Planet Waves | Inner Planet Retrogrades for 2001


Rocket Ship (picture above).

Inner Planet Retrogrades for 2001

(Probably Worth Printing)

By Eric Francis
Planet Waves Digital Media

February Horoscope

All times are Eastern Standard. Provided by (stolen from) various ephemerides. If you notice misakes, corrections are welcome and appreciated. As for positions:"00 Pisces 42," for example, means "At zero degrees Pisces and 42 minutes."

"Station" means the planet appears to stand still relative to the Earth's viewpoint. If you are curious about this all, check your ephemeris; if you are really curious, read one with tables of average daily motions of the planet (Raphael's, for example; this annual ephemeris must be special-ordered and it costs about six bucks but it's worth the bother of acquiring).

The Basic Ferry Schedule (Yapping Follows)

Mercury stations retrograde Feb. 3 at 8.59 pm at 00 Pisces 42
Mercury stations direct Feb. 25 at 10:42 am 15 Aquarius 25

(Between Feb. 27 and March 6 no inner planets are retrograde; indeed, nothing at all is retrograde except for asteroids and Centaurs, but I will NOT get into that whole sordid business here. This is a rather excellent opportunity to commence things that would require such an opportunity, things that you want to go forward in all regards. Note that the Nude Moon was Feb. 23 so hence there is a waxing moon during these days and everything is just dandy!)

Venus stations retrograde March 8 at 8:06 pm at 17 Aries 44
Venus stations direct April 19 at 11:34 pm at 1 Aries 27

(Between April 20 and May 10 no inner planets are retrograde. However in April and May, Chiron, Neptune, Pluto and Uranus go retrograde, all of which are outer planets, which is another article entirely.)

Mars stations retrograde May 11 at 11.08 am at 29 Sagittarius 03
Mars stations direct July 19 5:45 pm at 15 Sagittarius 06

Mercury stations retrograde June 4 at 1:22 am at 28 Gemini 58
Mercury stations direct June 28 at 1.49 am at 21 Gemini 16

(Between July 19 and Sept. 30, no inner planets are retrograde.)

Mercury stations retrograde Oct. 1 at 3:23 pm at 29 Libra 41
Mercury stations direct Oct 22 at 8:23 pm at 12 Libra 12

Chiron, which is sometimes an inner planet but is currently an outer planet,
is retrograde in Sagittarius April 7 through Aug 26.

Mercury Retrograde

Through 2001, Mercury will go retrograde in the air signs Aquarius, then Gemini, then Libra. Mercury tends to do that kind of elemental thing; last year it was retrograde in the water signs, though the year before, if I recall correctly, it did the half-fire, half-water thing and it was a little weird. The symbolic interpretations of the planet-in-element image are innumerable; you can use these opportunities to make pictures, which is what astrology is on one level -- a big picture book which you can then interpret.

Retrograde Mercury in the air signs to me is about changing one's mind; deciding and rededicating and thinking things over lots of ways. Should be interesting. I think, though I may change my mind about it, that this is also going to mess and/or play with our conception of time; all retrograde motions have that property, since hands on the clock of astrology seem to move in reverse when planets are retrograde. Retrogrades, particularly in the natal chart, are associated past life issues and ideas (for more info see Retrogrades and Reincarnation by Martin Schulman, very fine book, miraculously still in print).

Some people really get off on Mercury retrogrades when they happen; have a party! Some other people are waking, talking, breathing Mercury retrogrades, and fry computers by typing at them, or are surrounded by delays as a natural experience of being alive; these people don't even notice that anything is different.

Retrograde motion is on one level part of the grand illusion of astrology; planets don't go backwards, but they appear to, relative to the Earth. But we live in a relative universe; there is no exact center, nothing to measure absolute motion against. So relative motion counts for a lot, and relatively speaking, planets move relatively forward and they move relatively backward and when they move backward there is an energy current of a different kind is created. There is what you could describe as a wave form of that type of energy -- planets are different types of energy -- and we have different experiences as a result.

That astrology works is probably the result of two elements, one, that the universe is synchronized and the whole thing is a synchronicity; and two, that everything in the universe is a form of energy and astrology is about observing subtle changes in energy and that's the deal; energy changes and reality changes and vice versa.

When Mercury is retrograde, this smaller, faster and closer-to-the-Sun Mercury planet is passing the Earth on the inside curve, and goes flying past us, between the Earth and the Sun. Can you visualize that? You could just as well say that Mercury is close-by when it does this; you could say that it is completing one cycle in its relationship to the Earth, or what I call a Mercury year. Each time Mercury goes retrograde and everything fucks up mildly or majorly here on Earth, there is a big party on Mercury and they drop a huge ball made of Waterford crystal that cost as much as a fleet of F-16s, and people pour out into the street in celebratory revelry, laughing hysterically.

