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Winter Solstice & The Great Conjunction: Resources, Links and Musical Interludes

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The last week has been a busy one, astrologically speaking. To recap:

  • December 15 – Venus enters Sagittarius
  • December 17 – Saturn enters Aquarius
  • December 19 – Jupiter enters Aquarius
  • December 20 – Mercury enters Capricorn
  • December 21 – the Sun enters Capricorn, marking the beginning of the Winter Solstice (Northern Hemisphere) and Jupiter is conjunct Saturn, aka the Great Conjunction

What does it all mean? To put it very simply, change is here – but it’s going to take some time to roll out.

I know enough about astrology to know that I couldn’t even begin to explain the significance of the Great Conjunction. With that in mind, I’m going to go with my strengths as a networker & gatherer of information and share links from several resources. These astrologers are extremely knowledgeable and can help you understand what’s going on astrologically:

Stars on Fire podcast with Janelle Belgrave and Mecca Woods on the Great Conjunction and what it means (you can also find this episode on Podomatic, iTunes, Spreaker and others):

Maren Altman discusses the Great Conjunction

Rick Levine talks about the Great Conjunction

Chani Nicholas’s horoscopes for the Winter Solstice & Great Conjunction

The Winter Solstice is a great day for setting intentions for what you want to manifest in the coming months. If you’re new to intention setting, this article by Deepak Chopra is a great place to start with the process.

Be mindful that any changes you want to see, whether in yourself or in the world around you, will take time to manifest. Don’t let that stop you from setting intentions, though. When I first started on my spiritual path, I got an annual reading from a psychic who would always tell me, “Ask the universe for what you want, then get out of the way! Go get the oil changed in your car, paint your nails, just do something else!” I’m sure you can find plenty to do that won’t infringe upon the universe’s work. Cleaning is always a good option. I’m slightly joking.

Have a wonderful Capricorn season, and may your winter be everything you want and need!

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New Moon Tarot Spread

This New Moon Tarot Spread is one I began using in early 2020 during my new moon rituals. It is designed to help you discover the seeds that need planting at the time of the new moon.

Shuffle the cards and cut the deck as many times as you feel you need. As you shuffle, take several deep breaths and center your thoughts on yourself and your desire for deeper knowledge and foresight.

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Lay out the cards in rows of 3 cards each.

1. Where you are right now
2. What influences you
3. What you have released since the last new moon
4. What “seeds” (your goals and plans) need to be planted
5. How you can nurture the growth of these seeds (your goals and plans)
6. Other resources that are available to you during this cycle

Tips on Making the Most of Your Reading
  • Write it down. I like to record my readings in my journal, adding any notes or interpretations on the reading in a contrasting ink color. Before I begin the reading, I write down my current state of mind.
  • Take your time. Schedule a time to do your reading when you won’t be disturbed. I find that my new moon readings can be done within 24-48 hours of the new moon being exact and I still get a very insightful reading.
  • Focus your energy. Turn off your phone, music, TV, etc. Sit silently for several minutes before you do your reading. If you do any other ritual work with moon cycles, include the reading as part of your practice.

If you found this Tarot spread useful, please consider making a donation to support the site.

 

Full Moon Tarot Spread

A full moon is a perfect time to reflect upon the lessons learned since the last full moon, and what you wish to call forth for the next cycle. I developed this Full Moon Tarot Spread several years ago and use it at every full moon. This spread shines a light on the shadows of the cycle that has ended and casts its glow into what is to come.

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Full Moon Tarot Spread

Shuffle the cards and cut the deck as many times as you feel you need. As you shuffle, take several deep breaths and center your thoughts on yourself and your desire for deeper knowledge and foresight.
Lay out the cards in the pattern shown, or in rows of 3 cards each – whatever works easier for you.

  1. Where you are right now
  2. What influences you
  3. What you have learned since the last full moon
  4. What you are learning now
  5. What you take with you into the next cycle
  6. What you leave behind
  7. Advice
  8. What comes of following advice
  9. What to expect at the next full moon

Tips on Making the Most of Your Reading

  • Write it down. I like to record my full moon readings in my journal, adding any notes or interpretations on the reading in a contrasting ink color. Before I begin the reading, I write down my current state of mind.
  • Take your time. Schedule a time to do your reading when you won’t be disturbed. I find that my full moon readings can be done within 24-48 hours of the full moon being exact and I still get a very insightful reading.
  • Focus your energy. Turn off your phone, music, TV, etc. Sit silently for several minutes before you do your reading. If you do any other ritual work with moon cycles, include the reading as part of your practice.

