Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays: Gemini Edition

Mercury retrograde in Gemini, Mercury retrograde, Mercury, retrograde planets, Mercury in Gemini, Gemini, girl with moxie, astrologyWelcome to the Gemini Edition of Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays! The sign of the Twins is all about lighthearted fun, expressing oneself, and boundless curiosity. With Mercury as its ruling planet, life can get even more chaotic and ridiculous when Mercury goes retrograde: plans go sideways, surprises pop up, technology can get wonky. As frustrating as that can be, if we learn how to pivot, our Mercury retrograde experience can be much easier.

Mercury: The Basics

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Hendrik Goltzius / Public domain

Let’s review what we know about Mercury from mythology. Mercury (Hermes) is the messenger of the gods in Greek and Roman mythology. He’s also a trickster and shapeshifter, and loves a good prank. Zeus had a lot of affection for Mercury’s cleverness and entrusted him with several tasks. Mercury was the only god who could freely move into the underworld and was a psychopomp, guiding souls to the underworld.

The dates for Mercury retrograde in Gemini are:

May 14, 2021 – Mercury enters shadow period

May 29, 2021 – Mercury stations retrograde at 24 degrees Gemini

June 22, 2021 – Mercury stations direct at 16 degrees Gemini

July 7, 2021 – Mercury leaves shadow period

Mercury retrograde means a lot of “re” activities, and in light of that, I will repeat what I’ve said before: Mercury has an excellent marketing/PR team, because so many people are aware of Mercury retrograde cycles and how it affects travel, electronic devices, and communication. Those of us with Mercury predominant in our charts (Gemini and Virgo Sun/Rising, in particular) may struggle the most when Mercury is retrograde. The beauty of studying astrology, though, is learning how how planetary transits and retrograde cycles may affect our lives, and finding ways to work with those energies. Being aware of upcoming Mercury retrograde cycles can help you prepare for them.

When Mercury is retrograde or about to go retrograde, regardless of your personal placements, it can help to:

      • Have a Plan B, C and D in case original plans go sideways.
      • Focus on listening deeply to others.
      • Ask questions to confirm & clarify.
      • Pause before responding to a challenging situation.

Retrograde periods are a time to slow down and be reflective. Since Mercury rules Wednesday, I once again encourage you to celebrate Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays for the remainder of this current cycle – and during the shadow period as well. From now through June 16 (when Mercury stations direct) and continuing through July 7 (when Mercury leaves its shadow), spend the next few Wednesdays honoring this versatile, multitalented planet with some very mercurial activities.

Activities for Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays: Gemini Edition

Gemini loves a quick list, so here are some activities you can do on Wednesdays during Mercury Retrograde in Gemini.

    • Give/get hand and arm massages.
    • Give/get a manicure – either DIY or treat yourself to a professional manicure. Simply learning how to keep your nails healthy & neat is always good.
    • Write letters, cards, and notes to friends & family.
    • Visit the library – virtually or in person. Gemini rules books, reading and libraries!
    • Learn how to be a better proofreader or editor. Take it from someone who’s worked as a writer, journalist, editor & proofreader: all the grammar apps and spellcheckers in the world cannot make up for editing and proofreading done by a trained professional. Take online classes or pick up some books.
    • Practice your handwriting. Bonus points if you teach yourself how to write with your non-dominant hand! (Gemini rules ambidexterity.)
    • Re-learn how to breathe. This TEDx talk on breathing is very insightful.

 

    • Take a bike ride or short road trip.

May this Mercury retrograde cycle stimulate your curiosity, helping you find new ways to appreciate the slowdown of energy.

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May 26, 2021 – Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius

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We start the first eclipse season of 2021 with a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius. This full moon goes to eleven as it ushers in plot twists and surprise endings related to our understanding of the world around us, what we think we know and understand, and where we are completely clueless. Where we see these plot twists & endings depends on where the eclipse occurs in our natal chart.

