The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Solar Eclipse in Cancer, July 2018

Chart for the Solar Eclipse ~ New Moon in Cancer
Chart for the Solar Eclipse ~ New Moon in Cancer

How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow?
I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole.
~ C.G. Jung

Jul.12 – SOLAR ECLIPSE ~ SOLAR ECLIPSE ~ NEW MOON in CANCER (20:41 of Cancer)

Welcome to the second eclipse season of 2018! Fasten your seat belt and get ready for transformation! You will be challenged to summon and utilize your passion, determination, drive and integrity over the coming weeks.

Normally there are two eclipse seasons per year, each with one Solar Eclipse and one Lunar Eclipse, in no particular order but always in succession about 2 weeks apart. The first season of 2018 had the Lunar Eclipse in Leo (Jan.31) and the Solar Eclipse in Aquarius (Feb.15).

This second eclipse season is a double (triple?) header, with one Lunar Eclipse (in Aquarius, Jul.27) sandwiched between two Solar Eclipses (this current one in Cancer and another in Leo on Aug.11). This means the typical intensity and power of the eclipse season will linger for four weeks instead of the usual two.

The Essence

You should sit in meditation for one hour every day ...unless you're too busy.
Then you should sit for two hours.
~ Anonymous (attributed to many)

This Solar Eclipse is also a New Moon in Cancer, which brings into focus issues related to the sign of Cancer: feelings, needs, belonging, family, ancestry, home, security, nurturing and the archetypal feminine. This New Moon begins 4 weeks of working closely with some or all of these areas in some way.

Having an extra eclipse this season means you'll need to stay focused and strong longer, which could be a bit draining sometimes. Since the first of the series takes place in nurturing Cancer, consider this Lesson #1 – it's super important to take extra good care of yourself during this time.

If you start to feel mentally or emotionally exhausted or depressed or feel your energy levels starting to slump, don't just dismiss that. Take some extra time out to rest your brain. Use some quiet time to bring your head and heart back to centre again, doing (or not doing) whatever helps you get to that space.

Lesson #2 – You may also notice others being stressed out, upset, agitated, guarded or uncooperative. Remember that the eclipse is happening for them too. It may help them to find their centre again if you can resist reacting to them defensively and instead respond from a grounded place within yourself. If you need to, it's better to express your own anger or frustration without gratuitous venting, or else the problem could simply escalate instead of getting resolved.

The Challenge

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
~ Carl Jung

There are a number of factors in the Solar Eclipse chart making it a force to be reckoned with. The biggest item on the list is Pluto in exact/partile opposition to the Sun and Moon. This can feel like having the big scary biker dude down the street show up uninvited at your afternoon tea party. You really wish he would just get bored and go away, but no one has the guts to ask him to leave.

Pluto opposite Solar Eclipse

The thing is, though, we do invite Pluto into our lives. For instance, we broadcast a message to the Universe asking for help with a problem, or support to find added strength, or a desire to embrace our passion more deeply.

If you're really serious about it Pluto's the guy for the job, but he can initially seem a lot more than we bargained for. So, when we ask for help and he shows up looking like the big bad biker dude, we may think, "Um, let me rephrase that...."

Pluto is ultimately about authenticity—how we use it, how we hide it, and how we can develop it. True authenticity is often in conflict with the mask we wear out in the world, which lets us walk around appearing socially acceptable even (especially!) when we feel deep inside that maybe we're not. Authenticity is the Me that's revealed when you scratch below the surface of who you think you are—and who you want others to think you are.

Most of the time this part of us isn't actually bad—but we often think it is. Worst case scenario, it may involve impulses, urges or attitudes that are potentially hurtful, cruel, destructive or dangerous if we were to let them out and give them free rein. But for most of us the fear that there's "something" terrible inside us is worse than the "something" itself. It may be loneliness or neediness, hurt or rage, "improper" desire or obsession, and lots of fears – fear of inadequacy, unworthiness, being unlovable, and so on.

We hide these desires, feelings and fears deep inside and then compensate on the outside to make ourselves look like we are overflowing with the very thing we think we lack. In Jungian psychology this is called the Shadow. And the more afraid we are of it (or what it says about us), the more opaque and impenetrable we try to make that shadow to hide it. Yet, ironically, the more we try to hide our shadow stuff, the stronger it may get and the more those issues tend to show themselves in unconscious, indirect ways in other parts of our lives.

