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SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2018

Astrology Update, April 9th, 2017: Where Have I Been? (Fun With Mercury Retrograde)

To those of you who missed my post that should have happened yesterday, I apologize for its absence, and offer the following as explanation:

While I don’t normally discuss my health problems in public, and generally try to work around them as much as possible so that they don’t disrupt my writing, speaking, or event appearances, over the past few months my health has gotten much worse.  I’ve wrestled with a combination of autoimmune and genetic disorders for a few years now, but in recent weeks they’ve become unruly enough to limit my activities significantly.  Again, I normally try to work around my symptoms wherever possible, as I’d rather not allow illness-imposed limitations to define me.  But this weekend has had me in some of the worst pain I’ve yet experienced, and while my dear friends at CoSM helped me to navigate it well enough to read Tarot for guests at this weekend’s Full Moon Gathering and beyond, my limited energy has forced me to make some hard choices regarding what I can and can’t do.

I had written a fair portion of yesterday’s analysis before the worst of the pain hit me, but eventually got to a point where I simply couldn’t focus on the screen anymore, and stayed in pain and distracted enough by it for the rest of the day that I could not return to my writing until today.  Given that yesterday saw the station of Mercury turning retrograde, it is perhaps appropriate that this was the day when I just couldn’t keep up with my writing alongside the Tarot readings and the health struggles – Mercury retrograde in Taurus is very concerned with what is practical, after all, and writing yesterday turned out to be a practical impossibility for me.

This should not be taken as an indication that I will not continue to write, as multiple people have indicated that these updates are helpful to them, and writing about the astrological events of the day is something that I generally find enjoyable.  However, this weekend’s experiences have made it clear to me that I can’t continue to be completely stoic in public about what I’ve been going through, and sometimes I have to drop one mode of service and communication for a bit in order to be able to maintain another.  I hope that these quiet intervals don’t detract too much from the overall flow of useful information for my readers here, and I appreciate your understanding as I navigate the more difficult spaces in my personal journey.

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Yesterday’s lunar activity was mostly in the very early morning hours, starting with the Moon in Virgo opposing Venus retrograde in Pisces, putting our rational, practical instincts and emotions at odds with our reassessment of our affections and modes of connecting with others.  For those of us who were still awake (or just waking) at that hour we may have found ourselves pulling back from connecting with others, or feeling more isolated, and reassessing our relationships as a result.  Our dreams may also have been affected by this influence, and it is worthwhile to note any dreams remembered for information that may be useful to us in navigating our relationships as we move forward through this retrograde period.

Within minutes of the Moon/Venus opposition the Moon in Virgo squared Saturn retrograde Sagittarius, reinforcing the continuing reverberations of the previous day’s Venus/Saturn square on an emotional and instinctive level, creating a T-square formation with Saturn as the release point for the tensions built up during the Moon/Venus opposition.  Since Saturn reinforces limitations, this is not an easy release point, but rather a reminder of the need for discipline and boundaries to help navigate challenging waters in our relations with others.

The Moon turned void-of-course with this configuration, emphasizing the need to reflect on the lessons of the aspects that we have experienced during the Moon’s transit through Virgo.  The void-of-course period is a reflective, receptive space in the lunar cycle, a time to ease down from our usual action-orientation and float in our unconscious for a while.  Since the Moon/Saturn square can have us feeling lonely and isolated, it can help to be with close family and friends during void-of-course periods, falling back into routine and waiting until the Moon enters the next sign before embarking on anything new.

Yesterday this period only lasted a few hours before the Moon entered Libra, still in the morning.  Our instinctive responses became less critical and fussy, and more concerned with peace and harmony, more interested in building and maintaining our relationships.  Since Libra is an air sign, it is still more cerebral than touchy-feely, more interested in the theory of emotion than getting in the thick of our messier feelings.  Libra is ruled by Venus, and carries forward some of the detail-orientation of Virgo by emphasizing a desire for beauty and harmony on all levels, which can lead the Libra Moon to be thrown off-balance by even minor disruptions in our environments.  The Libra Moon may be rational, but that doesn’t stop it from being romantic and idealistic, and we may find ourselves more easily distressed now by the discrepancy between how we want things to be and how they actually are.  That said, Libra eternally sees both sides of an equation, knows that there are multiple perspectives and multiple stories at work in any situation, and is obsessed with balancing the scales.  We may find ourselves far more concerned with what is “fair” now, and less quick to take action or make decisions without carefully weighing the consequences, especially those that affect other people.  Given Libra’s ruler Venus’ current retrograde, we may find that this Libra Moon is even less decisive, more caught up in considering and reconsidering our interactions with others and our feelings toward them.  Our aesthetic sense can be heightened by this transit, and so can our sociability, even with the lingering influence of the Venus/Saturn square and both of those planets’ retrogrades.  We may find that sociability a bit more awkward than is normal for a Libra Moon, but the instinct to pursue it is still there.

