Jupiter Retrograde 2017

Jupiter Retrograde

So anyways, Jupiter is officially retrograde later today.

One of my regular readers on the Facebook page last year suggested that rather than internalising her get up and go, when Jupiter is retrograde it feels more as if it’s been squashed. Yes, she has a heavy Sagittarius chart and therefore, Jupiter influence- absolutely she’ll feel like that.

It’s exactly like those with Taurus and Libra signatures will feel when Venus is retrograde.

A number of years ago when I was working in a previous partition job and travelling around, I could always time when the flying would stop for the year. Yep, when Jupiter went retrograde. I felt more tired, I questioned myself more, I retreated more, I usually got my annual head cold. I felt squashed.

As the modern ruler of my ASC, the ruler of my MC, and in aspect to pretty well everything else, Jupiter is prominent in my chart, so Jupiter changing direction was always going to have an influence.

It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve noticed something else from the Jupiter retrograde period: when Jupiter is retrograde my creative output increases.

Jupiter natally is in the 5th for me, so that’s the expression he takes anyway, but it’s like all that energy that I usually push outwards, is directed to producing something that’s a little purer and more edgy in nature. These days I indulge the ideas and work with the energy rather than against it and, somehow, Jupiter retrogrades are no longer periods to be dreaded. These days I schedule the bulk of my creative fiction work for this period.

The thing is, Jupiter is retrograde natally in my chart, so I’m probably more in tune with the energy than I would be if it weren’t. Having Jupiter natally retrograde is not unusual- given that Jupiter is retrograde for around four months a year (or thereabouts) a reasonable number of us will.

What does this mean for you?

If you have a planet natally retrograde, essentially the energy of that planet is brought inwards, before it is sent out. In the case of Jupiter, even if you have- as I do- a well placed Jupiter (ie in Sagittarius, Pisces or Cancer) your outlook may appear more serious than if Jupiter is direct in that sign. Your faith will be deeply rooted and you may be less inclined to risk your emotions in public. Tick, tick and tick.

I have this theory that retrograde planets behave, at least at first, like their opposite. Que? In going inwards, you explore first the nature of the opposite before sending the energy out.

Example. My Mars is in Scorpio, in the 8th. Strong yeah? It could be if it wasn’t retrograde. My immediate Mars response is often more like a Taurus Mars response…then the Scorpio power kicks in.

Same with Jupiter.

I react with an almost Saturnian worry about what people will think, what is the catch, how will this affect my reputation…then I say what the hell and go for it anyway.

Anyways, my point is, as far as possible, try and work with this energy. Use it to reconnect with what you really believe in. Use it to reconnect with what fires your Jupiter into action- the clues will be in the element that Jupiter is in. Concentrate on that area of life, the house, where Jupiter is natally- this is where if you work for it, your luck will come.

Attempting to go against the tide or stopping completely will only increase the frustration and fear of missing out- and that’s when Jupiter tends to feed his mouth instead of his faith…if you know what I mean…

6/2/17 stations retrograde 23 Libra 8”

8/6/17 stations direct 13 Libra 13′

Want to know more about Jupiter? Check out this post.

Venus Retrograde- a survival guide…

Continuing my mini-series of key planetary aspects for 2017…

Venus turns retrograde every 2½ years. 2017 happens to be one of those years.

Venus is about love and relationships, but she’s also about pleasure – and the things that bring you pleasure. For this reason, she’s also about money and beauty. If you want to know more about Venus, check out this post in the Toolbox.

Where Venus is in your chart tells you a lot about your style – including your relationship style. Do you fall for the same type every time? Do you believe and believe and believe again until you can believe no more? Is the way you feel about yourself tied up in the way you relate to others? Do you have a “Mr Big” that you rush to repeat past mistakes with the minute you get that text?

Perhaps your relationships fail at the same point every time. Be honest, is this something that you are doing unconsciously? Perhaps as he pulls closer you pull away ever so slightly, but enough for him to think you are no longer interested.

Maybe the fear of having your heart broken again simply scares the crap out of you, so it is easier to run or find a reason to leave or an argument to provoke before that happens. Maybe you so desperately need to belong that you hold on tighter and tighter and tighter until he can no longer breathe…

During any retrograde, we go inward for a time to process what that particular planet has to teach us. In the case of Venus, this is largely around money, relationships, trust and self-esteem issues- and our patterns, perceptions and habits in relation to these issues.

