Mercury and the Moon

Dear Friend and Reader:

WE ARE reaching the conclusion of a long cluster of planetary events that began with Mars going retrograde a few months ago. I’ve described the sequence a few times before. With the approaching lunar eclipse, we are entering a peak of this energy. With so much behind us, we can now focus on the next five or six days, as many unresolved situations work themselves out.

An human footprint in the lunar soil, left after Apollo 11, the first Moon landing in 1969 (Image: NASA-KSC).

Many have the impression that astrology is a kind of intellectual exercise. Many astrologers perpetuate that notion by focusing so intently on the mental plane, but the truth is astrology is as natural and noticeable as the weather. It’s just taking place in a once-removed dimension of reality, but there are plenty of connections between that one and the one we think we’re in right now.

As of Friday morning, the Moon is in mid-Gemini. After making a conjunction to Mars and opposition to the Galactic Core, Luna will enter Cancer Saturday morning in all US time zones; afternoon in Europe. As this occurs, the Sun crosses the true North Node of the Moon. Any time the Sun is on one of the Moon’s nodes, there is an eclipse on the horizon.

On Feb. 17, Venus enters Aquarius, where it will be for about a month. During this time, Venus will cross many points where important aspects have occurred the past several weeks, as well as make conjunctions to Nessus, Chiron and Neptune.

Venus is the receptive, emotional and consciously erotic aspect of sex, and making aspects to these three planets in Aquarius opens the door for an authentic discussion among our friends. Venus in Aquarius has a cool, expert quality, and this can allow some interesting talk and even more interesting experiences. It is friendlier than it is passionate.

A little later on the 17th, Vesta enters Pisces. I am one of the few people who takes Vesta on an erotic level. Vesta is an unusual quality of eroticism, however: she is at once chaste and deeply sexual. This is not a contradiction; rather, it is the exploration of a polarity. She helps hold open erotic space so that something deeper than usual can occur in that moment. Typically people plunge into one another and do the nasty. What we call “foreplay” — a ridiculous word that reminds me of the film Summer of ’42 (i.e., antiquated ideas about sex) is exploring some of that erotic space, but Vesta wants to make it clear whose energy is whose. So, for example, one partner could hold space for another; a person could create space alone and be in that space by themselves. (In the “masturbation” section of the “It’s Not About Sex” series, I’ll give a few photo-examples of masturbation altars you can create.)

Vesta functions like a channel of energy. In Pisces, this is a gentle emotional energy that flows easily. It wants pleasure, comfort and most of all, depth. It wants to feel and be felt. Vesta in Pisces, which lasts through April 19, is about holding open the space for that kind of experience.

The Moon enters Leo the afternoon of Monday, Feb. 18. We’re now in the last days leading up to the eclipse, but before this happens, the Moon will make a series of oppositions to all those Aquarius planets: in order, Venus, Mercury, Nessus, Chiron, and Neptune; then it will cross its own South Node. This might feel emotionally turbulent. You can trust that people are going to be a little off-kilter, reactive, and have the feeling that they don’t quite know what is going on inside themselves. This will particularly be a factor where individuals (Leo Moon) relate to groups (all those planets mobbed into Aquarius). It’s a good time to play sociologist, observing how people respond under the influence of, and pressure from, groups of people. Note that because of the Mercury station, those group dynamics will be changing fast. Don’t expect concrete ideas, fixed plans or established patterns — this time it’s all about changing patterns.

One of those new patterns is taking any chance to express yourself as an in individual in a group situation — especially when you feel that you “should” not or “cannot.”

On Feb. 19, Mercury stations direct in Aquarius. When Mercury stations, we often experience the truth coming out in one way or another. Information that seemed to not exist suddenly seems like it was behind a thin curtain that was just pulled open. Beware of gossip. It’s dangerous right now. Resolve differences promptly, directly and quickly. Establish the truth as you know it. Remember that one thing said to one person can affect many people.

Several hours later on the 19th, the Sun enters Pisces. The first thing that happens is that the Sun makes a conjunction to Vesta, putting the spotlight on this energy. Look around your life, your home and your heart for how that is expressing itself naturally. The Sun changing signs is palpable. You can feel it. When a planet is there in the first degree, it casts a specific shade of color; a distinct feeling tone. The Sun also sextiles Pluto in Capricorn, adding this energy to the mix: earthy depth. It’s a rich, lovely aspect, with much else moving and developing.

