And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
It’s time for another round of Mercury Retrograde. This Saturday at 11:56:26 UT Mercury will station retrograde meaning that the entirety of this week the planet is moving very slowly -- and so should we. Reconsider, re-evaluate, redo, rework, re-member, remind, recycle, reform and reawaken to your truth. Complications are invitations to practice patience.
I’ve filled the page with quotes from the very great, Maya Angelou. I can’t think of a better person to start us out on the right note than she. Mercury retrogrades are the perfect time to realign ourselves with empowering thoughts, radical thoughts, thoughts that threaten to completely shift how we see the world and our place in it. She demonstrated to us how to exist with great dignity, beauty, humor and courage in the face of a world that would rather bring many, too many, down. May we be better because she existed. May her memory be a blessing and an awakening.
Aries & Aries Rising
Nothing can dim the light which shines from within. Maya Angelou
The ground underneath your feet is shifting. This might lead you to dig in deeper or you may end up feeling like you aren’t quite sure where to stand. For some this will relate to very old childhood material emerging, especially in relationship to siblings or things that you learned from them. For others it could be as simple and complicated as dealings with your neighbors, recurring dreams or secrets that are revealed to you. Sorrow is a sickness when we keep it to ourselves but can be a gateway to healing when we find a friend to share our struggles with. Try not to let emotional currents sweep you under, there is a drain that you can access and I suggest practicing the things that help you to unclog. That’s what digging in deeper is all about; understanding yourself means having to dip into the more stagnant pools where unknown and frightening creatures tend to proliferate. Getting to know ourselves is far more dangerous, harrowing and confusing than getting to know anyone else. However, cultivating this relationship is by far the most rewarding, stabilizing and sacred act that there is. It takes a strong heart, a determined soul and an unflinching mind to engage in the necessary battle of knowing self. If we can hang in long enough the reward is a heartfelt healing and an unmistakable, unshakable and uncompromising love and appreciation for ourselves. Hang in there.
Taurus & Taurus Rising
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. -Maya Angelou
The places that you will venture to this week cannot be traced by a GPS system. The places that you can go to this week cannot be measured in kilometers, yards, inches or strides. The places that you can escape to this week can only be measured in heartfelt meanderings, tears of joy/pain and the unravelling of the desire to be anything other than who you are. There may be fewer words on the tip of your tongue. There may be less of a desire to speak the ones that are there and more of a desire to savor the flavor of letting them rest. It can be altogether draining to have to define oneself in a world that is so set on stark, starchy little “I am” boxes. Identity can be politically and spiritually liberating as long as we don’t lose our individual spark in the folds of the labels. This is a time for you to become more at ease in your skin no matter what communications get crossed and tangled in their wiring. Know who you are and what you bring to the table before you worry whether or not you are “right”. Take the time that you need to reconnect with your body, with its beauty and with your natural talent for finding a peaceful stability. Simplicity is your key to happiness. Feast on your nourishing thoughts and fast from your unhealthy ones. Speak a little less and listen a little more.
Gemini & Gemini Rising
The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind. -Maya Angelou
As an experiment for this week’s Mercury Retrograde speak only words of encouragement to yourself this week. Speak words akin to a superfood smoothy for your soul. Stock up on medicinal mantras, fortifying phrases and vitamin enriched epigrams. Meditate on the things that you were told as a child that made you recoil into yourself, remember the sayings that rang true through your family tree but didn’t encourage branching out on your own, recall the line that you were told to tow and write them all down. Then turn them around. Create new statements of truth out of these old untruths; the truth behind these lies that lay in front of your eyes. Notice the ways in which these eroding slurs subtly slip into your morning coffee, follow you on your afternoon stroll and snuggle up to you come bedtime. These are emotional patterns that you can choose to disengage from. These are mental pathways that got carved into your thought patterns way back when. They are now unconscious, habitual ways of framing the world that are blocking your evolution and growth. These are a simple string of words that can be reworked in a heartbeat but take constant and vigilant repetition, rewiring and reworking. Words are your salve, your Queen, your Beloved and your inspiration. Words are your sword, your fertilizer and your basin. Words are your greatest enemies or your greatest allies. What would you like to say to yourself?
Cancer & Cancer Rising
I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory. -Maya Angelou
While meditating on your chart this week I saw and felt something I can only describe as a rapid growth that transgressed the laws of time and space. I liked it. You seem to be releasing pressure lately, most likely the pressure that you interpreted was placed on you as a small child. This usually manifests as expectations that we create for ourselves: my life should be like, sound like and look like this. We all carry around the expectations that our family places on us. Until we say enough there is no outside force that can break this deep hypnosis we are under. What we don’t realize is that there is nothing more freeing than dropping the ball that isn’t ours to play with. I urge you to make letting go of what is not yours to hold onto, the central tenant of your life right now. Holding onto to what is not yours only delays the fulfillment of your purpose. You don’t have that kind of time. You also don’t have the time to pretend like you don’t know what your mission in this life is. If you really don’t yet know, then I suggest you get very quiet and very still everyday until you do. It will come. That’s the deal, guaranteed or your money back. If we sit for long enough and open our ears-not to the cacophony of the everyday worry-obsess-worry-regret-repeat mind, but to the great intellect of the Universal Mind, we receive guidance. If we make conscious contact with that source everyday, there is no doubt that we will find our way. No doubt. Especially for you. Especially during this next Mercury Retrograde. You can expand at rapid rates right now but not without going deeply within first.