In recent decades, the tradition of Mercury retrograde has developed into an understanding that purchases made, contracts signed and electronic objects don't work as well as they otherwise might. This is true enough to listen to. While my rational mind does not accept the fact that when a planet millions of miles away is a little closer to us, or whatever, somehow this will affect a contract I sign for a project; but based on repeated experience, I have come to accept the fact that if it can't wait three weeks, it's probably true that it wasn't worth doing in the first place.

But this does not explain the phenomenon, and it does not explain the relationship between, for example, a planet and this computer I'm typing on, or a planet and the ideas I'm thinking, and it doesn't explain how the same energy can seem to affect, or be in a relationship to, both my ideas and a computer.

So let's use logic: What do my computer, Mercury and the ideas I'm thinking have in common? Me! They are all phenomena in my reality; in other words, I am hallucinating the whole thing; my life occurs first and foremost in my own consciousness (this is why changing one's mind is very important). All these different pictures are showing up in my awareness; I am the continuity. Astrologers are people who have an enhanced connection to the planetary energies, who have clear enough minds to (hopefully) sort out what's their stuff and what belongs to others and/or is merely cultural baggage or toxic residue, and to help the rest of us who are probably not so sensitive to sort it out.

Anyway here are several things I have learned about Mercury retrograde, stated in the form of "advice."

1. Slow down. If you do it fast it will probably need to get redone.

2. Take a break. If you're really rich or rather abundant, get a cottage in Hawaii and sit around reading for a month; don't bring your cell phone.

3. Back up your computer files early; keep them away from magnets, nuclear bombs, etc. Don't do anything unnecessary to your computer during or near this phase. If it seems broken, it's probably not as bad as you think. The less you do to fix it the better. You could make it worse.

4. Do old projects and complete them.

5. Plan new projects and do legwork, but don't rush.

6. For sure don't buy stuff that costs a lot of money; it is likely to become a pain in your ass, or you didn't need it in the first place.

7. Spend less; conserve cash and credit. I mean it.

8. Leave extra time and room for problems when you travel, and try to do everything a little early. I mean it.

9 a-f. Think differently. Speak clearly. Return calls fast. Put things in writing. Ask if people understand what you mean. Explain yourself patiently if they don't.

10. Be really nice to your lover.

11. Wait patiently till it's over. When in doubt, sit around watching Southpark videos, if the video player works.

12. Don't elect or rather deselect the fucking or rather not-so-fucking president of the United States (can you imagine having sex with Dubya? Ladies? Gentlemen? Tell the truth.) We will not have to worry about sex scandals in the White House during this administration.

However, okay notice this, when Dubya was elected Mercury was stationing direct at the end of the end of the last degree of Libra. Here is a little prediction for you all. Note that on the table above, on Oct. 1, Mercury stations retrograde within arc minutes of its Election Day position. I predict that there will be a major revelation of something involving the election scandal on that very day, Oct. 1, 2001. Who knows, maybe I'm wrong, but nobody will remember reading this unless I happened to get it right.

Venus Retrograde

Venus is retrograde least of all the planets, about six weeks once every two years (outer planets, by contrast, are retrograde about half the time, and Mercury is retrograde about 72 days a year).

The funniest thing I have noticed is that this retrograde is associated with people I once knew, even long ago, sometimes in the distant past, particularly lovers, suddenly appearing in my life, and others have described this phenomenon as well.

There are other effects; they are not too scary, and they are mainly about differences. That's the nice thing about both Venus and Mars retrogrades -- things are different in a subtle way. Mars can be the more frustrating of the two, though it depends a lot on where the retrograde happens in your chart.

Venus retrograde is a good time for doing things like revaluing your life; that is, reevaluating your reality, for those people who bothered to evaluate or value anything in the first place. Venus retrograde in Aries to me is about how we feel about ourselves, and seems to make a picture of going back to older ideas about ourselves and seeing if maybe it would be a great idea to adopt those again.

Time tends to take us out of our youthful and "unrealistic" ideals, and often we can go through life collecting wounds to our self-esteem rather than deepening it. So, this is a time to look back and to remember what it was like in a time when we were more unconditionally loving with ourselves, and dedicate these weeks of spring to feeling like the whole people we know we were or wish we were.

Mars Retrograde

I will have a lot more to say about this when the time comes, but this is Mars retrograde in Sagittarius; Chiron and Pluto and Asbolus (a Chiron-like planet) are also in Sagittarius, and this will be mighty interesting. This is the first Mars retrograde in a while in the sign which Chiron is occupying; the Mars-Chiron conjunction is a bold, clear and potentially very friendly aspect, and we get three of them in a couple of months this year, all in Sag.

This is good for men; it's good for men who want to be men and not sheep; it's THE archetype of the spiritual warrior; it significates a lot of lofty ideas being put into action; it will come with many revelations about the meaning of the long journey of Pluto through Sagittarius.

Stay tuned.

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