MERCURY RETROGRADE: Ordinary & Extraordinary

Small minds are concerned with the extraordinary, great minds with the ordinary
-Blaise Pascal

Mercury retrograde always brings some form of revision either willingly or imposed on us by unforeseen circumstances. There is no reason to hop on the Mercury-Retro-Freak-Out-Train as this occurs approximately 3 times a year.

Mercury will be retrograde in the sign of Virgo and then Leo from August 12th to September 5th, 2017.

One of the striking aspect of this particular retrograde is the Mercury/Neptune opposition mere days before the beginning of the retrograde.

This means that the week leading up to the retrograde is somewhat foggy or tinted by wishful thinking and clarity is already lost. There could be confusion between facts and fiction. It could be that a situation is not seen for what it is and we are getting lost in glamorous thinking. Venus is also trine to Neptune and the Sun is in Leo after all!

Mercury/Neptune is not a terrible aspect in itself but decision making might not be anchored in reality. If you know this already, work it to your advantage and take into account that your perception will shift considerably by the time this retrograde is all said and done.

The Full Moon in Aquarius on August 7th was the first of 2 Eclipses happening this month and this also has to be taken into account. The liminal space between Eclipses can be thought of as a transitional period. Often the time surrounding Eclipses bring unforeseen circumstances which shake the foundations in our lives. Events pushes us to take a leap of faith or break with the old ways. Sometimes these events are forced upon us and the path we were until then walking on vanishes aligning us on a totally new and unforeseen trajectory.

Mercury retrogrades are best spent re-evaluating, sorting out, and revising what is already in place. Mercury retrogrades are not so great for launching major new projects and ideas. Since this retrograde begins in the Mercury ruled sign of Virgo, there is no better time to get down to the nitty-gritty details of your life and put them in order. Mercury will retrograde back into the sign of Leo on August 31st. The subject of self-esteem, pride, the desire for recognition, following one’s heart, dreams and passions will all be added to the mix.

*If the eclipses are already bringing major changes in your life, embrace them and apply a good strategy to insure your success.

Here are a few more tips to help you navigate the upcoming retrograde in Virgo & Leo:

☿-Don’t sweat the small stuff: Virgos can be hyper critical and self-loathing since they have such unreachable high standards for themselves. Give yourself a break and pay attention to your internal dialogues; keep it positive and guilt free.

☿-Sweat the small stuff: Mercury retrograde in Virgo is a great time to revise and organize. A great time to tackle all the menial jobs that you have been putting off. Paper work, writing, editing and organizing could really put you ahead of the game. Re-evaluate the processes in your life and find solutions that will help you be more efficient.

☿-Find activities that help alleviate anxiety: Over-thinking and the endless quest for perfection is a modern diseases. Step-away from it all with activities that help you disconnect from the over-achieving mind. Go pet a goat.

☿-Find healing

☿-Be easy on yourself: You are where you are suppose to be. Trust the process.

☿-Get in touch with your procrastination: The more you put things off the tighter the grip will get. Maybe your to-do list is to big? What can you do to alleviate the pressure?

☿-With Mercury going back into the sign of Leo, issues of pride and self-esteem could come up. Following our heart is always a work in progress. Practice asking for what you need directly and without shame. Allow your heart’s desires to express themselves in a healthy way.

☿-Understand that success is a state of mind.

☿-Do not let your pride get in the way of the hard work needed to succeed.

☿-If you know your chart, look at where Virgo and Pisces are located. Do you have important planets or is your Ascendant in Virgo or Pisces? Perhaps some organizing is called for in those areas of your life.

☿-Since this Mercury retrograde is weaved in with the 2 eclipses in August, look at where Leo and Aquarius fall in your chart. Do you have any important planets or is your Ascendant either in Leo or Aquarius? Events surrounding the next two months will bring opportunities to break away from an old way of being. This could be subtle or dramatic depending on your natal dispositons.

                              Jack Kerouac (Virgo rising and Moon in Virgo) on Self-Loathing





”You cannot cross your own shadow however much you haste–it is always exactly ahead of your grasp. Sight cannot approach its objects without the medium of light and atmosphere; fish cannot swim out of water; and no more can embodied beings keep incorporeal company with things ideal. Some corporeal factor will always intrude itself, even if the mind be most fully detached from the visible world and at its most recollected when it attempts to engage with its invisible kin.” – St Gregory the Theologian

The Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius on August 7
is part of a bigger thread weaving itself throughout next year’s Eclipse cycle. Eclipses usually come in sets of two and we will see a New Moon/Solar Eclipse in the sign of Leo on August 21st which will be visible across the United-States. Much ink has been spilt about ”The Great American Eclipse” and I invite you to read a thorough analysis on Skyscript by my colleague Wade Caves.

