Mercury retrograde in Taurus | Creation Alchemy

shutterstock_300721562

Mercury will slow to station retrograde on Thursday, April 28 at 23 degrees Taurus as it reverses through the zodiac until it turns direct on May 22 at 14 degrees Taurus.

This Mercury retrograde in Taurus takes us on a journey of creation alchemy.  We’ll become intimate with our inner muse and instinctive desires for the purpose of transforming our lives to be in alignment with our core values.

Mercury is the planet that symbolizes communication, journeys and learning.  It’s normally associated with quickness, but in the fixed Earth sign of Taurus it’s more deliberate and thoughtful.

Mercury in Earth puts an emphasis on the physical world – computers, phones, keys, shoes, cars and our physical bodies – especially the throat – are likely to be affected by Mercury rx in Taurus.  Normal patterns are interrupted or these things break or get damaged, so take extra care of your physical body, items and environment.

Taurus is concerned with survival, self-sufficiency and self-worth.  It’s rooted, stable and grounded.  There’s a sense of withdrawal and limitation with Taurus so taking small, considered steps is key.

Mercury in Taurus can procrastinate, be lazy and downright stubborn.  But what it wants is substance.  Fortunately, this isn’t one of those wild and frantic Mercury rx periods, so we’ll be more able to take time to consider before making important decisions.

As with all retrogrades, our efforts are best spent in activities of “re-doing” such as reviewing, revising, re-evaluating.    

Withdrawing into ourselves to re-asses what we truly value and how we can more fully align with those values is the key lesson for this Taurus Mercury retrograde.  

Venus, the ruling Earth Goddess

Venus rules this Taurus Mercury retrograde so we may find ourselves reviewing our self-worth, money, possessions and sensuality.

She’ll join both Mercury rx and the Sun in Taurus on Friday, April 29 and for most of May we’ll have an Earth Grand Trine bringing us back to our practical and organic Earthly nature.

Venus in her rulership of Taurus wants peace and luxury in the comfort of her own home. Her taste is refined, cultivated and of exceptional quality.  She’s stable, tactile and sensual.  

During retrogrades the barriers between our conscious and subconscious minds, calling in our creative muse. 
Perhaps during this Mercury retrograde, you’ll re-visit a talent for painting, writing, pottery, singing or another creative pursuit and take the time needed to develop it with quality and devotion.

Mercury retrograde cycle – Alchemy of Reflection and Experimentation

In order to align more naturally with the Mercury rx cycle, it’s important to be aware of the 3 phases of the cycle.  

As Mercury stations direct on Thursday, April 28 marking the start of the 1st phase of the retrograde cycle, the focus being one of withdrawal and reflection.  

This is a time to “bring home the knowledge of experience” and reflect on where we currently stand in terms of our survival needs, values and self-worth.   

May 9 is Mercury’s inferior conjunction with the Sun and the “climax phase” of the retrograde period.  Think of this as Mercury’s reaching a symbolic “full moon phase” of this cycle. Keep your eyes open for profound insights and information being revealed.

The intention then shifts to the 3rd phase of experimentation, risk and adventure.  At this point, we’ll be emerging from contemplation and acting on our intuitive insights and instinctive desires.  

The alchemy will have created a deeper sense of personal truth and self-worth within us that needs expression in the world.

Meanwhile, in other retrogrades…

Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are all currently retrograde and with Mercury, that makes 5 planets retrograde at one time, intensifying our internal stirrings.  It’s quite an about-face from the All Planets Direct we experienced at the start of 2016.  

The call to the past is strong.  Connections to our ancestral lineage and the ancient wisdom passed down through generations is seeping through the collective consciousness.

There perhaps is no better symbol of this effect than the image of Harriet Tubman as the new face on the US currency, which made news as Mercury entered Taurus (Taurus = money).  Her eyes speak to the courage and foresight of past generations and that which is truly valuable and timeless – human dignity.

tubman

This Mercury retrograde, take the slow, scenic route and appreciate the view.  Slow down and be deliberate with your decisions and choice of words.  The time will come to re-emerge from the alchemy with a renewed voice and sense of value.

Join me on Monday, May 2 at 7pm EST for a Mercury retrograde webinar: Alchemy of Reflection and Experimentation.  I’ll show you how to make the most of the 3 phases of Mercury retrograde and answer your questions on this transformational time.

Prince’s Farewell Full Moon

prince-composite-bh (1)

“A strong spirit transcends rules.”