Leo & Leo Rising
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. -Maya Angelou
Like something just beyond your peripheral vision, like something just out of reach and beyond your grasp, this week is bound to unfold in some pretty strange ways. Most likely the action will occur within, but your social groups and/or finances could stir the ghosts or sorrow, despair or the spirits of connection, healing and synthesizing. This week may be extra emotional, irrational and eerily familiar. It a good time to accept life as it is with great humility and reverence for what is. In fact I encourage you to make a list of all the things that you were upset about not getting, losing or being forced to let go of in your life. After you write them all down I encourage you to meditate on anything good that came out of or after each loss. We don’t have to be grateful that tragedy has befallen us, I think that is an unfair and insensitive ideology. We can however observe our journey with a very wide lens and see what happened as a result of particular events. We don’t ever have to be OK with what has gone down but it does serve us to acknowledge our ability to grow out of tragedy, despair and what is seemingly futile. In short it’s time to reframe certain situations in your life that may have been holding you hostage in the basement of your past. Time marches on, even when it loops back and around to something from long ago. You are not the same person that you were then. You now have the ability to bring wisdom, clarity and courage to dress an old wound. Do not delay.
Virgo & Virgo Rising
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I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. -Maya Angelou
When Mercury goes retrograde it’s as if you must review where it is you draw your strength from. It’s as if your battery needs a recharge and your resources need rewiring. It’s a good time to slow your role and consider if you are supplying yourself with the appropriate wattage in order to restore accordingly. It’s also quite often a time for you to do minor or major reviews of your current life path/career and role in the world. Because this transit begins in your house of friends, groups and associations I am also wondering if you need to do some clean up in these areas. In the passion of the moment we may come off in ways in which we do not intend so if there is a situation that comes to mind you may wand to consider how you can mend a broken bridge. This Mercury Retrograde starts out in the sensitive, feeling sign of Cancer. Consider how your emotions or the emotions of others has muddied the waters. I’m not encouraging you take action or remain inactive but I am encouraging you to pause, drop in and feel your feelings about any interactions with friends and colleagues that may have gone awry in the past few weeks. If you still yourself for long enough and listen deeply to your heart and gut instincts you’ll be able to access a wealth of knowledge and wisdom about what to do or what not to do.
Libra & Libra Rising
One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest. -Maya Angelou
It’s more than imperative that you be impeccable with your word right now, especially in your career. There may be complications with others that are from a different mindset than you and there seems to be great cause for lamenting, wailing, suffering and rolling around on the floor wallowing in self pity because of this. However, after 20 or so minutes this won’t solve much (but go for broke in that 20). If you know not of what I speak, and your life is skipping along smoothly there is no need for alarm just because some horoscope says there may be glitches. There is however, cosmic cause to tighten up your verbal integrity in all ways with the world at large. If you don’t know what to say, what to agree to or what exactly it is you want to do, then take this week to pause and wait for the answers to come to you. Everything will be revealed when it’s good and ready to reveal itself. Most of the Libra folk I know live pretty large. Only a sign that seeks exclusively for balance could be so extreme. This leaves you with only one option; have the courage to refuse to be thrown off course. Keep reciting what your beliefs are, especially about your work in the world. Remember that you don’t actually work for anyone besides your higher Self. At the end of the day if everything ends up in ruins would you rather have your integrity or the shirt on your back? At the end of the day if everything ends in applause and awards would you rather have your integrity or everyone else’s projection of you? Seek out your truth, act with complete integrity and trust that is enough to solve the majority of your troubles.
Scorpio & Scorpio Rising
I’m grateful to intelligent people. That doesn’t mean educated. That doesn’t mean intellectual. I mean really intelligent. What black old people used to call ‘mother wit’ means intelligence that you had in your mother’s womb. That’s what you rely on. You know what’s right to do. -Maya Angelou
Nothing, nothing, nothing is worth more than the power we have over our own minds. Being a master of our own thoughts, refusing to buy into our insecurities so we can value our own decisions, removing enough emotional debris so that we can believe in our own convictions and clearing away the blockages we have to trusting our inner compass is the greatest gift and the greatest challenge we are faced with. Until this happens, until we have reclaimed our thinking from the ills of the modern world, we relive our history in a bad retelling of a deeply tragic and exquisitely beautiful story. We don’t need to keep living out the same narratives but we must know what they are before we can eradicate them. This is your duty in the coming week-keep your eye on the overarching beliefs that you consider to be self-evident. Are they really? Really? Be brave enough to question absolutes and humble enough to listen to compassionate reflections from friends. Be willing to hear what is difficult and listen to what is honest without defense, pretense or living in past tense. The coming weekend looks to be especially revealing in terms of what kind of support system you have on the most internal planes. Spend time building up these inner foundations and the rest of the month will flow with much more ease.
