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Planet Watch: Grand Sextile 2013

Planet Watch: Grand Sextile 2013

Planet Watch Week of July 28, 2013: Is the “star” of this week’s show, the Grand Sextile, aka Star of David, a portal to peace and love on a mass scale that many astrologers say it to be? While we are not versed in this event as well as we should be, we will try to explain, at least the technical part of this rare event. (Note: At the minimum it’s a fascination aspect and we encourage you to research it to learn more). In the meantime,  here’s what’s happening: the Moon’s transit during a brief period of time on July 29 will trigger a six-point Star of David configuration between the Moon and 7 of the planets (only the Sun and Mercury aren’t involved). The Moon (emotion) will come into exact alignment with Venus (love) and Pluto (transformation) to form an Earth Grand Trine. This GT mates ever so briefly with the already-in-place Water Grand Trine that involves Jupiter (feel-good expansion), Neptune (spirituality) and Saturn (teacher) in such a way to form the six-pointed star.* Five points of the Star each represent a transiting planet and one point the Moon, and each of these in turn form a Sextile to the planets or Moon on either side of them. The integration of an Earth and Water Grand Trine is said to offer a portal of time where peace and love can flourish.

How might it affect you personally (or should we ask, how can you contribute to an enlightened mass consciousness)? First, it’s important to note that, while Trines and Sextiles are considered “easy” aspects, an opening of a door, if you will, to an opportunity, there are no guarantees. You don’t have to knock on that door…but you have to notice it’s open and then be curious (and for some, brave) enough to go in to see where the path leads. But as we all know, opportunities rarely manifest into a positive outcome without doing some work first. And so it is with these so called “easy” aspects, including those of the rare 2013 Grand Sextile.

If any of the above transits come into direct contact with your natal planets, you might be among the fortunate to operate at a higher vibration for a few hours on this day, starting about midday on July 29. It would seem that only good would come from thinking about positive thoughts and intentions for yourself and others close to you, so why not go ahead and make a conscious effort to put them “out there” — they might even filter into the mass consciousness.

We welcome input from any and all who might have further insight regarding the Grand Sextile.

*Note: that within this Star of David configuration there are other aspects that form oppositions and squares, but for the purpose of this post, we’ll stick to discussion of the Grand Sextile only.

Cancer Sun Sign

Cancer Sun Sign

“Nurturing, home loving, family oriented, sensitive, moody, cautious, selfish, good memory, complaintive, helpful, humorous”


Cancer (June 22 – July 22),
the sign of the Crab, is the fourth of the Zodiac signs. Generally, one of the first things you might notice about Cancers, man or woman, is a maternal or nurturing quality. This can manifest in concern for others, making those visiting their home feel comfortable (they usually love to cook) and by being there when others need someone to talk to. Next, you might notice they can be moody — warm and welcoming one visit or reclusive and remote on another visit. More than any other Sign they get a pass for this ebb and flow in their demeanor: Not only is Cancer a Water Sign, its Planetary Ruler is the Moon and the Moon represents our emotional selves. Think of the pull of the Moon on the tides of the ocean. And think of the Crab and how it moves…dancing with the water’s edge as it moves back and forth. When not flirting with the water, it sidles along the sand sideways always taking in the whole picture but still moving forward, then to make sure it is getting a good view of what’s around it, it moves back the way it came and then maybe up and around it’s original path. Then as it feels confident in where it’s going, it takes a few less side steps backward than the last time…until something threatens it, that is. Then, it’s time to skedaddle, as fast as it can, all the way back to the hole in the sand from which it emerged. There it will remain to recover from the insecurity until it feels confident enough to pop back out into the world again.

Astrological Sun Sign Cancer
Planetary Ruler: Moon
Element: Water
Quality: Cardinal

The humans born under this Astrological Sign act in much the same way the Crab. They are circumspect, so much so that they might even go unnoticed by others in a small crowd — at first. These folk prefer it that way. They want to observe the scene in front of them from all angles before cautiously entering the action. But don’t let first impressions fool you. They are a Cardinal Sign so once they feel “at home” with you or a situation, they take the lead and are dynamic, funny and entertaining.  When they feel safe enough to show you this side of themselves, it means you have reached their soft center and they will call you friend and welcome you into their fold warmly. But, while close friends are important, it’s a Cancer’s family that comes first…second… even third, for a Cancer.  Just as it should be for the Nurturer of the Zodiac.

