Mastering Mercury

From now until the end of August, Mercury is back in Leo.

This is visionary, big picture stuff.

In theory, the advice is in order to best communicate your plans and ideas, you should make others the center of attention using flattery and dramatic appeal.

But, in reality, when it comes to communication styles, one size never fits all.

So, for example, if your own Mercury is in Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius,  then you should be set to go. But if your Mercury were in, say, Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn, then the more Leonine your appeal, the more false it will sound. Worse, if the individual whom you’re addressing has Mercury in Scorpio, she will be suspicious by nature and looking for every opportunity to call you out.

In order to get the balance right, you need to consider not only the current placement of Mercury but also that of both your own Mercury and the individual to whom you’re launching your appeal.

  • Sound tricky?
  • Sure is.
  • Effective?
  • Absolutely!
  • Worth the effort to become the Master of Mercury in order to become aces at communicating your plans and ideas?
  • Your call.

Be Nimble

Today Mercury turns direct and moves forward again in his apparent motion across the sky from Cancer to Leo and beyond. Since he turned retrograde earlier in July, you’ve probably been dithering about taking action to resolve an issue that deep down, you already appreciate needs to be resolved. 

Now, you’ve no choice but to do something – take responsibility, show leadership.

This may not be what you wished to hear, but take heart – you don’t need more keep doing more of the same only faster and harder. There are some fantastic new potentialities, and one of them as recently highlighted in The Harvard Business Review (HBR), is called ‘Nimble Leadership’. Even better, it doesn’t just work for business but also in your personal life.

Nimble Leadership

Basically, according to the HBR there are three distinct types of leadership: (1) entrepreneurial (creating value by moving into unchartered territory), (2) enabling (making sure everyone has everything they need to make it happen) and (3) architecting (eye on the ball, strategic and structural). 

The idea is that you can walk that thin line between creativity and chaos when you can enlist, as needed, the necessary strengths for all three. Naturally, this presupposes that you understand which situation (or aspect of a particular situation) requires what and when. If you aren’t certain, what’s the worst that could happen if you asked for some help? Similarly, if you don’t yet have the personal strengths to cover all three bases then recruit some in.

This is what coaches and coaching is all about.

In Love with Love

  • In Gemini, Venus was charmed with conversation.
  • In Cancer, she was charmed with commitment.
  • Now she’s in Leo and she’s in love with the very idea of love.

Love is a celebration, a stage upon which dramatic tensions play out. Love is generosity, enjoyment, creation, self-expression, and appreciation. Make no mistake about it, now that Venus is in Leo, you and your beloved will star in a carefully-scripted, archetypally inspired show.

Contrary to popular belief, Venus isn’t so much about love for others as it is about love for ourselves. In psychological astrology, Venus point to our feelings of self-worth: the merit and reward which we gain from our relationships with others.

Don’t forget that in myth, the love affairs of Venus with mortals and immortals alike, were never smooth sailing.

After all, she was the most beautiful of all the goddesses and she knew how to use this to get precisely what she wanted.

From now until towards the end of August, don’t be surprised when your own romantic interests are tinged with self-interest. It’s only to be expected. The key for everyone to get the best of this period is to give each other plenty of pats on the back, passionate embraces, and encouraging smiles.

Choleric Days / Sun in Leo

  • Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen.
  • Four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments.
  • Temperament is not the same as personality. Whilst the latter is shaped both by internal and external forces, temperament is inborn, innate.

As far back as Galan in the 2ndcentury it has been accept that no person can consist of a single temperament; such ‘pure’ states are not possible in nature. Still, it’s not unusual to display a dominant temperament and with the Sun now in Leo until 23 August, the dominant energy or temperament is choleric, the manifestation of fire which is hot and dry. 

Even if your Sun is not in Leo, Leo energy exists somewhere in your chart and so during this period whilst the Sun is in Leo, you might expect that it manifests for you n some way.

Choleric energy is characterised as commanding and aggressive. It is a time of energetic enthusiasm that may lead to impulsive ‘hot-headedness’. But it’s also characterised by a friendly atmosphere of generosity that can help to smooth over any cracks. This is a proud and bountiful time but beware, there’s a tendency not only to be lazy, but also to tell bold and audacious lies.

The Precipice

Funny how when things go wrong, we’re quick to blame anyone or anything, including Mercury in Retrograde. I’ll admit, it is true that retrograde Mercury slows things down and even ensures that certain carefully orchestrated plans and connections go awry.

But I’m also willing to guess this occurs for good reason.

Today, Mercury in Leo turns retrograde (appears to back-paddle through the sky) and by mid-month, he will slip back into Cancer. 

The Precipice

Try this now:

Imagine you’re on the edge of the Grand Canyon, looking over the precipice into a deep gorge. If you’re feeling somehow small and insignificant in the face of the grander scheme, that’s quite natural. Yet at the same time, you wonder how it is that your life seems to have been fairly smooth sailing for some time. It’s also quite natural for you to assume this will continue if not forever, at least for awhile.

But the reality is quite different and by the time retrograde Mercury does slip into Cancer, it might well already have become apparent that you’re becoming increasingly trapped between rock and a hard spot. Like the rock formations in the Grand Canyon, without your even noticing it some situation in your life will have quietly developed until it has reached the point where you no longer can go on as before.

Now the question becomes whether you’re willing to jump into the brave new world – the void cracking opening before your very eyes. Or will you retreat back from the edge of the precipice and find an alternative route. Only you can decide and in regards to your decision, only time will tell whether it was right or wrong.

