Retrograde Mercury and Eclipses, 1996
by Felissa Rose

Retrograde Mercury

For the third but not the final time this year Mercury will be retrograde September 4 to the 25th when it goes direct. The last one will begin on December 23 and last until and January 12. To refresh the memory of those who have read earlier “Cosmic Chartings”, Mercury retrograde are periods when communications stall and bog down -- particularly those of the technological and mechanical type. The September 4 retrograde begins in Libra -- the zodiacal sign of union and harmony then quickly moves into Virgo the ruler of organization and procedures.

During the retrograde period explore and get familiar with your computer. Avoid purchase or downloading software as the likelihood of glitches and malfunctions prevail. It’s especially important to back-up your programs and get a good anti-virus program before downloading any new software.

Aside from the technical side of this retrograde period, the movement through Libra is likely to create discord in relationships. Mercury is the planet governing communications and Libra the sign of harmony and union. Excellent for introspection and inner awareness of what you seek in a partnership but difficulty getting the message across. Think it out during the retrograde period and talk it out when Mercury goes direct.

The other sign Mercury will be retrograde in is Virgo, ruler of health and self- improvement. This won’t be the optimum time to attempt new health and non-emergency medical treatment. If you’re planning a diet or new exercise regime start it before or after Mercury is retrograde if you want to stick to it and have it be effective.


A total lunar eclipse will occur on September 26 at 10:52 PM EDT in 4 degrees 17 minutes of Libra and Aries. On October 12 at 10:15 am EDT there is a partial solar eclipse at 19 degrees 32 minutes of Libra.

Since the Moon has no light of its own it reflects light from the Sun. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is situated in a location where it cuts off the Sun’s light from the Moon depriving it of illumination. Lunar eclipses always take place at the full moon when the Sun and Moon are in opposite signs of the zodiac.

Solar eclipses take place on the new moon when the Sun and Moon are located in the same sign. They transpire when the Moon stands between the Sun and the Earth cutting from our vision the Sun and its light.

Eclipses occur twice a year within a two week period of each other . The next solar eclipse is a total one on March 8 in the sign of Pisces. The one after that is a partial one on September 1, 1997 in Virgo. Next March 23, 1997 there is a partial lunar eclipse in Aries and Libra . Weather permitting this should be visible through most of the western hemisphere. The lunar one after that is on September 16 in both Virgo and Pisces.

The effect of eclipses on the personal and worldly sphere can be described as a fire engine far off in the distance – the siren getting close and closer, passing right in front of your house at the actual moment of the eclipse. Tension built up before the eclipse is released in the same manner. And the two-week period between eclipses is the one most fraught with drama and tension.

The next time I’ll discuss effects of eclipses on both the individual and the world.

Copyright 1996 by Felissa Rose. Felissa Rose

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