Don’t Feel Guilty if You Didn’t Sign Up for a Reading Challenge

books for mercury rtx course

Reading challenges have been popping up on Facebook and other social media sites throughout January. Goodreads, owned by Amazon, is a “social cataloging” website that allows readers to search for books, read reviews by other readers, and create lists of books to read. It also sponsors an annual challenge to motivate people to read more. I’m a member, so I poked around a little and discovered that some people read a lot of books. One woman read over 400 books in 2018. All I can say to that is: Wow! But the average reader pledges to read around 50 books, and not everyone who pledges actually reads any books.

Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies. I love a good mystery especially if it’s part of a series. I also enjoy books about gardening and decorating, and even some of the self-help books are good. Over the years I’ve read thousands of books and bought many of them, because I just enjoy looking at them on the bookshelf.

I know people who haven’t read a book cover to cover in decades. And despite what people say about people who don’t read, that’s really OK, because not everyone likes to read!

I thought about this today as I worked on the chart of a man who I know reads at least 100 books a year. It was easy to see in the chart why he enjoys reading. His chart has Mercury in Gemini conjunct Jupiter. Mercury conjunct Jupiter in Gemini increases emphasis on an already strong need to communicate, write, read, etc. He’s a professional journalist and earns his income from writing. Mercury also rules the 2nd house in his birth chart. The 2nd house is where we see information about earning potential as well as resources that have personal value. But not every chart has Mercury in Gemini conjunct Jupiter, the planet that expands everything it comes into contact with.

So, if you’re not a reader, or you are a reader but you think you should be reading more, don’t beat yourself up. The Mercury in your birth chart may not be not be in a position that encourages reading. And if you’re the parent of a child who doesn’t enjoy reading, it’s better to accept that than to scold your child because he or she doesn’t read more. We’re not created from the same mold. There are other ways to learn and be aware of what’s happening in our world.

If you’re curious about what the chart for your birth reveals about you, look at my Schedule a Reading page. Feel free to leave comments.

 

In-the-Gap New Moon Eclipse January 6

In the hours before the Balsamic Moon in Capricorn aligns with the Sun in Capricorn on January 6, the Moon will be enclosed between Saturn, also in Capricorn, and the Sun. In other words, the Moon will be in the tiny space between the Sun and Saturn. While these heavenly spheres are conjoined by degree (proximity to each other in the sky) two notable things are taking place.

  • The Sun, Moon, and Saturn are free from contact with other planets. In other words, they’re having a private conversation; and
  • When the Moon aligns with the Sun  at 15 degrees Capricorn at about 1:30 am GMT, a partial-solar eclipse occurs and the New Moon phase begins

I’ll deconstruct the above, starting with:

The Balsamic Moon

The Moon entered the Balsamic phase January 2, when it was in the late degrees of Scorpio and in an easy trine to Mars. The Moon to Mars connection may have rekindled  something within you or reconnected you to something or someone you feel deeply passionate about. This flow of emotional energy may have created in your new determination to follow through on whatever you had going on. This energy could also have manifested as an outburst or anger or conflict with someone. I draw your attention back to this date, because those emotions and events are part of a cycle. Seeds of something new were planted near January 2 and in the days that have followed, those seeds have grown roots.

The upcoming New Moon phase, from January 6–13, is when the seeds that were planted weeks (or even months ago) and have germinated will sprout and begin to grow in the world as the Moon grows again toward fullness. What happens to those newly sprouted seeds of hope and passion and desire depends on you.

Capricorn Conjunction

Capricorn has its own set of rules that planets passing through Capricorn adhere to. There are times when a planet’s condition can interrupt the normal flow of energy, but those conditions aren’t present at the moment. So, a strong Saturn that rules and is “at home” in Capricorn is “in charge” of things at this time. In Capricorn, Saturn is ambitious, disciplined, and conservative. Planets that pass through Saturn’s domain take on some of those attributes—his rules of the house.

