New Moon PiscesThere’s a lot to unpack this week!

Mercury has just turned retrograde. (For a little more detail, check out the video linked below.) Mercury turns retrograde three or four times a year, and travels retrograde for about 21 days each time. Because Mercury’s domain includes the mind, learning and communication but also trips of short duration and the technology which facilitates communication, Mercury is not always at its best when appearing to travel retrograde. If this is new to you, or if you’d like more information, please visit this more definitive article on Mercury retrograde and its shadow period.

For those of you who are easily overwhelmed by astrological language, let me give you the short and sweet version of this information: During the month of March, give up your ideas of trying to focus and create something durable. The planetary influences in March are focused in the archetype of Pisces which, while imaginative and creative, tends to cause our thinking to be a bit more fuzzy and communication more confusing. Just be aware that during these three weeks, and for a few days before and after, it will be important to try to maintain as much clarity as possible. This time is very well suited, however, for creative projects and anything involving a quest for an inward experience.

Mercury has been in Pisces since February 10th and reached the 29th degree before the retrograde station. The 29th degree, sometimes called the “critical” or “anaretic” degree, is associated with the endings of cycles and new beginnings. The word “anaretic” derives from “anareta,” which in medieval astrology signified the planet of death in the natal horoscope. This is likely what has given the 29th degree such a bad rap in traditional astrology, although endings are actually the harbinger of new beginnings and not to be feared. So Mercury reached the conclusion of its trip through Pisces and then had to make a U-turn, retracing its steps through Pisces.

Mercury is debilitated in the sign of Pisces – the watery misty imagination and creative inspiration of Pisces has the tendency to weaken the ability of Mercury to do its job of carrying communications clearly and effectively. Pisces is a wonderful sign for compassion, intuition, and artistry, but not very good for focus. The entire retrograde journey of Mercury this time is heavily weighted with Piscean symbolism.

New Moon in Pisces. First of all, the retrograde precedes by one day the New Moon in Pisces. Not only is the Moon new in Pisces, but it is conjoined by Neptune, the modern ruler of Pisces. So we have a new beginning of the lunar cycle in the sign of Pisces, with all of its evocation of mystery and the unknown, while Mercury is in Pisces attempting to explain and define what all of this misty illumination means in real life. And then on top of that, Neptune is sitting right on the lunation (Sun/Moon conjunction), adding more mystery and opening up the doors of inspiration and revelation if we watch with our inner eye rather than our Mercury eye for details.

Expansive Jupiter is in a wide square aspect to the New Moon, and since Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces this adds yet another Piscean element to the mix. And this is all part of the challenging square between Jupiter and Neptune, the traditional and modern rulers of Pisces. As Mercury retrogrades and then turns direct, it will interact with first Jupiter and then Neptune, and once it turns direct again it will retrace its steps. Jupiter expands the mind and encourages a broader range of thoughts and ideas, and Neptune asks that we let go of the details of this world and seek a higher knowledge and wisdom from beyond the veil.

We do have Mars, planet of action, in the grounded sign of Taurus in it is harmonizing with both Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn – this will help to keep our feet on the earth while we float among the stars. But if we are yanked to earth too quickly, we will lose the fairy dust and magic of this Piscean journey.

My advice for getting the most out of this retrograde period:

  • DO go back to any creative projects you never finished – you will see them through new eyes and perhaps find your inspiration once again.
  • DO make it a point to see past momentary problems and glitches and observe the larger patterns that are at work now.
  • DON’T start anything new or make a big decision if you can help it. If you can, try to make sure there’s no fairy dust in your eyes as you make your plan.
  • If you do have to make a big decision which can’t wait, such as take a new job, DO listen to your intuition and the voice of your higher self which is clearer and louder than usual.

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