Seeing as how we just kicked off a particularly noteworthy Mercury retrograde in the midst of eclipse season, and July is just so loaded and pregnant with meaning, I decided it was apropos to break some of this down into more detail. Now, whether or not Mercury is *actually* “moving backwards” is irrelevant, as it’s position in regards to Earth, sign placements, degrees, etc, are what is of importance here, and much can be revealed when we look at the faces Mercury will wear through it’s (*ahem..seemingly) “backward” journey.
To begin with, Mercury stationed retrograde in the first decan of Leo. This is rather interesting and noteworthy, as Mercury in this face of Leo is really about a performance we are putting on. It's also rather competitive. (More on this decan of Leo in the Mars section.) Look to the house ruled by Leo in your chart, and you will see where you may be wearing a “brave face,” and not necessarily revealing all of what you are feeling, planning, or experiencing internally. Mercury here is somewhat of a “charlatan” in nature, and is careful to craft a particular image for the public, a “disguise” even. A mask.
Wherever Mercury has stationed retrograde in your chart, you may be carefully cultivating a more courageous, confident veneer than you actually really feel.
Mercury in this face is very “performance” oriented, and if particular feelings, realities, or traits we consider to be “weaknesses”, don’t align with the character we would like to project out to the world, we would rather conceal that from view, as this face of Mercury concerns itself with a carefully curated “performance” that maintains the basic ego structure.
With Mercury here, we want what we consider the “best” of ourselves on display, while what we consider “weak”, undesirable, or fallible in ourselves, to remain hidden from view. A person who wants to be seen as “happy”, “positive”, “self sufficient”, “confident” and “fulfilled”, for instance, will not feel comfortable making any sadness, loneliness, cynicism, vulnerability, struggle, or insecurity available for public consumption-as this would be a break in character, and not consistent with the mask we are committed to portraying.
A QUEST FOR AUTHENTICITY.
However, as Mercury slowly re-enters the more emotionally oriented sign of Cancer once again, which it will do by the 20th, next week, it will be more challenging and less fulfilling to merely uphold a facade for the mere sake of it, and we could begin to question it, due to a cognitive dissonance that makes itself more apparent.
We will be confronted with whatever has been stuffed down, and will be called to process and assimilate certain emotional realities, and “refashion” them to fit more neatly into this “new character” we are in the process of constructing. At 29 degrees Cancer, (“the most impatient degree”) there could definitely be a lot of feelings “coming to a head” here.
This will coincide with the Full Moon eclipse in realistic Capricorn, conjunct Saturn and Pluto. This hints at a pretty heavy “abolition” energy, where anything not truly in alignment with our authentic self is faced down and cut out. It could feel as if we are losing a part of ourselves in the process. As the saying goes, sometimes we have to “lose ourselves to find ourselves.”
In the third face of Cancer, we may be prone to seeing certain emotions through a very distorted lens, and a wide variety of “moods” may overtake us. The past, and certain emotional patterns exert a pull in some way, but it is a past that no longer fits in the present, -as something has been irrevocably and permanently transformed, -and we must rebuild.
If anything, this decan is well suited to reflection, processing emotions through catharsis, such as artistically, musically, creatively, as well as an overall “reevaluation” of emotional processes, patterns, and attachments/attachment styles, in general.
With the Sun currently conjunct the North node in Cancer, we are moving through some intensive processes and being called to go towards what “feels right.” For the first time in a long time, we can feel “safe” to be “all of ourself.” This is a huge opportunity to work out some serious blockages to our fullest expression, growth, and potential.
The decan of Cancer that Mercury revisits is ruled by the 4 of Cups in the tarot. A card of apathy, boredom, longing, rejection of offers, fantasy, daydreaming, and a feeling that “something is missing”, and nothing quite “fits the bill”, satisfies, or fulfills.
It’s a rather ambivalent card, that is well suited for this face of Cancer, as this is the “moodiest” decan of this lunar ruled sign.
This card can indicate a vague depression of sorts, as it represents a longing for some unattainable or unrealistic circumstance, “the perfect person”, ideal relationship, etc. In the card, the man appears to not even notice the cup being offered him, and the cups laid out before him stir little interest in him, and he seems too preoccupied with his own internal thoughts, and wistful longings to experience any desire towards what lays before him. Some decks associate this card with greed, and it makes sense, as it is rather self absorbed in nature, and this MF “just can’t get no satisfaction”, as he turns his nose up to what is actually available, and has potential to create fulfillment in the here and now.
If we look to the tarot momentarily, and the cards that both proceed and follow the 4 of Cups, we can gain some insight perhaps, into the processes behind this trajectory of Mercury.
Looking to both the 3 and the 5 of cups, …we can see a bit of a predicament here….
