Tag Archives: Mercury Retrograde

SHOWING UP WITH THE AQUARIUS FULL MOON: Astrology of the week of AUG. 13 – AUG. 19, 2019

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!

August is slowly bringing in a breath of fresh air to the birthing process of 2019. The principle of mind and communication, Mercury, is moving away from their very potent and problematic retrograde. And the hope, expansion and joy of Jupiter returning to direct motion (Aug. 11) brings a needed boost of positive, supportive energy. This past Mercury retrograde (Jun. 19 – Aug. 14) provided a frustrating, demanding or perhaps simply potent viewpoint on our particular role in our planet’s transitional times. For many there has been a heightened experience of being trapped within the larger forces of history, and being forced to cope with the transformation of social institutions and conventions. All of the shortcomings or failures may have felt oppressively close. Some of us bear witness, some of us bear direct consequences and some of us want to look away from overwhelming pressures bearing down on us.

It could be very useful to reflect on how we have responded to any events that boiled over in our lives or communities during this past Mercury retrograde. Where did we shine, succeed, stretch ourselves and reach towards greater health and wholeness? Where did we fall short? The failures may be more important than the successes, for instructing us about our path forward. And maybe we can’t do everything all alone. A prophecy attributed to elders of the Hopi nation said of this time of purification: “See who is in [the river] with you and celebrate.” The river which is flowing fast now, is the intensification (Pluto) of our collective and individual karma (Saturn). And it is asking us to recognize cause and effect in our lives.

The celebration of being in the river together is underscored by the Aquarius Full Moon on August 15 at 5:30am US/Pacific. This Full Moon makes the planet of love, connection and social currency—Venus—integral to the spotlight placed on our Aquarian intellectual ideals about freedom, progress and innovation. The Leo Sun-Venus is asking us how we are showing up—and whether or not we are just showing off. Leo can certainly be both—the desire to be visible as a leader for The Good, and the desire to receive a lot of ego stroking. Displays of bravery or courage that are not backed by the quest for maturity, deep relationality and real responsibility (no more and no less than what is ours to do) will not serve us well as we move closer towards the climax of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction (exact Jan. 12, 2020).

The very end of the shadow of Mercury’s retrograde brings a harsh square aspect between communicative Mercury and the planet of rebellion, Uranus (exact Aug. 16). This infuses the atmosphere with extra Trickster energy, and a rush to proclaim one’s freedom or difference or will. But simple-minded rebellion is far from helpful in our times. What vision do we wish to enact? What is the more beautiful world we feel emerging within us, despite all the indications against it in the world? Living a loving future into existence is the very, very hard work that Saturn-Pluto points us towards. Not despising others, or wishing ill upon anyone, which only compounds the suffering and often presents a self-defeating distraction. This choice is happening in our individual lives, not just on the world stage.

Jupiter’s square to visionary Neptune (Nov. 2018–Nov. 2019) means that we must be willing to see beyond our own times, that our wildest dreams can also pass through the portal of birth contraction represented by Saturn-Pluto. These are healing times, if we summon the compassion and the courage to show up for it. Even the plants are trying so hard to reach out to us! For example, several initiatives to decriminalize plant medicines (entheogens) have passed or are underway in cities around the United States. The plants are reaching out to us—do we see them? And do we see our beloveds? They are all in this river with us, too! Can we see each other? It is time to be mindful of the very good news that we are not swimming all alone.

Eclipsed ~ A Deeper Belonging: Astrology of the week of Jul. 2 – Jul. 9, 2019

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!

We are entering the eclipse season of Cancer (family, home) and Capricorn (society, contribution). The total solar eclipse in Cancer on Jul. 2 at 12:17 pm US/Pacific is asking us about what has been overlooked, or neglected, or perhaps in awareness but habitually pushed away, avoided, or set aside. The magnification and intensification (Pluto) of timescales (Saturn) ironically asks us to slow down in order to shape and be shaped by our lives and times. But far from slow, the mind of Mercury and the hasty might of Mars are hot and reactive together for most of July! It won’t always be possible to be present. And Mercury’s retrograde influence that peaks in July will be relentless in its revelations. A redefinition of belonging is possible under this total solar eclipse—but only if we bring enough care, compassion and empathy to bear.

