A New Mercury Cycle Begins – Time to Start a New Project

A very important Mercury Cycle is about to start on April 20th. The Mercury Cycle starts when Mercury retrograde meets with the Sun for an conjunction at 0° in Taurus, a very potent degree. The Mercury Cycle culminates when we have the superior conjunction of Sun and Mercury at 0° in Cancer, on June 21st.

If inferior conjunctions act like New Moons and are time for new beginnings, superior conjunctions are like Full Moons and mark culminations of whatever has been started at the time of the inferior conjunction. 0° Cancer is one of the 4 most important degrees in the Zodiac – the others are 0° Aries, 0° Libra and 0° Capricorn (yes, the Cardinal signs which mark the 4 axes of the chart, AC-DC and IC-MC).

To have both the beginning and the culmination of a planetary cycle at 0° is extremely rare and highly significant.

All of us will benefit from the New Mercury Cycle but you are especially in focus if you have:

  • Gemini or Virgo rising
  • Planets or angles around 0° Taurus or 0° Cancer
  • The Sun in Gemini or Virgo (especially for men) or the Moon in Gemini or Virgo (especially for women)

A Mercury cycle usually lasts for 120-130 days and begins with the inferior conjunction with the Sun. This phase marks the ending of a planet’s previous synodic cycle and the beginning of the next cycle. This phase, when a planet is still retrograde, but has already encountered the Self (Sun) is when we become conscious of the energy of the planet and we initiate a new cycle of growth.

Mercury cycle AB

Occurring in the middle of Mercury’s 3-weeks retrograde period, the inferior conjunction is similar to the New Moon and is a time to initiate projects and get organized.

The duration of the cycle (approx. 4 months) is ideal to kick-start and complete medium-term projects, especially projects that involve the qualities of Mercury: writing, teaching, structuring, organizing, traveling, commerce, or communication of any kind.

Mercury, the Roman God of commerce and travel was the counterpart of the Greek God Hermes, the messenger of the Gods. In Astrology, Mercury rules not only travel, commerce and communication, but also the processes of the mind.

Mercury, or the quicksilver, rules the Mutable signs Gemini and Virgo. Astrologically, we know relatively little about Mercury – the close proximity between Mercury and the Sun makes it difficult to observe and interpret. However, given the proximity to the Sun, we can say Mercury, even if stays invisible most of the time in the sky, is the most familiar energy to the Self.

The Mercury Cycle, just like all the planetary synodic cycles, is part of a continuous spiral of growth, with the retrograde marking the point when we shift from one state of “Mercury” to the next.

There are four Mercury “phases” in a Mercury cycle, determined by Mercury’s direction from the Sun (clockwise or counterclockwise) and whether its motion is direct or retrograde.

Phase I – Observe and Insight: The Phase I starts at Mercury’s inferior conjunction to the Sun and lasts until Mercury turns direct – April 20th 2017 – May 2nd 2017

In this phase Mercury has a strong will and a clear sense of purpose, thanks to the encounter with the Sun. This young Mercury is unimpressed with traditions – it is only interested in manifesting the Insight it got from the Sun. And although this intuitive impulse might not yet lead to clear answers, Mercury is willing to take his time to observe its immediate environment to envision new ways of action.

Phase II – Prototype and Test From Mercury direct until Mercury’s superior conjunction to the Sun – May 3rd 2017 – June 20th 2017

This phase starts when Mercury is stationary turning direct, and ends around 50 days later. A few days after Mercury turns direct, it reaches its furthest distance from the Sun, known as Mercury’s greatest western elongation. This phase symbolizes intensified mental activity seeking external expression. Mercury is at its highest speed now – that’s why our mind is most eager during this phase, and is capable of  intense learning. This is a good phase to start putting together a plan to fulfill the initiative started at the time of the inferior conjunction. This is also a good phase to test different elements of our plan to get immediate response from our environment, to see what it works and what it doesn’t.

Phase III – Build From Mercury’s superior conjunction until Mercury turns retrograde – June 21th until August 11th 2017

Mercury’s superior conjunction with the Sun marks a phase of culmination. Whatever has been started in phase I and “prototyped” and “tested” in phase II can now finally take shape and materialize. Mercury is getting now a “reality check” from the Sun, who acts like a “curator” and synthetizes the good bits and pieces that have been produced in the previous phases. The mind becomes now practical, analytical and objective. Now is the time to “go live” with your project.

Phase IV – Analyze From Mercury retrograde station until Mercury’s inferior conjunction to the Sun – August 12th 2017 until August 26th 2017

Mercury’s forth phase is contemplative, deeply introspective and seeks inner meaning. We now want to discover the reason, the meaning and the purpose behind everything, and we are unlikely to be satisfied with easy, superficial answers. The last phase is great to “analyze” what has been produced in the first three phases and see how the outcome can lead to an even better outcome, to be initiated in the nex cycle.