That which we do not bring to consciousness
appears in our lives as fate.
~ Carl Jung

When Pluto or Scorpio energy crosses our path, we often trip over our Shadow. Uncomfortable or inconvenient emotions, obsessions and yearnings may haunt us in some way. In this case, we are talking about Pluto in exact opposition to the solar eclipse.

The opposition aspect (180°) tends to bring events and experiences with something or someone "out there" in the world. We encounter The Other which/who in turn holds up a mirror in some way and something about ourselves is revealed, particularly through how we respond to it all. The situation appears to come from outside of us, often feeling like "fate" or something that has nothing to do with us.

New Age philosophy suggests we may have attracted that encounter to us in some way, which can lead to a complicated tangle of guilt, shame and a misguided attempt to take responsibility for other people's actions. It's true that we may influence others in ways that can trigger their re-actions, but the dynamic in that encounter is often far from being straightforward.

Certainly, owning our own role in a problem is a good thing, and any lasting solution to a problem requires this on both sides of the equation. However, it's also true that changing ourselves may or may not affect the other person enough to result in them changing their behaviour or attitude. And if that's the primary reason why we want to change ourselves then it kind of loses the point of the exercise.

The larger point, in any case, is this: Whether or how we do/don't attract problems, and whether or how our own changes do/don't solve those problems, the situation may still give us valuable insight that can shed light on our own healing, growth and transformation. The experience can still illuminate a piece of our Shadow, which can help us put another piece of the puzzle in place.

Transformation

I am not being overly harsh. Overtly hostile, yes,
but exactly the right amount of harsh.
~ Jennifer Harrison, Write Like No One Is Reading 2

You can often tell that you've seen a movement within your Shadow when you find yourself reacting to a situation in a way that knocks you out of your cool, calm centre. You might react emotionally—anger, fear, attraction, resistance—or you could be seized by an impulse to make a change in order to deal with the situation.

Is your reaction the Shadow? Is your reaction just an unconscious symptom of acting out your Shadow? Does that mean avoiding Shadow complications means you "shouldn't" react in anger, fear, desire, etc?

Consider this, when dealing with Pluto dynamics: Your response may well be completely natural, warranted or necessary as well as being an expression of something unconscious from your Shadow. In other words, it's not necessarily your reaction itself that is your Shadow. Rather, it is the automatic and unconscious assumptions, expectations or interpretation about how the situation could affect or reflect on you personally that can indicate your Shadow is stirred up.

Let me repeat: your perception and subsequent actions may well be entirely accurate and called for—AND still could give you a glimpse of something more personal hiding underneath it. An extreme example might be if someone physically attacks you. Your instinct is probably to fight back or to run away or to become very still (fight, flight or freeze). Depending on the situation and your combat skills, any of these responses may be a completely appropriate, effective response.

And yet, as you process and replay the memory, you might notice a flicker of thought or feeling that happened at the same time. For example, you might have felt ashamed because you believed you shouldn't have let yourself become vulnerable or off-guard. Or you might discover some part of you that expects you will be victimized. Or perhaps you recognized an excitement that relishes an excuse to let loose some of your inner rage by fighting with your attacker.

Do you get the idea?

Unless the other person was defending themselves against your own aggression, you are not responsible for their actions; and your reaction to them may be perfectly appropriate. However, the experience might also have activated some deep personal stuff in you that had nothing directly to do with the present situation. Something in your Shadow vibrated in resonance, activating a deeper, personal dynamic. So, along with the natural here-and-now response, your own personal issues may become mixed up with the present situation, and out comes a much more complicated reaction.

You may need to delve into your past to understand when and how the seeds of those assumptions and feelings were planted. It is by grasping a faint thread in the fabric of your mind and gently pulling on it to see where it leads, that you will deepen and expand your awareness of your Shadow. By illuminating that which is hidden and examining it consciously, you cultivate the ability to pick and choose how you will respond, which in turn gives you more control over the situation.

