You are currently viewing Mercury Out of Shadow & Back to Full Speed, a Powerful Venus – Uranus & Summer School Updates

Mercury Out of Shadow & Back to Full Speed, a Powerful Venus – Uranus & Summer School Updates

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The Astrology Blog 6 February 2023

All times in GMT


“Truth exists: only lies are invented.”

Georges Braque – French painter and sculptor

“Remember that mindsets cannot be changed through force and coercion. No idea can ever be forcibly thrust upon anyone.”

Pervez Musharraf – 10th president of Pakistan, died 5 Feb 2023

Artwork for this week’s featured image supplied by Sara Burnard. Her current range of images can be viewed on this link, and she will also create any artwork for specific needs –



Here are the six courses planned for the 21st season of The Greek Island Summer School along with the number of places still available on each. You can either book a package or, much the preferred option for students, is to book flight only and leave the accommodation to me. Do get in touch if you’d like more details.

The best way to check current flight prices and choices is to go to Skyscanner. The destination airport is Preveza Aktio (PVK), 45 minutes transfer to Nidri –


17 May 2023

  • Unlock the Secrets of Medieval Astrology

With Dr Chris Mitchell



24 May 2023

  • The Astrology of Families

With Elisabeth Brooke



31 May – no course planned for this week as this is UK schools half term week, but available for a private booking of 1 to 4 people, on requested subjects.


7 June 2023

With Joanna



30 August 2023

  • The Astrology of Relationships

With Joanna



6 September 2023

With Sally Kirkman



13 September 2023

(May include some astrology – to be decided with those taking part)  

With Joanna




I’ve never charged for the weekly blog but regular readers will know that instead, once every 6 months, I do a fund raiser for our cat sanctuary and for doing something towards feeding the strays who gather at the bins throughout the winter months. These are timed to coincide with the Full and New Moons in Leo, sign of the cat!

So the same thing happens every year, when all the tourists go home, the airport shuts at the end of October and so do all the tavernas. Their summer food sources vanish. Most of the “bins cats” have scabby noses from rummaging through the rubbish and survive on very little. February is our most difficult month as it’s now freezing cold, heading for minus temperatures at night – sadly it’s a Greek myth that we have nice weather all year round – and they seriously need some quality calories.

The link below is to the funding page, with more info and photos of the cat sanctuary, and is just for my readers so that Evie Soldatos can see where the funding is coming from. Trust me she’s grateful for every single Euro. She doesn’t just feed, she runs a spaying and neutering program, she takes in all the injured as well and has soaring vet bills. Here are the newest arrivals –

Fund raising is a numbers game, so please don’t think that a small amount wouldn’t make a difference.

5 Euros would buy 7 tins of cat food at Lidls which we mix with rice and biscuits, and you can donate anonymously or with your name.

There are 2 ways of making a donation directly to Evie –

With all our thanks in advance.




Owing to other commitments Elisabeth will be teaching just the one course this year at Summer School instead of her usual two. See the link above for her course 24 May on family astrology which is going to be fascinating. You can also read Elisabeth’s latest blog on this link –



Last week I wrote that –

Aquarius is ruled by Saturn but is also co-ruled by the modern planet Uranus. So we have a double whammy of Aquarius/Uranus themes. Regular readers will know that I generally refer to Uranus as the rug puller, the thing that upsets the best laid plans or the thing you couldn’t possibly have seen coming.

From that description there are no surprises then to learn that Uranus rules all sudden or shocking events, and often features strongly at the times of natural disasters. Over the weekend the news has been full of this theme, such as avalanches in Austria and Switzerland. 30 avalanches were reported in the Tyrol region on Saturday alone. In spite of level 4 (second highest) warnings there was still recklessness (Uranus) and many deaths happened to skiers off piste.