In 2021, we will have eclipses in Gemini, Sagittarius, and Taurus:

May 26, 2021 – Lunar Eclipse at 5 degrees Sagittarius

June 10, 2021 – Solar Eclipse at 19 degrees Gemini

November 19, 2021 – Lunar Eclipse at 27 degrees Taurus

December 4, 2021 – Solar Eclipse at 12 degrees Sagittarius

During last year’s eclipse season, I wrote about themes for the eclipses:

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)?

We’ve learned a lot since the December 14, 2020 Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius – but how much of that knowledge is beneficial for our growth? It’s graduation season for many in the USA; are we ready to graduate, armed with all the lessons we’ve learned?

Let’s take a look at the Gemini-Sagittarius opposition to understand how these signs relate to each other.

Gemini – Sagittarius: The Quest for Knowledge

My grandfather once told me, “There are two types of people in this world: those who paint with a big brush and those who paint with a little brush. I’m not saying one is better than the other, though. You need both kinds of people.” That’s an apt description for the Gemini-Sagittarius axis: Gemini is adding in all the details on a smaller canvas with its little brush, while Sagittarius is creating broad, sweeping strokes with its big brush. Who makes the better painting? Depends on who you ask, but the reality is we need both kinds of people, like Grandpa said.

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Both signs are thirsty for knowledge, often insatiably curious about people, life, the world. Gemini seeks out information from a wide variety of sources and may struggle to parse out what’s actually of value. Sagittarius gathers information from multiple sources as well, but has the experience to know what’s worthy of further study.

While traditional astrology links Gemini to “lower mind” and Sagittarius to “higher mind”, it’s not suggesting that Sagittarius is the more intelligent sign. I find it helpful to equate Gemini to a 4- or 5-year-old who’s constantly asking questions, observing the world around them and formulating beliefs based on those observations. Sagittarius is the college graduate who has gleaned enough knowledge to know that not everything they believed as a little kid is actually true.

As a Gemini rising with a stellium in Sagittarius (meaning 3 planets in a single sign), I love these two signs and find them incredibly fascinating for their versatility, breadth of knowledge & skills, and sense of humor. I could write about these opposing signs for days. But I digress – which is oh so very Gemini-Sagittarius!

Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius

With this lunar eclipse in Sagittarius, we have permission to step back from our masterpiece and assess our work. Did we paint with a little brush when we should have picked up the big brush? Or vice versa? Stepping away from the painting metaphor for a moment (is it obvious I really love this metaphor?!), can we review and synthesize all the information we’ve gathered?

If you have your Sun, Moon, or Rising in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces (especially those with placements between 1-10 degrees of those signs), these last few days may have been particularly challenging. The world is opening up again after more than a year of restrictions, and in that time we’ve learned a lot about ourselves, our communities, our deepest fears & insecurities – and our greatest hopes & dreams.

If you know your rising sign, here’s a rundown of where you may have been gathering information over the last 5-6 months, and where you need to synthesize the lessons you’ve learned.

      • Aries Rising – personal philosophy, spirituality and beliefs; higher education
      • Taurus Rising – regeneration, transformation, death
      • Gemini Rising – relationships and partnerships
      • 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 using whole sign houses.)

May this lunar eclipse provide you with some fascinating insights on the knowledge you’ve gathered and how to use that knowledge to drive you to become your best self.

Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays: The Aquarius Edition

We are 5 days into the first Mercury retrograde for 2021 and it’s taken me this long to finally get this post completed. That’s my life as an Aquarius Sun/Mercury, with Gemini rising, when Mercury goes retrograde: plans go sideways, surprises pop up, technology can get wonky. How about you? How have you been forced to pivot lately?

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While Mercury retrograde can be very challenging, it’s also our opportunity to slow things down and be open to changes. With Mercury retrograde in Aquarius, the sign of innovation and revolution, it might be more dramatic than usual. But we can channel this energy and make it work for us, not against us.