The 3 of cups is a card of celebration, friendship, reconciliation, fun social occasions, parties, getting to know people- and, perhaps less favorably, emotional triangles, and 3rd party situations, where people may stray outside of any sort of previously committed arrangements in order to entertain the potential of other options, and in so doing, “stringing people along” in the process of not really wanting to come to any sort of decisions. So it can also be a card of casually dating, and superficial dalliances, but overall, is simply about having a good time, and not taking life, or love, very seriously. Nothing is really “nailed down” here, as we are just exploring possibilities and potentialities in a fun and lighthearted way, and would rather not have to define anything yet. We want to have options and the freedom to make choices between them.
The 5 of Cups, conversely, is a card of having made those choices. It is a card that speaks of regrets, loss, disappointment, guilt, and sadness. A card of emotional consequences. In this card, we regret something we have done, a choice made has come with an unanticipated feeling of loss, guilt, and disappointment, and it didn’t turn out the way we had wanted it to. This disappointment can be with ourselves, our own behavior, what “could have been” what “used to be”, before we somehow screwed it up for ourselves and/or other people. This card comes with a lot of guilt, shame, loss, disappointment, and well, just a whole lot of really shitty feelings.
So, as you can see, the man in the 4 of Cups certainly has a lot to think about, and it’s no wonder he is reluctant, wistful, lost in his own thoughts, -rather avoidant, (and possibly, very hung over from the excesses he has already imbibed himself in.)
Here, we take a time out, and reevaluate our emotions, and figure out “where to go from here.” Mercury revisiting this decan can see us feeling more sensitive, vulnerable, seeking creature comforts, and prone to distractions. Our moods may dictate much of what we do and do not do during this phase, and again, we may be viewing our emotions through a very distorted lens. If anything, a necessary catharsis of sorts will occur, and the emotional pallet can clear itself. Figuring out what feels “right” to us, what feels like the “right thing to do”, how to meet particular needs, may be a vulnerable, but valuable process. An opportunity is here to be true to ourselves and find our way back to our heart center.
Pay attention if you are noticing any tendency towards a “victim” mindset here. You are not powerless over your reality. If you feel that you are, -work on your confidence. Connect to your solar plexus. (Cue Mars in Leo.)
MARS: "THE SHOW MUST GO ON."
Meanwhile, with Mars strong and confident in competitive Leo, we are pulled towards whatever is life and identity affirming. As this internal emotional processing transpires, we wrangle with reconciling our authentic selves, our real needs, vulnerabilities, and feelings, with this “new, empowered identity” we are attempting to construct and maintain. It would be preferable for the inner, private world to match the strong, confident, enthusiastic, charming, gregarious, happy, and “totally together,” character we long to portray. As with most things in life however, such savvy skill requires effort, alchemy, and work.
This can be an interesting opportunity to develop or work up the confidence and courage to be vulnerable in some way. (It takes strength to do that.) Conversely, this can also see pride become a major obstacle to revealing any real vulnerabilities, needs, or feelings. Choosing instead to deny them and suffer in prideful silence.
Mars currently occupies the first decan of Leo. The tarot card for this face of Leo is the 5 of Wands. A card of competition, conflict, tension, diversity, and change. It can also indicate pettiness, ego squabbles, envy, jealousy. A card where everyone is fighting to be heard, but no one is listening. Oftentimes this card can indicate a “culture clash” of sorts as well, and there are great opportunities to learn from that which is different from us, or alien to us. Mars in this face of Leo calls us to “level up” in some way, but it generates tension.
It is much more fruitful, useful, and constructive to compete against our “former selves”, than it is to place ourselves in competition against others external to ourselves. The former allows us to maintain valuable and helpful alliances, and the cooperation of, and our connections to, others, who help us to grow. The latter methodology pits us against the world, restricts our reference points, and results in an empty victory, -and a dangerously fragile ego, that cannot stomach, handle, or render any positive inspiration, awe, or appreciation for the successes, skill sets, victories, efforts, struggles, or positive attributes of others.
As Mars ventures through Leo, amidst all of these retrogrades, (including Chiron in Aries-“the identity wound”- we will have an opportunity to form a more integrated, authentic sense of self, through the application of a healthy philosophy of competition, combined with getting in touch with our real, authentic feelings and needs.
If we are only in competition with our former selves, this can potentiate huge strides in personal growth, success, and fulfillment, as we expand our world, our reference points, and our skill sets.
IF NO ONE IS YOUR ENEMY, EVERYONE IS YOUR TEACHER.
Our ability to access infinite capacity to improve upon ourselves, and our skillsets is limited only by the fragility or sturdiness of the ego. If it is fragile and weak, we restrict our reference points because we can’t bear to entertain the perspectives, successes, talents, knowledge, or skill sets of others, and feel threatened by the mere existence of them.