This Full Moon was exact at 21.30 last night local time in Turkey, and the massive 7.8 earthquake happened at 04.17 their time this morning. Uranus is newly “direct” having just switched from retrograde motion 22 January, which in itself indicates rocky situations being super sensitized. Furthermore Uranus is in Taurus, the sign of Fixed Earth, but Uranus can find the fractures and reduce things to rubble, literally and metaphorically. Modern astrology speculates that Uranus is exalted in Scorpio, and is therefore in detriment in the opposite sign of Taurus. Seems to fit.

Uranus often reflects situations completely out of control or out of our personal control. So no risk taking please! I really want to go to Athens to see my friend and colleague Sally Kirkman who’s visiting but with my own Uranus/Moon at 16/17 Leo (the sign that rules the back in medical astrology) my low back injury from 26 Dec is still putting me out of action and travel (9th House) is out of the question, especially five hours on a bus! Otherwise, as predicted, it’s been the expected busy weekend for Summer School enquiries and bookings.


With a dramatic Full Moon like this we expect to see in the news people with key planets at or very close to the same degree. Pakistan’s former president General Pervez Musharraf has died aged 79 –

The link to his horoscope is at the top of the page after his quote, Sun at 17 Leo conjunct Moon’s North Node at 16 Leo. He also has a Jupiter – Pluto conjunction earlier on in the sign, symbolism that jumps off the page when we read that he led a dramatic (Leo) life, including being reprieved (Jupiter) from being sentenced to death (Pluto).


Here’s your “at a glance” picture for this week, and we can see immediately that Mercury is stealing the headlines –

Monday 6 February

  • Mercury 23 Capricorn sextile Neptune 23 Pisces 18.26

Tuesday 7 February 

  • Mercury Out of Shadow at 24.16 Capricorn 04.00

Wednesday 8 February

  • Venus 15 Pisces sextile Uranus 15 Taurus 05.30

Friday 10 February 

  • Mercury conjunct Pluto 29 Capricorn 17.14

Saturday 11 February 

  • Mercury ingress Aquarius 11.23



The week starts with the third and final alignment of Mercury and Neptune, the first one was on Christmas Day and the second was 2 January. Interesting timing. You may find that someone you shared Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day with is playing a significant role in your life or has their own important story coming to a finale. In love or friendship the plus side of the Mercury – Neptune combination is easy communication, the stuff of soul mates, sharing dreams, letting down your boundaries to let someone come closer and learning to trust.

Mercury in any combination nearly always signals news and anything that comes under the communication umbrella – so look out for important conversations, decisions, key information, a creative plan taking shape, contact from other people including those who’ve been off radar for their own reasons.

The more complex side to this combination is sadness. Neptune’s Natural House is the 12th, known as the Vale of Tears, in which we locate loss, bereavement, health issues that need confinement or any kind of emotional wrench or trauma. Tragically we as a community are waiting here for news of a dear friend now on life support in Ioannina hospital (2 hours north of Lefkada) after suffering heart failure with many complications. There’s now only one possible outcome and I’m praying that Miles will now pass over quietly and easily.

Neptune also rules sacrifices. If you’re giving something up for the sake of another make sure that this is for the right and real reasons. Stepping up for loved ones is on, going into rescue mode for anyone manipulative or hitting you with sob stories is out.

Again there’s some interesting timing going on. During Mercury’s recent retrograde loop this planet aligned three times (instead of the usual once a year) with two slower moving planets, Uranus (17 Dec, 8 Jan, 30 Jan) and then Neptune (25 Dec, 2 Jan, 7 Feb). This third and final link to Neptune happens less than 12 hours before Mercury then comes out of shadow, so it’s a finale with any situation that started back in mid December.


The astronomical definition for Mercury coming “out of shadow” is that moment when he returns to the exact position at which he originally turned retrograde. In this case, 24.16 Capricorn on 29 December. As the term suggests, and especially as Mercury is the news and communication planet, we can expect shadows to lift, things that we didn’t previously know about coming to light, the truth outs. So it’s a bit like Eclipse symbolism, in which shadows are thrown and then lifted again to reveal new landscapes.

