Cosmic Talk
Mercury and Venus Retrograde, Oh My!
Fall 2002

Namaste Friends!

I am contacted by so many folks who are curious to learn what the retrograde is all about. In this issue of the Cosmic News I will address those very questions. First, a few words on transits...

Using Transits in Forecasting
Transits provide information about the flavor of a day, a month, a year, and even several years depending upon which of the planets is being examined. A lot of information can be gained from the transits and it can be unbelievably accurate. You can test this yourself--just examine the transits for any particular event in your past. It's awesome exactly how accurate they can be. Truly, to everything there is a season, and the transits can assist us greatly with the right timing of our ventures.

When a transiting planet comes along to highlight a particular house in your natal birth chart (remember, the houses represent arenas of experience) it is like having a spotlight on the domain of life the house symbolizes.  When a transiting planet opens up the lines of communication by contacting one of your natal planets, the energetic symbolism of that natal planet (most specifically the facet of your psyche the planet represents) is being tested, supported, acknowledged and/or challenged (determined by the type of linkage being made to the natal planet). During the time of contact you'll learn more about how that planetary energy is operating in your life.

Therefore, when you see a line of communication made by a transiting planet to one of your natal or progressed planets, you have information about how that facet of your psyche is evolving: the type of skills you are developing and mastering. The houses of your natal chart being spotlighted by the transiting planets provide you with information about what arena of life is being highlighted, indicating that your activities are going to revolve around that area, as it relates to the symbology of the transiting planet, for as long as that planet is transiting that particular natal house. Further, when things aren't going so great, thank goodness the transits provide information about when the mess will be done with and life is going to get easier!

Let's take the transiting Sun as one example. The transiting Sun moves quickly, about a degree a day, but it is a powerful spotlight. It's very useful for the timing of daily activities. After all, the Sun is at the center of our Solar System and the source of all life on our planet. In the natal birth chart, it represents our core sense of self, around which all other aspects of our psyche (the other planetary energies) revolve. The Sun's our top Executive, the CEO. When we fulfill the needs as represented by our natal Sun we feel vital, alive, joyful and fulfilled. Therefore, whatever house the Sun is transiting in our birth chart indicates an area infused with vitality for about one month (the length of time depending on the size of the house). Involvement in that arena of life is going to make us feel more alive and self-assured. When the transiting Sun contacts one of our natal planets, that planet gets to share center stage with our inner core being, gain recognition and shine for a few days.

For example, if the transiting Sun spotlights our natal Moon, focus is on all that the Moon symbolizes in the birth chart: feelings, emotions, sensitivity, roots, the past, Mom and women in general. If the transiting Sun highlights our natal Mercury, we've been handed a microphone and pushed to center stage to communicate ourselves to others. If we've been waiting patiently to be heard, now is the time. Folks are listening. When the transiting Sun highlights our Venus, the focus is on personal values, relationships, and all that we treasure. When the Sun dances with our Mars, we are infused with energy and potency to assert ourselves, and claim what we desire.

See how easy it is to work with transits? If you are familiar with the basic symbolism of the planets, signs, houses and aspects, you can use transits to assist you in determining the times when the environment is most supportive of your endeavors and when it is going to be the least supportive.  That's valuable information to have! If you have knowledge of astrology's language then it will be easy for you to track the faster moving planets yourself (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) to help you in choosing the best times for important activities. Who wants to take a vacation while Mars is square natal Uranus? If you have your natal chart and access to an ephemeris (provides the position of the planets on any given date) and your natal chart, you are all set!  (If you don't have a copy of your natal birth chart or an ephemeris, I can provide you with both)

Transiting Mercury Retrograde
(September 14, 2002--October 6th. 2002    Rx at 13 Libra, Dx at 28 Virgo)
(January 2, 2003--January 23, 2003     Rx at 28 Capricorn,  Dx at 12 Capricorn)

Approximately every four months, for a period of about three weeks, Mercury has one of its infamous retrograde periods.  I'm often asked, what does that mean?  What sort of influence does it have?

First of all, while retrograde literally means backward none of the planets ever really throw their engines in reverse and accelerate backward.  It just appears that they do on occasion.  What's really happening is that the earth is moving faster than the planet is, giving the appearance, when viewed from the earth, that it is moving backward.

Whether or not we have retrograde planets in our natal charts, all of us can experience the influence of a planetary retrograde period, especially if the planet that is retrograde is making key contacts to our natal or progressed charts or if it is "captured" in its retrograde status in a progressed or return chart.  When a planet is captured in its retrograde status in one of our forecast charts, the affairs ruled by that planet and the arenas of life represented by the house it is positioned in, are often slowed down and/or we tend to be more introspective concerning them.  There is the great potential with retrograde planets to be "tuned-in" to all the symbolic associations related to that planet. That means easier access to Higher guidance and greater insight into how that planetary energy is manifesting in our lives.

