Tag Archives: Mercury Retrograde

Coming to terms with wounded instinct: Astrology of Apr. 17 – Apr. 23, 2018

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!  And this week also features herbal remedies helpful for navigating the current transits by herbalist Adriana Ayales.

Once a month, the week’s astrological forecast will go out in Anima Mundi’s newsletter along with their herbal tips, DIY preparations and information.  In the meantime, be sure to check out all that Anima Mundi Apothecary has concocted in conspiracy with the plants’ desire to heal us!

May all beings be safe ~ May all beings be happy ~ May all beings everywhere be free

 

Click here for a look at the astrology of the week of April 17 – April 23, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Kickstarting Decisions: Astrology of Apr. 10 – Apr. 16, 2018

Welcome to the second week of April 2018 and the Aries New Moon, which is strongly associated with new beginnings, fresh starts and the renewal of a cycle. The Sun squares Pluto and Venus trines Mars (exact Apr. 10), providing some of us with some insight into a struggle for power in our lives. Venus is sitting pretty in her home sign of sensuous, earthy Taurus and also making an opposition with Jupiter in the depths of Scorpio, but the total astrological picture suggests we may need to consciously call in the juicy, open-heartedness that Venus-Jupiter aspect suggests. It’s juicy in that it’s still complicated. Taurus gets a rap of being “simple,” but in the presence of insecurity it can also exhibit jealousy or possessiveness. While this could relate to relationships between people, it could certainly apply to possessiveness of material or worldly goods, or even jealousy of others’ (apparent) spiritual power, knowledge or higher learning. I define power as the ability to cause or prevent change, which arises from the fact of communion, or being deeply related to all things. If you want to engage in power as if it is an object that must be taken or grabbed from another, then you will join a common crowd in misunderstanding the nature of change. But for the next two to three weeks, you may also find such efforts quite self-destructive.

We notice that Venus also makes a sextile with Neptune, the planet of divine dreams and delusion (exact Apr. 12) as if trying to pour some love and prayerful intention into what looks to be an ambitious and perhaps unsettling week. Maybe she is reminding us that power isn’t something that anyone has or owns, but is rather something that is created from an interactive process. “The universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects” according to the theologian and ecological thinker Thomas Berry. Stopping to consider our options from this perspective—that power is not so much a possession but more of an interactive force—can help bring awareness to an open window we hadn’t noticed for all our pounding on a closed door. Perhaps we will find it is just a hop down to the ground and out of the building we feel so trapped in right now. (Okay, some of you may have to climb out on a tree limb, but it will be a sturdy friend!)

 

Turning our attention to the New Moon happening on April 15 at 5:57pm US/Pacific, it’s worth noting that Mercury returns to direct motion in the early hours of that day. Decisions may be taken that have been under consideration or review for the last couple of weeks, as hesitance turns to action. Confusion may slowly lift as Mercury gets back up to speed over the next few days, though there may be some lingering interference with mental clarity. Sharpness may come in other forms—biting criticism, or heavy judgment—while for others, emotional distortions may prolong the confusion as Mercury retraces their steps until leaving the “shadow” of their retrograde on May 2. Be open to questioning your own narratives of events—take a critical perspective and entertain contrary possibilities. Yet the ultimate arbiter will be the depth of your connection to your higher self or highest good, which can best assist with navigating any uncharted or dicey terrain over the next two weeks.

The configuration of this Aries New Moon, with a close conjunction of Sun, Moon and Uranus, speaks of change and a desire for forward movement. If you know you are in a moment of change, you could anticipate a Uranian unexpected or Trickster quality imprinted upon the seeds of renewal or beginning/ending you plant at this time. Trickster can be a bit of a killjoy for our ego at times, but make no mistake: Trickster made this world.

