Mercury Retrograde in Virgo August 30-September 21: Refining the Self

mercury

Over the last couple of months, planets have been collecting in the sign of Virgo. It began with Jupiter, which entered Virgo way back in August of 2015, followed by Mercury, which comfortably made its way into its domicile, or sign that it rules, on August 1st of this year. Venus not far behind, entered Virgo on August 6th and a few weeks later on August 22nd, the Sun too, made its way into Virgo.

This stellium in Virgo will continue to shift throughout the next month and a half; as Mercury stations retrograde and backtracks through the latter half of the sign, and the Sun and Moon create the Virgo solar eclipse and Pisces lunar eclipse. These events act to further infuse and shape our thoughts and environments with the conscientious, practical energies of Virgo.

Mercury Retrograde:

On August 30, Mercury will enter the last degree of Virgo and begin its journey backwards through the last half of the sign. With so many planets occupying Mercury ruled Virgo and Mercury approaching its station retrograde here, many of us are already feeling a bit of the retro-funk; fuzzy brained, slow motion reality, indecisiveness and a general feeling of discontentment with life.  There may be a sensation that we have been here before as we find ourselves reviewing, re-doing and revisiting themes from the last couple of weeks.

[For more on Mercury retrograde, read the following indented excerpt. For more on Mercury’s retrograde through Virgo, skip ahead!]

Mercury retrograde is an Earthly “optical illusion” where Mercury appears to be moving backwards, for 3 weeks, 3 times a year. During these times, one may notice “things” of a mercurial nature tend to go a bit awry.

As Mercury rules communication, we may find issues arise in all the many forms we use to communicate today, as well as with all those we communicate with. Mercury retrograde will affect everyone differently, however those who have strong Virgo, Gemini energy or highly aspected Mercury in their charts, may notice these periods of time to feel particularly frustrating.

As Mercury slows to station retrograde, our logic and abilities to reason may slow down with it. Most will notice their thoughts become sluggish, while at the same time creating a scatterbrained effect. It is common for listening and staying focused for extended periods of time to prove more difficult than usual; and to find that in the midst of a conversation you lose your train of thought. This often accompanied by the thought/feeling that “nothing is going right or according to plan.”

As legal agreements and contracts also fall under Mercury’s ruling, it is best not to sign or commit to anything new during these times. Retrogrades are ideal for re-visiting ideas, jobs, or relationships from the past, but attempting to begin or commit to new endeavors during these periods can backfire and is not recommended. With the constant change and the rather peculiar way of Mercury retrograde, it can be hard to predict what the outcome of situations will be. There is the tendency for whatever was agreed upon in said contract to change once Mercury goes direct.

However, in today’s world, it is difficult to stop from functioning and living in a “forward” motion. Many people find themselves in situations or careers where they must sign agreements or initiate new projects, life happens and deadlines are set, waiting until Mercury goes direct is not an option. It would be wise to be extremely cautious when/if you do find yourself in these situations, that all facts are thoroughly discussed and all fine print is carefully gone over (and over and over again). Though there are many inconveniences of its nature, (re-doing things over again being one of them) Mercury retrogrades can serve as a time for slowing down and really taking a good look at what is happening in our lives and how we can redirect things and make them better. There is no reason for fear or withdrawal from life, (though you may feel a bit more introverted during these times) but there is the need for heightened awareness, clear intentions, patience and preparation.

When Mercury is retrograde, it is a good time to expect the unexpected. Delayed flights, traffic jams at odd hours, computer/electronic malfunctions and miscommunications are often a very obvious part of the experience. Preparation is key to avoiding and overcoming such obstacles during this time. Some ways one can prepare are: allowing for more time to get from point A to point B, making copies of important documents, backing up computer files and double checking details you wouldn’t normally think twice about. When Mercury is retrograde, plans seem to never quite be set, life feels wobbly and uncertain. Leaving room for error and time for backtracking is helpful, while being uptight and trying to “fight” against the current will likely prove a waste of energy. Though we may consider these things to be inconvenient to our daily lives, they serve to help guide us. Underneath the mental fog and distractions is opportunity. Practice going with the flow.

While Mercury is retracing its path, there is increased mental ability to use retrospect in a positive way. To reassess the way we have done something, to revisit old ideas and thoughts- things that we didn’t commit to at the time but find new reason to appreciate now. There is support for reconnecting with old friends, rekindling old flames as well as the likelihood that current relationships will be under scrutiny and review.

