August is one of the stand out months of the year with many dramatic shifts that have the potential to catapult you into a new direction.
With so many options being presented, and new paths opening up, like divine timing, while in his sign of exaltation, Mercury in Virgo retrogrades.
While Mercury can spend as little as two weeks in a Zodiac sign, due to this retrograde phase, he’ll spend the best part of two months in Virgo. Thus, bringing extra attention, focus and critical thinking into the house topics governed by Virgo in your birth chart.
As usual during this phase, it won’t be long before the Facebook memes begin proclaiming that any slight grievance in your life can be blamed on Mercury’s apparent reverse motion.
Personally, I really like Mercury retrograde. This thrice yearly event is a cosmic invitation to reconsider new information accumulated over the previous three months.
In the age of information, we’re constantly bombarded by bytes. After a quick 2-minute scroll through your social media pages, the powers that be do their best to manipulate your thoughts ideas and opinions, in a stealth like manner, that the masses often aren’t always consciously aware of.
With so much information available at our fingertips – literally- it can be hard sometimes to know what to think, trust or believe.
All planets (except the luminaries) undergo their various retrograde phases, but in actual fact, they don’t travel in reverse at all. Imagine being on a train and slowly moving out from the station and another train whooshes past at a quicker speed. It appears the faster train is momentary moving backwards. The same thing happens in the sky, but like the train, it’s an optical illusion.
Although we know the phenomenon of retrograde planets are an illusion, it’s the way the sky appears from Earth’s standpoint that counts astrologically. It’s from that perspective, the whole ethos of astrology derives.
The apparent reverse motion of Mercury, the planet that governs all things related to information, communication and logistics can appear to also send these real-life topics into reverse.
While frustrating, it does invite us to consider things from a new perspective. The act of slowing down, stopping and even re-doing something, allows us to contemplate and revise. Like the discerning sign of Virgo itself, we can separate the wheat from the chaff in regards to the information we receive. We can then take on board what is of value and discard what is not.
If we avoid this process, we take on information at face value only. Over time, there becomes little distinction between fact and opinion. Eventually, that becomes dogma.
Astrology is about what actually happens in the sky. Mercury is the planet the retrogrades the most often, this in itself tells us that our thoughts, ideas and perspectives need to be re-evaluated on a regular basis.
Virgo is a sign that does best with less. It functions well in a streamlined and organised approach. It’s grounded (earth) yet flexible (mutable). When new information becomes available, Virgo has the ability to analyse and process what is useable, and discard the rest. Unlike Gemini, Mercury’s other sign, who tends to gather information for information’s’ sake.
Mercury’s reverse tour through Virgo asks you to gain clarity around a certain situation. Clear perspectives are often gained by going over something more than one time, just as Mercury retraces his steps through a portion of the Zodiac.
Mercury entered Virgo back on July 26 and will begin his retrograde journey on August 14 through until September 1, where he dips briefly back into Leo and finalises the retrograde cycle on the 5th finally re-entering Virgo on the 10th.
Mercury will make the following aspects while retrograde in the sign of Virgo
Mercury Opposite Neptune 14-16 August
Where Mercury in Virgo seeks precision and detail, the illusive pull of Neptune in Pisces wants to dissolve all barriers to reality. The nature of an opposition is just that- two opposing sides. There may be a temptation to seek balance between logic and imagination but that will be tricky. Avoid making firm decisions, especially as your mind may feel particularly foggy or confused. Allow yourself to dream or come up with a creative idea, put it in your pocket for now and leave it until the end of September.
At the same time, there is a supportive sextile link from Venus in Cancer. The potential for goodness or emotional support from a friend or family member is possible, under an otherwise confusing Mercury/Neptune face off.
Mercury Trine Uranus September 2 – 11
Once Mercury dips back into Leo, he will station at 28 degrees, forming a fire trine with Uranus in Aries. Sudden ideas or lightbulb moments gained in hindsight from Mercury’s retrograde combined with Augusts’ eclipse insights can bring a fresh new direction. 28 degrees of fire signs have been a focal point of much of 2017’s astrology. An idea or action may finally be ready to make a move on in a bold or dramatic way.
Is there an area of your life where you need to gain clarity or get organised? Where you may be feeling frustrated or like you’ve lost your grip on the wheel will give you an indication of where you need to slow down and reassess.