Mercury Retro Period in Aries: March 22 to April 16 2018

Hermes from Alistair Crowley Tarot deck

Hermes from Alistair Crowley Tarot deck

Apology:  earlier posted the wrong dates for the Mercury Retro Period April for March and May for April ! A sure Mercury Retrograde effect !

What happens when Mercury goes Retrograde?

On March 22, the day after the Aries Equinox, Mercury began his slow backward motion through the Sign of Aries (between the 17th and 4th degrees). Mercury’s Retrogradation will end on April 16.

Mercury becomes Retrograde about three times each years, for a periods of approximately three weeks. This Retrogradation brings some disruption in communication/travel, while, on the bright side, can also helps us to deepen our understanding, increasing introspection and intuition, with the ability to communicate out thoughts and ideas in a more meaningful way.

In fact each Birth Chart will experience this phase in its own peculiar way. There is no given formula for the way Mercury Retrograde is going to impact on your life.

The retro period of any planet is a twilight status, like the one in between sleeping and wakening. We take usually a little while to wake up completely after a deep sleep. In real life as well as symbolically the in-between waking and sleep phase is all important because it is then that our creative imagination provides the most fertile ground for new insights.

About mid-way through its retro period,  on April 2, Mercury will become conjunct to the Sun, as close to planet Earth as it can be, beginning to orbit between us and the Sun disk. This event we call the Inferior Conjunction, when Mercury first becomes completely immersed in the light of the Sun, to re-emerge before sunrise few weeks later. After the conjunction Mercury becomes a Morning Star, rising just before sunrise. The month of May will be the most suited to observe Mercury in the early hours of the morning, as he distances himself from the Sun.

This Morning Star Phase will end on June 5 2018, with the so called  Superior Conjunction, when Mercury will begin to orbit behind the Sun, from Earth viewpoint, and disappear again in the Sun’s glare.  After that event Mercury will be an Evening Star for a while, setting just after sunset.

In the upcoming Morning Star phase, especially after the end of Retrogradation on April 16, Mercury will tend to facilitate everything mercurial, such as change, communication, expression of idea in speech or writing, travel, brain-storming, moving etc. This is a forward looking mental impulse, bringing us out of ourselves and onto active participation with the world.

Mercury Retrograde and You

The Mercury’s Retrogradation will be experienced at some level by everybody, but in particular those people who were born with the Sun, Moon, Planets or Chart’s Angles in the degrees between ARIES 3 and 18 and the same degrees of the other CARDINAL SIGNS, LIBRA, CANCER and CAPRICORN. The effect will vary in intensity and quality of experience depending on the nature of the celestial body or Angle involved, and also on the sector (House) in your Birth Chart where the Retrogradation takes place. Generally speaking though the delays and misunderstanding which are often linked to this type of transit should be more obvious in your life than in the life of other people.

These irritating events do not happen however for no reason, just to disrupt your routine and plans . Perhaps it is time now to look at those plans, routines, ways of communicating more closely, to reflect on the possibility of changing them or simply trying consciously not to depend psychologically on them as much as you usually do. Introspection is the key word here. If plans do not work as expected, if that important appointment get cancelled or indefinitely postponed, if what you say or do is misinterpreted by others, this should be the right time to consider a change of attitude in the areas affected by the transit. Because fiery and impulsive Aries is highlighted here perhaps it could help, at this special time, to scrutinize those impulses, making a conscious effort to consider other people points of views in the same way you consider your own; or curbing your natural impatience to accept changing circumstances and people’s idiosyncrasies with equanimity.

During the whole Mercury retro’s period we may encounter many opportunities to review our thinking and to become more flexible. To have too rigid plans and expectations, from others as well as ourselves, may not work during this time.

An important note for students:

when finally Mercury will leave Aries to enter Taurus, late on May 13, he will also conjunct Uranus on the cusp of Aries-Taurus.  There will be other intense cosmic events at this time too: two days later on the 15th of May the New Moon in Taurus will be aligned to Algol (= Medusa Head) in the constellation of Perseus, a powerful and potentially dangerous star. And on the 16th of May Uranus will enter Taurus, a one in 84 years transit of the greatest import ! On the same day Mars will be entering Aquarius so squaring (challenging) both Mercury and Uranus conjunct on the cusp Aries-Taurus. Even more remarkable is the fact that Mars will remain in orb of the square angle (90 degrees) from Uranus until well into September, due to his own Retrogradation.

