Five Minutes of Astrology

Dear Friend and Reader:

This is an off-week for a monthly horoscope; the next one will be next Tuesday. So I’m here this week with some practical astrology, focusing on the events of the current week.

Our top story is that Mercury is getting ready to be retrograde in Capricorn just in time for the holidays. It’s not there yet, but the vibrations are coming back to us from the near future; I call this the echo phase. Mercury retrograde happens three times a year, as Mercury tucks between the Sun and the Earth. That a big magnet passing by can make electronic things act strangely does not explain how mail can be delayed. Our minds are electronic devices, but we’re sentient so that’s not an excuse for being a flake. Still, at some point or another everyone gets a good game out of Mercury; I’ve always thought it wise to offer a prayer to the Winged God and at least remind him that we know he exists.

The retrograde effect is starting to become obvious: for example those 22 million ‘lost’ Bush-era emails appearing on the White House servers. That feeling of an invisible crack in reality out of which things manifest, or into which appointments, ideas, emails and commitments seem to disappear. It’s hardly convenient that Mercury is slowing to a station right at the time of the year when just about everyone is trying to rush like a lunatic and slack off simultaneously. I’ve noticed an increase in the quality of sarcasm (especially when in professional hands, very Mercury in Cap). And I’ve drawn a connection between ‘passive’ aggression and Mercury retrograde: not doing something that creates an effect that creates a blowback for which someone else takes the blame.

I suggest you take this as an opportunity to put up with nothing. Not with games, with lies, with marshy statements of commitment and most of all, not with excuses. Hold yourself to a higher standard of integrity. Remind yourself of the concept regularly. In fact there are some things that actually do have to happen during Mercury retrograde. We wouldn’t put up with paramedics thinking they can act a little weird just because a planet is going by. Therefore, be professional. Leave yourself plenty of time to get places. Don’t rush going out the door. Make sure you have the phone number of the person you’re meeting — and that it’s right. If someone wrote down their number wrong, you could get blamed.

Barred Spiral Milky Way, in artist conception. This is a proposed view of what our galaxy looks like, from above. I suggest we start thinking of ourselves as galactic citizens.

It’s worth paying attention to the technology side of things. The single most important thing you can do during Mercury retrograde is protect your data. That mostly means keeping an extra copy or two of your most important files or databases (such as the one in your portable device or phone), backing up websites, and making sure you pay attention if something is acting strange. One of the most consistent events I’ve noticed is that of losing or misplacing things. I wonder whether this increases during a retrograde or whether it just feels different somehow.

One thing we learn, though, is to sharpen our problem solving skills. And I would say that if you’re looking for an ‘antidote’ to this fabled and storied astrology, a clever eye for seeing solutions is as good as any. That may be the root of the matter, intellectually. I wonder, if you checked patents, which were filed during Mercury retrograde?

One of the simplest, most effective things you can do here on Digital Island is save your work. If you’re happily typing along, stop and save the file. Then save it again. If you use MS Word, set the thing to save the file automatically every two or three minutes. You’ll find that in “preferences.” If you’re blogging, remember that “save draft” button.

Then we have relationships. The holidays present all kinds of pressures and complications. It’s vital to state what you mean and mean what you say; sarcasm is extremely risky. Be open to negotiation. Make sure you listen — especially to what children say, but in truth to anyone you love, who counts on you, or who you depend on. I see a lot of revenge acted out in families. It’s really time for that to stop.

This is a NASA Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet-light image of the planet Venus, taken on January 24 1995, when Venus was at a distance of 70.6 million miles (113.6 million kilometers) from Earth.

In other news, the Sagittarius New Moon is Wednesday, conjunct Venus and the Galactic Center; and square Uranus. Wait, that’s really happening. How incredible. This New Moon is going to be full — of surprises, that is. It’s also harmonizing beautifully with the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune alignment; it has a transcendent quality, and the sense of a higher calling associated with the Galactic Core. The Core and Venus are sources of feminine energy; what is known in Eastern thought as yin.

Goddess power is sending her volts through this aspect dance of the New Moon; which is a yin event in itself. Yin is not passive energy; it’s more like the ocean. Venus brings the earthly passions, pathos and emotional intelligence. The Core — Galactic Centercamp — offers a message that’s subtle, deep and subject to being ‘forgotten’. The Core’s property of fleeting insight feels like a reminder to remember what we usually omit, and to listen for the homing signal.

The thing about the Core is this. We really have no clue what’s there, what it feels like, what it looks like and what it really means to be that close to a black hole where the stars are that concentrated; though if we’re looking for life, i have a hunch that’s the direction to travel.

For realtime updates, please stay tuned to the familiar Planet Waves daily blog and the Cosmic Confidential diary. This new site features updates on the way to finishing the 2010 annual edition of Planet Waves, as well as daily highlights from our 11 past annual editions. If you have time for more than five minutes of astrology, these are fun places to visit.

Catch you Friday.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

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