As Venus settles into her retrograde, Mercury will slip into his Virgo home and cross the shadow point of his forthcoming retrograde. Interestingly enough, both Venus and Mercury will leave their retrograde shadow zones within a week of one another. Mercury will travel from 21° Virgo 51′ back to 8° Virgo 00′ from August 23rd to September 15th and exit the shadow zone on September 30th. Venus is traveling from 28° Leo 36′ back to 12° Leo 12′, from July 22nd to September 3rd, with her shadow exit scheduled for October 7th. Venus is shorthand for what we desire, and Mercury is the planet of the intellect and communication. Leo is the sign that rules the heart, making it a fitting place for exploring Venusian themes. Curious, clever Mercury thrives in analytical, organized Virgo. During their retrograde cycles a conversation between the heart and head is likely to begin, one that may lead to profound changes. Venus may ask what we want most, and Mercury will ask why.
For the first half of the Mercury Venus dance, Mars will be in Virgo. His stay in the Mercury-ruled sign includes oppositions to Saturn, on July 20th, and Neptune on August 22nd. At those points, the dialog may take on a head versus heart tone. Mars rules the head and is the planet of passion, so preferences are bound to find expression. Further, the Virgo Pisces axis, where these meetings will take place, embodies its own version of the head versus heart conflict. Virgo accesses and evaluates the facts and presents its conclusions with stunning intellectual clarity. Spiritual, nebulous and sometimes psychedelic Pisces speaks through symbols, dreams and psychic contact. Its intrinsic truths are seamlessly transmitted to the heart and soul. When Mars leaves Virgo for Libra on August 27th, the Virgo Sun will then further the conversation, by opposing Saturn that day and Neptune on September 19th. Zooming out, from Virgo Mercury will oppose Saturn on August 1st and Neptune on October 4th, a time frame that encompasses the Mercury and Venus retrograde cycles and a good deal of their shadow zones. If examination is on the table, then this period can lead to greater head and heart integration and the resolution of outstanding issues between the two. On July 27th, while still in sunny Leo, Mercury and Venus will conjoin, adding inspiration to the mix. On the next day, Mercury will move into Virgo and begin forming its opposition to Saturn. The combination of Mercury in practical Virgo and the planet of rules, structure and boundaries in holistic Pisces may address the how parts of our questions. August 1st’s other illumination factor is its 9° Aquarius 16′ full Moon. Noticing the matters that take center stage at this time is important. They are likely to reflect the main themes set for review until early October.