Click here for a full report on the Cancer/Capricorn eclipses and astrology of the week of Jul. 2 – Jul. 9, 2019

Solar Eclipse Animated gif

Separating to Unite: Astrology of the week of Mar. 18 – Mar. 25, 2019

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!

Welcome to the equinox and the Libra Full Moon at 6:42pm US/Pacific on March 20, 2019! This week centers on the experience of being an individual involved in creating and maintaining relationship, and all the ways we find it hard to be an individual with our own will, needs and desires. Any recent readjustments to the Venusian parts of life—finances, intimacy, friendship, energy exchange—may reach a crescendo or finale point as we consider what it means to be “selfish.” Mercury’s continuing retrograde motion invites us to connect on emotional levels as logical understanding could be hard to achieve during negotiations with important relationships. But the understanding that relationships happen between separate entities—and are impossible when we are merged with others—could come in waves of revelation over the next two weeks.

Click here for a full report on the astrology of the week of Mar. 18 – Mar. 25, 2019

If the Universe didn't need you, you wouldn't be here

What’s Good Enough: Astrology of Feb. 19 – Feb. 25

Please check out a gift I am offering every other week! This Wed., Feb. 20 at 6pm, live via Zoom!

An online event called Guiding You Through the Real Imaginal, where we will spend 25 – 30 minutes in a meditative exploration to restore and replenish ourselves under the Virgo Full Moon! You may register by following this link.
I’ve been guiding group explorations of the imaginal realm for about five years . . . and I am thrilled to now be hosting them online! AND as a BONUS, I am offering a FREE 15-minute mini-reading to one person drawn at random from all live attendees!

Virgo Full Moon 2019

The Virgo Full Moon presides over this week, shining a light on our hopes, dreams, aspirations…and their many, many shortcomings. Within the context of dicey Uranus square Saturn-Pluto, attempts at improving social conditions are not doomed to fail but rather beset by problems. While we may witness serious in-fighting and dissension around whether a reform or a proposal is “good enough” in the outer world, there could be quite the inner dialog along similar lines. The radiant Sun’s entry into the dreamland of Pisces (Feb. 18) with the “bring it to Earth” conjunction of Venus-Saturn-Pluto is emphasizing strategy, maturity and realistic goal-setting to make our dreams a reality. Many things may be wearing thin at this time and taking time to inventory our assets in terms of what is working well and all the positives in our lives will do more to create realistic plans than focusing only on what’s breaking down.

Find good counsel

The planet of communication Mercury also joins nebulous Neptune in a helpful sextile to Venus-Saturn-Pluto under the Virgo Full Moon, offering a softer perspective on the pressure we may be experiencing in our love life, money life and/or social life. It suggests that we may get helpful guidance from those who are not directly entangled in whatever is transitioning into or out of our lives—so seek out that wise counsel! Not the merely practical, those friends and advisors who are all too happy to tell you what they think you “should do,” but those who can guide you to your own true knowing by asking the right questions. And in solidarity with you and whatever hard or difficult choices you may be faced with. This time period in particular could reveal where we are trying to ride two horses at once, how we are working against ourselves in some way.

Mercury retrograde incoming

Tricky Mercury is now gearing up for their retrograde phase, though. They will station retrograde on March 5 at 29° Pisces and back up to 16° Pisces which means that they’ve just entered the path of their retrograde during the Virgo Full Moon. This time in the path of their retrograde is referred to as the “shadow period,” and we can expect some of Mercury’s mischief and merriment to be afoot. Neptune is heavily involved which suggests a fair amount of confusion, getting bogged down in thoughts or losing track of items. At its worst, it could indicate outright deception or lies of omission (failing to disclose information). With such an emphasis on Neptune in this retrograde, it doesn’t have to be intentional deception, but be a very innocent if painful case of two people having completely different understandings of the same conversation, agreement or discussion. It is worthwhile to take the precaution of getting things in writing so they can be reviewed. For example, after a conversation, you could carefully write out your understanding in an email and request a response of agreement or any clarifications.

Bernard Palissy,  Platter, last quarter 16th century, France

Connect to the divine mind and heal our own

And there are some very positive aspects of the combination of Mercury and Neptune! All of you artists, visionaries, writers, poets, musicians—catch the wave! From now until mid-April will be an excellent time for re-working your compositions or allowing the Muse to flow in freely and freshly. Don’t expect a completely finished product to arrive—though it could happen—it’s better to just be open to what comes, capture it in some way and allow it to evolve. (AND make backups my friends, make a religion of pressing “Save,” it is impossible to kneel too often at that altar in these conditions.) Whatever has a life of its own will take shape over time if you continue to feed and care for it and remain curious about what is waiting within that seed.

