Retrograde Planets, a Lunar Eclipse—and You (Oh My?)

Solar System

Dear Fellow Hair-Tearer-Outers,

For those of you keeping score at home, we’ve got six, count ‘em six, planets spinning retrograde in the sky at this very moment. Okay, planets don’t technically move in reverse. But “retrograde” refers to the fact that, due to the shape of planets’ orbit around the Sun, their speed relative to Earth’s is slower and thus they appear to be going backward. Let me bottom-line that: If everything in your life is going kerflooey right now, the solar system may be to blame.
Many of you know that Mercury is retrograde (and for the record, it’s not “in” retrograde; it’s just retrograde. You’re welcome). That three-week cycle (July 25-August 19) could correspond with some technical glitches, annoying delays and miscommunications, which is why astrologers traditionally warn folks not to buy or upgrade electronic devices or software, to triple-check all plans, especially involving travel, and to avoid signing contracts if possible during this period. Whether Mercury “causes” these things or is merely associated with them is a topic for another newsletter—or a lively philosophical discussion.
In addition to the “messenger planet,” five others are off-course. Mars will be in reverse till August 27, Saturn until September 6, Neptune till November 24, Pluto through September 20, and Chiron until December 9. The effects will be different for everyone depending on what these planets are doing in your individual chart, but in a very general way, it’s fair to opine that things will not go as smoothly or as rapidamente as you might like. As in: not even close. As in: hunker down and brace yourself.
The cherry on top of this planetary fruitcake is today’s total lunar eclipse at 4º45” Aquarius. This is one of the last of the several eclipses to fall on the Leo/Aquarius “axis,” which has been happening since February 10, 2017 (and will end next January 21). Eclipses bring things out into the open, and lunar eclipses (which are full moons) can bring efforts to a culmination or completion point. (Solar eclipses occur with new moons, two weeks away from lunar eclipses, and signal the beginning of something new.) As we enter the “home stretch” of this Leo/Aquarius eclipse cycle, we have a chance to review the areas associated with these signs, and, if we know our own chart, we can get even more insight by looking at what houses they fall in and which planets they make contact with.
Leo energy is creative, loving, spontaneous, childlike, playful, generous, experimental. Just try to be in a bad mood when you’re around a Leo! And the greatest lesson Leo has to teach us all is also one of the hardest: self-love. Not vanity or arrogance or pride (those are lower vibrations of this energy). To truly love and accept oneself is a noble mission. How’re you doing with that one?
Aquarius, Leo’s partner sign, is the humanitarian of the zodiac. Their love is more universal than personal; they love the peoples of the world more than the people (amirite?). They are big-picture thinkers, idealists, innovators, activists and indeed the most unique and unpigeon-holeable sign. Today’s eclipse—whose influence will ripple through our lives strongly over the next two weeks and more subtly over the next six months—is a nudge to share our self-love and highest values with a wider world. We know what’s going on out there, and many of us are indignant about it.
This eclipse asks the musical question, So what are you doing about it? How are you walking your talk in the world? Whatever your beliefs, the time has come to act on your principles—visibly and noisily. As the ‘60s activist Eldridge Cleaver said (and I looked this up to get it right): “There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem.” And there’s no better time to work toward a solution than during an Aquarius lunar eclipse.
Of course, if you just want to know what’s going on in your chart, give a jingle. I’m here to help.

Fist-pumpingly yours,

Suzanne Gerber