Strange how complicated we can make things
just to avoid showing what we feel!
~ Erich Maria Remarque, The Night in Lisbon

This is the Pluto process of transformation. And with Pluto exactly opposite the Solar Eclipse, the next month or two brings a challenge to take another step in the transformation process. This is about discovering, facing, learning about, and understanding what hides in your Shadow—and maybe discovering something that lies in someone else's Shadow too.

Shining a light into your Shadow is like doing a psychological, physical and/or spiritual cleanse. It clears the way for you to integrate these hidden parts of yourself into your conscious self in a healthier, more manageable and constructive way. It allows you to become more of who you are, more authentic and in touch with yourself.

This is not about judging, belittling or beating yourself up—although our Shadow stuff is exactly where we tend to judge ourselves most harshly. Those unconscious impulses, desires, feelings, beliefs, expectations, assumptions and interpretations don't become hidden for no reason. We stuffed them down there to avoid shame, blame, criticism, judgment, rejection and scorn because we were told they weren't okay.

What's in the Shadow tends to have its roots in the past. Since the Solar Eclipse is in Cancer, this emphasizes the clue that something from your past—especially your childhood—may be related to whatever comes up now. Cancer is also the deepest and most personal part of your ego consciousness—the Inner Child—so this eclipse may stir up primal feelings from a very young place in you. It might even be so "young" that there are no words to explain it—only feelings and emotions and raw awareness.

The rest of the chart shows opportunities to express, support and understand what Pluto and the eclipse are illuminating in your Shadow.

The Supporting Cast

Life does not change if you only modify the content,
your life will change if you will dare to alter the context.
~ Santosh Kalwar

There's a lot more going on the eclipse chart than just Pluto, although his presence looms so large that it would be easy to miss everything else!

For one thing, Mars is retrograde—the other Scorpio ruler, and therefore transformational partner-in-crime with Pluto. Mars is how we react, take action, and express strong emotion and desire. Being in Aquarius, it may be easier than usual to be detached from the potential consequences of our actions. That could be good (if you're usually too inhibited or cautious) or perhaps not so good (if you're already pretty direct, abrupt, contrary or rebellious).

Declinations of Mars, Saturn, Pluto in 2018
Declinations of Mars, Saturn and Pluto in 2018.
Mars (♂) is Out of Bounds when below the red line (♑).

Mars is Out of Bounds by declination—reaching past the conventional boundaries and searching for a cause worthy of his passion. Mars is conjunct the South Lunar Node which challenges Mars to do his own detoxification program by becoming aware and letting go of unproductive rebellion, fragmented action, and visionary motives that fail to inspire results.

Mars is also a singleton in Air (the only planet in an Air sign—Aquarius, in this case). This suggests you might need to freely move your body, speak your mind, explore ideas, and perform other expressive actions, in order to pump the unconscious flow up to the surface where you can become more fully aware of it. It's probably better to find a setting that lets you be spontaneous and dynamic without evoking an unwanted backlash (along the lines of, "Oops! Did I say that out loud..?")

Wedge aspect pattern - Sun, Moon, Pluto, Neptune

Neptune forms a Wedge aspect pattern with the Pluto-Sun/Moon opposition. This brings encouragement to find a fulfilling or inspired creative outlet that can help you express your Pluto experiences, feelings and awareness. For example, writing, painting, drawing, dancing or other intuitive forms of expression. In other words, reaching for a sense of Higher Purpose or meaning in what happens can keep the up-surging Shadow from clogging up your mental, psychological and spiritual channels.

Jupiter just went direct (Jul.10) and is still slow enough to have that stationary intensity (only 9% of its average speed). Since Jupiter is in Scorpio, this enhances the opportunity to delve deeply into your Shadow, not simply for transformation and healing, but also to improve your understanding, wisdom and judgment about those issues.

Grand Trine Kite - Sun, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto

Jupiter is part of a Grand Trine in Water signs, also involving the Sun and Neptune. This aspect figure was in sharper focus 2 weeks ago at the Full Moon in Capricorn and is dissipating in orb, but has been amped up again due to the stationary Jupiter and the eclipsed Sun. In the current chart, this adds a vivid backdrop of emotional, creative and intuitive energy. Don't expect this eclipse to be a cool and detached, but full of expressive potential. Finding a creative or intuitive outlet for this will help this be a positive experience.

