by Cayelin K Castell
The upcoming Mercury Retrograde starting on August 4, 2024 is worthy of our attention as Mercury stations retrograde near the fixed star Regulus, also known as the heart of the Lion. Regulus is currently at 0 Degrees of Virgo.
Regulus entered the sign of Leo in 156 BC. On November 28, 2011 after more than 2000 years in the seasonal sign of Leo Regulus moved into the seasonal sign of Virgo according to the astronomy program in the software program Solar Fire.
Regulus was one of the four “royal stars” of the Persians around 3000 BC when it marked the marked the Summer Solstice (zero Cancer) and one of the fifteen Behenian stars identified by medieval astrologers. The Behenian stars were consider magical stars whose energies were most potent whenever a visible planet was within 6 degrees of the star.
The window for this Mercury Retrograde activation begins when Mercury crosses 21 Leo 38 on July 17 because that is the degree Mercury stations direct at (21 Leo 38) on August 27. The window closes on September 11 when Mercury crosses 4 Virgo – the degree of its retrograde station.
Mercury is hanging out within one degree of Regulus from July 24 to August 18 and makes its last pass by Regulus on September 9.
On August 04, 2024 Mercury (04 Virgo 06) goes retrograde at 9:53 pm Pacific Time very near Venus (00Virgo 07) precisely with Regulus) and conjuncts the Sun during its retrograde on August 17 the same day Venus is also conjunct the Sun (the Sun Venus and Mercury are all around 23 Leo) and then stations direct on August 27 as mentioned.
Astronomical Regulus Data
To the ancients Regulus was known as one of the four key stars in the heavens along with Aldebaran, Antares, and Spica as these four stars are located closest to the ecliptic (the path the planets travel) and can be occulted by the Moon in a regular pattern. There are certain periods of the 19 year lunar cycle where these stars are occulted regularly. Regulus is NOT currently in an occultation cycle and won’t be again until Dec 8, 2017.
Astronomically speaking, Regulus is much bigger than our Sun, as well as 160 times brighter, and also spins faster even though it is a much a bigger star. The Sun spins once around its axis every 24 days at the rate of about 4,500 miles per hour. Regulus spins way faster at the rate of 70,000 miles per hour even though its diameter is five times greater than our Sun. The rate of spin causes Regulus to bulge at its equator so it actually looks like a large egg. This also means that Regulus is 5 times brighter at its poles than it is at its equator. The surface of Regulus is so hot it is 350 times brighter or more luminous than our Sun though nearly 80 light years away from Earth.
Our Sun is only 93,000,000 miles from Earth, while Regulus is nearly 80 light years away. This means the light from the Sun reaches the earth in about 8.33 minutes, where as the light from Regulus takes almost 80 years to reach the Earth telling us the light we see each night from Regulus was generated almost 80 years ago according the way we measure time here on Earth.
Summary of Mercury Retrograde with Regulus
This Virgo New Moon on August 3 and Mercury station Retrograde at one degree Virgo in the window of the Lammas Cross-Quarter (See Celestial Timings) is a message reminding us of the importance of honoring the natural rhythms of the Earth and Sky as they relate to the seasons and planetary motions.
This Mercury Retrograde featuring Regulus, the heart of the Lion, is also a message about the importance of tuning into our heart-knowing for guidance and speaking from the heart when communicating. This is generally true at any time but during Mercury Retrograde reliance on logic and reason is far from reliable. For more on navigating through our heart knowing see the Introduction to the August Celestial Timings to be posted by end of July)
Note times and dates given are for Pacific Daylight Time.
Also see Mercury Retrograde article
More on the Fixed Star Regulus http://www.constellationsofwords.com/stars/Regulus.html