we have our 2nd mercury Underworld journey of the year commencing april 21st when mercury stations retrograde at 15’37 taurus on the Solar Beltane degree. this is a day after the Total Solar Eclipse/Black New Moon at the Karmic Completion degree of 29 Aries- square Pluto! suffice it to say this period of time is powerful and potentially intense. the beltane degree activation harkens back to january 22nd when uranus stationed direct on this degree and february 3rd when the Solar Imbolc sun squared uranus at 15’00 taurus. that was the exact day and night of the east palestine ohio train wreck and subsequent toxic chemical spill into the air, water and land in ohio. i would not be surprised to see this mercury retrograde intimately connected to that very significant environmental catastrophe- with perhaps more info coming in around what led to it and who needs to be held accountable and to what degree.
mercury retrograde in venus-ruled taurus can have us rethinking, reviewing and revising our finances and relationship to the material world, our relationship to our bodies and health, our values with focus on adjusting our lives to align more with them, and our deepest sense of self-worth and self-Love. the abundance that taurus both seeks and has the power to attract is actually sourced from a place of deep value of self and value of what one has to offer to the world. so one of the best ways to work on manifesting abundance is to start valuing and loving yourself more (and also seeking the blocks to this self Love and self value and working on healing that). keep that in mind in this upcoming mercury retrograde journey! i personally am a big believer that health is wealth- and that can also be a focus during the coming descent of the Winged Messenger.
mercury’s retrograde journey involves a front end shadow- where he passes through an area of the sky for the first time. then his descent commences when he stations retrograde until he goes direct again- during this time he goes over that same area of the sky for a 2nd time. the final pass is the back end shadow where he goes over this area of the sky for the 3rd and final time. typically in the first pass we get the downloads about what needs to be addressed- the 2nd pass we are in the Underworld confronting our shadow and the past- and the final time if we have been doing the work we are bringing things to resolution. if we have avoided facing ourselves the entire time the 3rd pass can actually be the most intense. the retrograde station journey spans from 5’50 taurus to 15’37 taurus so check your chart to see if anything is being activated.
mercury’s front end shadow commences on april 7th just a couple days after the full moon in libra- and it commences with his sextile to mars happening early morning the next day (eastern time). mercury sextile mars is a theme of this mercury retrograde which shows us that part of this Underworld journey is about being decisive and assertive while at the same time being grounded and purposeful so that we are using the mars energy wisely. the three mercury/mars sextiles are april 8th, april 23rd and june 21st- with the last one happening in different signs (gemini/leo vs the taurus/cancer of the 1st two).
another signature of mercury’s retrograde involves his triple sextiles to saturn in pisces- april 5th just before shadow (about 12 hours before the full moon in libra), may 12th and a week later on may 19th. the last two are so close because mercury stations direct on may 14th and while he does so he makes a double sextile to saturn. mercury sextile saturn brings in a level of mastery, responsibility and grounding. this is great for research and serious talks- as well as serious contemplation of one’s future and where we are headed (personally and collectively). with the double sextile at the station point we can really set things into motion that have the capacity to endure and be with us for a long time- so be aware and initiate with care.
mercury also squares mean black moon lilith a total of 3 times- april 11th, april 29th and june 1st. this can bring passion and depth perception to our conversations and thinking but it can also exacerbate power struggles in communication. with lilith in leo we want to watch out for too much ego and with mercury in taurus we want to watch out for being overly stubborn and resisting much needed change.
one other seemingly minor theme of this mercury retrograde that i think will pack more of a punch are the triple declination aspects to pluto. mercury entered into taurus on april 3rd and immediately squared pluto with both of them at 0’10 degrees of their respective signs taurus and aquarius. this is the 2nd major trigger of pluto newly in aquarius (the first was on march 25th by mars). the mercury/pluto square happens 4 days before the front end shadow of mercury begins on 4/7 so it will not be repeated but what DOES repeat are the declination aspects between them. on 4/9, 4/23, 5/14, and 6/8 mercury and pluto aspect by declination. the first two are contraparallels which are like energetic oppositions- whereas the last two are parallels which are like energetic conjunctions. note the 5/14 one is particularly potent as it is on the exact day and within hours of mercury stationing direct. a hidden mercury/pluto theme is embedded in this mercury retrograde which is great for investigation, research, therapy and diving deep. it can also exacerbate power struggles, mental intensity, and unsavory shadow coming to Light we did not want to see. navigate with care!
right before mercury enters front end shadow he cojoins the mean north node at 5’07 taurus on april 6th. right after he exits back end shadow he cojoins uranus at 20’24 taurus on june 6th. this is activating the uranus/north node conjunction that was exact at the end of july 2022 (july 26th mean node, july 31st true). that game changing event is still having repercussions in 2023. what is interesting is when looking at world events for both dates we see that on july 26th russia announced it would leave the international space station at the end of 2024 and also on the same day 2 science articles were published stating covid began in the wuhan seafood market. on july 31st the CIA did drone strikes and killed al-qaeda leader cayman al-zawahiri. i am curious to see if any of these themes (russia, covid, al-queda) will be up during this mercury retrograde since his front and back end conjunctions activate that transit from last year. on a personal note we can hear things, say things or make connections with others that support our evolution, growth and destiny right now. so pay attention!
i leave you with the Star Sparks degrees and Sabian Symbol degrees for the station points of Mercury’s descent. you can read them below. i am particularly struck by the Star Sparks for 6 taurus and the Sabian Symbol for 16 taurus. the former speaks to the path of heart, feeling and the Divine Feminine. the latter speaks to ‘the inadequacy of past knowledge in times of crisis’ which feels apt for the environmental crisis we are in the midst of. the thing to remember is that how we treat the Earth is how we treat the feminine. the moment all people start honoring the feminine – in themselves via their emotions, bodies, intuition and souls- in others and in the world around them in the form- will be the moment we begin to take care of Mother Earth the way we truly need to. as without, so within. may as well start at the Source!
