Astro Report: Leo Full Moon + Mercury Retrograde

Astro Report: Leo Full Moon + Mercury Retrograde

The Sun cruised into high-minded Aquarius on Jan. 19 and immediately put the spotlight on the tension between constrictive Saturn, expansive Jupiter, and explosive Mars conjunct Uranus. This focus on more dynamic or even disruptive influences in our lives will run all the way through Feb. 7 or so. This hangs on so long because the movement of the Sun will be tracking closely with hot-headed Mars, forming a challenging square aspect beginning this week. 


Many of us will be alternating through cycles of euphoria and exhaustion, as a complicated tangle of impatience, a strong desire to move ahead rapidly, and the realities of what must come first works itself out through our lives. If you think you are getting mixed signals, it is probably true. There are a lot of contradicting forces at play for the next few weeks, offering some areas of relief and opening, and some continuing frustrations and inhibitions which may easily provoke anger. It can just feel obnoxious at times. 


Mars conjunct Uranus (exact Jan. 20) has been showing up true to form as a rebellious energy, but it will have to contend with the power of history and what is already in motion, as embodied in a square aspect from Saturn. As irritating as it can be, taking on the role of Saturn—diligence, perseverance, playing the long game, grounding into our human dignity—can bring the presence we need to turn an impulsive and reactive Mars-Uranus towards breakthrough energy.  


That breakthrough may need a less than flashy container, though. Slowing down to take the time to feel our feelings is also recommended as heart-centered Venus conjoins the deep and probing planet Pluto in the rather reserved sign of Capricorn (exact Jan. 28). The predominance of cerebral Aquarius and practical earth signs of Capricorn and Taurus may make this a bit challenging, as the tendency can be to rationalize away any inconvenient feelings. And Venus-Pluto does tend to surface the challenging emotions and relational dynamics associated with them, like jealousy, feelings of inadequacy, rejection, betrayal and profound vulnerability.

One way to work with this could be to use our tried-and-true methods for feeling (not thinking about) our emotions—whether that’s spending time in a favorite place outdoors, a hot bath, etc—and holding our focus on what it is we truly want to love and protect.  Here is where Aquarian idealism can help us anchor into our spiritual and moral principles and how they shape our future. Difficult or taboo emotions can carry us into old storylines and patterns that only increase our frustrations (like when we think about our feelings, instead of just feeling them), but if we keep asking our hearts, “What do I really want here? What do I actually care about?” it’s possible to burn through some illusions, and touch on what’s really important.


This is a highly recommended practice before we get to the Leo Full Moon on Jan. 28 at 11:16am Pacific. It might help us to be more available to the celebratory, expansive aspects of this Full Moon, and less at the mercy of tensions between freedom and responsibility. Joyous Jupiter is right on top of the Sun opposite Moon, offering an expansive quality to the conscious mind (Sun) as it faces off with the unconscious self (Moon). Mercury will also be heading into their first retrograde of the year, appearing to stand still in Aquarius on Jan. 30 and moving backwards until Feb. 20. This retrograde will set off the longer world transit of Saturn square Uranus, and highlights our relationship to mind, and the limits or the spaciousness built into our stories about “how the world/my world works.”  

As always, we can proactively use Mercury retrograde for rethinking our plans, projects, commitments, and making necessary edits and adjustments. The interaction with Saturn-Uranus suggests breaking free of forms or bonds that are too limiting, and allowing for the mistakes that accompany innovation and learning. New ideas may need to be shaped by what is already in place and finding the perfect fit may be difficult. In this case, the wisdom of writer Prentis Hemphill may be worth reflecting on through this retrograde: “Perfectionism is a commitment to habitual self-doubt.”

Key dates for Mercury retrograde:
Mercury enters shadow January 14, 2021
Mercury SRx 26° Aquarius January 30, 2021
Mercury SD 11° Aquarius February 20, 2021
Mercury exits shadow March 13, 2021
Cosmic sightings by astrologer Erica Jones
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Herbs for the Month of Aquarius  

In honor of the Sun currently being in Aquarius, here is a little herbal chart to tune in and enjoy. For our write up on herbs for Uranus, you can read up here.


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