There are many formations and shifts that spell themselves out in the sky this week. In the spirit of Jupiter in Sagittarius while we wrap up Scorpio season, this post focuses on digging deeper into the big picture changes. Know that these energies are macro. If you are feeling affected at any point beyond these  movements, trust that the energy will form and fade and your experience will change over time if you let it.

Thursday, November 15th
2:21pm PST: Mars enters Pisces
For the first time since March 17th of 2018, Mars occupies a sign that is not ruled by Saturn’s rigidity. Mars represents our will and ego drives while Pisces enhances our empathy. Mars likes to move and, in Pisces, is able to maneuver quickly, adapt with sensitivity, engage in the nuances of conflict without neglecting the needs of all and any collaborators. Mal-expressed, Mars in Pisces manipulates without even knowing it. But as we wash the foundation of boundaries we’ve built in the last 9 months, we might begin to see where we’ve gone overboard in our unbending resolve. Let this period help you re-engage conflicts that require more tenderness. Whether you’re swimming or sinking, let it be with softness. Mars in Pisces can also motivate us to a more embodied spiritual truth. Use this time to practice living your creed in every action. Act yourself into right feeling.

Friday, November 16th
2:51am PST: Venus stations direct at 25°Libra15’
Finally coming out of her forty days and forty nights of regenerative fall outs, Venus turns again to go forward in one of her favorite signs. While the bulk of her retrograde was focused on revealing the roots of issues that needed to be exposed, this pivotal motion in Libra leaves us feeling leveled and leads us onward with less baggage. Like an underweight suitcase at the beginning of a trip, we’re ready to receive the delights and pleasures that come with the opening and awakenings of travel. To paint new memories over minds now made for meeting each other halfway.

Take a moment to think back to what was happening when Venus entered her pre-shadow in the first three days of September. What story started then that you’re relating to differently now? Venus went deep and might have had to do some destroying, sharing and surrendering stories that weren’t working as is. But she also did some consciousness raising in the part of your chart that contains Libra.

Reflect on everything you had to learn about your part since Venus stationed retrograde on October 5th. Notice how others showed up with you (or didn’t) in the process. Use this information as insight when you consider whose hand you want to hold, guide, or be led by on trails that will definitely require more trust in the future. Now that Venus is on her reparative path, focus on what you want moving forward. Remember what you were able to let go of for the sake of connection and kindness. You might have to practice releasing again. But now you’re prepared to let something go because you know it will lead to growth.

5:33pm PST: Mercury stations retrograde at 13°Sagittarius30’
If we take astrology at face value, we can see that the thread that connects us isn’t woven haphazardly. Isn’t an accident. Is trying to show us each something relevant to our individual growth.

This retrograde season has been like a sprint relay. Back in June, Mars began the first leg of the race in Aquarius, receiving reflective help from Mercury in the opposite sign of Leo at the end of July and early August. So we learned something first about the force of our willpower as it relates to our future and the ability to detach from ego.

Finishing out the summer with a bang, Mars completed his retrograde journey just a few days before Venus entered her retrograde pre-shadow. As the baton was passed, we took our new relationship to will for a test drive, powering on the gas in partnerships. Venus taught us about our attachments to others’ actions and how to share in consciousness without controlling outcomes.

As the carrier of messages and conveyor of energy, Mercury wants to take what we’ve learned about will, spirit, cooperation and compromise and apply it practically under the direction of higher principles. Just shy of a square to Neptune, Mercury is making a signature move. Mercury, master of details, clarity and cutting coherence, turns around before having to have a hard conversation for which he might not be ready.

Neptune governs our ability to question reality, a critical skill that must be learned in the face of penetrating cultural conditioning. Yes, Neptune can lead us to fantasies and delusion but it can also help us harness compassion and acknowledge our interconnectedness. Neptune does not deny pain - it purifies with spiritual principles. Neptune does not forget - it absorbs and incorporates. Neptune does not fight - it forgives. Neptune does not blind itself to suffering; it sacrifices small comforts for the sake of universal sanctuary. In a world where we are continuously desensitized to others’ hurts and overly attached to our personal stories and woes, Neptune helps us transcend our trauma and arrive in awareness with warmth to melt our fortress of fault-finding. Neptune offers us a chance to swim with fish of every origin, color, shape and size, seeing that we are part of a vast ecosystem that needs cross-sectional nourishment.

Mercury, as I mentioned, is concerned with details. In the sign of Sagittarius, Mercury is in its detriment - a fact that might help us with a lot less “figuring it out” and a giant bowl of better beliefs. Sagittarius cares not for tiny facets when it can be an agent of faith. Sagittarius refuses to pour over particulars. Would rather drink its fill of wisdom. One expression of Mercury in Sagittarius can be a self-righteous prophet, spewing blatant lies, unaware, uncaring and committing micro and macro-aggressions. But as Mercury’s entire retrograde journey prepares for a perfect square to Neptune in Pisces, we are gifted opportunities to acknowledge where we can be more awake and accepting. We can learn to decline our denial rather than dance with it. This does not mean focusing on everything we think is wrong in what someone else is doing, saying or thinking. This means questioning cultural and societal conditioning and the personal part we play in it. It means being aware of the comments, stories and criticism that we find most triggering. It means pausing to reflect instead of reacting when our walls go up. It means turning inward to question our defense mechanisms rather than demanding we be educated by someone who has their own soul to tend to.

Mercury retrograde turns our thought processes internal. Sagittarius cares about culture, is an advocate of the arts and an activist of enlightenment. For the next three weeks, when you feel lost, attempt to find yourself in someone else’s narrative. Read something from a perspective that differs from your own. Acknowledge a voice that is less likely to be heard. Soak yourself in a story you think you can’t relate to. Allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised when you can. Notice where you try to find all the differences that set you apart.

Astrology won’t save us or destroy us. It is not the key to the universe but it is one map that directs us to our choices. This retrograde is especially focused on the perspective we choose to take. What kind of witness do you want to be? Neptune is an expansive ocean of water. Mal-expressed it will freeze us into isolation, which begins when we bolster the belief that we have nothing in common, that we are alone, that we are terminally unique. We are not all so different. Let Mercury retrograde help you melt the ice. Blur a boundary you thought you needed that was actually keeping you locked away from love.

Scorpio SeasonErin Shipley