Although Pluto has recently been demoted by astronomers from a planet to a dwarf planet, it still has a strong astrological influence over the earth and all of humanity. Pluto is the planet of creation and regeneration. However, it is also the planet of upheaval and destruction. Often, Pluto creates chaos within the astrological house of a birth chart in which it appears, but out of this chaos great creative potential arises. When our lives are bombarded by chaos, Pluto is often at the root of the changes that are occurring. Pluto’s energy urges you to let go of the old so that the new may enter your life, thus helping you to transform into a new person or reach the next level of your own spiritual evolution. Pluto rules the astrological sign of Scorpio and both have death and rebirth as their shared domain of major influence. Pluto also has a strong influence over power, power struggles, and the relations between authority figures and those beneath them, as well as relations among nations. Despite the fact that Pluto often appears in our lives to teach us harsh lessons, these are lessons governed by “tough love” and the planet Pluto’s energy appears in our lives to help us, through hardship, to reach our fullest potential.
Mercury is the planet of communication and of the intellect. It rules the astrological signs of Gemini and Virgo. Mercury influences how we view the universe and how we think things all work together. As the ruler of communication, Mercury has direct influence over all of our relationships – romantic, familial, work, and friendships. Mercury helps to create a keen intellect and is the planet whose energies are called upon on behalf of students and teachers or anyone else concerned with increasing the intellect and who is seeking help in the learning or teaching process.
When a planet enters retrograde motion many interpret this to mean the planet is moving backwards in its orbit, but this is not true. What really occurs is the planet slows down its rotation around the sun, thus creating the optical illusion that it is moving backwards in its orbit. Imagine being in the back seat of a car driving 70 miles per hour. If you look behind you at another car that is only driving 55 miles per hour, it will appear to be moving backwards, even though it’s moving forwards, but at a slower rate than the rate you are traveling. This is how a retrograde appears in a planet’s orbital path.
Retrograde periods of a planet’s orbit increase the less-than-desirable aspects of that planet’s influence and can magnify that planet’s more negative aspects. For example, Pluto in retrograde means that it will act as a type of euthanasia – putting out of its misery things in our lives that have grown outmoded or no longer serve our higher good (despite how we may think or feel about the situation!). Relationships and other various types of situations could blow up in our faces if they are no longer serving our highest good as Pluto Retrograde forces us through its own unique version of “tough love” to force us into new situations that will serve our higher good and help us to fulfill our purpose in this lifetime. Retrograde influences, although beginning on certain dates, can extend their influence backwards in time, hence hitting us a bit early with their retrograde influence. Both Pluto and Mercury are known for influencing us early.
A good example of the retrograde influences of both Pluto and Mercury hitting a person early is my husband, Stuart. He is a Virgo who has both Pluto and Mercury in Virgo in his natal chart (I am a Gemini and have Mercury in Gemini in my natal chart.). Last Wednesday Pluto and Mercury hit my husband hard as he lost his job without any warning, no earlier reprimands, no complaints from his boss, not a hint of trouble of any kind. He was brought before his boss on trumped up charges and forced to sign a letter of resignation and that was that. He was unceremoniously sent home and has been frantically searching for another job all day long ever since.
As a psychic I have known for the past year that the # 2 man at the bank was jealous of Stuart’s abilities. He saw Stuart, the # 3 man, as a direct threat to him falling into the boss’s position as bank branch president when he retires in 2 more years. I warned my husband who accordingly refused to listen to me. Virgos always think they know everything (no offense to the Virgos reading this, this is just how that sign is, just as Geminis – of which I am one – are always scattered with a lot of “pie-in-the-sky” ideas they seldom bring to fruition due to their scattered energies). I told Stuart it was time to start looking for a new job, that stuff was about to hit the fan, but he kept on going as he only judged the situation by what he saw in front of him, unaware of the devious undercurrents flowing around him. Now he’s unemployed.
I am sharing this with you because Stuart’s problem serves as a perfect example of how retrograde planets can cause us to undergo a major wake up call. They shove us out of our complacency and force us to act, even when we don’t wish to do so. Retrograde periods, are therefore a good time to take stock of our situation, evaluate our relationships, and determine which areas of our lives need to be worked on in order to avoid chaos from gaining a foothold and undermining all of our plans, wishes, and ambitions.
Now is the time for each of us to carefully evaluate all areas of our lives. We have two very powerful planets undergoing a retrograde period that coincide with each other. Pluto went retrograde on April 6 and Mercury goes retrograde on April 18. Pluto’s retrograde period (which occurs in Capricorns, so those of you who are Capricorn or have Pluto in the sign of Capricorn in their natal chart will be the most affected) will last until September 13, 2010 while Mercury will be in retrograde from April 18 – May 11 and will then enter another retrograde period on August 20 through September 12th, so that Mercury retrograde will also coincide with the current Pluto retrograde period.
While a Pluto retrograde is a time of renewal through chaos and eventual rebirth, a Mercury retrograde is a time during which communication can, and often does, go awry. Disagreements can occur and this is never a good time to begin new projects or sign any contracts. Paper work is also deeply affected and this can cause issues in the work place. Mercury also governs travel so a Mercury retrograde period is not a good time during which to travel as it can often influence the loss of our luggage, flight delays, and even flight catastrophes, such as airplane crashes and train derailments, the vast majority of which occur during Mercury retrograde periods
On the plus side, while Pluto Retrograde can bring a lot of chaos into our lives quite suddenly and without any warning, this chaos will result in something better. Pluto Retrograde upsets the balance in our lives in order to create MORE balance than what had existed previously. It brings an end to things we see as blessings (such as my husband’s job) in order to clear the way for new and greater blessings to enter our lives.
The positive aspects of a Mercury Retrograde period include presenting us with a time during which deep inner reflection will be its most useful and powerful. If you’re interested in self improvement of any kind, a Mercury Retrograde period is the time to examine yourself to discover the best ways you can use to implement necessary changes in your life. This is a good time to undertake personal cleansings of either a physical or spiritual nature. This is the best time to clear the clutter in your home and bring it to a thrift store, spring cleaning is always the most successful and complete during a Mercury retrograde period (and, wow, it’s spring now so talk about perfect timing!), and reviewing projects, plans, and relationships is always best undertaken during a Mercury Retrograde period.
Taking the combined retrograde influences of Pluto and Mercury in retrograde, now is the best time to undertake spiritual self-improvement. If you’re seeking to become more intuitive or psychic, open to your guides more, remember your dreams better, or perhaps begin to perform your own candle work, now is the prime time to start such projects. The retrograde period is also a good time to reinforce protection magic, protective wards around yourself, home, career and relationships, and it’s the best time for spell casting in order to promote harmony in all areas of life.
Wishing you all harmony during this time,
Nefer Khepri Hemet