Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

The New Moon, Eclipse and Mercury Retrograde, Oh My!

While I am offline for the next few days enjoying the holiday, I offer this post from astrologer Eric Francis.  We are having a triple whammy of a New Moon, Mercury Retrograde, and an eclipse. 

By the way, this coming Sunday will be the 1st Sunday of our annual Solstice Sun Wheel ritual and prayer/spell. I will post all the details when I have online access again on Sunday, but if you want to prepare, all you need is a wreath and 4 (or 5) candles.

Meantime, remember to tap into The Lovers this weekend, and safe travels! ~ Beth

Your Astrological Guide to Thanksgiving

Note from Eric: "Artist's rendition of what we think Thanksgiving is supposed to be like. This never really happened, and these people never actually existed."

Dear Friend and Reader:

Before we get into the month-ahead themes, the astrology of the next few days is so interesting that it calls for some special focus. For many people, Thanksgiving (in the United States, held the last Thursday in November) is a family holiday, and family environments are often emotionally challenging.

This may literally involve brain function: encounters with people in our family of origin tend to light up old neurological pathways, and grown adults can have reactions similar to small children when they encounter their relatives. This can be confusing, because you might feel like one person before you walk into the door and another person standing in the front foyer.

In fact, for some this is so intolerable that they either avoid their family, or have grown so far from their beginnings that no meeting is possible. This thing we call ‘drifting apart’ is often a truly healthy thing.
Our moment of astrology could shake up many longterm patterns, fixed concepts and beliefs, and we’re standing in one epicenter of that process right now.

Mercury stations retrograde at 2:19 am EST Thursday morning, so it will be halfway between standing still and taking its first slow steps backward for a retrograde that goes through Dec. 13.

When Mercury stations, it’s like a mental reversal of magnetic poles. All your brain cells thought that one direction was the positive pole and the other one was the negative pole, and that can reverse. The result can be an extended moment of disorientation. If you know it’s happening, that puts you at a psychological advantage over someone who has no idea at all.

I keep hearing that the topics most people avoid discussing with their family involve religion, politics, sex and money: your basic taboo subject matter. Those rules just might be thrown to the four winds. So if you’re dreading seeing family members, this holiday might be a lot more fun than usual. Even the most ordinary social environment could become wildly interesting.

This Mercury station in fast and loose Sagittarius looks like a case of astrological Tourette’s Syndrome: a moment when it’s possible to open your mouth and state the truth. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself saying what you really think, not caring what anyone else might have to say about it.

I suggest you skip the regrets and instead focus on how funny or meaningful it is that you (or someone else) just blurted something out, because it was the thing to say. If you’re not hanging out with others today or this weekend, it’s an excellent time for an introspective adventure.

Whether you’ve got a full social calendar or nothing much going on, I suggest you consciously make some time to be alone. Sagittarian energy is always an invitation to adventure; even a seemingly modest trek somewhere could be a lot of fun.

Mercury stationing is followed up by an eclipse of the Sun in Sagittarius. This takes place at 1:09 am EST, less than 24 hours later. Thanksgiving dinner is sandwiched between these two events. [And remember, an eclipse can only happen during a New Moon, also a big event. ~B.]

An eclipse can have the feeling of pressure building, needing to be released. There is invisible tension in the air, and often the sensation that you want it to burst. This can distort perceptions and your sense of proportion — be sure to do a little reality check. Perceptions are just that; they don’t always represent the truth.

From Eric: "Chief of Police, illustrated by Norman Rockwell. Oops, we mean retired Philadelphia police captain (and Occupy supporter) Ray Lewis, being arrested last week by NYPD. Photo by Johnny Milano."

The social and political environment is rather amazingly different than it was this time last year. Traveling back in time, in November 2010 we had just gone through the midterm election, wherein the Tea Party had grabbed a bunch of congressional seats and governorships, and it looked like old-guard conservatism was finally going to save the world.

That was before the Tucson shooting, Fukushima, Arab Spring, the uprisings in Wisconsin and Ohio, a wave of government defaults across Europe, the Occupy movement and a haze of pepper spray drifting from coast to coast.  What a difference a year makes.

Today, there are protests in the streets, a sense of social upheaval and no promise that economic conditions are getting better. Yet to the extent there are going to be improvements, we now have permission to believe that we might have an influence, and that individual change counts for a lot.

The time has come for a new conversation, and the astrology of the next few weeks is all about that — no matter who you choose to have that conversation with.

Remember, you can learn a lot from the people you agree with the very least. So keep your ears open and remember, no matter how asinine an idea someone utters, there’s always someone else who thinks it’s brilliant.

In true Sagittarian spirit it would be a good idea to have a thick skin and your sense of humor ready. I don’t suggest you try to convert anyone; rather, the times are more appropriate for being yourself and seeing how that feels. That always makes an interesting experiment.


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  • November 25, 2011, 7:21 am Acquafortis

    How interesting about the wreath. According to the Christian calendar next Sunday is the 1st Advent. I come from a family that for Christmas used to prepare Christmas tree, the 5 candle wreath and crib. I was always enchanted by the candle wreath. It sort of connected me to the Divine more than all the others. And it is the only tradition that I honour every year with “religious” fever. Looking forward this time to do it with you. Do you light it on Saturday evening or Sunday?

  • November 26, 2011, 5:29 pm Maria

    Well, THAT explains why I’ve felt so disoriented and overwhelmed for the past few days. Thanks!

    I’m going to get my wreath and candles set up tomorrow. Count me in!