You know the infomercial cliché: An actor struggles with, say, a tube of toothpaste until she accidentally squirts sticky paste all over the bathroom sink, exclaiming: “There’s got to be a better way!” *Sigh*. A Mercury retrograde—like the one that began last week and continues until the 22nd—is the “before” scene of an infomercial. We attempt to do something our usual way, but trickster Mercury shows us our usual way isn’t working. Although Mercury’s retrograde lessons often result in frustration or plan changes, the snags ultimately push us to improve. While it’s silly to assume that people should take no action whatsoever during a Mercury retrograde, astrology tells us that some windows of time are better than others for beginning things. And this is not a good time to begin. Instead: repair, recharge, and reflect. Delays can be beneficial! Even though waiting might spark impatience (especially in fiery Sagittarius season) and honest reflection feels mighty vulnerable, for now it’s difficult to achieve any major progress or forward momentum. So lower your expectations about how much you or others can accomplish this week; just try to maintain.
MERCURY AND SATURN
Saturn, in the final stretch of its years-long stay in Sagittarius, continues to rumble and growl, exerting a pressure we’ll feel throughout December. When any planet hits the last “degrees” of a sign, it stirs up tension and commotion. Think of it as planetary inflammation. Until the 19th, Saturn is inflamed. On the 6th, Saturn will make contact with Mercury. These two touched on November 27 and will meet once more on January 13. So any topic discussed on the 27th may re-emerge on the 6th (and again on January 13th). Mercury and Saturn are teaming up to coach us in the art of review and revision, responsibility and belief. If backward-moving Mercury is the Ghost of Christmas Past (making us recall scenes or people), Saturn can seem like Scrooge: harsh and frugal. But hang in there, Tiny Tim! Luckily a few beneficial aspects in this week’s sky should soften Saturn’s sharp demands and help us smooth out Mercury’s glitches.
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is Mars is moving out of Libra and sliding into Scorpio on the 9th. In Libra, Mars was passive aggressive and, well, ineffective. Although the days leading up to the 9th might seem extra ornery (again: planetary inflammation), once Mars enters Scorpio our determination, directness, and confidence will strengthen. And while Mercury may still be retrograde, by the 7th the planet is no longer “out of bounds.” Heated words and angry reactions will hopefully cool a bit. Though Mercury is still in blunt, opinion-doling Sagittarius, it should be easier to hear and to be heard. Also: Minor planet Chiron turned direct on the 5th. Chiron’s recent movement carries into this week, offering new healing for old wounds—especially on the 9th and 10th. Finally, outer planets Jupiter and Neptune recently formed a positive “trine” aspect that’s tender, hope-giving, and creative. Because Jupiter and Neptune are slow-moving, this ongoing aspect will hold its shape to support us for months to come. A Jupiter-Neptune trine in the background increases our faith and desire to connect emotionally, even if scattered squabbles have defined the last few weeks.
YOU CAN PLANET
Wednesday the 6th is the day that Mercury meets Saturn. Serious words and structural changes abound. Anger is in the air too. However, Mars and Saturn form an angle that’s potentially empowering if you use it wisely. Thursday the 7th is a good day for considering your future path and contemplating which people make up your inner circle and community. While you may experience brief tension at home, you can also work well with others—especially on a creative or artistic project. Friday the 8th poses questions about personal value and worth. (Warning: It’s not a great day to discuss wages or request a raise.) But do be on the lookout for new contacts who can assist you with goals. Saturday the 9th has a challenging quarter Moon in Virgo, but also presents an opportunity for healing and revising the stories you tell yourself. Virgo Moons are great for cleaning house and organizing! Sunday the 10th is packed with action, so pace yourself. In the early morning hours an idea might lightning-bolt at you, so be ready to jot down your inspiration. Brace for shocking news and tension around money and love. Double check financial figures! A Libra Moon on Monday the 11th supports cooperation and sweet social functions. Watch what you say or write on Tuesday the 12th, as the Sun will “illuminate” your communication like a spotlight. By evening you may have to take new, unprecedented action to benefit a relationship.