This is underscored by Pluto's opposition which turns this into a Grand Trine Kite. The predominance of Water means all that stirred up emotional energy has to go somewhere, so finding a constructive channel for it (e.g. therapeutic, spiritual, creative) is a great opportunity to do some psychological detoxing.

Grand Trine in Earth - Venus, Saturn, Uranus

There's another Grand Trine, this one in Earth signs – Venus, Saturn and Uranus. With all that Water energy, there is a potential to get overwhelmed by feelings and emotions, or intuition that overflows the filter of reality-checking, or so much creative inspiration that you lose it because you don't know what to do with it.

This Grand Trine in Earth is just the ticket! It can provide stable yet flexible containment that helps you shape your Watery energy into something constructive, productive or useful. Look for this in social situations with friends and co-workers who can be a sounding board. Or just keep bringing the vague inspiration and intuition back to the specifics. What? How? Who? When? Where? Why?

And finally, Mercury is at maximum elongation from the Sun, appearing in the western sky after sunset. Mercury is gearing up to go retrograde (Jul.26 to Aug.19) and is already in the retrograde shadow (not to be confused with the psychological Shadow). He is currently just over 26° apart from the Sun, and situated in the Sun's sign of Leo. This draws yet another big arrow in the sky pointing to the potential for creative expression and increasing self-awareness. Write in your journal. Dance to your favorite music while you clean the house. Sing in the shower. Play with your food—anything to encourage your natural creativity to come out and have some fun!

...And here comes the catch: Mercury is mostly unaspected from Jul.09 until Aug.08 when it conjoins the Sun (other than some minor aspects to other planets and brief conversations with the Moon). Expect things to be weirder than usual, even for Mercury retrograde. Be open to new ideas, observations and perspectives which could come in unexpected and unusual ways. Constructive self-expression becomes even more valuable as a way to channel this unconventional energy.

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning
Find someone who's turning
And you will come around...
~ Neil Young

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There is a tremendous opportunity here to lay a fresh foundation through which to explore your inner depths over the coming weeks. This can especially be developed over the next 2 weeks, as the Moon waxes.

Then there is a turning point with the Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius (Jul.27) which conjoins Mars and forms a T-square with Uranus. Lively is probably where the energy starts and ramps up from there!

And just when you thought you were done with eclipses for another 6 months, along comes a second Solar Eclipse, this one in Leo (Aug.11). It conjoins Mercury retrograde and squares Jupiter, so you may be challenged to re-evaluate your assumptions and expectations about what you hope all this soul searching will do and what you're learning from it.

This is a very active time with some intense, exciting, complex and wild energy soaring around the stratosphere. Stay loose, stay flexible, stay open. Have a Plan B for anything important you need to do over the next several weeks. And don't be surprised if you need to make it up as you go along to some extent.

Happy Eclipse!

We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it.
~ Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Jul.12 – Sun opposite Pluto (20:01 of Cancer/Capricorn)

Who owns the power? This is a time when you may be called upon to stand up to a situation or person who pressures you to dance to their tune instead of your own. This is a chance to assert and empower yourself in new ways, putting into practice the inner strength you've developed in the last 6 months. The trick is to face the situation or person while rooted in inner honesty and authenticity, rather than trying to annihilate the enemy using overkill. Strive to negotiate (or struggle) together using just enough force to establish a workable balance of power, without either of you being nuked in the process. Also, be open to the possibility that your "opponent" might be holding up a mirror, which is showing you something about yourself that you may not want to acknowledge. That doesn't necessarily make your opponent right and you wrong, but there might be something for you to learn from the situation. If you are in a situation that doesn't involve an "opponent" as such, there may still be an aspect of your environment that is holding up a difficult mirror, requiring you to find a more centred and authentic point of inner power. It is by finding new balance within this kind of dynamic, whatever the circumstances, that transformation can be found.

Jul.12 – Mercury-Sun Greatest Elongation as Evening Star (20:05 of Leo)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun roughly today, meaning it is as far away from the Sun as the Evening Star (visible in the Western Sky just after sunset). This occurs a few days after Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow. It tends to bring clarity, when thoughts, awareness and decisions may come into sharper focus. It can be a good time to consider your path ahead, as well as to reconsider what you want to carry with you from past. A word of caution, though – thoughts that are clear aren't necessarily the best ones to act on. If you're in an emotional or volatile frame of mind, there's a risk of letting those feelings overwhelm or dilute your mental clarity. It's better to keep mind and feelings in a balanced awareness, with a little more emphasis on objectivity and thinking twice before you act.

