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Retro Season

Mercury, planet of intelligence, is retrograde from May 29th to June 22nd, its longest and slowest backward phase of the year. A 24-days eternity, for only eight degrees’ backwards motion, this transit plays up the classic retrograde symptoms of delay and confusion, and its arc through Taurus speaks to an entrenched and brass-tacks outlook. Not much chance for compromise, except Mercury exchanges signs with Venus in Gemini from June 3rd, giving scope for clear and creative thinking. You have a knack for saying the right thing, finding common ground, and knowing how to handle a face returning from the past. Shopping online is even more of a Mercury rx minefield, between the quirks of the postal service and buying sight unseen, so take extra care before forking over. The luxury of a deferred deadline makes this transit helpful for editing, refining and researching, and waiting for the unexpected before you pull the trigger. Mrigashira’s Shakti is ‘the power of fulfilment’, so a retrograde quest for knowledge or a second opinion also promises success.

This window coincides with eclipse season, and June 10th's partial Solar Eclipse gives a double reason to think before committing. A solar eclipse is a New Moon, which signifies a fresh start with a potentially radical overhaul of the past and purge of old ideas and baggage. Eclipses are most favourable for spiritual work, where mantra chanting and meditation have many times their usual power.

At the end of Mercury's retro phase, on June 22nd, Jupiter also turns around in Aquarius, where it remains until September 15th. In Aquarius, Jupiter has brought a small surge of optimism, as predicted on these pages, and a degree of can-do spirit is no longer lumped in with reckless naivety. While the UK crawls out of lockdown, the news fills up with public second-guessing and score-settling. This goes hand-in-hand with Saturn also retrograde, and a theme is emerging of past government leniency and lack of hawkish resolve on lockdown-and-lockout. While its retrograde arc adds to the general slow, stuck feeling, Saturn is strong in Capricorn and in the centre of its home sign, so there is promise of reward for your foresight and professionalism.

Saturn's annual five-month backwards transit stretches from May 23rd until October 11th, where themes of ambition and adulting repeat and are ground in for the long term. Rather than an ordeal, see this phase as a prolonged encore, where you have the platform to express your inner mogul or spiritual savant. Yoga and meditation are innately Saturnian processes, favouring long-view discipline and persistent effort. Saturn's rulership of Time Itself favours an ambitious project that comes together slowly, and being in the moment makes the experience pass more quickly. Shravana nakshatra’s symbol is The Ear, which as well as obvious listening skills, is linked with oral wisdom and speech, so your communication skills are super-important. Shravana's Shakti, or special power, is for 'Connection', so as well as working on your own grand design, you can bring others in and share the experience.

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