The Sun LOVES Leo, where it’s at home. It naturally loves fun, leisure, and romance. In Capricorn, however, the Sun takes a more responsible, practical, and action-oriented approach to all things in life. The Sun loses some of its warmth and joy. It becomes focused on “the next step” and likes to create goals, because the Sun is doing what it does when it’s visiting Capricorn.

The Moon LOVES Cancer, where it’s at home. When the Moon is in its comfort zone, it’s content to follow its instincts, respond to emotional needs, and create a safe and secure space for family and friends. When it’s in Capricorn, however, the Moon is required to invest emotional energy in getting ahead, advancing on goals, and following through on strategies. It’s not free to express emotions with the ease it feels in Cancer.

This conjunction of planets in Capricorn signifies a time when the Sun’s preference for fun and leisure and the Moon’s preference for cozy comfort are put on the back burner, while they tend to Saturn’s priorities—responsibility, ambition, hard work, business, achievement, sincerity, austerity—that are now front and center. These things are important in all our lives and life is generally easier if everything gets its due time. So, many of us get reorganized and reprioritize our goals in January, during the Capricorn season that extends from December 21 to January 21. This is the time when Saturn’s priorities have priority.

The Sun and Moon pass through Capricorn every year. What’s different about this year (as well as 2018 and 2020) is that Saturn is also in Capricorn. His presence there creates a much stronger emphasis on Capricorn themes.

Sun Eclipses the Moon on January 6

Eclipses can occur only at a New or Full Moon. At the New Moon, the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth thereby blocking the Sun from our sight. When the life-giving rays of the Sun are temporarily blocked by the Moon, the Moon itself appears black. The emphasis then is on the Moon, which is associated with the emotional content of our lives. From a psychological perspective, this cover of darkness can allow access to what has been hidden or repressed. The potential contained in this encounter is significant. An eclipse can bring up what needs to be reintegrated within ourselves and society.

Not everyone will feel the impact of this New Moon solar eclipse in the same way or to the same extent. Those who have their Ascendant or planets in Capricorn or Cancer are likely to feel this eclipse more than most. If those planets or the Ascendant is within 13 and 17 degrees of either Capricorn or Cancer, the impact will be felt more strongly.

Generally, a solar eclipse is useful for starting new ventures and leaving the old, outworn, and outdated behind. The effects of an eclipse can begin to manifest a few months before the eclipse occurs and may continue to be felt for several months afterwards. The effect of a solar eclipse tends to extend about one year. Where the eclipse has the most impact on your life will depend on the location of the Capricorn house in your natal chart.  If for example, Capricorn is in the 2nd house, you might make changes regarding your income, or you could lose or gain possessions or personal resources. If Capricorn is in the 6th house in your birth chart, the time is right to fine-tune your routines or get serious about a diet, health, and fitness. If you’re curious and want to know more, schedule a natal chart reading with me.

What’s pretty awesome about astrology is that whether or not you know anything about it, or even believe it, it works. Most of the time, we just don’t notice the correlation between planetary movements and personal circumstances. Adding astrological considerations to normal planning and preparation is helpful, though.

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About the Gap and What Happens in the Gap

When the Moon passed by Saturn on January 5, it was if the happy-go-lucky traveler (the Moon/You prior to January 5) had signed a contract and agreed to stop telling everyone “I’m an adult, treat me like one,” and instead you become an adult who accepts responsibility and applies self-control, because there is a lot of hard work ahead to do. Not everyone who feels this energy will respond to it in a positive way. There are always polarities—right/wrong, good/bad, light/dark, etc.—and the opposite of being responsible and mature is to complain, harbor hard feelings, act cranky, and over-do everything to everyone’s displeasure. Those behaviors will undermine any attempt you make to move forward at this time. But don’t worry. There will be opportunities in the future to strike out in a new direction and feel successful.