Things that you do around Venus themes Every Single Time will come up in one way or another when Venus is retrograde. They may not be relationship patterns, but perhaps patterns in the way you treat yourself, spend your money, or trust others. But they will come up.

Don’t be surprised if old relationships come back to haunt you during this period. You may physically bump into an ex or simply find yourself dreaming of and thinking of them. Let yourself go with that. What could have beens are normal and any meeting at this time just may be an opportunity for closure or clarity.

Venus retrograde, despite what you might have heard, doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Given that Venus is retrograde for about 6 weeks every couple of years, you’ve already survived a number of them in your lifetime. Anyways, here is my survival guide:

  • When buying, beware. Just as you’d check a contract during a Mercury period, do the same under a Venus retrograde. Venus is about your personal resources, so be careful not to sign yours away or commit your resources (and that includes those you can’t put a figure on) above that which you can afford.
  • Which brings me to the 2nd point: when buying, beware of over-commitment. This is not the time to be increasing your credit card. It is, however, a great time to review your personal spending.
  • When reviewing personal spending and credit contracts be realistic about your lifestyle needs and habits. Don’t think you’ll be happy to watch the paint dry and reality TV every night for the next 2 years so that you can buy that designer gear when you know damn well that to do so would be the end of life as you know it.
  • Before tearing off on a shopping spree, review your wardrobe requirements, realistically. Don’t buy that great dress that is still hideously expensive at 50% off if it doesn’t fit you right now (trust me on this one) even if you think it will look great when you have lost those last 15kgs. Your credit card will love you for it.
  • Venus retrograde is not a great time for cosmetic surgery- that’s all I’m going to say on that one! In fact, it’s not a great time to make any wholesale changes to your hair-style or colour either. Normal maintenance is absolutely ok.
  • Perhaps your Venus lesson is around your personal style. Maybe you have outgrown yours? Now could be the time to research what colours and shapes make you body and heart sing. If you really have no idea (and lets face it, many of us don’t), check out your local shopping centre or directory for shopper help or personal stylists- they aren’t just for celebrities and can save you a fortune in bad decisions. Just don’t buy up big until after the RX.
  • While you’re at it, why not clean out your wardrobe, your drawers, and donate, throw or recycle anything that is no longer fit for purpose. Get your sewing box out and put those buttons back on and fix the hems that have fallen down. Staples holding up the hem in your skirt are not a good look. I know.
  • A Venus retrograde period is not the time to start a new relationship- although if it does happen (as these things do) read the tips below. Nor is it necessarily the time to finish one. It is a great time to review the relationship you have and how that relationship makes you feel about yourself. How you feel during the retrograde may be very different to how you feel afterwards… Before jumping in and calling the whole thing off, step back and wait for the dust to settle once Venus is direct again.
  • This is a great time to renegotiate existing commitments or issues in existing relationships. And that’s a good thing.
  • Existing relationships may be tested, so apply the filter in need to avoid any miscommunication.
  • If a relationship is started when Venus is retrograde, it may have similar qualities to the natal Venus retrograde position – feelings and emotions may be felt, but may not be expressed easily. The relationship may feel insecure or misunderstood. It doesn’t mean it’s doomed, just that it could take longer to get going.
  • As for new relationships? Think like you would during Mercury retrograde – don’t rush in to commit yourself until you have been through all the fine print. This person may have come into your life in order to help you go within, maybe show you a new way to resolve an old problem…and could show you a whole lot of new and inventive ways of doing it! Enjoy it for what it is and what it brings you, just take care not to wind happy ever afters forever and ever into the story.
  • Don’t be surprised if a relationship that was hot hot hot goes off the boil slightly during the Rx period.

What else?

Venus themes intensify around the station. I read something somewhere (and apologies, but I can’t remember all the details, but it sounds pretty right) that if you fall in love at the station direct, it will be a pretty deep, meaningful and intense relationship. Magical almost. Apparently this time is ripe for coupe de foudre: love at first sight, a bolt of lightening. Just be sure that it’s worth it, and worthy of you…

The dates…

4/3/17 stations retrograde 13 Aries 9′

14/4/17 stations direct 26 Pisces 57′

How to survive (and thrive) during Mercury Retrograde…

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I had a bit of a technology week last week. I smashed the front screen on my iPhone a few weeks ago- it slipped off the chair I’d rested it on when we stopped off in Cooma for a cuppa on the way to Eucumbene. Ok, in full disclosure, the chair was one of those ones you get at football fields that had a sloping seat. Yeah, I know- who would have thought the phone would slip off? Anyways, I got the phone fixed last week.