Cancer’s Natural Home
The Fourth House is where Cancer and its ruling planet the Moon reside. This House represents the family, ancestors, the home, security, the past, the mother. The Fourth House is situated on one of the four angles of the Zodiac chart. Also called the IC, or Imum Coeli (bottom of the sky), it is located at the lowest point of the chart and therefore embodies all that is close and personal to us, adding another layer to the Fourth House meaning. If you have Celestial Bodies in the Fourth, regardless of whether the House is ruled by Cancer or not, you are likely closely tied to all of the above but it’s guised in the characteristic of the Celestial Body that resides there. For instance, if you have Mars in the Fourth, there is likely a lot of activity centered around your home, or you might be involved in real estate somehow. If your Sun and/or Moon are here, your vitality and/or emotions are entwined with all things “home” related. Metaphorically and literally, if your “house” is in disrepair, you might appear that way too. If it’s well maintained, again, you will appear as so.

Taurus Ruling Planet—Venus

Taurus Ruling Planet—Venus

“And if you aren’t having an intimate physical relationship with a Taurus, you’ll cherish the coziness they provide to your particular relationship as parent, close relative or friend.”

Oh, Venus, the Goddess of Love & Beauty. How we love and adore everything about you.  How can we resist the brightest planet in the sky and the second planet from the Sun, after Mercury. It’s appropriate that a duo of astrological signs are ruled by this planet, named for the Roman Goddess of Love: Taurus (April 21-May 20) and Libra (Sept. 24-Oct.) . While the two signs are altogether different, one Earth Element and one an Air Element, Venus casts its spell generously among the two, giving Taurus an unmatched earthy sensuality and Libras an unmatched artful grace and sociability. But this post is about Taurus. We’re sure if you know one, you know exactly what we mean. The Bulls can be love amplified—for food, comfort, extravagance and…sex…all thanks to Venus. And if you aren’t having an intimate physical relationship with one, you’ll cherish the coziness they provide to your particular relationship as parent, close relative or friend. And it usually comes with a fierce loyalty. Even those who don’t know one will likely have felt the magnetism of a stranger or friend of a friend born under this sign. Maybe you went to a party hosted by a Taurus as a guest of a friend  — they invited you opened arm into their home (which surely bespoke comfort and quality) and made sure your basic needs were met with extravagance (culinary delights likely cooked by them and the best of libations to pair with it). They might even break into song, too. Venus not only rules their love for all of life’s pleasures we’ve mentioned, but also the voice. (Adele is a Taurus, need we say more.) A true “good time can be had by all.” Of course, their appeal is not just Venus. As we wrote in our post Taurus Sun Sign, Taurus is an Earth Element and so the “real” sex appeal. They can often have be overweight but it’s pretty much the only sign that makes overweight a sexy, thanks to their down to earth, real love. (OK, and Venus appeal too). The Bulls aren’t perfect, for sure. As a Fixed Quality, their love can turn into a possessive kind, but many on the receiving end of Taurus affection find this charming when their honor  is defended ardently. It’s a two sided coin…while they are very slow to anger, once they reach the tipping point, watch out. You’ve heard the phrase: “A Bull in a China Shop”. Stand aside (out of range) and wait it out. It will fade as quickly as it appeared, and you can carry on as before. However, beware that of all the Fixed Signs, Taurus can be the most stubborn. And decisions can take a long, long time for them to make. The good news is that whatever the decision, once they make it, they will pursue it with, well, ardor. Whether it’s a person, an object or an idea. How can we not love and adore this Goddess.

Myastrologylife.com makes every effort to share knowledge throughout our website and social media that is fact checked and researched. However, please let us know if we have presented inaccurate and/or incomplete information so we can rectify any misinformation. We too are only humans after all:)

Planet Watch: Water Grand Trine & Uranus Retrograde July 2013

Planet Watch: Water Grand Trine & Uranus Retrograde July 2013

“…A Water Grand Trine can bring into focus emotions, feelings, heightened intuition and creative ability, and spiritual awareness and/or awakening…”

