by Heather Roan Robbins
Is life getting a bit strange these days? Mercury is retrograde Oct 12 through Nov 1. When Mercury is retrograde, when the peculiarities of its orbit make Mercury look like it’s moving slowly backwards in the sky, things get strange. Everything we associate with Mercury takes on a unique twist: the scintillation of mind and nervous system we think of as Mercurial as well as the nervous systems of our world, the electrical internet and transportation conduits, communications, publishing, broadcasting, understanding, learning, honesty. During the three weeks, three times a year, that Mercury retrogrades, we tend to look more into the past than into the future, look more internally than understand externally. It’s a great time to review, revise, compost the past, and finish unfinished projects.
But right now it’s so tempting to make a radical decision, to speak our minds or cut off the past to make room for the future (whether this is wise or not), to rush (sometimes successfully, and sometimes not) as retrograde Mercury in Scorpio forms a grand trine with energized, protective Mars in Cancer and erratic, electrical Uranus in Pisces. This grand trine brings a note of genius and danger, and we need to provide the wisdom to know the difference.
Delays may be less of a problem than normal under Mercury retrograde, but the Mars/Uranus pressure to rush can trigger off some spectacular accidents. Let’s play it safe as stay extra awake and aware. Our minds are working as sharply as our reflexes, we so let’s watch what we say and when we say it. Though the energy is sporadic, with bursts of brilliance and activity marbled with moments of sloth; sometime we may just want to stop altogether, to sleep and dream.
Mercury in Scorpio imparts mental focus that can empower our meditation retreat or a brain-storming session, but can also inspire a lapse of judgment if we magnify what we’re concentrating on and take it out of proportion. We can develop an obsession, fix on a suspicious theory even though evidence is to the contrary, unless we look for the truth and not just for support of our conceptions.
On a more practical level, this streak of ingenuity offers practical technical solutions, though it’s best to avoid buying any electrical equipment unless we absolutely have to this retrograde cycle. If we have to buy anything, it’s good to keep the receipt until we know for sure if the item works, and is actually what we wanted. While we’re driving, building, working with mechanical or electrical contraption of any kind, we need to pay extra attention and not move faster than our reflexes can fly. Make it a dance, not a race, and stay safe.
Because relationships are sparking in both the best and worst sense, and take extra work right now to maintain mutual understanding, some person from our past or fantasy future can be a distraction. But probably not a realistic one. A dip into the past can be productive if it really does enrich the future with new understanding or a forgotten treasure.
This weekend we want to feel relevant. A melancholic streak underlies a good community spirit; we may feel lonely in a crowd or ponder deeper existential questions as we wander through harvest fest or flea-market, groups may be easier than intimate relations as the Sun trines Pluto.
Early next week brings an emotionally squishy and sensitive time as Mercury semi-squares Jupiter under a Pisces Moon. We can grow understanding by chewing our cud, by non-goal oriented conversations. Explore, relax with one another, and tend to the gentle stream of feeling. Specific goals may frustrate, but trust builds where we feel accepted and heard. Treat others’ vulnerability as an honor and a responsibility. Do not worry about, nor wallow in, a moment of self pity; let it wash through. Notice the tenderness and potential underneath and explore good uses of sensitivity.
Mid-week our patience disappears as the Sun enters Scorpio and the Moon enters Aries. If, over the last few days, we felt unsafe in tender moments, we’ll fight back now. Communications can take on a gritty, irritating tone, but we probably don’t mean to sound so edgy as the Sun conjuncts Mercury and both sesqui-square Uranus. Let’s take a deep breath before reacting and not be easily insulted. Give everyone some room and back away from flammable situations. Focus mental intensity carefully to keep it constructive. Work this fire out of the body; long walks, yoga or a tough football game all help. Watch for technical glitches and sticky switches or misunderstood technical data; check all circuits. Luckily Mercury retrogrades back into Libra and helps open our mind to the other person’s point of view.
Friday, Oct 19 morning can be frustrating, big plans are hard to accomplish under a void Capricorn Moon. Afternoon brings more cooperation, keep the focus on the goal and off the personalities as the Moon enters Aquarius. Clear short term decisions, good strategy, practical problem solving as Mercury sextiles Saturn, but empathy is scarce. Enjoy evening camaraderie, but don’t take communication for granted.
Saturday, Oct 20 sit back and take in the overview, forget the details. Get back to what matters most as the Sun sextiles Pluto and stirs up a soul longing and wakes up memories of the times and places and people that have washed by. Bittersweet decisions loom, like throwing a way an old beloved pair of boots to make room for the new. Farsighted, philosophical, but we may miss clues about the needs of those closest. Evening has a magical, fantastical edge as the Moon conjunct Neptune; dream or live out a dream.
Sunday, Oct 21 is friendly and stubborn, it’s easy to tune in with a small group, but we want our personal space respected. Use any opportunity to build connection with out prying; don’t get stuck on the specifics. If too many pieces make it hard to create a synthesis, let it be a collage. Allow room for true solitude later afternoon, and let ingenuity and a generous spirit bridge a gap tonight as Moon trines Mercury.
Monday, Oct 22 play it cool this morning, but keep efforts steady where needed, its easy to get off track as frustrating aspects clash with unusual sensitivity. It’s great for creative projects or imaginative injection, but these very sensitivities can make tactful situations more awkward this afternoon as the Pisces Moon opposes Venus. Gentle diplomacy gets us farther than sharp edges. Watch a tendency to sulk, see if it can become a dream instead; shift in perspective or venue opens the flow round dinner time. Nurture nerves and reserves tonight.
Tuesday, Oct 23 a serious note plays as the Sun enters Scorpio while the Moon squares Pluto. Tiredness or loneliness of the soul may be triggered by sad events or ghosts of the past; we can let it open our hearts. Early on we may need time in our favorite daydream or curled up upon ourselves as the Sun conjuncts Mercury and both sesqui-square Uranus. We may prefer to keep a raw vulnerability to ourselves, but watch a tendency to dominate if feeling nervous. Keep plans loose and responsive, flow around the glitches. Communication is staccato, interrupted; be patient and direct. People matter more than schedules or lists as the Moon enters Aries tonight.
Wednesday, Oct 24 is irritable and impatient; laugh often. Movement helps unstop tensions, but whether we change or erupt is our choice. Power struggles may come to the boil over the next few days, a rebellion’s in the works. Let off steam elsewhere instead of at each other; keep long term goals in mind before reacting. Mercury retrogrades back into Libra and gives us a more generous and diplomatic mental filter. Light talk can feel irrelevant but is essential; the flow of words reduce friction and encourage soul movement below the verbal level.
Thursday, Oct 25 brings an itch for something completely different as Venus conjuncts Uranus. New information can change our hearts but we won’t bend to mere willful pressure; we’re curious but stubborn. The energy is restless; experimental aesthetics, flirtatious but not necessarily with good judgment. Watch a desire to run away; a break helps, a new relationship probably won’t. If our dear ones suffer by comparison to an ideal, we’re dreaming; wake up and negotiate instead. Tonight a Full Moon in sensuous, possessive Taurus tugs at our conflicting desires, jealousies, primitive emotions and primitive joys. But simple luxury and comfort can soothe.