It’s Elementally Intense! Six Planetary Retrogrades and the Lion’s Light

The celestial ballet that has been calling us to take notice has been intense and beautiful in the  patterns and partnerships that have been cosmically choreographed. Each planetary dancer moving in rhythm and grace as the light is eclipsed for a time in the dreamy shadows of Moon, Sun and Earth and give way to the burgeoning of a spotlight of intensity reflecting like the multi-faceted and colored gels of lighting that sets the tone and mood for what is occurring beneath on the stage of Earth.

We have already experienced two (2) total eclipses of the Moon (Jan. 31st and July 27th) and two (2) Partial eclipses of the Sun (Feb. 15th and July 13th) with the third of the year just a few days away on August 11th. This last Total Eclipse of the Moon also boasted a trio of Earth-Moon and Pluto in opposition to the Sun. And, now the stage has been set and we await the Quintet of planetary energies that will move in slow and very exacting manner; each a character that will demand its place of connection to you, hoping to transform and deepen and all upstaged by Mercury’s 2nd Retrograde appearance.  Curtain up, lights on and we begin…

Six Planets in Retrograde…

Saturn Retrograde (April 17th) in Capricorn (Cardinal Earth)

Pluto Retrograde (April 22nd) in Capricorn (Cardinal Earth)

Neptune (June 18th) Retrograde in Pisces (Mutable Water)

Mars Retrograde (June  26th) in Aquarius (Fixed Air)

Newcomers to the party….

Mercury Retrograde (July 5-August 18/19) in Leo (Fixed Fire)

…….And, then a shot of lightning and lighting up the  Pentacle was Uranus Stationing Retrograde in Taurus (Fixed Earth) on August 7th!

 

The New Moon and Solar Eclipse – A Cameo Appearance of the Luminaries
Saturday, August 11.2018
New Moon in Leo 5:58a.m. (EDT)
Solar Eclipse

Saturday boasts some cameo appearances with Mother Moon waxing New and her soulmate Father Sun is eclipsed; both taking center stage in charismatic form as the Lion and Lioness command attention and devotion. By way of reminder, a solar eclipse involves the alignment of Sun-Moon and Earth, respectively in that order:

Metaphysically, this is an opportunity to draw from the strength and inner flames of your will (Sun) and move them through the waters of your intuitive and healing nature (Moon) to infuse and inform the Earth of your manifest form. This could also be used as a healing alignment where the will towards catalytic (Sun) and empowering healing (Moon) come together to fill your body with Light and Calm that renew and regenerate. The action of the Sun being eclipsed by the Moon’s shadow means that this potent solar energy is tempered and shaded a bit. I like to think of it as being more manageable in its impact; still very potent but without the full blaze of burn. And, the libretto outlines boldly what can “be”-communicating with an additional dose of Mercurian introspection in its last few days of retrograde.

The Cast of Retrogrades

The following is my perspective on the elemental energies of the planets and astrological signs, so you may find some differing opinions in regard to the traditional attributions. Coming from a mindset that all of the elements are contained in each of the primary elements and that these act as permutations of the pure essence of what that primary element’s nature is allows for a broader scope of understanding how one size does not fit all, particularly in esoteric matters. Keeping this “disclaimer” in mind let’s take a look at how these retrogrades may be accessed:

Note: In using subsets of the Elements, the first can be thought of as the garb worn by the primary (or second listed) element that gives a slightly different presentation of its base energy. For example Water of Fire means that the Pure Essence of Fire and all that is associated with that element (i.e. will, desire, action, transformation, assertion, aggression, etc…) is harmonized by the properties of Water (i.e. healing, intuition, emotion, flow, etc..). The example I often use is volcanic Lava. It is Fire that flows and moves as water, transforming the surfaces it touches in a way that only Fire can, but also moving in accord with the ebb and flow of a river.

Retrograde planets provide intensity to whatever their core energy is. This “hovering” or slowing down of the planet’s orbit creates a bit of a vacuum of outpouring that is turned within, which accounts for the dis-ease that many have when a planet retrogrades. In reality, it means an opportunity to look deeper at those parts of yourself that are now being called into accountability and make whatever changes, refinements or enhancements that are needed to move into your next stage of personal/spiritual and human development.

Earth of Earth   –    Pluto in Capricorn
Pluto is the planet of death and rebirth (of a sort). The furthest away from Earth, it’s astronomical mysteries are only beginning to be explored. Astrologically, Pluto is one of the three outer planets that reflects the higher vibration of one of three of the Elder planets. In the case of Pluto, its coarser reflection is mirrored through Mars. This means that the aggressive nature of Mars is refined and aligned with transformative action that resides in a timeless state of being. Pluto allows for the reaching back of past experience as the newly crafted future of the necessary death of what holds you trapped in the present occurs simultaneously in eternity’s loop.