Planet Watch Week of July 14: A Water Grand Trine Transit could make for an interesting week for Water Signs and Cardinal Signs. If you have a Pisces, Cancer or Scorpio Sun, Moon and/or Ascendant, you could be feeling fortunate effects of a Water Grand Trine Transit that goes exact on July 17. Based on the planets involved in the Trine (Jupiter in Cancer, Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Scorpio), you might experience improved “feel good” bonds with others, heightened creativity and intuition, and a deep sense of accomplishment, to name a few. Grand Trines are when three or more Celestial Bodies are in 120 degree aspect to each other, forming an equilateral triangle. As a result, each of CBs involved in a GT are in the same Element — either Earth Fire, Air or Water. Mysterious to many, one school of thought is that they symbolize a fortunate, or soft, aspect highlighting qualities of the Element involved and that, if not used wisely, can be wasted. When transiting planets form a Water Grand Trine, the characteristics of the planets involved are brought into focus through the qualities that embody Water — emotions and feelings, intuition and creative ability, and spiritual awareness and/or awakening — for those who have CBs in their natal chart in Trine aspect with those CBs involved in the Trine transit.

Interestingly, Uranus retrogrades on July 17, too, so any benefit from the Water Grand Trine could have a Uranian quality (sudden or out of the blue). Especially for the Aries, Cancers, Libras and Capricorns who are in the middle of the Uranus-Aries Transit we mentioned in our Facebook Post and in detail in our blog post, Cardinal Signs & Uranus-Aries Transit. If the Water Grand Trine Transit forms positive aspects to your natal Celestial Bodies, it could help you better absorb any continued or return of “chaos” you might experience from the Uranus retrograde…at least while the Trine is in effect through the first part of August. (You should know, however, that Uranus will retrograde for the next 4 months, but the good news is that it will be the third and last time Uranus revisits those of you Cardinals Signs with your Sun, Moon and or Ascendant at 8-12 degrees).

And, finally, Mercury stations direct in Cancer on July 20 after having been retrograde for 3 weeks. During the retrograde, some of you might have decided to hold off on or rethink any communications, travel or business transactions (Mercury) that you’ve been considering. Under the Cancer influence, these could have been related to whether or not to share your feelings with someone close to you about something in particular, deciding where to go for summer vacation, or buying, selling or fixing up your home. With Mercury direct, you’ll likely now be ready to make those decisions.

 

Cardinal Signs & Uranus-Aries Transit 2013

Cardinal Signs & Uranus-Aries Transit 2013

A Uranus transit forming a hard aspect to your natal Sun, Moon, and/or Ascendant can be life-altering. …its shock can be difficult and the resulting awe isn’t easily apparent for most of us until viewed in hindsight.

If you are an Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, you might have experienced or are experiencing sudden change — or the extreme urge for freedom — in a particular area of your life during the last few years. Manifestations of these unexpected changes or urges to set yourself “free” can range from job loss to ending/beginning of a close relationship, starting your own business, or refusing to go along with status quo, to name a few. Leaving you slightly traumatized and asking yourself, “What the heck just happened?” (If you were to be honest with yourself, however, you weren’t happy in that area of your life anyway!) It’s likely you can thank the Uranus transit of Aries for all the “fun”.

The seventh planet from our Solar System’s Sun has been transiting Aries since 2010/2011 and will be working its way through the first sign of the Zodiac until 2018/2019. As an outer planet, its affects are often on a societal scale. When paired with Aries (ruled by Mars, the planet of war and action), a sudden chaos can ensue, producing a sort of “shock-and-awe” effect. The last time these two paired together was over 80 years ago — during the Great Depression (shock) and the New Deal (awe). Some would argue today we are facing a similar scenario on a global scale with the financial woes (shock) that have been plaguing the world financial markets, forcing us to revolutionize our way of life through globalization, living within our means, etc. (awe).*  We still have some years to go in this transit, so it will be interesting to see the outcome.

That said, a Uranus transit forming a hard aspect to your natal Celestial Bodies, especially to your Sun, Moon, or to your Ascendant can impact you personally on a global scale of its own in that it can be life-altering. Unfortunately, at least in the beginning, its shock can be difficult and the resulting awe isn’t easily apparent for most of us until viewed in hindsight. However, it usually is for the “better”. This particular transit is forming hard aspects to Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn). Those of you who have your Sun, Moon, or Ascendant in Aries or if the House Aries rules in your birth chart is angular (e.g. 1st House/ego, self; 4th/inner, family life; 7th/one-on-one relationships or 10th/career, public image). At the time of this writing, Uranus is at 12 degrees Aries and has been affecting those of you with your Sun, Moon and/or Ascendant in early degrees of the sign (8 to 12) for the last year or so. Essentially, Uranus has pulled up alongside that Celestial Body or angle it’s aspecting, forming a conjunction.  Aries are not alone, however. Those of you with Capricorn, Cancer or Libra Sun, Moon and/or Ascendant have felt or will feel the punch, too, as Uranus forms a square (Caps and Cancers) or opposition (Libra) to these Cardinal Signs (For examples, see our “Uranus-Aries Hard Aspects” sidebar below).

