Retrograde Mercury has a bad rap. Many astrologers like to tell you that life goes a bit haywire when Mercury assumes a "backward" motion in the sky. A lot of emphasis is put on not starting new things, understanding that communication will be "off" and that we are all entitled to blame things not running smoothly on retrograde Mercury.
Contrary to these popular beliefs, it isn't quite that easy to explain. I have found that most of these interpretations come from Western astrologers using a Tropical system, but that the Jyotish (Sidereal) approach differs quite a bit. My personal experience has shown that retrograde Mercury can be a gift in fact.
I look forward to retrograde cycles for many reasons.
We know that retrograde planets are seemingly moving in reverse. (The planet only appears to be moving backwards due to the planets' elliptical orbit. This is only in relation to our view from the Earth not that the planet is actually moving backwards). Retrograde planets are moving against the forward flow and forward momentum of the other planets.
Rahu and Ketu are always moving in retrograde motion and these lunar nodes show us where our past karmic cleanup is being directed. In a similar way, retrograde planets direct our focus, or re-direct our focus in essence. They become stronger as a result and increase the indication of the planets and our desires as a result.
An exalted planet that goes retrograde becomes nica (debilitated) while a debilitated planet when retrograde will become uccha (exalted). Obviously there is great power in the retrograde motion, but perhaps dire predictions should be tamed, as great benefits can also result from this movement as well.
I look forward to retrograde cycles. I almost get giddy about it in fact! Have you ever wished for a delete button on life? Or a rewind option? Have you ever wished for a pause button where you could then find a better way to do something? Retrograde planets give us this opportunity. But we must be armed with awareness in order to reap the greatest benefits from these cycles.
Retrograde Mercury offers many wonderful possibilities for growth and creativity, for connecting and communicating in new and different ways. Look for the mental body to be retracing old steps, conversations to be revisited, behavioral patterns to come to light and a chance to re-do what has not been working in your favor. Relationships might come into question and your experience with them, so listen closely as you are being offered an opportunity to make some changes and adjustments in a new way.
Financially, and with business agendas, we will be in a rewind as well. This is not a bad thing at all. Missed opportunities will be available to us once again and doors will re-open that we thought were closed. Be willing to take a new direction, re-direct your focus, and stay open minded about new possibilities.
Retrograde Mercury can be genius for finding new strategies, ingenuity and gaining a new creative edge. Old accounts and business clients may re-visit you, suddenly making a re-appearance and be in need of your services. This can be a great thing for income and increased business. It can offer us a "return on our investments" whether this comes through monetary means or through past investments of time and effort.
The planets are always in a complicated and intricate dance, weaving forward and backward in the cosmos. Retrograde cycles are an important opportunity to re-visit past actions and experiences, while giving us opportunities to do things differently. Use Mercury retrograde for revisiting your goals and desires, finding new, more innovative ways for accomplishing your visions and making them a reality.
If you find that life feels more intense right now, consider that Mercury rules the mental body, communication, creativity and commerce. When chaos enters, it can be an opportunity to hit the pause button and to find a different, more life supporting option moving forward. A lesson to be learned; likely a big one since it has re-appeared.
Stay alert and see calamities as opportunities for growth. Remember, Mercury retrograde only negatively impacts a very few individual who have challenging Mercury placements in their natal chart. For the vast majority of people, retrograde Mercury will not give dire results. Some people may even have positive experiences with this cycle. Mercury rules money, creativity, mind, thoughts, commerce and communication so depending on your individual chart, this Mercury cycle could bring great benefits and favors. Be alert to the changes in your self and strive for more mental balance.
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We are inside the eclipse portal until July 16th. A partial lunar eclipse occurs with a Full #Moon in Sagittarius to close the gap. Throughout this shadowy two weeks, Mars continues his debilitation in Cancer, while Mercury goes Retrograde in Cancer as well.
The conjunction of mental body and debilitated warrior causes challenges with action, momentum, thinking and processing. You may also notice challenges with communication and connections. Notice where you are not being clear, upfront, focused or proactive. Be as congruent, clear and direct as you can be and don't step around the mud puddles. Walk right through them!
Sun, Venus and Rahu are conjunct in #Gemini which is increasing the challenges with communications, commerce and creativity, as well as all things Mercury. The combustion of Sun and Venus is compounded by the shadow of Rahu.
Fear, illusions, past challenges, insecurities and doubts may surface in regard to relationships, creativity, romance and self worth. This is part of the ego-identity shift being forced by the Ketu-Saturn conjunction in Sagittarius. As this planetary conjunction looks directly at Gemini, Sun, Venus and Rahu get hit the hardest.
Relationship with self and others is in a dramatic transformation process. Self identity and physical body are feeling the impact. Themes, stories, shadow and fears that have come to the surface over the last many months are now coming into full conscious awareness so they can be released.