If you recognize you are standing at a crossroads, it is well worth it to make some time to connect to your higher self, your Soul, your deepest knowing, to the divine good—however you conceive of that—and ask for any protector or helper deities, angels, guardians with which you have a relationship or affinity to stand with you. You might pray or intend for your own generosity of spirit, and include a litany of gratitude in the welcoming of what this Aries New Moon brings. Harness Venus-Jupiter’s open heart to the highest good for all beings, for yourself and for everyone and ask for the insight and the wisdom to hear and understand what is revealed to you in the coming weeks. Rooting into your highest good is the most powerful rudder for those who feel hard pressed to either embrace or make a change.

We might all well reflect on a version of the Serenity Prayer sometimes heard in 12-Step Programs: “God grant me the Serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the Courage to change the one I can, and the Wisdom to know that it’s me.”

And in this way, Mars, Saturn and Pluto, who are currently colliding in determined Capricorn, could be turned towards the strength to serve a great discernment, a Great Work, perhaps even your role in the dream of the Earth. And should this be relevant to your life: it’s a fitting time for severing ties to the past which impede your growth and which may in fact endanger your life in some way—metaphorically, or even physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. If there is this aspect in your life, it is unlikely to be coming from nowhere, but will rather be rooted in something ancient, something known, perhaps an old pattern you haven’t quite shaken loose. Be kind to yourself—you deserve nothing less!

 

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

 

Remembering to Breathe: Astrology of Apr. 3 – Apr. 10, 2018

We begin this week with retrograde Mercury backing up into the Mars-Saturn conjunction that largely dominates the skies, making a stressful square aspect (exact on Apr. 3). This could portend some “interesting” conversations in which old grievances are aired, disputes are settled (at least in one person’s mind) or communication completely breaks down. The Moon will be cruising through Scorpio from Apr. 1 to Apr. 3, which suggests a rawness to feelings, and the need to grapple with issues of trust and emotional safety as well as negotiating a complicated relationship to intuition. It may be necessary to let go of a dearly treasured object—whether that is a belief, a way of thinking about things, a material item or even a person—as what seemed like a sure win turns into a losing proposition, due to unknown or hidden rules to the game just coming to light. The Moon’s entry into Sagittarius late in the evening of Apr. 3 (US/Pacific time) may lighten the mood somewhat and allow for new horizons to appear as you orient to changes and take stock of your situation.

Still, the Mars-Saturn conjunction active through the rest of this week can indicate increased levels of frustration, inhibited action, or loads and loads of work, stress or worry. Since these two are in Saturn’s home sign of Capricorn, strategically submitting to the amount of work which must be done can produce results. A lot could be accomplished, if you’re willing to make a few sacrifices along the way. The sincere pursuit of devotion or dedication to a task is indicated, and those who are not laser focused on what they personally desire and what they’re willing to be devoted to may find themselves being pushed around by others’ goals and desires. And even then, having your own goal (Mars) will not necessarily grant immunity from challenge or failure, should that goal run counter to the workings of necessity, time, destiny or karma (Saturn). Perhaps one of the more frustrating features of Mars-Saturn can be its demand for patience and tenacity precisely when it is in short supply.  (In case you missed it, here is a link to last week’s post A prayer for Mars-Saturn.)

The short version of Mars-Saturn: don’t forget to stop and breathe this week.

Because Venus is now in Taurus! Venus entered her home sign of Taurus on Mar. 30 and offers us an opportunity to turn our faces towards beauty, and to draw it up through our roots and into our bodies. Try beautifying your surroundings with flowers, art or sensually pleasing objects, things which will bring a little earthy Venus into your environment. Massage, spa or sauna and spending time in a favorite spot outdoors can also be of extra comfort. Offer yourself delicious, nourishing food (and yeah, your favorite sweets can go a long way, too.) Pamper and tend to your vagus nerve, which mediates the “fight, flight or freeze” response! All of these things could help soften the sharp edges of Mars-Saturn and, in the case of beautifying your surroundings, serve as a pneumonic (memory) device to help you remember to stop and just breathe every now and again. Trying to power through when you have truly run out of steam can just cause more frustration and delay as you have to go back over what you thought you finished and redo it (something fitting with Mercury retrograde). Lastly, taking some time to connect with the beauty of this world can also soften the blow of any hard or “interesting” conversations happening this week.