Then on Wednesday, Feb. 20, the Moon enters Virgo at 7:06 pm EST. Then at 10:30 pm EST there is a total eclipse of the Moon, conjunct Saturn in Virgo. This will be visible throughout North America, if the skies are clear. In the Pacific Time Zone, it will be pretty low on the horizon but still may be visible, particularly toward the end of the eclipse. The time stated is close to the peak intensity. Plan to be where you can see the Moon at least an hour earlier.

This cluster of events is really focused over Monday through Wednesday. But we are fully into the energetic zone of the eclipse, where intentions, choices, ideas and decisions are all magnified greatly. This is the time to set the course of your life for the next six months. As I have often said, choose with words, and choose with actions. What you say matters; what you do matters more. Plan ahead and give yourself time the day before and the day of the eclipse to do what you really love.

Mercury stationing and an eclipse in Virgo are connected — Mercury is the ruler of Virgo. Mercury is in Aquarius; and by far, Virgo and Aquarius are intensely mental signs. It would seem the mental plane is bursting with energy that wants to manifest in tangible ways. A total eclipse of the Moon is an opening for change, and Mercury stationing direct is an opening for the truth.

So be it.

Eric Francis




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, February 15, 2008, #701 – By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
The great unknown — oneself. Ease on in. You’re not as simple as you think, and certainly not as simple as they told you that you were. You might ask, though, what reward or benefit discovering your complexity has to offer. After all, simpler is usually easier. Well, it’s a question of reality. If you are a subtle creature, it’s best to treat yourself that way, and your charts are telling me that, particularly at the moment, you’re sublime. But here is a little map to the territory of your psyche for the next month or so. You have a lot going on in there, but not everything about you is accessible all the time. There will be moments when certain desires seem beyond question, burning at you like profound needs. At other times you will simply not understand the appeal. Yet the only time you’ll be able to do much to make them real is in your normal waking state. Therefore, you need to get the two hemispheres of your mind working together, cooperating and affirming all your needs all the time.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You are seen by many as a brighter star than you may imagine: as more talented than you give yourself credit for and more valued by your friends than they may let on. One key to your success at the moment is applying that factor constructively. Use groups to your advantage, not (as so often happens) to your detriment. There’s always that one moment where you decide to fit on or stand out; the seemingly small decision to be seen as “normal” rather than as authentic. There is more to this choice than you may imagine; in that moment, you tend to weigh your worthiness against that which you perceive in those around you. Although made unconsciously, this is almost always a choice that goes against your interests. Pay attention and you will see that you’re surrounded by some people who are your equals, and many others who look up to you. You can afford to feel the same way about yourself.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Follow your instincts, and let them lead you over the longest distances you can imagine, and the widest span of time. While the Sun is about to move across the professional angle of your solar chart, two other factors begin to work on you. The first is a lunar eclipse that is going to shake out the truth about what may be a situation you’re relying on for a sense of false security. At around the same time, Mercury stations direct, which will have a way of opening your mind to this particular situation, and offering a cascade of revelations about what you want and need. That is to say, you are in the process of discovering what is true for you and what is not true — but in a concentrated form. I suggest you take what you learn as being a lot more than “information.” What you are being given is the tangible basis for several imminent decisions.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Next week there is a lunar eclipse in the angle of your chart associated with ideas, writing and certain factors of your immediate environment. It’s also the house associated with the head-trip one of your parents laid on you. The veils that cover your reality will pull back with the combined energy of the eclipse, Mercury changing directions and the Sun moving into the empathic water sign Pisces. I have lived on the planet long enough to know that most people are more interested in the lunch special at Wendy’s. What you learn from these events will be more nourishing than food. It will stoke your creativity because for a rare moment, your prior beliefs about yourself and about life will dissolve, and some element of the truth you are seeking will manifest. To the extent you are working to grow mentally, intellectually and as a creative person, this is a moment of highly focused development.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Who is giving what to whom, and doing what for whom? What are their motives, and what are yours? These questions will seem simpler in a few days. At the moment, the sky is tied in knots that are making it difficult to recognize who is being motivated by what. But when these questions come up, you might want to pause and ask if you’re having fun. Anyway, the Sun is heading for Pisces; this spells good times for Leo where sex is concerned. This aspect of life is one of those places where it’s best to blur the line between giving and receiving. What will feel the very best is to pour yourself into what feels right, and that just may be about bestowing unspeakable pleasures upon someone or someones that you care about. Experiment with some unusual mixture of commitment and detachment; personal and impersonal. Do it all for them — do it all for you.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Next week’s eclipse of the Moon takes place in your sign; this is a moment of remembering and forgetting. Eclipses have distinct properties, one of which is to suspend reality as we know it long enough for something different to enter the scene. They help us look past the lock-step reality of our day-to-day worlds and catch a glimpse behind the veils of your identity. Most of us tend to walk around covering up some deep insecurity about who we are; we plaster these over with a false sense of certainty. What you get now is a moment of authentic uncertainty into which a little bit of the truth can slip in. What you learn will be interesting, but I suggest you take this as a chance to be reminded that not knowing is a lot better than knowing something false.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
