Dawne Kovan

Sky Watching Wisdom , Astrology

Mercury goes retrograde (again!) & my Orkney Retreat

Yes, it’s that time once more – Mercury retrograde at 13h10 GMT on 26th June, 2013 at 23 degrees Cancer. Anyone with a birthday on that date will find that this position on their Solar Return (birthday) chart will indicate that their year will take some time to really get going, then everything will leap into action and take them by surprise.

The end period of this phase is 20th July, 18h24 GMT at 13 Cancer squaring Uranus in Aries – so the challenge will be of new ideas and revelations via the technologies – how to express them or communicate them. An inventive Mercury in the marketplace. They first formed this square in 7th/8th of June and obviously had more to say to each other – it’s as if Mercury is saying “Hang on, Uranus, what’s that you said a couple of weeks ago?” and he has to go back to find out. Although Pluto was also involved in that discussion, over the same weekend, Mercury seems to let him get on with what he’s doing – I guess that message was well and truly understood.

From Edgar Winter in Australia, with thanks to him.

Mercury turns retrograde three times a year, and often all three retrograde periods occur in the same element. This year, Mercury retrogrades in Water signs and since Water is the element that rules feelings, this is an indication that people will be processing many emotions. In February and March, Mercury turned direction in Pisces; this coming October it will be in Scorpio. This present period, the retrograde is in Cancer, signalling a time when you’re likely to feel unusually sensitive since your words are coloured with deeper feelings. the good news is that this transit will give you an opportunity to share what’s going on in your personal life, so you can expect to return to previous ideas and conversations – and plan to stay there for a while, since they’ll require time and development. Until 20th July, all the rules apply – see above – so expect confusion misunderstandings and delays; at the same time a thorough review will help you in the long run.

 It’s good to talk!!

On a personal level, this period is usually an opportunity to go back over old contacts in your address book and see how you could rekindle those relationships to mutual advantage. You may also find that travel plans go somewhat awry due to your plans getting mixed up or delays in traffic, ie planes being cancelled, airport, train, bus strikes going on. You may also find that you have noted a phone number wrongly in your diary and can’t make an all important call.

The standard advice astrologers give is to not buy anything electronic or mechanical during the retrograde period as it can have you going backwards and forwards as you try to get satisfaction on your purchase. And it’s not like you have to wait a year – 3 weeks isn’t long. I am holding off from buying my new iPhone until end July, just in case.

Also, it’s worth noting that agreements, contracts, etc can be turned on their heads, by people bowing out or changing their minds about their part in the process. Reneging on deals is a good description of this. It’s better to sell than to buy – the vendor gets an easier time that the purchaser.

That’s how the mischievous master of the marketplace and smooth talking works for us all.


 Also on 26th June, Jupiter enters Cancer for 12 months – which I shall write about in my next blog.

However, in the meantime, here’s a nice story for my Australian readers about my week away on retreat. Last week I was on both Orkney and Shapinsay, a small islands north of the Scottish mainland. It involved taking buses and many ferries to get there.

The town that I landed on from the mainland is called Stromness, where a certain Eliza Fraser lived with her husband James Fraser, a sailor. In 1835, leaving their 14-year-old daughter and two sons in the care of the Presbyterian minister at Stromness, in the Orkney Islands, she accompanied her ailing, 56-year-old husband, captain of the brig Stirling Castle, to Australia.

The ship left London on 22 October, 1835 and, after a successful voyage with passengers and cargo to Hobart Town and then to Sydney, sailed north for Singapore. On the night of 21 May 1836 the vessel hit a coral reef and foundered off the north-eastern coast of Australia. Taking to the lifeboats, the survivors headed south, hoping to reach the convict settlement at Moreton Bay. A few days after leaving the wreck, Eliza gave birth to a baby, who died. Captain Fraser also died.

The story seems confused at this point, as there are a few versions of this story – suffice to say that the survivors were captured or rescued (depending on your viewpoint) by Aborigines who cared for Eliza for about three months before she was rescued by soldiers from a government settlement.

Fraser island is named after her (or her husband) and the plaque on the side of the little house in Stromness gives a little information on her. My Australian companion on this trip was ecstatic about the plaque.

Anyway, as I was writing this piece, I began to think that Jupiter must have been in Cancer during this time in 1835/6 – I have no idea why as I had not researched the state of the skies during that period. However, there it was on both the sailing chart and the shipwreck charts – Jupiter in Cancer! Pluto then was on Uranus’ position today; Uranus was on Neptune’s present position. The Moon of the sailing was on today’s Saturn. A month later, there was a total Solar Eclipse, which must have made for an uncomfortable energy to sail under.

The connections to the present day positions make it somehow a vital story but I can’t think why. Is someone making a movie of this story? Who knows?

So, why would I think that Jupiter was in Cancer in 1835/6? I think first of all it was the rescue by people from a different culture, and the fact that in order to survive, Eliza would have had to learn to negotiate the Aboriginal language for the three months that she was with them. It also connects Stromness to Fraser Island across time by the annual change of Jupiter’s sign, for however many revolutions it took to repeat in 2013.

On both charts Jupiter was placed on the same degree as the Fixed Star, Canopus (the boat) in Argos, at 14 Cancer, associated with sailing. Robson, in his book on Fixed Stars (1923), suggests that when Jupiter is involved with Canopus, as it was then, it denotes religion used for business purposes; great pride; honour and preferment but reversal through public dissatisfaction. Eliza Fraser had her natal Saturn conjunct Canopus, which would have brought great fear and discomfort around sailing.

She later returned to England for a time and remarried. At which point she and her new sea captain husband left the UK for New Zealand where she died aged around 60 in a road accident.

One wonders how her life would have been had she stayed put in Stromness – fixed stars can be tricky to negotiate in ordinary life. When Jupiter hit her natal Saturn in 1835, the necessity to travel must have pressured her through duty to her husband.


Reference: Australian Dictionary of Biography – Fraser, Eliza (1798–1858) by Elaine Brown

One Comment

  1. Loved the story. Thank you.