Mercury retrograde in Gemini
With Mercury still retrograde in Gemini, we are having to stay put and simply hang around until the insights arrive; and the time is ripe to move on. The possibility of working effectively with Mercury's retrograde period is enhanced by the strength of its sign position. It is very much at home in Gemini and a more playful nature can be expressed, as we work things out by looking back over this area of our lives.
Hang on because it is not a long period, and by July 9th (the day after the new Moon in Gemini) we will experience a 'new Mercury' as it joins the Sun, giving us an inkling as to what the next steps will be. Use this time to be clear about the details of what you believe and how these thoughts (Mercury) and beliefs (Jupiter) serve you. The thoughts that you continually entertain become your structured belief patterns, which ultimately show how you find meaning in your life. With Jupiter coming to an exact aspect to Saturn, as it moves alongside this Mercury retrograde in Gemini, we are able to pause and think long and hard about the structures which we are building up around us; the structures which we call a life.
Rahu enters Swati
July 1st (Mean Nodes) July 19th (True Nodes)
Rahu joins Saturn in the lunar constellation of Swati from July. Once Saturn is moves in direct motion by July 8th we are then running headlong into a conjunction between the two most malefic energies. Saturn represents structure and Rahu represents change. This change comes to a dramatic climax by September of this year. Both natural and man-made 'disasters' (='dark star') are set to increase throughout this time frame.
Rahu and Saturn cause the most stress in our lives. They both represent the air element which gives us our sense of time, which in itself is stressful. We become aware of time running out, of not enough time etc. Air is the element which dries life up and brings us a sense of separation. The area of your life you experience the sign Libra is one which is experiencing the winds of change this year and this drying effect, which can make this area of our life seem exaggerated and unreal.
Libra represents our ability to put another person's needs before our own. Though we may revolt and relapse into more childish and selfish needs, as expressed in Aries, the lesson at this time is to integrate another’s needs with our selfish desires. Unity must find its place within our personal freedom. The unified forces of Rahu and Saturn in the air-dominant sign Libra, and in the lunar sign Swati, which is itself ruled by the God of air, Vayu; are asking us to do so in a more exaggerated fashion this year. This will be particularly apparent by the autumn, as the air picks up, both on a physical and on an energetic level.
Swati is the lunar sign which is ruled by Rahu itself, so the possibility of working effectively with the element of air is pronounced. Hanuman is the monkey God in Hinduism which represents the power of the monkey mind to become more directed. The possibility of using this transit to gain a greater discipline in directing our minds more positively, is one which may outweigh the darker side of such an exaggeration of air i.e. fears in the mind. Jupiter's influence from Rahu's other lunar sign, Ardra, is lending itself to this also. A Jupiter influence in the form of a yoga teacher once told me, whilst teaching me the posture known as Hanumanasana, that it is about stepping courageously into your future, while being at peace with your past. Upon hearing that instruction the posture itself opened up. This is what we are being asked to do during the powerful transit of both Saturn and Rahu. Notice what you are creating for the future, whilst letting go of what needs to be let go of in the past.
To use one example of this transit in history, and the last time Rahu and Saturn came together in the sign Libra, we have to look back nearly 150 years ago and the time of the American civil war. This was also the time of the assassination of President Lincoln, which took place as Saturn and Rahu came closely together in the sign that year. The issue at the time, just as it is now, was freedom for those who were enslaved. Though the enslavement is more subtle for many in our modern world, it is slavery nonetheless. The expression of this need for freedom comes through the sign Libra, representing ideals and democracy. Saturn, the common man, is exalted in this sign once again in 2013, and with Rahu intensifying the experience, the public are in need of a revolution. This has been playing out on a global scale and is increasing with Rahu and Saturn coming together by exact degree by mid-September. By the time they come to an exact conjunction, Mars will be influencing them strongly, by looking on from Cancer, its sign of debilitation. This adds fuel to the fires, making both natural and man-made disasters more likely.
Rahu and Saturn are both parts of our being which are detached and cold, showing us our ability to become masters of control. Saturn represents our ability to be humble and look after another before we take care of ourselves. Lincoln’s quest nearly 150 years ago was to consider others freedom to his detriment. Your ability to balance your own needs with the needs of those in your life, will show how well we deal with this transit, as well as our ability to show up for work and take responsibility for our lives.
