Retrogrades and Eclipses: Walk Carefully on that Ice

Weeks ago I described our current phase of astrology as the winter whirl. Two inner planets are retrograde (Mercury and Mars) and we’re building toward a solar eclipse — the perfect recipe for confusion and originality. Dare I say paranoia, but do we really believe it? Is it really credible? Why do we take fear so much more seriously than, say, creativity? Eclipses apply mental pressure, which can spill over to other levels. If you’re feeling good, that will spill over and if you’re in conflict that can magnify or get hooked — let it go if you can.

Eclipses combined with retrograde planets, especially Mercury, the result can be the feeling of ever-deepening chaos. Yet deep in there is a LOT of creative mojo.

If you’re experiencing frustration, the best plan of action is to set clear goals and return to your tasks day after day grateful that you’ve made at least little progress. There are bound to be setbacks and these, too, need to be handled gently, but any setback can contain the gift of an invention. Think that way and it’s more likely to be true.

Mercury retrograde takes us out of automatic mode. Humans tend to think like old-fashioned robots: in rote habits, which is another way of saying many people don’t think at all. Mercury stopping and backing up three times a year scrambles those patterns. There’s the added benefit of a built-in pause, and with a necessity to take care of old business.

Notice how much emphasis has been placed on corporations and government since Pluto entered Capricorn. That alone is a source of change and confusion, as is the ongoing opposition between Saturn and Uranus. Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is like looking down and pausing to pick up the pieces of what has been scattered as a result of these potentially disruptive events. Mercury is calling for an alert, even creative approach that acknowledges the past without getting caught there.

Mars retrograde has a different flavor. We live in an aggressive culture. We wage war, we love competitive sports and we are trained to experience our creative journey as a rat race called a career. Mars retrograde is saying: slow down. Consider the factors that you normally might miss, like whether something is really worth doing; like whether you really want what you think you want.

Mars in Leo is famous for its ego-trip quality. It’s a lot of fire in one place, and when you turn that fire retrograde, the message is tune in and go on. Question your motives. Take off some of the pressure and listen to yourself.

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