Mercury normally takes less than three weeks to move through a sign when its motion is direct.  When Mercury is retrograde it will take eight to ten weeks in a sign. Those five or more extra weeks Mercury retrograde spends in one of your natal houses means that Mercury's energy is directed at the affairs associated with the arena of life represented by that house.

Mercury rules the mind, mental processes and all forms of communication. More specifically Mercury rules: messages, letters, books, magazines, writing, speaking, contracts, neighbors, our neighboring environment, commuter-type travel, the signing of contracts and transportation facilities.

When Mercury is retrograde by transit, (this current retrograde period is from September 14 through October 6) there is the possibility for all types of communication breakdowns. Those most affected by Mercury's retrograde "tricks" tend to have Mercury making challenging links in the chart.  It's a good idea to exercise caution in all Mercury-ruled domains during its retrograde period. While retrograde, The details normally handled by Mercury aren't being tended to as carefully as they are when this planet is direct.

It's helpful to have the awareness that all types of communication have the potential for becoming confused, delayed or misunderstood.  There can be indecisiveness, mail-slowdowns, lost letters, transportation problems, electronic equipment breakdowns, and failures in negotiations.  It's good to remember that we all reserve the right to change our mind while Mercury is retrograde! During Mercury's quarterly retrograde period it's best to avoid signing contracts, scheduling negotiations, or launching new businesses or major projects.

Now, what about what Mercury retrograde is good for? Certainly it's a good time for planning and organizing anything that will be finalized after Mercury has returned to direct motion.  Mercury's retrograde periods are also a fine time to draw on knowledge and guidance from deeper levels of consciousness. The three weeks that Mercury is retrograde present us with an opportunity to carefully consider all the possible ramifications of pending actions and decisions.  We are encouraged to take care of unfinished business, especially business put into motion during the previous three months following Mercury's last retrograde period and preceding the current retrograde period.

Additionally, Mercury retrograde periods are a  good time to confine activities to those that have "re" at the beginning of the word.  Therefore, rehash, review, rejuvenate, refine, reflect, repair, recheck, reschedule, realign, rewrite, reformulate!!  Take inventory of what has occurred over the previous three months and reconsider and reexamine your experiences.  That is good use of Mercury retrograde energy.  When Mercury is direct in motion again, proceed with confidence in planning and acting on your new endeavors and sign documents with confidence!

While Mercury is retrograde you'll want to examine your natal chart and determine which house(s) Mercury will be traversing when it retrogrades. It is the areas of life represented by that house that are most likely to be affected. Next, examine what linkages Mercury is making to your natal planets while retrograde to further delineate the significance of its retrograde period for you. If you're interested in reading more about Mercury retrograde or would like to view descriptions of the arena of life symbolized by each of the 12 houses, check out my article on Mercury Retrograde online.   Check out the Mercury Retrograde report.

Transiting Venus Retrograde
(October 10--November 21, 2002    Rx at 15 deg. Scorpio  Dx at 0 deg. Scorpio

Why do we hear so much about Mercury retrograde and so little about  Venus retrograde? Maybe because Venus' retrograde periods occur only once every 18 months, unlike Mercury's retrograde three times a year.  Further, Venus doesn't have the reputation for being a "trickster" like Mercury! While you may experience the influence of the Venus retrograde more subtly, these periods are very significant to note.

Each of the planets symbolize some facet of our psyche. With Venus, most of us are familiar with her symbolism as the Goddess of Love. But her symbology runs deeper than many of us realize. To best understand Venus' symbolism we need to keep in mind her rulership over both Taurus and Libra.

Taurus represents the sensual side of Venus, our instinctive desire to acquire what we want and to experience pleasure as a result.  Taurus represents the grounded earthy and sensual manifestation of Venus energy. This sign relishes natural and sensory pleasures: good food, beautiful vocals, sensual love, and abundance.  Venus as ruler over Taurus seeks to render permanent any situation which provides pleasure and self-value.

It is the planet Venus which symbolizes our capacity to form and identify what we personally value.  At the top of that list is the value you give to yourself. YOU are your most important commodity!  While Venus is retrograde, we are presented with the opportunity to ask ourselves, "What do I value most? What resources do I wish to bring in? What do I treasure? What gives me pleasure? Does my life circumstances reflect my values?"

