Break Time (Moon Void of Course)
Every two days or so, the Moon goes Void of Course. These are natural pauses in the emotional cycle and are best used for editing, researching, idea generating, reading, and napping.
- Saturday 2:46 PM - Sunday 5:47 AM
- Tuesday 8:51 AM - 4:55 PM
Emotional Weather (Lunar Transits)
For more on the impact of lunar transits on mood and writing see Lunar Transits: Writing the Emotional Weather.
The Moon enters...
- Sagittarius on Sunday at 5:47 AM
- Capricorn on Tuesday at 4:55 PM
This week Mercury goes retrograde. Between Thursday and May 22nd, Mercury will (from our perspective) retrace its steps through Taurus (23 degrees to 14 degrees). Then it will pause and start moving forward again.
Mercury retrograde is famous for tech snafus, communication breakdowns, and travel issues. Because communication is central to what we do as writers, many astro-savvy writers dread Mercury retrograde, but this time can be wonderful if you know how to use it. It's prime time for doing anything that begins with "re"--reflection, revision, reorganization, relaxation, reconnection, and (everyone's favorite) research.
With this retrograde happening in Taurus, this three week period will feel particularly Taurean, especially with the Sun and Venus moving through Taurus at the same time. Venus is the ruler of Taurus. When most of us think of Venus, we think of the side of Venus Libra rules: elegant evening wear, art museums, boxes of chocolate, romantic strolls through the city at dusk. Taurus is the earthy side of Venus: the smell of baking bread wafting through the house, a green river valley glimpsed through a stand of wind-blown pines, the feel of beach sand settling into the shape of your body as you listen to the hiss of retreating waves, the taste of the season's first strawberry.
Mercury in Taurus is famously slow, but that's only because it interacts with the world through the body. It takes time to listen to what the senses are saying, and just paying attention is not enough for this Venus-ruled sign. It has to relish all five senses. Pleasure is as essential to Taurus as play is to Leo. Taurus has to savor. Without it, Taurus ceases to be what it is.
Over the next three weeks, we are being invited to slow down and perceive the world like Taurus does. Under ideal circumstances, we would all take a vacation and have a blissed-out tour of the senses, but for many of us this transit isn't going to be easy. The modern world isn't kind to Taurus. If you're speeding through life because it allows you to avoid noticing where your habitat is unnatural, your food doesn't taste good, or your routine makes your body hurt, this transit will force you to slow down and take notice. For some this transit might be a wake-up call. The reminder to live life to the fullest can be a blessing when we have the ability to change, but many of us live disembodied lives because the alternative is poverty, broken relationships, or shame--not because we think it's the best way to live.
If you find yourself there, try to make a token gesture that honors the pleasure of the senses during Mercury retrograde. Buy yourself a piece of chocolate and savor it slowly. Spend an hour cooking a meal that has emotional significance to you. Find a tree and spend a moment looking up through its branches at the sky. Listen for the calls of birds. Scrub your hands with a handful of salt under running water until it dissolves and relish your own soft skin. If all of us spend just a few moments remembering the senses during this transit, who knows? It might just might spark a delicious revolution.
For best results, read for your ascendant/rising sign or the house(s) that cover 14-23 degrees Taurus. If you don't know your ascendant, you can calculate it here, and you can learn how to find the house for this transit in Getting and Reading Your Birth Chart.
Aries (2nd House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Resources, Aries. This is the area of your chart that covers your financial resources and more intangible resources like skills and self-esteem. For you, this transit is a good time to step away from the keyboard for a little while and celebrate embodied skills you've developed over the years--or begin cultivating new ones. If you've ever wanted to bake bread, start a yoga practice, or stalk the wild asparagus, this is a great time to start.
Taurus (1st House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Persona, Taurus. During this transit, you may feel like an ambassador. If you're comfortable with Taurus and have surrounded yourself with people who love this side of you, this transit may feel like an extended birthday. If you haven't come to terms with this archetype or you're surrounded by people who find this side of you frustrating, you may feel more like everyone wants to shoot the messenger. Either way, you best bet isn't to hide who you are. Revel in the ways it's good to be you. Then, when you're done, write about it!