If you found this Tarot spread useful, please consider making a donation to support the site.

December 14, 2020 – Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius

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We close out the final eclipse season of 2020 with a solar eclipse in Sagittarius. This high-octane new moon ushers in big changes and new beginnings – in some cases, those changes may be quite dramatic. Where we see these changes & new beginnings depends on where the eclipse occurs in our natal chart.

In 2020, we had eclipses in Gemini and Sagittarius and in Cancer and Capricorn:

June 5, 2020 – Lunar Eclipse at 15 degrees Sagittarius
June 21, 2020 – Solar Eclipse at 0 degrees Cancer
July 5, 2020 – Lunar Eclipse at 13 degrees Capricorn
November 30, 2020 – Lunar Eclipse at 8 degrees Gemini
December 14, 2020 – Solar Eclipse at 23 degrees Sagittarius

Along the Cancer-Capricorn axis, we see themes related to building solid foundations whether at home (Cancer) or in career (Capricorn). For the Gemini-Sagittarius axis, the themes are about knowledge and how we use it: are we gathering lots of information for later study and reference (Gemini) or are we synthesizing all that we’ve learned to bring about change (Sagittarius)?

With this solar eclipse in Sagittarius, we’re looking at the big picture and discovering the areas where we want to bring about change. We’re taking all that information we’ve gathered since the June 5 Lunar Eclipse and piecing it together, letting the Sagittarius Moon inspire our process.

Sagittarius

Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign, meaning that it exhibits the energetic, adventurous qualities found in the fire element, but is more changeable and unpredictable. Mutable signs rule the time of year when the seasons are shifting: when the Sun is in Sagittarius in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s not quite autumn anymore, but it’s not quite winter, either.

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Jacopo Montano, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s fitting, then, that the sign of Sagittarius is represented by the centaur: he’s half-man, half-horse. His interests & skills cover everything from studying philosophy and religion to going on adventures all over the world. He’s skilled in archery – hence the arrow glyph for the sign – yet also has a warm, generous side.

Ruled by Jupiter, the planet of luck and optimism, Sagittarius has a reputation of being a party sign. They dream big, think big, and play big. If you’ve ever known a Sagittarius, you’ve probably seen their expansive, gregarious nature at work. The Sagittarians I know personally are very intelligent people in search of big, deep truths – and also well-crafted cocktails.

Jeff Bridges is a Sagittarius and one of his best known roles was as The Dude in The Big Lebowski – the quintessential Sagittarian in his love of a white Russian cocktail and being at peace with everything in his life, even when things get tough.

via GIPHY

Miley Cyrus’s song “Midnight Sky” captures her own Sagittarian mindset: the desire for freedom and the need to aim high.

Moon in Sagittarius

When the Moon is in Sagittarius, it embraces a more ebullient nature: it’s cheerful and optimistic, and feels best when it’s going out and exploring the world. Because the Moon is influenced by the mutable energy of Sagittarius, it will adapt to whatever comes its way, but if it feels constricted or bound to routines, it will escape – whether literal or figurative.

If you have your Sun, Moon, or Rising in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, these last couple of days may have been particularly challenging, especially as many areas in the United States are enforcing new restrictions in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. But if we channel that adaptability of the Sagittarius Moon, we can find escape through studying something new (like astrology, world religions, or philosophy) or watching documentaries on topics we are passionate about: climate change, immigration reform, LGBTQ rights, dismantling systemic racism.

If you know your rising sign, here’s a rundown of what aspects of your life the Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius will be affecting:

    • Aries Rising – personal philosophy, spirituality and beliefs; higher education
    • Taurus Rising – regeneration, transformation, death
    • Gemini Rising – relationships and partnerships (romantic, business, platonic)
    • Cancer Rising – work and work environment, service, health
    • Leo Rising – creativity & creative pursuits, children, where you find & seek pleasure
    • Virgo Rising – home, family life, your past, ancestors
    • Libra Rising – communication skills & tools for communicating with others, sibling relationships, short trips
    • Scorpio Rising – finances, material possessions, self-esteem
    • Sagittarius Rising – physical appearance, self-awareness
    • Capricorn Rising – subconscious thoughts & feelings, karmic debts
    • Aquarius Rising – friends and social groups, hopes, goals
    • Pisces Rising – career, fame, reputation

You can also read that list for your Sun sign, which would also be impacted, though maybe not as strongly. (Not sure about your rising sign? Visit https://chart.chaninicholas.com/ to generate your natal chart for free.)
Some questions to consider over the next couple of days:

    • Where do I want to see changes in my life?
    • What changes do I want to see in my community? What can I do to help with that process?
    • How have I changed over the last 6 months?