-Prince

The Scorpio Full Moon was exact this morning April 22 at 1:23 am with the Moon at 2 degrees Scorpio and the Sun opposing at 2 degrees Taurus.

Scorpio is the sign of sex, death and transformation so it’s poignant that our beloved Prince departed to the land of the ancestors at this time.

Scorpio is ruled by Mars (traditional) and Pluto (modern).  Both planets stationed retrograde less than a week ago (read about Mars rx and Pluto rx) and rule Prince’s chart.

The Scorpio Full Moon fell right on his natal Neptune and 2 degrees from his North Node of Destiny, both in Scorpio in the 12th house creating a personal eclipse affect for him.  In March, Saturn – Lord Karma – stationed retrograde opposite his natal Gemini Sun, an indication of the suppression of life force.

It’s as if Lord Karma, the ancestors and angels gathered at the portal of the retrogrades to welcome him as his soul was beckoned home.

It seems a shame that the world loses such a unique and inspiring human being.  When we look back at his life and career – what we know of it at least – he seems like he was born for a special destiny.

And indeed he was.

From his birthchart, we see that Mars – traditional ruler of his Ascendant – was at 0 Aries, the “Aries Point” which begins the zodiac.  To have Mars in it’s rulership there at the most significant degree of the zodiac is an indication of someone with passion, will and directness that can make an impact on the world.  Pluto – the modern ruler of his AC – was conjunct his Midheaven at the anaretic degree of 29 Leo, suggesting urgency and power to be expressed in the outer world through career or public image.

This is someone who had daring to express himself.  Even though his Moon-Mercury square indicated he could be overly sensitive, distrustful and even shy with others, still – he dared to play big and leave it all on the stage.

13059813_10157445706123125_661386449_n

I didn’t have the pleasure to see Prince in concert, but I do have my own Prince story.  In the mid-90’s as a college student I had a weekend gig as a cigarette girl at his nightclub in South Beach Miami called Glam Slam.

On my first night all dolled up in costume, I was taken upstairs to his ‘lair’ for his aesthetic approval.  He spoke softly and was surprisingly tiny but had a powerful presence.

I never saw him again after that.  He apparently would visit now and then but mostly stayed in his private area upstairs where he could look down on his ‘court’ and witness the dancing and debauchery from above (so very Scorpio of him).  But the nights when we heard that “Prince was in the house” there was a palpable sense of exhilaration in the air.

What I’m thankful for, is that the world was able to witness this being in all his glory.  Even his struggles, insecurities, frustrations and failures we can now see as being part of the whole of who he was.

He showed us how much our spirits truly crave fantasy, sensuality, and excellence.

The truth is, every being is unique, special and worthy of being cherished.  But when we see someone like Prince who took full advantage of his time on Earth – as if ‘Earth School’ were a stage to be performed on itself – it’s such an honor to have witnessed this life.

It takes your breath away.

Thank you, Prince for showing us what it means to follow your calling and give life your best.

Prince has left the building, but the legacy of his strong spirit lives on.

 

Prince

Chart image courtesy of Maurice Fernandez.

Pluto rx |Surrender to the Source of the Soul

pluto-rx

Pluto, the planet of metamorphosis, stationed retrograde on April 18 at 17 degrees Capricorn and will turn direct on September 26 at 14 degrees Capricorn. Pluto is retrograde about six months out of every twelve months. It’s the station periods – which are most intense in the days leading up to and following the station – is when it’s potency and power is at it’s most intense.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the Mars retrograde that occurred the day before the Pluto station rx. While their effects melded together somewhat, I felt Pluto needed his own post.

Having both of these planets at a heightened state is a pattern interruption that creates chaos within and without via uncontrollable forces of nature.

Pluto as the symbol of the Soul

In evolutionary astrology, Pluto is a representation of the Soul itself and it’s condition through many lifetimes. It’s the deep, unconscious self.

We may not normally be aware of our unconscious drives and impulses but once they’re brought to the light of awareness, there’s a knowing that resonates deeply. And it’s where our source of power lies.

Jeff Wolf Green writes that the journey of Pluto in retrograde is a dissatisfaction and disassociation from the status quo that breaks up the crystallization of the self in order to evolve.

It’s an emphasized “desire to return to the Source of the Soul.”

Secrets, sex and shame

When Pluto’s in the picture we’re dealing with the long-term issues that aren’t quickly or easily resolved. Pluto is the mythological Lord of the Underworld, so what’s been festering in the dark often is revealed. There’s numerous scandals hitting the news involving secrets revealed around sexual deviancy and the shame associated with it.