Then there’s the modem at home. A new one arrived in the mail from Telstra with instructions to change over. As with most things Telstra, the package arrived a full week before the explanatory email telling me they were sending a package. Apparently they’re upgrading the lines and if I didn’t install the new modem, I’d experience interruptions. They’re also changing email services and have sent me a complicated mail advising how and why and when, but not really saying much else. Judging by the quality of the communication, I don’t hold a lot of confidence that this will go seamlessly. Yes, it’s scheduled while Mercury is retrograde. In any case, I installed the new modem and it’s already proving to be dodgier than the old one. Whatevs.

This is all, of course, a lead in to Mercury turning retrograde in a few days.

When planets turn retrograde, whatever energy that planet represents is turned inward- it’s why it’s such a good time for reflecting, reviewing and planning. Mercury represents communication and information- and the methods by which we communicate and pass information…and that includes contracts and travel plans.

What am I using this Mercury Rx period for? I’m planning my next novel. Yep, I used the p (planning) word. I don’t normally write to an outline- I prefer to let things unfold, but it seems right to plan this one- well, as far as I’m capable of planning anything, I guess. My editor has Wish You Were Here for copy edit, and I should also get that back while the reviewing energy of this Rx is with us.

Ok…to the survival guide…

How to survive and thrive during Mercury retrograde…

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, by instigating meltdowns (of any description) we have no choice but to take a good long hard look at the way we live our life. Instead, 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. Meltdowns can be messy, but also 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 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.

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 29 Virgo 4’ on 30/8* and turns direct at 14 Virgo 57’ on 22/9*. However, the so-called shadow period will last from August 10 (when Mercury reaches 14 Virgo 57’) until October 7 (when Mercury reaches 29 Virgo 4’ for the second time).

Although the period when Mercury is retrograde will be from 30/8/16- 22/9/16, the period in which it will be in shadow is from 10/8/16- 7/10/16. That’s almost 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. I don’t know about you, but I can’t be faffed with that.

But, as I said, that’s just me.

30/8/16 (or thereabouts) Mercury stations retrograde 29 Virgo 4’

22/9/16 (or thereabouts) Mercury stations direct 14 Virgo 57’

* Given that dates and most other things are taken literally during Virgo, the dates I’ve given in here are “thereabouts”- and could be a day different depending on where in the world you are.

Saturn Direct: learning your lesson

 

 

Woman teacher teaching maths and pointing on someone

Saturn has been retrograde since mid March. During this time we should have all been using the time wisely to get our Saturn shit together.

Saturn constricts rather than expands (which is why many astrologers see Saturn transits as being skinny transits…). He also tends to bring depression and sadness with him rather than optimism. Sort of like you’ve been running on empty, come to the end of the road, are over it and can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not sure about you, but this was absolutely me in March as Saturn stationed to turn retrograde.

For me, the station was on my MC and square my Ascendant. I was anxious, had chronic back pain, high blood pressure and couldn’t see anything other than doors closing. The previous few months had been the most consistently stressful at work that I could remember any time before being, and my health was suffering as a result.

Then Saturn turned retrograde. Initially, things got worse. That makes sense- when Saturn is retrograde, the Saturn energy is turned within- it builds and builds on itself inside you. The theory is that you have the time to think and absorb.

Once Saturn turns direct, intention needs to be turned into action. That means dealing with whatever it is with maturity, commitment and responsibility. The whole process is a little like growing pains for adults.

In this way, Saturn retrogrades are a little like an exam- testing you on what lessons you’ve learnt and giving you the opportunity to go back and try again. But he’s not the sort of teacher that will give you hints, or feedback where you went wrong- he’s more of the red line through the page “a few suggested changes” sort of man. Or perhaps he’s an auditor with a tie that is way too short, a green pen and a pad asking you questions that you don’t particularly want to answer. He’ll make a note of your answer, his facial expression unchanging, and then ask the same question in a different way.