You may find it helpful to journal about these questions, or perhaps use them as a starting point for a Tarot or oracle card reading. If you are considering some ritual work during the solar eclipse, this article has some very helpful suggestions.

Here’s to being open and adaptable during this solar eclipse, and to discovering how we can embrace change on personal and global levels.

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November 30, 2020 – Lunar Eclipse in Gemini

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In much the same way that October ended with a powerful Full Moon in Taurus, November ends with a Lunar Eclipse in Gemini. Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth’s shadow blocks the Sun’s light. In astrological terms, a lunar eclipse is a Full Moon hopped up on caffeine & energy drinks. All the energy that we’ve come to expect during a Full Moon is amplified during a lunar eclipse.

Moon in Gemini

If you’ve been reading my lunar posts for the past few months, you’re well acquainted with the Moon’s rulership over emotions, intuition, instinct, and more receptive/yin energy. When the Moon is in the sign of Gemini, it is chatty, versatile and a tad flaky. It’s high energy and wants to keep busy. But because Gemini is interested in communicating, it’s way more interested in talking about feelings that come up – and not always about actually feeling them.

I want to emphasize, though, that Gemini isn’t a bad placement for the Moon. If we think of the Moon’s movement through the zodiac as a quest or hero’s journey, then its travels through Gemini are important because it becomes emotionally curious, trying on different feelings and experiences to see how they feel. Before the Moon stepped into Gemini, it was in Taurus, which you’ll remember is where the Moon is exalted. Personified, Moon in Taurus is all snuggled up in a blanket, sipping hot cocoa and watching baking shows. It’s all about creature comforts. In Gemini, the Moon throws off the blanket, turns off the TV and puts the mug in the sink and says, “Gosh, I’m bored. Let’s do something! What else is there to do? What would it feel like if…?” This emotional curiosity gets satisfied by the time the Moon enters Cancer, the sign it rules (also known as its dignity).

via GIPHY

With this in mind, the Gemini lunar eclipse is our opportunity to look at what’s going on in our lives and examine all the possible emotional responses we can have. Our investigations take place in the house where the lunar eclipse falls.

via GIPHY

Questions to Consider during the Gemini Lunar Eclipse

Since Gemini loves to ask questions, I’ve come up with questions for you to consider during the next few days. Look at your rising sign first, then your Sun sign. You may want to journal out your answer (which is a very Gemini Moon activity) or perhaps meditate on them.

Aries/Aries Rising

  • How have my communication skills changed over the last 6 months?
  • Where do I need to express myself more clearly?
  • What has been a recent trip or journey that has offered me some clarity or insight?

Taurus/Taurus Rising

  • How have my feelings of self-worth changed over the last 6 months?
  • Where have I been spending my money the most? The least?
  • What objects in my life have brought me the most satisfaction over the last 6 months?

Gemini/Gemini Rising

  • How has my personality shifted over the last 6 months?
  • What aspects of my physical appearance do I wish to change?
  • Where have I experienced changes in how people perceive me?

Cancer/Cancer Rising

  • How have I been addressing old wounds over the last 6 months?
  • Where have I drawn boundaries or limits with others?
  • What situations trigger a withdrawal response in me?

Leo/Leo Rising

  • How have my friendships & social interactions shifted over the last 6 months?
  • Where do I want to see myself in the next 6 months?
  • What do I wish for myself and the world around me?

Virgo/Virgo Rising

  • How has my career changed in the last 6 months?
  • Where do my current ambitions lie?
  • What do I most want to be known for?

Libra/Libra Rising

  • How have my personal beliefs shifted over the last 6 months?
  • What are the big questions that compel me at this time?
  • Where do I long to go once I feel it’s safe to travel?

Scorpio/Scorpio Rising

  • How have my intuitive abilities/gut instincts evolved over the last 6 months?
  • What areas of my life are ready for transformation?
  • Where has my personal power been centralized or challenged?

Sagittarius/Sagittarius Rising

  • How have my personal and professional relationships changed in the last 6 months?
  • Where am I my own worst enemy?
  • What do my conflicts with others teach me about myself?