The release takes place when you honor and allow the shadow to be acknowledged. Resisting your own darkness will only strengthen it. Something new is trying to awaken within you. A new sense of self and purpose is pushing through from unconscious to conscious awareness.
Are you listening? Are you facing your fears? Are you willing to move through the waves of grief and terror, so that you truly have space for something different?
Only your willingness and courage will guarantee your success. This eclipse portal is a powerful opportunity to make space for a very different way of being. What steps are you taking to create your new existence?!
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On March 7th 2019, our karmas shift. Rahu moves to creative, airy Gemini and Ketu shifts to Sagittarius, joining Saturn in this spiritual, fire sign. This 1.5 year transit will last until September 23rd, 2020. During this transit, both planets will move through mulitrikona degrees, then into exaltation, creating even more intensified results with our shadows.
Why We Need the Shadow. Read more about the powerful impact of Rahu and Ketu.
Ketu in Sagittarius:
The combination of Ketu and Saturn in Sagittarius will make for a bumpy ride during 2019- as old grief is cleared, dismembered and released. Sagittarius is a highly spiritual fire sign. It aims high, but rarely hits the target because of hesitation to pick a direction. When focused and determined, Sagittarius creates pure, spiritual desire that can lead to alignment with dharma, inner growth and right action. A new sense of space and awareness is being created within you and your life during this transit- unlike anything you've experienced before.
In the months ahead, it's important to ask yourself:
What am I making space for? How do I want to use this space? How can I simplify my life even more? What past trauma needs my attention?
Saturn is the planet of grief. He is heavy, slow and old. He will show you where undigested grief is living within your life and body. This old, cold and heavy planet represents established, traditional structures, as well as progress that comes through slow and steady steps. His transits take 2.5 years in length, the longest of all the planets.
Read more about Saturn's transit through Sagittarius.
Ketu is a planet that changes in the blink of an eye, like a flash of lightening. The contradictory nature of Saturn and Ketu will cause challenges with speed, focus, and outcomes, while creating sudden, lasting impact. Perhaps the positive experience with these two planets is that both can offer very spiritual awareness and support awakenings in various forms.
Trauma, sudden loss and terror come with Ketu. The coming transit may force us to revisit past traumas or losses. Use this time to stay as close to the body as possible and keep life simple and slow. Gather resources, support and guidance to help heal and re-pattern old traumas.
Saturn's enlightenment comes through years of consistent action and putting in a great deal of effort. He polishes the lump of coal through constant heat and pressure, eventually revealing the diamond. Ketu, however, serves his Moksha suddenly- through flashes of insight, shocking revelations, and instant shifts in awareness. He can bring trauma and sudden loss with him as he sheds layers of illusion.
Though the intention of both planets is transformation and awakening, they go about it in totally different ways. When their differences collide, it may be challenging to stay grounded and connected to the body.
The house that Sagittarius occupies in your jyotish chart will show the area of your life that will be impacted by this incompatible relationship. What themes are present?
Ketu in UttaraAshada: March 7th to May 9th, 2019
Ketu transits UttaraAshada Nakshatra until May 9th, 2019. Use this time to sever, clear, and release past habits, behaviors and identities. The harder you cling, the more struggle you will experience. Less is more. Let go and hand whatever you can over to Spirit. Honor and acknowledge traumas and triggers surfacing. Your ego identity going through a massive upgrade. The more you can accept and release, the easier this process will be. Align with integrity and right action as much as possible. Don't lose sight of your goals and direction.
Ketu in PurvaAshada: May 9th, 2019 to January 15th, 2020
Once Ketu arrives in the 2nd constellation of Sagittarius, he moves into exact conjunction with Saturn. This triggers a powerful release process that will result in sudden changes. The tight Saturn/Ketu conjunction will force release of old, outworn patterns and behaviors. Relationships will change and shift in unpredictable ways. Your physical body will require your attention right now. Notice the urge to force and push for results. Where can you slow down and let go even more? You are in a powerful purification process. Support the clearing taking place physically and spiritually. Don't get lazy.
Ketu in Mula Nakshatra: January 15th, 2020 to September 23rd, 2020
As Ketu moves to Mula nakshatra, the entire world will feel a deep uprooting taking place. It's important to understand that everyone on the planet will simultaneously be experiencing the instability of this transit. None of us will come out of this cycle the same person. Mula is considered a gandanta, notorious for pulling up the weeds within the psycho-emotional body levels of our being. The dark goddess, Nirrti, rules this constellation- often causing havoc, chaos and choices that lead to adharma. This is a time period that will provide immense, radical clearing in very unpredictable ways. The planet as a whole may feel very unstable as a result. The best use of your energy is to stay close to your dharmic path and do not get derailed. Slow down even more. Don't take unnecessary risks and focus on staying close to the body. Gather even more support than you think you need. You will need it.