Needless to say those with the sign Libra rising will have the greatest access to this power of detachment and control, but they must also make sure they are not getting carried away by the winds that are picking up. They are not so used to stepping up to the mark in such a selfish way and are usually more concerned with others in their lives. Those with the Moon placed in Libra would also benefit from a more grounded approach and not let the air turn to an emotional storm, leading to all kinds of fears, both real (Saturn) and imagined (Rahu). Those with the Sun in Libra are used to bowing to others demands, so the transit of Saturn is asking them to be responsible, while Rahu’s transit over the Sun in Libra will intensify a need for power. Those with their Sun placed in Libra are not so comfortable with this, but need to find the strength of detachment to achieve what needs to be done.
The exact conjunction of Saturn and Rahu occurs at 14 degrees of Libra in September. Look to see if you have any planets, the Sun or Moon, or your ascendant degree, close to this degree in the sidereal zodiac. Though the power and control of air is at your fingertips, take care in how you direct it.
Mars in Gemini July 4th - Aug. 18th
Some reflection is good, allowing us all to take stock and make better decisions for the future. However, all of this sitting around and thinking is a bit much for Mars as it gets involved in July. Talk is cheap for the fiery planet and it will make us more eager to move on. Attempting to move on will only waste energy at this point and will only result in arguments. It would be better to apply this energy to working effectively with previous data and reviewing the past. With Venus in Cancer for this transit our relationships will need extra care and attention, as long as the heat of Mars has been diffused before getting together.
Mars wants fast results and does not tolerate sitting around arguing about what needs to be done. Arguing is, however, exactly what is on the cards for some of us once Mars joins a retrograde Mercury in Gemini from July 4th. Mars does not like Mercury's environment. All of that debate and rhetoric is a tad tedious for our will to achieve something; and complete it by yesterday! Add a Mercury retrograde period into the mix and we are in for a heated debate at the very least. Mars is black or white about things. It represents that part of us which sees red if a clear cut path is not taken once it is seen. Mercury deals with grey areas and whilst retrograde it can be seen to be even more wishy-washy.
So what is to be done? Whatever area of life Gemini represents for you personally needs your patience. If you are strongly influenced by Mars, then take deep breaths and work with the delays. Get out and exercise more than just your vocal chords for this transit of Mars in Gemini. Otherwise you will end up in an argument with others or with yourself. Often we do not know we are angry if we are masters of control. Anger may be uncomfortable for some to express. This is especially true if Mars is retrograde in the birth chart, or if it is in debilitation. It is now moving towards debilitation in Cancer. We are about to experience the weakness of Mars once again come August, so use this time while Mars is in frisky form in Gemini to get out there and let it out - even if it has to be verbal.
Saturn Stations Direct July 8th
After a period of nearly 5 months in retrograde motion Saturn prepares to move forward once again in the sign Libra, and slows down as it does so at 10 degrees of the sign. The days before and after July 8th will be days to be patient with this Saturn turn-around, making July a month of a standstill to some degree. How our lives move forward after a period of re-working is yet to be seen. As Mercury is retrograde also it may seem like living life in slow motion, as our minds our turned inward while things grind to a halt. We also have the new Moon alongside a 'new Mercury' around the day Saturn stations direct, so our lives will need some pause for reflection.
Those who are currently experiencing a Saturn period will need to remain patient with themselves and with the pace of life for the month of July. Things are about to turn around for us all in some way, but those who are more strongly influenced by the planet of structure and limitation will do well to give themselves a break during this time. Take your time with it, as Saturn does not bear fruit immediately. A newborn child does not express its full potential when it is born. This is played out over the whole of life. The whole process of Saturn’s retrograde phase, including the shadow phases, which occur before and after it has changed direction, takes approximately 9 months.
This is reflected continually in our lives creating forms within forms, as we build up and rebuild a life around us. By the time Saturn clears the 9 month period and this section of the zodiac in October 2013, we will have seen this area of our life become more concrete, though it can never be said to be complete. We will re-visit this again in the future and we must constantly let go of what we are building, be it a job, a relationship, or any desired situation.
Be aware of the sometimes limiting beliefs which can occur after a period of hard work and actualization. Something which takes a definite form, whether it is a job or a relationship, can then be looked at more objectively. However, most of us simply complain about a feeling of limitation it has created, even though without any actualization it could not have come into form in the first place. If, for example, you work on an ideal relationship situation and achieve your goal, the end result may be somewhat pleasing. However, it is now no longer given as much freedom to be something else. It is what it is. Though we may be able to modify it continuously, we can often get too attached to the form which has been built, and pain results when we loose it or boredom ensues if we feel we cannot escape it.