The Astrology of Mercury retrograde, September-October 2015

Sagrada Familia Staircase Barcelona

Sagrada Familia Staircase Barcelona

In view of the present retrogradation of Mercury in Libra (September 17 to October 9 2015) I’m re-posting here an edited version of a post I published in 2011, on the general subject of retrogradation. stressing in particular the significance of Mercury when retrograde.

Click here for my recent post on the September 2015 Mercury retrograde period.

The retrogradation of Mercury is a mystery and you are the only one who can unravel it!

In fact each Birth Chart will experience this phase in its own peculiar way. There is no given formula for the way Mercury Retrograde is going to impact on your life.

Lately I have reflected upon and researched a lot the phenomenon of retrogradation, this optical illusion that, at regular interval, makes the planets appear to stop in their tracks, and then move for a while in the opposite direction of the one they normally travel on.

In real terms the planets of course never moves backward. From a sun centered (heliocentric) viewpoint they all travel at their appointed speed, always in the same direction, identical to planet Earth’s.

The phenomenon appears instead very ‘real’ from our Earth’s plane. With long exposure photography we are now able to actually see the shiny loop the planet’s course makes when retrograde.

Too often Retrogradation is accepted as part of the astrological tradition, and not given much thought or meaning.

This cyclical phenomenon appeared instead positively magical to the ancient sky-watchers, who eagerly awaited it, calculated its timing and duration and attributed to it great significance, in forecasting future events, in accordance with the nature of the planet involved.

Modern astrologers don’t need any more to search the sky for signs, to wait to see a star or planet rising before the Sun. Cyber-planetariums and astrological software are all we need to practice our Art.

Thanks to technology we have the tools now to cast many horoscopes in record time, using the most sophisticated techniques ever, but we have also lost the ‘real’ magic of the night sky and twilight hours, the eternally returning cycles of the wandering planets, a vital dimension of the ancient wisdom tradition.

Understanding better what happens during a planet’s retrograde period and putting that particular period within the context of the planet’s whole cycle can help us to recapture some of its true meaning.

Every cycle in nature and therefore in the psyche of man can be conceived as having two halves or hemicycles, one of involution and one of evolution, a Yin and a Yang phase. The place where Yin and Yang meet is the matrix of each cycle, while the place of their maximum separation is the climax of each cycle. So we have a Waxing Phase, from matrix to climax, and a Waning Phase, from climax to matrix, in an eternal round. This specific rhythm permeates everything, all living beings, all experiences. The planets are no different. They too obey the inner order of things, and therefore follow a clear path of Ascent and Descent when viewed from the Earth’s plane.

The Moon is not the only celestial body to show phases, all planets do, each in its own peculiar way. Retrogradation has a lot to do with those phases.

I’m using Mercury here as an example of what retrogradation entails. Mercury is the planet that goes retrograded more often than any other, three or four times a year.

Each Planet is different in fundamental ways from all others, even with regard to their retro periods, but the underlying Waxing/Waning tempo is basically the same for all.

Mercury, from Evening to Morning Star

Often the period of Mercury’s retrogradation is simply interpreted as a time full of misunderstandings, technical glitches, disruption in communication, odd accidents, etc. These effects are often obvious indeed, especially for people who happen to have the Sun, Moon, Planets or their Birth Chart’s Angles (Ascendant, etc.) within the span of the zodiac covered by Mercury.

When we attempt to interpret Mercury in a Birth Chart we tend to take its position (and that of all other celestial bodies) as fixed, a point in a linear, perhaps circular universe, in which Sun, Moon and Planets interact by angular relationship with each other, as in a neat example of cosmic geometry. We tend however to exclude from our interpretation the actual experience of Mercury as it manifests on our Earth plane.

We may learn from text books that Mercury’s orbit around the Sun in just less than three months (88 days), but the experience we have of the twinkling star that is Mercury to our unaided eyes is indeed very different. The visual cycle of Mercury lasts in fact 116 days (a bit less than four months), during which time this Planet, from our view point, appears to wax and wane.

