Weekly Forecast November 5: Mercury Retrograde, Neptune Direct

The Burney Relief, Mesopotamia c. 1800-1750 BCE.

What can you say about a week when New York got knocked to its knees and 20 million people experienced a breakdown in civilization, even if for some of them it was only a few hours?

Astrologically, last week’s Full Moon was difficult in many ways, and for the past few days I’ve been pondering what the next two weeks will look like as we head into a double station of Mercury retrograde and Neptune direct, less than a week before a total eclipse of the Sun in Scorpio. I was reminded that eclipses don’t always manifest within the normal period of the New Moon – usually plus or minus three days – but that events linked to powerful eclipses can occur as long as six months in advance. Certainly two weeks before, at a Full Moon in the opposite sign of the eclipse, counts as an eclipse event.

My tentative conclusion is that for many of us, the big news related to the eclipse may already have happened. Of course it’s hard to know, but for a hint, have a look at your natal chart and ask yourself whether you’ve recently experienced an upset or radical change in one or more of the areas of life ruled by the house where next week’s eclipse will fall. If so, then your transformation-rebirth process has already started. I was going to save these thoughts until next week, but in fact, we’re already in the eclipse period.

If you haven’t read Ruth’s Scorpio article, which I posted yesterday, check it out. She has presented some profound insight into the transformation process, including the observation that some people sink into a depression while the transformation is happening. It’s as though part of you is hibernating in order to shut down and let the process happen. Now, I’m not talking about clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or serious medical conditions, but rather a process that humans have experienced since before history began. We know, because some of the first stories ever recorded in cuneiform writing deal with this theme.

For years, astrologers have spoken of this time period as a critical point in human development, during which we go through a collective transformation. The time of testing is here, with Saturn, lord of time and karma, and the lunar North Node, symbol of destiny, both in Scorpio. We’re in the thick of it now. Lessons we learned over the past two years – since the cardinal T-square of 2010 – will be invaluable as we go through this dark and confusing rebirthing process.

A telling image from last week’s storm coverage was the photo of President Barak Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who temporarily dropped their political differences to find solutions for the millions of people affected by Hurricane Sandy. Sure, there’s political calculation and self-serving motives, but it was still an important symbol of what transformation is all about – the unification of polarized forces within ourselves. Jung saw it as a union of the conscious and unconscious.

Given last week’s dramatic events, this week may be anticlimactic, despite the significant astrological signatures. Mercury turns retrograde at 6:03 p.m. EST on Tuesday, with the polls still open in many states. Add to that logistical problems in some areas affected by Sandy, and it’s virtually guaranteed that this election is going to be fraught with difficulties – if not on the presidential level, then in congressional and local races. My computer already is acting up, and I’ve been backing up files while I write – three hours so far. Also make sure you set your clocks back last night. If you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, put it off until after Thanksgiving. Although you can save hassles by shopping now and avoiding the crowds, you may end up paying more in money and frustration with products that don’t work right, aren’t what you ordered, or are missing key accessories. I’ve had to buy electronics while Mercury was in reverse, but everything that could go wrong did go wrong. With Jupiter retrograde in Mercury ruled Gemini, things that go wrong will do so in a big way.

Speaking of the Big Guy, Jupiter and Venus are in a harmonious trine on Friday, which could signify a bit of a break. Both planets are in air signs, which govern intellect, rational thought, and ideas, and both are signs of unified duality, each in its own way. Since Jupiter and Mercury are both retrograde, an old idea may turn out to be the one that works for you.

On Sunday, Neptune turns direct. I always get really sleepy when Neptune is slowing down, but this also is a great time to explore dreams and do past-life regression therapy. It’s also not a bad time to sleep, especially since we just went off daylight saving time and it gets dark early. With so much stress and anxiety, many of us aren’t sleeping well, which leads to more stress and anxiety.

The not-so-positive side of Neptune “stopped” is that we’re in a period when deceit and dishonesty flourish. Part of the cycle here is that we’re easily led to believe what we want to believe and to ignore facts, rational arguments, and our own alarm bells. Neptune also rules drugs, alcohol, and escapist behavior – although anyone would be forgiven for diving into the complete collection of X-Files on Blu-ray and tuning out the insanity.

UPDATE 11/04/12: In the original post, I had it backwards and had Neptune turning retrograde instead of direct. So, first of all, apologies for that, and thanks to those of you who wrote alerting me to the error. Mercury’s not even retrograde yet, but we’re well into the shadow, and this is exactly the kind of embarrassing errors that happen. I suppose this serves as a caution to everyone. Mercury is stationed almost exactly on my Ascendant – this is classic. Not only did I make an error in my post, but when I opened the Word document to fix it, the text was entirely in red with lines through it and all the changes of previous rewrites underlined! I never use that feature of Word. Is this weird or what? As it happens, though, the effect of Neptune stationing are pretty much the same whether he’s going retrograde or direct, so the essence of what I wrote is still valid.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

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