It is also an excellent time for creating a different relationship with the inner critic and judge, by tapping into the right hemisphere of the brain and bringing warmth and caring presence to ourselves and whatever may be frustrating for us. Relational neuroscience offers us quite a few insights into practical, accessible ways of doing just that, for example in Sarah Peyton’s groundbreaking work Your Resonant Self.

Mercury-Jupiter-Neptune: Words should be weighed and not counted

To establish a new relationship with our habitual mind and begin to turn towards ourselves and our shortcomings with warmth, caring and love would be a grand expression of Mercury’s mind together with wholing Jupiter and healing Neptune in the retrograde. And this combination also calls to mind the Yiddish proverb, “Words should be weighed and not counted.” Look out for logorrhea—compulsive, repetitive, excessive wordiness—throughout Mercury’s retrograde period. It is advisable to stop to consider the impact of words we may choose rather than trying to connect through an overabundance of words. As hard as it can be—especially with communicative Mercury feeling so unbridled and free—I try to practice the orientation of one of my Buddhist teachers, Rina Sircar: “Does what I have to say improve upon the silence?”

Erica Jones profile photo, Mount Diablo

This is just a general outlook on the week. To learn more about how the planets are affecting you personally, book an astrological consultation! And step into the realms of Soul to enlarge the conversation you are having with the worldWith Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. You can also get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS  :::  SAVE THE DATE! I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I are offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat July 28 – August 4, 2019!  Watch this space for more details coming soon!

The Quest for Accountability: Astrology of November 27 – December 3, 2018

We begin the week with Mercury’s retrograde backing over the Sun and Jupiter (exact Nov. 27 US/Pacific) in Sagittarius, signaling the halfway point of Mercury’s current retrograde period. Right around this time, we may receive information relevant to the substance of this retrograde, especially that material it would be helpful to review, rework, reconsider or revisit. This information may very well pertain to works you will write and perhaps publish, new philosophical insights, material you find worthy of teaching to others, and what of yourself will come to be shared with others as Jupiter makes his way into the interior of Sagittarius (through Dec. 2019). There could be a little bit of impatience or difficulty concentrating or focusing on what we should be investigating but we could try to incorporate our wanderings into our days. Jot down your stray thoughts in the moment and short reminders to later attend to the distractions that would threaten your focus. You may also find your sleep and your daytime concentration improved if, before going to bed, you take time to write down everything you intended but did not accomplish that day. Don’t reflect on it or make your notes neat and organized; let it all flow out in a stream of consciousness. Tell yourself before closing your eyes: I have it written down, so I can remember to get to it tomorrow.

Quote: "People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply: by the lives they lead." -James BaldwinThe Moon will enter Virgo on Nov. 29 until Dec. 1 US/Pacific, squaring the Sun in Sagittarius in her Last Quarter phase. During this part of the week, we may find ourselves in a more critical, fault-finding mode. Virgo in its unintegrated aspect can be fairly obsessed with “whose fault it is” and while the quest for accountability is necessary for justice making, beware of blowing things out of proportion or seeking a too simple answer. The strong Sagittarian currents can fuel arrogance and overconfidence, and as Mercury backs into Scorpio on Dec. 1, the desire to uncover deeper truths will rise. The danger here is descending into paranoia and scapegoating attitudes, especially as Venus makes her final opposition to Uranus (exact Nov. 30) and moves forward into Scorpio herself (Dec. 2). During her retrograde this year, Venus opposed Uranus on Oct. 31 and Sept. 12 and this final opposition of Venus retrograde may call forth the many upsets and unsettling shifts of 2018. Why did that happen? Who did this? Indeed, whose fault was that? Whatever disturbing or unwanted events remain unmetabolized may boil to the surface and seek out your care and attention. For those who have worked diligently with the twists of fate of 2018, Venus opposite Uranus this week may feel more like a test of hard-won stability and present an opportunity to solidify insight, new ways of relating and identifying oneself.

