Hurry Up And Wait!: Mercury Retrograde In Aries & Taurus April 9th-May 3rd, 2017


Do you ever read much good about Mercury retrograde periods? They’re a notorious pain in the ass; even people who don’t follow astrology much or at all have heard the reputation Mercury retrograde has. The last Mercury retrograde fell largely in Capricorn and was particularly brutal, the kind of retrograde that earns its stereotype. Well, the upcoming Mercury retrograde from April 9th until May 3rd would like a chance to literally rearrange our thinking. It’s gonna get weird… [Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: Full Moon in Sagittarius May 21, 2016

Monica Vitti in "Modesty Blaise"

Monica Vitti in Modesty Blaise.


“It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt!” is a saying that springs to mind with the Full Moon at 1 degree of Sagittarius on Saturday, May 21st at 4:14 PM CST. This is the first of two Sagittarius Full Moons in a row, with the second one occuring at the anaretic 29th degree on June 20th. (There will be a separate writeup for that one.) This May Full Moon at 1 degree Sadge will of course oppose the Sun at 1 degree Gemini. More importantly, though, [Read more…]

Reviewing “Earth Based Astrology” With Mercury Retrograde in Taurus


Taurus is a fixed earth sign, so with Mercury retrograde in Taurus there is a focus on bringing everything back down to earth. We’re still in an ongoing mutable T-square between Jupiter in Virgo, Saturn Rx in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces, which is creating a lot of moments of doubt, existential crises, losing faith and so on. Everything we thought we knew, the old reliable we could depend on, are shapeshifting into something we can’t fully make out just yet. But, the information gathering process that informs our bigger belief systems is filtered now through Mercury working it’s way backwards through the decidedly no-nonsense, realistic sign of the Bull.


Very recently I had been having a crisis of faith moment in astrology itself. Doesn’t matter I’ve been doing it for over half my life now; I just had some moments of frustration regarding the nature of astrology itself, which no astrologer has ever been able to properly explain. The best of the best didn’t doubt it worked and stood by its place in our lives, but understanding the why’s and how’s has always been the mystery. It’s sort of like God or love in that no one really knows what the hell it even is. Lots of good guesses, but ultimately comes down to trusting it exists based on experiences rather than anything you can point to as definitive proof. I wrote a post in February asking readers to submit topics they’d like to see covered here; I’ve answered all except the ones asking my philosophy on astrology in general and the behavior of certain bodies. It was something I thought I knew, but once I started to write something on it I’d realize my opinions aren’t as firm as I’d thought. There was a lot of questioning which turned in to a degree of doubt when Mercury went retrograde.


I still am reviewing my opinions and general philosophy, and obviously can’t answer “how does astrology work” any better than the next person can. Mercury retrograde in Taurus did remind me of an idea that resonated with me a long time ago but had forgotten in the busyness of life: the idea that astrology is Earth-based rather than actually something that comes to us from outer space.


This came about when I heard that the British astrologer Jonathan Cainer passed away May 2nd. He was a mostly Sun sign astrologer, so I wasn’t all that familiar with him beyond the debate with Richard Dawkins. After reviewing some of Cainer’s stuff, I was in the mood to look up some old essays of David Roell, an American astrologer who maintained the popular AstroAmerica site, and passed away in 2014. I was disappointed to see that the site is now offline. From memory, Roell was a Gemini rising, Aquarius Sun and as such always had rather unconventional ideas, often uncomfortable ones too. He had as many haters as he did followers, I think. I didn’t agree with his every viewpoint (I’ve never seen two people agree on absolutely everything, anyways), but when his writing was hot he could make my head spin in the best possible way.


It was on Roell’s AstroAmerica site and in his newsletters that I first heard the idea of “Earth based astrology”. Since the site is now offline, I cannot source his own words on the subject, and cannot discern whether the idea was uniquely his or if he took the idea from somewhere else and ran with it. I do remember the quote “the signs of the zodiac are qualities inherent of the Earth itself” and that he theorized that at some point the ancient astrologers projected the zodiac onto the corresponding constellations as a reference and a map showing trigger points for Earth based events.


