Astrological Musings

Another twist on Mercury retrograde

This comes from Erin Sullivan’s excellent work Retrograde Planets:

[In the Iliad] Hermes is designated by Zeus himself to be the companion of man. This is symbolic of Mercury’s role in the horoscope as the translator of all sensory data as they are assimilated into the conscious mind. Mercury might be the single most important planet in the horoscope since it is through Mercury that we not only absorb but also disseminate all of our perceptions. In the course of retrograde cycles our perceptions often shift drastically as we contact information in new ways and process it unconsciously [emphasis mine].

I particularly like this because it takes away the whole “everything falls apart” mentality that is usually applied to Mercury retrograde periods and gives us a new perspective on the way we process information. Yes, my voicemail isn’t working properly and a client missed an appointment today, but my perceptions are shifting and new information is available to me that I would not have otherwise experienced.

Hermes, the god, is the guide through all retrograde cycles and plays a strong role in the lives of those who have many retrograde planets. As the summoner and translator of unconscious or obscure knowledge, his patronage during all cycles of retrogression seems natural.

This too adds a wonderful layer of complexity to the Mercury Rx phenomenon. “the summoner and translator of unconscious or obscure knowledge,” guiding us through the veil of our perceptions into a clearer and more luminous vision.

In order to pass through the doorway of transformation we must leave the structures of our concepts behind, and what better time to do it than now while Mercury is retrograde!

By | 2006-11-02T22:24:00+00:00 November 2nd, 2006|Mercury retrograde|Comments Off on Another twist on Mercury retrograde

Happy Birthday Chiron!!

Chiron was discovered nearly thirty years ago on November 1, 1977. Astronomically, Chiron is classified as one of the Centaurs, a collection of minor planets found between Saturn and Uranus. However, because Chiron exhibited a “coma”, or tail, some astronomers wanted to classify Chiron as a comet. Currently, it is officially classified as BOTH a comet and a minor planet. Chiron’s orbit takes 50.7 years, but due to its elliptical orbit it moves through some signs much more quickly than others. It takes about 8 years to travel through Aries when it is farthest from the sun, and less than 1-1/2 years to travel through Libra.

In mythology Chiron was born of Philyra, mortal woman, and Saturn, immortal god. In order to escape Saturn’s amorous pursuit, Philyra had herself turned into a mare; however, Saturn outsmarted her and shapeshifted into a horse in order to accomplish his intention to rape her. When Chiron was born half horse and half man, like a Centaur, Philyra was so ashamed she abandoned him in a cave, thus establishing the deep psychic wound for which Chiron is well-known.

Being one-half god, Chiron was immortal and thus survived this early abandonment. He went on to study with the god Apollo, who some say became his foster father. There Chiron learned the arts of music and homeopathic healing, as well as skills such as archery, hunting, and the art of warmaking. He was wounded when a poison arrow struck him in the leg. Because he was partly immortal, the wound did not kill him but kept him in pain for the rest of his life. He achieved death by trading places with Prometheus, who had been bound to a rock by Zeus in punishment for mocking him. In allowing himself […]

By | 2006-11-01T23:44:00+00:00 November 1st, 2006|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Happy Birthday Chiron!!

November Skywatch is posted

You can read the whole article here, but here’s an excerpt of what the planets are doing in early November:

Over the past six months we have been in a heavy retrograde period but recently Pluto, Chiron and then Neptune changed direction so that now only Mercury and Uranus are in retrograde motion (appearing to move backwards from our perspective on earth). At one point this past summer six planets were retrograde, making it difficult to move forward with our plans and visions; we are now prepared to make those changes. However, we may be somewhat stifled in our efforts until November 18 when Mercury turns direct and moves forward again. All in all, though, November gives us a breath of fresh air after the challenging year behind us.

The opposition between Saturn and Neptune is widening now and diminishing in power until it returns in February of next year. (you may want to read this article which more completely describes the Saturn/Neptune cycle which began in August) Saturn desires to create form and Neptune urges us to dissolve into the ocean of pure consciousness, and the opposition between these two planets can be destabilizing. During Saturn/Neptune periods we are forced (Saturn) to relinquish our illusions and fantasies (Neptune), but we may also find ourselves better able to manifest our spiritual yearning (Neptune) into a day-to-day practice (Saturn). We have completed just the first phase of the cycle, and those of us with planets in the fixed signs (Aquarius, Leo, Taurus, Scorpio) will be most subject to its influence.

Saturn is also approaching a trine to Pluto, the god of the underworld and power, which will not awaken fully until next year. The harmonious interaction between the […]

By | 2017-04-02T09:43:17+00:00 November 1st, 2006|Uncategorized|Comments Off on November Skywatch is posted

Halloween and the Festival of Endings

Graphic from

Halloween truly is a pagan practice, recognizing that this so-called holiday is actually rooted in the old Celtic festival of Samhain. Although Halloween is commonly celebrated on October 31, the festival of Samhain is a cross-quarter holiday that occurs at the midpoint between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice on November 7.

Astrologically, Samhain (along with the other cross-quarter days of Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasad) is celebrated at the midpoint of the fixed signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius and Leo. Fixed signs are the signs of power – like the square, their stability and fixed nature leads to a buildup of energy that opens up a doorway to an explosion of raw power. In Scorpio, that power is directed within, fearlessly exploring the invisible dimensions of life and reaching across dimensions to discover what awaits there.

Samhain was celebrated as the New Year in pre-Christian Celtic lands, and it was thought that during this time the veil between the worlds was at its thinnest. Communication with the dead was widely practiced during Samhain rituals, not surprising because of the association with Scorpio and the underworld of darkness that it rules.

When Christianity attempted to subsume the pagan Celtic festivals into Christian holidays, All Saints or All Hallows Day was established on November 2 with the night before being the Eve of All Hallows which has come down to us as Halloween. Participants still celebrate the souls of the dead during Hallows Eve, but now the creatures from the other side were reviled as evil. Wise women became the evil witches; offerings of food and drink were left out for the dead souls to placate their […]

By | 2006-10-31T00:04:00+00:00 October 31st, 2006|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Halloween and the Festival of Endings

The Moirae: the Triple Nature of Fate and Planetary Cycles

In ancient times, humans were more intimately connected to the tides of nature and consequently felt more subject to the whim of fate than we do today. The ancient Greeks viewed Fate as three sisters that made up a single triple goddess: the Moirae, most likely from the ancient word “moera” meaning a phase. The Moirae did not decide the fate of humans, but they supervised it.

Each of the three Moirae, or Fates, were represented by a phase of the moon: Clotho spun the thread of life from the cosmos and was represented by the New Moon, goddess of the spring;
Lachesis measured the thread of life and assigned each man his destiny; she was represented by the Full Moon, goddess of summer; and Atropos, the Crone-goddess of autumn represented by the waning Moon, who cut the thread of life with the “abhorred shears.”

The triple nature of fate is mirrored in the working of the planetary cycles that we call “transits.” These cycles occur when planets in their current orbits make an angle to planets in our birthcharts, creating an atmosphere where change and transition can occur. The hard angle transits (90 and 180 degrees or squares and oppositions) can be challenging events that force us to make changes in our lives. The harmonious transits (60 and 120 degrees or sextiles and trines) tend to open up doorways that encourage growth rather than force it. In any case, these events unfold in a series of three phases.

The “applying” phase occurs as the transiting planet approaches the degree of our natal planet. This is the phase of initiation, where the first […]

By | 2006-10-30T11:36:00+00:00 October 30th, 2006|Fate|Comments Off on The Moirae: the Triple Nature of Fate and Planetary Cycles
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