July 2019


"Ancestral Cycles"

By Aeolea Wendy Burwell & Peter Doughty

Cycles and circles and spirals are at the core of who we are, despite the fact that we have mostly lost sight of them. 

Our intention here is to offer ways to reconnect with our ancient roots though Astrology. 


The planets in our solar system carry names from Greek and Roman mythology, and one of these in common everyday usage is Mercury. It is not unusual these days to hear someone say ‘Oh no! Is Mercury retrograde again?.’ But do we know what that really means? 


Often depicted with wings on his feet and cap, the ‘winged messenger’ was the one god who could visit both Mt. Olympus and the Underworld. His movement was the swiftest among the gods, just as the planet is the fastest moving in our celestial neighborhood. He can even be spotted atop the Aqueduct Building in our local Rochester skyline! 


The word mercantile, meaning business, is traced back to Mercury, and among the many spheres of influence are transportation, scheduling and everything related to communication and messaging. And, without a doubt, we live in an increasingly Mercurial world! 


So when a planet is going ‘retrograde’ from our mortal perspective here on earth, what is really going on? It’s simple: it only appears to be retreating. In actuality, the apparent backward movement is due to its own orbit. All planets (save the Sun and Moon, which are technology luminaries) have a retrograde phase from our earthy vantage point. 


Mercury, however, does it with the most frequency - three times each year - for approximately three weeks each time, making our lives just a bit more interesting. These periods of time are great for review,  revision, rethinking, and inner reflection. They are not great cycles to start new projects, buy new big-ticket items or enter into new contracts. Broadly speaking, these are unlikely to turn out as expected. 


Mercury will retrograde for the second time this year from July 7-31 (first time was March 5-28). The tone of each retrograde depends in part on what sign or signs it is traveling though. This month the winged messenger starts its apparent retreat early in the fiery, extroverted sign of Leo and then returns to the watery, nurturing sign of Cancer, where it has been for most of the previous month of June. This affords us the opportunity to re-think strongly held points of view we may have recently settled on, perhaps recognizing how pride has influenced communication. 


Mercury retrogrades repeat on a 46 year cycle, which places this energy squarely on parallel with the year 1973 and the Watergate scandal. In fact all three of 2019’s Mercury retrogradations are repetitions of those that occurred that year. The years, both then and now, are marked by much struggle between the presidency and the congress. And the timing of key developments in both legal processes transpired (and are continuing) during Mercury’s retrograde cycle. We know the outcome of ’73 and await further unfoldment from this current, parallel cycle. 


Adding energy to this cycle is the fact that Mercury is dancing closely with the planet Mars, representing drive, initiative and sometimes aggression and impatience. They make three close contacts: June 18, July 8 and Sept 3. Knowing this, we need to avoid speaking rashly and perhaps saying things in haste that we might regret later. Our political leaders would do well if they could also be mindful of this and rein in the urge to dominate.  


Also in July we will have the second set of eclipses of 2019 (first set occurred January 5th and 21st ) . Eclipses come in pairs (solar and lunar), with the solar generally related to leadership and the lunar representing the masses. 


This month starts with the solar eclipse on July 2nd, which will be visible only in parts of the southern hemisphere, yet will affect us all. They are said to make their strongest impact in the places they are visible. Remember the ‘Great American’ eclipse of August 2017? 


Like every person, countries also have astrological charts, and this solar eclipse triggers both the United States (July 4, 1776) and Venezuela (July 5, 1811), calling into question the viability of the King’s (or President’s) ability to rule. Look for dramatic events on the world stage to emerge, especially from these two countries. 


Two weeks later will bring the lunar eclipse on July 16, which also aligns with significant points in the US chart (and the chart of the current president) related to Mercury’s realm of communications and mass media.  Interestingly, our current president was born within a few hours of a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius / Gemini, the polarity most concerned with fact and fiction. In addition, two weeks after this eclipse, Mercury ends its retrograde period by making contact with the place in his chart related to family and finances. 


The events triggered by both eclipses will unfold over the next six to nine months. 


Our solar eclipse on July 2 occurs at 11 degrees of Cancer and highlights issues related to family and security. And the lunar eclipse two weeks later at 24 degrees of Capricorn impacts the realms of government and business. Personal effects of these eclipses will vary greatly depending on one’s own natal (birth) chart.  


In ancient times eclipses were feared and thought to be related to the downfall of leaders, war, drought and other natural disasters. They are certainly indicators of significant turning points and more manageable though the lens of knowledge and understanding. 


About Peter And Aeolea Wendy: Peter Doughty has nearly forty years experience studying and writing about mundane astrology, including his blog over the past seven years and recent book entitled Scenes from a Tapestry. (ZodiacalSpiral.com, zoidion@protonmail.com


Aeolea Wendy Burwell has also been a student of the celestial arts for over forty years, and is currently teaching astrology in her living room or wherever possible. (aeolea@juno.com) They have recently started to write together and are both available for individual chart consultations in person or over the phone.  


Peter's website: www.zodicalspiral.com

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