This week marks the turning point of the massive retrograde cycles.  We peak with seven retrograde planets on September 9th when Mars turns retrograde, but then on the 12th Jupiter turns direct and the numbers begin to diminish. 

All of these retrogrades have forced us to stay in one place, in a quarantine of the soul as well as the body as we struggle to make sense of what is happening in the world, and in our own lives.  I love this poem for this reason – if we view this period as an opportunity to live a more soulful life, with greater connections to our own inner beings, it becomes a transformative time in which everything emerges the same, but nothing is the same.

There are similarities
I notice: that the hills
which the eyes make flat as a wall, welded
together, open as I move
to let me through; become
endless as prairies; that the trees
grow spindly, have their roots
often in swamps; that this is a poor country;
that a cliff is not known
as rough except by hand, and is
therefore inaccessible. Mostly
that travel is not the easy going
from point to point, a dotted
line on a map, location
plotted on a square surface
but that I move surrounded by a tangle
of branches, a net of air and alternate
light and dark, at all times;
that there are no destinations
apart from this.
There are differences
of course: the lack of reliable charts;
more important, the distraction of small details:
your shoe among the brambles under the chair
where it shouldn’t be; lucent
white mushrooms and a paring knife
on the kitchen table; a sentence
crossing my path, sodden as a fallen log
I’m sure I passed yesterday
(have I been
walking in circles again?)
but mostly the danger:
many have been here, but only
some have returned safely.
A compass is useless; also
trying to take directions
from the movements of the sun,
which are erratic;
and words here are as pointless
as calling in a vacant wilderness.
Whatever I do I must
keep my head. I know
it is easier for me to lose my way
forever here, than in other landscapes
–Margaret Atwood
Discovered on Poetlicious.
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