Venus will make a harmonious trine aspect to the Mars-Saturn conjunction this week, touching Saturn first (exact on Apr. 7). Tending to the vagus nerve and caring for your nervous system as much as possible, as well as stopping to just breathe and take in whatever can nourish your sense of wholeness will not be in service of denying the reality of what is going on. But Venus is offering the chance of a blessing, a bright side to what may be otherwise just frustrating or a slog. She is suggesting that a real reward will come at the end of well-discerned, strategic efforts. Just beware of fighting karma, destiny or fate, or trying to turn back time. The Uranus square Pluto alignment that is saturating this decade is insisting on a break with the past, and profound if at times disturbing or unexpected changes.

Turning our gaze towards the heavens: For you early birds and day sleepers, Apr. 7 features the Moon, Mars and Saturn in a conjunction in the pre-dawn sky. Look for the crescent Moon, waning towards its next conjunction with the Sun on Apr. 15, and find a medium-bright white star—Saturn—and a very bright orange star—Mars—hovering quite close.

 

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

Tripping backwards with Mercury: Astrology of Mar. 27 – Apr. 2, 2018

Though a few days delayed to readers of Real Imaginal – thank you Mercury retrograde – this week’s astrological forecast has been written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!

Check out the section in the newsletter just below the forecast, featuring Anima Mundi’s recommendations of herbs to balance out Mercury and various plant allies to assist with its challenges.

Once a month, the week’s astrological forecast will go out in Anima Mundi’s newsletter along with their herbal tips, DIY preparations and information.  In the meantime, be sure to investigate all that Anima Mundi Apothecary has concocted in conspiracy with the plants’ desire to heal us!

 

Click here for a look at the astrology of the week of March 27 – April 2, 2018

 

Vulnerageous Equinox: Astrology of Mar. 20 – Mar. 26, 2018

Welcome to the equinox! The equinox marks spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere as the Sun enters the tropical sign of Aries on March 20, offering us a month to consider beginnings, motivations and goals, and locating the energy to make a fresh start or three.

Sun square Mars (exact on March 24) and Venus square Pluto (exact on March 23) offers us a meditation on our notion of courage or bravery, and its relationship to vulnerability. For many people, the idea of courage is tangled up with the idea of harming others, or of inflicting one’s will on others. And it seems that we can be most motivated to tell the truth—that is, to be courageous and vulnerable—only if it is accompanied by hurting someone else. The energy of anger (Mars) emerges to pierce social, familial or personal taboos concerning honesty about one’s desires, needs or experience but instead of lending itself to understanding, honesty driven by unmetabolized or unreflective anger tends to lead to warfare, resistance or more confusion. Perhaps this anger and defensiveness tries to provide a cover for vulnerability, to deflect from this and create distractions from unpleasant emotions. If this seems familiar to you, you might ask if honesty employed as an offensive (yet secretly defensive) measure really serves you?

It is worthwhile to reflect on any such tendencies this week for it is actually possible and quite amazing to be courageous in a way that is also vulnerable, that also invites in the experience of the other without having to compromise your own experience. And although an understanding may be achieved, that understanding may still involve parting ways with others, with outdated behavioral patterns, with various elements of the past which impede a better and brighter future. If you are called to honesty or to assert yourself this week, may you be vulnerageous (courageously vulnerable) and not try to cover up your feelings of exposure through acts of meanness or cruelty. It is totally possible to be honest and to be kind at the same time. In fact, you could be doing others the biggest favor in the world by being honest with them—and with yourself!! Even if it may not feel particularly good in the moment.