The sabian symbol for the Mercury Cycle starting April 20th is “A clear mountain stream”, signifying the pure, uncontaminated and spontaneous manifestation of one’s own nature.

This Mercury Cycle is especially significant not only because it occurs at highly potent degrees but also because Mercury spends an unusual amount of time around Uranus, due to its slow move around the direct station. Uranus is the higher octave of Mercury and this prolonged conjunction will catapult Mercury’s qualities. Any project that requires innovative thinking and creativity is highly favored. It is especially beneficial to start a project exactly when the cycle commences around April 20th at 0° Taurus.

The Mercury cycle lasts for almost 4 months. It is well known that the ideal timeline for a project is from 3 to 4 months. This is enough time to delve into a topic, do your research, test and build, and then analyze your outputs. Anything that goes beyond 4 months loses momentum or becomes the point.2 version of the previous project so you always want to keep your projects within this timeframe.

Take your time around 20th of April to focus on a project you want to undertake. Follow these 3 steps to identify your project and plan it according to the Mercury cycle:

1) Consider your current priorities in selecting the project you want to start. What are those things you know you need to do but you have been procrastinating? These projects should not require a long time horizon (e.g. if you want to do a master’s degree, completely change your career, get married or have kids then probably these are not the most appropriate undertakings for a Mercury cycle); similarly, these projects should require enough time so you don’t complete them in a few days only (e.g. write an article, finish a PowerPoint presentation or learn how to cook a new dish). You want to identify a project you could complete in 3 to 4 months.

2) For more guidance look in your natal chart to see in which house the Mercury cycle starts – for example if it starts in your 2nd house you want to start a project to generate a new source of income, if it falls in your 4th house you want to do home improvement, in your 6th house a diet and so on.

3) After you have identified your project – split it in 4 different phases according to the 4 phases of the Mercury cycle, as I described above. Try to stick to the timeline (e.g. around 2 weeks for the 1st and 4th phase, around 5 weeks for the 2nd and 3rd phases)

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Five Planets Retrograde In April – How To Survive Them

In April we have a record number of 5 (FIVE) planets retrograde. The Universe is asking us to “sort out” our life and redefine our reality and how we operate in it. This retrograde period is “three-dimensional” as it will ask us to look at ourselves (our thoughts, our communication – Mercury and our set of values – Venus) at our environment (Jupiter and Saturn) and at how everything  fits together in the grand scheme of things (Pluto).

5 retrograde planets

When is so much retrograde power in the air, we need to slow down any pay attention. Old patterns of thinking and old habits that no longer serve us will be brought to our awareness and challenged.

What is even more interesting is that 4 planets out of the 5 actually change direction in April. Yes, only Jupiter is already retrograde and won’t change direction. All the other planets station and change direction in April, increasing their influence few days before and after their station:

  • Saturn turns retrograde on April 6th at 27° Sagittarius
  • Mercury turns retrograde on April 9th at 4° Taurus
  • Venus turns direct on April 15th at 26° Pisces
  • Pluto turns retrograde on April 20th at 19° Capricorn

So if you have planets or angles around 27° Sagittarius, 4° Taurus, 26° Pisces or 19° Capricorn you will be especially affected. Pay attention especially if you have planets around 26°-27° in any Mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) because the square between Venus and Saturn, – both stationary – will hit you hard.

Retrograde periods are good times to remember, re-assess , re-think, repair ,  restructure, re-invent  anything that needs a “RE” in your life.

And although the world will seem to “slow down”,  for some of us things will feel “just right”. Yes, if you have in your natal chart 4, 5 or even more planets retrograde then you will rather feel “in sync” with this energy, especially if you have a combination of Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn or Pluto retrograde.

For people with none, 1 or maximum 2 planets retrograde, things will be quite different. For example, I don’t have any planet retrograde. Everytime there are 4 or more planets retrograde I feel very tired, that’s why I learned to schedule holidays around the retrogrades and take the opportunity to recharge my batteries.

Now let’s have a look at how to deal with each of these retrogrades – focus on the one affecting you the most:

Saturn and Venus (26°-27° mutable signs)

I group them together because they are at the same mathematical degree and in square – so if you have planets around 26-27° in Mutable signs both Venus and Saturn stations will affect you.

The transit is quite heavy and will very likely ask you to sort out some emotional baggage from your life – old lovers, events from the past, buried feelings of rejection, isolation, and loneliness.

“The only baggage you can bring is all that you can’t leave behind” – Venus square Saturn will ask you to do some soul searching and decide what are you going to keep in this baggage. What are those key values that you cannot live without?

Anything else can be left behind. Remember, you will carry this luggage for the rest of your life (or at least until you have another potent Venus transit) – so you want to keep it light. How much are you willing to carry on your back from now on?

