Mercury Messages and a Passionate Aries New Moon
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The Astrology Blog 1 April 2019
‘The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.’
John Pierpont “J.P.” Morgan (Aries)
Mercury – now direct
Well the big event of last week was Mercury turning direct (Thursday 28th) at 16 degrees Pisces.
Nearly everyone I know had some experience that reflected the Mercury trickery.
At a universal and textbook interpretation level of “problems with transport and communication” (endless computer, phone, technology, admin issues) and also at a more specific level.
This reflected the symbolism of Mercury being retrograde in Pisces, arguably his most troublesome placing because it his sign of both “detriment” and “fall“.
Pisces is the sign of Mutable Water and is ruled by both Jupiter and Neptune (god of the seas). Water problems abounded too, including a friend contracting chicken pox from a public swimming pool. (I didn’t know until this happened, that 5% of people can get chicken pox twice!).
This rather confirmed to me the views of my doctor friend who says that swimming pools should be avoided at all times because they’re teeming with bacteria, regardless of what cleaning agents are used.
These cleaning materials are of course chemicals. And therefore something else you don’t want to be swallowing or absorbing into your body, no matter how diluted.
My own story is that I kind of lied to you, saying I would be away at the end of last week. This was true but not for any fun reason.
It was actually a hospital appointment for a biopsy. I wouldn’t normally even go to the dentist under a retro Mercury, let alone go under anaesthetic. However the way this panned out meant that it was unavoidable. because I wanted to be ready for the London trip next week.
Happily I got my “all clear” results last Thursday, literally within a couple of hours of Mercury turning direct – classic for receiving important news.
The retrograde factor showed in other ways – the friend picking me up from the hospital was supposed to be coming in my car, but didn’t. I didn’t recognize her car, so for nearly an hour neither of us could see the other – even though we were less than 20 meters apart.
There was also a mixup on my lab report which meant that I was put on the wrong meds – nothing serious thankfully, and easily remedied after a few days.
Again, though, this reflected the Neptune theme as this planet rules pharmaceuticals.
Textbook Mercury Retrograde
But for textbook “problems with transport and communication” the top prize goes to British Airways who took a Dusseldorf flight to Edinburgh instead.
The flight paperwork was submitted incorrectly and the passengers only realised the error when the plane landed and the pilot made the “welcome to Edinburgh” announcement.
“(A passenger) said when the pilot first made the announcement that the plane was about to land in Edinburgh, everyone assumed it was a joke. She asked the cabin crew if they were serious.
When the pilot asked passengers to raise their hands if they wanted to go to Dusseldorf. Everyone raised their hands. The pilot had no idea how it had happened. He said it had never happened before and that the crew was trying to work out what we could do.”
Retrograde and/or Stationing Mercury as Therapy
One of the things I suggest on my list for retrograde Mercury, is to write the letter you can’t or won’t ever send, to someone who’s enraged or upset you, or to someone you’ve lost.
A very close friend who is an expert psychologist and therapist, sent me a short newsletter from Richard Rohr, who suggests daily meditations, followed by a ritual/practice. I quote this here in full, because it loses its power through any kind of editing –
Practice: Discharging Our Loyal Soldier
A story from Japan at the close of World War II illustrates how we might support ourselves and others in transition to the second half of life. If you have ever been to Japan, you will know that its culture is rich in ritual, with a strong sense of the importance of symbol, aesthetics, and ceremony.
At the end of the war, some Japanese communities had the wisdom to understand that many of their returning soldiers were not prepared to re-enter civil, peaceful society. The veterans’ only identity for their formative years had been as a “loyal soldier” to their country, but now they needed a broader identity.
So the communities created a ceremony whereby a soldier was publicly thanked and praised for their service to the people. After the soldier had been profusely honored, an elder would stand and announce with authority: “The war is now over! The community needs you to let go of what has served you and us well up to now. We now need you to return as a parent, a partner, a friend, a mentor—something beyond a soldier.”
I call this process “discharging your loyal soldier.” As Ken Wilber suggests, we need to “transcend and include” as we grow, recognizing the value of what has come before while shedding old skins and identities that no longer fit us.
With tenderness, notice how at various times in your life you’ve fixated on different priorities, different measures of right and wrong, different sources of meaning and belonging.
Give thanks for the lessons you learned at each phase that helped you survive, succeed, and become who you are today.
Ask yourself what beliefs you may be ready to lay to rest, ways of thinking and acting that no longer serve your maturing awareness of reality.
You might wish to explore your journey in one or more of these ways:
- Journal or write a poem.
- Draw, paint, sculpt, or create a collage.
- Find a piece of music that illustrates changing moods and move to it.
- Talk to a friend, spiritual director, or therapist.
- Design a simple ceremony to discharge your “loyal soldier.”
I found this piece intensely moving and I knew instantly that this was what Sue wanted me to do. The simple ceremony I chose to do was, I realized, a new twist on Mercury turning direct.
This time, not to write to Sue, but to write the letter FROM her.
I can tell you that it flowed effortlessly, as if I were channeling. The therapeutic effect was way beyond anything I’d expected or have so far experienced.
I felt a very, very deep connection and a big shift towards healing.
Inevitably, as we grow older, we know more and more people who are bereaved. So I’m sharing this here as a suggestion. Write to your own loved lost one or pass on this ritual to someone who might benefit from it. With a large box of tissues.
Mercury’s Last Words
If you’ve been following the blog recently, you’ll know that Mercury moving backwards and forwards has also resulted in a series of three-legged transits involving the slower moving outer planets – Saturn, Neptune and Pluto.