Eclipses across the Leo-Aquarius axis will continue until August 2018 and this must be taken into consideration when speculating on the outcome of this particular Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius.


”The lunar nodes are the orbital nodes of the Moon, that is, the points where the orbit of the Moon crosses the ecliptic. The ascending or north node is where the moon crosses from south of the ecliptic to north of the ecliptic. The descending or south node is where it crosses from north of the ecliptic to south of the ecliptic. Eclipses occur only near these lunar nodes.”

The Full Moon in Aquarius will take place next to the South Node of the Moon which is why it will be a Lunar Eclipse. The South Node of the Moon is also called the Tail of the Dragon or Ketu in Indian Astrology. It is sometime said that the South Node of the Moon is a point of spiritualization. Circumstances which have reach their fullness in the material world are ready to disintegrate, disappear, and go back into the void. Since the South Node of the Moon is currently traveling in the sign of Aquarius that part of the zodiac is ripped for transformation.

Aquarius is linked to eccentric figures and iconoclast who do not care for social conventions. Aquarius might at some level crave recognition but also seem to be totally self-sufficient in those regards. Being ruled by hard ass Saturn means that Aquarians are somewhat cold and distant even aloof when it comes to the language of the heart.

The sign opposing Aquarius is Leo and it is in the Lion’s den that the North Node of the Moon is currently residing; it is here that the other half of these eclipses will take place. The sign of Leo rules the heart and so Aquarians have much to learn in the next year when it comes to the language of the heart. The series of Eclipses on the Leo/Aquarius axis will see the Water Bearer connecting to their emotional centre. If this does not happen willingly it will be out of necessity or circumstances which pushes Aquarius folks to open up at the risk of loosing important connections.

The Full Moon on August 7 is at 15º in the middle decan of Aquarius and so the rebels and the misfits could find themselves having to surrender parts of themselves in order to stay afloat. Ancient stories and old ghosts could resurface with an important message before taking a forced offering and vanishing into the void. Exorcising stale assumptions about oneself is never easy especially for this very ”Fixed” part of the Zodiac. A tight grip on independence and individuality could potentially aggravate relationships in the next year. A honest offering of what is contained within the heart will help pay for the crossing to the other shore.

Norval Morisseau
Self-Portrait entitled Devoured by Demons


Projections and shadows will combine to create a dim spectacle. The union of heart and mind cannot be solved for the moment. One wishes to have a cold and solid heart, a respite, but the heart is too full. Disengaging from love which controls without logic one craves a solitude which doesn’t come easily. Detaching from the centre that unites while focusing on that same centre, the mind loses clarity. What is perceived as outside the self has a tight hold and is depleting to one’s own conception of reality and what matters. The urge is to dissociate from the mass hysteria while not being able to unplug.  One must courageously stare into the darkness while anticipating what lies ahead. There is an uncontrollable urge to reach the light coming from a distant promise. The scholar holds the book of knowledge and doesn’t want to let it go. The Self must be surrendered one way or another. Recognition will not come forth but once the grasp of individuation slowly releases, information will come rushing in. Trusting the heart is a work in progress. Resistance will only aggravate loneliness.


Who is most likely to be affected by these Eclipses

People born with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Nodal Axis in Aquarius or Leo.

People born with important planets (Sun, Moon) or their Ascendant in Scorpio and Taurus.



Full Moon in Leo: Hearts Ablaze

”Circe” by Romare Bearden


Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison.
The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.


The Opening Act

For a brief moment on Friday evening a shadow will pass over the Moon. This is the first hint of what is to come in a series of eclipses on the Leo/Aquarius axis. These eclipses will take us all the way to January 21st, 2019 and this particular Full Moon is the opening act. 10 minutes after the Full Moon peaks on Friday evening so will the penumbral lunar eclipse. The Moon will spend more than 4 hours coasting through Earth’s outer shadow and it will appear darker than normal.

”Like other lunar eclipses, penumbral eclipses occur whenever the Earth passes between the Moon and Sun, such that it obscures the Sun’s light and casts a shadow onto the Moon’s surface. But unlike other kinds of eclipses, they are extremely subtle events to observe. In a penumbral eclipse the Moon passes through an outer region of the Earth’s shadow called the penumbra.   The Moon will first enter Earth’s shadow at 5:32 p.m. EST (2232 GMT), and its moonlight will slowly but surely grow dimmer for a little over 2 hours. After the eclipse peaks at 7:43 p.m. EST, the bright glow of the full moon will take about another 2 hours to return to normal.” -Dave Reneke’s World of Space and Astronomy


The Lunar Nodes

The Moon’s Nodes are actually the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they travel in the celestial sphere. The Moon crosses the ecliptic twice each orbit around the Earth – approximately every 13 days – creating the possibility of an eclipse. However, eclipses can only occur when the Moon is new or full: that is when the Earth, Moon and Sun are in perfect alignment.


