The week begins with Mercury, the planet of communication, making his way through Libra, the sign of justice, balance, and fairness. As he does, he experiences a cardinal T-square in astrology, marked by heavy-hitting blows from Pluto, then Saturn, and finally Mars.
His first mash-up is a square with Pluto. This aspect will be full-roar on Sunday and Monday, revealing blind spots. Then, on Wednesday, Mercury experiences another square, now to Saturn, who asks for more discipline and commitment. Finally, on Thursday, he perfects his opposition to Mars. This combination of transits forms a cardinal T-square, which isn’t charming. A cardinal T-square in astrology will expedite decision-making and force issues you might rather sweep under the carpet. But if you get knocked down, you have every capacity to get back up (though you may need a bit of rest first). And, it’s important that you do get back up. These aspects are intense and need to be handled expeditiously, with maturity.
The trick to managing a T-square in astrology is to find the release point, which, in this case, is Cancer. Cancer represents home, family, heritage, and safety and security. In the week ahead, it’s essential to lean into Cancer’s nourishment. Cancer, ruled by the moon, correlates with the stomach. Because of this, feeding ourselves well is essential. Give your body what it needs: a blood-sugar balanced diet, plenty of water, and lots of phytonutrients.
Cancer invites us to “stomach” our emotions, which is of note, given all the news that could make anyone nauseous right now: fires burning endlessly, tense politics, a pandemic with no end in sight, the school year kicking off in chaos, and America still waking up from its denial around racial inequality. The bottom line is that the only way out is through.
A cardinal T-square in astrology will expedite decision-making and force issues you might rather sweep under the carpet. But if you get knocked down, you have every capacity to get back up.
Also remember that Mars is retrograde. In his rare retrograde motion, which happens approximately every 26 months, we lose his ongoing and everlasting emphasis on forward momentum. Things do fall apart, as they must, but Mars in retrograde can also be viewed as an invitation into our soul’s interior, given that he represents the ability to externalize what’s inside.
Think of it like this: Mars is in an essential part of his elliptical journey around the sun, and from the perspective of Earth, appears to be going backward. He’s also exceptionally close to the Earth and visible in the night sky. It’s as though he’s on a bit of a sabbatical and holiday, visiting us, and in doing so, he’s not capable of performing all his regular functions. (Everyone needs a vacation—even Mars.) As he does, he’s temporarily shifted into a new role, asking us to touch the inner-working of our psyches, spirits, and drive. This week, amid Mercury’s forward movement (Mercury goes retrograde in mid-October), the planet’s experience, and consequently ours, too, becomes even more cathartic.
Mercury, on the other hand, rules our mind-set and our nervous system. He’s the planet of communication, and a little trickster at that. Mercury relates to Hermes in mythology, who was the god that gracefully guided souls to the underworld and, in doing so could freely move between the realms above and below (which other deities could not).
Given that Mercury, the fastest-moving planet involved in the T-square, plays a starring role in the week ahead, we can glean some additional wisdom from him, too. Mercury calls us back to basics, indicating that it’s necessary to take exceptional care of our body. Our nervous system depends on being well-rested, hydrated, and nourished. Mercury also invites us to use our mind-set as a tool of resilience. To this point, affirmations, prayers, and a wee bit of optimism go a long way.
Yet, the more in-depth lesson is to be prepared—like Hermes—to travel into the underworld, which is Pluto’s domain. (Remember, the week begins with Pluto and Mercury in a square.) While we fear the underworld, our journey through it holds every potential for our collective and individual rebirth.
With the autumnal equinox on Tuesday, when the sun exits Virgo and enters Libra, we also cross a waning-light threshold. Now that the days are shorter and harvest season is in full roar, darkness becomes even more apparent. Getting to bed and rising earlier supports this transition. Taking melatonin, if needed, at night to keep your circadian rhythm regular may be helpful. The same is true regarding taking high doses of vitamin D in the morning and getting out in the sunlight as soon as you can.
Thankfully, there’s an abundance of food being harvested now, which means many local veggies are potentially available. Nourishment, rest, and sleep provide us with what we most need. With its accompanying weather shifts, the season of fall offers us a beautiful opportunity to indulge in these very things.
The nourishment of fall is essential because your body needs support to get back up. Better days are ahead, and next week Mars makes a luscious trine to Venus, which will bring a moment of relief (and maybe even some fun!). But for now, the forecast indicates that we are in the middle of a crossfire. So do what you must to take care of yourself. Honor the seasonal transition. Take time at night to get outside and see Mars (he’s stunning) and then get to bed. Self-care is essential now.
Jennifer Racioppi is the creator of Lunar Logic—a philosophy that integrates the deep wisdom of both science and spirituality, and blends her expertise in astrology, positive psychology, and women’s health—which she uses to coach high-achieving female entrepreneurs to reach their next level of success. Pre-order her book, Cosmic Health (January 2021), here.