A creative space that opened up in your life over the past couple of weeks is still there, and you can explore there if you want. All you need to do is dare. Daring is, of course, a commodity on the planet that is about as rare as platinum, particularly since most people elect fear to be their leader rather than creativity or love. But this time around, I think you have it in you to take some unusually bold steps. The way your solar chart is set up right now, one of these will lead to another. And while things seem poised to get easier in this regard, you’ll get the maximum benefit from leaning into your resistance. You need, I think, to feel your mental blocks and get a true sense of what your anxieties are about. Let’s put it this way. If you want the true benefit of overcoming a fear, confront the fear directly. Don’t wait for some confirmation that it’s not real and then try to confront it; you would just be kidding yourself.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Mars has barely moved since stationing direct a few weeks ago, though what little movement there has been suggests you are working out a profound question about what you want. Desires are problematic because they always seem to have competition. It can be internal (I want that, but do I want that other thing/person more?) or external (I want that, but what does this other person think?). You seem to be going through these questions in phases that are confronting you with the split that you carry around in your mind. And herein resides the main issue. When we exist with some kind of division, it’s not necessarily apparent looking from one side or the other. The time you really feel an inner division is when you’re aware of both sides at once, which is uncomfortable. You’re a little past the point of being able to pretend that one side or the other does not exist; paraphrasing Rilke, you need to stretch yourself across the contradiction.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
If a friend or loved one suddenly starts making sense, please don’t hold it against them. At this point you cannot be sure if they were being cryptic or you were being thick-headed. It may have been both, it may have been neither. Do your Sagittarian thing and keep a positive attitude. You have some career stuff on your mind; of this I am sure. It’s long-term business that has been putting a little too much emphasis on the “long” part. You’re about to encounter an opening. It may be presented as such; it may be disguised as a problem, or as a loss that someone else experiences. Look past the disguise and quickly get to the point of what the situation adds up to or boils down to. Then, choose whether to make your move. I can assure you of one thing: more is involved in the choice than you will recognize. However good it looks, be prepared to take on more responsibility than you are anticipating.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Pluto is doing a good job of anchoring you down to reality. Not that you have a hard time with this, but this meaningful little anti-planet is giving you some determination and a sense of focus. In our world, it’s easy to slip into the feeling that you don’t exist, but I assure you this is more difficult with Pluto in the picture. For many years to come, Pluto will help you sort out your priorities, and remember them once you’ve done that. It would seem that at the moment you’re working out a somewhat complex question involving money and trust. Here’s what you need to be asking: is it someone else you’re having difficulty trusting, or is it yourself? In theory, you have every reason to trust yourself. This would be a little easier if you noticed a few of the reasons that you might not.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Whatever you are trying to discover about yourself will reveal itself more easily if you do less, not more. The planets are doing a lot of doing during the next few days, and you will have your hands full if you just keep them on the steering wheel. This is to say, be where you are, and where you are at in life. Pull yourself back into the moment, one moment at a time. Recognize that from anywhere, you can go anywhere. Any person you encounter can be anyone — remind yourself you don’t know who they are. Your existence right now is not a matter of making up a story, but rather of letting one unfold. You don’t always get to live like this, but of the many possibilities, it’s one of the easiest, and it’s the one that’s most available right now.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You are working out more than you know — but you will know soon enough. Part of the process is strictly internal, perhaps unspeakable; and part is developing in a relationship. You may feel you have no control over that situation, and like most of the information you need is hidden from view, but this is one of those cosmic moments when the unknown is more powerful than even authentic certainty. As you make small discoveries about yourself, let those lead to the greater ones. As this process develops, a relationship situation you are working through becomes clearer, easier to accept, and more obviously the right thing. You don’t know who someone is until you know, and until that time, you don’t know. Stick with that and the truth, when it arrives, will be obvious; maybe even easy.

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