Planetary Movements

4 posts

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde: The Trickster Advises Rest And Retreat

Mercury Retrograde: The Trickster Advises Rest And Retreat

Mercury Retrograde

Awaken Your Mind

Bad Rap

Mercury Retrograde gets a bad rap. “Mercury Retrograde” refers to the three-week periods that occur 3-4 times a year in which the planet Mercury appears to move backwards in the sky. This phenomenon occurs only from our viewpoint on Earth.  These periods often strike fear into people’s hearts, due to their reputation for mechanical breakdowns, technological collapse, or delayed travel plans. And it’s true that these periods correlate with more than a fair share of these issues. However, we experience these problems partly because we live in a culture that fails to value contemplation or retreat, so we constantly overextend ourselves to the breaking point.


Not to worry! In general, retrogrades offer space to take a mental break from the constant grind and re-calibrate your inner compass. Start by taking a deep breath and relaxing. Ponder the idea of taking advantage of time to consciously retreat, rest, and review. Revisit your to-do list, and take special note of what calls your attention. Slow down and scrutinize your expectations with an attitude of observation.

Observe Themes

Each Mercury Retrograde period presents subtly different themes. Mercury itself refers to information transmission, and how we think, learn, speak, and listen. It also represents your mindset, emphasizing that you have a choice in the mindset you adopt. The sign Mercury occupies when it “turns around” infuses particular themes into the retrograde. Furthermore, when you apply the information to your natal chart, you can further elucidate and personalize the topics in your own life.

Mercury Through The Houses:  What topics may arise in your personal life?

First House: Self, Self-Development, Self-Image

Consider factors that affect your basic identity, how you present yourself, and the first impression people seem to get of you, and what direction your life points in.

Second House: Finances, Resources, Self-Worth, Livelihood

Consider how you value yourself and the state of your finances. Tangle with the inherent resources you have and your ability to deepen unconditional self love.

Third House: Communication, Siblings, Short Trips, Writing

Consider your relationships with your siblings or very close friends and your communication style. Also think about how you move about in your daily life, the transportation you use.

Fourth House: Home, Roots, Lineage, Parents

Consider your relationships with your family, your ancestry and your physical home. Revisit your ability to find inner security, your “home inside the heart.”

Fifth House: Creative Expression, Risk-Taking, Children, Giving Of Love

Consider how you relate to children and their playful energy. Use this time to engage in deeply creative projects, the things you would do no matter what and take risks for.

Sixth House: Routine, Work, Self Care, Service

Consider the routines you have that keep you healthy. This includes fitness routines, therapy, nutrition and the like. Check in with unconscious habits and make sure you are taking the time you need to breathe. Revisit “self improvement” areas of life.

Seventh House: Partnerships, Marriage, Rivals

Consider all your partnerships in life, particularly regarding the balance between cooperation and autonomy. Review your sense of equanimity and interdependence.

Eighth House: Other People’s Baggage and Money, Shared Resources, The Occult

Consider the boundaries you need to cope with other people’s resources and intense emotional struggles. Review your rituals that support you in these shadowy areas.

Ninth House: Worldview, Travel, Higher Education, Religion

Consider the your life philosophy and what you might need to broaden it. Review your ability to open your mind and explore any gaps in your education.

Tenth House: Profession, Social Reputation and Contribution

Taking the long view, consider your professional life and any adjustments you want to make. Review prior aspirations and goals.

Eleventh House: Groups, Affiliations, Associates, Community

Consider your ability to contribute to your communication and the role they play in receiving love and support. Review your connections and your humanitarian viewpoint.

Twelfth House: Selfless Service, Transcendence, Suffering

Consider your ability to forgive and hold compassion for the suffering of others. Retreat and review your connection with a sense of wonderment or the divine. Take solitude.

Astronomy: The Journey

The superior conjunction with the Sun marks the beginning of Mercury’s symbolic journey. “Superior” refers to Mercury’s position on the far side of the Sun from Earth, and in direct motion. At this moment, the tiny winged messenger planet is completely invisible against the powerful rays of the Sun. It must clear the Sun by about 15º to pop back up in our evening sky. Soon after this point, Mercury appears to slow down, halt, and begin moving back toward the Sun, covering the ground it has already traversed. This second encounter with the Sun, always with Mercury in retrograde direction, is called the inferior conjunction. It marks the midpoint of the retrograde period. About a week and a half after the inferior conjunction, Mercury stations direct, and completes the third and final pass of the same zodiac degrees. At this point, it chases the Sun and when it catches up, the cycle begins again. From the astrology lens, when Mercury crosses through the same zodiacal territory, it provides us with an opportunity to focus on and wrestle with the various issues in our lives from the same vantage point. When viewed in this way, we gain the opportunity to revisit and reframe the narrative of our lives.