Capricorn/Capricorn Rising

  • How has my health (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) changed over the last 6 months?
  • Where do I find myself most drawn to being of service?
  • What work brings me the most personal satisfaction?

Aquarius/Aquarius Rising

  • How has my creative process developed or shifted over the past 6 months?
  • What activities bring me the most pleasure or joy?
  • Where do I find it easiest to express myself?

Pisces/Pisces Rising

  • How have my family relationships changed over the last 6 months?
  • Where in my home do I feel most/least comfortable?
  • What from my past needs further examination or study?

I hope your curiosity is satisfied during this lunar eclipse, and that you discover new ways to learn and grow as a result!

November 15, 2020 – New Moon in Scorpio

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I’m writing this late on Sunday evening, and while I debated over whether or not to post anything for the New Moon in Scorpio, my weekend was so emotionally rich I knew it was important to write about this cosmic energy and its impact on all of us.

Moon in Scorpio

At the end of October, I wrote about Moon placements and the positions of dignity, detriment, exaltation and fall. When the Moon is in Scorpio, it’s considered to be in its fall, meaning that the Moon is challenged in the sign. Rather than wearing the silvery, flowing, soft clothes of Cancer, the Moon dresses in black trenchcoats and fedoras in Scorpio. Its job is to find all the clues that will solve the mysteries of the soul.

Sound intense? It definitely can be. My weekend was punctuated by personal breakthroughs and discoveries that had me sobbing on Saturday morning and shedding tears of joy by Saturday night. Over the course of 48+ hours, I had several experiences & conversations that provided me with profound clarity on what I needed to transform in my work life – and all because of the New Moon in Scorpio falling in my natal 6th house of service and work. New Moons are a time when we’re emotionally primed to do some deep cleaning on a cellular level: the universe doles out the lesson plans on where we need to let go of all the old thought patterns and resulting behaviors and asks us to consider what we’d really like to do next.

But where does this happen, exactly? If you know your rising sign, here’s a rundown of what aspects of life the New Moon in Scorpio would have been transforming:

  • Aries Rising – regeneration, transformation, death
  • Taurus Rising – relationships and partnerships
  • Gemini Rising – work and work environment, service, health
  • Cancer Rising – creativity & creative pursuits, children, where you find & seek pleasure
  • Leo Rising – home, family life, your past, ancestors
  • Virgo Rising – communication skills & tools for communicating with others, sibling relationships, short trips
  • Libra Rising – finances, material possessions, self-esteem
  • Scorpio Rising – physical appearance, self-awareness
  • Sagittarius Rising – subconscious thoughts & feelings, karmic debts
  • Capricorn Rising – friends and social groups, hopes, goals
  • Aquarius Rising – career, fame, reputation
  • Pisces Rising – personal philosophy, spirituality and beliefs; higher education

You can also read that list for your Sun sign, which would also be impacted, though maybe not as strongly. (Not sure about your rising sign? Visit Chani Nicholas’s website to generate your natal chart for free.)

Some questions to consider over the next couple of days:

  • Where are you in need of transformation?
  • Did anything happen in your life between November 13-15, 2020 that brought about a personal revelation or breakthrough? How did those events make you feel?
  • Did you witness the end to a cycle or pattern in your life? Was that experience positive or negative, or perhaps both?
  • What do you plan on doing to further the transformative process?

You may find it helpful to journal about these questions, or perhaps use them as a starting point for a Tarot or oracle card reading. Whatever you decide to do next, I wish you much success on your transformational journey!

Try out my New Moon Tarot Spread here.

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October 31, 2020 – Full Moon in Taurus

full moon in Taurus, Taurus full moon, full moon, Taurus moon, astrology, girl with moxieThe last day of October features a triple whammy: a full moon in Taurus that also happens to be a blue moon (meaning it’s the second full moon in a month – there was a full moon in Aries on October 1) and it’s on Halloween. Whew! But there’s no need to be scared: this earthy full moon is here to help us reflect on what we have, what we love, and how to achieve balance between our wants and desires.