It made more sense to me, at the time I read it, than any of the other more hippy-dippy explanations did, the ones that say the planets influence us through waves or “vibrations” and such. I do not think the planets exert any force on us at all. The Sun and Moon (which, of course, are not planets in astronomy, but still called planets in astrology per tradition) do exert obvious energy on planet Earth, measurable ones that leave no doubt. But: Mercury? Uranus, Pluto? I have no reason to believe these celestial bodies are anything beyond what astronomers say they are, which appears to be chunks of rock and gas at unfathomable distances from the Earth and not conducive to life. Yet, through my own astrological perspectives over the years I do not question that each planet has a distinct “flavor” associated with it and that very strongly impacts life on Earth in very real ways.


As I write this, Mercury is retrograde in Taurus; the retrograde is only an illusion as seen from Earth, as the planet itself cannot travel in reverse. Yet, I can see all around me the traditional manifestations of a Mercury retrograde: the communication issues, the confusion, the breakdown of machinery and technological gadgets… but, why would Mercury the planet “care” one way or the other that I had my cell phone serviced?


It doesn’t care, because it doesn’t know; not unlike the hands on a clock do not know the time yet their movement triggers alarm bells at certain times relevant to us that we respond to with urgency. Thinking of astrology from an Earth based perspective, the planets would seem to me like hands on a clock in that they do not cause events but instead correspond to them. If we lived as our ancestors did, with no clocks to tell time, we would respond instinctively to the time as determined by the natural cycles of the Sun and Moon. Not just day and night but also the seasons. They do not show signs of life themselves yet there is no question they affect our lives. I do not think it is that far a jump to think the other celestial bodies operate in a similar fashion, except that they do not have the obvious life sustaining qualities of the Sun and Moon. Their movements are like hands on a clock that, when struck, trigger events in our lives according to the individual themes they represent, and according to the combined themes when the aspects to each other (as seen from Earth) are blended. If you’ve been around a large bell clock, like the ones they have in old town centers or churches, you know that when the large bell sounds it does send vibrations which we each feel individually; I don’t think its unrealistic to think the reverberations of planetary movement can be felt within our sphere without the planets themselves directly sending the vibration from space.


The idea of astrology working only within the Earth’s spheres and not beyond still doesn’t explain the how’s or why’s, and I’m thinking it will probably go on as a perpetual unsolvable mystery. I do wonder if thinking of astrology from an Earth based perspective won’t get the ball rolling in the right direction, though. With Mercury retrograde in the very down to earth sign of Taurus, it’s a little bit of astrological food for thought.



Mercury Retrograde In Taurus Crosses The Face Of The Sun


A somewhat rare celestial event occurs at 9:57 AM CST on Monday, May 9th as Mercury, currently retrograde in Taurus, crosses the solar disk or “the face of the Sun”. This particular transit of Mercury to the Sun will occur at 19 degrees of the Bull and typically occurs only about 13 times per century; [Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: New Moon in Taurus May 6, 2016


What a garden of earthly delights this New Moon at 16 degrees Taurus brings us on Friday, May 6th at 2:30 PM Central Standard Time. The Taurus New Moon, along with the Sun, Mercury Rx at 21 degrees, and Venus at 8 degrees forms a temporary stellium in Taurus. Since Venus is the natural ruler of Taurus (and this stellium) [Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: May 2016

With Mercury Rx in Taurus, repurpose old things for sustainable future. Underground bomb shelter converted into hydroponic farm.

With Mercury Rx in Taurus, repurpose old things for sustainable future. Underground bomb shelter converted into hydroponic farm.


May definitely starts off on with a slower, calmer tempo than the previous months, but a little too slow. Frustratingly so; slow as cold molasses as some old country folks would say. We start off May with Mercury freshly retrograde in Taurus, along with [Read more…]

Harriet Tubman & Faith In Something Bigger Pt. 2


Apparently this isn’t new news but I did not hear of the original plans that the United States Treasury Department had of changing some of the faces on our currency, and [Read more…]

Hitting The Ground: Mercury Retrograde in Taurus April 28-May 22, 2016

Photo by Özant Kamaci

Words and movement slow down, get stuck. Photo by Özant Kamaci.


Slowing our minds down and listening to the natural rhythms of nature… something we know to be a good thing in theory but in practice often considerably tries our patience. We are tested in such a way when quicksilver communication and thought processes planet Mercury [Read more…]