3 March 2014, 11:11
Mercury retrograde just ended — and it was a doozy — so it feels terribly unfair that now we’re being hit with a Mars retrograde! We experience Mars retrograde every second year, and it lasts for a while: typically between 70 and 80 days. Ouch.
In 2014, Mars is retrograde from March 1st to May 19th. Yes, that’s over two and a half months!
You may be asking, ‘What the hell is retrograde?’, so here’s a very basic explanation. When a planet is retrograde, that means it appears to be going backwards in the sky.
In astrology, each planet is associated with various aspects of life, so when a planet is retrograde, all of those aspects get a little screwy. For example, Venus rules beauty, love and art, so Venus retrograde can put a real dampener on your love life! Mercury rules communication, transportation and itty-bitty details, so Mercury retrograde is an awful time to sign a contract or travel the world. Every planet goes retrograde, but some seem to affect us more than others (or maybe we just notice it more).
So I bet you’re wondering, ‘What does Mars rule?’ Well, it rules sex, war, and new beginnings.
Here’s how to persevere!
Mars isn’t just the planet of sex and war, it’s also a planet that symbolises energy and vitality. It’s associated with Aries, and if you’ve ever met an Aries, you’ll know they love to fight, they love to get freaky in the sheets, and they have energy like no one you’ve ever known. Your typical Aries is like the Energiser Bunny… Except angry. So, during Mars retrograde, you can expect to have lower energy than usual. In fact, you might feel downright slothful.
Mars is a planet of action: it’s total “get ‘er done” energy. It makes sense, then, for Mars retrograde to be the opposite. You might find that new plans and projects just seem to come to a standstill. As much as you push, you could feel like you’re not making any headway. Frustrating? You betcha!
The astrological forecast is bickering with a chance of unexpected rage. Eek.
Keep an eye on your health. If you’re someone who bottles up their feelings, don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling under the weather. Internalising your stress is bad for your health, you know!
During Mars retrograde, whoever initiates loses. Brutal! See below:
“With a new project, it will fizzle out and never really go anywhere. With a hot romance, it too fizzles and it rarely gets to the altar. With an argument, the hostility will come back to haunt you later. In legal matters, stoke your opponent into initiating the lawsuit first. It will be etched in granite that they will lose. In an international war, whoever fires first will automatically lose or ultimately withdraw. Matters commenced while Mars is retrograde will be frustrated and plagued with disruptions until they finally fizzle out.” (Lynn Koiner)
But it’s not all bad news. There are plenty of positive things that can come out of Mars retrograde!
You might just discover some benefits from putting those projects and plans on ice. Pump the brakes and take this time to be patient and make plans. It’s great energy for plotting world domination.
Since Mars represents strength and follow-through, consider planting seeds for the future. For example, you might like to start researching a new workout regimen, or investigating leads for a project. Don’t act now, you’ll probably just get held up, but start gathering information and get ready to spring into action!
Any kind of retrograde is a good time to go back and examine past behaviour or motives that are related to that planet. In the case of Mars retrograde, you might be appraising your anger, the way you defend yourself, the way you argue, your personal motivations, and how you operate in intimate relationships. Are you passive-aggressive? Do you have a history of hostility, or do you shrink from confrontation? Take a look at your past actions, and you may be surprised.
“Anger and its alter-egos — depression, fear, resentment and cynicism — are all common reactions to feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable. Learn to deal with these anger-reactions better and you’ll be able to deal with Mars better.” (Evolving Door Astrology)
Get ready to get your kink on: Mars retrograde is definitely a time when the lid can get blown right off any sexual desires that have been suppressed for too long! The same goes for untapped passions and ambitions. This can be scary and unexpected, but it can also be massively positive in terms of getting you in touch with your true self!
Sex with the ex? Yes, it can — and often does — happen!
Remember to be extra-kind to any Aries or Scorpios that you know. They may feel the effects of Mars retrograde even more strongly than the rest of us!
All of this being said, no matter what’s going on in the sky, it’s not the end of the world (well, unless the Sun explodes, I guess). I would argue that a lot of what goes on in your life — if not 100%! — is dependent on your attitude. It’s up to you as to how you choose to deal with any issues that come up. You could see them as stumbling blocks or building blocks. It’s totally your choice!
Here we go…
Photos by Ahmet Unver from L’Officiel Turkey.
5 February 2014, 11:11
Photo by Laura Burlton.
Oh, Mercury retrograde.
