Our relationships are without doubt a field of dynamic transformation, particularly in these evolutionary times. It’s unsurprising therefore that this next six week’s planetary focus points towards how we may harmonise our relationships, engaging our points of difference with more consciousness. The main indicator of this process is planet of perception and communication, Mercury, stationing retrograde in the sign of harmonious connection, Libra. We are offered a bridge to higher frequency equilibrium, both within our relationship to our own thought and decision-making processes, and in our connections with others.
The light of the Pisces Full Moon early morning on 21 September (UK time), pinpoints the spaces in our close connections calling for spaciousness, understanding, negotiation and teamwork. It may well have opened up the touch points of this upcoming Mercury retrograde. Those that require consciously choosing a more expansive stance, especially with little niggles and irritations. Or difficulties that point towards underlying deeper issues that need the light of awareness over this next six weeks.
As many of you who are familiar with my astrology offerings will know, Mercury retrograde calls us to re-visit and reorientate our perceptions, the ways we connect the dots through our thought processes, how we communicate and connect with others. In the air sign of relationships, self and other, Libra, this particularly points towards uplifting perceived challenges to a higher point of connection. The challenge is to forego established viewpoints or patterning through openness to alternative perspectives. The potential is harmony and unity; to create deeper, more open connections and new ways of being together. Through this process of this/that/the other, you/me/us, black/white/grey the Libran scales tip through extremes to eventually reach a new equilibrium – a way of enhanced cooperation and connection that uplifts the field of relating.
Through this Mercury retrograde period both deeply personal and more long-term collective themes play out strongly. At last night’s Full Moon through to the station retrograde on 27 September, Mercury is activating a tense T-square with Lord of the Underworld Pluto in Capricorn and Disruptor Eris in Aries, also active early October and early November. These three alignments act like a series of episodes in a soap opera, highlighting a basic discord between our personal instinctive nature and the need to speak out, fight or defend a position, the calling to be mature in our responses and the desire to not rock the boat, peace at any cost. The result can either be a battle of wills or an uneasy compromise and truce. Yet the deeper level of this process is about aligning with greater authenticity within oneself and actively allowing that in another, whilst also finding and engaging a heart-based connection. It’s about equilibrium within and in relating.
Our most basic human desires are for both authenticity and attachment. It’s often an uneasy balance in relationships. There is potential for the scales to keep tipping one way and another, as we dance with the dynamics of me/you/us. Key questions such as: How may I be true to myself yet maintain harmony with my partner; Where might I be more open to his/her perspective; In what aspect of our lives is greater connection and cooperation called for? Where the realm of ‘other’ is not a partner but a creative project, similar questions apply. It’s the dance between truth and love, calling us to get more real in the places we hold back, collude with old patterning, or rush in from fear without conscious reflection.
The key with any Mercury retrograde, is to get comfortable with not knowing what’s really going on, but to gently engage the process anyway. Our minds are working different at these times. We are naturally more right-hemisphere relationship orientated. We may feel like everything is falling apart, or that we have no control. Eventually, through willingly being in that uncertain place, the differing elements of whatever situation is uppermost reach a new point of unity, with potential for deeper cooperation or clarity of action.
In the collective field, the tense alignment of Mercury retrograde with Pluto and Eris brings up a polarisation between individuality and the rules (internal or external), our desire or need to conform (or not), what we should do, what we can do and what we want to do, whilst also endeavouring (if we’re awake) to stay true to our knowing and our longing for love, peace and growing unity. Pluto in Capricorn represents the dying throes of our collective patriarchal consciousness – the dissolution of outmoded power structures – along with our own states of disempowerment through the conditioning we still operate from. Pluto could be said to represent the relentless force of change that brings destruction, chaos then renewal, as the phoenix rises from the ashes of its old life.
