WHAT IS SOLSTICE: [Summer / Winter]
Solstice from the Latin for Sun Stands Still. For several days before and after each solstice, the sun appears to stand still in the sky—
This means its noontime elevation does not appear to change.
At the solstices the sun's apparent position on the celestial sphere reaches its greatest distance above or below the celestial equator.
SUMMER SOLSTICE: At the time of summer solstice, about June 22, the sun is directly overhead at noon at the Tropic of Cancer. In the Northern Hemisphere the longest day and shortest night of the year occur on this date, marking the beginning of summer. But at the same time days begin to get shorter after the Summer Solstice.
WINTER SOLSTICE: At winter solstice, about December 22, the sun is overhead at noon at the Tropic of Capricorn. In the Northern Hemisphere the shortest day and longest night of the year occur on this date. this marks the beginning of winter. But at the same time celebrates the return of the Sun. Days begin to get longer after the Winter Solstice.
For several days before and after each solstice the sun appears to stand still in the sky.
Celebrating the Summer Solstice: summer was a joyous time of the year for those Aboriginal people who lived in the northern latitudes. The snow had disappeared; the ground had thawed out; warm temperatures had returned; flowers were blooming; leaves had returned to the deciduous trees. Some herbs could be harvested, for medicinal and other uses. Food was easier to find. The crops had already been planted and would be harvested in the months to come.
Celebrating the Winter Solstice: The Sun returns after the Winters cold and darkness and looking forward to the longer days of Sun ahead.
It’s at this time that many traditions observe Yule, Christmas, Santa Claus, Father Time, Feast of lights [whether candles or lamps], all celebrating the return of Light to our world.
WHAT IS MERCURY IN RETROGRADE?
Mercury in Retrograde: Keep it Simple and Breathe
A Planet is described as being in retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards. When this occurs it appears to move backwards through the signs of the Zodiac. Because of this, each time Mercury is in Retrograde, the specific effects that this creates is also determined by the sign of the Zodiac it appears to moving backwards through. This is where it gets complicated for me to explain.
On a side note: I am certainly not an expert in Astrology. I have trouble remembering what the sign is of each month and in what order they fall. I remember my children’s signs and of course my own, and I sure understand the characteristics of each of these signs. It has helped me to understand myself, my relative insanities, my relative character strengths and defects as well as my children’s characters directly related to their signs. But past that, I struggle to understand all the ins and outs of Astrology. I leave that to you wonderfully informed astrologist. You have my deepest admiration and respect. There is a wealth of helpful information you have to share for those of us who simply depend on a bit of direction from our daily horoscopes.
Okay, back to the subject at hand…. Ahhh Mercury in Retrograde. This occurs normally about 3 times a year. Each time it does there are definite changes in energies. So much so that you almost don’t need a calendar to tell you that we just stepped into another retrograde. This is near and dear to me right now and am writing about this because we are just a few days after our last Retrograde… It began Aug. 3rd, 2011 and ended Aug. 26th, 2011. Today is August 30th, 2011 and this Retro has left me a bit in awe of it.
Now, understand that the planets are never “actually” in retrograde or stationary for that matter. It truly is an illusion that is created due to the rotation of the Earth relative to the planets.
Retrograde actually begins a few days before the actual turning point. Your calendar may note the actual day that Mercury in Retrograde begins and ends. This normally lasts about 3 weeks. It is good to understand that the energies will begin long before the day on the calendar. So much so that you may be alerted by them and run to check the Calendar to see just what the heck is going on.
Mercury rules commerce, clarity, information of all sorts, thinking, perception, processing in all forms, communication, transportation, I have personally found it rules electronics of all sorts, and probably more. Because it rules these things, it affects those people who work in these areas. Those who share information, work with computers, cars, trains, electronics, and communication. Okay, just take a moment and think about how many people and things this period of time would affect. It is almost overwhelming.
When Mercury moves into retrograde it gives rise to miscommunications, between people and machines, [i.e. breakdowns with computers, phones, vehicles, electronics as well as human communication breakdowns, misunderstandings, negotiations etc…].
If Mercury rules Clarity and perception then while in retrograde… you guessed it, we are not going to read the fine print, things will not be so clear and our intellect will certainly be clouded if not completely in retrograde itself. If you are struggling for your Clarity, or just a simple thought, good luck.
If Mercury rules Commerce, then money is certainly going to be funny during retrograde. Personally I struggle with balancing the checkbook, loose money, always have less than I thought I did, and struggle to make ends meet. I have observed the strangest behaviors in the store during these times.
Appointments are made, canceled and rescheduled over and over again, items are picked up to purchase and then put right back on the shelf, customers come in to shop and leave empty handed. When I see these signs I break out the Calendar and usually affirm that we are in the energies of Retrograde.
Mercury in Retrograde brings all kinds of frustrations, breakages, aggravations, poor decisions, misunderstandings, crazy behavior and it just keeps coming for weeks. Our level of frustration and discomfort is directly related to our recognizing that we are in Retrograde and our ability to let go of the shore and just go with the crazy flow of it. This too shall pass, it always does and things balance out, things get fixed, electronics start working again and money starts flowing again.
Admittedly, it is so much more complicated than this short explanation. If this has peaked your interest then you must research and get very familiar with its many facets associated with the Sun and Moon Signs that it retrogrades in. Have Fun!!!! Just type “What is Mercury in Retrograde” and you will have pages and many sites to visit and explore regarding this Astrological Phenomenon.
If Mercury goes into retrograde… JUST BREATHE…Find your sense of humor… and let go of the shore!