Set within the larger Saturn-Pluto cycle (2018-2021), the overlapping Mars and Venus retrogrades of 2018 carried with them the onset of “birth contractions” which will culminate in 2020 to 2021. If we think of Pluto as the base desire to persist, to exist, to be alive and Saturn as endings and death, historical circumstances and the necessities of being in a body—when the two come together, the desire to live meets the limits of that living. In response, new things wish to emerge, perhaps even a new version of yourself, your sense of family, reciprocity, belonging, community, sexuality, passion and guiding values. Unfortunately, this planetary archetypal collision between instinctive survival (Pluto) and real limitations (Saturn) can produce so much fear, paranoia and obsession with control—hence the rise of dictatorships and all manner of authoritarian institutions. This trend will intensify through 2019 and 2020, and taking a moment here near the end of 2018 to breathe, assess and re-assess the way we are living, how we direct our finite energy, the communities we serve and our deepest commitments can give us the grounds to be responsive rather than reactive to destructive/creative pressures of the anima mundi, or Soul of the World.

Key dates for Venus retrograde:
Sept. 3, 2018 – Venus enters shadow 25° Libra
Oct. 5, 2018 – Venus stations retrograde 10° Scorpio
Nov. 16, 2018 – Venus stations direct 25° Libra
Dec. 16, 2018 – Venus exits shadow 10° Scorpio

Key dates for Mercury retrograde:
Oct. 28, 2018 – Mercury enters shadow 27° Scorpio
Nov. 16, 2018 – Mercury stations retrograde 13° Sagittarius
Dec. 6, 2018 – Mercury stations direct 27° Scorpio
Dec. 24, 2018 – Mercury exits shadow 13° Sagittarius


Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS   I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I will be offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat in summer 2019!  Watch this space for more details and to save the date!

Within the Opposites: Gemini Full Moon of Nov. 2018

***Check out Real Imaginal Daily Divinations on Instagram!***

Following is an ode to the potentials within the Gemini Full Moon of 2018 (Nov. 22 at 9:39pm US/Pacific).

I write you as I return from a journey to the underworld catacombs to retrieve the lost ancestors, forgotten and excluded ancestors, the neglected ancestors…a journey of giving thanks to both the destructive and the creative aspects of those who gave me this existence. For how hard it is to fully appreciate the gifts our ancestors have given us. So many of those gifts can appear to be curses, ugly and unwanted. But held with care, under a sustained gaze and a willingness to suffer the deformities of time, even the unwanted offers strength to the kind of life we aspire to live.

The 2018 Full Moon in Gemini speaks to us of the delusions of force and the pitfalls of overconfidence. The sword of the mind and its desire to create sharp distinctions and to banish shadows becomes dangerous within the flux of kairos—the melting away of all that seems to be so permanent and everlasting. We are challenged to release our desire for clarity in the conventional sense and step into more murky waters, tempting us with both terror and trust. Stepping off into the murk offers is no guarantee of failure and no guarantee of success. There is only guarantee of the need to submit to the adventure of learning how to care—with an edge. The edges of learning, which are filled with awkwardness and confusion. The edges of desire, which seem to both guide and betray us. The edges of the traumatic, which lives within all of us in varieties both personal and transpersonal. The edges of resilience, which cope with the bottomless well of suffering in this world and what of it may be our personal lot to bear.

2018 Gemini Full Moon horoscope
2018 Gemini Full Moon

This is not to be too gloomy, not at all. “To bear” has many meanings—to bear children, to bear witness, to bear up and into this world. The poet Mary Oliver says that there is only one question: how to love this world? What does it mean to genuinely give thanks for EVERYTHING which led to this present moment? That which enabled you to even read this sentence, to breathe life and to feel and to serve that which you love? The Gemini Full Moon of 2018 suggests something that may be counter-intuitive to a sword-like mind that wants a world of black-and-white choices and simple oppositions of Good and Evil.

Easy, clear-cut reasoning may deceive us into thinking we have found safety and certainty and high moral ground. Instead, this Full Moon beckons us to swim in the murky waters of our relatedness and connections to all things. Swimming with trust and with fear—that is, with courage—towards genuine awareness of and sincere gratitude for our complicated past, because all of that history and ancestry gives birth to our present moment. Because this kind of gratitude will grant us our freedom. Freedom to enact more of the truth of who we really are and to return to our ancestors that which belongs to them. Ignorance of the past holds us in its chains and will restrict the ability to care along all of the edges of our present time. Despising the past also has a way of binding us to it and leads us to carry who and what we hate as a burden. It is as if we would become walking zombies of the past, with its misdeeds and confusion and suffering continuing to live on through us.