Venus in Aries is currently square Pluto rx giving direct expression to our relationship power struggles and impatience. A Kali-like feminine energy arises with the daring to confront the demons and the dark head-on. Though even our courage may need to yield for relationship twists of fate and internal recalibration.

Surrender

With Pluto, the true power lies in surrendering to the forces of transformation. Pluto rx acts to peel off the ego layer by layer to get to the heart of true essence.

It’s allowing the space for an alchemical ego death to take place before the exquisite metamorphosis.

Some questions for reflection during Pluto rx:
“Where am I stagnating?”
“Where do I continually give my power away?”
“What part of my false ego self is still sabotaging me?”

In astrology, the glyph for Pluto is like a stick figure with arms outstretched to the sky, as if in surrender. That’s the ultimate lesson of Pluto.

Matt Kahn of True Divine Nature says it best –

“Surrender isn’t about giving up, because this life requires your full participation.

It doesn’t have to be intense. It doesn’t have to be with a full grip. But surrender isn’t about giving up. Surrender is actually a journey.

The path of surrender takes you from fearing change to having the self-worth to know that you’re worthy of change. Change becomes the one thing that in most moments life is inviting you to do.

When you surrender, you surrender into change.”

Mars rx | Born for This

born-for-this

Mars, the planet of passion, drive and energy, stations retrograde today, April 17 at 8 Sagittarius through June 28 at 23 Scorpio when it will then station direct.  Mars will be retracing it’s steps that is passed since February 19 and will have us reflecting on the faith that guides us (Sagittarius) and well as unearthing deep truths (Scorpio).   

Heightened passions

Since the March 20 Equinox when the Sun entered Aries, we’ve been gifted with a sense of purpose as Mars and the Sun entered a trine by sign in the fire element.  Many of us may have had a sense of alignment and momentum, even as the world around us was chaotic.

Mars is an ‘ambassador’ of the Sun in that it fulfills the Sun’s ego intentions through it’s Martian use of action and drive.  Our desire to initiate and create (Sun in Aries) was advanced by our passionate beliefs and faith in our long-term vision (Mars in Sagittarius).

As Mars stations retrograde, it can serve as a wake-up call from the Universe saying “not so fast.  There’s something you missed.”  Looking back at the ground covered since Feb 19 may give us a clue as to what we may need to reflect on and resolve.

Royal Star Antares

As Mars slows to station retrograde today, April 17 at 8 Sagittarius is on the Antares star, the intensity peaks.  Antares is the brightest star in the Scorpio constellation and one of the four glorified Royal Stars of Persia.

Antares indicates great passions, deep transformation and warriorship.  It endows great success but warns of self-destruction if it’s intensity isn’t appropriately directed.

Joan of Arc is an excellent embodiment of the Antares archetype.  A peasant girl in Medieval France, she claimed to have been guided by God and Archangel Michael to lead thousands of soldiers into battle to defeat the English army and return the Dauphin to the throne.  

She became legendary for her passion, courage and unwaivering faith in her divine mission.

In some way, we’re each on a path from karma to dharma if we align with our unique mission to fulfill.  We may have gotten a taste of what that mission is about with Mars on Antares April 6-29.

The Hero Within

After all the recent gusto, inspiration and passion, it can feel incredibly disempowering when we sense a pulling back (or sideways) of the energy of the retrograde motion.  Our instincts can turn to frustration and we may blame others, our parents or our karma for plans gone awry.  

As Steven Forrest brilliantly put it, during Mars rx “we mistake our inner demons for our outer ones, and start throwing punches.”

During Mars retrograde we may manifest an external enemy who we see as blocking or thwarting our ambitions in some way, when in fact, the true work lies within us.

Erin Sullivan writes, “the most important feature of the Sun-Mars retrograde function is the difficulty with internalizing our solar hero and a tendency to continue to project it outside, seeing others as more sexy, more interesting, more successful, more powerful and so on.”

When our own inner demons come into view, it’s important to face them, reflect on them and make adjustments.  We’ll likely see more about how we assert ourselves, how we deal with frustration, where our passions are directed.  We’ll want to ask ourselves, “How is my frustration serving me and my mission of dharma?”

Consider the Mars retrograde a time of finding your inner strength and stamina.  It’s a powerful time of internal revolution, self-development and integration of your inner hero.

Mars retrograde will help us find out what we’re made of, so we can live the life we were born for.