Now that the contract with Saturn has been signed, the Moon enters the space between Saturn and the Sun, who is already under contract with Saturn to behave in Saturnian ways. The Sun has agreed to shelf (at least for awhile) its “let’s chill on the beach” attitude in exchange for “let’s get to work and get things done!” The Sun has agreed to be more self-disciplined and modest and to focus on work and duty. “Give me virtue, humility, austerity,” it said.

Saturn likes authority and is happy taking the lead. And like any good trail guide, it will tell those who are in his charge to get rid of anything and everything that isn’t necessary or the strenuous climb ahead. Downsize. Eliminate. Restrict. Those are Saturn’s keywords. Are you feeling these influences in your life? Where?

When the Sun and Saturn are combined with the Moon, as they are before and during the eclipse, the need for self-control and emotional grounding through hard work is the energy that surrounds us. There may be an emotional tug-of-war going on within you. But the door to the past is closing. If you’re feeling unhappy or depressed, it’s a signal that you need to let go of what is holding you to the past. The only way out now, or ever,  is forward.

When the Moon emerges from the eclipse, its next interactions are with Venus and Uranus. Venus is a reminder of what you value and how you draw what you need to you. Uranus is the rebel that want’s to be free and be different. It’s good to consider both as you move forward in the days and weeks ahead. Being free, if you’ve held yourself back, will feel uncomfortable. At least, for a while. Pay attention to the glimmers of hope and look forward, not back. It’s all ahead of you now.

 

 

 

Mercury Retrograde in Leo July 26

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Like the Hanged Man who is suspended between twin trees and seemingly within the grasp of Fate, Mercury is retrograde now in Leo, where he has a flair for the dramatic. Mercury is also the agent of transformation. Over the next three weeks, you may need to ask yourself: What needs to be transformed?

I believe in the perfect timing is demonstrated day in and day out, century after century. There is none of the chaos we see here on our planet Earth. The planets move with a precision that neither we nor any of the technology we have available can understand. Yet, in every moment there is change that is distinct from what was or ever will be again.

What do these planetary relationships show us?

Many who have studied the movements of Earth and the planets believe what was written by Hermes Trismegitus in The Emerald Tablet:

“That which is below corresponds to that which is above, and that which is above corresponds to that which is below to accomplish the miracle of the one thing.”

If you look carefully at this ages-old quote, you’ll see that it implies we are co-creators in our lives, and by extension, we are co-creators of the world we live in. I believe what this means is that while our lives are fated—we’re born into a family and community, with a body that is predisposed to a spectrum of health or illness, intelligence, and talents. And within the set of circumstances we’re born with and into, we have free will to make choices that will move us forward or hinder our growth. I also believe things happen at the right time and if we’re not ready (or willing) to respond to the urge or opportunity, there will be other opportunities. These things happen so we can grow into our own unique potential.

I suggest that a good way to use Mercury retrograde periods is to pay attention to what you’re thinking, feeling, seeing within yourself and in your environment— with emphasis on “reflective thinking.” If you’re being whacked along side the head by some awareness or memory or opportunity, trust that the universe is trying to get your attention.To Do: Find an image that reflects something about you at this time. What are you thinking about? Feeling? Missing? Wanting?

Reflection: How are you feeling suspended?

Retrograde Magic

Hermes Trismegtus

That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds with that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One thing.
– HERMES TRISMEGISTUS in The Emerald Tablet

It may seem as though magic is involved when planets appear to stop in the sky and then move backward, but it’s not magic. This phenomenon occurs because planets in their own orbit around the Sun are at times closer or further away from Earth, as it also travels around the Sun. A similar phenomenon occurs when cars pass each other. To passengers in the faster moving car, the other car seems to be moving backward. In reality, the planets never stop or go backward. Their apparent backward motion does seem to affect Earth’s passengers, however, as that which is below (all things here on Earth) corresponds to that which is above (retrograde planetary motion).

