uranusConfusion? Chaos? Miscommunications, mental anxiety, missing voicemails and mysterious computer glitches (or is that just my life)? Uranus and Mercury are preparing to turn Retrograde, on Friday and Saturday respectively, and their near-simultaneous stations seem to be strengthening each other’s influence.

The mega-dose of Uranian energy stirs up a mood of impatience and rebellion, along with the desire for radical change, freedom and authenticity. As I wrote in a previous postUranus in Aries wants to free you from the illusion of a fixed sense of self, break you out of self-definitions that imprison you in an identity so much smaller than the life you were born to live. One of his methods is to wake up desires and passions that have been ignored, repressed or denied.

Uranus’s ongoing square to Pluto in Capricorn challenges us to awaken and express our individuality and pursue our passions even and especially as the old social order and power structures decay and self-destruct. The fear program that runs Western culture recommends “clinging to the falling rocks” which, as the analogy suggests, is not the wisest survival strategy. In the context of the “ends of time” — the death of patriarchy and civilization as we know it — why not be who you really are and do what you came here to do?

mercuryMercury in Leo forms a harmonious trine (120-degree angle) to Uranus in Aries, lending support to this self-liberation project. Leo rules the heart, and Mercury Retrograde in Leo, July 14 to August 7, asks us to rethink and realign with our heart’s desires. What makes you happy? What lights you up? Speaking and listening from the heart — especially when it comes to voicing our desires and hearing those of our significant others — is another Mercury Retro assignment.

Mercury is the only planet occupying a Fixed sign right now. The Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo and Aquarius) are the stabilizers of the zodiac, and needless to say, stability is a rare commodity these days. Leo is Fixed Fire — the eternal flame of the heart, our inner Sun. The word “courage” comes from the French “coeur” — heart — and strengthening our courage to support us through these increasingly wild times would be another good use of this Mercury Retro. When everything “out there” appears chaotic and falling apart, we can always return to our hearts to find our inner strength and stability.

Mars — action, passion and desire — moved into Libra on July 3, adding to the emphasis on Cardinal signs, the leaders and initiators. As the ruler of Aries, and therefore the dispositor of Uranus, Mars now holds special significance. Due to his Retrograde, Mars was in Virgo for an extended stay — about eight months — a time of healing, integration and preparation. Now that Mars is in Libra, and moving into a square with Pluto (exact July 17) and opposition with Uranus (July 18), events are being catalyzed into motion more quickly, in a potentially volatile kind of way.

libraOver the next week or so of escalating tension, our assignment is to cultivate a state of internal balance, peace and harmony. Mercury Retro suggests that slowing down and centering in the heart would be a helpful strategy. Engaging in practices that help you feel grounded is also recommended. Hard aspects involving Mars, Uranus stations, and Mercury Retrograde are all associated with accidents — typically because there’s an ungrounded spaciness and we (or others) are not entirely occupying our bodies (Uranus and Mercury), or because of suppressed anger (Mars).

The Martian urge to take action is best directed toward completing projects or otherwise revisiting something from the past, rather than initiating a new direction. Mercury Retro is the Universe’s catch-up period, when we back up and re-do what we may have sped through the first time around.

saturnReinforcing Mercury Retro’s recommendation to slow down, the Sun — the ruler of Leo — is moving into a square with Saturn, which will be exact on the same day as Mercury’s reversal. Potential frustration can be minimized if we cooperate with the energy and recognize the purpose behind delays and obstacles. We are being tested as to what we’re truly committed to, what we’re willing to work for, to put our hearts into, and it’s worth slowing down, taking some alone time, and carefully considering these questions.

To get more insight into what this Mercury Retro means for you, find the house or houses in your birth chart that contain 1-12 degrees of Leo. The areas of life signified by that house (or houses) are where you’re being invited to reconnect with your heart’s wisdom, clarify your passions, and back up and complete a project from the past so you can move forward more easily.

Uranus will be Retrograde until December 13, and will travel through 4-8 degrees of Aries. The house or houses that Uranus is reversing through reveal the areas of life where you are asked to uncover more of your uniqueness and authenticity, reawaken your desires and instincts, and liberate yourself from old, self-limiting patterns.

– Emily Trinkaus