Saturn has now stationed and is contemplating his next move forward, so the energy is at its’ most potent. If you have planets (especially personal planets) or chart points at 9 Sagittarius, Pisces, Virgo or Gemini you will be feeling this Saturn energy more than the rest of us…enjoy.

Don’t, however, discount the so-called easy aspects- eg points at 9 Aquarius, Libra, Aries or Leo…especially if, like me you’re Saturn isn’t in great shape (in Aries, Cancer or Leo) or particularly strong.

Saturn transits can hurt, a lot- there’s no denying that. At critical points of a Saturn transit, if (like me) your temptation is to run away from whatever it is, something will be in your way. There will be nowhere left to run. You have no choice but to stand your ground, face it like and adult and finish the job. Like a grown up.

I’ve since left that job and started a new one. My back is already feeling better, my blood pressure already reduced. Some of the other stuff contributing to my anxiety is still in the background waiting to be addressed. One of the reasons I left my last job was to give me the breathing space to deal with all of that. I have no doubt that unless I face these issues maturely and practically, I’ll go through it all again when next Saturn hits these points- and each time I get it wrong or skip the question- there’ll be the planetary equivalent of a rap over the knuckles reminding me of this.

The other thing I’m pretty sure of is that it will all be alright in the long run. Saturn lessons are never short term- which is why when you do it right, although the rewards might be slow to come, the benefits last for a long long time.

One final thing on this one, Saturn stations direct at 9 Sagittarius, and next months solar eclipse is at 9 Virgo- so square the station point. I’m not sure about you, but when it comes to the Universe, there’s no such thing as mere coincidence.

13/8/16 stations direct 9 Sagittarius 46’

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Mercury Retrograde: A retrospective…

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As you’re probably aware (especially if you follow my instagram and have been inundated with pics of pools and foot selfies) I’ve been on holiday in Bali for the past two weeks.

The timing couldn’t ben more perfect and coincided with the culmination of some major life changes here at Chez Tracey. There are a few more still waiting in the wings, so Bali not only provided some necessary rest and relaxation, but it also helped restore strength and bolster reserves for the next round.

Did you notice that I used four “re” words in that last sentence? More on that below.

Anyways, sitting at Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) Airport the other night… as an aside, a great big shout-out to whoever is responsible for the airport for finishing it- there are now shiny new shops, places to eat, places to sit and (thankfully) more toilets after you pass the triple security that is the process to get out of the country. As I was saying, sitting at the airport the other night having one last Bintang, hubby was doing his usual thing of checking what was coming out of the kitchen.

‘Hey darlin’, how good does that nasi goreng look?’

I have this thing when I’m in airports- especially when we’ve passed customs- that I like to just sit and read. I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to speculate, I just want to retreat into myself. I think it’s that there’s so much going on around me that this sensitive Piscean just needs to build a boundary between me and everyone else. I do the same on planes- especially when waiting for take-off. Hubby is the opposite: he wants to talk- about Every. Little. Thing. And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the major different between a Pisces Moon and a Gemini Moon. But, I digress.

‘Hey darlin’, how good does that pizza look?’

Another thing I don’t do is wear my glasses other than when I’m driving or at shows (and I’ve been known to sit in a theatre with prescription sunglasses on). I don’t need them to read, but rather for distance vision. As a result, the world is often quite blurry to me. That doesn’t really worry me. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that I find them uncomfortable to wear when I’m walking.

So I said, ‘Sorry love, I can’t see it- it looks like a blurry mess of brown.’

He said, ‘Why don’t you wear your glasses then?’ Followed by, ‘So when I was telling you to look at the surfers every morning at breakfast and you were commenting, what were you seeing?’

‘Objects that I assumed were human on waves that I liked looking at. I don’t need to see the detail to know that they were surfers and the waves were good that morning. I was interested in the whole scene- all the way out to the horizon.’

And that, in a sentence, was this months’ Full Moon. I don’t need the detail to know the story. In fact, some of the story can get lost in the detail. The key is finding the balance between the two. It’s similar, I guess, to how I do my astrology- I’m interested in the major themes, the big picture. Sort of like how this whole post is, at its essence, about how you can see astrology in action everywhere- if you take a step back.

Also at the airport we got talking to this Canadian girl. She was behind us when we were queuing for the first security scan. Then she was behind us when we were queuing to check in. Then she was behind us when we were queuing for the second security scan (the one that was the same as the first, but placed just after check-in and just before passport control). The point is, we had plenty of time to chat to her.