In the early European and Oriental astronomical texts these Nodes are referred to as the Head of the Dragon (North Node) and the Tail of the Dragon (South Node). It the same tradition, it is generally believed that Caput Draconis (North Node) is more beneficial than its counter part Cauda Draconis (South Node).


In the Vedic tradition these Nodes are called Rahu and Ketu and are ascribed significance equal to that of a planet or more specifically as a ”shadowy planet”. Their function is one of karmic retribution and together they represent the great cyclic law of manifestation which sustains the universe. In fact, the Nodes are said to be so powerful that even the Sun and the Moon obeys them. Eclipses occur when the Sun and Moon are at one of these Lunar Nodes. In most traditions (if not all of them), a celestial monster – a demon- or a serpent- is depicted eating the luminaries and causing the eclipses.

What makes you bold

This first eclipse in the sign of Leo occurs close to the North Node of the Moon, or ”Rahu”.
In the Vedic tradition, Rahu is sometimes compared to a poisonous black serpent. This black serpent is considered both wise as well as deadly and the poison is used for both destructive and regenerative purposes. Rahu is said to bring about opportunities to anchor us deeply into matter so that we can fully take part in the material and physical experience. The Head of the Dragon, with its mouth open, is said to have an insatiable appetite for the things of this world. Symbolically, the changes and opportunities that are brought with eclipses are said to appear and disappear in and out of the void (or darkness) of the eclipse. Eclipses are almost unanimously thought to be linked to changing circumstances. Whether these changes will affect you more directly depends greatly on your natal disposition.

“Anything which you have in profusion is poison”
― Amit Kalantri


The Moon in astrology holds a passive role as she receives and reflects the light of the Sun; she does not create her own light. Here we enter the realm of projection; what is being reflected under her rays remain elusive. In this world of projections, shadows quickly turn into bizarre creatures as the imagination is given free reign. One must wonder if what he sees is real or if it is a mere trick of the light.


The shadow of the Earth crossing the Moon symbolically represents the regenerative process that occurs in the dark. The many projections accumulated overtime are briefly obscured to enable a new type of awareness. In this darkness a truth is revealed helping us move forward and out of these accumulated projections. A skin is shed, a baggage is dropped, an egg is broken, a face emerges from under the mask for a short moment revealing something that had escaped us until now.


Laughter, poison to fear 

The Full Moon takes place in the flamboyant sign of Leo which is ruled by the Sun. Here we find the dramatic urges of the ego who desires acknowledgement for its sovereignty and royal powers. While the Sun will be illuminating the Moon from the perspective of Aquarius, this brief intermission is brought to us by Kings and Queens. The language of Leo is one that directly links us to the heart, which it rules. The heart’s language is commanding and bold and links us to the creative fires. From this starting point everything is born. The Sun is the central heart of our solar system and Leo is closely linked to this archetypal image. For now though, Leo will have to content itself with a mere reflection of the Sun’s rays and will even find itself briefly eclipsed by a passing shadow. A hint of what is to come in the coming months.

The heart knows what it wants and this Full Moon will briefly illuminate its investments which will be hugely magnified by the sextile from Jupiter in Libra. Should those investments be of a more poisonous nature, the need to undergo a purging process will be necessary and this eclipse could trigger the process. However, if the poison is used as medicine, a courageous disposition will be necessary if one is to seize the opportunities offered at this time. This could be further thought of as having the strength of mind and spirit to face adversity with bravery while remaining true to one’s convictions.

This Full Moon will also be locked for a brief moment in a Grand Fire Trine with Uranus in Aries and Saturn in Sagittarius. Revolutionary changes are brewing and whether we are able to perceive the sparks or not, the process is underway. Whatever it is, it might not become obvious until August’s Solar Eclipse in Leo but a story is being weaved and this is the starting point.


Take Note

This first eclipse falls at 22º of Leo. If you have important planets or if your Ascendant is between 17º and 27º of a Fixed sign (Leo-Scorpio-Aquarius-Taurus) this Full Moon/eclipse will be felt more directly, especially if they are in Leo or Aquarius. The fundamental changes being birthed at this time are linked to the next eclipse on the 22nd of August and more extensively to the ones in 2018. Be prepared to let go and be willing to receive the unexpected blessings, difficulties and fundamental changes in the coming months.


“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. In this state of god-like awareness one sings; in this realm the world exists as poem.”
Henry Miller


1. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology by Bepin Behari.

2. Avebury Cosmos: The Neolithic World of Avebury henge, Silbury Hill, West Kennet long barrow, the Sanctuary & the Longstones Cove by Nicholas Mann.

3. Star Gods of the Maya: Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars by Susan Milbrath.