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Jul.14 – Venus trine Saturn (04:39 of Virgo/Capricorn)   (Jul.13 in HAST, AKDT, PDT)

Stability in relationships and finances characterises this transit. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and to invest the hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and interaction with others. Commitment and structure are easier to achieve and embrace than change or taking risks. Self-worth can benefit now because you are less inclined to give in to mood swings. However, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.

Jul.20 – Mars Rx conjunct South Lunar Node (05:56 of Aquarius)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This transit's range of influence is roughly 2 weeks before and after this date, although it reaches its peak now. The South Lunar Node is where we let go of, move away from, express or release something. Although the South Node can involve loss of some kind, it can also signify that what had previously been actively in the "foreground" of your life is now moving into the "background" and becoming assimilated as simply one part among many, rather than being a specific focus. Often whatever is being released is something we took in, embraced or began to move toward when Mars passed over the North Lunar Node. The North Node is sometimes known as the Dragon's Head, which eats or consumes. The South Node is known as the Dragon's Tail, which... well you get the idea. ;-) Since this involves Mars, what is being embraced or released likely has to do with anger, aggression, assertiveness or forcefulness. This might also be about sex or physical energy or something being set into motion. Depending on your natal chart, this could also involve the houses Mars rules and resides in, as well as where the current transit is taking place.

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit: Jun.08, Jul.20 and Sep.26. Since Mars is retrograde this time, you may find it's all too easy to fall back into old ways of expressing anger, frustration and forcefulness. With some awareness, you have a chance to let go of old habitual reactions that no longer serve you well. Alternatively, it may be time to move your attention on certain situations into the background so that you free up more energy to deal with other issues.

Jul.22 – Venus sextile Jupiter (13:32 of Virgo/Scorpio)   (Jul.21 in HAST)

There is an abundance of creative inspiration, material enjoyment, feel-good pleasure in the air! Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. It may be relatively easy to attract the people, possessions and opportunities you want or need, but you'll still have to work to get them. On the other hand, your eyes may be bigger than your stomach (as mother would say) and you might be tempted to charm, flirt or bluff your way through a situation more than usual. There may also be a tendency to self-indulgence. These are not necessarily bad things, but it's probably wise to remember to use this energy to enhance your best judgement, not override it.

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Jul.22 – Sun enters Leo (until Aug.23)   (Jul.23 in AU)

Happy Solar Return to all Leos! Today the Sun moves into its own sign, so its radiant energy is extra bright during this time. Leo's focus is on identity, individuality, self-esteem, creativity, self-expression and fun. You can benefit by rejuvenating, revitalising and rekindling the fiery spirit of who you are. Celebrate your existence! Do something that reminds you about who you are. Recharge your batteries and do things that help you return to the centre of the orbiting circumstances in your life – not spinning around at the edges where you feel at the mercy of everything around you. What are you doing (or what do you want to do) in your life that express the passions that move you? What is the focus of your sense of purpose in life, and what is your next step in moving toward that? If you've been feeling like you're stuck or have lost your sense of purpose, do something that uplifts you. If you could do anything with your life that you wanted to, what would it be? And what one thing (even just a small thing) can you do to take a step toward that goal? Rejuvenate your sense of self and do things that help you to just BE who you are. Hang out with children and watch how they play and are spontaneously free. Find ways to connect to your joyful Inner Child. Celebrate your existence!

Jul.24 – Venus opposite Neptune (16:09 of Virgo/Pisces)   (Jul.25 in AU)

Romance, idealism, fantasy and imagination are blossoming into a bright aura right now, which is likely to influence your relationships, interactions, finances and values – for better or for worse! Compassion, caring and selfless giving can be good ideals to aim for, as long as you remember that ideals tend to lose some of their shiny glow when they're translated into hard reality. If you forget this, the end result may be disappointing or disillusioning. Disappointment may also indicate that there have been hidden hopes or high expectations that no one can really live up to. Aim to balance your innocence and longing with the judgement of your older, wiser, mature self; and do a reality check with a trusted friend or adviser if in doubt. That said, this can also be a very creative and inspiring time – just remember to keep one foot on the ground.