In the light of the entire cycle the Retrogradation of Mercury is a most significant moment. During this special time the planet passes from waning to waxing, from Evening to Morning Star. This is not only a miracle to the beholder, seeing Mercury disappearing behind the Sun and then re-appearing on the other side, but a real shift of our awareness of the planet’s energy.

The retro period of any planet, like the dark three days of the New Moon, is a twilight status, like the one in between sleeping and wakening. We take usually a little while to wake up completely after a deep sleep. In real life as well as symbolically the in-between waking and sleep phase is all important because it is then that our creative imagination provides the most fertile ground for new insights.

Ten to fifteen days after the beginning of its retro motion Mercury becomes completely immersed in the light of the Sun, which has, in the mean time, caught up with it, due to its slowness. It is of course the Earth that is actually accelerating on Mercury, amounting to the same visual effect. The date of this all important conjunction for the upcoming cycle is October 1, 2015. At first will be a tentative beginning, when the new impulse is guided by yet unclear urges, stemming from the past while longing for the future.

Mid-way through its retro period, Mercury is as close to planet Earth than it will ever be, orbiting directly between us and the Sun disk. This conjunction of Mercury to the Sun is known as the Inferior Conjunction, to distinguish it from the Superior Conjunction when Mercury is as far from Earth as it can possibly be and also disappear in the glare of the Sun, being visually just behind the Sun from our observation point on Earth. The Superior conjunction is really an opposition Mercury-Earth in a heliocentric view. The next Superior Conjunction will occur on November 17, and will represent the culmination of the cycle that starts in October.

The phases bring to the ‘reading’ of Mercury an extra dimension, showing it as an ongoing process, rather than a fixed placement to be interpreted in a rigid way.

In this new light the Retrogradation of Mercury stands for a sort of preparatory period during which the lesson of the last mercurial cycle is appreciated and we look back in order to understand and re-value, before a new cycle can begin in a conscious way, when Mercury turns direct on October 1.

I hope that, if you didn’t know these facts already, you may feel better equipped now to answer your skeptic friends when they tell you that retrogradation is just an optical illusion and non existent. Something really happens to the relationship between the Earth and the planet when this appears to move in a backward fashion.

The astrological meaning of the Retrogradation of  Mercury

All planets’ retro periods represent a revaluation of sort, but what we need to reflect upon differs in accordance with the nature of the planet. So, for instance, during the retrogradation of Mars we need to re-value and re-consider the way we assert ourselves and go out to get what we want from life. This need of self-reflection could make this an ineffectual and tentative period, when for a time we may lose confidence, becoming less able to interact constructively with our environment. At the end we will have gained however a deeper understanding of what need changing in our attitude in order to achieve a less confrontational and more effective method of proceeding.

During the retrogradation of Venus the same thing happens to our feelings. We are inclined to reflect on the way we usually relate to others, especially in a one to one situation. For a time this could mean that we become more tentative when we relate to others, less outgoing, more introspective, not the best social time. But at the end of this tunnel too we may have discovered things about ourselves and our loved ones that can help immensely in healing rifts or deciding the fate of shaky or unsatisfactory relationships.

It is the same with Mercury. Its Evening Star incarnation (spanning in the second half of 2015 from July 23 = Superior Conjunction to the Sun, to October 1 = Inferior Conjunction to the Sun), represents a time for giving due consideration to the way we communicate our thoughts and ideas to others, the way we tackle intellectual challenges, like writing, reading, studying, teaching. In particular the retro motion of Mercury (September 17 to October 9) corresponds to a period of mental introspection, at the end of which we can start again to project our minds onto the world, with renewed inventiveness and adaptability to different circumstances and people.

In the Morning Star phase Mercury’s direct energy does in fact facilitate everything mercurial, such as change, communication, expression of idea in speech or writing, travel, brain-storming, moving etc. This is a forward looking mental impulse, bringing us out of ourselves and onto active participation with the world. This period will end with the Superior Conjunction on November 17, when our mental tendencies will have reached their more concrete and objective state. From then Mercury will begin to wane again, arriving at its next retro Station in Aquarius on January 5 2016.

To discover which phase Mercury was going through at the time of your birth all you need to do is look for its position relative to the Sun. When Mercury is behind the Sun in longitude it appears as the Morning Star, displaying an outgoing type of energy, eager for self expression. When Mercury instead is found to be ahead of the Sun in longitude it appears as the Evening Star, directing its mental energy inward, aiding insight and introspection.