  • How do you explain this to yourself?
  • What are the possibilities here?
  • How will you pull it all together?

Ready for a Challenge?

Mars is now in Leo, where on and off it will flirt with Mercury (also in Leo) until mid-month. 

The potential for accomplishing your goals now is real, but only if you do it right. The problem is that with Mercury/Mars in Leo together, it will be very difficult to find the right balance between rightful self-assertion and being annoyingly pushy. Even worse, with this energy, most folks will be on edge. So even your best intended overtures may be interpreted as fighting words.

How to avoid a potential clash?

Ready for a challenge?

  • As party to any confrontation, you need to be very clear about your intended goals. In turn, this requires you to have a firm grasp on your personal values, or the core principles that give meaning to your life (i.e. honest or integrity or dignity or commitment).
  • Next, you need to be ready to understand the values of the other person(s) involved and respect them as valid even if they should conflict with your own.
  • Regularly, we come into contact with people whose values are different from our own and we deal with it. That’s because prior experience tells us that more often than not, we will find some middle ground.
  • With Mars/Mercury in Leo, you may need to put in a bit more effort than usual to accomplish this. 

Think Tank

Today, Mercury moves into Leo where he remains until mid-July.

During this period,  you can expect communication to be warmly encompassing and encouraging as folks self-confidently and authoritatively air their views and ideas. 

Think Tank

BEWARE: Chances are that no one will probably have heard much of what was actually discussed. This isn’t so much because they weren’t interested but more because they were preoccupied with what they wished to say. 

This energy favours neither what is logical nor practical, much less what will benefit the group as a whole. The focus is only on possibilities that will further the ego concerns of the speaker. This is visionary – big-picture – stuff. Don’t sweat the details (at least not until Mercury moves in to Virgo). 

Should you believe that you’re exempt from getting caught up in this energy, think again.

  • What do you choose to do with this information?
  • Who is in control and who decides?
  • What would your hero or heroine do in this situation?

The Life of Madonna: an astrological thumbnail sketch

Imagine having a snapshot of the quality of time in your life right now?

There are many astrological techniques offering this opportunity but my favourite one, of classical origin, is called Directing by Triplicity. It provides a quick and easy thumbnail sketch of your entire life which, in my experience with numerous charts, is very accurate. 

Let’s see how this works with Madonna:


Madonna’s early life is characterised by wanting to shine but being held back. This time is best spent dreaming about what she wishes to achieve and gaining the skills to accomplish that.  Later, she can expect success in being of benefit to women and women’s issues. The suggestion here is achievement of a high-profile position that comes with a ‘bit of glamour’. In later life, she will turn to more philosophical than practical concerns although this is unlikely to give her the sense of contentment or achievement she seeks. 

Madonna’s natal chart


  1. Madonna was born during the day and so the focus is on her Sun.
  2. Her Sun is in Leo, which is in the element of Fire: the classical triplicity rulers for Fire are Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn (in that order).
  3. The first 1/3 of Madonna’s life is thus ruled by her Leo Sun:
    • Because this Sun is in its sign of rulership, is very strong. Here is a child that wants to shine but she struggles to do so.
    • This is because her Sun at 23 Leo does not make an aspect to the angles of the chart and so she’ll have little impact on her environment.
    • Her Sun is also in her 12th house, which suggests that however much she may want to be in the limelight, she remains hidden away.
    • This is a good time to sit tight and plan for the future whilst honing the skills that will take her there.
  4. The second 1/3 of Madonna’s life is ruled by her Jupiter, which is at 26 Libra in her 2nd house: 
    • Although this Jupiter is not as strong is it might be, it is still very strong (by Face and Term).
    • According to the ancient texts (updated for 21st century ideals), this suggests a ‘benefit to women or women’s issues or those who are connected to high profile positions that have a bit of glamour’.
    • The 2nd house placement suggests this manifests in lots of money.
  5. The last 1/3 of Madonna’s life is ruled by her Saturn which is retrograde (moving backwards) in Sagittarius in the 4th house (home and family):
    • This Saturn is neither particularly happy nor unhappy. Saturn is keen to achieve in a concrete sense and in Sagittarius, the focus must be more philosophical than practical. 
    • This Saturn also just misses out on being exalted (by Face and Term) suggesting that Madonna narrowly fails to achieve all that she would like during this period.
    • Saturn is also retrograde (moving backwards through the sky). Although Madonna may want to return to her former glories, she’s is unable to do so.
    • Just like her Leo Sun in the 1stpart of her life, her Saturn fails to aspect the angles of her chart and so her days of making a big impact are over. 

A Breath of Fresh Air

Let’s admit it.

Of late, there’s been a lot of hot, stale air around.

But a breath of fresh air comes on 21 January (5:13 AM GMT), with the fiery Full Moon Lunar (total) eclipse.


The Sun has just moved into Aquarius. That alone is enough to deliver a forward-thinking push. Add to it this lunar eclipse in Leo, and it’s a double whammy.

Ambition is rife. You’re all fired up for your future. Quite possibly you’re tempted to charge off in all directions at once. That, however, would be a grave mistake. During this period, it’s all too easy to take on more obligations that you can manage. Worse, it may take up to a year for you to even notice the damage this will have done.

Although eclipses are not exactly rare (most calendar years have four, two of which will be solar eclipses), they do tend to attract a good deal of attention. This is because they serve as a release for pent up energy so now is definitely the time to get moving again.

Just make sure that you can walk before you start to run.

  • What motivates you?
  • What do you want to create?
  • How does this fit in with your top five goals?