~ September 2018 ~


© Cecile Lehall

©Cecile Lehall


Everybody’s probably familiar at this point with the term ‘Mercury retrograde.’ This cosmic event happens three or four times a year and is pretty much a part of our modern vernacular now. People tend to panic about it but really, all it takes is a little awareness and preparation as illustrated perfectly here by Dam Funk:


In order to understand retrogrades, we should quickly look at the basics of astrology, which can be broken down into signs, planets and houses:

-Each planet represents different themes

-Each planet rules a sign, or two

-There are 12 signs and 12 houses, determined by time, date and location

-The zodiac is represented on a wheel, hence the dialogue is always in cycles

When a planet is moving along normally, we say it’s in direct motion. However the planets regularly exhibit retrograde motion, when they appear to be going backward in the sky and cause planetary turbulence. This is when things become a little trickier for us.

If each planet represents a group of themes, then when a planet is in direct motion we can expect our interaction with its themes to be somewhat straightforward (as Dam Funk indirectly pointed out, Mercury rules technology, also travel and communication). Retrogrades short circuit this system. Retrogrades slow things down, they’re all about the RE- revise, reflect, rewind, redo, revisit, and so on. Things and people from the past come back. Situations resurface for our attention, or new plans stall. With this knowledge and an awareness of planetary movements, we can adjust our lives accordingly to be more streamlined.

Having said all that, the last few months have seen a rarely concentrated retrograde season- we often experience two or three at once, but we’re just beginning to emerge from a period of seven concurrent retrogrades, some of which only occur every 1.5-2 years (the sign in which the retrograde occurs will dictate its distinct flavour)


PLUTO in CAPRICORN (April 22-September 30) *RENEWAL*

SATURN in CAPRICORN (April 17-September 6) *DISCIPLINE*

NEPTUNE in PISCES (June 18-November 24) *SPIRITUALITY* 

MARS in AQUARIUS and CAPRICORN (June 26-August 27) *ACTION*

CHIRON (a comet rather than a planet) in ARIES and PISCES (July 4-Dec 9) *HEALING*

MERCURY in LEO (July 26-August 18) *MESSAGES*

URANUS in TAURUS (August 7-January 6 '19) *INNOVATION*

That’s a lot of stuff going weird at the same time, and combined with three eclipses in six weeks (another topic for another time), safe to say our lives are now markedly different than they were a mere few months ago. It’s important to note that we are all affected by the retrogrades differently depending on where they are hitting our personal charts, with some copping it harder than others- this is where it becomes vital to get familiar with our own astrology. An awareness of what's going on and a willingness to work with rather than against the energies will also determine the effect on an individual.

The good news is it’s VIRGO SEASON, the planets are going DIRECT, and everything is smooooooooothing out for now. The maiden Virgo is the healer, she’s practical, organised and grounded. She’ll come over when you’re feeling rattled, hang all your clothes up, clear all the drinking vessels from your room and put fresh flowers on the nightstand (actually happened to me once, thanks Mama Hymena). Virgo makes order of chaos, so it’s the perfect salve for us to integrate all the wildness of retrograde and eclipse season, to actually make a START on the new habits we’ve been mulling over, to clear all the muck and make room for what wants to come in. You can’t have pretty new clothes if your wardrobe is fit to burst with looks you don't even wear.

In about two weeks, we’ll have Libra season rolling in. Libra is a cardinal sign which also makes it a sign of manifestation. The cardinal signs officially ring in the seasons- for us in the southern hemisphere Libra means Spring- and it’s also when we get to reap what we have sown. Think about it, you don’t want to have a bunch of people over (Libra) when your house looks like shit- Virgo certainly wouldn't. Because I want this to be as practical as possible, I’m including a modern Feng Shui map by Megan Wallace James and a link to an episode of one of my favourite podcasts featuring her breaking it down- I used the map on my bedroom and the effects have been astounding. It is the perfect time for us to be directing our focus in this way!

xx mystic tiffin xx


feng shui map.jpeg