2024 Dates Of Mercury Retrograde:

December 13, 2023 – January 1 (8º Capricorn – 22º Sagittarius)

April 1 – 25 (27º – 16º Aries)

August 5 – 28 (4º Virgo – 21º Leo)

November 25 – December 15 (22º – 6º Sagittarius)

Stage Meaning 2024 Zodiac Points
Superior Conjunction The start of the cycle, Mercury appears to sit exactly behind the heart of the Sun (the cazimi condition), with Mercury floating on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth. Mercury in direct motion only during this conjunction October 20, 2023 (26º Libra)

February 28 (9º Pisces)

June 14 (24º Gemini)

September 30 (8º Libra)


Visible in Evening Once Mercury moves 15º away from the Sun, it becomes visible in the evening sky


Mercury begins traveling through the degrees it will retrace during the retrograde period November 25, 2023

March 18, 2024

July 16, 2024

November 7, 2024

Stations Retrograde Mercury appears to slow down and then reverse direction  Dec 13 (8º Capricorn)

April 1 (27º Aries)

August 5 (4º Virgo)

November 25 (22º Sagittarius

Inferior Conjunction The midpoint of the cycle, Mercury again appears to sit exactly in the heart of the Sun.   This time however, Mercury floats between us and the Sun. Mercury is always retrograde for this conjunction. Dec 22 (0º Capricorn)

April 11 (22º Aries)

August 18 (26º Leo)

December 5 (14º Sagittarius)


Stations Direct Mercury appears to slow down and turn back to move in forward direction. January 1 (22º Sagittarius)

April 25 (16º Aries)

August 28 (21º Leo)

December 15 (6º Sagittarius)



Mercury wanders back through all of the degrees it has already gone through twice, for a third and final time in the year. This period finishes when it reaches the degree of the zodiac sign that it retrograded on. January 20

May 13

September 11

January 2

Visible in Morning Once Mercury again reaches that 15º departure date, it becomes a morning star, visible in the magical hours before sunrise.
Superior Conjunction Cycle Starts Again see above

The Power Of Words

The Power Of Your Words

The Power Of Your Words

The Meaning And Use Of Mars Retrograde In Gemini

October 30, 2022 – January 12, 2023

The Power Of Words

Mars Retrograde: The Power Of Words

The planet Mars is about to enter a 75-day period during which it appears to turn around and retrace its steps from our perspective. This phenomenon happens roughly every two years, when Earth speeds by and creates the illusion of Mars slowing down, stopping, and moving backwards in its orbit. Due to its occurrence in the air sign Gemini, this Mars Retrograde places a heavy emphasis on the power of your words. Mars has occupied this territory since August 20, 2022 and remains until March 25, 2023.


The Meaning Of Mars

In astrology Mars symbolizes the development of will and courage, outlining how we assert ourselves, make decisions, mobilize our resources, and take action. In a natal horoscope, it gives us information about an area of life where we feel competitive, driven, passionate, and impulsive. On a global level, it represents the use of active power, typically being associated with the masculine in this patriarchal society. However each of us, regardless of biological sex at birth, holds Mars energy within their being. In the ego state, this planet acts like the god of war, representing basic survival, aggression, brute force, and violence. When used consciously, Mars activates the spiritual warrior energy of developing self-reliance, clarifying boundaries, and facing the world with fierce intent.


Gemini The Teacher

Mutable air Gemini flies in like a gust of wind that comes out of nowhere to stir things up. Gemini’s goal is to gather information from one source and deliver it to the next, for the purposes of networking, teaching, and storytelling. Like all the astrological components, it operates on a spectrum. In its most base form, naïve Gemini gossips and sees everything in terms of duality – black v. white, man v. woman, left v. right, or good v. evil. The problem with this mindset is that it draws battle lines, with each side believing in its own virtuosity and the other side’s evil, which perpetuates eternal war. It distracts us from doing the interior work of looking at our own human complexity and capacity for anger, hate, and violence. In an awakened state, Gemini encourages curiosity, which teaches us to be enthralled with learning, to develop the intellect, and to craft the twin communication skills of speaking and listening. It carries the archetype of the Teacher that we each seek in the quest of life.

How We Use Our Words

On a good note, Mars in Gemini adds significant power to our words and invigorates a voracious appetite for learning. Unfortunately, Mars isn’t particularly stable in Gemini, since it enhances the speed and anxiety of both. This exacerbates aggressive and thoughtless tendencies, resulting in turbulent, short-fused, and imprudent behavior. With Mars turning Retrograde, we are each being asked to overhaul how we use our words. A Retrograde planet always invites us to slow down, find some respite, and look inwards to the source of our motivation. It symbolizes the need for rest, retreat, and reflection. Because the modern world over-values action, we may experience feeling impatient and frustrated by the perceived lack of forward motion. With Mars Retrograde, take a deep breath so you can focus on maturing your internal drive and dealing with your impetus toward aggression or frustration. Allow a delay in action when you feel uncertain how to express yourself.

