Planet Waves Monthly – June 2008

The surface of Mercury: Image courtesy of NASA.

MERCURY RETROGRADE IN Gemini is the top astrological story this month, interesting in part because Mercury is the planet associated with Gemini. Mercury retrograde often causes people a lot more grief than is necessary, mostly because we get stuck in patterns and tend to be so resistant to change. More than that, I notice that we humans resist or overlook the connection between what we think and how we feel; between what we think and what happens in our lives. To venture into this territory, we have to do more than read metaphysics books: we must let go of some of our victim consciousness, a gesture which can turn the world upside down (or as it turns out, right side up). The ability to perceive and make decisions based on those perceptions is precisely what distinguishes someone capable of fulfilling their destiny from one who is at the mercy of the world. Through this month, our perceptions will change; decisions may be made and unmade, and some will be put back in place. If you’re inclined to think of this as unsettling, consider the process to be a series of experiments. Make agreements that you consciously decree or agree are designed as real-life tests of truth. Some of them will stick; some won’t. I suggest you not be attached to the ones that don’t.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Home is indeed where your heart is. Or home is where you feel safe and loved, which is another way to say the same thing. It seems you are being called home, and at the same time, you are involved in a domestic situation that is necessitating you make a compromise of some kind. The compromise that’s appropriate at this point is balance; it will soon become obvious that your impressive drive for aspiration in the world means very little without a hearth that is burning. True, on one meaningful level, you carry around both the sense of home being inside you and of home being everywhere, or at least you would love to possess these qualities. Yet there must be an actual home somewhere, where you can go inside, lock the door and be received as who you are. You have nearly everything going for you now: creative passion, highly unusual opportunities, and quite possibly the attention of a loved one. A container will help nourish and focus this unusual state of being, and it will help you rest your mind when you get a little world-weary. You may not know quite where it is, indeed, this question may never have seemed more a greater mystery — but this is unlikely to last much longer.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
It may seem like time to do a big financial reorganization, which is true enough. You need a business plan, and you need it in writing. Yet to be meaningful, business and finances need to connect to values; that is, to priorities for living that reflect what you know is important to you. Each value is a kind of commitment. Sometimes we know we have a value and need to commit to action. Sometimes it’s necessary to make a decision about what is important and make future decisions on that basis. At other times, such as now, it’s appropriate to take some time for a deep inquiry. You may be questioning all the ways that you seem to be acting out of accord with what is important to you, or wondering why money is not showing up connected to those topics where you feel it matters most. Current developments in your life may be prompting you to wonder whether you really know what matters, or who you really are. These are absolutely the right questions. Remember, though, that the right answers will relate to content and not to form. In other words, pay close attention to what is about you, and what is about your image.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Rest is repair. Every system needs to shut down from time to time for maintenance. Humans don’t shut down while they are alive, but we can slow down and do a review. We can learn to meditate; we can learn to shift our focus so that certain aspects of our physical and psychic bodies can get a rest. Now would be a great time to do some of this. You have some questions for yourself which are aimed at resolving what you may perceive as a split in your perceptions, or a mixed signal you are sending to the world or are getting from the world. This signal actually involves a dialog you are having with yourself, or more accurately, a shifting perspective on your life that is leading you to the complexity in things that were, at one time, relatively simple. Part of the paradox you’re in is that you are striving for a measure of stability, while at the same time you are being confronted with the need to probe into your needs, motives and self-perception in such a way that will eventually compel you to make some significant decisions. But that time has yet to arrive; what you need is the kind of clarity that will come with a retreat from action. Even if it is brief, let it be sincere.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Our predecessors left us with unfortunately few ways to think of the role or identity of a woman, and our society is profoundly confused as a result. Astrology gave us mother (Moon) and lover (Venus). Religion did us worse, giving us virgin and whore. There is an obvious problem here — your mother can’t be a virgin, so she must be something else. The truth is that we contain many facets of who we are, including the very things that we specifically refuse to allow into our self-definition. A rare and pivotal alignment is taking place in your most sensitive house, the one associated with the deep unconscious, our most unusual and even perverse desires, and the secrets we keep even from ourselves. It’s as if during the next month every inner door that you ever tried to deny comes open. At first this may strike you as a worthy source of fear. But fear is one of your most destabilizing secrets. Allow it to be, meet it face to face and challenge it to state its case. The deeper layers of awareness will emerge once you do this, and with it a truly new experience of comfort with yourself. From this space, anything is possible: that is, anything you are willing to allow.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
I truly hope you are feeling some relief from anxiety and emotional stress that started hanging around in the late autumn of last year. This seems to have been the result of many factors, one of which involved the looming sense that circumstances beyond your control were taking over your life. This may have touched some deep insecurities you didn’t think you had, or which you thought you got over long ago. In truth it was an opportunity to identify and resolve them, and to find a new level of self-confidence in the process. If your life is stressed now, it’s over something entirely different: the need and desire to blaze forward, but some odd quality holding you to the past. I would ask whether that sense of being held to the past, particularly a personality structure that you’ve outgrown, is perhaps really a calling to revolt within yourself and set yourself free of a couple of ideas that are no longer valid. Remember — no matter how you try, you cannot control how others see you. Lately you seem to have less influence than ever. Remember that when you’re setting yourself free of your history.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Things may not go according to plan in your professional life for the next month or so, I am sure you would appreciate a few improvements these days as well. Yet planning is not just overrated; it is misunderstood and rarely used well. An analogy from computer programming might work. There are people who write programs and a small army (probably too small) of people who test them. The testers have to be systematic and they need to communicate. This way different testers on the same project don’t keep coming up with the same problems. When they find a bug, they check if it’s a known bug, or a new one. You’re now working out the bugs in the program of your professional life. Some of the problems that are coming up are known problems connected to structural issues (i.e., you have extremely diverse or diverging interests). You need to manage these diverse interests, and that requires time, energy and coordination between both halves of your brain and both halves of your life. For these, you may need new solutions. Other bugs are going to be ones you’ve never seen before. Were they there all along, or are they the product of the incredible progress you’ve been making?