“If there’s an area in your life that you are not satisfied with, or in which you feel stuck, this transit will give you the chance to change that.”

So what do these “growth” opportunities look like under the Uranus/Aries transit? Uranus, the ruler of that so-unusual Fixed Air Sign Aquarius, represents freedom, change, innovation, revolution, the sudden and unexpected, among other things. In transit it works to awaken or free us from areas in our life that have become mundane or static, or in which we feel stifled, trapped, stuck. In short, areas in need of change. Aries represents independence and new beginnings, and its Ruling Planet Mars represents action (not the gentle kind). Working in concert, this duo can orchestrate an electrical (Uranus also represents electricity) shock (Mars) to our systems that’s unlike no other combination if it forms a hard aspect with any of your CBs or your Ascendant. If there’s an area in your life that you are not satisfied with, or in which you feel stuck, this transit will give you the chance to change that.

Over the course of its transit of an astrological sign, Uranus visits the CB that’s in hard aspect three times, giving you plenty of chances to get the point. At the time of this writing, Uranus is about 12 degrees, so for those of you with any Cardinal CBs and/or your Ascendant between 8 and 12 degrees, your last round is near. Uranus goes retrograde July 17 (for more on what retrograde means, read our Pluto and Mercury Retrograde posts), giving you the third and final look at what needs to be changed, if you haven’t complied already, before stationing direct Dec. 17. Then it’s time for the Blue Planet to pay a visit to those Cardinal Signs who have their CBs or Ascendant in the middle degrees of Aries for a conjunction (and of Capricorn and Cancer for a square, and Libra for an opposition).

The best advice for those of you still under its influence and for those of you who have yet to encounter it:  Take the “one-two-three” on the chin and go with the “blow”… or flow, as it were.  You might be ever so reluctant to pay the initial price, but in the end you’ll look back and be “glad” you paid it. And if you don’t pay upfront, you just might feel like a missed opportunity passed you by and lifelong regret could end up being your only purchase.

*Note: we would be remiss within this post if we didn’t mention the current transit of Pluto (transformation) in Capricorn (government, finances) that’s forming a square to the Uranus/Aries transit and adding to the “color” of the Uranus/Aries transit, especially for the United States, which has a Cancer Sun.  On a personal scale, if you a have CBs and/or Ascendant in Capricorn at 8-12 degrees, the Pluto-Uranus square could be “doubling the fun” for you. That Uranus/Aries induced “unexpected” change goes beyond the surface and is transforming or will transform your subterranean landscape. But we’ll save that for another post.

Uranus-Aries Hard Aspects Explained
Remember from our post Basic Architecture of a Birth Chart that conjunctions between CBs produce an intense focus or emphasis of energy between the CBs or angles in question, giving us the chance for improvement in the areas represented by the House in which its occurring; we tend to feel squares between CBs or angles as an inner tension or struggle, alerting us to an inner growth opportunity related to the Houses in which they reside. Oppositions, on the other hand, often form a sort of metaphorical tug-of-war that you must engage in, usually with or as the result of others, as it relates to the Houses/signs in which the CBs or angle reside.  Below are brief examples of how each hard aspect might manifest, for the purpose of illustration. If you are feeling the transit, you’ll know!

Conjunction
If you have an Aries Sun in the 10th House, it did/is/will form a conjunction with the transit, causing you to focus on your career or how you interact with the public, maybe even a combination of the two. It could be that all of sudden you feel you’ve outgrown your current position and want to take a leadership role. If you can’t make it happen where you are, you could end up finding what you need elsewhere or starting a new endeavor on your own as the one in charge.

Sun Square
If you have a Capricorn or Cancer Sun in the 6th House, it did/is/will square Uranus-Aries in the 10th House. You might be feeling stuck or trapped in your career (10th House) and or bored with the monotony of daily work life (6th). This could manifest in a job loss or change requiring you to reevaluate your career direction and environment, or to start entirely fresh.