You are here, AGAIN. You have arrived on our collective doorsteps in all your messy glory. You are our dreaded but regular house-guest. You stagger in the door, kick over our furniture, leave crumbs all over the couch and hog the bathroom. Then, as quickly as you appeared, you disappear again, leaving us slightly stunned but much better equipped to continue with our own lives!
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here we go. The planets are swinging around at all times, and their movements affect us all in different ways. All planets go retrograde, but Mercury’s journey seems to impact people much more than any other. (Even people who “don’t believe in astrology” often “believe” in the crazy aftershocks of Mercury retrograde!)
Why is that? It’s because Mercury rules communication, clear thinking, truth and travel, so when the planet goes retrograde — which means that it looks like it’s going backwards in the sky — all those things go backwards. They start to get ugly and tangle up. Mercury isn’t really going backwards, it’s just hanging out by the sun, but from Earth, that makes it look like it’s in reverse. It typically runs for a couple of weeks, a few times a year.
Check out these dates below and put them in your calendar!
In 2014, Mercury is retrograde from…
February 6th to 28th
June 7th to July 2nd
October 4th to 25th
Note: We sometimes start to feel the effects of Mercury retrograde a few days early. It’s nice to give yourself a bit of leeway on either side of the prescribed dates!
What happens when Mercury goes retrograde?
All sorts of things! It’s like everyone you know has suddenly gone mad! You might find yourself getting into bizarre arguments about nothing at all, being unable to finish sentences or barely even able to form a coherent thought. Your computer and other electronic equipment is more likely to go on the fritz. You could experience travel delays, too. Double-check your flights and take a book with you to keep you occupied while you wait for the train! We don’t tend to get all the information we need at this time, so it can be hard to make big decisions and it’s not always the best time to sign a contract, either.
Expect to hear super-loud complaining from your friends who are Gemini or Virgo, since both are ruled by Mercury! Mercury also rules a lot of industries like publishing, writing, editing, advertising, sales, public relations and anything to do with transport, like airlines, the post office and cabs! This means it can be particularly rough for Gemini train conductors and Virgo magazine editors, so be kind to any you know!
I often find that Mercury retrograde makes me want to go into hermit mode. I feel like half my brain is missing so I’m really not that interested in interacting with anyone, plus every conversation seems to go in an unusual, confusing direction. I feel much more irritable and frustrated and things just don’t seem to go how I want them to.
So that’s the bad news. Mercury retrograde can be a total kick in the teeth for those of us who normally pride ourselves on having our karmic shit together! The GOOD news is that Mercury retrograde provides us with lots of beautiful opportunities if we can just tilt our head and squint.
Mercury retrograde wants us to move back spiritually. It is providing us with a chance to re-examine various areas of our life which may need a little more work, so that we can move forward to a bright new dawn. Now, more than ever, the time is right to look at things with clear eyes. Delicious, fresh perspectives are revealed. We often have major breakthroughs — intellectual, emotional or spiritual — during this time.
It’s also a terrific period in which to tie up loose ends. So many of us have unfinished projects… Maybe that door just needs another lick of paint, or you’ll decide to put away your ex-boyfriend’s love letters once and for all. Having said that, this is also a time where it’s very common for old lovers, friends and acquaintances to get in touch! If you hear from someone from your past, get together with them and see what eventuates!
One of the best ways to cope with it — as with anything, really — is to just “go with the flow”. When you fight Mercury retrograde, that’s when life gets really ugly. Just take some time, go slowly, be careful, don’t freak yourself out by expecting to be uber-productive-perfect right now. Be good to yourself and the people around you, now more than ever!
surviving Mercury retrograde!
(Print it off and stick it in your diary or on your wall!)
Be sure not to take things too personally. People will often say offensive things they didn’t mean around this time, because their thinking is clouded and their communication skills are on pause! If your best friend suddenly became the most insensitive person in the world, give her the benefit of the doubt.
Back up your data!
Don’t purchase any big ticket items, because they will often have flaws or issues that you weren’t aware of! Of course, life doesn’t stop just because of wacky planetary movement, so if you absolutely have to get that car, computer or iPhone, TRIPLE-check all the paperwork, and make sure you have a warranty!
Take things with a grain of salt. Everyone is a bit confused, and people are much more inclined to change their mind once Mercury goes direct. Mercury can be a bit of a trickster — could it be that the next few weeks are a big karmic joke?!
Read the small print on any contracts. Ask lots of questions. Again, you can’t put your life on hold just because of some silly planet, but adapt your lifestyle a bit so that things run more smoothly. Communication can be a mess right now, but do your best to get as much information as you can.