 

image by Joshua Halpern :: ecocourageous.com

Because beware, dear reader. Mercury conjoined Venus in Pisces on March 4, and instead of speeding past her, due to Mercury’s retrograde they joined once again on March 19, at the degree of Mercury’s station. Being duplicitous and trying to say whatever you think will get you what you want under this Mercury retrograde may indeed backfire. What you get will most likely be something quite different from what you wanted, as your “pretty words” or attempts to be nice rather than be real do not drive home the true depth or gravity of the message you wish to convey. Diplomacy is always a good idea, but not at the expense of integrity. Many of us will be reflecting on what spans the spectrum of kindness to cruelty, diplomacy to deceit during this Mercury retrograde which runs through May 3.

The Sun in Aries can indicate an aggravated kind of energy that is prone to conflict, simply because of its direct and pointed nature. One great way to temper this tendency is to take an approach of advocacy, even advocating for oneself, for example, instead of adopting a defensive or aggressive posture. And even though diplomacy could be complicated during the Mercury retrograde period, it can be helpful to orient towards a goal which serves some higher principles, anchoring your actions in the best of motivations without fooling yourself about what you want and how you go about getting it.

In fact, one interesting potential of this particular Mercury retrograde period is taking time to get in touch with—frankly—the complete jerk inside of you. The one who is aggressive, aggravated as hell and simply aggravating. This process will be different for different people and note that the aggravated one inside of you may be impatient with YOU rather than anything in the outside world! If you are one who regularly acts out the inner jerk, it is a great opportunity to revisit your relationship with that part of you. Are your needs actually being met by that part of you? Is the disruption that it is causing in your life actually wanted? Or are you making yourself (and others) miserable with a combative attitude? For those who suppress the inner jerk, it’s also a fantastic time to re-evaluate that relationship, too. Mars has an important function to fulfill in helping us to achieve our personal goals—and it’s wonderful when those are connected to greater values and a sense of belonging to the community of life. But everyone has needs and desires and a will to create. Whether you suppress this part or inflate this part of you, how might you listen more carefully to what this aggravated part of you is saying? What is the aggravation really pointing to? You just might discover a great ally who can help you determine your energetic limits and what you can actually physically accomplish and do!

Key dates:
Mar. 8 Mercury enters its own shadow at 4° Aries
Mar. 22 Mercury stations retrograde at 16° Aries
Apr. 15 Mercury stations direct at 4° Aries
May 3 Mercury exits its own shadow at 16° Aries

 

 

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

 

Make Me a Dream of the Earth: Astrology of Mar. 13 – Mar. 19, 2018

Sorry to miss writing last week’s forecast due to illness.

We’re already into the week of the Pisces New Moon, as inner planets begin to drip out of Pisces into Aries, with the last one out being the Sun on March 20. Mercury has scampered ahead of the Sun, diving into the fiery sign of Aries on March 5 with Venus following suit on March 6. This change of mood after a five-planet Piscean pile-up may see the song of compassion of the last two weeks abruptly cut off with a question of “What about me?” Particularly as Venus makes a square aspect to Saturn (exact Mar. 13) some of us may feel less social or wish to associate only with trusted acquaintances. Under this influence others may re-ignite old relationships that have grown aloof, or decide to finally sever contacts. Saturn is an interesting character in this way, for its limits and restrictions can foster that which is of service and benefit to the structures of destiny in our lives both through the action of securing and bonding, and by removing and clearing away. Saturn’s main concern is with that which will be enduring and of value to the greater whole of our lives and the community it serves.