Moon Opposite
If you have a Libra Moon in the 3rd House, it was/is/will be opposite Uranus-Aries in the 9th House. As a result, the transit might cause an emotional conflict within a relationship resulting from a sudden desire by one of you to perhaps pursue a higher education (9th House) that involves having to move away, perhaps even to another state or country (9th House). Do you (or they) stay or go?

Ascendant Square
If you have a Capricorn or Cancer Ascendant, it did/is/will square the Uranus-Aries transit in the 10th House. Again, squares are usually felt as an inner struggle about the areas it’s aspecting.  It’s all about you (Ascendant) and could manifest in restlessness, rebellion against the status quo, all to find the freedom or excitement you desire, regardless what others think. With the 10th House involved, you could suddenly decide to shake things up and reinvent your career, just for the sake of it.

 

Saturn Stations Direct With New Moon 2013

Saturn Stations Direct With New Moon 2013

“With Saturn stationing Direct at the same time of a New Moon, we can take what we’ve learned during Saturn’s Retrograde period and apply it to the two-week period of new beginnings offered by the New Moon cycle.”

During the week of July 7, 2013, we see several interesting planetary aspects occur, all taking place in the Element of Water, potentially activating the nurturing, intuitive, feeling side or our psyches.  It begins with transiting Saturn in Scorpio stationing Direct on July 8, the same day of the New Moon in Cancer. This is significant because with Saturn stationing Direct in conjunction with a New Moon, we can take what we’ve learned during the Saturn’s Retrograde period and apply it to the two-week period of new beginnings offered by a New Moon cycle. Specifically, Saturn, the teacher, just spent 5 months Retrograde offering us an opportunity to slow down and revisit areas of our lives in which we might not be living by the rules. And if we have been living by them, then it was more of a pause to give us time to consider our next move. If we’ve learned from its teachings, we can resume the exploration into our psyches and transformation through personal growth symbolized by Scorpio. As we mentioned, New Moons represent a time of the month to put into action new plans, ideas, and goals that we might have been contemplating. In Cancer, this New Moon and the two or so weeks following it offer opportunity to allow ourselves to open up and follow our instincts and feelings, and to nurture ourselves or others. Paired with Saturn stationing Direct in Scorpio, this can be the perfect time to teach others (or ourselves) to feel secure and safe through nurturing and sensitivity.

Now, if that’s not enough, Mars transiting from Gemini into Cancer on July 13 will take the planet of action from our minds to our solar plexis. The actions we take will be based less on intellectualization to actions driven by intuition and emotions. In other words, it’s time to get out of your head and into your soul.

Finally, all of this is happening during a Water Grand Trine Transit formed by Jupiter (expansion) in Cancer/trine Neptune (spirituality) in Pisces/trine Saturn (learning/teaching) in Scorpio that started flowing in June and will go exact July 17 before  trickling itself out by mid-August.  Grand Trines (when three or more Celestial Bodies are in 120 degree aspect to each other, forming an equilateral triangle) symbolize a fortunate aspect that if not used wisely is wasted.  That said, this Water Grand Trine is yet another sign to let your emotions, feelings, intuition and creative ability flow into a heightened spiritual awareness and/or awakening (as long as they result in positive outcomes, of course!).

Now, if you lay this overall Sky Picture over your natal birth chart and look to the respective Astrological Signs, Planetary Rulers and Houses of all of these Celestial Bodies (Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Mars, Moon) and see that their transiting aspects form direct aspect to your natal chart, then you should pay extra attention…for you will have the most to gain…should you choose to. Even if you don’t have this information at hand, you’ll be able to pinpoint how these aspects might be affecting you if you just open up your heart, mind and eyes to what is going on with you and around you. Remember, just follow your intuition and be open to the healing and nurturing that is embodied by the Water Element.

Gemini & Virgo Ruling Planet Mercury

Gemini & Virgo Ruling Planet Mercury

“Like the Planet, there is more to those born under this Planetary Ruler than can be seen in ‘one take.’”

