Mercury turns Retrograde today (10:02 am PDT) until October 25, calling you inward to review, renew, redo, rethink and all the other “re-” words. As Mercury stations – stands still in the sky as it appears to reverse directions – we’re advised to do the same. To slow down, press the pause button on our busyness, and take time to rest and reflect.
However! This particular Mercury Retro coincides with two dramatic Eclipses and some feisty, fiery, go-for-it alignments. My feeling about this Mercury Retro is that it’s a lot about finally moving forward with something we’ve needed or wanted to do for a long time. Or, revitalizing or regenerating something we started in the past. Since Eclipses often feature dramatic endings and beginnings, this Retro cycle can also be about REleasing what’s in the way of pursuing our authentic passion, letting go of what’s become boring or stagnant to make space for what holds meaning and aliveness for us now.
Mercury Retro and the Eclipses are not only happening simultaneously, their themes are very much intertwined. Mercury turns Retrograde at 2 degrees Scorpio, close to the degree of the Solar Eclipse (0 Scorpio) on October 23. When Mercury stations direct – starts moving forward again – it will be at 16 Libra, close to the Sun’s degree (15 Libra) at the Lunar Eclipse on October 8. Libra is the sign of partnership, love, interdependence and codependence, while Scorpio rules intimacy, sexuality, emotional bonding and merging. These are major arenas for revelation, reconsideration and renegotiation over the next month.
Something that Eclipses and Mercury Retro share in common is that they both turn attention toward the past – old issues resurface, and people you haven’t seen or thought of in years reappear, in waking life or through your dreams and memories. We can expect to revisit themes from six months ago, when the previous pair of Eclipses occurred, a Libra Lunar Eclipse on April 15 and a Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 28. Another reference point is 1995, as Eclipses happen at the same degree of the zodiac every 19 years.
Eclipses pull us into the darkness of the unknown, the darkness of our own repressed needs and feelings, and the darkness of infinite potential and possibility – the womb of regeneration and rebirth. The light of the Sun or Moon goes dark, and then returns, signifying a resetting of consciousness. This reset requires a purging of all the gunk that’s built up over the past six months, an emotional and physical detox, which is why people tend to get colds and such more often during Eclipse Season.
Wednesday’s Lunar Eclipse in Aries (3:52 am PDT) is a super-charged Full Moon, featuring heightened emotions, revelations and breakthroughs relating to the essential Aries questions: Who am I? and What do I want? The Moon is sandwiched between Uranus and the South Node, and squares Pluto, and the potential here is to free ourselves from old ideas of who we “should” be, and uncover a deeper level of true self and authentic desire. In the context of all this focus on relationship, this Eclipse asks us to first get right with ourselves.
Fear and anger are emotions likely to be stirred up by this Eclipse – the fear of being our radical, freaky selves, the fear of going after what we really want, and anger at how we’ve repressed our true selves and true desires in the past. How much time have you wasted trying to please everyone, trying to fit in, trying to be “nice,” living out someone else’s idea of who you’re supposed to be?
Mars is the traditional ruler of Aries and Scorpio, and plays a starring role this Eclipse Season. Mars in fiery, adventurous, expansive Sagittarius (September 14-October 26) wants to fire up your enthusiasm and spark inspired action. Mars in Sag can help us lean into the big picture and higher vision even as we descend into the depths of darkness. Fueling the fire at the Lunar Eclipse, Mars is part of a rare and powerful Grand Trine in the Fire signs, with Jupiter in Leo and the Moon, Uranus and the South Node in Aries. Where are you being called to take a leap of faith? What direction feels exciting and liberating?
Accessing all this inspirational, fiery goodness may require moving through some old pain or grief, as indicated by Mars’ other major angle – a square to Chiron in Pisces. I had this experience the other night when I finally watched The Barefoot Artist, the documentary about Lily Yeh. I had bought the DVD a few months ago, as soon as it came out, because I’m a huge fan of Yeh’s work and feel so inspired by her. But! I had postponed watching it because I knew it would be emotionally intense – every time I hear her speak (as in many past interviews with Caroline Casey), I cry.
In case you’re not familiar with Yeh’s work, she’s an artist who goes into “broken” places, like Rwanda, and creates art projects with the community, focused around healing and community building. “Beauty,” she says, “is intimately engaged with darkness, with chaos, with destruction…. From the depths of darkness, beauty transforms and transcends.” Indeed, I cried through much of the movie, but came out feeling re-inspired about the potential for one person to be a force for positive change in the world. Offering excellent guidance for Eclipse Season, Yeh says: “You need to walk into the darkness and then look at it and listen to it and hold it in your arms.”
For deeper insight into what Wednesday’s Lunar Eclipse means for YOU, find the house in your birth chart that contains 15 degrees Aries. The areas of life signified by that house are where: change is brewing, volatile energy is erupting, and something from the past is coming to culmination, fruition or completion; where you’re being called to let go of what’s NOT authentically you; and where you’re asking the Aries questions, What do I really want? Where is my vitality and excitement calling me? What would it look like just to be myself?
To learn more about what this Mercury Retro means for you, find the house or houses that contain 16 degrees Libra to 2 degrees Scorpio. (If you don’t know how to do this, get the recording from my Mercury Retro teleclass!) The areas of life signified by that house or houses are where you’re: regenerating a past passion or project; completing unfinished business; rethinking your desires and renegotiating your commitments; and releasing what’s no longer authentic or alive for you.
– Emily Trinkaus
Calling all priestesses! Join energy-healing genius Katie Todd and me next Tuesday for our Full Moon Galactivation (or enjoy the recording at your leisure) – we’ll be working with these powerful Lunar Eclipse energies in our fun and informative teleclass. All women are welcome, and can participate from anywhere by phone or online. Register by midnight Saturday to be eligible to win a personalized priestess session on the call! Details here.