Also Jupiter has been very slow moving, and is now stationing to turn retrograde (next Wed).
The third of the first two series of aspects happen this week, to Neptune and Saturn, and the third aspects to Pluto and Jupiter fall next week.
Starting with Neptune, the third aspect falls early tomorrow morning:
Tuesday 2 April
Mercury conjunct Neptune 17 Pisces 07.33
Here’s the complete sequence:
Mercury conjunct Neptune
19 February at 15 Pisces (Mercury moving forwards)
24 March at 16 Pisces (Mercury retrograde)
2 April at 17 Pisces (Mercury moving forwards again)
The 2 April is arguably the most important of Mercury’s contacts because it’s the first aspect to be made since Mercury turned direct (last Thursday) in Pisces (Neptune’s own sign).
So look out for a finale of anything Neptunian that has been playing out since the middle of February.
The main principle of Neptune is Redemption.
Psychologically his realm is fusion. The boundless watery world of the emotions, ruling the fuzzy world of falling in love, right through to the suffering of loss, grief or personal sacrifice.
The nature of Neptune is subtle, seductive, addictive, mysterious, magical, healing, imaginative, empathic, confusing or disorientating.
Mercury retrograde in any sign is textbook for a lot of fuzziness, but in Pisces and also in tandem with Neptune it’s like a triple whammy.
So play close attention to whatever crystallizes for you at the beginning of this week.
Look out for themes of confusion or misunderstandings being replaced with clarity, new insights or a change of attitude.
Illness being replaced with wellness if you’ve been on a course of medication.
There may also be the chance to put feelings or something nebulous into words.
Or to “just know” something at an instinctive level. Either something that can now be wrapped up or with regards to how to proceed in any kind of ongoing situation.
Certainly that “all at sea” feeling should now be coming to an end – especially as Mercury also lines up with “get real” Saturn – at the end of the week:
Sunday 7 April
Mercury sextile Saturn 20 Pisces 10.19
Here’s the complete sequence :
Mercury sextile Saturn
20 February at 17 Pisces/17 Capricorn (Mercury moving forwards)
20 March at 17 Pisces/17 Capricorn (Mercury retrograde)
7 April at 20 Pisces/20 Capricorn (Mercury moving forwards again)
And here are the main Saturn themes:
The main principle of Saturn is contraction:
The opposite to Jupiter’s expansion. If Jupiter is “yes”, Saturn is “no”.
He is the bringer of solemnity, restriction, obstacles, boundaries and endings, ultimately death.
Saturn is the enemy of the “Lights” of life, the Sun and Moon, being in detriment in their signs of dignity, Cancer and Leo. He rules authority, career, duty, discipline and responsibility. His nature is pessimistic, realistic, serious and constructive.
This combination is the ultimate reality check.
It often signifies situations that can’t be changed or turned into a better version.
If that rings true for you, then the best keyword is “acceptance“.
How much time do we all waste on wishing that something was different when, in reality, we have no control over the other people or factors in play? Bit like Brexit!
How many times do you catch yourself saying “if only!” Or put off doing the things that need doing and which, once done, would actually make us feel so much better about ourselves!
Saturn tends to get bad press, including from me, but he’s currently got a lot of clout because he’s in his own sign of Capricorn.
He rewards a work ethic and loves a project. He loves building things on firm foundations rather than trying to demolish what is already there. Observe his goalposts as they’re there for a reason.
Saturn, Mercury and Neptune
This combination of Saturn with Mercury and Neptune doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to be total killjoy. It means that effort and time are needed to make things work and to get results that stick for dreams and aspirations.
Time management and quality of time are big themes this week.
If we waste time we can’t get it back. If we stay stuck in the past, we can’t move on and grow.
Is there anything or anyone in particular holding you back in an unhealthy way?
Or who is a continual source of heaviness or disappointment?
Now’s the time for closure and final decisions. It’s time to say very clearly, “I don’t want to spend my time doing xyz” – and then state what you do want to spend your time doing. And with whom.
So stop yourself from saying yes, when you really want to say no.
Authenticity is another watchword at the moment.
We all secretly or not so secretly, know when making sacrifices is a genuine thing or when it’s avoidance and a convenient cop out.
Check your motivations and get into some healthy “self”ishness.
In the middle of these Mercury aspects we have the New Moon in fiery Aries, sign of the ego:
Friday 5 April
New Moon 15 Aries 09.52
This could hardly be better timing.
New Moons open new cycles, and nobody does fresh spring clean starts better than Aries, first sign of the zodiac.
This is like The Fool in the tarot, whose name doesn’t mean “foolish” in the sense that we now understand that word. Instead it means rather inexperienced and one lacking in spiritual wisdom.
The Fool is the first card in the pack but he’s not numbered 1. He’s numbered 0, and he symbolizes the beginning of each soul’s journey through this earthly incarnation.
He is therefore untarnished by any bitterness or cynicism, but he’s yet to discover the joy as well!
The message is clear.
We have to look after Number One and ditch the idea that this is wrong or immoral in some way.
When we are being the best possible “I” that we can be, then we are of far more use and value to those we love and to the world.
Time waits for none of us so catch a bit, or a lot, of that itchy spring fever and think about who you are and what you want.
Identify what you feel passionate about, name those desires and don’t feel guilty about them.
Your horoscope is a perfect place to start if you have any doubts about who you really are!
If nothing else gen up on your Sun sign as that is the essence of your core being.
Happy Spring Fever,
With love from Greece