In Astrology, Mercury is the Planet of Communication and Ruler of the Star Signs Gemini and Virgo. But to understand the effects it has on these natives, let’s first discuss the planet astronomically. As we wrote in our post, Gemini Sun Sign, it’s the closest planet to the Sun in our Solar System and, as a result, it has the fastest path around the luminary, with what is called an eccentric orbit. Apparently, the swiftness of the planet moving across the night sky that was observed by ancient Roman astronomers, leading them to name the planet after the Roman winged-footed messenger god, Mercury (hence, the Planet of Communication). This swiftness and eccentricity have made Mercury an elusive capture for astronomers, allowing only one side or part to be viewed at a time. Apparently, because of these characteristics, it’s the least studied planet in our Solar System. Until recently, that is. NASA’s aptly named space probe, the MESSENGER, has dutifully provided a complete map of the planet — and not in one take, mind you, but many! Completely mapped for the first time this year, the images reveal a planet that’s more complex and dynamic than first thought (from its dense geology to its varying daily surface temperatures and difficulty to access, requiring a number of complex orbits by the probe).  Like the Planet, there is more to those born under this Planetary Ruler than can be seen in “one take.”

Mercury in Gemini vs. Virgo
Unlike most of the other Planetary Rulers that have dominion over one Astrological Sign, however, Mercury divides its attention between two: Gemini and Virgo. (Venus is the only other Planetary Ruler of two signs, with reign over Taurus and Libra.) However, while there are basic similarities in Mercury’s style of rule over both, there are nuanced differences, mainly in how the two Astrological Sign communicate and channel their exceptional intelligence.

In Gemini, Mercury tends to want the natives to be, well, mercurial, leaving The Twins wanting variety and the ability to flit freely about to the next curiosity, all in a sort of stream-of-consciousness kind of way. In Virgo, it prefers natives to be precise and clear in communication, leaving The Virgin wont for organization to life’s approach. When it comes to their Brain Trusts, both Signs an unusual mentally acuity. But, you’re likely to see that intelligence channeled in different ways. For example, a Gemini can usually talk about multiple topics and convince you he/she is a pro on all things (excellent salespeople).  A Virgo excels at targeting his/her audience with information about a particular subject in a precise, organized, educable fashion (excellent teachers).

Despite these “differences,” you might pick up on the fact that both these natives can be flexible and changing. Don’t confuse these similarities as Mercury’s doing. These likenesses are due to both having a Mutable Quality. But you can imagine how to very different communication styles could hamper what otherwise are compatible traits!

Transiting Mercury Retrograde & You

Transiting Mercury Retrograde & You

“The confusion in communications related to such things as speaking, business negotiations and travel typically associated with Mercury Retrograde is best viewed as an opportunity to “slow down” and revisit or to give more thought to an action you’re considering taking.”


Did you know that Mercury retrogrades several times a year?
So what does that mean for you? First, let’s clarify what “retrograde” really means. As we wrote in our post, Transiting Pluto Retrograde & You, in as near scientific terms as we can understand and conjure (so please speak up if we get it wrong!), when a planet is retrograde, it’s not actually going backwards as the term implies, but only seems as if it is to those of us who happen to be inhabiting the planets that are passing each other at certain times of their orbits. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and, thus, on the most inner lane of the orbital racetrack, so to speak, while Earth is on an outside lane of the track. As the faster planet’s (Mercury) pulls parallel to the slower planet (Earth), the planets appear stationary to each other for a “moment’, until Mercury passes Earth. It’s at this point, it appears that one or the other is going backward, depending on which planet you’re living on. “Appears” is the operative word here. Or, if you prefer more “Earth bound” analogies, consider when a fast car approaches a slower car…for a moment two cars seem simpatico, but not for long. As the fast car pulls ahead, the slow car appears to move backward or vice versa. That’s not really the case, as we know. Something called physics is happening!

Mercury takes about 88 Earth days to orbit the Sun. The animation shows Mercury revolving around the Sun approximately 4.14 times (yellow trail) compared to Earth's 365 days (blue trail). Original simulation by Todd K. Timberlake

Mercury takes about 88 Earth days to orbit the Sun. The animation shows Mercury revolving around the Sun approximately 4.14 times (yellow trail) compared to Earth’s 365 days (blue trail). Original simulation by Todd K. Timberlake