 It is common for old relationship issues that have been brushed aside to rear their head, and it is likely that with the flux in communication, it will be difficult to deliver the message so both in conversation are on the same page. It may be necessary to confirm that your message is heard and comprehended by the other party in the way in which you intended, and to make sure that you are hearing and understanding others correctly too. It is important to note, that this is really not the time to take drastic measures. Do not do anything that you cannot undo – if necessary.

Excerpt from Mercury Retrograde in Gemini

 

Virgo is the sign of the perfectionist; with its uncanny attention to detail, the desire to refine and improve, and the ability to visualize the most ideal, yet sometimes unrealistic outcomes. With Mercury stationing retrograde here,it is just as easy to get hung up on details as to overlook them. While it is important to be especially attentive to details during retrogrades, obsessing over flaws does not necessarily lead to solutions. Aim to be objective and open-minded.

It is important to remember that we are students of life and that our mistakes and imperfections can serve as our teachers, if we let them.  Virgo lessons tend to present themselves as lessons of humility, but this need not require obsessing over either. By providing space for us to continue to grow and directing us to the parts of us that still need some fine-tuning and adjusting, our shortcomings and failures can guide us, just the same as our talents and successes.

Virgo is also associated with a sense of apprenticeship, and the energy required to master ones’ skill. It is this intelligent, anxious energy, the one that fuels curious thoughts into carefully planned out action and seemingly finds and corrects even the smallest flaw, that allows for such mastery to eventually exist. Don’t let this energy go to waste! Allow the inconvenient ways of Mercury retrograde to assist you on your road to mastering that which you wish to create, achieve or become.

With Mercury stationing retrograde in the second house, associated with our sense of self-worth, our resources, values and our finances – there is focus on our personal inventory. Our skills, principals and doubts – all of our wonderful inspiration and horribly immobilizing fears – are up for review. With the heightened critical energy in the air, there may be inspiration to re-organize and weed through this inventory, getting rid of or at least becoming aware of that which no longer serves you.

How do your skills and thoughts define and shape your life and person that you are?

Do you allow your doubts and insecurities to paralyze you – or to stress you into action?

There may be a need to refine ones’ skill set, the desire to pursue hobbies and passions from the past, or an overwhelming eagerness to take on the role of the actual student again. Learning, re-educating, fine-tuning and updating our internal computers with the goal of increasing our self-value.

With Mercury being just a few degrees away from the cusp of the first/second house, the results of our “personal inventory” review are likely to lead to a shift relating to the skills we regularly put on display for the world to see. Things are changing, we are growing, evolving; both in the eyes of others and our own.

The chart for Mercury stationing retrograde places the Leo moon in the 12th house, suggesting a sense of inner strength. Beneath the surfacing anxiety, is the strength to persevere, to conquer and to stand proud and tall. The moon forms a trine to the lingering Mars Saturn conjunction in Sagittarius, this combination creates and fuels a sense of deep purpose and clarity that most of us don’t typically associate with that of Mercury retrograde. Despite the hiccups, confusion and periods of pause that the retrograde may trigger, there is quite a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

On September 21,  Mercury will station direct in mid-Virgo. We begin to see that there is a flexibility that exists within the rigidness of the Virgo need for perfection. That there is a method to the madness, a sense of order to the chaos, and the power to integrate the many seemingly separate parts of the puzzle of life into one beautiful masterpiece.

Hours after Mercury stations direct, the Sun will transition into Libra. The flux in energy will be a welcome one, as our thoughts become more fluid and the anxious energies that have acted as a sort of background noise are comforted by the solar shift into easy going Libra.

The Eclipses:

The Virgo and Pisces eclipses which coincide with Mercury’s retrograde, can intensify the time warp feeling of the retrograde. The slowness of the retrograde combined with the acceleration of the eclipse zone can feel confusing and uncomfortable. The pace of life tends to feel strange, unpredictable and frustrating. You may find yourself rushing to get things done, only to have to wait. Flexibility and staying on your toes is key!

Eclipses also have the tendency to bring things to awareness. With Jupiter and Mercury retrograde forming a conjunction at the exact same time as the Virgo eclipse,  we may be in for some big news. Jupiter is expansive and benevolent, it is spiritual and generous. There may be a sense of something “clicking” or gaining new understanding, as well as a sense of needing to connect to something bigger than the self.

