Libra Equinox – September 22, 2008, 15:44 UT

Libra Equinox – September 22, 2008, 15:44 UT
Mercury Stations Retrograde – September 24, 2008, 07:17 UT

On the two days of the Equinoxes each year, the length of night and day is equal everywhere on Earth. The word Equinox means “equal night”. This year the Autumnal Equinox, or the Libra Equinox, occurs on September 22. Then days are getting shorter towards the winter here in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Sun enters Libra in the midst of the so-called Mercury storm. Mercury goes retrograde three times each year. Mercury makes its current retrograde station on September 24, two days after the Equinox. The echo phase started on September 4. Echo phase means the phase when Mercury is moving in direct motion through the degrees where it’s about to be retrograde, or was just retrograde. During the few days that surround each exact station, Mercury is moving very slowly, less than one degree per day. This slow period is called the Mercury storm.

In spite of the slow motion of Mercury during the storm phase, it is a period when you need to be particularly aware and careful, as a very rapid shift of energy is taking place. Usually the retrogradation is described as a time when technical devices stop working, communication fails, traveling gets delayed etc.

It is also a time when we tend to be more introspective than usual. Eric Francis has noted that Mercury retrograde works a little like Chiron, revealing the weaknesses in a system in a way that helps us fix them. It can put stress on relationships, and this is especially true now that Mercury is in Libra, the sign of relationships.

In the Equinox chart the Sun squares Pluto. All the so-called personal planets except the Moon, i.e. the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars, are in Libra. This is beneficial, as planets in Libra tend to operate tactfully, in balanced and harmonious way, and several factors in the chart are indicating an emotionally unstable period.

Mercury in its storm phase is in an accurate conjunction with Mars. It can be difficult for Mars in Libra to act initiatively or express anger. Yet the Mercury-Mars conjunction is tightly opposite Eris, named after the goddess of discord, the planet that led to the demotion of Pluto and caused disagreement among astronomers. An opposition is the aspect of confrontation.

In the chart there are several quincunx aspects (an aspect of 150 degrees) related to Centaur planets and trans-Neptunian planets. Quincunxes are irritating aspects that require adjustment. Astrologer Sue Tompkins has described them like “finding, as you are running, that you have a stone in your shoe.?

A Yod pattern is formed when there are two planets sextile to each other, and each of them is forming a quincunx to a third planet. There are two interesting Yods in the chart.

The Mercury-Mars conjunction, showing possibly impatient and sharp communication, is the apex of the first Yod, forming quincunxes to Uranus in Pisces and Sedna in Taurus. Uranus is sextile to Sedna.

The other Yod is formed by Apollo-Okyrhoe-Logos conjunction in Virgo, Neptune in Aquarius and Eris in Aries. The triple conjunction is the focal point of this Yod. Neptune is the planet associated with deception and denial. Cubewano Logos is associated with logic, science and technology. According to Eric, Logos represents the “higher octave? of Mercury. Mercury is the planet of communication, and nowadays a big part of our communication takes place via technical device.

Martha Lang-Wescott proposes that asteroid Apollo may symbolize provocation or going against the odds. It can be very useful allowing one to tackle situations where the odds of success are small.

Centaur planet Okyrhoe is named after the nymph daughter of Chiron and Chariklo. She was a prophetess who was transformed into a mare for revealing the secrets of the gods. From the Theoi Project site I learned that in mythology actually there were four other nymphs named as Okyrhoe. One of them was loved by the god Hermes. Two other Okyrhoes appear in connection with either the sun god Apollo, or with Helios, who later became identified with Apollo.

The Moon of the Equinox chart is in Cancer, the sign that the Moon rules. The Cancer Moon is protective and nurturing, but can sometimes be over-sensitive and emotionally fluctuate. Also Venus in Libra is in its own sign, strong and sociable. Jupiter and Saturn are still in solid trine to each other.

By the time of the Mercury station on September 24, Venus has changed signs into Scorpio and the Moon in the late degrees of Cancer in quincunx to Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio.


The Astrologer’s Textbook Of Astronomy by Mary Dowton and Steve Cahill

Eric Francis, Mercury is Always Retrograde, ASR

Eric Francis, Mixed Signals, Bright Ideas: Mercury Retrograde in Gemini, PWAN

Planet Wiki, Eris

Sue Tompkins, The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook, 2006, Flare Publications

Planet Waves Daily Astrology & Adventure, Scorpio Full Moon, UAC Update

Treehouse Mountain

Theoi Project

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