You may have heard that Mercury goes retrograde this month (November 2018). But did you know that this cycle is one of the most unique in years? This time Mercury will be out of bounds, squaring Neptune, and in Sagittarius - the sign of its detriment - all at the same time. This isn’t your grandmother’s Mercury retrograde!
Here are the key dates to note:
Mercury in Sagittarius - November 1 through December 1, 2018; December 13 through January 5, 2019
Mercury out of bounds - November 3 through 20, 2018
Mercury Retrograde - November 16 through December 6, 2018
Mercury square Neptune (3° orb) - November 9 through November 22, 2018 (exact square Nov. 16, the day of the station retrograde).
Venus started its retrograde cycle on October 5, signalling a shift in energy for the next few weeks, as Venus takes us on a metaphorical underworld journey. This is true of every Venus retrograde cycle, but this time, the journey takes on an especially intense tone, with Venus and 3 other planets hanging out in Scorpio. It’s the season for facing realities we don’t dare to speak about; to give space for the pressing awareness of dark energetic undercurrents that might be polluting our psyche or undermining our relationships.
You can pick up on the Scorpio vibe swirling about us right now by noting two films released the day Venus went retrograde, taking the box office by storm: Venom and A Star is Born. Venom is a modern superhero hybrid of the Jekyll and Hyde theme, in which the main character, Eddie Brock, wrestles with the sentient alien being called Venom that uses him as a host body. Unlike Jekyll and Hyde, the two have to find a way to work together while sharing the same body and consciousness. Venom gives Brock super-human abilities but they come with the price of a violent alter-ego.
As we do our Scorpio work, we come face-to-face with the truth of our nature, whether we want to see it or not. People with the Sun or Moon in Scorpio often find themselves “deep in the mess” at various junctures. A Scorpio mess is complex, intense, and difficult to wade through. It’s in these moments that we’re really tested - will we face the challenge (or our shadow side) with eyes open, or shut our eyes in willful defiance?
In late June of 2018 Mars begins its retrograde cycle, characteristically a time of slow downs, disruptions or changes in plans, and an increase in frustration or lack of energy. Mars has to do with your personal will, your ego drives (not a bad thing!), and your wants or desires. When Mars is in forward motion, you work towards what you want, fight your way through the obstacles in our path, and aim for victory in your pursuits.
But when Mars is in retrograde motion, that forward-moving energy and speed isn’t as readily available. You might feel tired, a lack of motivation or drive, or an increase in irritation and frustration. But during Mars retrograde, don’t immediately think of these experiences as negative. These can all be signals that you need to take a closer look at what you want, and perhaps to reassess your plans.
Conflicts, blocks and frustrations can show you where your plan isn’t optimized, or reveal that you aren’t as invested as you once were. Think of Mars retrograde as a helpful and necessary process, and you’ll be well on your way towards successfully navigating it.
Take special note of June 6th and 7th this week, when Mercury and Venus will both be out of bounds. Allow time for artistry, creativity, and/or relationship. Give yourself some time and head space for working out problems and brainstorming in these arenas of life.
Alan Turing was a genius codebreaker who had natal Mercury and Venus both out of bounds. What codes can you unlock during this time? Whether it's a relationship dynamic or a creative conundrum, make space for this process so you can find out.
Allow Reverie and Get Recharged
There's another signature that is amazing for imaginative thinking, dreamtime and reverie - the Moon conjunct and parallel in Pisces. It doesn't really get much dreamier than that! If you're an artist or creative writer, drop everything today and tomorrow and let your muse guide you. This is the time to let your imagination run free.
If you've been stuck in a rut, seek out inspiration through music, art, or eros (love+attraction) and let the non-linear into your field. You might be surprised where it takes you if you just get out of your own way. Whether you call it "spirit" or "your guides" or "the universe", these energies are speaking to you now. And you don't have to try hard to hear them, unless you're typically a pragmatic, material type of person. In which case, this is a brief window when you can let your hair down and at the least, chill out for a power nap and some healing downtime.
Take a walk in the woods, go for a leisurely swim, take in a sublime musical performance, invoke your guides/muse/spirit and allow magic to inform this rich but fleeting moment.