Tuesday, August 30th
6:04 AM PT – Mercury stations retrograde at 29° of Virgo
Thursday, September 1st
2:03 AM PT – New Moon/Solar Eclipse at 9° Virgo
This week’s celestial light casts strange shadows over the landscape of our lives.
Eclipse season is upon us. So is Mercury retrograde.
Eclipses tend to bring us to the brink in one way or another. They ramp up the intensity of the situations in our lives, raise the stakes on the outcomes and, through their strange light, reveal what usually stays out of sight.
Eclipse season inspires the beasts of our burden to roll over and expose their underbellies. Our psychological issues become resistant to the usual remedies we apply to them. Just when we think we are all healed and sorted out, a new crop of growth opportunities rush our way. The layers that protect core issues are peeled back so that we can bear witness to deeper truths.
Eclipses come in pairs, because who wants just one healing opportunity? Eclipses arrive on new moons and full moons. The first eclipse of the September pair is a solar eclipse in Virgo on the 1st. It’s ruled by Mercury, who will have just stationed retrograde. Mercury’s retrograde journey will be exclusively within the confines of Virgo, one of the signs it is most comfortable in.
Virgo is precise, picky, analytical, exacting and excruciatingly unforgiving at times. It is also wise to rhythms, the intelligence of nature’s systems, the importance of rituals, cleansing, clearing, removing impurities, absorbing the nutrients and integrating the goodness of a thing.
Mercury retrograde is annoying in terms of plans getting put off, communications being misunderstood or unheard and all kinds of information mishaps. However the deeper, more interesting question is what rabbit holes do these miscommunications lead us down? Mercury is an underworld journey in nature. And while our egos are bothered to no end by the complications that occur in our daily life and schedule, what we are really being asked to do is nothing short of a soul retrieval.
Living in a world that devalues so much of our human diversity requires us to live life disassociated at times. We can’t take in all the injustice. We can’t metabolize all the trauma. We can’t make sense of all of our responses. We need to take these journeys so that we might take back the lost aspects of ourselves. We need to know which parts of us are still frozen in fear, which parts have been lost to the battle and which parts of ourselves have decided to call it quits because it’s all been too much. We need to know so that we can go back and retrieve what is waiting for our rescue.
Mercury’s frequent retrogrades (they occur 3 times a year) remind us of the importance of backtracking through life’s events. Seeing ex’s, bumping into folks from another lifetime, and being reminded of the burning buildings we narrowly escaped is part of the process. Who are we now? How far have we come? Have we gone off in a direction that distances us from our heart’s desire or are we moving closer to it? With Mercury’s retrograde happening in its own sign, we can be sure that its significations will be intensified. Virgo would have it no other way.
Virgo works. Harder than it should. It is driven to perfect the skills it acquires so that it may be of service to the whole. Pisces, the sign opposite Virgo, is the whole.
Virgo is the reality of having to tend to the details of life. Pisces, the sign of the lunar eclipse occurring on September 16th, is the idealistic dream of what life could be. This eclipse season has us straddling the polarity of precision and symbolism, organization and creative chaos, facts and fictions.
This week’s solar eclipse is sitting in a tight square to Saturn (a loose square to Mars) and a tight opposition to Neptune. It ties together the Saturn/Neptune square, an aspect that has been brewing since November 2015. The Saturn (walls, boundaries, blockades, structures, limitations)/Neptune (dissolution, delusions, deceptions, leaks, lies) square has correlated with a tremendous amount of structural dissolution, fantasy vs. reality and a rise in rhetoric about structural extremism and separation. The eclipse gets caught in the cross-hairs of this cosmic soup calling up the limitations, fear-based reactions and the changing shape of things that we are dealing with, both internally and externally.
Virgo’s answer is to tend to the details of life. To be a student of its cycles. To study what is in front of it. To learn all it can and then to apply its deft ability to discern and analyze the data, integrating what is good, eliminating what is of no use.
Remember that eclipse season lasts for a while. Longer than the two weeks they technically span. What happens during them tends to have a lasting impact on our lives. See the cycle from up close and a great distance. Zoom in and pan out. Give yourself extra breathing room. Focus on the moment at hand and give up on sticking to the plan in any kind of precise way. Go easy, tread lightly and be the softest that you can with yourself and everyone else.
*Join me for How to Thrive in Eclipse Season, an in-depth look at how September’s eclipses will impact each sign and how best to work with their powerful energy. I’ve got ritual suggestions, ideas for altars, and a look at the best days and times to work with through the solar eclipse in Virgo, the lunar eclipse in Pisces, and Mercury retrograde.