Mercury turned retrograde early this morning, turning our attention inward for increased self-awareness. Added to the heavy Scorpio influence, this is a very good time for introspection and writing, for psychotherapy and psychodrama, and for going back and re-doing anything that needs it. Mercury Rx periods have a bad reputation, but that is only because our Western minds place a priority on outward progress and accomplishment.

While it’s true that it can be difficult to complete projects that are begun while Mercury is retrograde, it is the perfect time for going back and REdoing anything that needs to be REvised or REconsidered. “RE-” is the keyword for Mercury retrograde, and often a difficult project or business deal that has been bogged down in delays may suddenly find a REsolution. And those of you with Mercury retrograde in your charts will find that communication is easier than usual because the whole world now operates the way you do normally.

Mercury will conjunct Jupiter on October 30 which provides an expansive opening for our ideas, but may also make us impatient to make our views understood. When Mercury is retrograde it is often more difficult to communicate and this can lead to frustration during the square to Jupiter. Jupiter, being the King of the Gods, has a strong need to be Right and arguments can ensue as a result. This will make for an lively campaign season here in the US!

Daylight Savings Time ends on October 29 as Neptune turns direct. Throughout October Neptune has slowed its motion down to a crawl as it prepares to change direction after having traveled retrograde since May of 2006. Neptune is the planet of mysticism and spiritual experience – it encourages us to step back from what we consider to be our reality and embrace the bigger picture. In its negative form it can bring confusion, illusion and delusion and make it difficult to see that “reality” that makes up the material world in which we live. While Neptune was retrograde it was opposed by Saturn (see the complete article on the Saturn/Neptune opposition) and now that Neptune is direct the confrontation (Saturn) to the illusion and deception (Neptune) that we have been witness to will be more pronounced. This is a time to wake up but at the same time embrace the dream. The Saturn/Neptune opposition is like lucid dreaming, “the conscious perception of one’s state while dreaming.”

As you know if you have been following this column, we had a very rare period of six retrograde planets this summer which created a great deal of problems in moving forward with any venture. With Neptune’s turn direct we have now only one planet (Uranus) retrograde and we will be seeing much more forward momentum. The set has been staged over the past year for some major transitions, and the energy is there now for them to occur.

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