In traditional astrology, planets are in their dignity, detriment, exaltation, or fall in certain signs. When a planet is in its dignity, that means it’s in the sign it rules; a planet is in its detriment when in the opposing sign. Exaltation refers to a sign where a planet is strong, happy and thriving; the fall is the sign opposing the exalted position. In the case of the Moon:

Moon in Cancer = dignity
Moon in Capricorn = detriment
Moon in Taurus = exaltation
Moon in Scorpio = fall

This isn’t to say that certain planetary positions are good or bad. In the same way that we interact differently with our best friend than we do our parents, planets and signs work together in ways where there can be challenges – and also blessings. In the case of Moon in Taurus, the Moon comes out of Cancerian waters and finds a warm, comfortable home full of lovely creature comforts where it can ground itself and rest. Taurus moon energy is stable, secure and sentimental. It loves romance and routines. And because Taurus is a sign centered around sensual pleasure, when the Moon is in Taurus it’s very interested in sensory experiences that elevate their emotional response.

Oppositions in Astrology

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, when the Moon is Full, it’s in the sign opposite the Sun. Opposing signs have similar goals but take different paths to get there. When it’s the Sun and Moon in opposing signs, it’s about the ego and personality (Sun) finding balance with the emotional, instinctual response (Moon).

see
If you ever played on a see-saw or teeter-totter as a child, it may help to imagine the Sun and Moon on either end of a see-saw. One planet may be sitting heavily on one end, holding all the power, while the other planet is high up on the other end. But taking all that power can get tiring after a while, especially if the elevated side is shifting around a lot, demanding attention and equal time.

I find natal oppositions of personal planets and/or “the big three” (sun, moon and ascendant signs) to be fascinating, because it’s ripe for lessons in balance, boundaries and cooperation. My mother – who I refer to as Momcat on this blog– was a Taurus Moon with a Scorpio Sun. She had a lot of loyalty & devotion for her family and loved ones. She cooked balanced, nutritious meals and made a comfortable home for me and my father (who I refer to as Pops on this blog). Momcat was well acquainted with tragic loss from a young age, and she grew up in poverty. Her Scorpio Sun longed for transformation, and she worked very hard to overcome adversity & created a better life for herself as an adult. But she also struggled with hoarding – acquiring more than she could manage – which I see now as being her Taurus Moon working through the shadow side of finding emotional comfort in material possessions.

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Moon in Taurus

The Taurus Full Moon is inviting us to assess our relationship with our stuff. Are we holding on so tight that we cannot see when it’s time to let go? Do we keep broken, worn-out items in our lives because we are afraid something better won’t be available to replace it?

Taurus’ motto is “I Have”, while Scorpio’s motto is “I Desire.” Scorpio energy is about the cycle of life, death and rebirth. It is about discarding what no longer serves us so that there is room for something new. Pausing that cycle out of fear means that anything we are attempting to manifest – a job, romantic partner, home, car or whatever – also gets put on pause.

Whether or not we have oppositions in our own natal astrological charts, we can use Full Moons and the opposition they represent as an opportunity to achieve harmony through releasing what no longer serves us.

Crystals for the Taurus Full Moon

You can place these crystals on your altar, if you have one, or in a prominent place in your home for 2-3 nights during the Taurus Full Moon.

  • Chrysocolla
  • Jade
  • Red jasper
  • Rhodonite
  • Rose quartz
  • Selenite

When the Moon is full, regardless of the sign it’s in, the collective unconscious is hard at work seeking to learn the value of balance, respecting boundaries, and honoring our emotional needs while being mindful of our greater goals. I hope your Full Moon experience this month brings you whatever healing and release your mind, body and spirit needs to transform.

Want to try out my Full Moon Tarot Spread? Check it out here.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider making a donation.

October 16, 2020 – New Moon in Libra

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The New Moon in Libra is happening today, and it’s opposing Mars retrograde in Aries and squaring Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. There’s a whole lotta drama going on and it requires us to find balance (Libra) amidst all the conflicting energy in the skies.

Yeah.

All this heavy planetary action, plus some personal and professional issues, has me tired and preoccupied. That means I’m going to shift focus with this month’s New Moon post. Rather than write at length about the New Moon in Libra, I’m sharing links to astrology content I find to be insightful, and often revelatory.

Chani Nicholas‘s horoscopes for the New Moon are an excellent read every month, as are all of her horoscopes. I highly recommend her book, You Were Born for This. Order a copy through your favorite indie bookseller.

Rob Brezsny‘s Free Will Astrology offers a different take than what you’ll find in standard horoscopes. He offers weekly guidance for each sign through examples and analogies taken from all sorts of resources. Other content on his site and in his free weekly newsletter is guaranteed to make you say “wow.”