Now is your opportunity to really incorporate the Saturnine lessons. Your heart will be stronger and wiser after this process. And because Chiron is conjunct Venus, the opportunity for healing is real. Old wounds may the toughest to heal, but it is when we take the courage to face them, that we can release them and set ourselves free.

What to do about Venus retrograde: Make a list with your values, everything that is dear to you. For each value associate an object. How much does the object weight? Write it down – how many pounds/kilos? Now sum everything up. How heavy it is? What do you need to cut from that list so you leave only few items that you can carry on lightly?

Mercury (4° Taurus)

The lesson of this Mercury station is sustained focus. A Mercury Taurus retrograde cycle is here to teach us to focus our mind and be resilient against distractions.

What to do about Mercury retrograde: Make a list with all the worries, all the distractions, all the unfinished tasks that clutter your mind and affect your focus. Then “schedule” 1 hour per day to solve them. You may notice that by simply writing down your unfinished tasks and worries on a piece of paper, by “acknowledging” them, your mind can finally relax and focus on things that are more important. You can do this exercise anytime, best to do it around April 19th when Mercury and Sun will be in an inferior conjunction. Later in April you may discover you have found some innovative solutions for some of your worries, as Mercury will spend quite a lot of time near Uranus.

Pluto (19° Capricorn)

Pluto will activate the Jupiter Uranus opposition, making this station very confrontational – BUT also thanks to the progressive energy of Jupiter and Uranus, this station will give you an unique opportunity to achieve great progress in the area of your life (the house) transited by Pluto.

When direct, Pluto transforms matter and energy from one state to another. When retrograde, Pluto purges the “toxins” from the body, the mind, the spirit, so that a new cycle of life can emerge. What needs to be purged from your life?  Pluto stationary retrograde will ask you to allow natural death to take its course for anything that no longer serves you.  Let nature have its way. You will not only “survive” without this debrief, but you will be better equipped for the future.

What to do about Pluto retrograde: Keep a diary and write down in detail each event, each thought, each feeling that triggers a defense mechanism inside you. For each of these items, write down what are you afraid of losing if you “submit” to change. And then write down what could be the possible “benefits” for each of these changes. 

Mercury in Sagittarius

Let’s welcome Mercury in Sagittarius! Freedom of thought, vision, leadership, optimism – this is what Mercury in Sagittarius stands for.

Not so keen on details, Mercury in Sagittarius prefers to focus on the big picture. He likes to have the freedom to think for himself, and to focus on the topics that he likes, especially if that is:

  • An opinion that is different than yours
  • Fun
  • Philosophical

mercury-sagittarius

Forget about political correctness during the next few weeks. Mercury in Sagittarius, with his restless intellect, has a hard time with rules, limits and he could not care less about what other people think (of course, those people who don’t share HIS opinions). He won’t have the patience to deal with other people’s opinions – especially if he has heard them many times before – as he see them as a waste of time. Life is too big and there is always so much to think about.

But Mercury is Sagittarius is not narcissistic, nor naïve. With his broad viewpoints, he is able to put things together in a way that other people can’t see them.

Things to do during the Mercury in Sagittarius transit:

  • Focus on the full side of the glass – Mercury in Sagittarius is known for its contagious optimism
  • Do stand up comedy or any type of public speaking
  • Go ‘big picture’ – if Mercury in Gemini is about connecting things and ideas and thinking inside the box, Mercury in Sagittarius is about thinking outside the box. In Sagittarius, Mercury is Jupiter-like, so he likes to ‘go big’ in everything he does
  • Share your great ideas with others, while allowing them to draw their own conclusions and develop their own opinions. A good, honest debate will always lead to better outcomes
  • Travel – either with your mind, or literally, pick a destination and go and explore a different culture
  • Start learning a new language
  • Philosophize – this is the best time of the year to attempt to answer the big questions of life. “What does it all mean?”

Famous natives with Mercury in Sagittarius: Martin Luther, Marie Curie, Woody Allen, Jimi Hendrix, Voltaire.

Mercury in Scorpio

Mercury enters Scorpio on the 24th of October and will stay here until 12th of November.

It is not easy to say what we really mean, especially when we talk about feelings. Even with the closest of friends, we have a natural defense mechanism to push people away, exactly in those moments when we feel most vulnerable. We hold a piece of ourselves back, and we are especially guarded when it comes to revealing a truth about ourselves, sometimes, ironically, even to ourselves.

rene-magritte-mercury-scorpio

Painting: Rene Magritte – La Reproduction interdite

Mercury in Scorpio gets us in touch the depth of our feelings and helps us deal with those sides of ourselves that we usually hide. Our awareness of the underlying motivations of our thoughts and perceptions is increased now.

Mercury is a personal planet, together with Venus and Mars, so it has to do with how we relate to the others and with our interpersonal relationships in general.

