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


August 9
Mercury retrograde

August 30
Pluto direct

A U G U S T   2 0 0 4   R E T R O G R A D E   W A T C H

Retrograde Watch
by Maya del Mar

We have two planetary changes in direction this month. Mercury turns retrograde on August 9, and Pluto turns direct on August 30. Mercury will turn direct again just afterwards, on September 2, which means we start September off with a bang.

Mercury-retrograde journeys show a pattern. Mercury travels retrograde about three times each year, and is retrograde for about three weeks. The degrees covered during the retrograde are traversed three times—once with Mercury traveling forward, once with Mercury retrograde, and again as Mercury moves forward. Those degrees, about ten to fifteen, are slated for a big increase in self-consciousness.

And to make sure that the zodiac is covered, Mercury-retrogrades move through each element consecutively over the course of a six-year period. This means that for about one and a half years we can focus on the affairs of each element.

Retrograde periods give us opportunities to reflect, to review, to assimilate a planet’s energies so as to match it to our real selves. Mercury retrograde is especially important because it deals with perception, communication, thinking, and all of our daily connections. We use Mercury constantly. Often our daily communication is based on custom or habit, and we become unaware of what we’re really doing or saying. Are we expressing our real selves, here and now?

During retrograde Mercury we can become more aware of Mercury in our lives. For example, a machine breaks down, and we become newly aware of its value to us. Someone from the past shows up, and we revise our memories of them in the light of our present selves. Or we go over the paper we’ve written, and we see our mistakes.

Mercury now turns retrograde at nine degrees of Virgo, an earth sign. This is the last of the earth element retrogrades, which began in January 2003, when Mercury turned retrograde in Capricorn, a sign of government. Earth refers to concrete, tangible things, and the Iraq invasion was very tangible. Virgo is an analytical sign, and retrograde Mercury is quite at home here. Now we can analyze the events since January 2003, and figure out improvements which we can make.

Earth relates to our tangible assets—our homes, our possessions, our money, our bodies, and our security. Are those concrete things in our lives practical? Do they serve a useful purpose? We focus now on the necessities of life, and we re-organize them so that they serve us better. This is our last chance for another six years for such a thorough re-evaluation of our resources.

This degree conjoins GW Bush’s Mars and progressed Sun, so it sets in motion a review of how he’s been using his energy during this last year and one-half. We will all experience Mercury opposing unpredictable Uranus three times—August 1, August 18, and September 13. Uranus, who opens us up to new ideas and new dimensions, often disruptively, is the main actor in this Mercury-retrograde trip.

Mercury also carries strong Ceres energy. Ceres is the Great Mother, and in the work and harvest sign of Virgo, she relates especially to labor of all kinds, and to the food chain. Virgo is also a sign of service, so all kinds of service are emphasized now, including the military services. Virgo is a "common" sign, a sign of the common people, and the workers will receive recognition over and above the rulers and the elite. Uranus is a rebel, and "common" people will feel a need to have their voices heard.

There will be much good analysis now, and Uranus will add a touch of brilliance to our thinking.

Mercury dips briefly back into the sign of Leo, and turns direct at 26 Leo. It is certain that the rulers will be re-evaluating their positions. And us "common" people will be ready to take new command of ourselves when Mercury turns direct on September 2.

Pluto turns direct on August 30 at 20 Sagittarius. Pluto is the energy of birth and death, of renewal in all its forms. Pluto is power, sometimes wisely used, more often poorly used, and sometimes submerged and waiting for a trigger, like an earthquake.

Pluto has been retrograde since March 24. Richard Clark, veteran terror expert, testified that day at the 9-ll hearings. The nation’s consciousness was raised then, and we have had time since to observe and reflect on the seat of power in the nation, and our relation to it as we express our own power.

Much of Pluto’s action is at unconscious levels, but as Pluto turns direct, its power becomes more conscious and apparent. Many events of power, including in our own lives, mark the direct turning of Pluto.

Pluto turns just after the Full Moon of August 29, and is still in orb of the energies and revelations of that Moon. Read the entry for August 29 to get a picture of Pluto at this time. Full Moon will give it extra oomph.

The cusp of August-September is a very significant period at this time. Power and consciousness combine to make possible large change.

Want to know the planetary retrogrades for the year, in advance? Maya's extremely handy 2004 Retrograde Guide shows you at a glance the upcoming retrogrades, and how to best apply your energies during each period.

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