Gemini (12nd House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Endings, Gemini. As its name suggests, this is a difficult house. The ancients called it the House of Self Undoing. Modern astrologers associate it with prisons, hospitals, monasteries, and other institutions. You may find yourself during this transit bumping up against slow, stodgy institutions or people who don't take well to your questioning. For solace, I suggest spending some quality time with Kafka. Then blow off steam writing your own story damning the system, man.
Cancer (11th House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Community and Goals, Cancer. The future has been a bit of a theme for you lately, and with Mercury retrograde happening in this house, you have the chance to dive in deep with the question of how you want the future to be. What would it mean for the future to be delicious? What would you do if you thought you were entitled to a delicious life? Can you set aside some time during this transit to have a taste of that life now?
Leo (10th House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Career, Leo. In your birth chart, this house represents where the Sun is at high noon. It's the most illuminated part of your life, the place where you're most visible. The ancients called it the House of Fame. With Taurus in this house, visibly relishing the life of the senses is an important part of what you were put on this earth to do. I don't know what it's like where you are, but where I come from this is pretty subversive, and being subversive isn't the easiest thing for Leo (unless your Leo influences are balanced by a planet or two in Aquarius). As a writer, you can have it both ways, though, subversively sneaking that sensuality into your writing and delighting your readers at the same time. I dare you during this transit to write something that pairs with your favorite chocolate or bottle of wine.
Virgo (9th House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Adventures, Virgo. This house covers many areas such as publishing, learning, and belief systems. What would it mean for you to approach these things in an embodied way? What would embodied publishing look like? How can you research your subject in a way that requires you to be there in your body? When you run the things you believe through your gut, what does it say to you? These are big questions. Instead of trying to address them all, I suggest choosing one and going deep with it. Live the questions.
Libra (8th House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Taboo, Libra. The ancients called this the House of Death. Today it's more often known as the House of Sex, Death, and Taxes or the House of Sex, Death, and the Occult. As a rule, people don't like to spend a lot of time in the 8th house because the thing that all of these things have in common (other than the obvious grief and awkward conversations) is that they require you to surrender in some way. "Surrender" is the keyword for you during this transit. Surrender to the body. Surrender to where you are now. Surrender to your senses. The irony is, the braver you can be during this transit, the more willing you are to face the dark, the more control you will, ultimately, have.
Scorpio (7th House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Long Term Relationships, Scorpio. Another way of thinking about this house is that it's a bit like the Jungian shadow. The shadow is the stuff about ourselves that we have a hard time owning, so we have the tendency to find people (often spouses and very close friends) to live that side of ourselves for us. If you find yourself frustrated with the people around you. When everyone seems slow and quiet and materialistic and blunt, you're encountering this shadow side. If this is your experience during this transit, encourage you to spend some time with some of your favorite Taurus authors and try to see the things you love about them in your loved ones--and yourself.
Sagittarius (6th House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Daily Grind, Sagittarius. You are most likely to feel the effects of this transit in your daily routine, your health, or your day job. How does your body feel about the way you spend your time? What does your right knee think about it? What does your left thumb think? How about your elbows? These are your teachers over the next few weeks.
Capricorn (5th House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Creativity, Capricorn. As a fellow earth sign, odds are you are at least partially comfortable with Taurus's influence on your creative practice. Both Capricorn and Taurus are patient and tenacious when going toward a goal, but Taurus's definition of what constitutes progress might be different than yours. What Taurus thinks is necessary might to your eyes be a bit...excessive. Over the next three weeks, I encourage you to think like Mrs. Beaver from C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Put aside, for a time, the idea of packing light.
Aquarius (4th House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Deep Self, Aquarius. The sign that you find in this house is likely the part of yourself that feels tender to you. In your case, this side of yourself is the side that Elizabeth Gilbert calls "your animal." It's the side of you that relates to the world through your body and your body's needs. Depending on your relationships with your animal, you might feel uncomfortable with that side of yourself, or you might like these qualities quite a bit but feel the need to protect them. While we're all slowed down a little bit, I'd encourage you to make some time to connect with your animal. Do what you can to give it a good home.
Pisces (3rd House) This Mercury retrograde is happening in your House of Communication, Pisces. This is the house that governs writing, so you may feel more than other signs like it's difficult to move forward on your writing projects during these weeks. You are more likely to make progress, if you return to a project that's been in progress for awhile and focus on your sentences. What can you do to make them lush and inviting?
All times Los Angeles/PST.