R E T R O G R A D E W A T C H
Because of the varying speeds of planetary orbits, planets appear to change direction from earths vantage point. Like everything else in the heavens, they have regular, but not exactly repeatable, cycles of retrogradation, as we call it. As they change, they appear to pause in the heavens. We call that moment a "station," and a planet is extra concentrated and extra powerful at that time. Its principle is very obvious in manifestation. This effect may last for a few days on either side of the station.
Three bodies change direction in June. One to three each month is typical. Next month, July, we have no changes. And in October we have five. Those months are unusual.
When a planet is traveling retrograde, we assimilate and internalize its principle. We check out how it resonates with our own individuality. We look at the past and prepare for the future. When a planet travels direct, we are able to externalize its energy easily, to put it into the world.
Retrograde times can be more difficult, because we are defining our differences, our uniqueness. With a direct planet, we are much more apt to simply join the culture, to go with the social flow.
Mercury now turns direct.
Fleet-footed Mercury goes retrograde most often, about three times each year, and thus provides six of those annual changes.
Mercury turns direct at 11:12 a.m. EDT on June 8. It has been retrograde in Gemini for about three weeks, giving us the opportunity to look inward, instead of basing our interchanges with others mostly on the world around uscustom, habit, and others expectations.
The focus in Gemini is connections and the information which they provide. What does information really mean to us? What information is important? What connections with others, and with information sources, are truly meaningful to us? What do we need to repair in regard to past interchanges with the world? What have we learned about ourselves and how we interact with the world?
When Mercury turns direct, we emerge from this self-centered period more in touch with ourselves, and thus relating to the world in a more authentic way. We now move ourselves into the world in a more authoritative, confident manner. We connect more accurately with those circumstances which truly support us. And thus our lives work better.
Mercury turned retrograde on May 15 at 10 Gemini. It turns direct on June 8 at 2 Gemini. Mercury returns to 10 Gemini on June 23, when Mars joins Vesta to up the amps on protecting the homeland. Those 8 degrees of Gemini are, then, traversed three times by Mercury between May 15 and June 23. During those 5-6 weeks there is much opportunity for assimilation, review, and correction in that part of the zodiac.
That part of the zodiac includes the U.S. natal Uranus, at 9 Gemini. Uranus in Gemini corresponds with mental ingenuity, with special talents for invention and a fascination with new things, and with a willingness to explore new horizons. It is in the sixth house of health, work, and the military.
Uranus, the reformer, turns retrograde on June 2.
Uranus travels retrograde for five months, giving us time to assimilate the new ideas and innovations which are associated with it. It will turn direct again on Nov. 4, with the New Moon in Scorpio.
Uranus represents the urge for freedom and autonomy, the desire to be ones self and to do things ones own way. When Uranus is travelling retrograde, the work for each of us is finding our own inner freedom.
Uranus uses intuition rather than convention as a guide. With Uranus retrograde, we focus our intuition on defining our personal pathway, rather than emphasizing how society can function better. This is also a time to develop our own intuition, through practice and discipline, so that it becomes a more effective working tool in our lives.
"Be here now" is very Uranian. Eckhart Tolles popular book, The Power of the Now (reviewed in this issue), is a current Uranian expression.
Uranus turns retrograde at 29 Aquarius, and it will turn direct at 25 Aquarius. Not until February 2003 does it return again to 29 Aquarius. Altogether, then, we have eight months to go over these degrees three times, and learn about their current significance in our lives.
The U.S. Moon, at 28 Aquarius, is in this pathway. So is the U.S. progressed Sun also at 28 Aquarius for the first time in the nations history.
Aquarius is concerned with society as a whole, with how groups work, with social ideals, with providing an environment which provides a niche, and dignity, for all. The U.S. has been known as a land of freedom, represented by the welcoming Statue of Liberty.
Moon is the people, and the freedoms in the U.S. have all been fought for by the people, in continuous struggles for justice, fair treatment, and civil liberties. Now the progressed Sun joins and vitalizes and invigorates that struggle, to begin a new 360-year cycle where Sun and Moon are joined in Aquarian idealism.
So this period is momentousUranus retracing, reshaping, and reseeding the very core of the nation as it sets off on a new Aquarian journey.
This retrograde Uranus time is, for the U.S. in particular, a time to rethink our national ideals in regard to justice, liberty, equality, and the democracy we say we espouse. The current Administration is certainly giving us plenty of shaking-up (Uranus) to push us into that rethinking. We can emerge in November with a new grounding for our Aquarian ideals, and begin then to manifest them in the larger society. Remember, the dawn is darkest before the light.
(Just now, as Uranus is about to turn retrograde, we have the FBI enormously expanding the scope of its powersto allow spying, without any reasonable cause, or any warning, on anyonethrough the Internet, the telephone, libraries, group gatherings, and churches, etc. This is very much a Uranian issue. Uranus will insist on freedom of expression.)
Uranus is willing to disrupt the old and outdated to make room for the new and progressive. Uranus is an energy of light, and of enlightenment. During these five retrograde months we can all work on bringing in and accumulating universal light.
Uranus is not alone in his late Aquarian sojourns.
For some of these months, Pallas Athena, the great strategist, is by his side.
Pallas Athena turns retrograde on June 13, at 29 Aquarius. She turns direct again on October 9 at 11 Aquarius. During the second week in January she returns to 29 Aquarius.
Pallas began to conjoin Uranus in early May, and will stay beside him through July. She will be back with Uranus next December and January. Thus she is a major influence on Uranus journey of reform.
She is always a major influence on the U.S., and on the peoples aspirations for freedom, for in the U.S. natal chart Pallas Athena joins the U.S. Moon. Moon is at 28 Aquarius, and Pallas is at 27 Aquarius.
Pallas Athena is a goddess of wisdom and strategy, of good governance and of pattern-making. Most notably, she is a goddess of defense. She defended Athens, her city, against attack. And she rules the immune system in the body, where our defenses are mobilized.
I see Pallas big job in the U.S. as defending the peoples freedom. Her placement by the Moon shows that in the U.S., wisdom lies with the people. Perhaps now we are beginning to lay the groundwork for a true democracy of the people. It has never existed, except as an ideal, but perhaps we can now begin a 360-year process of developing a democratic framework in the U.S.
Some of the events which coincided with Pallas coming to join Uranus were slave reparations being discussed as a real possibility, and slave genealogy being published on the Internet, commencement of the Enron investigation, Jimmy Carters historic and fence-mending trip to Cuba, a bit of the information about what the Administration knew beforehand about the September 11 attack, and the Pentagon announcement that missile building would start June 14, just as Pallas turns retrograde.
These are all Aquarian truth and freedom issues.
Missile defense is also Pallas Athenas concern. This may be a major manifestation of the Pallas-Uranus combination, for Uranus is also about technology for the future.
Certainly missile defense is an example of these three planets combining their directional changes. Mercury turns direct, and we move ahead with our projects. Uranus and Pallas turn retrograde together, and we plan and prepare for the future by building a new defense.
In June each of us can move out with our own projects, and in the meantime work on clarifying and nurturing our own ideas of personal freedom, and on planning and preparing to nurture that freedom. For example, for me a big freedom is my physical health, and I am working on a strategy to regenerate it.