blessed mercury retrograde to you…
4/7- front end shadow commences
4/21- mercury stations retrograde 15’37 taurus
5/14- mercury stations direct 5’50 taurus
5/31- back end shadow ends
4/6- mercury cojoins the north node 5’07 taurus
mercury sextiles saturn- 4/5, 5/12, 5/19
mercury sextiles mars- 4/8, 4/23, 6/21
mercury/pluto declination aspects- 4/9, 4/23, 5/14 (day of station direct), 6/8 (the first two are contraparallel, the last two are parallel)
mercury squares black moon lilith- 4/11, 4/29, 6/1
6/4- mercury cojoins uranus 20’24 taurus
by ellias lonsdale
Taurus 6 A pink diamond
Situated at the right spot. Placed firmly where the story will unfold in its next chapter. Asked to love whatever comes. And given the ability to do just this.
A sharp reckoning with previous patterns and the need to forgive, to release, to heal, to bless. Only having just enough inward resource to concentrate upon this track of moving through the changes. No luxuriant undergrowth. Given previously what is needed for the track.
Discovering how to dedicate the soul altogether to the intimate process of clearing false patterns and coming to a clear slate stance. Everything feels into this. We are obsessed here with ourselves and with freeing ourselves of everything that is less than love and the pure flow of beingness.
There is a backlog that is dense and thick and restrictive. Of itself, it will habituate us to outer syndromes of the most habitual kind. Yet there is a force from within equipped to cut through these layers of attachment and assumption and to find where the love is, where the light is, what the point of it all really is.
We are grappling with ourselves upon the path of love. Whatever we meet is raw material for coming into a more centered and grounded and real place of love. We seek to become unconditional, unqualified, love in action without anything in it.
Yet we come out of everything but this. We are winning the raw territory of affirmation of life from the proliferation of everything that would stamp out life and lead into ever more of the same, ad nauseam.
If we can stay within the heart’s knowing, we will indeed cast off our false cloaks and merge within our soul’s hunger for substantiation. Yet we must over and again carve out this inner space from the roughage of hard and tight worlds. We are learning how to stay with ourselves and to honor the feeling spark completely.
Taurus 16 A young girl and boy explore a perfume counter
Beginning to feel and experience something which changes our nature, our soul’s path. Before, we went through the motions, taking on roles, trying on for size each and every part in life. Now, we are called into the center of earth existence, to risk everything on the path of love reclaimed, rediscovered, reinvented.
Finding a sustaining grace in the elements of nature and in the primal innocence of the human soul. A restoring of what seemed lost and forgotten. Yet here it is again, now feeling so much more direct and immediate and breathless and out of our control and open to the winds of destiny.
The point of emergence from current tender places into foreground celebration of what can be here. Yet there is a perpetual shedding, an immense letting go involved. For the old ones inside remember loss and disillusionment, and so many different voices counsel caution and self-guarding. They say we’ve been this way before. They insist that it always turns out badly.
We have little choice but to entertain every pull-back impulse, and yet to keep on coming through. We know nothing ever works out as we dreamed. We also realize that we never have before, we never have risked all.
This ultimately represents a crossroads of destiny where every past experience and each future possibility converge. We find in the doubts and fears food for our to take on the next cycle of self-abandonment. And we find in our resilient faith and trust in life’s graces, a spark that can ignite the world.
We must in this degree make room for every polaric extreme to play itself out as it needs to. We pull this way and we punch that way. But in the deepest sense, we are simply responsive to the heart’s inner call.
by dane rudhyar
SECOND LEVEL: EMOTIONAL/CULTURAL
PHASE 36 (TAURUS 6°): CANTILEVER BRIDGE ACROSS A DEEP GORGE.
KEYNOTE: The conquest of separativeness through group-cooperation.
The person who has suffered deprivation and loneliness can give new substance to his or her emotional life by participating in a collective project. All great evolutionary challenges imply the overcoming of basic difficulties. A step ahead must be taken, yet an abyss confronts evolving man. It is no longer a personal Void – an “open grave” – but a chasm that is an integral part of the “land” upon which man’s evolution must proceed. A link must be built through the power of the collective mind of the group or of the community at large, on the basis of the legacy of the past, to make a bridge over the canyon.
This is the first stage of the eighth five-fold process of “Substantiation.” The man-made bridge built with collective skill gives substance to and demonstrates man’s capacity to CONQUER OBSTACLES and to achieve evolutionary continuity as well as expansion in space.
FIRST LEVEL: ACTIONAL
PHASE 46 (TAURUS 16°): AN OLD TEACHER FAILS TO INTEREST HIS PUPILS IN TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE.
KEYNOTE: The inadequacy of past knowledge in time of crisis.
During this Act One of the cyclic process the emergence of new developments is emphasized. In time of crisis — as, for example, the “storm” being braved by the man of the last symbol (Phase 45) — the type of wisdom learned from this past remains in the background to be revived later on in new forms; what is emphasized is change. Traditional concepts are not adequate to confirm the new conditions of existence. Thus whenever this symbol comes to a seeker’s attention it indicates that even the most consecrated tradition does not have the real answer to the problem.
At this first stage of the tenth five-fold sequence of phases of the cyclic process a seemingly negative picture is shown. From the Zen point of view the mind facing trouble should not depend on past concepts but should repeat: “Not this! Not that!” — until the pure Void is reached. We might speak here of the principle of CREATIVE FRUSTRATION.