Photo by Amanda Painter

Intentional Expansion — and Mercury Stationing Direct

By Amanda Painter

Believe it or not, we’re in the last week of Mercury’s retrograde through Aquarius. Before you cheer, however, we have its “storm” phase to navigate in the days just before and after it stations direct Feb. 11. Along the way, there’s something akin to what Eric has called “a second Full Moon” (with a distinctly positive side) to make things interesting.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

A winter bloom inside to soften the stormy blows of Maine outside. Photo by Amanda Painter.

First, the pseudo Full Moon: Jupiter in Leo is making an opposition to the Sun in Aquarius, exact Friday, Feb. 6 at 1:20 pm EST (18:20 UTC).

Jupiter’s themes include expansion, optimism, righteousness, judgment and indulgence. In Leo, those terms merge with ‘heart’, ‘pride’ and ‘confidence’. Opposite the Sun, you’ll likely see an exaggeration of whichever of these themes are most present in your life — and you’ll see their expression in your relationships.

That’s the nature of oppositions: the root of any conflict, magnification or polarity/contrast is always within ourselves, but it takes its most visible, concrete shape as we interact with others.

With the Sun in Aquarius, you may notice an emphasis on how you see yourself within certain groups — or perhaps how you see yourself as moving through a group without feeling like you’re really a part of it. Aquarius carries an interesting interplay of the individual vs. group dynamic. As Amanda Moreno (who has her Sun in Aquarius) said last week in her column, “We Aquarians sure do love a good tribal vibe — even though we often feel like complete outsiders, or make ourselves that way.”

That is, Saturn’s rulership of Aquarius lends a certain detachment to the sign. It’s that detached quality of the current Sun (which represents your ego-consciousness) in opposition to the expansiveness of Jupiter that could be tricky. To avoid veering into arrogance toward others, or self-righteous conflicts with authority figures, or a Sherman-style march toward whatever you want most right now, you’ll need to stay in touch with your empathy — your heart.

There’s an excellent chance you’ll feel really good with this aspect. Whether your actions serve to bring others along with you to that happy place is within your control, and a simple matter of the awareness you bring to your interactions.

Stay tuned in to your inner guidance, your ability to self-reflect, and your non-material desires. Goals of mutual growth in intimate relationships are the ones to steer the ship by today and through the weekend. By doing so, the tremendously positive, expansive energy of Sun opposite Jupiter can be truly productive. Just remember that you grow what you sow.

As mentioned at the beginning, Mercury churning up the faux-waters (Aquarius is an air sign, despite the watery imagery) is asking for your attention this coming week. The two to three days before it stations and just after are the days to refocus on the little things that could trip you up: impulsive communication; rushing while distracted; cranky electronics; unnecessary spending; failing to take the time to listen, to read carefully or to think through all the steps.

Mercury stations direct at 9:57 am EST Feb. 11 (14:57 UTC). That would be a good time to keep your antennae up. Mercury stations often are accompanied by the emergence of some truth — a missing or obscured fact, detail or insight that makes an actual difference. Listen carefully, inside and out.

9 thoughts on “Intentional Expansion — and Mercury Stationing Direct

  1. Len Wallick

    Amanda: Thank you so very much for providing a guide for thinking through all the steps going into the weekend and the Mercury “storm” period. Much as will Venus, your illumination is palpably evident as an inspiration for us all.

  2. Michael Mayes

    Thanks Amanda, this pairs well with Len’s blog about “making a turn”. They both bring to focus a direct need for conscious decision-making, communication, and direction in terms of relationships. Of course, that might apply to some more so along the lines of an inner relationship with self, but I am feeling this astrology the most in terms of my relationships with others. It’s very easy for me to slip into patterns of relating that are worn-out, but using the power of intention, bolstered by expansive & optimistic Jupiter, change will happen. Maybe Mercury stationing direct will provide a nugget of truth, or insight too.

  3. beths

    Yes, thanks Amanda! It was just the talking down off the ledge I needed. A true dread of the storm had filled me, and you have given me a map. My brain was clouded and the winds are raging. (Though I have to say listening to Cosmophilia has gotten me through this bitter cold winter tundra of a week. Thank you Planet Waves!!) Can’t wait until the eye of the storm, and then the rush forward into the future. Seems March might be like taking a ride on a rocket!

  4. Mandy

    I went out yesterday to watch the Sun set and Jupiter rise. Along with that, I sat mesmerized by Venus and Mars. It seemed that they are engaging in a slow and tender, yet erotic embrace and penetration with/of each other. I almost felt intrusive and naughty for watching. Almost.
    Then I came home and indulged in dunking tea biscuits in my tea.
    Great and simple pleasures that fill my heart with contentment as my soul sings.
    Thanks for the guidance to be in our hearts to get through the storm, Amanda.

  5. wandering_yeti

    Navigating groups with heart mind: yes. I’m currently changing my trajectory with local groups and putting my time and energy toward the folks that notice my contribution and reflect back to me their appreciation. I’m withdrawing from local bike fun on Friday nights cause I’m just not into standing around drinking beer and smoking cigarettes with amplified prefab music tracks in industrial wastelands. When I returned for the first time in over a year to my Tai Ji community in the park it wasn’t only the humans who welcomed me but the birds, too. Crow said hello and showed me a place to stand in the crowded practice space in the park: when I saw a single crow standing in the pond like a crane amidst a bunch of ducks I knew I’d found my place. Then later on when we were all moving through our form together at the point where we turn around 180 degrees (Repulse Monkey) a flock of geese took off and flew over our heads so close I could feel the wind from their wings in my hair. Clearly showing up in the park on Saturday mornings is better for me than following the drunken bike fun on Friday nights.

  6. Amanda Painter Post author

    yeti — i’m with you on the shift in what group activities really feel worth it.

    carla: i know we’ve had a ton of snow, but…at least that means we can cross-country ski!

    mandy: your “naughty. almost” made me smile. i suspect venus and mars do not mind voyeurs…

  7. Samantha Morgan

    Thanks for this article. I’m currently transitioning jobs at the moment from working with underprivileged adolescents back to what I’m used to- photography full-time with a wide age range of children. This has made me hyper-aware of my interactions with the students I will miss the most and to make sure that I leave them with positive encouragement and hope for the future. I am re-evaluating my time spent in this environment and the experience I’ve gained. Interesting that I am leaving to go back to an old group that I often felt detachment to or at arms length. Maybe it will be a new enlightening experience this time around. Time will tell.

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