Eris – she who threw the golden apple in Greek mythology, an action that precipitated the Trojan War – is a disruptive force of the universe, a truth-teller, breaker of boundaries and activist energy. She disrupts the status quo, purposefully. In Aries she can be said to represent instinctual consciousness and a basic discord between our animal nature – our will to survive – and our evolutionary consciousness. The basic conflict in us that we are a spark of divine consciousness, yet we inhabit an animal body with the urge for self-preservation. We’re looking at extremes of experience (sound familiar, given our current collective circumstances?) and how we react. Yet there’s also a growing potential to respond to those extremes with authentic consciousness whilst also embracing our very basic human fears and drives. We’re on a bridge. It’s complex. Somehow through this complexity, we are being provided with the opportunity to evolve, slowly but surely, even though we may be in the throes of chaos collectively right now. This is where we can call on the planet of Grace and benevolence, Jupiter, also involved in this alignment, by supportive trine.
Jupiter, the Blessing-giver planet, entered Aquarius in December 2020 and remains in this air sign of innovation for the rest of this year. As Mercury moves retrograde through Libra, another air sign, supportive connections with Jupiter offer an opening of innovation, a change of mind, the unexpected solution. They also reveal where our mental conditioning is stuck, ideals that no longer serve, rebelliousness for its own sake. Like a computer programme, the inner world of our connections is being upgraded. Our relationships must follow suit. Key elements of this process are freeing up the mind and keeping our channels of communication open. Without a mind that is open and a vulnerable heart, the risk is we remain stuck or polarised. Then, like an over-weighted seesaw, movement or change is not possible.
The sign of Libra, represented by the scales of justice, loves balance. That’s what it’s looking for. The risk is harmony or balance occur through compromise rather than true enquiry and engagement. It’s where we might choose the easy option, simply for the sake of peace. But it’s an uneasy one, especially now. As we move through this Mercury retrograde, we may discover that the art of equilibrium is not a static state but an ever moving one. Whilst we’re looking for security, for stability, for life always to look and feel good, we may miss the gifts of life’s ever moving evolutionary process. Life on Earth is the fine balance of night and day, light and dark, self and other, always changing yet inextricably connected. This Mercury retrograde asks, can we find the harmony, not only in both, but whilst in an eternal process of change? Can we find equilibrium, and therefore conscious response, through chaos?
7 & 8 September: Mercury entered the retrograde shadow zone opposing Chron in Aries
Circumstances begin to reflect the retrograde period themes: disconnection, a rawness, old familial sensitivities at the core
20-22 September: Mercury activates the Pluto Eris opposition (Cardinal TSquare), also trine Jupiter (repeats retrograde 1-3 October, direct 1-2 November)
A tense dynamic between individual desire, what’s needed in relating, collective trends, mental rigidity and innovative potential. A tension to act, yet without the full picture until early November
27 September: Mercury stations retrograde at 25 degrees Libra
Opening up a process of remembering, revisiting and rejuvenating relationship patterns
1-3 October: see above, Cardinal TSquare
6 & 7 October: New Moon at 13 Libra exactly conjunct Mars plus Pluto station direct 24 Capricorn
A few days of potential power struggles, internal or in your world. Risk: taking life too personally as old sensitivities are triggered. Awareness about the black/white, wrong/right connections being made in your mind and ensuing perspectives or challenges to connection.
8-12 October: The Sun, Mars, Mercury Retrograde travelling together (exact conjunction Sun, Mercury retro & Mars at 16 degrees Libra on 10 October) plus Mercury retrograde conjunct Asteroid Medusa exact on 9 October
Points of connection to what’s really happening. Disrupting the ‘system’. Potential recognition of personal and/or collective trauma.
11 October: Saturn stations direct 6 Aquarius
A challenge to discover new, more inclusive perspectives, especially when faced with what we see as ‘authority’.
16 October: Mercury retrograde sextile Venus in Sagittarius
A glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, a potential for openness & connection
18 October: Jupiter stations direct at 22 Aquarius, Mercury stations direct at 10 Libra
Key awareness opening. The possibility for renewing key connections.
1-3 November: see above, Cardinal TSquare, plus Mercury crosses his retrograde shadow zone.
Potential for resolution, uplift and innovation
Art: Equilibrium by Tatyana Tau
Unity by Sagdiana