The Mistery of Retrogradation

Lately I have reflected upon and researched a lot the phenomenon of retrogradation, this optical illusion that, at regular interval, makes the planets appear to stop in their tracks, and then move for a while in the opposite direction of the one they normally travel on.

In real terms the planets of course never moves backward. From a sun centered (heliocentric) viewpoint they all travel at their appointed speed, always in the same direction, identical to planet Earth’s.

The phenomenon appears instead very ‘real’ from our Earth’s plane. With long exposure photography we are now able to actually see the shiny loop the planet’s course makes when retrograde.

Too often Retrogradation is accepted as part of the astrological tradition, and not given much thought or meaning.

This cyclical phenomenon appeared instead positively magical to the ancient sky-watchers, who eagerly awaited it, calculated its timing and duration and attributed to it great significance, in forecasting future events, in accordance with the nature of the planet involved.

We, modern people don’t need any more to search the sky for signs, to wait to see a star or planet rising before the Sun. Cyber-planetariums and astrological software are all we need to practice our Art. Thanks to technology we have the tools now to cast many horoscopes in record time, using the most sophisticated techniques ever, but we have also lost the ‘real’ magic of the night sky and twilight hours, the eternally returning cycles of the wandering planets, a vital dimension of the ancient wisdom tradition.

Understanding better what happens during a planet’s retrograde period and putting that particular period within the context of the planet’s whole cycle can help us to recapture some of its true meaning.

Every cycle in nature and therefore in the psyche of man can be conceived as having two halves or hemicycles, one of involution and one of evolution, a Yin and a Yang phase. The place where Yin and Yang meet is the matrix of each cycle, while the place of their maximum separation is the climax of each cycle. So we have a Waxing Phase, from matrix to climax, and a Waning Phase, from climax to matrix, in an eternal round. This specific rhythm permeates everything, all living beings, all experiences. The planets are no different. They too obey the inner order of things, and therefore follow a clear path of Ascent and Descent when viewed from the Earth’s plane.

The Moon is not the only celestial body to show phases, all planets do, each in its own peculiar way. Retrogradation has a lot to do with those phases.

I’m using Mercury here as an example of what retrogradation entails. Mercury is the planet that goes retrograded more often than any other, three or four times a year. At the time of writing it has just finished one of its retro periods on December 30 2010.

Each Planet is different in fundamental ways from all others, even with regard to their retro periods, but the underlying Waxing/Waning tempo is basically the same for all.

Mercury, from Evening to Morning Star

In 2011Mercury will be Retrograde three times, between March 30 and April 23, August 3 and 26, November 24 and December 14.

Often the period of Mercury’s retrogradation is simply interpreted as a time full of misunderstandings, technical glitches, disruption in communication, odd accidents, etc. These effects are often obvious indeed, especially for people who happen to have the Sun, Moon, Planets or their Birth Chart’s Angles (Ascendant, etc.) within the span of the zodiac covered by Mercury.

The Phases of Mercury however are as fundamental to this all important planetary energy as its zodiacal or hemispherical position, representing respectively the quality of its energy (Sign) and the areas of experience where this energy will more likely find expression (House).

When we attempt to interpret Mercury in a Birth Chart we tend to take its position (and that of all other celestial bodies) as fixed, a point in a linear, perhaps circular universe, in which Sun, Moon and Planets interact by angular relationship with each other, as in a neat example of cosmic geometry. We tend however to exclude from our interpretation the actual experience of Mercury as it manifests on our Earth plane.

We may learn from text books that Mercury’s orbit around the Sun in just less than three months (88 days), but the experience we have of the twinkling star that is Mercury to our unaided eyes is indeed very different. The visual cycle of Mercury lasts in fact 116 days (a bit less than four months), during which time this Planet, from our view point, appears to wax and wane.

In the light of the entire cycle the Retrogradation of Mercury is a most significant moment. During this special time the planet passes from waning to waxing, from Evening to Morning Star. This is not only a miracle to the beholder, seeing Mercury disappearing behind the Sun and then re-appearing on the other side, but a real shift of our awareness of the planet’s energy.

The retro period of any planet, like the dark three days of the New Moon, is a twilight status, like the one in between sleeping and wakening. We take usually a little while to wake up completely after a deep sleep. In real life as well as symbolically the in-between waking and sleep phase is all important because it is then that our creative imagination provides the most fertile ground for new insights.