Jul.25 – Sun trine Chiron (02:14 of Leo/Aries)   (Jul.24 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)

This is a time when you may find that your recent efforts to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life start to come together. You likely have the confidence now to try new solutions, or at least to approach problems from a different angle that sheds new light on the situation. Some of this progress may come from daring to walk your own path, or from finding the courage to face the hidden shadow of your worries and weaknesses (the hidden benefit that those worries give you). There may be a variety of different struggles and wounds in your life that could benefit from this kind of healing, although it can be tempting to let this transit pass by without taking advantage of it. Strive to reach a midpoint between merely dipping your toe in troubled waters and thinking that is enough, versus jumping in the deep end and marinating in it.

Jul.25 – Sun square Uranus (02:29 of Leo/Taurus)

Your world may experience a bit of a shake-up right now, as the Universe decides it's time to make things "interesting." This is a wake-up call, designed to loosen you up from the ways you have become too habitual, stuck or inhibited. The "radical rascal" in you may be itching to come out and stir up trouble, which on one hand might be necessary but also very disruptive and possibly even destructive. Be alert to new insights and opportunities disguised as accidents or crises. Your usual sense of self and purpose may become somewhat unsettled right now, but a space is likely being cleared to make room for new growth and possibilities. If you're looking to break old habits or break free of old restrictions, this may be the time – but it could create a mess that you'll have to clean up later. Resist the urge to rebel just for the sake of doing something different, and aim instead to break free of old forms of self-expression and ideals that don't work for you anymore. Expect the unexpected and then surf the shock-wave.

Jul.26 – Mercury Stationary Retrograde (23:27 of Leo; until Aug.19)  (Jul.25 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

Yes, it's that time again! Mercury goes retrograde for the next 3+ weeks. For up to a week before and after today, Mercury is moving very slowly or stopped (hence "stationary" or "making a station"). During this time, you may experience intensity, frustration, confusion, miscommunications, or feel like you're getting bogging down in your progress.

Mercury retrograde is usually a time when it is a good time to rethink, rehash, reflect, and tie up old loose ends, rather than begin new ventures. It is typical for new insights and information to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate, which can change the whole picture. Because of this, it is usually advised to avoid making final or permanent decisions (e.g., signing contracts or putting new projects into action), during the retrograde and even up to 2 weeks after Mercury goes direct. However, it is an excellent time to do fact-finding, research and investigation to prepare for major decisions, which are usually best put off until well after Mercury goes direct.

In the meantime, while Mercury is retrograde, expect the unexpected, and leave lots of extra time when planning your schedule (to minimize any disruptions from delays and complications). Stay flexible and learn to roll with the weirdness. It's common to have to reschedule appointments or redo things because the instructions or information got messed up the first time. Do some things that use your intuitive, creative, non-rational mind for a while until Mercury goes direct again.

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If you absolutely must do something important during this time that can't be postponed, don't be surprised if you wind up having to redo things. It can help to be especially vigilant about triple-checking what you do, but some of these mishaps can't always be predicted or prevented, so don't be hard on yourself (nor on others).

Remember: Mercury loves to play practical jokes. This is his playtime. ;-) It helps to learn to laugh with him.

When Mercury stations this time, it is unaspected! In fact, other than brief encounters with the Moon, there are no major aspects between Mercury and other planets from Jul.09 until Aug.08 when it conjoins the Sun. This unusually long period of energy freefall is bound to make this Mercury retrograde cycle a lot more "interesting" – wonkier, weirder, more playful, more curious. Stay loose and flexible. Simplify your schedule when possible and leave extra time to deal with interruptions. But most of all, be open to new perspectives, ideas and observations.

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Next Update:  LUNAR ECLIPSE ~ FULL MOON in AQUARIUS. Available by July 27, 2018.

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© 2018 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. OTHER CREDITS: Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Photo of Ghost crab (Ocypode sp.) on the beach at sunset, Mozambique, southern Africa, by EcoPicture via CanStockPhoto.com. Photo (public domain) of Adelina Patti (1843-1919), via Wikimedia.


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