This can see such a person react in a hostile, alienating or indifferent manner, for as to simply acknowledge the mere existence of the positive attributes, talents, knowledge, skillsets, struggles, or contributions of others, forces them to reflect upon their own insecurities, perceived deficiencies, -and self hatred.
In other words, -it incites feelings such as envy, rage, and contempt, and a desire to destroy, devalue, and invalidate the source of such feelings,(-as opposed to inciting inspiration at what is possible, along with a healthy desire to learn and to grow. )
Such are the potential expressions of Mars in Leo.
If you are already in a competition with only your former selves, and no one else, good for you. You will enjoy the creative and self edifying fruits that this vibration has to offer.
If, on the other hand, you find yourself feeling contempt, envy, jealousy, and competitiveness towards others, hey…that’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up about it, because I can imagine that sucks enough, in and of itself. It isn’t your fault that somewhere along the way, somebody taught you that in order for you to “win” someone else has to “lose.”
You have a wonderful opportunity here before you however, for a course correction, and an “ego rehabilitation”-and can be well on your way to building a much more sturdy, hearty, and healthy ego, built on solid foundations. An ego so sturdy in fact, that it can withstand existing and maintaining itself without the incessant “need” to devalue, belittle, erase, invalidate, ignore, or destroy anyone who, just by simply existing, and being whoever they are, or maybe they even just politely point out a fact, “Airplanes or airports didn’t exist yet at that time sir,” -makes you reflect on your own real or perceived deficiencies.
The good news is, there are healthy ways out of such a vicious, miserable, self defeating, and alienating cycle. The bad news is that there are no “short cuts.” There is no substitute for actually doing the work behind the formation of a solid, integrated sense of identity, and genuine, authentic, self love, self esteem, and self acceptance. The sooner a more authentic and substantial relationship to the self is embarked upon, the sooner the fruits and successes of a healthy, intact, sturdy, and fully integrated ego can be harvested. Some obstacles to this include a chronic, unhealthy avoidance of facing and dealing with shame in a constructive, and functional way. If we don’t face it, and allow ourselves to feel it, we don’t ever address the true source of it, and instead, project it on to others by attempting to make them feel these things instead, so that we don’t have to.
(This actually translates to emotional and psychological abuse, -but I digress.)
For example, in Trumps case, his unaddressed deficiency (well, one of them),- a terrible grasp of historical events. Sure, he can avoid looking at that and just continue to attack, belittle and estrange anyone that dares to make him aware of where he needs to grow, anyone that doesn’t validate his false sense of superiority and inscrutability can just be belittled or “fired”.
But such tactics will only dig him into deeper holes of insecurity, shame, and self hatred, that will become increasingly difficult, embarrassing, and painful to evade.
If you happen to experience resentment, contempt, envy, anger, hatred, or other destructive emotions in the face of the skillsets, knowledge, successes, happiness, peace, benign contentment, etc of others, -and you identify with this condition- perhaps use these feelings as a guide towards self improvement, growth, and development. If someone’s expertise in a particular area, subject, or a particular trait or skill they possess for instance, fills you with any of the above emotions, -try replacing such destructive feelings with healthy curiosity and inspiration instead. Thank them, (if at least, just in your head), for helping you become cognizant of where your ego is built upon a faulty, weak, and shoddy foundation.
The more free you are of these destructive emotions, the more you can actualize your true potentials, and gain access to your own unbridled creative life force and capacity for joy and fulfillment in all that you do. Because you are more open to learning, due to the fact that your ego is strong enough to accept that there are things that you do not yet know and there is always room for growth and improvement. I;e; You are human and fallible and the fact that there is a lot to learn from and about life should incite curiosity and enthusiasm-not fear, insult, or injury.
We don’t actualize any of our own potential by invalidating, devaluing, ignoring, belittling, discounting, and discarding everyone and anyone that forces us (unbeknownst to them), to reflect upon our own weaknesses and deficiencies by merely existing, while stubbornly remaining at the same level of operation, and psychological, emotional, intellectual, and interpersonal development that we’ve been at since adolescence.
Growth does not occur in an echo chamber.
IN SUMMARY: AN ABOLITION. DIVINE INTERVENTION. REWIRING.
Through the combination of the many configurations and celestial events we are under, it is essentially a choice between choosing to grow, or being dragged. There is no “going back into the box” after this. This is a BIG “letting go energy.” Simultaneously, a challenge to rise to, when it comes to positively asserting ourselves in the world in ways that we have previously held ourselves back from doing, due to fear, due to insecurity, due to perceived self limitations. We are working out some longstanding kinks in our chakras and making way from some serious upgrades. This is a MAJOR rewiring. There will be pressure felt to “get it together man.” Don’t be hard on yourself. Be encouraging. This is *A LOT*. At a collective and individual level of consciousness, -this is some extremely potent and highly pivotal stuff. August, and particularly mid August, has some significant turning points.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found this helpful.