In the case of Mercury, its latest retrograde at the time of this writing began June 26, 2013, in Cancer and will continue through July 20.  Unless you were born with Mercury Retrograde, when the fastest orbiting planet in our solar system “goes retrograde,” confusion in communications related to such things as speaking, business negotiations and travel might occur for many. However, it’s actually an opportunity to “slow down” and revisit or to give more thought to an action you’re considering taking. For example, when it’s in Cancer, as it is now, generally speaking you might find yourself feeling more sentimental than usual about the past or your family and you have an nagging urge to express these sentiments. Or maybe you are considering a real estate transaction. Or signing a contract to have work done on your house. Depending on the House it’s transiting in your birth chart and if it’s forming an aspect to any of your CBs, the three or so weeks it’s retrograding might be best used to mull things over before taking any action. And if you can wait until it goes direct around July 20, all the better.  If Mercury is the Ruling Planet of your Sun, Moon or Ascendant Sign (Gemini or Virgo), read our blog, Gemini Sun Sign.

Interestingly, if your natal Mercury is retrograde at the time of your birth, these periods are can be productive for you and you’ll rarely experience its confusion (To learn more about the difference between natal planets and transiting planets, read Natal Planets vs. Transiting Planets). However, when in doubt, the best modes of action to take during any Transiting Mercury Retrograde period: slow down, take stock, reorganize, review, be patient.

Mercury Rx 2013
Feb. 23 – March 17
June 26 – July 20
October 21 –  Nov. 10

A Few Mercury Fast Facts

  • Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun in our Solar System
  • Its orbit around the sun is about 88 Earth Days
  • Named after the fleet footed messenger of the Roman Gods
  • Its atmosphere is nearly nil, so has widest temperature fluctuations of any other planet in our Solar System
  • Because of its speed and eccentric orbit it has been the least understood of the Solar System’s planets
  • NASA’s Messenger space probe launched in 2004 reached Mercury’s orbit in 2011, when it captured the first-ever complete picture of Mercury
Gemini Sun Sign

Gemini Sun Sign

“You’ve heard the adjective Mercurial. These folk are adept, quick thinkers, and eccentric and diverse…you never know which one of the Twins will appear… .”

Gemini (May 21-June 21), the sign of the Twins, is the third of the Zodiac Signs. Generally, Gemini Star Signs suit their Planetary Ruler Mercury quite well. The planet is the closest one to the Sun in our Solar System and, as a result, it has the fastest path around the luminary, with what is called an eccentric orbit. Apparently, it’s the swiftness of the planet moving across the night sky that was observed by ancient Roman astronomers, thus, leading them to name the planet after the Roman winged-footed messenger god, Mercury. This swiftness and eccentricity have made Mercury an elusive capture for astronomers, allowing only one side or part to be viewed at a time. Apparently, because of this, it’s the least studied planet in our Solar System. Until recently, that is. NASA’s aptly named probe, the MESSENGER, has dutifully provided a complete map of the planet — and not in one take, mind you, but many! Completely mapped for the first time this year, the images reveal a planet that’s more complex and dynamic than first thought (from its dense geology to its varying daily surface temperatures and difficulty to access, requiring a number of complex orbits by the probe).  Like the Planet, there is more to those born under this Planetary Ruler than can be seen in “one take.”

Astrological Sun Sign Gemini
Planetary Ruler:  Mercury
Element: Air
Quality: Mutable

Light, versatile, quick witted, scattered, fickle, changeable, ageless, curious, mercurial

You’ve heard the adjective Mercurial. These folk are adept, quick thinkers, and eccentric and diverse in their own right (you never know which one of the Twins will appear…the chatty or shy one, the involved or aloof one, the funny or serious one, etc.). It’s no accident that Geminis can be hard to grasp and hold on to! This is made only more so with the sign’s Element of Air. Think of trying to grasp a wisp of fog or smoke and to hold onto it…It’s light, ever-changing — and impossible to do. The best thing to do is let these folks form to the moment, as is wont of Mutable Signs anyway: They usually have no trouble adapting to new situations and people — in fact, variety is really their spice for life. If a situation (or the people) doesn’t change up, they will flit off like a butterfly in search of some new curiosity. This can make them fun companions who are always game to try something different. The Element and Quality of Gemini also allows them to leave one “scene” for another, whether it’s a relationship, job or home, with ease and without much emotional ado (unlike that a Fixed or Water Sign might exhibit). This ability to move on easily is admired by some and loathed by others. That said, most who really know a Gemini soul can’t deny their generally lighthearted and sweet natures. However, Geminis would do well to keep their addiction to variety in check, for it can place them in danger of becoming scattered and unable to focus as they flit about life. This addiction can also manifest as fickleness. A plan made is a plan that can change with these folks. While their need to keep their minds agile with diverse interests remains with them for a lifetime, their fickleness does tend to abate as they mature — and as the people in their lives mature and finally accept to enjoy the spice they can add to life. Fun or frustration? That’s up to you!

