Astrology of 11/29 – 12/5: Traveler’s Guide for Mercury Retro

We are building toward a Full Moon in Gemini (December 3); emotions can be rising until then. The mutable signs, which include Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces (and planets Mercury, Jupiter and Neptune) are well represented in this week’s astrology. Venus will enter Sagittarius and begin her close in on Saturn, Mars in Libra opposes Uranus and together they square Pluto in Capricorn, the Jupiter-Neptune trine forms an exact alignment, Mercury stations retrograde in the last degree of Sagittarius on December 2, followed by a Full Moon in Mercury’s sign of Gemini. The Full Moon also squares Neptune in Pisces.

Mutable signs give us the opportunity to practice magic and enter into new realities by having a permeable, fluid perception that is capable of registering details from the environment that mutate from the script. On the mundane level, this would be your delays/disruptions/change of plans. These may be checkpoints into new dimensions of experience, rather than mere inconveniences. (This being said, if you want to prep for Mercury retrograde, taking care of to-do list items before the retrograde is solid.)

Mercury works in the game of precision and perfection, and retrogrades are like Carnival – a time where people are free to act differently than the routine code sets parameters for. One piece of Mercury’s character (through Virgo) is excuse-making; how we respond to our own internalized demands of perfection. Often we do what we can to show up on time, do the thing right, etc. – and grace participates. But when something beyond us makes our precision harder, we get to entertain the experience of what it might mean to be playing with cosmic forces beyond us. When the game of reality shifts, it keeps us on our toes. Maybe the detour was more valuable than the destination. Maybe things going to plan in our mundane conception of it is not the higher plan.

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Read on below:

December 1

Venus enters Sagittarius: 2:14 AM PDT

When Venus leaves Scorpio and enters Sagittarius, she is also entering semisextile aspect to Saturn in Sagittarius. Venus and Saturn are in balsamic or culminating phase together, and will conjunct and form a new phase relationship on December 25.

  • The shadow, as it has been discovered through Venus in Scorpio, is not always about things we wish to not have in ourselves… sometimes our shadow is our undeveloped or symbolic potentials which we see reflected in others around us and therefore experience jealousy or feelings of lack in comparison to the other. Even our conflicts with others will reveal our shadow potentials, such as being triggered into feeling anger after a long spell of complacency – in which case a person might discover some will or vital life force within themselves that they were not connected to before. If we really think about it, there are symbolic treasures we have contacted through Venus in Scorpio which we may feel we have access to or not. In order to make better contact with these new discovered potentials, we can look to Venus and Saturn.
  • The semisextile aspect between Venus and Saturn can suggest an irritation/dissatisfaction with how our lives are structured in comparison to what we value or place esteem in. If we walk intentionally with this, shifts are about to occur here. A way to midwife in the desired shift is to contemplate an ideal which our consciousness can focus upon and in doing so, draw closer to it and the ways it may like to show up for us.
  • Through Sagittarius, we want to consider our storytelling. Too often storytelling is co-opted by this thing called “reality” which is a force far more creative and permeable than “realists”, who are playing the role of philosopher unintentionally and limiting their own realities, might allow. Venus creating this mildly stressful aspect to Saturn can begin to reveal to us where we actually do not take esteem in our stories. So do not be fooled into thinking that your dismal stories are just you keeping it real. There is a place to take account of limitations and failures, but why bother doing so when its not necessary? Similar to the point of focusing upon an ideal, one can focus upon a new story of reality in order to shift the existing reality.
  • Likewise, taking honest account of failures can reveal the next unfolding steps in the path which the previous attempts were trying to get at. Though Sagittarius is a very forward thinking and expansive sign, Saturn is also involved here and often will help us along if we take account of the past, and in our case, retrieve necessary wisdom and energy for moving forward with more alignment.
  • In general, tend to the stories that appear in your life as guideposts for your identity – these stories can be helpful and make life more adventurous. We have to believe we are worthy of certain stories (or perhaps, like an ideal, draw toward them by focus) if we are to elevate (or a la Sagittarius, expand) our circumstances.

Mars in 25 Libra opposite Uranus in 25 Aries: 3:05 AM PDT

(Image: “ Hekate” by Kat Lunoe)

This alignment is also forming a T-square to Pluto in 17 Capricorn.