Be aware that if you are not totally honest  with yourself about your motives and feelings when communicating with others, your unconscious or hidden agendas can harm the others even when that was not your intention. However, if you approach your interactions with honesty, the Mercury in Scorpio transit can bring a great opportunity to dramatically improve your relationships.

Things to do during this transit

  • Dig deep to understand what really drives you in your relationships with others – why do you reach out for contact, why do you need to be understood and appreciated? What are you afraid of? What makes you tick?
  • Reflect on the concept of honesty. Why is being untruthful, even exaggerating or omitting to mention something, so harmful?
  • Do some research and investigation on some controversial topic – what you will find might change your perspective completely on that specific topic
  • Read a crime or mystery book
  • Check out the concept of “radical honesty”. The idea behind is to always tell the truth, no matter what. Check out the internet, you will find plenty of resources
  • Reflect on the implications of telling the truth – can you tell the truth and be kind in the same time? We all know that telling the truth is the right thing, be we should strive to do it with compassion
  • Have an honest conversation with your partner or with an close friend or relative. Don’t make excuses, try to lower your defenses and let your imperfections be seen

Mercury in Libra is opposite Uranus in Aries

Our thoughts, ideas and opinions will be a little bit “different”, if not unusual!, and our mind will shine brighter during this transit. Both Mercury and Uranus rule the intellect, with Uranus being the higher octave of Mercury. Uranus transforms the logical processes of Mercury into sudden shifts of awareness. Together, the two will look at mundane things from innovative, highly interesting perspectives.

mercury-libra-opposition-uranus

Image: Michael Cheval – Swing of Love

Speaking our mind, not matter what, will become more important than ever. The Mercury / Uranus aspect is found in the natal charts of Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison and other epic figures that have set the foundations of what we call now “freedom of speech”.

Mercury in opposition with Uranus will also manifest in some sort of “rebelling” on a mental level. We can get easily distracted and disconnected from activities that bore us, and let our mind instead take off to some more interesting places. And because Mercury is in Libra, these places will tend to be beautiful and have plenty of socializing opportunities.

Things to do during this transit:

  • Question anything that society says is “the way it is”. Or, how Buddha puts it: “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” Doubt everything, find your own light 😉
  • Write a blog / conduct a research / communicate about an idea that no one has explored before. Research studies such as “Couples who drink more red wine stay together longer and partners are less likely to develop dementia “ or “How chicken feathers can be used to determine the speed of a tornado” were probably conducted during a Mercury /Uranus transit 😉
  • If single, check some internet dating websites – Mercury is in the sign of partnerships and Uranus can make anything possible 😉

 

Mercury enters Libra on the 7th of October

Mercury will transit the cardinal Air sign of Libra for about three weeks until October 25th when he moves into Scorpio.

During this transit, we’re more diplomatic and find it easier to see another’s point of view. Libra transits always draw awareness on the areas of our life where balance is needed. Are we too judgmental or on contrary too accommodating?  Are we so stubborn that we cannot accept other people’s viewpoints, or too wishy washy, going back and forth and never seeming to make up our mind? Whatever it is, Mercury in Libra will help us identify the imbalance, and direct us towards those areas we need to adjust in order to create more balance in our life.

7-libra-mercury

Another characteristic of this transit is that our ideas, our communication – in any form – will become more artistic. Music  and painting are beautiful mediums of communication – and Mercury in Libra a has a strong desire for harmony and aesthetics. He loves fine music, poetry,  a good art gallery or performing arts.

Last and not least, Mercury in Libra will sharpen our negotiation skills. If the answer to the question “what is in for me” does not satisfy us, we are more likely than usual to take action (Libra is a Cardinal sign after all) and do something about it: discuss, fight and make up with our spouse, get things straight with our business partner, ask the boss for a promotion. The good news for the spouse, business partner or the boss is that Libra in Mercury will also make us reflect on “what is in for the other”. The magic of negotiation happens when we truly understand our needs, we truly understand the other’s needs, and then we agree on what is the proper ratio of “give and take” to have happy and healthy relationships.

Mercury Conjunct Venus in Leo

Venusian charm is combined with Mercury’s emphasis on communication in the sign of Self Expression (Leo). The result?

The mind and the heart are fully in tune, our communication is harmonious and we feel confident and optimistic in expressing ourselves. The transit promotes great conversations and intelligent as well as exciting relationships. Even the shy ones of us will find it easier to speak up. It’s easier to be confident and articulate when you speak from your heart. This is the message of this transit.

mercury-conjunct-venus

In the photo we have Michael Jackson and Slash-> they both have the Mercury Venus conjunction in Leo in their natal chart.

The duo collaborated on “Black and white” and “Give into me”. Both songs capture the essence of the Mercury Venus in Leo magic: self-expression, authenticity and the need to be loved for what one is.