Ten to fifteen days after the beginning of its retro motion Mercury becomes completely immersed in the light of the Sun, which has, in the mean time, caught up with it, due to its slowness. It is of course the Earth that is actually accelerating on Mercury, amounting to the same visual effect. The date of this all important conjunction for the upcoming cycle is April 10, 2011. At first will be a tentative beginning, when the new impulse is guided by yet unclear urges, stemming from the past while longing for the future.

Mid-way through its retro period, Mercury is as close to planet Earth than it will ever be, orbiting directly between us and the Sun disk. This conjunction of Mercury to the Sun is known as the Inferior Conjunction, to distinguish it from the Superior conjunction when Mercury is as far from Earth as it can possibly be and also disappear in the glare of the Sun, being visually just behind the Sun from our observation point on Earth. The Superior conjunction is really an opposition Mercury-Earth in a heliocentric view. The next Superior Conjunction will occur on June 13, and will represent the culmination of the cycle that starts in April.

Mercury turns Direct an average of 9 to 15 days after the Inferior Conjunction.

The phases bring to the ‘reading’ of Mercury an extra dimension, showing it as an ongoing process, rather than a fixed placement to be interpreted in a rigid way.

In this new light the Retrogradation of Mercury stands for a sort of preparatory period during which the lesson of the last mercurial cycle is appreciated and we look back in order to understand and re-value, before a new cycle can begin in a conscious way, when Mercury turns direct on April 24.

I hope that, if you didn’t know these facts already, you may feel better equipped now to answer your skeptic friends when they tell you that retrogradation is just an optical illusion and non existent. Something really happens to the relationship between the Earth and the planet when this appears to move in a backward fashion.

The astrological meaning of the Retrogradation of  Mercury

All planets’ retro periods represent a revaluation of sort, but what we need to reflect upon differs in accordance with the nature of the planet. So, for instance, during the retrogradation of Mars we need to re-value and re-consider the way we assert ourselves and go out to get what we want from life. This need of self-reflection could make this an ineffectual and tentative period, when for a time we may lose confidence, becoming less able to interact constructively with our environment. At the end we will have gained however a deeper understanding of what need changing in our attitude in order to achieve a less confrontational and more effective method of proceeding.

During the retrogradation of Venus the same thing happens to our feelings. We are inclined to reflect on the way we usually relate to others, especially in a one to one situation. For a time this could mean that we become more tentative when we relate to others, less outgoing, more introspective, not the best social time. But at the end of this tunnel too we may have discovered things about ourselves and our loved ones that can help immensely in healing rifts or deciding the fate of shaky or unsatisfactory relationships.

It is the same with Mercury. Its Evening Star incarnation (spanning in early 2011 from February 25 = Superior Conjunction to the Sun, to April 10 = Inferior Conjunction to the Sun), will be a time for giving due consideration to the way we communicate our thoughts and ideas to others, the way we tackle intellectual challenges, like writing, reading, studying, teaching. The retro motion of Mercury corresponds to a period of mental introspection, at the end of which we can start again to project our minds onto the world, with renewed inventiveness and adaptability to different circumstances and people. Mercury’s direct energy does in fact facilitate everything mercurial, such as change, communication, expression of idea in speech or writing, travel, brain-storming, moving etc. This is a forward looking mental impulse, bringing us out of ourselves and onto active participation with the world. This period will end with the Superior Conjunction on June 12, when our mental tendencies will have reached their more concrete and objective state. From then Mercury will begin to wane again, arriving at its next retro Station on August 3.

To discover which phase Mercury was going through at the time of your birth all you need to do is look for its position relative to the Sun. When Mercury is behind the Sun in longitude it appears as the Morning Star, displaying an outgoing type of energy, eager for self expression. When Mercury instead is found to be ahead of the Sun in longitude it appears as the Evening Star, directing its mental energy inward, aiding insight and introspection.

WHAT IS RETROGRADATION?

All the Planets (not the Sun and Moon) are sometimes Retrograde, appearing to move backward along the Ecliptic. This is an optical illusion, really, caused by the acceleration of Planet Earth on the other Planet, which then seems to move in a reverse motion, forming a loop in the sky. Long exposure photography has been used many times to exemplify this strange phenomenon.  Thanks to this modern technique we can now actually see the loop made by the Planet, as a luminescent u-turn road in the sky .