For this purpose I am ascribing the regenerative nature of Earth and its foundational qualities to be the introspective call of Pluto. Additionally, Pluto is garbed in the cloak of Capricorn, and astrological sign of Cardinal Earth. Cardinal modalities are those of quickening and new beginnings and Capricorn has lots of those starts and stops as an astrological sign of slow and steady progress as the Sea-Goat attempts to navigate the heights and depths of experience. That sounds a bit like what I described of Pluto’s ability to reside both in the depths of the Past and the heights of the future, all the while maintaining a point of the present.

Assigning the qualities of Earth (Capricorn) of Earth (Pluto) to this retrograde offers ample opportunity for creating new foundations, more strongly built on the collaborative efforts of who you have been and who you wish to be as you stand more fully in your power to change in the present.

Water of Fire   –    Mars in Pisces
Mars holds the planetary energies of action and the choice of expression either as assertion or aggression. It is bold and fiery in its nature and easily changeable in where it points its focus of attention. Like the general in battle, if Mars is used justifiably, great victories can be obtained and more will benefit rather than be further oppressed. Mars retrograde requires that the energy that is cumulatively building is verified as justified and not just the letting off of hot-headed steam.

Astrologically, this cooling off is enabled by astrological Pisces; the most compassionate and tolerant of the Water signs. Its is of the Mutable (flexible) modality which aligns with the ebb and flow, contraction and expansion that is the norm of bountiful seas of emotive grace, healing and intuition. Now this watery fire can be destructive in appearance but what is rendered and finally made moveable, can also heal what has lain dormant and stagnant. In the case of this retrograde action, I would allow time for reflection on what you are holding as anger that is pent up and non-productive and learning how to channel those areas into productive and result-filled action. Allow the Fire of mars to bring to attention what you are most passionate about and then let those passions flow with grace towards the correct outlets of assertive justice, rather than aggressive destruction.

Water of Water   –    Neptune in Pisces
Neptune is ruled by astrological Pisces, so this retrograde is one that although filled with love and healing can also be the storm at sea that arises unexpectedly and drowns even the most experienced of heart’s sailors. Additionally, the planet of Fiery Action (Mars) and the King of the Sea’s mysteries (Neptune) are both being called to compassion.

Astrologically, Pisces is a sign of Water that is of the Mutable Modality. The danger with Pisces is that of being submerged too deeply in the problems and worries of others; over extending themselves and the very gifting of love and respect overly supplied becomes the heavy weight that drowns and depletes. Neptune will pull you even more deeply into the hidden worlds of your emotional and intuitive seascape and the caution is not to allow the melancholy for the plight of humanity to overwhelm and live you lifeless and ineffectual. Use the bolstering of Mar’s natural directive to act and entwined in the loving embrace of Pisces and Neptune’s ability to ride out any storm and you will find the correct balance of compassion and justice.

In this configuration Water (Neptune) of Water (Pisces) is expressed in its purest form. Compassion flows into the depths of gnosis and the healing that occurs at the level of the Soul becomes the intelligence of a heart that pierces the veils of our emotion’s surface waters much like Neptune’s trident.

Earth of Spirit   –    Saturn in Capricorn
Saturn is the planet of great structure, rigidity and the Gate Keeper of Time. Not the time we observe in linear fashion, but the timeliness of organization that creates the space for something new to be birthed. Saturn is often considered the Great Mother, albeit one who is harsh in expectation and not very tolerant of any side-stepping the larger plan. With that being said a Saturn retrograde brings the intensity of reflection that demands a deep and unwavering look at all those structures you have built and the possibility that they are simply faulty towers that will not survive the timelessness of evolutionary growth.

On this occasion, Saturn is cloaked in Capricorn’s sure-footedness that should make things go much more smoothly. But the reality is that with every step taken, Saturn’s role is to test and test again (much like that harsh Mother) to ensure that what is accomplished in the descent or ascent is worth the trouble-time and effort.

In the current configuration, Saturn shares Capricorn’s mantle with time’s master, Pluto. So, most assuredly the structure that is demanded is going to be firmly based from the catalytic (Capricorn’s Cardinal Modality) foundation of being able to reach deep into the past as well as launching forward into the future’s gain.

