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Eat your Moly

imagesCA8Q22YRMercury is now retrograde, from August 20 through September 12. During the Messenger’s retrogrades, I’m reminded of Pythia Peay’s marvelous metaphor for this time–when we become like Odysseus, waylaid by monsters, upsets, and unexpected adventures while trying to sail a straight line home. During the Trojan War, wily Odysseus conceived of the Trojan Horse scheme, then bragged how he ended the war without the gods’ help. The gods don’t like such hubris. Poseidon sent fierce winds to blow him off course.

We have crimes to pay for too. We go for weeks without noticing all those serendipitious encounters with divine grace. We get caught up in our churning minds. We’re burning with opinions, projects and plans, forever texting, talking, and multi-tasking. Mercury’s thrice-yearly retrogrades are meant to take us off course. And maybe down a peg. The gods might foul our communications, distract us with stupid mistakes. Giggling, they may put the pen in our hands to sign unwise contracts or entice us with purchases we’ll later regret.

But if you honor Mercury now, he just might be willing to rescue you. He did that for Odysseus, slipping him an elixir made from the magical plant Moly (which grows underground and can only be seen by the gods). Moly inoculated Odysseus against Circe’s seductions. She couldn’t turn him into a pig like the others! An amazed Circe figured she’d met her match in Odysseus and immediately released his men and served them all an amazing feast. You can have a good time during the retrograde too if Mercury slips you some Moly. First you must resist the seductions of your usual ambitions, habits and deadlines. Slow down: a perfect enterprise for this Pisces Full Moon. Don’t think too much or take yourself too seriously. Just listen, play, and let the chimeras of your imagination soak in, along with a little Moly.

Mars ignites the Cardinal Cross

mars faceIt’s arrived. The Cardinal Cross astrologers have been talking about for years. First taste: the lunar eclipse in late June. Second taste: end of July/early August as warrior Mars entered Libra, quickly opposing Uranus, stomping on Saturn, and charging at Pluto. These aspects make astrologers shudder. At their best, they foster great determination and effort. At their worst, they’re explosive, violent, and combustible. Mars is a fiery lord. It’s hot here in the Northern Hemisphere. Six hundred fires are raging across Western Russia, elsewhere too. The skies in my Oregon town are smoky. Throughout this week, we’ve all been wicks, ready for igniting. Yet how we’ve blazed depends on what’s gone into the candle.

Someone who’s been feeling victimized may have exploded like Omar Thornton, the truck driver who brought weapons to his disciplinary hearing and became an instrument of death and mayhem. Those who’ve been hiding dark secrets may have suddenly been exposed, like Dominique Cottrez, who admitted to smothering eight babies, burying some in the garden while hiding others in the garage. Those filled with the importance of an urgent mission and allied with like-minded others may have seen a great success, like the team working in the Gulf who finally, after months, capped that leaking well. The name of their mission, “Static Kill” is an appropriate nod to the gods involved. Superhuman efforts are possible with the Cardinal Cross, given you enter the scene with focus, preparation, and a willingness to do your best, as did Masato Akamatsu with his amazing catch. Of course it’s much easier to simply lose your cool, as did New York state Senator Pedro Espada who threw money at angry protestors.

My own candle burned on a much smaller stage. No big dramas. No big efforts. Just a busy schedule and an asteroid belt of small events that threatened to undo me… missed appointments, client crises, emails that weren’t answered quickly enough. Many times I felt an inner mob collecting, eager to start a riot. But gratefully, my inner constable worked overtime, patrolling the corridors of my psyche, offering “Calm down, move along, no big deals here.”

It is the Leo New Moon. It’s our annual opportunity to celebrate our individual star power. During times like these, being a star may simply mean holding ourselves together, offering a kindness when we’re stressed, or digging deep inside our pain to finally extract an old psychological thorn. The celestial picture is always a reflection of our personal picture, which leads to my simple recommendation for this New Moon. With fresh eyes, observe the dramas in your life and say “Yeah, this is my action movie.” Maybe you don’t feel particularly big or handsome or sparkly enough to sell tickets and popcorn. But understand that you’re still a hero. All you need do is rise up and meet your life with the Best Self you’ve got at the moment. And don’t forget to applaud.