I’m getting slammed by this Mercury retrograde in the classic way, with Internet connectivity issues, cable TV interruptions, botched online orders, miscommunications, late ferries, etc. Knowing that most of these problems will subside in a couple of weeks, I’ve been more patient than usual, and I can laugh about it. Some of it, anyway.
As you might recall, I had a bad experience with an online home furnishings site that took my payment for an item that wasn’t in stock. With the Better Business Bureau involved, my case got bumped up the customer service food chain. The rep was extremely apologetic and offered me a gift card for my trouble. I used it for a kitchen rug and a rug pad. Well, when the rug arrived, it was the wrong one. Not just wrong, but hideous. Instead of the subtle tone-on-tone pattern I’d ordered, they sent zebra stripes. I could hear Mercury laughing his winged helmet off.
After some mild irritation, I had to concede that it was hilarious, although I’m sure the customer service people weren’t amused – especially since their entire phone system was down all day Friday, and they couldn’t reach the supplier to double-check the replacement order and shipping instructions.
Not having a solid Internet connection has been far more aggravating, especially with a forecast to post. As of yesterday, I’ve had a consistent connection, although there are still some kinks to work out.
Mercury dipped into Cancer before slowing down and turning retrograde on June 7. He returns to Gemini on Tuesday, and on Wednesday reaches the halfway point of the retrograde period, which lasts until July 1. Many of you observe Mercury retrogrades very closely, so you know that some retrogrades are felt most acutely in the pre-retrograde period, while others are relatively calm until the mid-point. This one definitely was active earlier, although it’s possible that we’re also going to see an increase in retrograde-related incidents in the next two weeks.
If I had to identify the reason this retrograde is so irksome, it would be complications from ill-tempered Mars. Mercury is in Cancer, where Mars is in his fall, and the Warrior already is unhappy in Libra. More significantly, Mars is in a close cardinal T-square with Uranus and Pluto. In April, Mars supplied the fourth leg of an already intense configuration of Uranus, Pluto, and Jupiter, and then he went retrograde. Now he has returned to that critical position. He squared Pluto by exact degree on Saturday (June 14) and reaches a square by exact degree with Uranus on June 25. The translation of all that is … well, exactly what we’ve seen for the past week. The multitude of momentous headlines from around the world is hardly surprising, nor is the recurring theme of destruction and collapse – keywords for the Uranus-Pluto square.
The escalating situation in Iraq fits within the continuum of events in the Middle East since the early phase of the Uranus-Pluto square in 2010. Governments have collapsed, and countries where the earliest human civilizations developed have descended into civil war and sectarian violence, with whole regions decimated. Uranus represents rebellion, while Pluto in Capricorn corresponds to rigid government structures that respond to protests with violent crackdowns. But Pluto also is a destroyer of the old and rotten, so underneath all the turmoil is an impulse toward breaking down corrupt government structures to clear the way for new, more sustainable systems. Pluto destroys, but he also regenerates.
Ancient Mesopotamia, which we in the West regard as the cradle of civilization, lies within modern-day Iraq. There is something symbolic about the land of the world’s oldest civilization being in such chaos. It’s a message that civilization itself is crumbling. The structures built into civilization since history began – systems that literally were “set in stone,” thanks to the civilized invention of writing – were based on a hierarchical order with a ruling elite. That is the definition of civilization. Many of the rebellions around the world have been against corrupt rulers who, rather than wisely directing their countries, have teamed up with corporate elites and pocketed all the wealth, while their people have fallen further into poverty and despair. The only solution anyone seems to have found so far is to replace one set of corrupt rulers with a different set of corrupt rulers. We have yet to find our way into the new system in which the human spirit can flourish in partnership with nature. It’s hard to imagine what that even would look like on a global scale. In the meantime, Iraq has been bombed back to the Stone Age.
One interesting development in this story is that the United States and Iran, which have been enemies for decades, are cooperating to help the Iraqi government resist an assault by an organization of religious extremists who favor an ultraconservative form of Islam. I’ve predicted that one of the outcomes of the Uranus-Pluto square would be shifting geopolitical boundaries in the Middle East. That potential just went up.
The conflict escalated at the Full Moon in Sagittarius, the sign associated with religious dogma. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, which was a major component of the grand cross in April. But what I find most interesting and potentially disturbing is that these ultraconservatives who would keep women veiled and indoors consider themselves reformists, and they meet the definition of rebels – well-armed ones at that.
This is the odd thing about Uranus. Within our culture, we think of rebels as freedom fighters, the Rebel Alliance up against the Galactic Empire. But any minority can start a rebellion, especially if they consider themselves to be oppressed. The extremist wing of the Republican Party has been doing just that, and last week, they scored a shocking upset.
In Tuesday’s primary elections in Virginia, U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his congressional seat to Tea Party candidate David Brat. For many, this development came out of left field. However, if you look at it within the context of the Uranus-Pluto square, this is simply another example of rebellion by a group upset because it feels its interests are being ignored. Ralph Nader, a long-time progressive who has run for president as an independent candidate, points out that Brat won by appealing to voters’ anger with “crony capitalism” programs that benefit the elites.
“Brat is a mixed bag for progressives,” Nader writes in a post on his blog. “But in that mix is a clear populist challenge by Main Street against Wall Street and by ordinary people against the corporate government with subsidies and bailouts that the Left calls corporate welfare and the Right calls crony capitalism. Therein lies the potential for a winning majority alliance between Left and Right as my new book, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State, relates in realistic detail.”
I haven’t read his book yet, but it’s on my reading list. As a reporter in Washington, I used to cover Nader’s press conferences and often found his ideas to be intelligent, enlightened, and sane. Predictably, my editors weren’t interested in anything he had to say, because he wasn’t considered important enough in Washington political circles. I’ll leave you to your own conclusions about that. Incidentally, Nader is a Pisces born under a cardinal T-square of Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto.
Looking at the week ahead, Mercury’s return to his own sign of Gemini on Tuesday should help ease some of the irritation with communications snafus. They will still be there, but with Mercury out of emotional Cancer and on better terms with Mars, we can be more rational. Maybe we even can find humor in some mix-ups.
On Wednesday, Venus forms an easy sextile to Jupiter. Astrologers throughout the ages have considered Venus and Jupiter as favorable influences. That’s all the more so now, as both planets are in their power signs. Just as they’re approaching exact aspect, the Moon and Neptune conjoin in Pisces, which is traditionally ruled by Jupiter. Imagination is fertile, and what you envision can manifest quickly.
The Sun and Mercury align on Thursday. This day gets my vote for inspired editing, revising, repairing, and any other kind of re-doing. That said, this isn’t a great aspect for creative collaboration. It might take some extra effort to remember that your ideas are not necessarily the only, the best, the most-valid, and so forth.
Chiron goes retrograde on Friday. Chiron in Pisces is about wounds past and present, in this lifetime and others, individually and collectively. During his retrograde period, June 20-November 23, you may find that you have greater access to painful memories, particularly if you have Chiron in aspect to key planets in your natal chart.
Saturday is the summer solstice (winter in the Southern Hemisphere), when the Sun enters Cancer. I think I’ve mentioned the Cancer ingress chart for the United States and Moscow in a previous post, but I’ll leave that analysis for next week, since this post is already quite long.
By next week I also hope to have some idea of how I plan to revise my services so that I can start doing reports again on a regular basis.
Much love, courage, and patience to all,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2014.