At long last, another Mercury in retrograde is at an end. After a period of conflicting astrological influences, the planets are starting to shift back to a (semi) harmonious state. The recently passed Autumnal Equinox is just one of the balancing forces in the heavens this week. Pluto is another planet that will be coming out of a retrograde soon and stationing direct. Pluto formed a trine with Mercury on Tuesday while Mercury was still in its retrograde, and will form a trine again with Mercury on Friday now that Mercury is stationing direct. These types of double trines are rare. A trine is a particularly auspicious aspect, although not one of the more dramatic ones. (Such a relief after all this cosmic chaos and the Pisces eclipse!) Trines are formed when planets are 120 degrees apart, and planets that form a trine are always of the same element. Because of this, they work very well together. Mercury and Pluto are both incredibly cerebral. Your brainpower, analytical skills, and communication skills will be at an all-time high. However, Pluto’s influence will cause this to turn more inward than outward. Pluto is the planet of death and regeneration. It is also the planet of destiny, or things that are meant to happen. We had a lot to learn about ourselves in the previous weeks’ tumultuous climate, this week is when we finally start to slowly piece together how to use the information we’ve learned. The old, tired habits and ideas that we identified in past weeks will be left to die, and Pluto will help us place something new and far superior in that empty space.
Next week amplifies the astrological theme of growth, and will finally start to project this growth outward. Once a year there is a Sun-Jupiter conjunction, and this year it will be Monday, September 26. This is an aspect of expansion, of luck, of light. Emphasizing this is the fact that Monday is the same day Pluto, one of the darker and more mysterious planets, will station direct. Mars will also be moving into Capricorn, meaning all that aggressive energy will be channeled into achieving the goals and ambitions you may have figured out during this Mercury/Pluto retrograde period. The Libra New Moon on Friday, September 30, is yet another balancing aspect. If you remember our previous astrology post, you’ll recall that eclipses are times of closure and new beginnings. New moons are similar, but quite a bit gentler. Although this is the first full week of Autumn in the northern hemisphere, looking at the astrology you’d be shocked it wasn’t spring. The stars are creating the perfect atmosphere for abundance, growth, new opportunities; entire new chapters in your life. Enjoy this week; you deserve it for surviving the double retrograde!
When thinking of a stone that knows change, I couldn’t turn away from opal. Like our previous featured stone, labradorite, this is a stone that changes depending on the viewing angle. Sometimes it looks like a featureless stone, when turned it lights up with all the colors of the rainbow. Opals are unique in the gemstone world, as they do not have a regular crystal structure. Instead, opals are a hardened silica gel. They generally form in areas that are no stranger to change; the conditions for their formation are typically found in places that have intense rainy and dry seasons. During the rainy season, minerals are washed out of sedimentary rocks to create a kind of silica solution. This solution seeps into cracks in other sedimentary rock, which is why opal is often found as bright veins in dull host rock. During the dry season, that solution dries out and the suspended silica is left behind. If that silica just happens to be arranged in neat columns and rows, opal’s dazzling play of color will come out. These gems are born of change and luck.
That isn’t to say that opals thrive through all changes. We aren’t sure quite why, scientists think it is their high water content, but opals are particularly susceptible to thermal shock. This means that when opals are exposed to a rapid, drastic change in temperature, they have a tendency to crack. To me, this is a reminder through all this change to be a little gentle with yourself. Even good changes can be tough.
Opal has also endured changes in reputation throughout the years. In ancient times, it was considered the luckiest stone of all. It was thought that it contained the colors, and therefor power, of all the other stones combined. In medieval Europe it was said that if a blonde woman wore an opal, her hair would never dull or darken. Other legends say that an opal will give you a sort of magical invisibility, making it a favorite for thieves. It was even called Patronus Forum, or patron of thieves. All this was changed when Sir Walter Scott released his novel, Anne of Geierstein. The main character of this novel, Lady Hermione, wore an opal in her hair. This opal supposedly projected her emotions to the world; flashing red when she was angry, or many beautiful colors when she was happy. In this novel she was accused of being a demoness, and when the opal was sprinkled with Holy Water she took ill. When they went to care for her in her bed, all they found were a pile of ashes and the enchanted opal. This novel was wildly popular, and it was enough to make opal prices plummet. Even though this novel was written in 1829, many people still believe it to be a bad luck stone.
We modern day demonesses (and demons!) know opal’s true positive vibe. Opal releases inhibitions, a quality that is incredibly useful in times where change will benefit us. It increases spontaneity, which is excellent after long periods of introspection like the Mercury/Pluto retrograde. Opal will intensify your emotions and bring them to the surface, helping you to parse out how you really feel about all these new factors in your life. Mercury and Pluto’s intellectual air energy can sometimes put us out of touch with those emotions. In addition to amplifying your own deep emotions, it can enhance your self-worth and general enthusiasm for life. I think after this past eclipse/Retrograde season, we can all use a bit of that.
If you can’t get your hands on an opal in time for these upcoming astrological events, we have you covered. Just grab one of the Pincher Pendants from our current bug mini-collection. This little familiar will help you grab onto all this cosmic positivity and never let it go! You’ll also have an adorable little buddy hanging around to help you explore all the new territory you’ll be covering in the coming weeks. Happy exploring, demoness!