Toward Libra/Leo and Outward Charm


This week, we're slated to wrap up those stubbornest last strings still hanging around from this past Mercury-retrograde-dominated month.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't make so much of the ol' overhyped astro-phenomenon of Mercury retrograde, which has all sorts of casual astrology-followers blaming every last imperfection and surprise on our favorite planetary messenger.

But this one has been gnarly, and does seem to be drawing out its inconveniencing effects past its gone-direct-again date (last Tuesday, Sep 29). If you're wondering why, refresh your memory with this article explaining how Mercury's been recently caught up with the opposition of Saturn and Uranus, as well as their dual building squares with Pluto. These past few weeks have been another trial into the deepening dynamic challenges of the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square, that high-drama astrological configuration which is now forming to its summer-2010 exactitude.

There's no need to fear that we're stuck in Merc-retro doo-doo, alas. By week's end, we'll witness the start of one of those highly noticeable shifts in astro-climate, as all three personal planets (Mercury, Venus and Mars) will soon make moves into new signs. And considering all three will be transitioning from yin (more passive) earth-and-water signs into yang (more active) air-and-fire signs, I expect us to soon get some distance from 'reactive mode' so that we may again initiate another approach, a new endeavor, and/or a next step or two.

Mercury returns to Libra on Friday (Oct 9), following an earlier dalliance in the sign of considered diplomacy (Aug 25-Sep 17) shortly before and directly after his retrograde. Prior to that Libra reentry, however, he makes his final conjunction to Saturn in Virgo (Oct 7-8), giving us a chance to cap off our prolonged fact-checking phase before we revisit bargaining-table interactivity. Mercury in Libra is charged with the job of coordinating our perspective with others' outlooks, communicating with an unerring awareness of how they are apt to hear our words, with willingness to give a couple inches here or there in order to broker a mutually fulfilling agreement.

The smoothest applications of Mercury-in-Libra's toothsome charisma can leave our unsuspecting audience eating out of our hands, having allowed us to express ourselves in whatever tone we've determined will most appeal to them… even if it means we must coat our truth with an extra layer of sugary-sweet icing. Libra is a master at playing to audiences. Yet, with Mercury's sign-shift falling concurrently with another square to Pluto (exact on Sat Oct 10), we must beware of attempts to be too furtively persuasive—or, said another way, manipulative—with our perfectly poised positioning. Those with a nose for what isn't being said will likely detect the undercurrents of indirect maneuvering in action, and respond accordingly with suspicion or reluctance. The challenge with Libra energy always involves a delicate balance between (1) productive use of one's personal charms and (2) insincere shows of superficial favor made in order to control a situation.

The Libra influence increases by mid-next-week, when Venus crosses the border into one of her favorite signs (Wed Oct 14), where she presides over an interpersonal magic that supports ease and harmony in all our relationships. During her three weeks at home in Libra, Venus promotes our affection for other people, as well as our ability to show this appreciation through thoughtful gestures that affirm our allegiances. She'll happily scratch your back… with the assumption that, in reciprocity, you won't mind scratching hers, too.

Of course, at the cusp of Libra, like Mercury, Venus also must contend with a Pluto square: a creative tension with the potential to deepen the terms of our more authentic relations, or to expose the shallowness of those that are mere surface-level motions. Venus-Pluto squares can up the stakes in our interpersonal exchanges, driving us to give or ask for more than may be immediately comfortable… whether to test our loyalty or cement our trust, eliminate the doubts or heighten the passions. More at stake equals more to gain or lose—and a more dangerous and/or titillating game we find ourselves playing.

Perhaps the most noteworthy of the sign-changes, however, is Mars's arrival into Leo (on Fri Oct 16)… which is such big news because of his unusually lengthy stay in this fiery and expressive zodiac realm. While Mars ordinarily visits a sign for about a month and a half, he will remain in Leo through (wait for it, wait for it) June 2010. Can we get a few exclamation points for that, please?!!! The cause for Mars's extended liaison in Leo? An upcoming retrograde, naturally, occurring from Dec 20 through Mar 10 '10. Obviously, we'll cover the details of what all this Mars action will mean for us, but suffice it to say for now: Get used to Mars in Leo.

Mars in Leo isn't exactly shy about making his desires known. And as such, in the short term, this Mars-in-Leo effect should go far in counteracting the worst of Libran indirectness. This Mars is too proud to inhibit his assertiveness; lest we mistakenly attribute his efforts to somebody else, he'll make sure to let us know it was his doing. He wisely acknowledges life is too short to take part in stuff that doesn't directly interest us… though in pursuing only that which immediately suits our own interests, we open ourselves up to (rightful?) criticisms of being too self-interested.

Mars-in-Leo conundrum: If we squelch what naturally fires us up, so that we consider others before ourselves, we may become bored or discontent with life. And what good are we without fueling that inner satisfaction, which sparks our generosity of spirit and allows us to go on and give to others? Yet too much self-gratification, and we forget to care (or even notice) how our personal indulgences impact or intrude upon the folks nearby.

This week ahead, then, provide us a chance to finish up some details within the more contained Virgo/Cancer context, before we're carried into far greater extroversion by the Libra/Leo imprint. This recent climate has been heavily guided by the wings of Mercury, in his rulership of Virgo, while both Venus and Mars have been out of their respective elements in Virgo and Cancer, the signs of their fall (disadvantageous realms where their best efforts are often corrupted). That's left us defaulting to inward cerebral analysis as our most reliable approach.

Within less than two weeks, though, the prevailing mood will have drifted out of our individual heads and back toward a more interactive scene, led by a dignified Venus in Libra and warmed with the eager vitality of Mars in Leo. Having squared away what's what, it'll soon behoove us to incorporate other people and the external world-at-large into our plans. While there'll likely be no shortage of enjoyable social encounters with Libra and Leo in full effect, it won't always be a snap to enact our self-determined plans exactly as we envisioned 'em. Don't forget: We're not the only ones who want what we want. As our efforts collide with others', we'll have to figure out just how to mesh our varying agendas so everyone wins—or else go to the mat and wrestle it out, all the while stroking each other's egos in an attempt to keep even the losers 'happy'.