As Mercury continues on his retrograde path, everyone I know is experiencing missed phone calls, faxes that don’t go through, traffic jams, appointment mix-ups, and all of the other typical effects.
An outing I took on Saturday turned into a comedy of errors, but fortunately I was able to laugh about it. Better still, I had lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in more than a year, and we had a great time catching up on the news.
Among other things, she told me a story about a community meeting she went to last Wednesday, just as Mercury was stationing retrograde. The director went off on one of his usual insensitive tangents, and for the first time since she has been involved with the group, she interrupted and told him how hurtful his remarks were. He was mortified and apologized profusely, and there were tears all around as everyone kissed and made up. Mercury turned retrograde just a few degrees into my friend’s first house. Moreover, she’s a Taurus, and Mercury will be returning to her sign this week.
So you see, there are benefits to Mercury retrograde, too, and we needn’t worry about opening our mouths at all for fear of offending someone or being misunderstood, even when there’s a risk of conflict. I suspect that after Mercury re-enters Taurus this Wednesday, we’ll have more opportunities to address unresolved issues and heal old rifts.
Even the square from Mercury to Neptune and Chiron could end up producing positive results, despite traditional interpretations that this aspect brings confusion and misunderstanding. That might well be the case initially, but with Venus in Aries, taking the initiative to clarify and speaking from the heart may be just the right approach, as my friend discovered.
On Sunday, May 17, the Moon conjoins Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune and squares Mercury. All of the above notwithstanding, I wouldn’t choose this day to have a heavy discussion. If someone else corners you into it, make the best of it by thinking before you open your mouth. The clearer you are with yourself about how you feel and what your motivations are, the better you’ll be able to express it to others in a way they can hear.
By this time, Saturn will be direct as well, and that could help matters enormously. Saturn turns direct on Sunday in the Eastern Hemisphere, late Saturday here on the western side of the world. It will take him some time to stretch and wake up, but we still should feel some positive effects fairly quickly. Saturn’s return direct, along with the New Moon in Gemini at the end of next week, might help mitigate some of the more annoying effects of Mercury retrograde.
Saturn’s return direct in Virgo is a good time to contemplate his role in Roman mythology as ruler of the Golden Age of Man. Many cultures and religions around the world have different versions of this tale. Christians describe it as the Garden of Eden. According to the Greeks and Romans, this was the earliest age of humanity, a period when the gods came and went among mortals, when everyone was happy and had everything they needed without working. Humans died, but without pain. They simply went to sleep, and their spirits became higher beings, which we might call angels.
It all fell apart when Jupiter overthrew Saturn and took over as father of the Olympian gods.
This might come as a surprise, since Saturn in astrology is not considered a symbol of ease, harmony and abundance. To the contrary, he is considered a limiting influence under which we have to learn painful lessons and work extra hard to get ahead. It’s almost as if they had the roles of Saturn and Jupiter flipped. But it does make an odd kind of sense, when you consider that Saturn is lord of the material universe. Without structure and order, there can be no abundance.
The ancient Romans revered Saturn as a god of the harvest, much as we think of Ceres, who I’d like to see elevated to modern ruler of Virgo. Maybe we’ll hear more about this as Saturn and Ceres approach conjunction in late June.
In the meantime, much love and courage to all,
Image: The Golden Age, by German painter Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1530. Given the dour religious climate at the time, this is a remarkably happy and light-hearted scene — and hardly what we’d imagine of a world ruled by Saturn.