Key dates

April 17 – Mars stations retrograde at 8 degrees Sagittarius, conjunct Antares

May 22 – Mars rx at 1 Sagittarius opposes the Sun at 1 Gemini

May 24 – Mars at 0 Sagittarius opposes Venus at 0 Gemini

May 28 – Mars rx enters Scorpio

June 9 – Mars rx 25 Scorpio trines Chiron 25 Pisces and opposes Mercury 25-26 Taurus (conjunct Algol)
June 28 – Mars stations direct at 23 Scorpio

August 23 – Mars at 9 Sagittarius conjuncts Saturn on Antares

Aries Super New Moon | The Entrepreneurial Impulse

Zaha Hadid

“An entrepreneur is an innovator, a game-changer, a disruptor, an adventurer.” – Richard Branson

As we emerge – alchemized – from eclipse season, we enter the exhilarating space of the Super New Moon in Aries, a catalyst of radical new beginnings.

The recent eclipses moved us to intimately align with our intuition. Now at this New Moon we’re invited to infuse our instinct and passion with that freshly nurtured intuition.

The Sun is exalted in Aries, and is especially potent at 18 Aries which is the degree of this New Moon exact at 7:23 am EST. The Sun here elevates the aggressive nature of Aries into one of divine solar life force energy. Our inner entrepreneur is awakened as we ignite bold new visions that begin to take form.

The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon is embedded with the image of a “MAGIC CARPET”. Dane Rudhyar translates this image into the use of “creative imagination.” Creativity and imagination allow us to transmute chaos into art and the mundane into miracles. The ‘magic carpet’ suggests levitation where we can rise above the everyday and breathe in the pure air of inspiration.

We’ll want to marshall all of our creative forces and our expansive vision to truly rise above what may appear as chaos in the collective as the New Moon triggers the the Uranus-Pluto square of revolutionary transformation. Innovation, rebellion and change at a deep level often ensues when the U-P square is activated and this fire-y New Moon will likely ignite more dramatic shifts in the world.

On a more personal level, the New Moon joined by Uranus can invite flashes of brilliant insight and shatter barriers to progress. Eris, the Goddess of discord and envy, will be in the mix as the Sun joins with her through Monday. Allow these forces to fuel your drive and creative vision eager to take form.

A supportive trine from Saturn in Sagittarius gifts us with generous doses of faith in ourselves and our long term vision, provided we practice diligence and moderation in our pursuits.

Interestingly, Saturn in Sagittarius has been described archetypally as an “architect” for ambitious projects. The recent passing of the ground-breaking architect Zaha Hadid illuminated what’s truly possible when one’s expansive vision, mastery and creative flair for innovation are unleashed with relentless passion.

This Super New Moon in Aries reminds us that we’re each the architects of our own dreams and the time is ripe to build.

Venus and Chiron in Pisces | Healing the Tender Heart

infinity-heart

We’re in the final phase of the eclipse vortex through the April 7 New Moon and for many of us our outward expressions of bravery are masking a deep inner wounding.

While the fast and furious energy of the Aries Sun-Mercury-Uranus squaring Pluto in Capricorn is capturing the headlines this week, a more subdued yet profound aspect is worth noting in the undercurrent of our experience – the conjunction of Venus-Chiron and the South Lunar Node in Pisces.

The Goddess of love (Venus) meeting the wounded healer (Chiron) and our past karma (South Lunar Node) in dreamy Pisces can have many manifestations ~

: Spontaneous expressions of love, creativity

: Loving unconditionally, without expectations

: Idealizing a past love or heartbreak

: Finally letting go of a past love with acceptance and gratitude

: Sharing one’s pain with another for healing or holding space for another’s pain

: Evaluating what’s truly valuable in life

: Meditating on the pain/grief/cruelty in the human experience and opening up to more love and compassion

: Releasing emotions and tears as a healing balm to wounds

: Losing oneself in art that touches, moves and inspires

: A healing moment of Grace

We want to remember that love is eternal – and just like energy, it can never be destroyed.  It only changes form.

While we often feel alone in our suffering, Venus is ultimately about relationships and harmony.  She wants us to connect with others, even if pain is the uniting force.

Compassion literally means “to suffer with.”

We don’t like the word “suffer” because it reminds us of our pain.  But without pain and suffering, there can be no compassion.

Join me for Wednesday’s final ritual in the Eclipse Ritual Series with my special guest, Rev. Erin-Ashley Kerti who will lead us in an Infinity Integration Ritual for healing, wholeness and integration of the eclipse experience.

“Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice DEEP LOOKING directed toward the other person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love.” – Thich Nhat Hanh