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You may be wondering why, after so much progress, the ground still threatens to fall out from beneath your feet, why long-cherished goals don’t seem to have the motivating power they once had or why you can’t seem to get enough love. All of these things appear to have answers, and you may even know them. Yet they may not be right. What you are more likely to be struggling with, at least in the immediate term, is faith. And that odd quality of uncertainty when things were once so sure may be the thing that is leading you to question everything, and thus feeding your sense of uncertainty. Remember that the questions matter less if you never stop asking them. At a certain point you need to listen to the answers, and test them out in real life. It would also help greatly if you embraced the shadow side of hope, which is in any looming sense, spoken or not, that “nothing is going to work out.” There are so many silver linings to the current situation that you can hardly tell them apart for all the glare. Meanwhile, there is one question that stands out above all, which is: is it possible to maintain two conflicting belief systems? And a follow up: what might prompt you to do this?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Commitments and agreements are high on the agenda. It would help immensely if you knew what you want, and while you seem to have some goals about which you are passionate, it seems you are not really able to articulate your needs and desires in situations where you have a deep involvement. You would feel less confused if the world and all its subtle, slippery little turns of phrase did not seem like an endless hall of mirrors wherein you cannot distinguish yourself from anyone else. One thing you can count on is that those discussions, negotiations and attempts at clarity will work themselves out, with surprising results when you least expect them. You will see the wisdom of either your ways, the ways of someone else or of the cosmic order; it really does not matter which you call it. Closer to the core of the matter is an issue involving your objectives, professional or otherwise. It appears you are still working with two sets of goals: some old ones that are not coming unstuck so easily; and some new ones that are striving for a voice and a place in the world. Whatever may be going on in your relationships, this is the true topic of conversation in your soul.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
One of the most difficult lessons to learn is not to take things personally. This difficulty, and it can be considerable, is matched by a comparable reward. Let’s start with the first part, the challenge of remembering that what people go through is what they go through and what we experience is something else. The connection is entirely overstated; people bring the whole unfinished business of the past into even the most casual encounters with others. While it’s true that relationships imply a shared experience, typically unless the most stringent precautions are taken (and this is exceedingly boring), the boundary between one person and the other can become so blurred that many practical points of discernment disappear. This experience is complicated by guilt and obligation, two subjects that are high on your agenda for what to rebel against in life. However, when people care about one another, it’s not so simple. One of the best ways to start the process is to practice the yoga of awareness that people are responsible both for their perceptions, and for how they interpret them. This includes being responsible for how they perceive you. By all means, act ethically, but drive your own car.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Nobody likes to change under pressure, but how often do we change any other way? I would say either not very often, or extremely slowly. For as messed up as the human race can be and appears to be, one of our great enduring strengths is the ability to adapt to necessity. This strength is so strong, in fact, that it seems to overshadow our awareness that we need to cultivate foresight and the ability to vision a better life rather than spend all our time adapting to adversity and very little creating conditions that would be favorable to everyone. This works similarly on the most personal levels. We tend to go along until something compels us to stop and take a look at what needs attention, and often only because we’re in pain. Bear this in mind as the pressure to grow and restructure your life relaxes its push on your environment. Indeed, it has not disappeared but rather shifted its emphasis from your outer world to your interior world. The strange feeling you feel is the continued awakening of your own soul; the pull deep within yourself where you may struggle to hold your awareness steady. You can do it, and now would be a convenient time.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
By now you have noticed the presence of someone who wants to be closer to you. From the look of your solar chart, it seems you’re having some issues trusting this person, or trusting your motives for desiring them. You can’t necessarily see their motives for what they are, and you may not be sure if they aren’t a kind of dinosaur come back to life: that is, the representative of an old idea of what relationships are supposed to be but could never quite live up to. Or is this someone totally new and fresh on the radar? The encounter appears to be potent and it’s arriving at a time when many of your own sexual curiosities are burning through your consciousness like lasers illuminating the secret side of your desires. It is true, if you get more deeply involved, you may create karma, so make your choices consciously. You will also take yourself a long way toward awareness of who and what you are becoming. You may be questioning your integrity; you may be questioning whether you are really stable or whole enough to engage others at such an intense level. Remember that questions can only be satisfied by knowledge, not by answers. Answers tend to be theoretical, and knowledge tends to be the product of experience.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
The odd mix of emotions and sentiments you experience in the coming few weeks, and are likely swimming in today, will lead you to question the basis of everything you think and feel. Pisces is known for its lingering insecurities, which are related to the fact that you of all people know that existence is like a city built on a cloud. Therefore, walk lightly. Keep turning the issues and themes over in your mind and moreover in your heart until you know you see it from all sides at once. I suggest that you let no thought pass through your awareness without considering that its seeming opposite may be true. Your continued happiness is asking that you take nothing for granted and that you allow the waterwheels of emotion to turn and power the lights of your mind. By all means, express gratitude, but allow the simple fact of uncertainty to have its place and its voice. The things you want the most may never work out; they may work out beyond your expectations. Allow the potential that the people you want and need may never come to you; then feel the profound freedom in this recognition and the ability to welcome love. Try walking through the world knowing that none of what you witness may have anything at all to do with you, and then notice, from that point of infinite inner focus, what comes your way.

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