  • We may begin to experience more conscious awareness of where we are driven to maintain balance in situations where instead a new impulse or order is emerging – therefore calling us to balance to something new. There can be personal and relational liberation as we break free from our unconscious conventions.
  • On the mundane or circumstantial level, here are some potentials of this transit: being surprised by one’s temper or the temper of others, having an epiphany or a breakthrough because of conflict, finding patterns of being ‘on edge’ that come from relationships, having a breakthrough that allows for more vital connections with others.
  • One of Mars’ basic M.O.’s through the sign of Libra is to keep the peace or keep things chill, however, a great deal of energy is expended in the process and aggression can be held down below a positive demeanor. Through this process of expending energy to keep the peace in a situation which is otherwise aggravating, we become more aware of basic patterns of trying to control situations and ourselves as to not appear like we’ve lost it or we’re not ‘chill’. We might question whether our anger is tasteful or not, like Libra deliberates. This entire situation reflects a systemic issue – such as kinds of realities we abide by or tolerate which are not in our highest alignment of authenticity or enjoyment, or even true fairness to others (as we pretend to be another version of ourselves to suit another’s needs, until we get tired of it and leave them shocked at our strange change of mind).
  • It may be important to become more aware of manipulative tactics we employ or find others employing around us to change other’s for the sake of an ideal of harmony. Harmony does not always come with consent – sometimes it is twisted out of people. Where there is force, there is a complementary shadow. We might want to be more aware of these power games so that harmony can be more vital for those involved.
  • New types of harmony can be attained through this transit that are more authentic and intelligent, though first we may come up with the limitations of our current psychic space and structures.
  • Consider whatever tensions arising or coming to a head at this time as directly involved in a potential upgrade (a la Uranus, higher mind, intelligence). There are many psychic blockages on the way to upgrading our lives – such as fear of the unknown, lack of feeling worthy, etc. Yet it is moving through these psychic blockages and finding their complementary gifts and opportunities that we might find our upgrades. We tend to hold court for what we know from the past, and from what we reasonably expect. So what are your expectations? Are they serving you and other beings or not?
  • Structures, codes, contracts, and discipline are not inherently limiting, it just depends on the value within them and how we truly resonate or not. Being free via no structure can leave one like a leaf in the wind – not grounded or making something of their potentials. Structures, contract, codes, etc. condition and shape reality, so we may ally with discipline and commitment in ways that support our life purposes and our relationships. There are scripts already in existence that we can take unconsciously. There are scripts we can write. And there are scripts that others have written that inspire us and work for us, with maybe a few tailored adjustments – there are options!

December 2

Jupiter in 11 Scorpio trine Neptune in 11 Pisces: 7:19 PM PDT

(Image: Kim Jongsook)

“By bringing attention to these [peak] experiences, transpersonal psychology has helped bring about a major paradigm shift away from the traditional scientific, materialistic, Cartesian worldview toward a more holistic, spiritual perspective. It has also affirmed spiritual seeking as an essential aspect of human motivation. Seeking for the Divine, whether called God, Brahman, Buddha-nature, Reality, Being, Love, or anything else, has been a major aspiration and force in all cultures and periods of history, yet it has been virtually ignored by traditional psychology. Transpersonal psychology brought this central motivating force into the center of psychology, rather than overlooking it or relegating it to the periphery…

More recently, however, there has been a shift in transpersonal psychology to how the spiritual is expressed in everyday life. It has become clear that transpersonal psychology must include the whole – not just the high end of human experience but the very personal realm of ordinary consciousness as well. Regular people with ordinary problems who are also on a spiritual path are seeking psychotherapy and growth from transpersonal oriented practitioners. They are looking for therapists who will honor their seeking for something sacred and who can respect their whole being – in its psychological and spiritual fullness – rather than belittling or minimizing their spiritual seeking, as much of traditional psychotherapy has historically done. Thus, there are emerging new approaches to seeing how, for example, meditation can interface with traditional therapy, how relationships can be used for spiritual unfolding, how a transpersonal perspective affects how we view childhood development, dreams, physical healing, and psychosomatic syndromes, as well as how it influences our understanding of the development and treatment of psychopathology.

With this larger viewpoint, we assume a different perspective even in the exploration of the ‘lower end’ of human functioning and psychopathology. For example, psychosis can be seen to be more than just pathological flooding of the ego by the id, it also becomes a psychic opening to vast cosmic forces and present a possibility for spiritual emergence and psychological healing.” – Brant Cortright in Psychotherapy and Spirit: Theory and Practice in Transpersonal Psychotherapy

  • Shadow work is a buzz theme for Jupiter in Scorpio – there are certain higher lessons and expanded knowledge of self that we can find here. We might also want to know more what the “shadow” is, again, beyond just what we consider bad. The nature of the shadow also involves unmet potentials which express in distorted ways. As it trines Neptune, we might access more forgiveness and spiritual clarity when we dig into places that are normally too difficult to meet.
  • Likewise, the harmony goes both ways. If we are on a spiritual path, we will come up against blockages with God/Source which Source will not yield. The answer to the blockage lies in our own consciousness and our own core magnetism, hence, the shadow work.
  • Psyche and Spirit are in a circular relationship, inextricably connected, ouroboric… a breakthrough in one will lead to new expanses in the other.