Of course, no one can simply leap into such waters and expect all to be resolved in one day. The Earth has been in formation for 4.5 billion years. The murk is real. So is the pain. And so is the joy of freedom from burdens which are not ours to carry. Even the past can heave a sigh of relief, freed from a twisted relationship to the present, freed to form wisdom and strength for our struggles and our successes of today. This can seem impossible and even unethical or taboo—but the Gemini Moon would wed itself to the Sagittarius Sun in these ways, according to the cosmic clock which these days churns us all from its most hidden depths.

 

Key dates for Venus retrograde:
Sept. 3, 2018 – Venus enters shadow 25° Libra
Oct. 5, 2018 – Venus stations retrograde 10° Scorpio
Nov. 16, 2018 – Venus stations direct 25° Libra
Dec. 16, 2018 – Venus exits shadow 10° Scorpio

Key dates for Mercury retrograde:
Oct. 28, 2018 – Mercury enters shadow 27° Scorpio
Nov. 16, 2018 – Mercury stations retrograde 13° Sagittarius
Dec. 6, 2018 – Mercury stations direct 27° Scorpio
Dec. 24, 2018 – Mercury exits shadow 13° Sagittarius


Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS   I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I will be offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat in summer 2019!  Watch this space for more details and to save the date!

New Wrinkles: Astrology of November 13 – November 19, 2018

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary blog. All about Jupiter’s grand transition into Sagittarius, Venus going direct, and the Soul of the World.

Click here for astrology of the week of Nov. 13 – Nov 19, 2018

Anima Mundi Apothecary blog with image of plants representing women's reproductive system

And for those affected by the California wildfires or poor air quality, please see Anima Mundi’s latest newsletter featuring 6 LUNG HERBS for the body and mind, supporting healing for lungs, grief and trauma. And sign up for this valuable weekly newsletter to receive useful info on herbs along with DIY tips for health and wellness every Monday!

 


Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS   I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I will be offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat in summer 2019!  Watch this space for more details and to save the date!

Clearing the Path: Astrology of August 14 – August 20, 2018

The Sun is bolting through Leo following last week’s Leo New Moon (Aug. 11) which gave us an opportunity to ask about the sources and nature of our generosity towards others and why we give what we give. Is your generosity based on a sense of scarcity or lacking? Do you give in order to get? Do you puff yourself up with an image of “Mr/Ms Generosity”? This sort of self-image as well as other reflections on reciprocity could be examined while under the influence of this Leonine New Moon—plus a little Mercury and Mars retrograde to amplify the inquiry and our capacity to reconsider or take a different perspective.

Mercury’s current retrograde is wrapping up, when they will station direct at 11° Leo on August 18, right as they are making an easeful sextile aspect to the planet of love and connection, Venus. Disagreements, misunderstandings and frustrations which cropped up around the time of Mercury’s turn to retrograde motion on July 25 may work themselves out or find resolution or some kind of completion. But Mars’ continued retrograde motion will point us towards looking even deeper to confront patterns of self-sabotage, misdirected passions and karmic obstacles. How do your bodily needs, instinctual or survival-based habits and basic predispositions conflict with your desired self-image, your vision of the future and your various goals? Locating these internal incompatibilities may bring frustration at first, but pay close attention! You can gather important information which will help you to take appropriate action once the planet of pursuit, direction and energy, Mars turns direct on Aug. 27.

image by Joshua Halpern ::: ecocourageous.com

Be wary of emotional explosivity on August 16 and 17 while the Moon travels through the churning depths of Scorpio. The Moon describes the unconscious and signifies our somatic self, our emotions and our basic needs—and therefore our vulnerability. Scorpio’s intensely searching nature can leave us feeling a little exposed if not totally raw, when put into contact with what is already typically hidden from view (the Moon’s province). Taking a moment to actually feel your emotions—rather than reacting or lashing out—could actually bring a great gift of insight into some of your basic unmet needs. Don’t waste time trying to analyze other people on the basis of your feelings. What do your feelings say about you, what you value and care for, and what you wish to protect and serve? How can you uphold your values and serve what you love?