She’d been in Indonesia for a month- splitting her time between Bali and the islands. She was also pleased to be getting out.

‘The first week was fine-I was on Gili Air then- but everything has gone wrong since,’ she said. ‘I don’t think Bali likes me.’ We shuffled along further in the queue. ‘And I don’t understand their systems. I’m so over their systems- none of it makes sense.’

I’ll admit, I don’t see the point of a duplicate full security scan either- what could we possibly have done between queuing for the first, checking in, and queuing for the second? I am, however, happy to go with it if it increases my safety…but that’s beside the point.

‘How do you guys deal with it?’ she asked. ‘Australia’s not like this.’

‘No, it’s not…but Indonesia is…and we do come back every year. The key is not to think too hard about it,’ I said. ‘If you try and work out the reasons why, or find a way to get around it or fight it, you’ll go mad.’

Has anyone else noticed what she said? She’d been there for a month, and one week in, things started to go wrong. The plans she’d made were disrupted, her bookings went astray, the systems didn’t work as she expected they would. Yep, Mercury Rx.

This Rx started with a bang. We had a major meeting with a client and there was a misunderstanding with the venue: we travelled into the city, they dialled in. Some of the documents that were sent around beforehand were the wrong ones. On the way back to work, we were so busy talking that we got on the first train that pulled up at the station. Yep, it was the wrong one. All of it was ok because I’d built in plenty of contingency and none of it was a big deal.

Miss T’s laptop is currently playing up- she’s taking it into the apple store tomorrow- they’ll want to wipe it clean. It’s ok- she has everything backed up and a contingency plan in case she needs it.

While on holidays, other than arranging flights and accommodation, we made no plans. Accidental tourism, I called it. We had a fabulous time ending up at places that we weren’t expecting to be ending up at. We re-visited a few favourites (another re word) and discovered a few new favourites. Hubby got sick at the one week mark (a necessary purge- as far as I was concerned, although he says it was heat-stroke…whatever) so was forced to do not a lot. We planned a little, we reviewed a lot. After the intensity of the past few months the rebalancing, recalibration and recuperation was not only welcome, but also necessary. It also provided an opportunity to go within and in retrospect (another re word) look at why we’d reacted as we did, and why things unfolded in the way they had- with no recriminations. In a way, it was the perfect retrograde.

Mercury stations direct today.

How was your Rx- anything to report? Mishaps or (especially) insights? How many re words did you count?

If you want to know more about what we got up to, there are a few posts up over on and anyways– with more to come.

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Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Old rowing boat marooned at sea

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 Virgo 15’ and will be direct in just a couple of days.

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 another few months for him to re-trace his steps. This is the “shadow” period and it will last until August. So, while things will begin to improve, it’s at this point that the full potential promised in October last year will be delivered…if you kept rowing…

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

In other news? Hubby and I are off to Bali this morning for a little while. Don’t worry, everything is covered at home and I have plenty of content scheduled for here. You can keep up to date with me through instagram (the link is in the sidebar)- and way too many photos of food, drink and toes.

Here we go again…Surviving and Thriving when Mercury is Retrograde

 

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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, by instigating meltdowns (of any description) we have no choice but to take a good long hard look at the way we live our life. Instead, 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. Meltdowns can be messy, but also 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 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.

Essentially those who have a crappy Mercury (such as my own- the worst Mercury in history) tend (with some exceptions) to escape relatively lightly. Why? Because natally our Mercury operates in the same way as when it is retrograde- we review and revise and go into our own heads as part of a normal day. What happens during a Mercury retrograde is that everyone is now on our wave-length!

So, what makes a bad (and when I say bad I don’t mean evil bad, I mean that it works differently to the way Mercury is supposed to work…personally mine is crappy, but it suits me- if you know what I mean) Mercury?:

  • Mercury in Pisces (check)
  • Mercury in the 12th house (check)
  • Mercury tightly aspecting Neptune- especially by conjunction, square or opposition
  • Mercury retrograde natally (check)

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 23 Taurus 34’ on 29/4 (or thereabouts- depending on what part of the world you are in) and turns direct at 14 Taurus 25’ on 21/5 (or thereabouts- depending on what part of the world you are in). This means that the so-called shadow period will last from March 29 (when Mercury reaches 14 Taurus 25’) until June 8 (when Mercury reaches 23 Taurus 34’’ for the second time). Although the period when Mercury is retrograde will be from 29/4/16- 21/5/16, the period in which it will be in shadow is from 29/3/16- 8/6/16. That’s over 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. I don’t know about you, but I can’t be faffed with that.