Also at an astronomical level this event signifies the moment when Mercury returns to full speed and he’ll now be whizzing along through the next three signs between now and the spring. The next retrograde loop will happen 21 April in Taurus.

Mercury’s first activity after coming out of shadow is significant in itself, the first bit of breaking news, and the first two events happen this week, the conjunction with Pluto and then a change of sign, moving on into Aquarius at the weekend. You’ll find that some modern textbooks give Aquarius as Mercury’s sign of “exaltation” (best sign) but traditional holds to Virgo (as the sign of dignity and exaltation), but even so the Mercury – Aquarius combination is a good match. Mercury the mind planet loves the air signs, element of the mind and intellect.


So the annual conjunction with Pluto takes on extra weight, not just because it’s the first aspect on the new journey but also because Pluto has now crept onto the last degree of Capricorn. With a cycle of 248 years this planet moves at snail’s pace (has been travelling through Capricorn since 2008) so it’s been a long haul. 29 degrees of any sign is known as a “critical degree” simply because it’s about endings and finales, and likewise for 0 degrees being about brand new beginnings.

Mercury – Pluto combinations are often themselves about endings or closure of all kinds. Here is how I see Pluto’s job description –

Main principle is endings/beginnings, often starting with significant loss, black holes, death of the old and the birth of the new. Whatever comes to an end under Pluto means no going back, the door slams shut behind you. Pluto tends to be uncompromising.

Plutonic issues include starting from scratch, those who are physically or emotionally absent, transformative processes that take months (not transformation in the waving of magic wands sense), deep healing, surgery, resourcefulness, empowerment, control, power, abuse of control/power, finality, wealth of the individual (plutocracy or plutarchy being a society ruled or controlled by people of great wealth or income). Matters connected to obsessions/ addictions, secrets, taboos also belong to Pluto, like The Devil card in the tarot.

So look out for themes of inevitability, or events/decisions of the irrevocable kind. For example, relationships that break up at this time will definitely have reached the end of their road. Don’t try to breathe new life into anything that is obviously dead. With the exception of literal bereavement, the pursuit of happiness lies in accepting change, no matter how hard, and starting over, not clinging to wreckage. I have countless Pluto stories from my own practice over the years to illustrate this point.


So in the middle of all the Mercury milestones we have one other aspect, Venus aligning with Uranus in the early hours of Wednesday –

Wednesday 8 February

  • Venus 15 Pisces sextile Uranus 15 Taurus 05.30

As already noted Uranus is super sensitive at the moment, only just starting to pick up any kind of speed since turning direct. He’s also in one of Venus’ own signs (Taurus being Venus’ feminine sign, the masculine sign being Libra). In technical terms then Venus “disposits” Uranus, ie has more power over or with this planet, and is powerful within herself being in Pisces (Venus’ sign of exaltation).

Venus is primarily love, romance, money and life’s pleasures. Uranus as we know is anyone’s guess. Surprises and the unexpected are on the cards, and as the sextile is at least a harmonious aspect (exactly two signs apart, water and earth being the feminine elements) then I would expect this to be at least partly about events of the pleasurable kind.

As noted earlier this is not a time for risk taking but this combination favours healthy spontaneity and changes, especially of the kind that dig us out of ruts. So overall at least one decision or piece of news this week could lead to life suddenly looking very different.

It’s obvious through my own work that many of us are still rebuilding “normal” social lives after the devastating restrictions of the pandemic. Uranus rules technology, so online relationships may be part of this picture, but Uranus also rules the collective, groups and get-togethers. Note that Mercury is also heading for Aquarius, Uranus’ sign. This doubles up the message that if you’re feeling isolated then it’s time to reconnect, in any way that puts you in touch with existing friends or puts you in places where you can make new ones.

The Sun of course is also still in Aquarius for another two weeks, and will be moving into the next sign of Pisces next weekend, followed immediately by the New Moon at 1 degree of that sign, and I’ll be talking more about this next time,

Until then with love from Greece



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