Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation

May 13

May 15

R E T R O G R A D E   W A T C H

Retrograde Watch
Neptune and Mercury turn retrograde this month. They join Pluto and Chiron, already traveling retrograde.

Retrograde periods offer us opportunities to go back over a planet’s energies, review our expression of it, and in general pull those energies back to our centers for a general checkup and tune-up. Activities begun with retrogrades are not completed until after the planet turns direct again.

Neptune, planet of visions, turns retrograde on May 13.

It will turn direct again on October 20. Neptune has dominion over unseen worlds. Its realm is mysterious. It includes the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious, personal dreams and fantasies and collective dreams and fantasies. It is the window to the soul—the cosmic channel, the source of highest inspiration, as well as the doorway to hell. Neptune is like the sea, its home. It’s swimming with images, and very difficult to pin down anything. Everything is dissolved there, and everything is gestated there. It rules the cycles of life.

When Neptune is traveling direct, our fantasy life is taken over by the collective. We go along with current ideas, current fashions, current cultural affinities, the propaganda of the times. We go with the flow of style—movies, music, the cultural zeitgeist, the whole thing.

When Neptune is retrograde, we have the opportunity to tune into our own soul music. Our perceptual cues are not the material cues of our external culture, but rather the promptings of our higher self. We are more able to see through the glamours and illusions of the world, and to hear our own eternal truths.

Neptune retrograde is a time for soul evolution. Take up your spiritual studies with renewed vigor. Look for the spirit behind all manifestation. Hopefully we can return to a direct Neptune next autumn attuned to a higher plane, thanks to opening our personal channels to the illumination of spirit.

Neptune, now in Aquarius, refers to ideals of a society built on goodwill, compassion, scientific advancement, individual opportunity, and respect and dignity for all. Neptune is just moving into the Gemini decanate of Aquarius, where communication of Aquarian ideals is the key. (My Sun is there, as an example.)

Mercury, especially affiliated with Gemini, turns retrograde on May 15.

Mercury turns retrograde about every three months, and stays retrograde for about three weeks. It turns on May 15, at 10 Gemini, just as it is approaching a trine to Neptune. There is an expectation of a new dream, a new vision, but it doesn’t quite materialize. Obviously it needs some rethinking. Mercury turns direct at 2 Gemini on June 8, and will not return to that Neptune trine until June 24, just at the time of a Lunar Eclipse.

Mars at this moment of Mercury retrograding, on May 15, returns to its placement in the U.S. chart. This means the beginning of a new two-year aggression cycle for the U.S. The chart set for Washington puts Mars at the top, in the most prominent place, both facing the world and overseeing the republic. The degree of 20 Gemini at the top of the chart matches exactly the coming Solar Eclipse of June 10.

This means a big change in the U.S. stance in the world in regard to assertive energy connected with this retrograde Mercury.

That it may well be (1) malevolent and (2) connected with Israel and Ariel Sharon is shown by the Sun at 25 Taurus, the degree of Israel, Sharon’s Moon, and Algol, the "demon" star. This is Israel’s birthday.

Big change is in the works. We will surely have a lot to think about.

Neptune and Mercury both relate to the perceptual process—Neptune to psychic, subliminal perception, and Mercury to conscious, noticeable perception. With both of these planets retrograde together, we are much more tuned into our personal perceptions, at all levels. Cultural norms and expectations have less impact on us. I’ve been talking about the value of turning off the television for months. Now we can do it!

These next three weeks are like an R & R time for our inner selves. Connections with the outer world often do not go smoothly, and this is where the retrograde Mercury glitches come in. We’re each on our own wave length, and agreements, decisions, and contracts are iffy. They often need correction, or redoing—which often has to wait until the next Mercury retrograde period. Mechanical things are part of this process. Their weaknesses show up now, to be fixed.

Gemini is a busy, outer-oriented sign, and Mercury retrograde here can be difficult at times. Perhaps the essence of our opportunity now is to learn to understand the dual nature of Gemini, and of our own dualities.

After Mercury turns direct, on June 8, we can move ahead with our business with the world—even more successfully than before, for we know ourselves a bit better now.