Though retrogrades are not the ideal time to begin new ventures or projects, the eclipse zone – between September 1st and September 16th – provides just the right inertia to boost new habits and changes into our routines. Keep your head up, trust your intuition and know you can.

The Pisces lunar eclipse which closes this eclipse zone,  is exact on September 16. The eclipse takes place amidst a conjunction to Chiron, the centaur associated with our cosmic wound. This suggests there is healing that must take place. As the Sun and Moon oppose to form the eclipse, there may be a sort of magnification of old wounds. However, with the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter all opposing this in the 1oth house – there is the ability to use our wounds to propel us forward. To share our story and inspire others. At the same time, there is the ability to get sucked into the wounds and painful memories of the past and to end up playing the role of the victim. Remember the power of the mind, and again aim to stay present. Retrospect can be a gift, but re-living stressful situations just to wallow in the pain of what was, does not serve anyone. Let yourself detach from these memories, they do not define you.  Recognize your capability to play whichever role you decide, even if it is a role you have never played before. 

 

The specific affects of planetary transits differ based on where planets are located in one’s natal chart and where the current planets are transiting. The above is a general forecast based off a chart designed for the aspect discussed.  If you would like more personalized advice, or have questions or feedback of any kind, please send me an email!

 

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Venus in Virgo 10/8, Mercury Stations Direct in Libra 10/9 : Coming Full Circle

Over the past couple of months, we experienced both Venus and Mercury stationing retrograde. Venus stationed retrograde at 1° Virgo on July 25th, and backtracked through the latter half of Leo, where it stationed direct on September 9th. On October 8th, Venus reaches Virgo again – likely, bringing to closure on some level, many of the issues we have been addressing since it stationed retrograde, as well as in a sense bringing us back to “where we were” around the end of July, with a fresh perspective and likely a change in values.

For more on Venus retrograde through Leo, check out Leaving The Comfort Zone

With Venus moving into Virgo, we are able to finally move forward beyond the ties to this most recent retrograde. Revisiting Leo allowed us another glimpse at the “big picture” in regard to our relationships, our finances and our values. Now in Virgo, we are able to fine tune the details – to work out all the kinks and REALLY integrate and seal in these new ways of being; tending to our seeds of intent, knowing that soon we will reap what we have sown.

Whereas Venus in Leo thrives on the attention and dramatics of the situation, Venus in Virgo is more about being validated and genuinely appreciated. Venus in Leo is fun, loving and always looking to play, but Venus in Virgo is critical, hard-working and looking to serve. There is a time to play, but there is also a time to work and with Venus in Leo for the past few months, it may have been easy to overlook our daily obligations. However, with Venus in Virgo making a square to Saturn in Sagittarius, play time is over for now. It is time to acknowledge our commitments and responsibilities; to practice integrity and sticking to the new values and goals we have created for ourselves.

Additionally, Virgo is associated with our health and our daily routines and habits. With Venus here it is important to take care of ones’ health. If you have been putting off getting something checked out or over-indulging in particularly unhealthy habits – health issues may begin to rear their head. Be sure to stay on top of your well-being: physical, mental and spiritual.

Early on the morning of October 9th, Mercury stations direct in the 1° Libra. Mercury’s recent retrograde through Venus ruled Libra hit on many of the same issues we had been sorting out with the Venus retrograde, but likely shed a new light on them. One that is more contemplative and analytical and less about the heartfelt connection. With Mercury stationing direct in 1° of Libra, we begin the storm phase, our journey back to where Mercury stationed retrograde. As Mercury slows to station direct and begins to head in the “right” direction, we will likely endure a bit more of the wacky retrograde energy before we are entirely in the clear.

Here is an excerpt on Mercury stationing direct from an earlier Starface post, Staying Dry Through The Storm:

“When Mercury stations direct, it appears to stop and slowly begin to move forward again. As Mercury is a quick moving planet – it doesn’t take long before it appears to pick up momentum and increase in its forward motion. It takes Mercury about two weeks to finally get up to speed, and it is this period of time we refer to as the Storm phase. Storm can make it sound scarier and more intense than it really is. Just as Mercury retrograde should not instill fear, neither should the Storm phase. Awareness, however, always comes in handy. There will be no hurricane, no massive flooding. Maybe some thunder and lightening, but I suggest thinking of it, at least metaphorically, as a downpour of rain, washing away the past, hydrating plants and life. It may be dark and dreary, visibility may be low and we may not quite know where we are going – but after we are left with rainbows, blue skies and beautiful greenery – refreshed with a sense of clarity.”