The House of Gemini
Gemini’s natural home in the Zodiac Wheel is in the Third House, the House of Communication and Travel (short trips), among other things. So, if a person’s Third House is ruled by Gemini and/or if he/she has a Celestial Body residing there, they are likely noted for their communication style and as someone who needs a lot of action and diversity, which can often be satisfied through socializing and travel. What that means is when they are wearing their “Talkative Twin” face, don’t be surprised to find them out and about in the ‘hood or at a party chatting it up with the person nearest to them (anyone will do!).  Or if they have on their “I’m Bored Twin” face, be ready to take off on an adventure for the day or weekend, or be left behind — they’ll go without you and find someone else to join in on the fun.

What’s Your Quality: Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable?

What’s Your Quality: Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable?

“Remember, Elements describe the general temperament of your personality. Qualities describe the general modus operandi of your personality…”

Did you realize there is more to an astrological profile than the Star Sign (aka Sun Sign, Birth Sign) you were born under? In fact, your astrological profile is a complex and multi-layered, making you unique. In basic terms, it involves a Sun, Moon and Ascendant Star Sign, with each equally important. Then you have your planets, each with an astrological sign. Plus, all of these signs have characteristics assigned to what are called Elements (see our post, What’s Your Element…) and Qualities. We have written about the Elements, but here we want to give an overview of the Qualities. Remember, Elements describe the general temperament of your personality. Qualities describe the general modus operandi of your personality: There are three Qualities in total (Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable) with four signs assigned to each.

Cardinal is the Quality for the Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn astrological signs. Cardinal signs represent the cardinal points on a compass, with Aries representing East, Libra/West, Cancer/North and Capricorn/South.  Note, that on a birth chart,  the “compass” points are opposite of what we normally consider north, east, west, south directionally). This Quality and its associated Signs  corresponds with the Natural Houses, which are angular (remember from our Basic Architecture of a Birth Chart post that there are 12 Houses), of the Zodiac Wheel:  Aries in the 1st House of You; Cancer in the 4th House of Home, Libra in 7th House of One-on-One Relationships and Capricorn in 10th House of Career. They also herald the beginning/end of each of the four seasons…making way for change, new life, possibility. Generally, folks with Cardinal quality are self-starters, leaders, and dynamic. if they’re not careful, they can run roughshod over others.

Fixed is the Quality assigned to Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. These folks tend to be very stable with depth of purpose, but sometimes they can lose sight of flexibility in situations that actually warrant (and succeed with) a change of opinion or approach. This Quality represents the “middle” of each season, or the “stable” part or the status quo/routine of a season. If you change the routine for some of these folks, they can dig in their heels like no other! The best thing is to ease them into a change, or make it seem like their own idea! That said, you’d want these folks on your side in any battle. They can be stalwart champions.

Mutable is the Quality assigned to Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. Mutable signs change “with the wind,” able to adjust to whatever the demands are of the moment.  They also can take on characteristics of the other two Qualities, making them highly adaptable to situations. Because of this adaptability, they often can offer the remedy that is called for in a particular situation. On the job they can be excellent managers. This Quality corresponds with the end/beginning of each a season, a time of transition and acceptance that it’s time to move on to what’s next.

To determine what your personality’s Quality actually is not just about your Sun Sign (Birth Sign) is. A birth chart analyses should take into account the Qualities of your Sun, Moon, Ascendant and planets, and then tally them in total (For more on what makes up a birth chart, read Basic Architecture of Birth Chart). You could have a Cardinal Sun but Mutable Moon and Ascendant, and planets having all three Qualities. In that case, with your Moon and Ascendant and several planets of Mutable Quality, it’s likely you’d exhibit more Mutable Quality characteristics that that of the Element of your Sun Sign, Cardinal. So you see,  there is much more to your Star Sign—and you’re a complex and unique individual, maybe similar to others in some ways, but truly with your own birth personality.

Shown: Seasons /Annual rings by Meinolf Wewel

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