Mercury: The Basics

Because retrograde cycles ask us to review content, let’s review what we know about Mercury from mythology. Mercury (Hermes) is the messenger of the gods in Greek and Roman mythology. Zeus had a lot of affection for Mercury’s cleverness and entrusted him with several tasks. Mercury was the only god who could freely move into the underworld and was a psychopomp, guiding souls to the underworld. (To learn more about Mercury/Hermes, I highly recommend watching this episode of “Great Greek Myths.”)

Mercury is a trickster and shapeshifter. He loves a good joke or prank. While I’ve listed some of the things Mercury rules in a previous post, Mercury also rules:

      • Artisans & craftspeople
      • Bicycling
      • Butterflies
      • Carrots and celery
      • Clothing
      • Conversation
      • Dictionaries and encyclopedias
      • Dogs
      • Fingers, fingernails, hands and arms
      • Handwriting
      • Hygiene – personal and public
      • Imagination
      • Memory
      • Roller skates
      • Stories & storytelling

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.

The dates for Mercury retrograde in Aquarius are:

  • January 15, 2021 – Mercury enters shadow period
  • January 30, 2021 – Mercury stations retrograde at 26 degrees Aquarius
  • February 20, 2021 – Mercury stations direct at 11 degrees Aquarius
  • March 13, 2021 – Mercury leaves shadow period

As I’ve said before, Mercury has an excellent marketing/PR team because so many people are aware of Mercury retrograde cycles and how it affects travel, electronic devices, and communication. Those of us with Mercury predominant in our charts (Gemini and Virgo Sun/Rising, in particular) may struggle the most when Mercury is retrograde. The beauty of studying astrology, though, is learning how how planetary transits and retrograde cycles may affect our lives, and finding ways to work with those energies. Being aware of upcoming Mercury retrograde cycles can help you prepare for them. When Mercury is retrograde or about to go retrograde, regardless of your personal placements, it can help to:

      • Create contingency plans for events that will take place during Mercury retrograde
      • Work on communicating clearly with colleagues, clients, customers about projects and tasks
      • Focus on listening deeply to others
      • Accept that plans may go sideways and you will have to be flexible in your response

As you’ve read in my previous posts about Mercury retrograde, 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 for the remainder of this current cycle – and perhaps during the shadow period as well. From now through February 17 (and, if you’re so inclined, through March 11) spend the next couple Wednesdays honoring this versatile, multitalented planet with some very mercurial activities.

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Activities for Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays: Aquarius Edition

Break your own rules. Aquarius loves a good dose of shock and awe, and with Mercury in retrograde in this sign now’s the time to look at the rules you live by and see if it’s time to break them – especially if those rules are keeping you stuck in unhealthy habits, beliefs or mindsets. I am NOT encouraging you to be unsafe or break the law! To borrow a phrase from reformer & activist John Lewis, consider where you can make good trouble in your own life.

Read about activists, revolutionaries, reformers, and innovators. Aquarius is the sign of revolution, reformation and innovation, and Mercury rules reading, so read books and essays written by or about folks such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malala Yousafzai, Mahatma Gandhi, Gloria Steinem, Harvey Milk, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Emma Tenayuca, Cesar Chavez, and Luisa Moreno. Online searches on activists will pull up even more names, so have fun with it!

Contact your local leaders. Advocate for your community by sending an email or postcard to your local, regional or national leaders about issues that matter to you.

Get outside. If it’s safe enough for you to do so, go for a bike ride or strap on some roller skates. Take a short trip by car to a place you’ve never been before. No matter your mode of transportation, make sure everything’s in good shape before you start: check tires & wheels, fill up the gas tank, have a paper map handy, bring a phone charger. And don’t forget your keys!

Write often, especially by hand. Get some paper and pen/pencil 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.

May this Mercury retrograde period bring you fresh insights into what is in need of change and upheaval in your life, and what changes you wish to bring about, whether it’s personally, professionally, regionally or globally.

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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!