Finish things you started a while ago. Home improvement projects? Wardrobe re-organisations? Short stories? Love affairs?! This is an excellent time to tie up loose ends and file things away forever.
Get together with old friends, reminisce and laugh!
Double-check any information you’re given, especially as relates to travel arrangements! During one particularly formidable Mercury retrograde, I actually caught a cab to the wrong airport! Check times, delays, baggage allowances, reservations… everything!
Allow Mercury to nudge you in unusual directions. If you seem to find yourself “back to the future”, don’t just try to wriggle out of it — look at what the universe is trying to show you. What can you learn from this situation? This is a fantastic time to re-examine, accept and move on.
Use the things you’ve discovered in the past to create a dazzling new vision so that you’re ready to blast ahead when Mercury goes direct!
If you want more tips, read 10 Magical Ways To Make The Most Of Mercury Retrograde!
Fingers crossed for the next few weeks, and best of luck to you!
Love and sanity,
1 November 2013, 11:11
Mercury goes retrograde about four times a year — which, if you ask me, is four times too many! My old guide on How To Survive Mercury Retrograde is one of my most popular articles for a reason!
Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Mercury is way retrograde… and I thought you might like to read about it from a different perspective.
There is a silver lining to every cloud, of course, and Mercury retrograde gets a bad rap. It’s not all terrible! I read somewhere recently that Mercury retrograde is a great time to take part in anything that starts with the prefix re-... Well, except “react”! This is the perfect time to refresh, revive, review, reboot, rebound, recall, reconcile, recover, reflect, recycle, reelect (oh yeah!), research, refinish, refocus, reformulate… You get the idea!
Here are some ideas to keep you out of trouble, and on Mercury’s good side!
Photo by Chris Craymer.
1. Renew your vows.
You lovebirds! If you’re already in a committed relationship, marriage or partnership, this is the perfect time to renew your promises to one another. You could have an elaborate ceremony or you could keep it simple: go to the restaurant where you had your first date, look at old photos, talk about how far you’ve come since you met. Bless!
2. Clean out your closet.
I did this last Tuesday and it was a bit of a life-changer! The energy of Mercury retrograde is fantastic for trimming the fat, so to speak, so you’ll have lots of astrological help as you go through your wardrobe and cull it mercilessly! If you need a bit of help doing it, check out my Wardrobe Taming series! (Blast from the past, baby!)
3. Look up an old love or your ex-best friend.
This is an excellent time to revisit those old relationships and see where the land lies. You don’t need to resuscitate them, of course, and often things we try to start during Mercury retrograde end up being short-lived anyway, but there can be a lot to learn from reuniting. You could find that the closure is exactly what you needed.
4. Forgive and forget.
Mercury retrograde encourages us to tie up loose ends, and the ultimate loose end is sourness or bitterness towards someone else. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die! It’s time to move on, and if you can’t forget, do your best to forgive.
5. Take a fabulous holiday.
Even though we’re usually not encouraged to travel during Mercury retrograde — simply because it’s something that is easily affected by the natural miscommunications of this period — if you can get away, you should! Honour any hankerings you might have for a bit of downtime. Go to a tropical island and lie on the beach for a week, or simply have a staycation at home. You’ll feel so much better for it!
6. Relax and take care of yourself.
The classic old checklist of getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and doing a lot of stretching absolutely applies during Mercury retrograde. If you’ve fallen off the H2O wagon, buy yourself a cute drink bottle and keep it on your desk! (I have a vampire drink bottle. I love it.) Make an extra effort to relax before bed, maybe by turning off the television and having a bath, and get your solid 8 hours. Stretch and move your body as much as you can.
7. Rejuvenate your living space!
If your house isn’t looking its best, now is the time to start dreaming about it! Your home should be a reflection of your most fabulous self: a place that you’re excited to return to. While it’s not the best idea to make big purchases during Mercury retrograde, it is a truly excellent time to do any research. Start investigating: look at Pinterest for interior decorating ideas, scope out websites for the best prices, and make a list of the things you’ll need. Once Mercury goes direct on the 10th of November, you can start to put your plans into action! (Funnily enough, I started doing this yesterday, without even thinking about it!)
8. Work on your CV or personal mission statement.
Mercury retrograde favours rewriting, revising or editing any documents. Why not put that energy to good use and rework your CV or personal mission statement? You could spice up your blog’s bio page or make some long overdue changes to your business plans. Mercury’s magic will help you out as you do it, and you might be astounded by what comes out when you sit down to start writing!
