Monthly Archives: February 2014

Retrograde and Void of Course

Mercury retrograde is a time for review, revisions and rethinking. Al H. Morrison felt that the Void of Course Moon was best used for routine activities and feeding your soul. The combination of the two may at times result in petty annoyances and some delay or frustration in day-to-day life. It’s generally not a good time to initiate new projects.

I once received a call from a magazine I’d never worked for to write a feature. The editor discussed what they wanted, I agreed, and she said they were definitely going ahead. She’d get back to me regarding the length of the article and deadline. I was skeptical since I knew that not only was Mercury retrograde but the Moon was also Void of Course that day. Mercury retrograde can create miscommunications and people easily change their minds. And the Void of Course Moon is not promising for beginning new ventures. Not only did the editor not call me back as promised, but I was never even able to reach her!

But life goes on and we must continue through these wacky times. (For his part, Al H. Morrison would often sleep during the VOC Moon – at any time of the day or night.)

Recently, I arrived at my destination early during Mercury retrograde with the VOC Moon. My Metrocard needed refilling, and I thought that I’d accomplish this routine task. The first vending machine was providing no receipts, so I moved on to the next. The second machine informed me that my Metrocard was expiring – Did I want to replace it? I said Yes. I got the card and it gave me a receipt but I was confused. Did they charge me $1 for replacement? It was not clear. I continued to refill my card and the machine requested my zip code. However the keypad would not work and the transaction was aborted.

I moved on to the third machine, which unfortunately was only providing single trip transactions, something I’d never encountered before. I turned to the fourth and final machine, which by this time had several people waiting in line. I’d now be late if I waited, so I left.

I’d gotten a new card, but had been unable to complete my intended task. As Morrison had said, the VOC Moon can take us in unintended directions, with false starts and error. Mercury retrograde revealed machines needing repair and a confusing situation. I’d have to complete things at a later date. Sometimes even routine tasks don’t fare so well under these influences!

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Horoscope

He had a fabulous career, fame, wealth, beautiful kids and a long-time partner. What more could anyone want? Still, Philip Seymour Hoffman died of a drug overdose. Does his horoscope show his enormous talent as well as drug dependence?

Hoffman was born on July 23, 1967 and unfortunately we don’t have his time of birth. We don’t know his Ascendant sign, if he had the Sun in Leo or Cancer or the Moon in Aquarius or Pisces. The Sun conjunct Jupiter could point toward both success and excess, but that aspect is a little wide to be so definitive. The Sun closely square Mars in Scorpio shows his ambition and drive and perhaps unchecked compulsions, since Mars also conjoins the South Node. Mercury in Cancer exactly squares Saturn in Aries, suggesting someone willing to work for success but also the possibility of anxiety and insecurity.

Hoffman’s horoscope does not have many aspects and the “easy” ones predominate over the challenges. But even without a time of birth, I would expect more dynamic patterns from the unusual events in the actor’s life, particularly from the outer planets.

If we consider declination, the horoscope leaps out at us. The Sun parallels Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto, which seems a more appropriate pattern for the kind of intensity and extremes of experience that Hoffman encountered. In addition, Neptune and perhaps the Moon also contraparallel the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto. Success, facility, luck, obsession and the desire to transcend reality are all here. The Jupiter-Pluto-Neptune pattern is very tight (less than a degree and a half all around) and accentuates this combination.

It’s also worth noting that like many of his generation, Philip Seymour Hoffman has Uranus conjunct Pluto in his birth chart. With Uranus square Pluto at the time of his death on February 2, 2014, he becomes a symbol of the possibilities of this pattern – both its highs and lows.

The Retrograde Diaries

I was reminded this morning that the effect of Mercury retrograde begins before the exact retrograde phase you see in your ephemeris. It starts when Mercury slows down before moving backward. Mercury retrograde can make us change our minds, change our plans and may create miscommunications or failed functioning. Get ready for the next three weeks!

We woke up to heavy snow – 6 to 8” projected – which they had predicted the day before to begin in the afternoon and total only 2-3”. Yes, the highly respected and well-paid weather forecasters had been incorrect once again. I realized that my appointment would cancel due to weather. I looked at my phone and he had already called — I had just not heard the ring. At that moment he called again. I also had to reschedule my mother’s doctor’s appointment for the next day, the one she had postponed from the previous month.

My husband, who had a severe toothache the morning before (a recurrence of a long-ago issue), had felt much better and hoped to avoid a visit to the dentist. But early this morning it began again. When he called the dentist’s office, they, too, had had a cancellation and told him he could come right in. (Sometimes Mercury retrograde does work in our favor!)

I went to the store. At checkout, there was a delay. The lady ahead of me needed to wait for the manager to complete her transaction. The only cashier had to sign onto another register to help me. This machine, she advised, would not take credit cards. But she also had trouble signing on. She then found that the scanner would not work. By this time the manager was through (and the other customer needed to return later to pick-up her order). We went back to the first register and things proceeded smoothly from there. Mechanical mishegoss is a hallmark of Mercury retrograde, as are incomplete transactions.

I returned home and soon found the elevator repairman at my door. It became obvious that he had only a remedial command of English. However he communicated the following: “Your husband… eight… oil…” Yes! I understood. He’d come back. A few weeks before there had been an oil delivery – eight jugs were left with my husband since the super had gone home (how could I forget them in my hallway?). I sent the repairman to the super and he understood. Sometimes we come back to a previous project after Mercury turns retro, and we may have to work harder at communicating.

This encounter also reflects Venus retrograde (just turning direct yesterday, but still felt since it, too, is moving more slowly than usual as it changes direction). While I don’t have much of a relationship with the elevator repairman, he appears once a month to check things out. I’d considered him rude in the past, but now I had gotten to know him better and realized that he just did not understand the language. Both my mind and my feelings had changed. Watch for these types of things this week as Venus begins to pick up speed and Mercury continues slowing down – a bit of a double whammy.