Tag Archives: astrology cycles

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.

Neptune and the War of the Worlds

Orson Welles’ broadcast his War of the Worlds Halloween radio show on October 30, 1938 at 8:00 PM from the CBS studios in New York City (see the data here).  The radio play was carried by affiliate stations across the country. Some people assumed the story of Martians invading the Earth was real. While historians today tend to feel there was less panic than we’ve been led to believe, the incident demonstrated the power of technology to influence the public, and Orson Welles became famous.

The illusion of truth comes under the purview of the planet Neptune. Some people initially felt uncomfortable with the new radio technology because people could be “there” and yet “not there” at the same time, something like disincarnate spirits. Interestingly, transiting Neptune at the time of Welles’ broadcast was nearly exactly conjunct the U.S. Neptune (a Neptune return, which occurs approximately every 162-164 years, give or take). It was also nearly exactly parallel its own place in declination.

I use Evangeline Adams’ Gemini rising U.S. chart, which has Neptune square the Ascendant. Saturn is also closely contra-parallel Neptune in many U.S. charts. To me this reflects Americans’ preoccupation with image, the proliferation of celebrities, glamour, advertising and marketing, and the conflict between illusion and reality. And so the transiting Neptune in 1938 reiterates and accentuates these themes.

Orson Welles was born on May 6, 1915 at 7:00 AM in Kenosha, WI according to his birth certificate (see the Astrodatabank entry). With Gemini rising himself, he had an immediate resonance with America. His Jupiter in Pisces in the 10th made him a teller of tall tales, especially as it squared his and the U.S. Ascendants.

Welles’ powerful Jupiter in the 10th was also closely parallel a perhaps even stronger Mars in Aries in his 11th house, both in their ruling signs. And transiting Neptune activated these, nearly exactly contra-parallel Welles’ Jupiter and parallel his Jupiter at the time, bringing up the Neptunian ideas of deception, misunderstanding and image vs. reality. Welles gained great notoriety as a result of the broadcast, and become seduced by Hollywood. His first film Citizen Kane came out in 1941.

Some of the exaggerated response from the public to The War of the Worlds in 1938 was probably due to the disturbing events in Europe that would soon lead to WWII. Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were already in control and Jews were actively persecuted in Germany. But that is a much larger Neptunian story.