Also this week, expansive, optimistic Jupiter makes its final exact trine aspect to the visionary dreamer Neptune (exact Aug. 19), asking us to look closely at our philosophies of life and any need for adjustments. Are our goals too lofty, or perhaps we just need to add a few more measured steps to get from A to Z? Can we engage our shortcomings and wounds with a mature heart, with a steady hand, with faithfulness to our own divine nature? It is an amazing gift to be able to see what needs repair—it is the first step in the process of moving towards greater wholeness. Don’t despair in the recognition of what is yet to be addressed; give thanks that your path is becoming that much more clear!

Key dates for Mercury retrograde:
July 6, 2018 – Mercury enters shadow 11° Leo
July 25, 2018 – Mercury stations retrograde 23° Leo
Aug. 18, 2018 – Mercury stations direct 11° Leo
Sept. 1, 2018 – Mercury exits shadow 23° Leo


Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

SATURN RETURN SPECIAL    In honor of the generation born roughly 30 years ago with a Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, I am offering everyone with natal Saturn placed from 25° Sagittarius to 29° Capricorn ~ roughly those born Jan. 1929 – Nov. 1932; Mar. 1958 – Jan. 1962; and Dec. 1987 – Feb. 1991 ~ a special Saturn return reading at the following reduced rates for a limited time only:

Returning clients
$65 for 60 minutes
$35 for 30 minutes

New clients
$75 for 60 minutes
$40 for 30 minutes

The Reflecting Pool: Astrology of July 24 – July 30, 2018

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!  And this week also features herbal insights into Mercury and a mind tonic recipe helpful for navigating the current Mercury retrograde by herbalist Adriana Ayales.

Also check out Anima Mundi’s herbal explorations of the SUN as well as the MOON, and sign up for their valuable weekly newsletter to receive information on the rest of the planets in their series on astrology+herbs along with DIY tips for health and wellness.

Click here for a look at the HERBS OF MERCURY and a mind tonic recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

The full forecast for this week, an abbreviated version appears in the Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter:

It’s a busy week here at the midpoint of Mars’ two months in retrograde motion with Mercury stationing retrograde (July 25) just before a very dynamic total lunar eclipse on July 27. However, the week opens with the relational graces of Venus opposing transcendental Neptune (exact July 24), alerting us to be wary of painting too rosy or too gloomy a picture of our friends, workmates or romantic partners. While this influence is strong for a short week, it will also place its stamp on the total lunar eclipse so that its meaning will unfold through at least the next six months. With Venus-Neptune comes a strong suggestion to be faithful to the quest for truth—how you come into knowledge of the truth will be just as important as grasping the “simple facts.”

Do you have a tendency to get swept into gossip? Gossip is a tool of the powerless and the powerful alike, and in its more negative form seeks to undermine others rather than support and draw out the best in everyone. Gossip can be mean-spirited or simply come from a wounded place, so that it drains a community’s vitality, damaging some connections while making others more influential than they otherwise would be. We all participate in gossip to some degree, but check in on your motivations for participating in conversations about others which do not include the direct input of those others. And carefully consider the motivations of those who would share or create gossip with you. Your quest for truth and serving divine purposes will be best supported by an attitude of compassion toward whatever pain, wounding or unmet need pushes people to create alliances or a feeling of security through sharing secrets or making a spectacle of human shortcomings.

As we appraise the value and merit of various communications and perspectives, take note: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Not only the “too good” but the “too awful” as well…if you come across the perfect monster to fit your worst nightmares, that may also be too good to be true! All the same, we may be witnessing many hopeful new partnerships forming and then dissolving, as well as existing partnerships breaking up or changing significantly over the next six months. Stability in general is challenged but don’t forget to reach out to your connections to the other-than-human world—plant, animal and mineral allies, the nature spirits you commune with and all types of earthly connection with the divine will help guide you through the confusion that Mars’ and Mercury’s retrograde may be churning up.

The total lunar eclipse happens on July 27 at 1:20pm US/Pacific at 4° Aquarius and involves a close, tense aspect to the summer-long square between Mars and Uranus. If you are drawn to blaze a new path, know that a working through of the past—or being worked over by past actions, or karma—will not be easily avoided. The long-term influences of Saturn trine Uranus and Jupiter trine Neptune can help open your heart to more challenging realizations about yourself as well as others. Ask what practical, grounded ideals of beauty might enable you to work with your karma in a more generative way, while being wary of over-idealizing your own capacities or noble intentions. (It’s okay to be human—really!!) Especially do not mistake a feeling of confident enthusiasm with a well-considered action. You might check the houses of your natal chart that the Sun in Leo and the Moon in Aquarius fall in to see which areas of your life are potentiated. While you may not be surprised by the areas of life which are highlighted, there may yet be a surprising new wrinkle, a relief, an unburdening, a blessing—even if that blessing comes in disguise.

