Enthusiasm, Accountability, and Mercury Retrograde

Posted by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter

Have you ever been involved in a project that lacks a clear leader within the group, though there might be an external authority to answer to when the project is done? And maybe you feel excited because you just know that you have the right ideas and could totally direct your team to success, if only they’d listen to you? Amanda Painter suggests a major aspect pattern this weekend looks a little like that.

By Amanda Painter

Have you ever been involved in some sort of group project that lacks a clear leader within the group, though there might be an external authority to answer to when the project is done? And maybe you feel excited because you just know that you have the right ideas and could totally direct your team to success, if only they’d listen to you — even though nobody has vested you with the position of leader or ‘authority’? Well, a major aspect pattern between now and the weekend looks a little like that.

Photo by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter

The Sun is moving from mid to late Aries right now. As it does, it enters the loose cardinal grand square that’s been hanging out for a while.

This grand square involves planets in all four cardinal signs: Uranus and Eris in Aries; Vesta in Cancer; retrograde Jupiter in Libra; and Pluto in Capricorn. The pattern is beginning to separate, but all the major players are still resonating with each other. Between Friday and Saturday, the Aries Sun makes exact contact first with Jupiter (an opposition, exact on Friday), and then with Pluto (a square, exact Saturday night into Sunday).

Oppositions usually signal energy coming to a peak of some sort, possibly a confrontation. Yet Jupiter is known for putting a positive spin on most aspects — even the more ‘challenging’ ones. As notable astrologer Robert Hand describes, Sun opposite Jupiter can give a real boost to optimism and confidence, enabling a person to project very positive energy to those around them.

Even so, as Hand further notes, Jupiter is also known for overdoing things. Overindulging, over-committing, slipping from confidence into arrogance, and over-instructing others are all possible with a Sun-Jupiter opposition. You just feel so good, and you just know you can help, that it can be easy to miss the social cues that would remind you to balance all that enthusiasm with some listening, empathy, reality-checking or deference. Sun-Jupiter is one of the primary ingredients in the hypothetical situation I initially described.

The other main ingredient is the Sun’s square to Pluto. Hand describes Sun-Pluto squares as marked by pressure: internal and external. Often the pressure is about changing or letting go of something that simply is not working, which then enables you to grow. You might find that mechanical things need fixing at this time. It’s also possible — since Pluto represents power and the Sun represents the self or ego — that an authority figure may demand your accountability in some way.

Accountability is not a bad thing. When we’ve taken care of our responsibilities, accountability is simply part of the process. Being challenged can be quite satisfying if you’re able to meet the challenge. It’s when we’re not able to meet the challenge — particularly if we’ve overstepped in some way without truly pulling our own weight — that things can get incredibly uncomfortable.

Yet, those situations offer valuable lessons. The lesson is not ‘do not try’ or ‘don’t be confident’; the lesson is, ‘if you’re going to lead or reach further, do your best to take care of your own shit’. Telling others how to do their job if you have not done your own is asking for trouble. Doing your job and offering help or hints to others might still kick up their ego resistance, but at least their ego is their problem not yours.

Added into this astrological mix is another key factor. Seemingly unrelated, it sets the scene for everything else, because it relates to our thought processes and communication: Mercury stations retrograde on Sunday, April 9, in early Taurus, at 7:14 pm EDT / 23:14 UTC. (It will station direct on May 3.)

As of today, we’re in the ‘storm’ phase, when things like communication, travel, technology and minds can seem especially out of whack.

You’ll want to institute your usual Mercury retrograde protocols: back up your hard drive; call if a text or email seems to be ignored; double-check everything before you hit ‘send’ or sign anything; if possible, put off major purchases and contracts and expensive fixes (there’s usually a workaround); leave extra time for travel; be patient and notice when your focus strays.

Yet with Mercury in Taurus, there is an extra caution about being mentally stubborn. This applies doubly for anything to do with your body, sex, or your finances and material possessions. Notice if anything you want has become less practical than it first seemed. You don’t have to give up on it, but you might need to slow your pursuit (or pause altogether) until you can be sure you have all your information straight.

If it’s an authentic desire, chances are you can get there eventually. Sun-Jupiter is here to buoy your optimism and confidence. And Sun-Pluto is working to enforce clarity and accountability in your growth trajectory. Take the time to get your thoughts straight, listen carefully, and you might very well be able to influence that hypothetical group, for the good of all involved, after all.

Planet Waves

5 thoughts on “Enthusiasm, Accountability, and Mercury Retrograde

  1. Pisces SunPisces Sun

    Thanks Amanda, you offer good advice that is useful anytime but especially when aware of these particular planetary happenings! :) Underpinning this “astrological knowledge” is the Venus Retrograde in Pisces, which could set a more opening tone by allowing for a bit of flexibility as we approach love and human awareness, if we allow it. It all comes down to awareness, doesn’t it? Otherwise, it’d seem, there would be no reason for us to look to the stars, planets, moon, sun and universe, for an inkling of anything if we didn’t have some iota of faith that there was a hint of messaging of something!

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Pisces Sun — exactly! Thank you for mentioning Venus retrograde in Pisces. In this piece, I’d originally tried to mention all the major Rx planets contributing to the scene: Venus Rx in Pisces, Jupiter Rx in Libra, Saturn Rx in Sagittarius (perhaps contributing to the questions of authority and responsibility)…and I might be forgetting one. But it got a little too unwieldy, so I chose to focus just on Mercury in its “storm” phase.

      I do think Venus Rx in Pisces feels a little softer than it felt in Aries, but then I have Venus in Aries and a Venus-ruled Sun, so I might be feeling it especially keenly in certain ways.

      For sure, it does all come down to awareness. I suspect any system of signs, symbols and meaning-making depends on the self-awareness to ask, “How does this apply to me and the circumstances around me? How can I use this energy and insight better? How can I be proactive and receptive and take initiative with my own healing and growth?” Without that component, we risk abdicating our agency and our power of choice.

      1. Pisces SunPisces Sun

        My moon and Venus is in Aries, transiting Sun is conjunct my natal Venus today. And of course, my natal Sun is in Pisces but I also have Mercury in R in Pisces and I eflect often about its pausing effect in my life.

        Retrograde planets are self-reflective and to have Venus presently in Pisces affords us more of an opportunity, I believe, to consider those questions you posed above. I am glad that you raised the the matter of “healing and growth” accompaning awareness. There is a subtle beauty to it all because I can’t think of a time we grow that we are simultaneously announcing to ourselves, “hey, I am growing!’ We generally learn of this fact after the fact, not during the challenge. so with the cardinal square (loose/grand) aimed at lself direction it seems, to me, that the retrograde planets assist in that endeavor. But again, it is a matter of awareness, as it always is.
        Thank you Amanda and PW for keeping us informed!

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