Friday, February 22, 2013

Managing Mercury retrograde

I've been reading astrologer Greg Bogart's latest book, Planets in Therapy, and came across his advice for working with Mercury retrograde just last night -- very timely, since Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow!

Using Mr. Bogart's guidelines and our current Mercury transits, here are some dates to consider:

This week, as Mercury slows to a standstill:
"Some unresolved issue or problem begins to occupy our attention."
Early next week, as Mercury begins its retrograde phase:
"We begin searching for a solution to this problem. Life seems busier, and we often feel more worry and tension. Know that a solution or clarification will emerge at the right moment. Now is the time to think about the issue, research it, gather new information, read, and make provisional notes. At this stage, don't try to organize your thoughts into a coherent or definitive decision, statement, or piece of writing. Simply try to get things moving and get the ideas flowing."
March 4, at the Mercury-Sun inferior conjunction:
"Our minds become clearer and full of ideas. Flashes of insight or new solutions to problems emerge into consciousness. We can contain the intensity of this period by focusing on mercurial tasks: thinking, writing, taking care of the small details of life, gathering information, and trying to shape our ideas into a clearer, more lustrous form. Mental powers are at their peak. It's common to be incredibly busy and preoccupied with our own affairs."
From March 4 to March 17, when Mercury stations direct:
"A time for re-evaluating, reconsidering, and reviewing all decisions or lines of thinking or analysis that emerged around March 4. Now we can edit, revise, and reshape our work into a structure that's appropriate for the task at hand. This is the time to bring a piece of writing, research, or a decision to a conclusion and to shape it into its clearest form of expression."
May 11, at the Mercury-Sun superior conjunction:
"Now, we presumably see the results of the new way of thinking or the decision reached around March 4."
It will be interesting to watch this particular Mercury retrograde period and put these guidelines to use. Let me know how it goes!

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I received this question from one of my clients "down under" this morning:

"I am wondering, as I am sure many of us are: What effect does a meteor have on us metaphysically or astrologically?"

Meteors pose a special challenge for astrologers, in that we cannot use the usual scientific techniques to study them. Some may find it interesting (or laughable!) to quantify astrology as a "science," but it is based on studying the same kind of empirical evidence that scientific research regularly uses.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines empirical evidence as "a source of knowledge acquired by means of observation or experimentation." When a new celestial body is discovered, as Chiron was in 1977, astrologers immediately add it to charts and start watching how it plays out in people's lives. There are immediate ways to start interpreting the meaning and effect of a new "planet," based on the symbology of the name, for instance -- but much of our knowing of its impact is gathered by watching its effects over time.

When it comes to meteors that fall to earth, they are extremely short-lived events, and so we cannot study them in the same way we can other celestial influences that have cycles we can observe. Even many comets, which are fairly fleeting in their direct interaction with our planet, have orbits and cycles we can use to help us understand their purposes.

In many ways, we can interpret the general impact of a meteor strike to be similar to an earthquake, which causes large or small disturbances in the energy field of the planet and her peoples. In that way, a meteor is not so much a harbinger of change as the instrument through which energy fields are changed to allow shifts to occur.

If you've ever been in an accident that involved impact, or had an emotional shock, you know about the effects of these types of experiences -- almost as if your soul is jolted out of your body, and takes a while to re-integrate. I think we can look at the impact of the recent meteor that exploded over Russia in the same way.

Certainly, for those people directly impacted by the blast and the energy waves that were created, they are dealing with the same sort of effect as having been in a fall or other accident. Their energy fields have been changed, and as they re-integrate over time, they will find that they have changed -- some in small ways, some in larger.

For planet Earth, she is also absorbing the energy wave of the meteor, much the same as the humans, animals and plants in the immediate area must do. That means it really affects all of us who dwell on Earth, for what changes Gaia changes us.

So, we can watch in our own lives for those small (or large) ways that our own energy fields have shifted, and use that empirical evidence to demonstrate the effects of this particular meteor event.

Thanks for the question!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Comet Lemmon

Astronomers are watching a "new" comet, just discovered in early 2012, that is already within telescope-viewing distance and will soon be visible to the naked eye. The comet was named "Comet Lemmon," because it was discovered by astronomers at the Lemmon Observatory in Arizona.

Comet Lemmon's orbit takes about 11,000 years, so it's safe to say its energy will be a new experience! The comet is getting brighter as it gets nearer to our sun -- it will be brightest in the sky (about the same brightness as one of the stars in the Big Dipper) in late March.

Here's a photo of the comet, taken from
Energetically, comets are said to bring new information and insights to us, since they come from the far reaches of space. Here are some insights (slightly abridged) from astrologer Mary Elizabeth Jochmans about the effects of comets:
"Most people experience comets as intense, high-speed electro-magnetic energies, felt especially when Truth is spoken or heart or energy is moved, shifted or transformed. These people have lightening flashes of insight that may affect their entire energy field. This energy comes as sudden flashes of information that may be difficult to retain."
Since the end of March is already highly energized, due to the alignment in Aries that involves Uranus, Mars, the Sun, Mercury and Venus (!), we are clearly in for some exciting times starting at the Equinox. And, we should probably keep a pen and paper handy, since the information and insights coming in may come in quick flashes or in our dreams, so must be recorded before they slip away.