But, as I said, that’s just me.

Something about Bin Night…and Pluto Retrograde

Taking out the Trash

Pluto Retrograde

So anyways, I have a purge planned for this long weekend.

Partly it’s because I should be painting, but mostly because it feels as though our house just needs a good detox.

I’m fortunate to have plenty of storage in our house, but just lately things have felt cluttered and close…and stale. Something needs to be eliminated. It feels as though things need to be pared back, as though the shelves in the cupboards, the compartments, the filled corners, are reflective of my headspace.

As I’ve mentioned before, stuff is going on around me, and it’s stuff that’s not great. While I mightn’t be able to control what’s going on out there, I do have some say over what’s happening in here.

This deliberate elimination is very Plutonian- which is prefect timing given that Pluto has now stationed retrograde and will re-trace his steps through until 25 September (or thereabouts). As with all retrograde planets, the retrograde motion makes Pluto act, well, more Plutonian and Plutonian people even more susceptible to Pluto. How do you know if you’re Plutonian? Check out this fun quiz from Donna Cunningham.

When a planet is retrograde, the energy is directed inward rather than externally. In Pluto’s case, it acts sort of like a planetary detox where the crap (for want of a better term) in our lives is eliminated (a very Pluto word). This can be emotions we have been holding onto, attitudes or values which should have changed or evolved, vendettas we should have let go of, revenge fantasies we are just waiting for the right moment to act upon (ooops, that’s me!), secrets that you have been keeping under wraps.

Generally speaking, Pluto issues and events are the ones that we simply don’t want to have to face. It’s the intense stuff of life, it’s the death stuff of life, it’s the dark stuff of life…it’s endings, it’s beginnings, it’s also our own personal underworld.

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This is why sometimes we need to access this another way- a more representational or metaphorical way…such as an overcrowded craft cupboard, a dusty bookshelf, a wardrobe full of clothes that are no longer fit for purpose. The physical purge often allows you to access your own hidden spaces and see what is waiting to emerge.

Even if you’re not receiving a Pluto transit right now, you might find that Pluto themes are being brought to the surface at the moment- and will be again in September when Pluto stations to go direct.

For those of you who are strongly influenced by Pluto or currently experiencing major Pluto transits (especially anyone with the Sun, Moon or ascendant at or around 14-17 Cancer, Capricorn, Libra or Aries), this will be a big thing. Now is the time to do some internal Pluto work on yourself- a physical detox, heavy meditation- anything that is regenerative and gets you back in touch with the innermost core of you.

As with all retrograde cycles, the critical points are the station degrees- in this case 17 Capricorn 29’ where he is stationing retrograde and 14 Capricorn 55’ where he will station to turn direct. These are points of pretty huge transformation and metamorphosis if they happen to fall on a sensitive point in your natal chart. I’m not talking orbs here- when it comes to station points I’m talking direct hits. To the degree.

Because Pluto moves so slowly, the orbs of influence are very narrow. If he turns retrograde even a degree before exacting an aspect, you may get just a passing glance…this time. The thing with Pluto though, is there’ll always be a next time…and usually a next, and a next.

Pluto retrogrades may bring expansion or loss of power, manipulation, obsession, ambition and power struggles. They can also raise issues of sex, life, death, rebirth…but Pluto does not necessarily equal bad. It might be truths that we’re not yet ready to handle, endings we’re not yet ready to accept, beginnings that seem way too far away.

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Your Pluto transit might be crap. It might also be hard, challenging and all those other words we like to use to describe crap where it does hit your chart. It might also be empowering and bring with it the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for. Ultimately though, Pluto transits can also be healing and transforming.

That principle applies to the most random and shittiest of shitty Pluto transits- although you won’t be ready to hear this (or see this) until you’re a few or many years down the track- indeed, you might never be ready…and that’s ok.

Whatever happens there is no escaping the effect…Pluto is like that…but hanging onto whatever you’re hanging onto won’t help. Throw it out…if you can…with the trash. Who knows what treasures have been hidden?