Sun enters Virgo, Mercury Retrograde, Predictions

Virgo 2017

That Ol' Mercury Retrograde

Well, Mercury is retrograde once again (August 13th - September 4th).  And now that the solar eclipse is behind us, you're likely to notice him a bit more.

I've always felt that Mercury retrograde gets a bad rap. Yes, people can be annoying, and delays and mechanical breakdowns can be aggravating. But when is that not the case?

The other side of Mercury retrograde is that you can finally catch up on things that have gotten behind, you can finally fix things that have been too long dangling by a thread, and you can finally organize the clutter in one area of your life or another.

In fact, the "bad" things generally associated with Mercury retrograde are actually the Universe pointing out one of more of these opportunities to you. By taking action pro-actively, you can often avoid the "bad" consequences altogether, and instead take advantage of the opportunity to bring some area in your life back up to snuff.

It's interesting that while Mercury retrograde is actually one of the most well-known astrological phenomena to the general public, there are some astrologers who actually question the validity of the entire concept. Although I can see how sometimes people overreact to the idea ("Mercury is retrograde! I'm going to hide in the basement until it's over!"), I do think the basic concept is valid.

After all, retrogradation is an astronomical fact and an accepted astrological principle. So Mercury (or any other planet) moving in retrograde motion should manifest in some way in the physical world. But neither Mercury's retrograde, nor that of any other planet, indicates a period when the sky is falling. It's merely a time to pause and get your bearings in the areas represented by the planet.

--- Ed

Ed Perrone

This Month's Planets: August - September, 2017

by Ed Perrone

The Sun enters the tropical sign of Virgo on August 22nd at 10:21pm GMT. With Mercury, Virgo's ruling planet, already in Virgo and retrograde at this time, look for people to be paying a lot of attention to details -- perhaps in a rather negative sense of focusing obsessively on the tiniest of matters and overlooking the forest for the trees. With aggressive Mars remaining in fiery Leo through the first week of September, these energies could lead to conflict -- probably just minor misunderstandings, but occasionally a bit more than that. Perhaps the best approach through early September is simply to take some deep breaths and remember that fuses (including your own!) may be a bit short right now. Don't let trivial or irrelevant things get to you.

On September 4th, Mercury turns direct, and a few days later Mars leaves Leo and enters Virgo. Mercury's retrograde has also taken it back into the last few degrees of Leo, and it will re-enter Virgo on September 10th. These transits still retain the focus on fine-points and details, but in a much more positive and constructive way than was the case while Mercury was retrograde. Now the emphasis is on moving forward by fine-tuning a project, by dotting the i's and crossing the t's -- rather than on quarreling over unimportant details. This emphasis extends well into October, with two Virgoan concepts to keep in mind: details are important, and activity should serve some useful and beneficial purpose. Let these ideas guide you over the next several weeks.

A somewhat different factor involved in this month's transits is Venus's passage through Leo, which adds a definite creative flair to events. With all the emphasis on details and practicality, Venus in Leo adds a nice counterbalance of individuality and a little flamboyance. Keep this in perspective in your own activities, however. The main emphasis is on things that are practical and useful. But that certainly doesn't mean they can't have a little uniqueness or fun involved!



Astrology and astrologers have a reputation for making predictions. And perhaps more than most fields of study, astrology has a fairly clear and detailed basis of empirical data upon which to base those predictions. We can trace the astrological cycles back hundreds and thousands of years, and we can correlate them with actual events on Earth. And we can then use those correlations as the basis for future predictions. What could be easier?

Unfortunately, using astrology to make concrete predictions of events is not nearly that straightforward. Many astrologers will remind you that people have free will, which makes predicting their behavior in a fatalistic manner unreliable.This is indeed true to some extent, but it begs the question: Can astrology predict, or can't it?

Some astrological traditions, such as Jyotish, focus strongly on making concrete predictions of events. Others, such as modern humanistic astrology, shy away from outright prediction and instead use astrology as a symbolic language which imbues events with meaning, but "predicts" only in the most general of terms. Still other practices, such as horary and electional astrology, make a type of concrete prediction, but limit that prediction to a very focused question or activity. Mundane astrology and financial astrology often make specific predictions, but these predictions apply to large groups of people rather than to individuals.

Using astrology to make specific predictions can be a rather slippery slope. It is far too easy for an astrologer to look at a chart and jump to a conclusion on the basis of opinion rather than fact, or without any basis whatsoever. Whether you are predicting something in the stock market, on the world stage, or in the personal life of an individual client, any prediction an astrologer makes should have some sort of concrete evidence or data behind it -- evidence from past cycles of the same type, based on events which happened at those times. This approach at least prevents speculation, wishful thinking, and the projection of the astrologer's own ideas and biases onto the interpretation. It helps keep the astrology fact-based, and thus more likely to be correct.

I think we also need to remember that predictions may not always be appropriate. For certain clients in certain situations, a prediction from an astrologer could easily become a fait accompli. When a client is in a very vulnerable or suggestible state, it may not be wise to point them in a specific direction, especially if they need to make an important decision on their own. In these cases, the astrologer can outline the various possibilities that might come to pass without specifically "predicting" any of them, and can describe the client's options according to the energies involved. In this way, the client can be forewarned of what is likely to happen under various scenarios, but is still empowered to ultimately make his or her own choices.

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