Look to the sign Libra and this area of your life to see what structures you are building for your future and pay attention to your reaction to such structures. In a general sense Libra represents our interpersonal skills but our personal experience of Libra will differ. These areas of life may be a source of tension as Saturn prepares to change course once again by the beginning of July; like a bow and arrow being drawn back which is now held tightly before its release.
New Moon in Gemini July 8th
The new Moon occurs at 22 degrees of the air-dominant sign Gemini at 08.15 GMT on July 8th. This places a huge emphasis on Gemini, with Jupiter, Mars and Mercury also transiting the sign along with the Sun and Moon. Saturn stations direct on the same day in Libra and with Mercury retrograde, this new Moon day will be one to slow down and reflect on the changes taking place more than ever.
The lunar sign in which this new Moon occurs is called Punarvasu. Its symbol is of a quiver of arrows and its deity is Aditi, a feminine goddess of virtue, representing a search for self-understanding. Most of this lunar constellation falls within the sign Gemini which is an embodiment of Mercury. Mercury, at its best, represents discrimination. This is reflected in the signs symbol of an arrow and the ability of a rightly tuned intellect to penetrate deeply. Punarvasu bridges the sign Gemini and the sign Cancer. This ability to truly know something brings us a sense of contentment. Mercury's retrograde period in Punarvasu is certainly making sure we know this area of our lives, as it penetrates deeply into the sign Gemini and the subject at hand.
Sun in Cancer July 15th - Aug. 15th
The Sun leaves Mercury's domain of the intellect, speech, communication and playfulness, and enters the Moon's sign on July 15th. This highlights the area of home and of security. After the word associations, game-playing and strategic planning of Gemini, it is now time to bring a new sense of life into our hearts and nourish something deeper than just our intellects.
Something is always missing from a life which is solely based on the collection of information and an acknowledgement of the intellect alone. It is not just the information which we are constantly being asked to assimilate that is important. It is whether or not this information nourishes our hearts, regardless of whether it is true or not.
The Sun in Cancer will bring new life to those with Cancer as their rising sign and to the area you experience this sign. A much needed injection of vitality is needed by the sign, as Saturn has been drying it up of late. The Sun is a welcome relief and an antidote to the pressure that has been felt during the darker days of Saturn's influence. It is like bringing a candle into a darkened room. It may not be like flipping a switch, as Saturn continues to influence, but at least the darkness is no longer over-powering.
Venus in Leo July 17th - Aug. 11th
While the winds of change stir things up in Gemini and Libra, Venus is slipping out of the drama unfolding and creating a drama of its own in Leo. This will be done with more style of course, as the planet puts something more comfortable on, in preparation for a hot seduction. After the misunderstandings of the Mercury retrograde period and the arguments which followed Mars' transit, it is high time for some making-up. so there is no room for doubt.
Venus wears its heart on its sleeve in Leo and prefers grand gestures as expressions of love and affection. Use this transit to do something special for your beloved, especially if they appreciate such gestures i.e. they have Venus in a fire or air-dominant sign. While in Leo Venus is generous in its expression of love, though it may at times seem inappropriate or rather brash. Look beyond the pomp and show, seeing the possibility of great warmth and affection within.
Mercury Stations Direct July 20th
Once Mercury stations direct and prepares to move forward by the end of July, we have all of the planets moving in direct motion for the first time since the month of February. They will do so until the 21st of October, when Mercury will begin its next retrograde cycle in Libra and is joined in retrograde motion soon after by Jupiter in Gemini. With so much emphasis on the air signs this year, there is a sense of things changing rapidly and not necessarily settling into a steady order as yet. This is also compounded by the Kal Sarpa Yoga I wrote about in last month's report, and which is in effect until October. This makes for an uncertain time in our lives, while events seem more fated and unfathomable.
For now though we can work with a forward momentum at least, which will be a relief for those who do not like all of the introspection. Those with Mercury retrograde at birth will have had no difficulty with the reflection required of us in the past few weeks. If you have had a project to rework, then you are one of the lucky ones. We have all had to rework our lives and rethink our approach in the last number of weeks.
Now that Mercury is moving forward again, we can move more swiftly forward with the insights we have gained. Without these insights we would not be able to move ahead with a clear vision of what needs to occur. With Saturn now also moving direct, the disorientation of its retrograde period becomes a distant memory, but it has left its mark, as the landscapes begin to change and our minds are remoulded.
OM TAT SAT