To add to the awkwardness, the late afternoon/early evening saw Mercury stationing retrograde in Taurus, bringing the number of planets currently retrograde up to four.  Mercury retrograde has a rough reputation in the popular consciousness as a time of technological and communication mishaps, and yes, it pays to be extra careful about backing up data, re-reading emails before we hit “send” and spending a bit more time on editing, and being cautious with travel plans and contracts.  With this retrograde crossing back over the first few degrees of Taurus and heading back into Aries, this is a time to reconsider our thoughts and communication in relation to practical matters in the physical world, including our bodily health for the Taurus portion of the retrograde (Taurus being very rooted in sensory experience and Mercury governing health and medicine), with the retrograde reflection turning to matters of personal will, focus, and identity later this month with the Aries portion of the retrograde.  With Taurus’ ruler Venus in retrograde as well, there may be a need to give extra consideration to how our communication impacts our relationships both in the practical world of Taurus and in the more self-concerned and action-oriented world of Aries.  Shared technology may especially be affected, with potential mishaps highlighting disparities between the communication needs of those sharing that tech.  For people with Mercurial temperaments or working in Mercury-related fields (health, media, teaching), this retrograde may feel slow and ponderous between now and the last week of April, and then suddenly feel more active (but also potentially more disruptive) during that last week of April and the first few days of May.  For Mercury-ruled signs (Gemini and Virgo) especially, Mercury retrograde can lead to feelings of being stuck, but it can also be a time to get off the treadmill of constant mental activity and communication, and it definitely pays to schedule more time for meditation and reflection now, so that we can move forward with more clarity when Mercury goes direct in May.  Seeing this time as an opportunity rather than an obstacle really does help.

Yesterday evening saw the Moon in Libra sextiling Black Moon Lilith in Sagittarius, giving some gentle support to our emotions and instincts from the more intense side of our unconscious, exploring the darkness within our beliefs without getting us too bogged down in it, instead helping us to gain a greater sense of wholeness regarding what we believe and how that impacts our feelings and our relationships.  We were likely to be drawn to spend more time with those who shared our beliefs last night, reinforcing tribal ties and enhancing our faith and optimism through our social connections.

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider becoming one of my supporters on Patreon, where I will be posting the digital art that accompanies today’s analysis a little later in the day, along with some background on its creation.  Not only will you get an inside look into my divinatory art, but you will also help keep this blog alive and me writing and creating art daily.  I am incredibly grateful for my supporters!

Or, if you’re not into the monthly pledge thing but still want to show some support and get some art in the process, please visit my RedBubble page, where a selection of my digital art and my divinatory drawings are available printed on everything from clothing to notebooks to cellphone cases, as well as art prints.  My Etsy shop is also a good place to visit for both printed art and wearables, as well as my hand-crafted herbal dream pillows.  Every sale helps me to continue what I do here, and I deeply appreciate the support!

All aspect times used in creating this post are calculated for Pacific Standard Time.  I tend to speak in broad terms when I reference time on this blog, referring to time-frames like “morning” or “afternoon” rather than specific times, since I still have a lot of friends on the East Coast who read these posts and I’d like them to be pertinent to those friends as well as folks here on the West Coast.  Readers from further abroad will need to adjust time-frames accordingly.

Please keep in mind that we all have different responses to the aspects of the day because we all have different natal and progressed charts with which these aspects interact.  If you would like to know more about your own natal and progressed charts in order to better understand how the aspects of the day will affect you, please take a look at my astrological services, and let’s get started on helping you to understand your life better!  The threads of fate can only be adjusted when we start from a place of deep self-knowing.

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