Rick Levine explains planetary aspects and transits in a way that’s accessible without being condescending. His YouTube channel is a fantastic resource for astrology students of all levels; you can find him on Twitter and Instagram, too.

Debra Silverman is a recent discovery for me and I love how she talks about aspects and transits. She does short videos based on the moon cycles; you can find them on Astrology Answers and on her Instagram feed.

Heidi Rose Robbins‘s daily moon posts on Instagram are one of the first things I read every day. She handwrites each post and takes a photo of it for her post – and they are always infused with love, compassion and tender honesty.

I hope this list of my favorite astrologers leads you to find content that enlightens and enriches you, and helps you along your spiritual path. I’ll share more of my favorite astrology resources in a future post.

Looking for my New Moon Tarot Spread? You can find it here.

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Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays

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Here it is, folks: the final Mercury retrograde cycle for 2020. On October 13 at 9:05 pm Eastern time, Mercury goes retrograde at 11 degrees Scorpio, backs it up into Libra on October 27, then goes direct on November 3 at 25 degrees Libra– just in time for the U.S. election. If you think this energy will make for a wild, strange October, you’d be right. But it’s not unmanageable – and that is saying a lot coming from me. More on that in a minute.

Mercury: The Basics

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Mercury, the messenger of the gods. Image credit: Rwendland / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Mercury (Hermes) is the messenger of the gods in Greek and Roman mythology. He did a lot of dirty work for Zeus, serial cheater who had a vengeful wife, Hera. He also saved the lives of several mortals and demi-gods who found themselves in difficult positions. Mercury is also a trickster and shapeshifter. He loves a good joke or prank. Some of the things Mercury rules includes:

  • Advertising
  • Bees and beekeepers
  • Books and literature
  • Communication – written, oral and electronic
  • Computers
  • Desks and offices
  • Keys
  • Licorice
  • Mirrors
  • Schools and teachers
  • Sewing
  • Stationery – pencils, pens, paper
  • Travel (particularly short trips)
  • Transportation – buses, trains, cars, bicycles
  • Writers and editors of all kinds – journalists, newspaper reporters, proofreaders, editors, novelists

In astrology, the term retrograde refers to when a planet appears to move backward through the signs. Retrograde cycles for the planets vary – and Mercury’s retrograde cycles are among the shortest, logging in at approximately three weeks. If it feels longer, that’s due to the shadow period, an approximately two-week period when Mercury is moving along a path that it will revisit later. There’s a pre- and post-retrograde shadow period: typically the post-retrograde shadow is not as intense as the pre-retrograde shadow and is more of a final review of everything that occurred during Mercury retrograde.

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The planet Mercury. Image credit: Brocken Inaglory / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Mercury managed to get the best PR team out of all the planets because so many people are aware of Mercury retrograde cycles and how it affects traffic, electronic devices, and communication. As a Gemini rising, I am all too aware of my love-hate relationship with Mercury, as he rules both Gemini and Virgo. I cannot tell you how many times I have cursed him out while dealing with a phone issue, downed wifi, car issues, or some other shenanigans. But I have also learned the necessity of planning ahead and being extremely organized before retrograde cycles, and going above and beyond my usual efforts to ensure my emails and social media posts are clearly written. I will review plans and task lists with clients and colleagues both verbally and in writing, so that we eliminate any possible confusion. I try harder to shut my mouth and listen to other people, too.

As you’ve read in my previous posts about Venus retrograde and Mars retrograde, you know that retrograde periods are a time to move inward. It’s an opportunity to slow down and be reflective on what that sign rules. And since Mercury rules Wednesday, I encourage you to celebrate Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays during his final retrograde for 2020. Starting on October 14 and ending October 28, spend the next 3 Wednesdays honoring this versatile, multitalented planet with some very mercurial activities.