9. Read old journals.
If you go back to your old journals or notebooks during this time, you’ll be amazed by the things you read and the revelations that occur. It will be incredible to you to see how far you’ve come and how much growth has happened! (Plus, it’s usually pretty good for a laugh!)
10. Get a bit nostalgic!
Mercury retrograde is the best time ever to listen to old albums that you loved when you were a teenager, to watch movies that used to mean so much to you, and to revisit activities you have given up. Last night I went on a trip down memory lane listening to Tool, and as I write this, I’m playing Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness: still a fantastic album! Why not jump back into that sport or activity you loved when you were 19 years old?
See?! It’s not all bad. Mercury retrograde lasts until the 10th of November, so you have plenty of time to get all of this done! Okay… Ready, set, go!
(Still counting down the days…)
9 August 2013, 15:05
Email used to be fun. That little ding used to be a celebrated event. These days, it feels like your inbox fills up with a bunch of garbage overnight. Well, it’s time to bring the thrill back. In addition to unsubscribing from all the junk you don’t read, why not sign on for some emails that bring you joy?
Today, I’m going to tell you about something that makes my mornings better: daily emails from Mystic Medusa, a truly transcendental babe from Australia.
Confession time: I’m not terribly captivated by most blogs. I get bored quickly. I browse a lot, and I’m always looking for something brilliant, but there are about five blogs that I check into regularly. Mystic Medusa is one of them.
Why? Her writing is hilarious and affable, she is immensely knowledgable, and best of all, the content she creates helps other people. It allows them to learn something more about themselves, and encourages them to examine their own patterns and behaviour.
And her advice is awesome, uplifting and practical. This is an excerpt from the email I got this morning…
Friday – no matter where you are in the world is a go-go-go efficiency vibing sexy strong Virgo Moon. Plus there is Venus & Mars in LOVE basically so raise your personal mojo via a little bit of power-flirting – even if it is only for ‘practice’ or to make the peeps around you feel fantastic/adore you…
I mean, who couldn’t use a little more power-flirting? She’s not a doom merchant, and that makes me love her even more.
So, most people think Mystic’s thing is her blog and her daily emails for subscribers. But that’s not the half of it.
Mystic does daily and weekly and monthly horoscopes for every sign. How does she find the time?! I don’t know. It is a mystical mystery! But one of my favourite features on her site is the Scheduler. (I use it constantly!)
As she says,
The idea is to quickly scan it and schedule your seductions, dating, biz negotiations and power-plays accordingly. If there is a truly crap day, you’ll be able to work around it. It’s the savvy way to plan the month ahead. The Monthly Horoscopes page is also where you will find the current Mercury Retrograde dates and some advice on how to kill it. Let other peeps be stuffed around by this infuriating transit – you will know how to work it for maximum moxy.
She also has an Oracle, which gets so much action she had to purchase extra server space! You get still, select a question, then click to spin. It whizzes around hypnotically, then presents you with an answer. As Mystic says, this is an easy and chic way of checking your fortune “without having to consult an expensive psychic with bad hair who patronises you”. I’m obsessed!
Bliss Mystic gives you access to the monthly and weekly horoscopes on her site, plus the Daily Mystic email, and you get to use the Oracle whenever you like. Mega Mystic is the same but with daily horoscopes on the site, too. I’ve had my Mega Mystic subscription for YEARS now and never, ever plan on giving it up.
People ask me all the time where I learned about astrology, and the answer is — in its entirety — Mystic Medusa. She doesn’t just tell you what’s happening in the sky, she tells you what each piece of the puzzle means… And encourages you to do your own celestial detective work.
If you enjoy tripping out on an arcane astrological vibe, this is, without question, where you need to be.
I love her… And I know you will too.
Kisses from this Virgo,
5 August 2013, 10:50
Happy Monday! This week, let magic guide you. Allow your intuition to whisper and lead you in new and wonderful directions. Give yourself permission to explore and experiment.
On Tuesday, it’s a new moon in Leo. New moons are a fantastic time to write down a list of things you want to achieve, and the best time to do it is as close to the new moon as possible. (It happens at 1.51pm on the West Coast and 4.51pm on the East Coast.) Set yourself an alarm on your phone 10 minutes beforehand and when it goes off, stop what you’re doing and start to write a list of things you’d like to come to fruition this month.
A moon in Leo has some very particular characteristics. Think of your favourite Leo: odds are that they are bold and love the limelight, they have great hair and they thrive on the adrenaline rush they get from taking a big risk. This moon is just like that. Creativity is favoured, risk-taking is to be encouraged, and anything that involves you getting recognition will receive a big boost.
It’s going to be a damn good week!
Image from Sephora.
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