On August 12th, as Mercury stations retrograde conjunct Vesta in Virgo, the Aries Moon forms a grand trine with Saturn conjunct Black Moon Lilith in Sagittarius, and the Sun conjunct asteroid Persephone in Leo. Later that night, the Moon transits conjunct Eris and trine the north node, before meeting Uranus in the final degrees of Aries around midnight. On the 12th, Persephone and the Sun are exact trine Lilith. On the 13th, the Sun completes its conjunction to Persephone as both simultaneously complete the trine to Saturn, who is almost totally motionless in preparation for his station direct.
Timekeeping is a cultural construct, and our culture has completely separated ideas of time and timekeeping from nature and natural cycles. The gregorian calendar is inherently patriarchal, mechanical and arbitrary, unlike the cyclical feminine calendar of the Moon and seasons. Time is one of many factors of life that have been so thoroughly assimilated into the imbalance of a male default that we don’t even notice it anymore, while wondering why we are so busy and tired all the time, lamenting the way that days and weeks become blurred in memory because they are all the same. Mercury retrograde conjunct Vesta, along with the alignment of the Sun, Persephone, Lilith and Saturn, are cracking these invisible beliefs apart, exposing the imbalance, and gathering the tools we need for deeper observations, inspired analysis, and revolutionary change. Neptune’s simultaneous contacts to Mars and Venus in synchronicity with the union of Psyche and Eros hold space for increasing awareness of how gendered energies operate on an individual level, in relationships, and throughout society.
At some point in life, everyone feels the thrill of achievement and success, but we also have huge stretches of our life where we feel that we aren’t accomplishing anything at all. Sometimes our day-to-day, moment-to-moment realities are defined by an experience that is different from the experience of making a goal, pursuing it, and manifesting desired results. There is a foundation in the subconscious that defines how we perceive time. Time is a radically different experience for those who are free, building and creating, vs. those who are in survival mode. How much frustration and feelings of failure arise from attempting to build and create, when we are still subconsciously perceiving time from a place of survival? And I don’t mean life or death situations where we are desperate for safety, I am referring to the way our culture is designed to make us feel that our needs are met with food, shelter, clothing and style, and entertaining distractions, but our true mental/emotional/spiritual/physical needs are not even defined or understood, let alone met. When we have needs that we don’t know how to meet, and/or needs we aren’t even aware of, there is a subconscious foundation of survival, an invisible desperation that influences our entire existence. The Sun, Persephone, Lilith, and Saturn are revealing to us the many ways that these unmet needs are defining our perception of time, which dictates our ability to construct memories, which effects the way we weave our storylines about the past, which conjures our karma, and ultimately prevents us from creating the life experiences that we associate with our highest selves, our destiny. The Moon’s transit through Aries opens our hearts to this difficult process, so we can use these revelations to sculpt our relationship with our own needs, in a way that changes our perception of time(from survivors to creators), disrupting the negative karmic cycle, and taking control of the present moment.
The Sun crosses Persephone at 21° Leo, as the summer ends and the days start getting shorter. As Persephone passes from Leo to Virgo, she gains the education of the grain mysteries ruled by her mother, in preparation for her ingress into Libra, the fall equinox point, to leave her mother behind and join Pluto in the Underworld once again. Mother Ceres is currently in Cancer trine Neptune in Pisces, trailing the pack of goddesses breaking away from the trine to Neptune and beginning their approach to an opposition with Pluto– leading the way, Hekate, the Oracle that guided Ceres on her journey to reunite with Persephone after Pluto’s abducted her to the Underworld. As Ceres, Venus, Sekhmet, and Hekate contacted Neptune, we were flooded with visions of our idealized lives, the dreams and goals that tell us everything we need to know about the authentic life path our highest selves pull us towards. Now as they approach opposition to Pluto, that vision is transformed by our awareness of our resources(time, money, friends, whatever) and how we may be subconsciously using up these resources for our survival, with nothing left over for conscious co-creation.
Psyche and Eros are together in the final degrees of Virgo, forming a perfect opposition to Chiron in Pisces after separating from a trine to Sedna in Taurus. As the sacred union of cosmic lovers unites male and female polarities, we are being asked to hold space for the holy, transformative anger that arises after the feminine has been violated. There are many ways that people behave in order to survive in situations where they are being abused, but you typically do not see the anger and rage until after the abuse has ended and the survivor arrives at a safe place. So when you are faced with these issues where you are afraid or even angered by expressions of feminine rage, step back and remind yourself that this is what naturally happens when survivors are free from abuse. Hold space for this, knowing that these energies are part of the healing process. Chiron asks us to make a sacrifice- we are being asked to look inside and give up the self-limiting beliefs that cause male and female energies to interact in a matrix of domination and manipulation. We must recognize the vicious cycle for what it is, recognize our role in how we are preventing the imbalance from being corrected, and consciously let go of whatever is keeping us in that role.