Sagittarius & Sagittarius Rising
My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return. -Maya Angelou
There is a reason why books, courses, coulombs, horoscopes, pop songs, country songs, blues sons, rap songs and every other kind of musical genre is chalk full of advice, lamentations and meditations on what it is to be human and try to love other humans. It’s the greatest mystery there is. Other people are so fascinating because of what we project onto them. It’s one of the best jokes going really. People are also fascinating because they are reflections of the Universal Life Force that has created all things. The difference between these two out looks is the world. If we are unable or unwilling to withdraw our projections then life and more accurately the people in our lives that we “love” can be incredible sources of pain. But if we can retract our sticky tendrils of tenacious tightening then we have the chance, the wondrous, wild and wholly holy opportunity to see another as divine. This is your task in the coming weeks. It’s not small but it’s not complicated (in theory at least). It’s altogether human and in need of the super human power of simply witnessing those around us without attaching our self worth to them. It’s letting other human beings be flawed, forgiven, taught, learned and loved for who they are, as they are. It’s knowing what fights are worth the bruises and which are really just you fighting against yourself.
Capricorn & Capricorn Rising
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou
Give everyone a free pass this week. Chances are you either won’t hear exactly what they are saying or you might know something that they don’t yet. Be patient. Be kind. Feel into the parts of you that connect with others and the parts of you that are afraid to. Be kind and gentle with those parts, they also don’t know any better until you teach them better. Be a parent to these parts (these parts are your heart). Most likely the disappointments and miscommunications that you experience will be due in large part to how you learned to trust and mistrust the world with your heart. I urge you to pay attention to stories. Stories that others tell you about themselves, stories that you make up about others but mostly I urge you to pay attention to the stories that you make up about you in relationship to the world. Are you received? Is it only because of your status? Are you received in real ways that feel heartening and real? What stories separate you? Which connect you? Which make you want to understand what another person may go through? I also urge you to pause this week, even mid-sentence, especially if you feel like irrational fears and moods are getting the best of you and placing a wedge between you and another. At the end of the day no one cares if you were right, they only care about how you made them feel like Dr. Maya Angelou so graciously taught us.
Aquarius & Aquarius Rising
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. -Maya Angelou
Mercury is starting its latest retrograde cycle in a part of your chart that reminds you how little control really is in your hands. Traditionally this place is associated with health issues and complications of the body. More precisely it’s about how we feel when sick or not in top physical form-weak, afraid and broken down. This is not to say your health is in danger but it could bring up issues of feeling like you don’t have the amount of say over your daily rhythms that you wish you had. It’s in your best interest to pause and consider just how well your daily routines are helping you function. Complications at work could also surface but again it’s really how you choose to see the matter rather than what it appears to be. Are there slight or significant adjustments that you can make in order to have this part of your life be more rewarding and less draining? Mercury rules and is headed back into your Fifth House of creative self-expression and romantic affairs. Making sure that those that get your motor running aren’t running you ragged are a top priority right now. I suggest that you reflect on how honest you allow yourself to be when feelings of love and romance are involved. This entire month is a very good time to come clean in all of your partnerships and perhaps see how doing that frees up much more time and energy on the daily.
Pisces & Pisces Rising
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. -Maya Angelou
We all just want to be loved. It’s really the be-all-and-end-all of what ails us. A broken human heart can be a very dangerous thing. Collections of projections, splinters of suspicions and broken bandits of bedlam threaten to take down even the sturdiest of us. Love can bring us to the edge of madness and beyond; feelings of rejection, abandonment and insecurity only spur the trainwreck on. I’m not predicting that this happen for you or worse, “to” you, but it does seem that some of this material comes up for you to meditate on this week. Perhaps lovers act up this week. Perhaps old ones surface. Perhaps you learn how to love and appreciate yourself in a way you have long forgotten how to do. I think that this is the true seat of creativity. Suffering can help to open us up but it’s getting through the suffering, through the vanity and self-obsession of it to get that leads us to the real goods. Life is far more brutal than the T and V would have us believe, the creative process is as well. The more of ourselves we pour into our creations the emptier we feel, temporarily. These waves are like falling in love and out and in again. There is elation and there is depression, a rise and fall, a high and a low. Ever part of the creative and romantic journey is meant to teach us. If we can approach it as our greatest mentor we can stay out of desiring a specific result and get into enjoying all it has to offer.
Greetings! My name is Jo-Anne Penn-Kast, but you can call me Jo. I’m not a psychic (I don’t think), nor a mystical guru, and I don’t do card tricks. In fact, I’m more than usually ordinary. But I do know some extraordinary... read more