Activities for Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays

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  • Write it down. Get a notebook or journal and write down what’s on your mind. Give it all to the page – it can handle what you have to rant or rave about. Read my post about daily writing rituals if you need some suggestions on how to start.
  • Take a little trip. Get in your car or on a train – whatever feels safest for you – and set off on a day trip. To really honor the free-spirited, impulsive nature of Mercury, don’t plan out where to go (but do make sure the car is full of gas, tires are properly inflated, etc.). Allow yourself to be surprised. Bonus points for bike rides!
  • Read. Mercury rules the written word, so grab a book or magazine or newspaper, your favorite beverage and maybe a snack, and settle down in a comfy chair to read. For this activity, I recommend going analog – Mercury may decide to zap your phone or tablet just when the action gets exciting, because he is a jerk like that sometimes. Do not ask me how I know this. Mercury also rules humor, so a collection of humorous essays or a satirical novel is an excellent choice.
  • Reorganize your office/work area. This includes your desk, files, shelves and bookcases. Definitely keep this activity to physical items – otherwise you may end up deleting computer files you needed. Again, do not ask me how I know this.
  • Watch something funny. Mercury loves to laugh, so scratch that itch by watching a movie or sitcom that makes you laugh. A standup comic special is also an excellent choice.
  • Clean the mirrors. Get some window cleaner or a spray bottle of white vinegar (my personal choice), a soft clean rag or paper towels, and clean all the mirrors in your home. You may even want to set up a new mirror somewhere, or perhaps buy a compact mirror for your go bag or purse.
  • Handwrite a letter or note to someone. Mercury rules handwriting, pens, pencils, and stationery, so this is an activity he can totally get behind. If you have no idea what to write, here’s a list of ideas.
  • Call a relative. Pick up the phone and call your mom, dad, sibling, your favorite uncle, the aunt who sends you care packages (shout out to my Aunt Gigi*) and check in with them. Doesn’t have to be a long conversation, nor does it have to be a heavy one. Just keep it light and loving, and you’ll both feel good by the time you hang up.
  • Sew. Mercury rules sewing machines AND needles, so if you enjoy sewing, set aside time on Wednesdays to sew a small project or work on a longer one. I love to sew, and I plan on doing this as much as possible – but you best believe I’ll be having a chat with Mercury ahead of time about not dicking with my machine, breaking needles, or jamming up the bobbin. Brand new to sewing? I highly recommend the Crafty Gemini’s tutorials for beginners.

Mercury retrograde Wednesday, Mercury, astrology, desk, office, organization, reorganize, humor, comedy, comics, sitcoms, girl with moxie

There’s a lot of planetary activity this year that poses some major challenges for all of us, and Mercury retrograde is just another part of it. But if we come at this cycle from a place of honoring the shift in perspective that’s required during Mercury retrograde, it can be a much easier transit to manage. Laugh along with Mercury as much as you can!

Freddie Mercury, Queen, rockstar, statue
Everyone’s favorite Mercury: the legendary Freddie Mercury. Image credit: Corvus / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

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Wednesday Wisdom: Acknowledge Your Creativity & Genius

power of intention, Wayne Dyer, affirmations, intention, manifesting, oracle cards, personal growth

Once a week or so, I pull a card from my Power of Intention deck. This 50-card deck uses content from Wayne Dyer’s book, The Power of Intention, alongside vintage/retro drawings, to explore concepts that he discusses at length in the book. It’s a great companion to the book and has helped me considerably in my own personal growth and spiritual practice.

This morning’s Power of Intention card is Acknowledge Your Creativity and Genius. “The qualities of creativity and genius are within you, awaiting your decision to match up with the power of intention. Genius is a characteristic of the creative force that allows all of material creation to come into form. It is an expression of the divine.”

Once again I laughed at the results of my card pull, as it’s definitely what I needed to see today. A couple months ago, I began shifting my focus for this 16-year-old blog toward more spiritual and personal growth content, and it’s brought me a lot of creative fulfillment and joy to write more content that aligns with this new focus. That said, there are a few key tasks that I have yet to complete, and I’ve had a long list of excuses as to why those tasks haven’t been done – the latest of which is ongoing pain in my right shoulder. (Watch your body alignment while doing yoga, folks! Especially if you are over 40!)

But the truth is that I am working through some deep-seated fear related to my self-worth, and a long-standing desire for outside validation. These things manifest in indecisiveness and procrastination when it comes to matching up with the power of intention. And I believe it’s also manifested as pain in my shoulder.

Calvin Coolidge, quotes, persistence, determination, nothing in the world can take the place of persistence, personal growth

There’s a quote by Calvin Coolidge that I’ve loved ever since I first read it:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

This quote has been a powerful motivator – and yet that motivation does nothing if that initial decision isn’t made to align with intention.

Once we acknowledge and address the fears and beliefs that keep us blocked, we get the power boost necessary to match up with intention and it sets us off on our journey toward self-awareness and spiritual growth. By allowing our creativity and genius to travel alongside persistence and determination, using intention as our compass, we will reach our destination.