time. Remember then?

You didn’t squeeze in an extra coffee meeting knowing you could punch out a text to the person you were going to be keeping waiting. You didn’t turn up for meetings late knowing that you could dial in on the way.

And before you travelled you made sure you had enough time to get to the airport, had books in case of delays, and records you kept separately of your ticket and passport details, plus copies of your itinerary, hotels and car hires?

You would never think of signing a contract without reading the fine print at least twice, and if you needed a map, you’d print out the directions, or at least make a note of the details in the notebook you always carried.

Remember then?

Sure, it was slower. You weren’t available 24/7 so had to fit in meetings as you could.

Our lives these days are ruled by Mercury things. There’s no avoiding it, and it’s great. Mercury retrograde though, is like the Universe telling us that every so often we need to slow it down – listen to our own thoughts, revisit those things, issues, ideas, people, plans that need revisiting, and then move on again. It’s a little like the detox we all go on after eating millions of lunches over the last few weeks as I say goodbye to people…

I’m not advocating that we do away with our little helpers – perish the thought, I’d be lost without my smart phone and social media and google maps and… – but Mercury retrogrades are like a push in the e-tox direction.

Despite what some will tell you, life doesn’t stop just because Mercury has decided to pass between the Sun and the Earth and look like he’s going backwards. I can suggest that you delay signing contracts and making major purchases, but the reality is, there’ll be times where it can’t be delayed.

Here’s what you do.

If it’s a purchase and it can’t be helped, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need it?
  • Do I really need it?
  • Do I really need it now?
  • Have I shopped around?
  • What’s my back up plan?
  • Can I afford it?
  • What happens if I don’t buy it?
  • Do I really need it?
  • Does it fit?
  • Am I buying it with a view to changing or renovating it?

If it’s a contract and absolutely needs to be signed during the retrograde, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need to sign?
  • Do I need to sign now?
  • What happens if I don’t sign now?
  • Have I read the contract?
  • Have I read the contract properly?
  • Have I read the fine print? Twice?

Get the idea?

Personally, I love Mercury retrograde periods…now.

I used to dread it – at least until I began to do the following… as far as I possibly could:

  • I booked fewer appointments per day
  • I left greater contingency before and after appointments
  • I scheduled additional testing for changes
  • I scheduled additional change communication and issued additional FAQs for changes
  • My meeting minutes were more thorough
  • I followed every conversation up with a brief confirming email
  • I took carry-on for business trips
  • I allowed extra time for travel time for interstate meetings
  • I backed up everything

Why do I love it now?

It can be inspirational…and as a writer, that’s a good thing.

Ideas that have been lost in the whirl of busyness, pop back into my head, the words flow freely onto the manuscript, unrelated and random concepts can somehow make sense.

Doing the above doesn’t mean things are perfect – heaven forbid. But as I keep my plans flexible and don’t get too hung up on frustrations, it’s all quite ok.

I dare you to give it a try…

Mercury stations retrograde at 4 Taurus 50’ on 10 April…

Venus Retrograde

Venus will soon be retrograde.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the planet is moving backwards, just that it appears to be doing so from our perspective.

My Aries hairdresser asked me about it the other day:

‘My stars in the magazine said that I shouldn’t change my appearance drastically in March. Does that mean that I can’t have a haircut?’

‘It depends on whether we’re talking a maintenance haircut or a Helen cut everything off and dye it a million new colours haircut.’

‘Well, I was thinking of something like that.’

‘Yeah, nah…probably not a good idea.’

In case you have a similar set of questions, I posted this survival guide earlier in the year.

If you want to know where it’s happening in your chart, you’ll find those details in this post.

The dates and degrees…

4/3/17 stations retrograde 13 Aries 9′

14/4/17 stations direct 26 Pisces 57′