JUPITER STATIONING
Meanwhile the planet of forgiveness, generosity, optimism and excess, Jupiter, is stationing at 23° Scorpio, turning retrograde on March 8. Jupiter will be at 23° Scorpio until April 6 and has been there since February 24, which will bring an extra Jupiterian push to whatever in your chart is in the 18° to 28° range of the fixed signs (Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus and Leo) or from 20° to 26° of the other two water signs (Pisces and Cancer). Jupiter usually spends only five or six days traversing one degree of the zodiac, so watch out if that’s aspecting your natal Venus, as you may find your eyeballs wanting to be much much bigger than your wallet during this period! Jupiter loves indulgences and luxuries, even gluttony. It need not bring excess, however, and may be just the thing to lift you over an obstacle or buoy your spirit through an otherwise challenging time, depending on how it is aspecting your birth chart.

MERCURY RETROGRADE
(Note: I am using the pronoun “they” to refer to Mercury, as it well captures Mercury’s in-between and (non)dual nature.) Mercury, our fair messenger, salesperson and patron of travelers, is now approaching their point of maximum eastern elongation which happens as Mercury stations retrograde at 16° Aries on March 22. The effects of the Mercury retrograde may manifest even now, as they travel through the “shadow” of their retrograde, that part of the zodiac which will be thrice trodden by Mercury before its retrograde period is over. While it’s true that communications can become jumbled or confused during Mercury’s retrograde, there are many positive qualities that may be harnessed. Looking at the planetary aspects which Mercury will make during this particular retrograde, its influence will be helpful for reviewing, reconnecting with or revisiting one’s roots; generally revisiting the past; retrieving that which is lost or missing or has been overlooked; engaging in act of “respect,” as in re-spect (to look again), a willingness to take another look or a more searching look; and be sure to include your own shortcomings if re-visiting old riffs, tiffs or difficulties in order to glean the most from this retrograde’s potential for releasing old stories and embracing a new outlook.

 

Pisces New Moon 2018

NEW MOON IN PISCES
We are also gifted with the Pisces New Moon this week at 6:11am US/Pacific on Saturday, March 17, 2018. Looking ahead at the next Full Moon (happening in Libra on March 31) for guidance on what seeds might best be planted in this rich cosmic soil, you might turn to the dream time and ask Dream Maker for dreams concerning your devoted action or dreams that point out the direction of your service to the Community of Life. Don’t forget that there are times that community service is inward- rather than outward-focused, as we are unable to share the water of life if our own bucket is empty. You could ask Dream Maker for dreams about how the Earth dreams through you and how that fits into a longer trajectory, perhaps spanning multiple lives, or simply beyond your lifetime, or maybe in terms of decades rather than years. These intentions to learn about your life’s service from dream time could bear fruit as the Moon grows large in the sky.

Mercury’s retrograde through this New Moon to Full Moon cycle suggests the dance between assertion and receptivity—reaching out to penetrate and allowing oneself to be penetrated. The signs in the sky suggest that receptivity isn’t a matter of just laying about waiting for something to happen, but actively opening, listening….listening and being winnowed, opening to being sculpted by the hidden desire that seeks you, that reveals itself through genuine attention and curiosity…and not a colonizer’s curiosity. This receptivity is not about seeking possessions, but about finding how to be neither the possessor nor the possessed, surrendering to the generative dance of desire that makes bonds freely, bonds which are enduring, if demanding.

For the Libra Full Moon to come portends the discipline of passion, devotion in love, being so humble as to know how to be of service, that service be passionate and yet committed to a long term vision. Mars enters Capricorn on March 17, soon to conjoin Saturn, and it brings the capacity for strategy, planning, and attention to the necessities to achieve and accomplish and climb that mountain. Forget about impossible perfection and being in absolute control, and don’t mistake naked ambition for good strategy—devote yourself to serving love, that all too messy and wild creature, and what of your drive and direction is worthy will persist even through this year’s Mars retrograde (coming June 26 – August 27, 2018).

Key dates:
Mar. 8 Mercury enters its own shadow at 4° Aries
Mar. 22 Mercury stations retrograde at 16° Aries
Apr. 15 Mercury stations direct at 4° Aries
May 3 Mercury exits its own shadow at 16° Aries

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 by email 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