Mercury, the messenger of the Gods and the planet of communication, transport, computers, the internet, travel and a lot of other things we rely on to make life livable, has been retrograde in the sign of Virgo since 12th August. Have you been experiencing delays, internet outages, miscommunication, missed buses and trains, general frustration when you try to get things done? Well you are not alone. Mercury is the ruler of Virgo, and when retrograding in this sign it is the little things that go wrong, that tiny detail that either makes technology work or go completely on the fritz. Mercury is also about how we perceive the world around us, and when retrograde we may feel that we are not quite seeing the full picture, that there is something about a situation that we are missing.

The good news is that Mercury will cease retrograde motion and start building momentum to once again forge ahead through the zodiac on 3rd September, however the point at which he is doing this is at 28° Leo, the exact degree where the August Solar Eclipse occurred. Furthermore, Mercury will sit at this degree from 3rd September until 7th September, a long time for the fleet-footed one to stay in one place, drawing our attention to this energised point in the sky. Mercury will be joined by Mars on 3rd September, and they will both trine Uranus at 28° Aries. Issues arising from the Solar Eclipse may be triggered at this time, and with Mercury, Mars and Uranus involved, whatever it is is sure to be unexpected, sudden and on the nightly news. As Donald Trump’s ascendant at 29° Leo and Princess Diana’s North Node at 28° Leo are both energised by this point, it is a fair bet to say that their names will be somehow involved.

On 6th September at 5.03pm there will be a Full Moon at 13° Pisces. This Full Moon will be conjunct Neptune at 12° Pisces, and synchronistically, this is close to where Neptune stationed on 16th/17th June this year, when it was also conjunct the Moon. The Full Moon energy highlights opposing forces or polarities in your life. With the Sun in Leo and the Moon in Pisces, these are likely to be the push/pull of ego vs emotion, the conflict between what you need and what you want. A Moon/Neptune conjunction in Pisces cautions us to be wary of becoming overly emotional, to see things as they really are and not through the veil of fantasy or disillusionment. Emotions will be heightened, and the cause of any issue will not be clear, so beware of any tendencies toward paranoia at this time.

When planets call attention to a particular area of the sky, I like to look at the Sabian Symbol for that point to gain clarity on the message being conveyed beyond the conventional astrological interpretation. The degrees impacted here are 12°, 13° and 14° Pisces, corresponding to Sabian Symbols Pisces 13, 14 and 15. The Symbols for these degrees are, in order: a sword, used in many battles, is now in a museum; a woman wrapped in fox fur; and an officer drilling his men in a simulated attack.
The sword used in many battles has a natural link to Mars, the martial planet. This symbol is telling us that it is now time to cease the fight, to honour those who fought bravely and well, but to aim for a peaceful resolution by consigning the sword to a museum. What battles have you been fighting that need to be laid to rest? A woman wrapped in fox fur is one who radiates the trappings of wealth and beauty, one who presents an image that will enhance their position. Once the fox fur is stripped away, how authentic is the reality of the woman vs the perception? Is she truly beautiful and wealthy, or is it all artifice? Are you living in your own true magnificence, or are you hiding behind a pretense? Mars is again conjured in the image of an officer drilling his men in a simulated attack. The key to this symbol is simulated attack, calling on us to be prepared for the possibility of some sort of attack, but with the probability that it will never happen. Sometimes there is more energy expended in drilling, practicing over and over again, than there is in an actual battle situation. It is my hope and prayer that these Symbols are telling us that the bluster and threats about nuclear strikes, tit for tat, and other political grandstanding are just that, that the fox fur will be stripped away, that reason will prevail, and that all the swords will be consigned to the museum where they belong.

On 5th September Mars will enter Virgo, followed by Mercury on 10th September and Venus on 20th September, when all of the personal planets, including the Sun and Moon will be in the sign of doing stuff and getting the job done. This is a great time to address all of those nagging chores we have been procrastinating over, such as getting the tax return done, the car serviced, or a thorough spring clean of our homes and lives. We don’t often get this cosmic boost to do something truly useful, so make the most of it while you can.

On 23 September at 6.02am Sydney time, the Sun will enter Libra, and Spring will be well and truly sprung. This is one of the four pivotal times of the year, when the Sun crosses the astrological Cardinal angles giving us the Solstices and Equinoxes. The Solstices correspond to the longest and shortest days of the year, when the Sun enters the signs of Capricorn and Cancer respectively (from a Southern Hemisphere perspective). The Equinoxes correspond to the Sun’s ingress into Libra for the Spring or Vernal Equinox, and Aries for the Autumnal Equinox.

Astronomically at the time of the Equinox the Sun crosses the celestial equator, casting the same amount of daylight on both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of the Earth. Day and night are the same length, in Sydney, London, New York, Rome and Cape Town. Equilibrium and balance across the planet. I can’t think of a more fitting wish at this troubled time, can you?