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Intentional Expansion–and Mercury Stationing Direct 

click to enlarge Photo by Amanda Painter
  • Photo by Amanda Painter

Believe it or not, we’re almost at the end 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 a second Full Moon (with a distinct positive side) to make things interesting.

First, the pseudo Full Moon: Jupiter in Leo is making an opposition to the Sun in Aquarius, exact today (Feb. 6). Jupiter’s themes include expansion, optimism, righteousness, judgment and indulgence. In Leo, we can apply those terms to “heart” and “pride” or “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, my colleague at Planet Waves (who has her Sun in Aquarius) said recently, “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 detachment 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-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, read carefully or think through all the steps.

Mercury stations direct at 9:57 am EST Feb. 11. That’s just an hour or two into most people’s workday on Wednesday, and 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.

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