Read more about the impact of the dark goddess and Mula nakshatra.
Rahu in Gemini
Rahu in Gemini will create forceful shifts and strong, unpredictable movement. This transit also brings stormy energy and powerful currents, making sweeping, sudden changes. As the shadow of desire, Rahu intensifies whatever he comes into contact with. Desires may become irrational and inflated, as well as overly materialistic. However, this is also an important creative transit that can lead to new ideas, innovations, and immense worldly success.
Creativity and the imagination will be wild and untamed. Imagination can be used as a powerful boon or a dangerous dragon of illusion. The mind will need you to keep it tame. Remember that the mental body is the imaginal. Don't believe everything you think.
The wild imagination emerging can be put to good use if you are an artist, musician, writer, dancer or entrepreneur. Money, commerce and communications may expand and grow quickly, but will likely experience loss and change just as suddenly. Nothing about Rahu is predictable- so never expect his results to last or endure. Do not put all your eggs in one basket and don't count your chickens before they hatch. If he gives you gains, change this into a new form so that you are able to keep it. Don't let your greed get in the way of common sense and rational behavior.
Mind the mind in this cycle. Take time for meditation, pranayama, and yoga. Spend extra time in Nature, walk barefoot and hug trees. Stay grounded and commune with Spirit. Eat more greens, clean up your diet and routine. Get creative and try new things. This is a great cycle to learn a new creative skill or upgrade your passions and talents. Focus on upgrading your communication skills and be sure you are speaking clearly. Put everything in writing and don't make assumptions. Intuition may be stronger than normal, but not everyone can read your mind.
Gemini brings the arrival of the third, transformation and transcendent. From the churning and storms, the amrita arrives. Through the creative process, awareness and understanding emerges. The symbol of Gemini, from a Jaimini perspective, is the two lovers. Their union creates a third energy, a powerful expression of love. Rahu may inflate the desire to create, procreate, and fall in love. Don't rush, slow down, and don't get lost in just the idea of love. Make sure there's actually something solid behind the vision. Something new is being created right now and it may not happen exactly how you think it should. Trust the process of what is being created. This will require your deep surrender.
Look at your jyotish chart and notice where Gemini lives. The house that Gemini occupies will show you the themes activated through this transit. What do you notice?
Rahu in Punarvasu: March 7th, 2019 to September 11th, 2019
This is an important time to seek more guidance and support, but you will also be asked to look at your own shadows and illusions even closer. Are you willing to dig deeper? Don't fall for false gurus or materialistic approaches to spirituality. Upgrade your creative resources and try something new. Take a new class, gather new wisdom, and expand what you believe is possible for yourself. Find the wholeness, and be open to receive more nourishment from all sources. Ask for what you need and open up to the abundance of life. Clear the blockages keeping you from receiving- especially on the mental body level.
Rahu in Ardra: September 11th, 2019 to May 20th, 2020
When Rahu moves to Ardra nakshatra, storm god, Rudra, takes center stage. His powerful energy increases exponentially with the magnification of Rahu. Big waves are likely- physically, materially and within Nature. Sudden, unpredictable surges of power will occur. Be very mindful how you use this big energy or the storms will swallow you up. This is a time period to be very diligent with staying grounded. Stay on top of the mind and don't let the imaginal realms pull you off path. Strengthen your roots so the storms don't destabilize you. Emotions will be strong, overpowering and challenging at times. Are you in right relationship with your emotional body waves, or are you getting lost in the depths of the ocean? Be careful with yourself and others. Challenging people may surface just to test your strength. Diligence with your shadow work is non-negotiable right now. Take responsibility for your own triggers and feelings. Gather even more resources and support to help you navigate the choppy waters.
Rahu in Mrigashirsha: May 20th, 2020 to September 23rd, 2020
As this powerful transit of the shadows comes to a close, Rahu moves to Mrigashirsha nakshatra. This is a constellation of Soma, the immortal nectar of life. It has an important lunar quality that brings pure nourishment, growth and branching out in new directions. The shadow side of this portion of the sky is erratic behaviors and choices, as well as excess movement. It can be highly ungrounded and lose too much life force energy from over-activity. At the same time, Ketu will be in Mula nakshatra- another highly ungrounded portion of the sky. Changes will be taking place at immense speed during the final months of this transit. Simplifying life on every level may be the only way to stay sane.
Rahu in Mrigashirsha could amplify desires for growth and expansion- both positively and negatively. Tame the beast of cravings and get back to the basics. Some movement is good, but get honest about how you are using your energy. Plug the leaks and notice where you are frittering away your life force energy. Take a good look at over-indulgance and clean up your diet and routine. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Take risks with immense caution.
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