The Use Of Mars Retrograde

Mars Retrograde in Gemini is a great time to reflect on how you communicate. We live in volatile, polarized times, when what passes for communication happens from behind a screen, an alias, a gun, or not at all, making this symbol particularly apt. In a world with so many ways to communicate, we have lost the ability to verbalize our feelings, to discuss, to disagree, to listen and to hear each other out. It has never been more urgent to do this work, to learn about nonviolent communication, to talk with our neighbors, old friends, family members, and community. Taking the time to reflect on this might be one of the most important things that you can do right now. This is also a key time to reflect on and rewrite the inner narratives that keep us limited, fearful, and unable to follow through on our desires. As you read for your Rising sign (or Sun sign), bear in mind that this is a months long process, and that your experience in part depends on sensitive spots in your horoscope.

Aries: With Mars in your Third House of Communication, reassess your communication style to make sure you balance speaking up with listening to others.

Taurus: With Mars in your Second House of Resources, reevaluate your story about self-worth and money.

Gemini: With Mars in your First House of Self, rethink your overall narrative and consider where you need to develop a new plan for your self-development.

Cancer: With Mars in your Twelfth House of The Unconscious, reconnect with the hidden places in your psyche and find ways to express this deep questioning.

Leo: With Mars in your Eleventh House of Community, reassess your connection to your community and change the narrative about how you show up in groups.

Virgo: With Mars in your Tenth House of Profession, review the narrative about your work in the world and take action to make necessary change.

Libra: With Mars in your Ninth House of Worldview, revisit what makes up your viewpoint and strive to shift oversimplified thinking into critical thinking.

Scorpio: With Mars in your Eighth House of Shared Resources, review the assumptions you make about others and notice if you tend to overlook the complexity of others.

Sagittarius: With Mars in your Seventh House of Partnerships, reestablish deeper physical connection with partners and reframe your narrative about yourself as a partner.

Capricorn: With Mars in your Sixth House of Routines, review your routines that keep you physically healthy to include others and check for overdoing

Aquarius: With Mars in your Fifth House of Creativity, rethink how you play and have fun in your creative pursuits. Inquire about how you verbalize your love to others.

Pisces: With Mars in your Fourth House of Family, revisit your communication with family and review your narrative about your role in the family or your family line.

Please watch the video below for more information about where this Mars Retrograde lands in your own horoscope.  The first part is for everyone, then you can skip ahead to your own Rising sign in the video’s tool bar.



Jupiter Into Aries

Act With Faith: Jupiter Into Aries

Act With Faith: Jupiter Into Aries

Jupiter Into Aries

photo by Planet Volumes

May 10, 2022, 7:22PM EDT

December 20, 2022 9:32AM EST

Jupiter: The Great Benefic

As the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter represents expanding opportunities and widening horizons. It governs the higher mind, philosophy, religion, law and ceremony. Known as the great benefic, Jupiter symbolizes the source of optimism, abundance, and faith in our personal lives. As ever, the degree of consciousness brought to Jupiter determines its ability to search for truth, meaning, and well-earned insight. Unconscious Jupiter bloats into excess, entitlement, and self-righteousness.

The Classic Quest

Jupiter in Aries takes the desire for growth and makes it personal, focusing on the individual drive for self-fulfillment. It describes the classic quest of claiming your own path, which requires the courage and faith to learn through trial and error.  This is the time to be daring, assertive, and fearless. Be warned that you might also slip into the territory of brash, reckless, or combative behavior in your haste.

A Year Of Independent Action

Jupiter revolves around the Sun once every twelve years, meaning that it inhabits one zodiac sign for roughly a year. Because of the retrograde periods, Jupiter dips in and out and Pisces three times in 2021 and 2022. Jupiter’s soak in Pisces symbolizes time for resting, grieving, or dreaming. Now, as Jupiter springs into Aries, consider what dream or ideal you want to take action on. Trust the healing that you have done, and advance the project that calls you most in the name of your highest growth. Read below to discover what area of your life benefits from the expansion of your self-awareness and independence.

