Mercury Storms, Mars and Saturn Station, Pisces Full Moon – August 2018
Not Quite Full Speed Ahead
Although the massive planetary retrograde energies that have colored the last few months are starting to shift, we aren’t out of the woods quite yet. Mars stations direct on August 27, just after the Pisces Full Moon on August 26.
While Mercury resuming direct motion should bring mental clarity, the energetic whirlpool doesn’t really clear until September 7 when Saturn, which has been retrograde since mid-April, also returns to direct motion. Here’s how to approach the next two weeks…
The Mercury Storm
Astrologers often refer to the three or four days surrounding the exact moment when Mercury stations retrograde or returns to direct motion “the Mercury storm.” These periods tend to produce the most concentrated negative effects associated with Mercury retrogrades: technical malfunctions, traffic snafus, garbled communication, and a general inability to think or communicate clearly.
This particular Mercury storm was off the chain! Mercury returned to direct motion on Sunday, August 19. I talked to my daughter on the phone on Monday evening.
“Dad, what’s going on in the skies that is making it IMPOSSIBLE for me to focus?!” she demanded. “Something must be happening in the astrology. I mean, I start on my homework – then I get distracted. Then I go back to it. Then I get distracted. Then I go back to it – distracted again! I’m so frustrated.”
“I’ve been super-frustrated too,” I said. “Remember when you were obsessing about creating a scaled-down version of Dungeons & Dragons you and your friends could play this summer? And it wasn’t working but you couldn’t let it go?”
“Remember how I told you I do that sometimes with music? Well, I worked on trying to fix a MIDI mapping issue for, like, 6 hours straight today. And I didn’t make any progress at all. In fact, I think I ended up in a worse place than when I started. But I couldn’t stop obsessing! I couldn’t make myself get up and walk away from the computer.”
I don’t know if my misery loves company story made her feel much better. But being able to talk about it with someone who understands usually helps. I know it helped me. At least we could enjoy a good laugh at our own expense together.
Because in telling my daughter about my own fruitless obsessing, I suddenly realized that compulsive focusing on fixing a technical issue has become something of a Mercury storm tradition for me. Sometimes I do it with music software, sometime with WordPress plugins or coding my website. I don’t do it every time Mercury stations, but I’ve done it often enough, even though as an astrologer I ‘should know better’. Physician, heal thyself indeed.
Mars Direct and the Pisces Full Moon
Strategize now; act in September
Mars, the action planet, has been retrograde since June 26. Mars stations direct on Monday, August 27 at 10:05 a.m. EDT. While this is, theoretically, good news, it comes with a caveat. Mars only retrogrades once every two years, so this phenomenon doesn’t get as much attention as Mercury retro. But the slower a planet’s normal motion, the longer it takes for us to feel the energy shift that accompanies that planet’s return to direct motion.
In other words, yes, Virginia, there is a Mars storm. And we are already in it. And it will continue on into the first week of September. Which means the challenging side of Mars – frustration, lashing out, passive-aggressive behavior, outright aggression, repressed anger boiling over – will likely be heightened for the next couple of weeks.
Forewarned being forearmed, we want to stay aware of our own anger and express it as healthily as we can, as well as planning on other people being more volatile or more frustrating than usual during this period. Especially because Mars will continue to be out of bounds (OOB) an unusual condition that amplifies Mars’ energy for good or bad, through September 24
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably ready for this whole Mars business to be over. Like, last week. But it says here we need to do our best to rein in our instincts until early September. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves this summer with all of the planetary retrogrades (and the eclipses and Super Moons). With the Sun moving into practical, pragmatic Earth sign Virgo on August 23 and Mercury direct bringing us increased mental clarity, now is the ideal time to reflect on what we’ve learned about ourselves over the last three months.
Some questions you might ask:
- What do you see clearly about yourself now that you were not conscious of earlier this year?
- Which habit of playing small (procrastination, rationalizing inaction, giving your power away in relationships, not saying what you mean, blaming self or others) has been bugging you the most this summer?
- Identify one concrete action you can commit to between now and the end of the year to take back your power in this part of your life.
- Where do you habitually lose life energy (care-taking or controlling behavior, fear of rejection, refusal to commit to a course of action, worry, addictive behaviors)?
- What is the underlying fear or shame pattern you’ve become aware of that drives this behavior?
- What is one concrete step you can take to bring the light of consciousness onto this unconscious behavior pattern?
Pisces Full Moon: Seeing the Big Picture
Sunday’s Full Moon shows a couple of interesting pictures. First, Uranus in Taurus is still the focal point of a T-square from the Nodes, with Black Moon Lilith and Mars (four degrees away and at his most dangerous – stationary and OOB) conjunct the South Node. This astrology has been with us for the last couple of months and will continue to hang around at this level of intensity for another month.
This astrology is certainly reflected in the raging wildfires, hurricanes, and political chaos happening on the world stage. The Nodes activate the collective unconscious and Uranus is the archetype of sudden upheaval and shocking change. All of this happening in Taurus, the sign of the Earth.
But the Sun, Uranus, and Saturn are making a close Grand Trine in Earth signs, indicating the presence of an underlying stability. The foundation for a New Earth is in place, but it is up to us to activate it with our conscious attention.
The Pisces Full Moon sits halfway between Saturn (structure, authority) and Uranus (progressive change, enlightenment), forming the tip of what is known as a kite pattern. This is a very positive pattern, but it also suggests that how we process the feelings and images stirred up by the Full Moon is crucial to what we experience in the consensus reality..
Can we allow ourselves to feel what’s happening in the collective consciousness and use our imagination and compassion to visualize a beautiful outcome? That’s the picture I see in this chart. That we can know the pain the world is feeling and also know that one clear insight (Uranus in Taurus) melded with sincerity and integrity (Sun in Virgo) is powerful enough to plant the seeds of the new world we want to live in (Saturn in Capricorn as builder of the system of the world).
This is what Jesus did when he felt the pain of humanity and imagined a world where forgiveness, not “an eye for an eye” justice, reigned supreme. This is what the Buddha did under the bodhi tree. Jesus promised that, with a little faith, we would work even greater miracles than he did during his time on Earth.
Pisces is the dreamer who voyages into the quantum soup of potential and brings back visions of a more inclusive and beautiful reality. Our challenge over the next two weeks is to lovingly focus on the most beautiful images of who we can be and what we can do, both individually and as a collective. Even when – especially when – it feels like the world is burning down around us.
Millions of humans, our four-legged brothers and sisters, and Mother Earth herself are dreaming a dream of renewal. We know the barkers of the degraded reality circus are going to keep on shilling for our attention. Let’s focus instead on the reality of the soul and in so doing bring that eternal truth to life in the world.