As we ask ourselves these questions we have to be mindful of any tendency for coming up with answers that reflect what other people think we should do or want. When we are not in touch with the Venus facet of our psyche, our self-esteem may be low, we may not know what is personally valuable to us, we may not even be conscious of wanting anything at all!  We might go through our day to days feeling empty and deriving little real pleasure from life.

While Venus is retrograde it is very important to examine our values and ensure that they are not conditioned copies of what our family or social circle determined 'should' be of value to us. Further, we need to examine whether we feel worthwhile enough to give ourselves pleasure. Do we judge ourselves harshly? Do we feel unlovable and undeserving of happiness? Are we comfortable with our body and the enjoyment of sensual pleasures? Do we feel worthless unless someone else loves us?

Now, how does all that I've written above fit in with our understanding of Venus as the Goddess of Love, symbolizing our "urge for love and relationship?" The answer to this is found in Venus' rulership over the sign Libra. Is it not true that our choices in love are a statement about what we value most? Isn't it in what we find most beautiful, most pleasureful, most treasured that we love?

For Venus, relationships provide the means for the formation of a personal value system. We all have preferences, we don't value everything. We all seek relationship to folks with whom we are compatible--in other words, folks who have similar values.  Our values determine our choices. During the course of our lives we are presented with the dilemma of having to choose one thing or person over another. It's Venus as ruler of Libra that is concerned with the process of choosing. Venus, as ruler of Libra, also seeks to maintain inner and outer balance, harmonizing the conflicting factors that exist within our psyches, which tend to manifest in outer circumstances as a "mirror reflection."

As Venus moves into a retrograde cycle, we are given a wonderful opportunity to examine how we have merged these two sides of Venus in our nature. Have we pushed away our instinctive side, forgetting to gift ourselves with pleasure? Do we have issues of possessiveness, and jealously?  Do we suffer from too idealized values for relationship with a result of denying ourselves what we need to feel loved? Are we excessively indecisive? Do we have difficulty making choices? Are we conscious of the values that determine our choices? Are we lacking in our social abilities to create balance in our relationships? What do we want to do with our wealth, our talents, our assets? Who do we want in our life and what would we like to experience with them? How do we share who we are with others?

During Venus' retrograde, be mindful of the possibility that you may be seeing your shadow reflected in your dealings with the people around you. It is important to understand that with Venus energy, others provide a mirror for us to look into and see ourselves.  If we experience direct upheaval or disturbances in our own relationships or our personal lives, this may be the time for us to really evaluate how we define love, how we express it, and what we value in life. If we become discontent and nothing appears to bring us happiness, we may need to get back in touch with our sensual, creative, beautiful, self-loving nature and begin to express it in more conscious ways. While Venus is retrograde we need to take time to re-identify what it is we value in life and how we manifest those values in the world.

It's also important to examine the house(s) where Venus' retrograde will occur in your natal chart.  Her house position while retrograde symbolizes the arena of life currently in focus, where you may need to find a means to bring greater fulfillment and pleasure or in which you are now experiencing greater fulfillment and pleasure. If either Venus or Mercury's retrograde involves two houses, the activities represented by those two houses tend to get linked together during the retrograde period.

Further, Venus' house placement while retrograde is an area where you want to establish harmony and balance. That house may also represent a domain where you feel competitive or envious of others who have what you desire to create for yourself. It may also represent the source of valuable new resources.

The linkages (aspects) retrograde Venus makes to the planets in your natal and progressed charts describe what other facets of yourself (planets) and arena of experience (houses) are highlighted for the Venus value orientation process. Since Venus is associated with worth and value, these planets and houses can be linked to issues involving finances, possessions, resources and money.  Any planet Venus aspects may also show a particular talent to develop or a potential new resource coming in during the retrograde period.

With both Mercury and Venus retrograde you will want to note how many contacts will be made to any natal or progressed planets. There could be up to three contacts: the first made while Venus is direct, the second made while Venus is retrograde and the third made when Venus is direct again.

In summary, the key to a successful Venus retrograde period? "To thine own self be true!" That is harmony!

Now Available! Transiting Venus Retrograde Report
The Venus Retrograde report discusses Venus' house location in your natal chart during its retrograde period and provides an interpretation of the linkages it makes to both your natal and progressed charts during that time, noting the exact date(s) of each exact influence.

Wishing you growth, joy and grand personal fulfillment during the coming months!

Your gift to humanity is the uniqueness of your own loving self and nothing need ever be given precedence over that. When your heart is open, you are in truth and you remember the spirit essence that you are. Then what transpires on this globe cannot limit you. (Emmanuel's Book)

Embrace Grace and be blessed in all things


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