by Heather Roan Robbins
From my 2010 overview (written in 2008): “In 2010 disciplinarian Saturn and change-making Uranus shift signs from adaptable Virgo and Pisces into proactive, dynamic Libra and Aries, and they both form an unsettling, innovative T-square with transformative Pluto in Capricorn. ..While this wild astrological earthquake can break open the potential of the future, it also puts stress on the cracks in the culture… Stress along the fault lines can literally shift the ground underneath us as the elements remind us of their primordial power.”
Tectonic plates, like our human lives are shifting; where there are frequent, subtle shifts that allow adjustments and new relationships, we can make the change with mere tremors. Where our lives get stuck like the tectonic plates under Haiti for the last 200 years, sudden change can tear us open. Our hearts and prayers go out to all involved in that earthquake, and all who come to their aid, particularly through the challenging transits of this weekend.
Mercury turns direct today after three weeks retrograde. Mercury retrograde proliferates Mercurial mistakes, snafus around communication, electronics, transportation, and judgment. While it may help us meditate, reconnect with the past or finish old work, it has a high “oops” factor on the best of day, and occasionally precipitates some real tragedies.
This has been a wild retrograde cycle, transportation has been totally snarled up since the attempted terrorist bomb was smuggled on an airplane on Christmas Day, the beginning of this retrograde cycle. The evening news has been snarled up since with cross talk about that security issue and subsequent transportation snags, from freak ice storms in the south to a man sneaking back in for a kiss and shutting down Newark airport. In the heart of this is Haiti, struggling to handle a disaster with all their communications systems in shambles.
Mercury retrograde usually asks us to slow down, stop; meditate or reconnect to the past. Go back and find those missing people, places, ideas, contacts and dreams. Find the unfinished projects, the prickly misunderstandings, lost people or things, and bring them up to the light of day to be evaluated and either release them to the cosmic compost, or clear the dust off and go.
But this has been an unusual retrograde cycle because a line-up of planets in Capricorn made it harder than usual to rest; we wanted to get on with work, but may have spun our wheels, or had to clean up an old project before a new one began. Or if were smart, we gathered tools and information about a new project (probably an old one reborn in a new form) and are getting ready to dig in next week.
But first Mercury has to do its thing, appear to change directions; though the retrograde cycle is just a quirk of the differential between its orbit and earth’s, it acts symbolically as if the planet backs up. Each planet’s retrograde has a unique flavor and assignment, but because Mercury is all about movement, we feel its retrograde more sharply than others.
This weekend, as Mercury retrogrades back to tag the symbolic lord of death and rebirth, Pluto, then turn direct, it clears the gutters, washes out the flotsam that gathered in our souls, minds or inbox. We need to deal with that flotsam. Find what caused the misunderstandings or what was really wrong with the car, what plot was hatched in the brooding recesses of some dark mind, or what or who under the rubble. We need to honor the memories of the missing, the feelings or fears of loss that Mercury conjunct Pluto can bring up. And then begin a constructive response.
Also today, a New Moon/eclipse in Capricorn conjuncts the planet of loving-kindness, Venus; both the Moon and Venus then enter Aquarius over the next few days. Capricorn gets work done, and Venus opens the heart, so this offers great potential for an efficient, concerted and collective response to the Haitian disaster.
Early next week Jupiter enters Pisces. Jupiter likes being in Pisces, and as Jupiter often spurs generosity, we may see an outpouring of donations for disaster relief and feel a new camaraderie in our own life. As Jupiter is also associated with the liberal party of politics, we may begin to see a change in fortune for the Democratic Party. Though the danger with Jupiter in Pisces is diffusion and disorganization, its gift can be luck and bigger dreams.
Over the next few weeks, Venus in Aquarius helps us to see ourselves embedded in a group larger than ourselves and to get emotional satisfaction from that. Though sometimes it can make us emotionally far-sighted, better as seeing what the global community needs than what we or our most intimate companions need. So let’s remember to ask, especially as Venus trines Saturn later in the week and encourages us to shift some relationship, help us deepen trust by being there for one another.
Friday, Jan 15: Think of a woven Chinese finger puzzle, the more we pull and effort, the tighter we get stuck. But if we relax, coordinate and let the world spin around us, we can make subtle and efficient moves need to turn the situation around. Let’s finish, polish, and be ready to handle any wild cards thrown at us as Mercury turns direct. Communications breakthrough likely this afternoon; we get the raw data whether we like it or not, and can begin. Teamwork and community abound later as the Moon enters Aquarius and trines Saturn, but we may need all the help we can get. Gather together this creative, collective night.
Saturday, Jan 16: Impatience revs us, we are aching to get on with it, ready for the next step, but there are still boulders in the way. If straining at the bit makes us edgy and clumsy as the Moon opposes Mars this afternoon, we need to keep breathing, review, and get all our ducks in a row. Physical efforts further; if we can coordinate our efforts, anything can be accomplished. Evening still has a bite, but may also bring a cause for celebration. Unwind.
Sunday, Jan 17: Intuition and emotions flow this morning, hearts want to unlodge a chunk of grit if only we can make it safe to do so as the Moon conjuncts Chiron, Neptune and Jupiter while the Moon waltzes into Pisces. We have a backlog of emotions that need to be processed, tears cried, laughter felt; how can we re-imagine our responsibility to our community, and how can we share out love more freely. Dream together now; take action in the weeks to come.
Monday, Jan 18: Great new ideas flood in, but emotions are running an equally high tide, an abstract and existential overflow as Venus conjuncts the Moon and enter Aquarius. Let it flow and don’t read too much into local events, we are reverberating with the collective mind. Sort the great ideas for practicality and experiment from there. Invention, impromptu solutions. Something may point out how vulnerable we can feel, but this can make us more sensitive and therefore more adept if we also feel the strength underneath.
Tuesday, Jan 19: The Sun joins the Moon and Venus in Aquarius, the political sign: it’s time to network our buns off. Incidents will trigger a need for action but the first action needs to be to gather the team and get on the same page. Weaving together and caretaking our human connections will make the work ahead easier in the long run. Tonight, some recently made plan needs to be adjusted as the Moon conjuncts Uranus; stay flexible.
Wednesday, Jan 20: As the Moon enters Aries we drop assumptions and do what we wanted to do all along, whether or not it’s wise. Action picks up; independence asserts itself, so how can we listen to our own voice and still work the collective. Frustration can flash out as anger, let’s look for the root cause and fix that. Political debate is healthy, political attack may not be; be proactive not reactive. Watch a judgmental streak; don’t dismiss apparent idiots nor let them define the terms as the Moon squares Pluto and opposes Saturn later. Operate from kindness first and foremost. Some final cut needs to be made, but do it carefully.
Thursday, Jan 21: Think before speaking this morning; it’s so easy to shoot off unproductively as the Aries Moon squares Mercury. But we can put action into our intentions this afternoon as the Moon trines Mars, it feels good to get physically tired and work off some impatience in the process. We bond over work, work over agreements, but may be working too hard to be romantic. Decisive action taken, dotted lines signed; agreements made now will manifest change as Venus trines Saturn.