Mercury will be retrograde in Leo from July 27 – August 18, 2018. It joins five other planets in retrograde motion.

  • Retrograde Mars in Aquarius through August 26
  • Retrograde Saturn in Capricorn through September 5
  • Retrograde Neptune in Pisces through November 24
  • Retrograde Pluto in Capricorn through September 20, and
  • Uranus will be retrograde in Taurus (and also Aries) August 7 through January 5, 2019

Retrograde motion is considered an interference with a planet’s normal functioning; it’s actions are less predictable. Retrogrades signify reversals, delays, and cancellations. Obviously, retrogrades don’t bring everything to a screeching halt. Nor do they impact every human in the same ways. But just pause for a moment and reflect on the implications of having six of nine planets moving in retrograde motion at the same time. (The Sun, Earth, and our Moon are never retrograde.) Briefly:

  • Mars signifies “impulses toward action,” energy and passion in the pursuit of goals; competitive drive; excessive force; feeling angry or aggressive
  • Saturn signifies “responsibilities” related to work and real-world concerns; structures (buildings, time, schedules, boundaries); maturity; constricting forces; boundaries and separation; enslavement to the past
  • Uranus signifies “impulses toward freedom, breakthroughs, originality,” individuation and independence; inability to cooperate or compromise; unwillingness to work within structures; fanaticism; hubris
  • Neptune signifies “yearning for connection,” imagination; sympathy and compassion; escapism; confusion and deception; false notions of security
  • Pluto signifies “processes of destruction and renewal,” rebirth, regeneration, and transformation; purging; evolutionary forces; brutality; obsessiveness

Take a moment and reflect on what you see and hear going on in your personal environment, among your friends, and on the world stage. Do you have the sense that many people and things have been pushed way beyond what is considered “normal?” There is a lot of reevaluation going on in many different arenas. The energy to review, reconsider, redo, reevaluate, resist, reorganize, recharge, refresh, etc., is STRONG and the will continue to grow in the weeks and months ahead. The changes won’t come about easily, but they will come.

The good news is that the benefactors of the Universe, Venus and Jupiter, are not on the retrograde list. Venus is direct in Virgo and will be moving into Libra August 7/8, depending on the time zone where you live. Jupiter is direct now in Scorpio.

  • Venus signifies “impulse toward love and friendship,” harmony and pleasure; the forces of attraction; as well as vanity, social pretensions, shallowness, and self-indulgence
  • Jupiter signifies “impulses toward doing what’s right,” growth and expansion, optimism and tolerance; generosity and acceptance of others; as well as inflation and excess, arrogance and sense of entitlement

It’s not known whether Hermes Trismegistus, which means “Hermes the Thrice Greatest,”  was a real person or someone invented by the Greeks. He is given credit, however, for the Emerald Tablet and is thought to have lived long before Moses’ time.  Hermes is the guardian of astrology and alchemy, the seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination. Hermes is synonymous with Mercury.

Retrograde Mercury

Mercury signifies “impulses toward thought and communication,” perception; teaching and learning; movement and transportation; metal habits; the mind separate from emotions; nervous over-stimulation. When Mercury is in a fire sign (Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius), thoughts can turn toward “rising above” and “separating from.”

What you think matters

In every moment, you are sending and receiving thoughts. What you think brings about your present and future circumstances; your thoughts also affect the world we live in. While you’re not a magician in the traditional sense of the world, you are a co-creator of everything that happens, or doesn’t happen.

There is no way to predict what will specifically happen to you during the current season of retrogrades. I will say though that the likelihood is VERY HIGH that you are now or soon will be feeling the energy of one or more of the retrograde planets. As you reminisce, review, renegotiate, revise, reformulate, renew, recharge, restructure, rebuild (notice that there’s a theme here), please consider carefully what your thoughts and actions mean today and in the future. Live intentionally, because you are in charge of you and what you do.