For a re-cap on Mercury retrograde through Libra, check out Re-Calibrating the Scales

As Mercury moves ahead in Libra, we will likely feel the tug of ourselves pulling away from older traits and ways of being, and moving fully into this “new” version of ourselves. We will notice our communications slowly improve, as well as the tension, doubt and feelings of instability slowly beginning to melt away. However, with Mars and the Moon forming a conjunction in Virgo, the tension in the air is re-enforced a bit longer, and we may find it hard not to act on emotions and/or to be critical of others. Whereas during the retrograde it was not the best time to act on ones feelings, Saturn making a square to the Moon, Venus and Mars suggests that now is the time. We have re-evaluated our thoughts, our ways, our wants and our needs and have arrived at some sort of solution as to how we are going to move forward from here. Now, with both Venus and Mercury direct, we take our first step.

With Mercury direct and Venus back in Virgo – we are ready to move forward, to get on to the next project, and/or for things to go back to “normal”. However, with the Sun approaching an opposition to Uranus, we are re-defining what our “normal” mode of function is, as we come full circle in this retrograde cycle.

Meanwhile, Neptune in Pisces opposing the stellium of planets in Virgo reminds us of the importance of incorporating true creativity and heart into everything we do, while at the same time reminding us to be real and honest with ourselves as we begin this new journey.

Want to talk about your experience with the recent retrogrades or the current astrology? Have some feedback? I’d love to hear.

Interested in how the current transits will affect you more specifically?

Check out the many different Natal Interpretations Starface Astrology offers, or email me directly for more details!

Virgo New Moon: Making Room For Growth

On September 6, Venus which had been retrograde since the end of August finally stationed direct. The last 6-8 weeks have been quite an emotional ride for many, as Venus’ backwards journey likely provoked us to re-evaluate our relationships to the people and things we love most, our finances and our values. As relieving as it is to have Venus moving forward again, with all that has happened and shifted over the past month and a half, we now find ourselves in a period in which we must learn to adjust and commit to the changes we’ve decided to make.

Early in the morning on Sunday September 13, the Sun and Moon will make their monthly alignment, placing us in the lunar phase of the New Moon. Though it will not be visible to those of us in the Northern hemisphere, this is one of the more special New Moons, in which the Sun and Moon align at just the right angle, that the Earth witnesses a partial solar eclipse.  The path of totality for this partial solar eclipse is rather small, and will only be visible over the southern part of Africa and the surrounding vicinity. Though this will not be a sight those of us from the U.S will be able to enjoy,  we will be able to witness the other half of this eclipse pair – the lunar eclipse in Aries – that will take place on September 27.

During the time of a solar eclipse and New Moon, the energy is prime for planting new seeds of intent for ourselves and creating new beginnings. With the Virgo Sun and Moon opposing Chiron in Pisces, there is now a distinction between the wounds we have been healing, and ourselves. It is easy to play the role of the victim, defining oneself by conditions, mistakes or misfortunes – but with this aspect, we are being given an opportunity to see things more objectively. Taking place in the 4th house suggests the wounds being addressed may take us back to our roots. Whether that be familial roots, spiritual roots, old friends or ways of life – there may be a need to backtrack and take a more critical look at the choices we have made and where they have gotten us.

Furthermore, with the new moon squaring the Ascendant in Gemini we may find ourselves addressing some sort of duality as we become aware of discrepancies between the ideal version of oneself and the reality of oneself. This ideal self is the person our childhood self had imagined they would one day grow into; it was the story we wrote for ourselves. We decided who we wanted to be when we grew up and likely fantasized about some of the details our journey would consist of. It is possible, that some of these details, traits or goals we hoped to attain or achieve, no longer fit the person we have become. Yet without conscious awareness and reassessment – we may continue to aspire to be something or someone we have no actual desire or intent to be, acting on autopilot. Though it is important to have goals and something to aspire to, a vision for oneself, it is important to modify and allow this vision to grow with you through life instead of allowing it to trap you and bound you to an idea that does not resonate with your soul.