In interpreting a birth Chart often Retrogradation is very much ignored by most practitioners, but for an in depth study of an Horoscope one needs to consider it.

A Retrograde Planet is said to go inward rather than outward, to be more powerful and positive for our inner life than our outward experience. Traditionally in fact Retrograde Planets were considered to have a negative, crippling effect on the individual’s life. The reality is that a Retrograde Planet can be as positive and beneficial as a Direct one, but the benefits will enrich more our inner and spiritual life, rather than fill our pockets or bring us “good luck” from a materialistic point of view.

Retrogradation is not a rare phenomenon: in the list below you can see that it comes regularly to all Planets. It is in fact rarer to have no Retrograde at all in one’s Horoscope than to have a few.

Retrograde seem to bring the past, or past experiences, back into focus in our lives, especially when a Retrograde Planet forms an important Transit on some of our Birth Planets or Angles. Thus Retrogradation is particularly important when we try to interpret the possible effects of Transits. A Planet, before going Retrograde, begins to slow down dramatically and then seems to stop in its tracks all together, what in Astrology is known as the Station of a Planet. If that station occurs near a Planet or Angle in our Birth Chart (or in Aspect to it) the effect will be more powerful and lasting. To experience a Retrograde Transit means that we need to retrace our steps somehow, that a re-consideration of our situation or current issues is necessary, in order for us to grow in consciousness and truly absorb the Planetary “lesson” described by the combination of Planets, Signs and Houses. Retrograded Transit aren’t Bad! On the contrary they give us a real chance to outgrow our limitations and solve our existential problems. So let’s welcome them with a open heart. Due to the slowness of all Planets during their periods of Retrogradation the same Transit, instead than occurring just once, will happen at least three times. The first (called First Pass) when the Planet is still Direct; the second (called Second Pass) when the Planet is Retrograde; and the third (called Third Pass) when the Planet has resumed its forward or Direct motion. With some particularly slow Planet, like Pluto for instance, the same Transit can occur up to five times!

Planets’ regular periods of Retrogradation and some of the effects traditionally ascribed to Retrograde Planets

Mercury-24Mercury becomes Retrograde about three times each years, for a periods of approximately three weeks. The Retrogradation of Mercury brings some disruption in communication/travel, but also helps us to deepen our understanding  of others, increasing introspection/intuition.

Venus-24Venus becomes Retrograde once every 18 months, for a periods of approximately six weeks. The Retrogradation of Venus brings some difficulty in relationships and financial matters, but also helps us to refine and deepen our feelings and our moral/artistic /aesthetic values.

Mars-24Mars becomes Retrograde once every two years or so, for a periods of about three months. The Retrogradation of Mars can limit our ability to act and to assert our desires, but can also help us to rethink the consequences of our actions, and to slow down for our own good.

*******

All Planets past Mars, namely Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto become Retrograde once a year, for a periods of about four months.

Jupiter-24Jupiter: The Retrogradation of Jupiter can limit our expansion challenging our hopes, but can also help us to question our philosophy of life and our moral values, making us wiser and spiritually richer.

Saturn-24Saturn: The Retrogradation of Saturn can manifest in a difficult period, with added responsibilities and  work load, but can also help us to refine our skills and become more realistic and practical.

Chiron-24Chiron: The Retrogradation of Chiron can manifest in a period of ill health or one during which we need to give up something we care very much for, but can also help us to face more squarely our health issues, or accept more philosophically what we cannot change.

Uranus-24Uranus: The Retrogradation of Uranus can be indeed very disruptive of the status quo, challenging our sense of security and habits. But it can also let us see what needs to undergo urgent changes in our lives, showing us in which way we can become more true to ourselves without alienating others.

Neptune-24Neptune: The Retrogradation of Neptune can indicate a rather chaotic period in our lives, when issues are muddled and confused and we may thus lose our sense of reality.  On the positive side this could represent  instead a period of spiritual renewal and artistic inspiration.

Pluto-24Pluto: The Retrogradation of Pluto can indicate an emotionally intense, even traumatic period of major upheavals. The positive outcome is personal empowerment, with the discovery of hidden inner resources and talents.

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