Neptune in Pisces has a major influence over the current focus on male-female polarities, aspecting both Mars and Venus, each of whom are joined by asteroid(s) that reinforce the polarity of gender. Neptune is quincunx Mars in Leo, joined by Prometheus; Neptune is trine Venus in Cancer, joined by Ceres, Sekhmet, and Hekate. Mars conjunct Prometheus in Leo embodies the bravery, valor, selfless service in action, and willingness to take risks to achieve results, at the heart of the Divine Masculine. The quincunx to Neptune exposes the unspeakable vulnerability of the male unit, the paradox of carrying a powerful sword that can build worlds, but crumples and becomes weaponized when fear and insecurity override the connection to the Divine Feminine. Toxic masculine energy can express as a fear of abandonment, deep insecurity of believing that you can never do enough to earn love, and it leads to the desire to dominate and control the feminine expression. This happens within each and every individual, regardless of biological sex or gender identity. Mars completes his conjunction to Prometheus a few days later as they break away from the quincunx to Neptune, giving us the opportunity to acknowledge and honor the sacred vulnerability of male energy, and bring our focus to birthing and developing a new open-heart, service-oriented masculinity. Of course, this is only possible in the presence of a strong and secure Yin, because Yin is the soil from which Yang emerges. Earth is a female planet. While Psyche and Eros are working with Sedna and Chiron to address weakness, fear, manipulation, hatred, and anger in the feminine, we have Venus, Ceres, Sekhmet, and Hekate establishing a literal home base of fierce, flawless, sturdy, all-knowing, gestational, creator/destroyer, receptive, sensual Yin. As this quartet separates from the trine to Neptune, they approach opposition to Pluto, giving us the game-changing opportunity to replace our unstable foundations with a secure and conscious connection to mother Earth, from which a healthy Yang has the potential to emerge.
Which finally brings us to Mercury station retrograde conjunct Vesta in Virgo, trine Athena in Taurus. This is a truly noteworthy and unique Mercury retrograde because after the August 21st solar eclipse at 28° Leo, Mercury stations direct exactly at 28° Leo, echoing the eclipse’s trine to Uranus. It is not as widely noted that on the actual day of the solar eclipse, Mercury retrograde will be on 8° Virgo, the exact degree of last year’s north node solar eclipse– a cognitive concerto of connect-the-dots reaching back to the fall of 2016.
Beginning with station retrograde conjunct Vesta in Virgo, and ending with station direct in Leo trine Uranus, this Mercury retrograde is overflowing with symbolism of fire and earth. The mystery of the sacred flame can be found in the progression from Leo to Virgo- fixed fire to mutable earth- it is the mystery of embodiment: the strictly organized flame-keeping rituals of the Vestal Virgins(stretching back to the pre-Roman, pre-patriarchal, pagan priestesses of ancient Europe) were directly symbolic of how to meet the invisible needs of maintaining a soul inside a body. As flame must be controlled and sculpted to flourish, spread warmth, and serve, so must the soul. Without the ritual and skills of the flame-keepers, fire brings pain and loss.
When the activities of everyday life are disconnected from symbolic meaning, it becomes draining, boring work. There’s the time we spend forcing ourselves to do the work of our responsibilities, contrasted against the time spent seeking relief from work-time. These are survival states of mind. When the activities of everyday life are connected to- and actually arise from- symbolic meaning, it becomes what is known as a ritual. The soul is no longer being drained. The soul’s needs are being identified and actually met. Time can now be experienced as conscious co-creation with the divine. This is my Mercury Retrograde Meditation.
As Mercury stations retrograde conjunct Vesta in Virgo, we will be drawn into the mystery of mutable earth rituals that enable our physical bodies to contain and support the most robust and lively fixed fire soul. The trine to Athena in Taurus reminds us that developing these types of rituals take time, patience, and stubborn persistence, and she blesses this Mercury retrograde with her strategic wisdom. The Aries Moon’s exact trine to the north node at the moment of Mercury’s reversal unifies all of these complicated changes into a single simple result. We can be inspired by learning about other people’s rituals, but the goal is to dedicate ourselves to developing our own unique personalized rituals specific to our own lives as they are today.
On September 5th, Mercury stations direct in Leo trine Uranus in Aries, and on that same day Mars and Persephone join in conjunction and cross from Leo into Virgo, aligned with Regulus, giving us the opportunity and the encouragement to submit to a new type of order, based on a feminine, soul-centered understanding of time, and how to turn our lives, and all of reality, into an endlessly sustainable ritual.
Quoting from essays published on this site is permitted with proper credit to Dia Holly Hemlock with links to www.PlanetaryClarity.com AND www.facebook.com/PlanetaryClarity. Do not re-post my charts on other sites without contacting me for permission.
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