Key dates for Mercury retrograde:
July 6, 2018 – Mercury enters shadow 11° Leo
July 25, 2018 – Mercury stations retrograde 23° Leo
Aug. 18, 2018 – Mercury stations direct 11° Leo
Sept. 1, 2018 – Mercury exits shadow 23° Leo


Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

SATURN RETURN SPECIAL    In honor of the generation born roughly 30 years ago with a Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, I am offering everyone with natal Saturn placed from 25° Sagittarius to 29° Capricorn ~ roughly those born Jan. 1929 – Nov. 1932; Mar. 1958 – Jan. 1962; and Dec. 1987 – Feb. 1991 ~ a special Saturn return reading at the following reduced rates for a limited time only:

Returning clients
$65 for 60 minutes
$35 for 30 minutes

New clients
$75 for 60 minutes
$40 for 30 minutes

A Path of Discernment: Astrology of July 17 – July 23, 2018

Whether you are midsummer or midwinter, the Sun is making his way through the last five degrees of the conflict-avoidant sign of Cancer, nuzzling up to an uncomfortable square aspect with Uranus. The First Quarter Moon on July 19 at 12:52pm US/Pacific provides the opportunity to shout about the grievances or griefs, unmet cravings or conflicts going on in your life which may have been boiling over since last week’s Cancer New Moon. Whether it is a good idea or a bad idea to shout it out may not matter much in the heat of the moment, but communications are unlikely to be entirely clear. On July 6, Mercury entered the shadow of the path of their upcoming retrograde, which tends to bring to the surface some of the more typical retrograde hijinks—failing to understand or to be understood, both forgetting and remembering important things or people, receiving new information which completely changes one’s outlook, understanding or opinion, and so on. However deeply you dove (or were dunked) into last week’s New Moon, there is more to come because it is not enough to receive new information or a new perspective—how your life must change as a result is an entirely different matter. The Sun in Cancer tends to look backwards in time, and as comforting as sentimentality can be, hanging onto a glaze of idealization over the past will prove increasingly problematic.

Along those lines, Venus begins to oppose the dreamtime of Neptune just as she makes a pleasant sextile to forgiving Jupiter (exact July 22) which might soften the edges of our judgment—both in good and bad ways. Much ink has been spilled over the spiritual dangers of “judging” situations, that is, appraising the value of people, things and events based on our personal notion of ethics (good and bad). In our haste to categorize things within our moral frameworks, we may miss crucial facts and fail to notice significant contradictions which would allow us to better understand why people do the things they do, or why something went down the way it did. On the other hand, absolute moral relativism—the idea that there really is no better or worse way and that all acts are equal—is even less likely to promote understanding and necessary moral reflection. This week, we might instead call upon the possibilities of discernment, which plays well with the spiritual triplets of empathy, humility and compassion. Let us not dehumanize others by either demonizing or lionizing them—saying someone is either completely evil or can do no wrong—or by dismissing them or their actions—failing to take up the hard work of relating to them as a fellow aspect of the divine. We have only begun to witness the potential for polarization (splitting the world into pairs of hostile opposites) in the long-term collective transit of Saturn-Pluto (2018 – 2021) but don’t overlook the power and importance of each gesture of empathy, humility and compassion, however small or however large.

Rounding out this week, the Sun will enter its home sign of Leo on July 22 and turn our attention to the incredibly active fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) of the summer of 2018. The Sun in Leo warms the heart and is much more extroverted than the Sun in Cancer. We can expect correlations to Mercury retrograde to amp up from this date, as we may feel more expressive, but don’t expect it to be all bad! Mercury’s retrograde is a wonderful time to reconnect with old friends and under these skies, that could come about by chance meetings or otherwise quite by surprise. Look back through any unfinished creative projects to see if there is anything you would like to bring back to life as this could bring you much joy. This Leo season (until Aug. 22), be open to new or even whimsical creative urges but take a playful stance towards them—they may be just a practice ground for something completely different, or a fleeting prayer offered up to the beauty of the cosmos.


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