While we are in a pretty dire time, with the news of the extent of Sandy's wake only just beginning to unfold, I'm going to resist the urge to go into Scorpio-mode just yet and begin with some lighter fare. I know that I, for one, have needed some comic relief. I got just that last night.
It was then that I knew Mercury's shadow was truly afoot. I locked myself out of my house in the pitch dark in my bathrobe . While my robe is at least warm, it is somewhat embarrassing-looking -- pink and fuzzy with a yellow duck on it (!) How did I find myself in this position, you may ask? After getting out of a nice salt bath, I had opened the back door to feed our orange-kitty stray named Odin (synchronistically, the god Odin is another face of Mercury). There were some other cats fighting at the back of the yard, so I stepped away from the door to shoo them, instinctively closing it behind me so "Odie" couldn't get in. CLICK. I realized as soon as I closed it what I had done. Very, very fortunately, I had my cell and my iPod touch in my robe pocket, and was able to find and call a locksmith when I couldn’t get a hold of the neighbor who has our spare key. I had to wait for 90 minutes for someone to show up, however. At the same time as the locksmith finally arrived, my neighbor showed up with my spare, negating my need for a locksmith. Odin kept me company the whole time, although he was mainly waiting for his as-yet-undelivered dinner and was therefore biting my hand. Nice touch. I realized later that Mercury was aspecting four of my planets at the time (Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Uranus). Its placement in Sagittarius always seems to magnify its trickster-ish, humorous qualities.
Once again, I learned that this astrology stuff really works. Mercury is the ruling planet in my chart, so I guess I should expect some shenanigans during his retrograde. My experience has been that the intensity of its effects depend upon the sign(s) of the retrograde, and whether or not Mercury is making important aspects to my planets during that time. I've also learned that it's important to pay attention to the shadow period, the time before and after the retrograde when Mercury is moving through the degrees in which it will actually be spending its backward trek. We've been in the "pre-shadow" since October 18th, and Mercury has spent the majority of that time in Scorpio. Late on Sunday evening (the 28th), Mercury entered Sagittarius, the sign in which it will turn retro on Election Day, November 6th.*
How can each of us best navigate November's retrograde in Sagittarius and Scorpio?
My first recommendation is to keep track of your keys. But seriously, during the time where Mercury is retrograde in Sagittarius (11/6 – 11/13) we might be extra-attentive to our plans concerning travel, education, and publishing. There might be things we need to reschedule before moving ahead; go with the flow of changing circumstances rather than fighting it. Mercury retro in Sag is also a great time to reconsider the beliefs that structure your reality. Even though many of us might not identify as religious, we inevitably become attached to certain thought patterns, our personal "dogma," if you will. It is likely that our attachments to thoughts that have become ingrained beliefs will be confronted by Mercury's trek through Sag. Again, resistance is futile. Take this opportunity to scrap the limiting beliefs that run like unfortunate mantras in your head.
During Mercury's retrograde period in Scorpio (11/13 – 11/26), it's time to take a second (and deeper) look at the themes that were going on for you during Mercury's direct motion time in Scorpio (10/5 – 10/28). For most of October, we've been dealing with some heavy Scorpionic energies: Saturn's entry into Scorpio October 6th (featured in my October Newsletter), the recent entry of the nodes into Taurus/Scorpio, and the Sun's entry into Scorpio on October 22nd. It has definitely been a heavier than usual month, for the collective, of course, with Sandy (more about that here). On the individual level, this has been a kind of relentless month asking us to look at the roots of what's really in our way, and what stagnant emotions need to be moved through. The emotions that have been coming up most for people seem to be grief, anger, and sadness. These are the ones I most associate with Scorpio, because they are the ones we seem most afraid to really feel. During the retrograde in Scorpio, we have an opportunity, if we are willing, to air and process these emotions that we've been unable to work through before now. It is an appropriate time to seek counseling, either in the form of a soul-friend with whom you feel comfortable sharing your secrets, or with a professional. Most of all, remember to be compassionate with yourself during this process.
*Note: Of course, this retrograde is extremely important as it relates to the election; Mercury stations (turns retro) on Election Day. Rather than be redundant to some great writing that's already been done, I chose to focus on the personal angle here. Chris Brennan has written a thorough and excellent article on the retrograde and the election, so if you're interested in the political angle, please check it out. You might also want to take a look at Jessica Adams' article; she covers the next few upcoming retrogrades in 2013 as well. Here are the links for those two articles: