Three major events occur this week as Mercury goes direct, Neptune goes retrograde, and Saturn pulls back into Scorpio.
Let us deal with Mercury Direct first. Mercury begins its forward movement again on June 12 2015. This basically means that parallax has finished its magic and Mercury resumes forward motion, but this time from its Morning Star mode in lower ecliptic longitude than the Sun. Mercury changes course at about 4° gemini while the Sun stays steady at about 20° gemini. Of course, Mercury has to build up speed slowly until June 25 when he reaches his maximum elongation. For all of that time (Jun 12- 25) Mercury is still moving slower than the Sun and is still capable of playing his “misunderstanding” game. Whenever Mercury us on the near side of the Sun he is capable of playing his tricks. While he appears to move away from and slower than the Sun it is more likely to be a misinterpretation of valid data that brings us undone. Misinformation per se was more likely to occur as Mercury appeared to move toward the Sun (May 7 - 31).
So we are not out of the woods yet as far as Mercury is concerned!
Now for neptune….Neptune goes retrograde in Pisces this week, but what does that mean? What does it actually mean when Mercury goes retrograde for that matter?
We orbit the Sun at a fairly even pace (1° per day give or take a bit). So does everything else orbit the sun at different rates. Mercury and Venus are closer to the Sun than we are, therefore they go between us and the Sun on a fairly regular basis (3 times or more per year for Mercury, about once in 18 months or so for Venus as we keep closer to Venus’ pace). The rest of the planets (Mars through Pluto) travel further out from the Sun than us, therefore they only conjoin the Sun when they are on the other side of it. When they are on the near side, they oppose the Sun from our perspective. For inner planets like Mercury and Venus, maximum elongation is as far as they can visibly go from the Sun and retrograde motion happens as they move between us and the Sun. For outer Planets like Neptune, the square transit happens when they are visibly as far from the Sun as we can see them, and retrograde motion occurs when we make our pass between them and the Sun. This outer planet retrograde is made a little more confusing when you consider that the nearer an outer planet is, the less time it spends in retrograde transit, but that is a story for another day.
To map the cycle of Neptune, it was on the far side when it was conjunct to the Sun on Feb 26 at 7°15’ of Pisces, it goes retrograde this week at 9°49’ of Pisces, (it went retrograde last year at 7°35’ of Pisces) it opposes the Sun on September 1 at 8°24’ of Pisces and it goes direct again November 19 at 7°01’ (previous Neptune Direct was 4°47’) of Pisces and it conjoins the Sun again early on Feb 29 next year at 9°29’ of Pisces having advanced 2°14’ since its last conjunction and gone backwards 2°48’ in the same cycle!. However when comparing like figures with like figures a steady progress of 2°14’ becomes visible, and any discrepancy is seen as a variance in earth’s movement rather than a variance in Neptune’s orbit.
So it goes retrograde this week in Pisces. With outer planets (Uranus,Neptune, and Pluto) I tend to discount their retrograde status because they are far enough away that they are retrograde a lot of the time (June12-Nov 19-over 5 months) and their presence in the sign that they inhabit (Pisces for many years yet with Neptune) gives their flavour to that sign for the duration. Also the three outer planets cross the same degree of the Zodiac many times before they move on, adding gravity to their transits of specific degrees. To work out whether that degree is affected in your chart requires having an Astrologer cast a chart for you. If you have the right details (date, TIME, and place of birth) astro.com can erect a free chart for you. A useable chart can be erected for midday if you do not have a time.
Neptune goes retrograde a 9° 49’ of Pisces this week and it goes direct again at 7° 1’ of Pisces in November, so anything between 6 and 11 degrees of Pisces, Cancer, or Scorpio is under Neptune’s “image is everything” spotlight. Neptune is predominantly image focussed rather than reality focussed. This means that under Neptune’s influence we can be oblivious to details where our image is concerned.
Saturn returns to Scorpio for a little while this week. It turns Direct at 28°16’ of Scorpio on Aug 2 this year, and it returns to Sagittarius for good on September18 later this year. Saturn provides much needed structure for the water signs (Scorpio, Cancer and Pisces) who are under a long-standing Neptune transit, so they had best make use of it while it is still available. Use the Scorpio transit of Saturn to ground those pesky details for the high-flying plans (Neptune) that you have. Mercury and Mars can also be good for that, so there is always hope, but you are wise to make use of Saturn while you have him. Saturn in Scorpio can as easily be a drag if you let it (death, destruction, accountability) so why not use it to your benefit? We are the sum total of the choices we make, and Saturn likes to remind us of those, so make wise choices!
I will write a paper about planetary cycles and put it permanently on my website shortly because this topic is likely to come up many times in the future and I do not want to spend the rest of my life repeating myself.
I will do sun-signs in a separate post this week.