The solar eclipse in Virgo is the perfect time to modify our routines to better suit our needs.

Use this time to connect with yourself and set new goals. Where do you want to be in 6 months? What are you doing to get there? What have you been putting your efforts towards on a daily basis – will that get you to where you want to be in 6 months? Whether it is a healthier diet, making more money, finishing school, or making a career change – in order to mold oneself, to grow, to achieve any goal – it takes conscious effort and honestly checking in with oneself on a regular basis.

On the 17th, Mercury stations retrograde and the opposition between Neptune and Jupiter is exact. Make sure to lock in your details and facts now for any endeavors you will engage in over the next month, as details will become more obscure as the week goes on.

Pisces Full Moon, Jupiter Opposite Neptune

The Sun made its transition into Virgo last Sunday where it met up with Mercury and Jupiter, and on Saturday, August 29th, we witness the Pisces full moon.

The shift in energy, as the Sun moves from fixed, assertive, big-pictured Leo, to mutable, contemplative, detail oriented Virgo is much needed. With all of the changes that we have been considering, making and attempting to implement over the past month – life has felt a bit overwhelming. Leo can make things feel dramatic and over the top, it may have been hard to break things apart and look at them piece by piece – getting caught up in the big picture. With the energy shifting to Virgo, we begin to focus on fine-tuning details and planning on how we are going to accomplish our new goals.

This Pisces full moon comes packed with Pisces energy, as Jupiter and Neptune who co-rule Pisces will also be in opposition. All this watery energy helps to cool down the heat and ego of Leo, in addition to bringing us in touch with our true intent and dreams.

The Sun in Virgo in the 10th house suggests that after much considering, it is likely we have made a decision about our place in the world, and how we want or don’t want others to perceive us. Perhaps we have not yet acknowledged this choice aloud to ourselves or to others, but close examination of actions will show that we indeed have chosen the path we will take. Additionally, there is the likelihood that whatever decision has been made has either affected, or will soon will affect our public reputation in one way or another. Jupiter’s presence a mere 3° away, gives all the support imaginable. Still, it is going to take some perseverance. Belief, commitment and desire are the keys here – without them the burdens of daily obligation will be more obvious and may outweigh the benefits. Additionally, with Virgo’s tendency to find flaw and criticize, one should be conscious of the advice they give, share and receive. Avoid the tendency to be overly cynical or judgmental – there is a difference between constructive criticism and an insult.

With the full moon in Pisces, taking place in the 4th house, though we may be able to “keep it together” in public, at home, emotions are still running rather high. Beneath the surface, there is still some uncertainty about what we have agreed or committed to – but home is where we are free to release from the anxious tension of the day. Neptune’s presence has the tendency to blur the lines of reality, sometimes, causing us to view the world with rose tinted glasses, where everything appears wonderful and rosey, other times, causing us to view it with our dark brown tinted glasses, where everything appears horrible and shitty. This makes it particularly important to stay present and to take things at face value. Be realistic and proactive, playing the victim does not serve anyone.

Venus slowly retrograding back through Leo, continues to sift through and re-evaluate our relationships with those we love, our values and our most prized possessions, meets up with and forms a conjunction to Mars on the first of September. Its likely that over the past month, Venus retrograde has inspired you to question certain elements in your life that seem to no longer fit or serve you. Periodically clearing ones life of the outdated is healthy and allows one the space to flourish and grow. With Mars here, there is the necessary will power and energy to make the choices we need to make. Mars is strong, assertive and sexual. Passion definitely runs high and emotions run deep. There is again, the feeling of wanting to move forward, though something still may not be sitting quite right. Avoid the temptation to act impulsively.

To learn more about Venus retrograde, read Leaving The Comfort Zone.

Uranus in Aries in the 5th house aspecting Venus retrograde and Mars in Leo suggests there is still an element of detachment in the air. With Mars here, this issue needs to be addressed. It may be a time take responsibility for actions and owning one’s feelings. You may find yourself issuing or asking for a second chance. Whether it be re-starting an old hobby, forgiving a friend, re-considering a purchase, or even giving things with a past lover another try – it is not the time to rule anything out yet.

In addition to Venus retrograde and Mars stirring up some action on September 1st, Mercury in Libra enters its retrograde shadow period. Make note of the experiences you encounter the first few weeks of September, as they will likely be revisited in one way or another when Mercury stations retrograde and retraces its path.