Aries: Expand your personal development curriculum

Taurus: Dive deep to liberate yourself through radical compassion

Gemini: Take bold action to expand your role in your community

Cancer: Step into brave new territory in your professional life

Leo: Open your mind to new heights of inclusivity

Virgo: Increase your understanding of boundaries through sharing resources with others

Libra: Reach for a richer definition of the balance between autonomy and cooperation

Scorpio: Implement new and adventurous ways to promote your self-care and health

Sagittarius: Embrace your creative life with newfound enthusiasm

Capricorn: Expand your notion of family and home

Aquarius: Claim your power through your voice

Pisces: Affirm your self-worth through brave action

Pluto Enters Aquarius

Pluto Enters Aquarius: Radical Transformation

In a dark time, the eye begins to see.

~ Theodore Roethke

Pluto Enters Aquarius: Radical Transformation

March 23, 2023, 8:14am EDT

Pluto Enters Aquarius
photo by Asa Steinarsdottir

Pluto Enters Aquarius

On March 23, 2023, tiny Pluto enters Aquarius for the first time in well over 200 years. The last time, Pluto was in Aquarius from approximately 1778 – 1797. As the farthest planet from the Sun, slow-moving Pluto occupies each sign of the zodiac for ten to thirty years, the variation due to its elliptical orbit. Pluto will drift back and forth from Capricorn three times, before permanently settling into Aquarius from November 2024 until March 2043.

Archetypal Metamorphosis

In an archetypal sense, Pluto represents rebirth and the power of transformation. It refers to power than cannot be seen, that hides in the shadows and lurks in the underworld. It deals with the primordial instincts and the volcanic catharsis, represented by mythical figures such as Kali, Pele, and Hades. Its prime directive is to destroy whatever is in the way of total metamorphosis. In other words, it clears the decks to make room for new life. There are many examples of this type of energy in nature: the caterpillar that transforms into a butterfly, the lizard that re-grows its tail, or the seed that contains the blueprints for the tree. Pluto represents the unleashing of elemental forces far beyond our control, like a wildfire destroying the land and altering the ecosystem.

Humanitarian Ideals And Intellectual Freedom

Pluto in Aquarius focuses attention on the qualities of invention, discovery, and innovation. It sets the mythic foundations for the next generation, to prioritize humanitarian ideals and intellectual freedom. It also suggests the likelihood of seeing the problems that stem from indifference, not caring, and detachment continuing to rise to the surface, as Pluto reveals the dark face of Aquarius. These attitudes are what need to be purged in order for our society to have a future. This is a long, slow process. Pluto in Aquarius indicates quantum leaps in technology and a window to transform human impacts on the rest of the world. The question on the table for our society that remains is: can we face the old patterns that are creating the destruction and begin to participate in the rebuilding?

The Psychological Journey

On a psychological level, Pluto refers to the unconscious, the place that by definition exists just beyond our conscious view. It requires a shamanic descent into the inner world to confront the demons we banish to the far reaches of our shadow. From this hidden place, they pull the levers of power that control our behaviors. As long as they remain banished, they control us through bursts of envy, jealousy, resentment, and other difficult unacknowledged emotions. When we turn and face these un-integrated parts of ourselves, we take the first step on the road to acceptance. Once we surrender to the truth of our less lovable parts of self, we can actually begin to let them go. We begin to see that the purpose of being torn down is to be rebuilt in a new way. This is not a simple or easy process, but it is incredibly empowering.

The Transit Of Pluto

Wherever Pluto transits through our natal chart, it symbolizes a need for release and rebirth in that area of life. Depending on your life circumstance and natal chart, it may trigger feelings of helplessness and desperation in the area undergoing transformation. The hardest thing, but the necessary thing, is to surrender to the changes beyond your control. As part of the process completes, you can then employ your resources and your newfound energy to participate in the rebuilding process. For this reason, Pluto demands that we learn both the yin of release and the yang of active engagement. During Pluto transits, watch for power struggles within and without. Notice in yourself a desire for control. Examine your behaviors and be willing to ask yourself why you are truly doing something. Recognize that your ego desires that things stay the same. You may need to give up attachments to various parts of your ego, which can be quite painful and difficult. When you strip away the old shell, it frees up a tremendous amount of energy that can be put to use in a wholly new way. Ultimately, Pluto symbolizes breakthroughs and empowerment.

To understand more about where Pluto occupies your chart for the next 20 years, watch the AstroPath video below. Use your Rising (or Sun) sign to note what life topics this transformative shift involves.

Aries: Your community and groups of friends

Taurus: Your profession and social reputation

Gemini: Your worldview and capacity for critical thinking

Cancer: Your boundaries with the values of others

Leo: Your partnerships on all levels

Virgo: Your routines and practices

Libra: Your creative pursuits and relationship with joy

Scorpio: Your family life and home

Sagittarius: Your communication abilities

Capricorn: Your self worth and financial matters

Aquarius: Your self-development and self-image

Pisces: Your spiritual underpinnings