Illustration by Taylor Dow

Illustration by Taylor Dow

Feelings and Facts

Mercury gets messy, but other planets deliver good luck.

Last week’s full Moon brought partnership potential to light; this week’s astrology urges us to zoom in on the finer details of relating. Thanks to a couple positive planetary alignments, we’ll see concrete ways we can improve one-on-one dynamics in our relationships. In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the Temperance card features a winged creature dipping one foot into a pond and planting the other foot firmly on the grass: The pond water symbolizes emotions, while the land represents reality. This week requires us to balance feelings with facts too. The heightened emotional intensity of Scorpio season can make our feelings seem overwhelming. Be gentle with yourself. The character in the Temperance card holds two goblets and pours liquid from one cup into the other. This motion expresses the act of blending two very different ways. Your needs, my needs. It’s a week for making relationship adjustments: Oil squeaky hinges or tear off the doors if you have to. Communication may be choppy now, so it’s up to us to be deliberate with our words.


Mercury scooted into the sign of Sagittarius on the 5th, and it’s settling in for a long, strange stay. That’s because Mercury goes retrograde on December 2. Stalled and sputtering backward, the planet of communication and travel won’t “go direct” until December 22. And Mercury won’t clear its post-retrograde shadow until January 10 (the same day it finally enters Capricorn). Eek! Mercury’s lengthy retrograde journey really begins this Tuesday the 14th, once it hits its pre-retrograde “shadow” point. Pay attention to any key conversations or planning that occurs on Tuesday, because you’ll revisit (and revise) details about whatever you discuss when Mercury travels over that same spot again on January 10.

On Tuesday you’ll also glimpse clues about what kind of Mercury retrograde story you’re about to experience. Mercury, a planet that prefers precise details and clear thinking, is not pleased to be in loosey-goosey Sagittarius. While Mercury lounges around in Sag, people are more prone to miss important details, speak bluntly, blurt out regrettable words, exaggerate, and overestimate what’s achievable. Add a retrograde to the mix, and we get an extra weird, winding Mercury road. This is just the beginning, so practice patience and pack snacks!


Mercury wonkiness aside, this week’s sky does deliver gifts: Two positive, rare planetary aspects are on their way. On Saturday, Saturn and Uranus (planets with very different agendas) work together to create a gorgeous angle called a trine. Since both planets are in fire signs, they’ll emphasize the need to take action. Uranus and Saturn, working as a team, allow us to revolutionize existing structures to create long-term change. Their beneficial influence extends a few days after the 11th, so be on the lookout for sudden opportunities. This trine can bring more personal freedom and increased equality between partners, but it’s going to require honesty and a commitment to do things differently. Then on Monday, lovely Venus touches Jupiter in a rare “conjunction.” This contact happens just once a year, and is considered fortunate for love and money. Since both Venus and Jupiter are in Scorpio, it could feel emotionally potent, as if your heart’s cup is overflowing. Though you may have to put in a little effort to make the most of these aspects, they’re both trying to get you moving down the best possible route. So get going!


From Wednesday the 8th until Friday there’s a great window for taking decisive action. Don’t be shy to try new ways of doing things, even if you hit a learning curve or a surprising curveball. The Moon enters Leo in the early morning of Thursday the 9th, so step into the spotlight and shine today and tomorrow! Express your talents and creative gifts. Don’t play small. Today marks the beginning of a health or career endeavor too. Take the first steps down the path. Also, Pluto and the Sun form a positive angle that let you easily attract what you want and influence others. Psychological breakthroughs are possible too. Work through doubts and frustrations on Friday the 10th. The day is packed with to-dos and not enough time or resources to finish everything. It’s time to be brave and prune away what no longer serves your best interest. Saturday the 11th looks wonderful! Not only does the Saturn-Uranus trine occur today, but other aspects are also excellent. However, you have to make choices about where you spend your time and energy. Use your intuition to guide you toward the treasure and away from dead ends. Trust your gut, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Sunday the 12th is a good day for tending to home and family matters. But try not to absorb everyone else’s emotions. And watch out for an irritating conversation around 10:30 p.m. Monday the 13th brings that lucky Venus-Jupiter conjunction! Have faith in your abilities and take pride in your accomplishments. Do beware of travel hiccups or unclear communication around 3 p.m. On Tuesday the 14th Mercury enters its pre-retrograde shadow phase. From now until Jan. 10, communication, travel, and even objects with moving parts will be tricky.

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