You may be wondering why I have given Saturn the assignation of Spirt. My rationale is that of Saturn’s position as last of the Seven Elder Planets and gateway to the outer three. Saturn propels whatever approaches with intention through its gates and into the next vibrations of communication (Uranus)-heart (Neptune) and will (Pluto).
Spirit is what we aspire towards and in many cases we move into the vibration of Spirit when we are just close enough to approach the Dweller on the Threshold. Earth (Capricorn) of Spirit (Saturn) becomes the realization of ‘as above’, so below’- our Human and manifest aspirations to cross the threshold and become one with Spirit.

Fire of Air   –    Mercury in Leo
Mercury is the dynamic planet of communication. Air that moves with the swiftness, grace and form of a dancer soaring through space seeming suspended in motion. Mercury rules all that is created through the connections and networks formed by vibration. We communicate the deepest of our fears and shout out to all our successes. We paint and compose, dance and move through life, a virtual textbook of expression make manifest through the intangible beginnings that air provides. Of note is the fact that of all of the elements, Air is the only that cannot be seen other than by the results of its touch.

Now, we have retrograde Mercury wearing the brilliant flames of astrological Fixed Fire-Leo. Strong, burning and unyielding, the onlooker must turn away or be pulled closer by an electromagnetic vibration that commands respect. This application offers the potential for communication that incites- the choice being whether the intended outcome is one of inciting to riot or inciting to truth. OF course, everyone has their own definition of what “truth” is. So the caution being that as Mercury calls us to stop, pause, think and then re-think learning how to balance just enough of Leo’s fires to stoke what lay beneath our motives and intentions in communicating, we must be aware of the slow burn that is just as productive as the blazing bonfire.

Fire (Leo) of Air (Mercury) feeds communications’ passion and ultimate action. The will to be heard. The will to speak up. The will to create an environment that is heated by the fire that honest communication stimulates is a force to be reckoned with, as communities come together and are heard.

Earth of Air  –   Uranus in Taurus
Uranus, the planet extraordinaire, that is the epitome of electrical charge-disruptive-transforming and the bringer of a Light that is innovative and visionary. Uranus is the pure energy of neurological function and as such, when it stationed retrograde our neurological impulses are all fired up and stimulated. This is also the catalytic push to evolve, grow and awaken to the greater potential of humanity’s purpose and role cosmically. When all systems are firing, nothing can prevent the ultimate connection to what lay beyond the ordinary scope of our vision and imagination. Worlds open to us and we see the reality if our place as citizen’s of the Cosmos.

This is a different sort of Air than that of Mercury, and is indeed the higher vibration of Mercury’s communicative style. Think dial-up landline and instantaneous text messaging. Even this analogy is lame in comparison to Uranian energy, hence the often bad rap as being disruptive and rebellious. In retrograde the intensity is in attempting to upgrade our wiring as humanity. And, helping to tame and tether this potent dose of electrical impulse is its astrological sign of Fixed Earth-Taurus. Only problem is that Taurus also can be obstinate in regards to the amount of change it will tolerate. If taken slowly and deliberately and holding on to those two intentions, the earthiness of Taurus can create an appropriate container to buffer and channel this electricity towards what needs “lighting up”, what needs “pushing out” and what needs to short circuit juts enough to re-amp.

Wow! What A performance!

To say “there is a lot going on astrologically and cosmically”, doesn’t even begin to define the layers of energetic outpouring we are experiencing. And, all of this information I just gave you is probably overwhelming in determining where to set your sites and turn your attention to maximize (without burning out) the potential of these events.

The reminder is that a planetary retrograde generally lasts for a bit of time (with the exception of Mercury); so you have multiple opportunities to see the patterns playing out and revisit and revise what you wish to take-away from each new viewing.
The key is remaining adaptable in what your expectations are and not attempting to access all of this energy in one act(ion). Intermissions are very useful spaces of times and cultivate the anticipation for seeing more of what has already been offered as enticement. And, remember that no matter how much you enjoyed the show, an encore is not guaranteed. just be in the moment!

Blessings of this New Moon and all that follows….

Read more about:

Subsets of the Elements: Book
The Elemental Year
First Edition 2013
Available at: RFennelly Books or on Amazon

Eclipses:

Full Moon-Lunar Eclipse and Retrograde Mars Opposition!

The Solar Eclipse of Great Shadow

Planetary Retrogrades:

Uranus Retrograde: Deflecting Light

Meet Me at the Station-Mercury Retrograde

You’ve Been Served-Pluto Retrograde

Lifting the Veil-Neptune Retrograde

Stand Down-Mars Retrograde

Time to Clean House-Saturn Retrograde

Astrological Signs:

The Hall of Pisces-Pathworking

Sun in Pisces-Compassion Flows

The Sun in Leo-Hear Me Roar

A Fiercely Beating Heart-The Sun in Taurus

As Above, So Below-Sun in Capricorn

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