Hello to readers in Minneapolis!
It’s a complex week, with no specific guidelines nor hard and fast rules to manage the ins and outs of daily life. Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are all retrograde, and the regular routines that normally dictate the ebb and flow of activities all seem to be a little leaky with detours, delays, distractions, and an overabundance of obstacles that make staying on track a challenge. The tried and true advice about this retrograde aggregation, especially when it comes to Mercury and Mars, is to steer clear of new endeavors and to concentrate instead on refining what’s already in motion. Clear, although standard guidance. (More about this below.)
But this week, several interactions challenge normal retrograde behavior.
(1) Today, the Moon, in Aries, is conjunct Uranus, also in Aries, and both form a wide but nevertheless active square to Pluto. This is a normally emotionally volatile combination, and because we are in the Retro-Zone, much of what erupts and breaks the skin of polite interactions is likely to be related to grievances rooted in unresolved issues from the past two years of upheaval. Contrary to the standard retrograde wisdom of “patience, patience, patience,” strong impulses to move into action are hard to ignore. Yes, this need to act can be seen as resolving situations already in motion.
(2) The conundrum of the week, however, is the new Moon on May 6, with its call to action. New Moons are always about new beginnings, and this new Moon, in Taurus, is almost impossible to ignore because it occurs in a trine to Jupiter, in Virgo, and a trine to Pluto, in Capricorn—all Earth Signs, all aligned in a powerful configuration known as a Grand Trine in Earth. All Grand Trines are good, but this Grand Trine is a truly positive influence for getting things done. But that’s not all.
(3) The new Moon is also conjunct that retrograde Mercury, and Mercury’s “backward” glance is at odds with the full thrust of the new Moon, making efforts to get something started feel more like two-steps- forward-and-one-step-back. It’s a frustrating rhythm that’s certain to propel some into major or minor meltdowns.
Recently, someone shared a post on Facebook about the “gloom and doom” that astrologers put forth about retrogrades. The writer was complaining about reading the same old advice and warnings, refurbished and reworked every time Mercury goes retrograde, and suggesting instead that astrologers adopt a more adaptive and positive attitude. My first reaction was to think: “Wow…I’ve been doing this so long that I have become the establishment. Yikes!” Then, as I brooded over this comment a little longer, I realized that it had touched a deep nerve about astrological wisdom:
Mercury Retrograde is probably the one astral occurrence that gets people who generally don’t pay attention to astrology to pay attention. It is the new urban sky myth, taking its place alongside Saturn Returns and even surpassing them in popularity and general awareness. Mercury Retrograde made me an astrologer when I realized its effect was simply undeniable. But as I have written many, many times, Mercury Retrograde is not the devil, and during Mercury Retrograde, life goes on. Does the world continue to function when Mercury is retrograde? Of course it does. Do we all get on with our lives during Mercury Retrograde? Of course we do. It’s just that functioning and getting on takes extra effort, especially when normally easy things become a gigantic pain in the ass. And you definitely need a good sense of humor to make it through.
The Internet creates the same problem for astrology as cable created for news networks: Its 24/7 cycle needs content—and lots of it. And astrology columns (like my own) or proliferating blogs about the stars and planets present the same conundrum facing early cable content: If you don’t have something to say, you simply have to make it up to fill in the space, particularly because content is devoured almost immediately. I’m not sure what the solution is to this content problem other than for readers to develop a discerning mind that can identify what’s valuable and reliable information. On one hand, it’s simply fantastic that everyone has a platform. On the other, not all that glitters is gold.
This week, as you wrestle to find and maintain a balance between the slo-mo rewind of Mercury Retrograde and the dynamic power of the Grand Trine in Earth, pay attention to what’s flourishing, and notice how you handle obstacles and interference. As always, be kind to your fellow travelers. Don’t kick the dog or scream at the cat because the wifi doesn’t work. Don’t blame the barista because you actually didn’t order the right brew. Simply be as patient as possible.