Mercury in 29 Sagittarius stations retrograde: 12:34 PM PDT

(Image: Konstantin Somov)

  • I love this poetry of Mercury stationing retrograde right in the last degree of Sagittarius, conjunct Saturn… it strikes me as romantic honestly, that at the very last degree Mercury is so adoring the collection of wisdom and direct experience that Sagittarius holds that it must go back and experience it again. By the time it moves direct, Saturn will have entered Capricorn. It is true we can read Mercury via the perfectionist archetype, that moving too quickly and perhaps clumsily through the extravagant wine-spilling & opinionated Sagittarius, it must pick up the pieces it neglected to notice its first round. But see how we are playing with stories? Sagittarius’s forte. 😉 I’ll address both.
  • In terms of what has been missing, or what needs reviewing, this can be especially relevant for where we have been obtusely judgmental, opinionated, and finger-pointing. Mercury does have a correlation with humility, and pride before the fall and all of that. We have the chance to gather some more information perhaps to have more well-rounded perceptions of that which we judge – and how we might be implicated in what we judge.
  • In terms of the romance of Mercury lingering in a sign, this could be more opportunity/time to focus on what we are really enthusiastic (Sagittarius) about, and following a trail of opportunity in the realm of where we happen to be enthusiastic. So often we have reasons to put our fascination on hold, but a life of cultivated and devoted fascination is a lovely kind of life! Mercury in Sagittarius can see a luck, benevolence, and higher intelligence in following the trail of what naturally interests us. In the case say of what we do for a living, we are going to be devoting a lot of time and energy to our chosen profession. We might have more enthusiasm and ease at making progress in our work if we enjoy the work. And so what happens when we follow our interests as a direct quest? It’s not necessarily how we are conditioned to live, but in the realm of Jupiter/Sagittarius, it is a path of great reward, alignment, and luck. Reroutes occur, but the energy of enthusiasm does not dissipate – it only finds a new outlet.
  • Mercury turns direct December 22 in 13 degrees of Sagittarius. As always with Mercury retrogrades, you may experience delays or reroutes. These are always choice moments to orient to the actual moment and the potential bifurcation/mutation within the path – what is *actually* available in the present moment. Don’t distress over a change in plans – stay sharp and aware of new, perhaps more relevant and exciting opportunities. A checkpoint into this realm of new opportunity may, of course, be the anxiety/stress that occurs when one feels lost and disoriented!

December 3

(Image: Intimacy by Thomas Blackshear)

Sun in 11 Sagittarius square Neptune in 11 Pisces: 4:43 AM PDT (see Full Moon)

(Image: Gavin O’Donnell)

Full Moon in 11 Gemini: 7:47 AM PDT

This Full Moon forms a T-square to Neptune in Pisces. Jupiter in Scorpio is semisextile the Sun in Sagittarius and inconjunct the Moon in Gemini. Gemini’s ruler Mercury hovers, slowed by its recent retrograde, at the last degree of Sagittarius, conjunct Saturn in new phase.

  • Emotionally it may come up for review if we have regrets. Life is constantly full of paths and choices, roads taken and roads not taken. There may be new emotional integration around recognizing these storylines, and sometimes seeing how things wouldn’t have been that great if we had gone down the path we currently idealize or think we wanted. Watch for signals/signs from your environment that inspire closure. Let this close those doors where you are projecting missed opportunities and see where you are actually on the best possible path, free to be amplified as you bring your energy back into the present moment and out of the hallways of processing regret.
  • There is what we can possibly know, what we think we can know – and then there is the trickster, the archetype that shakes that all up by presenting us with a perspective we had never thought of. Gemini brings this. And a Full Moon – squaring Neptune! Some stories and plotlines of our lives are practically dependent on there being an element of the unknown, an element of chaos. When we are presented with the mystery, our consciousness must expand to rise to the occasion. It keeps us clever.

Thank you for reading and meditating on the planets with me this week! It has been such a true pleasure to meet with some of you astrology readings – moreso on the schedule from the sale over the weekend. Appreciated. ?? Ya’ll are awesome. Have a magical week!

~Sabrina Monarch

Sabrina Monarch is a soul-centered Evolutionary Astrologer who publishes weekly astrological forecasts. She has been collecting astrological experience for over a decade. She also enjoys kundalini and ashtanga yoga, hiking and creative writing.


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