I came across this intriguing post via ElsaElsa’s blog. Astrologer Kathryn Cassidy writes:

It may well do but, looking more closely this really is one humdinger of a Mercury Rx because, as I pointed out last week, Mercury stationed in square to Uranus and is still in square and many of the other planets are feeding into the Mercurial energy. We have Saturn in Virgo disposited by Mercury. The Sun and Venus in Gemini – disposited by Mercury. In fact I won’t bore you with it by going around the entire chart, but except for the Moon, the whole darn lot is currently finally disposited by Mercury in Gemini – Sun through Pluto and including Chiron and Node. The Moon enters Gemini later tonight making it a clean sweep for the next 2 days. This is highly unusual.

She advises: ‘I’m switching everything off and, as a precaution I’ll be taking great care when driving and moving about.’

I though I would try and explain what dispositing means in astrology. In Skyscript’s glossary, a ‘dispositor’ is

a planet which disposits, disposes of, or rules another because the other is in one of its areas of dignity. For example, when Jupiter is in Taurus, Venus, the planetary ruler of Taurus, disposits Jupiter. Planets can also be disposed by the lesser dignities, so the dispositor of Jupiter by exaltation is the Moon which is naturally exalted in Taurus.

The general condition of the dispositor can have some bearing on planetary strength.

Disposition can also occur in a sequence, where, as AstrologyNotes notes,

The final dispositor is the planet at the end of a sequence of dispositorship. For example, if Mars is in Libra and Venus is in Leo and the Sun is also in Leo, then Sun is the final dispositor because Mars in Libra is disposited by Venus (which rules Libra), Venus in Leo is disposited by the Sun (ruler of Leo), and since Leo disposits itself, it is the final dispositor.

3 June 2008 chart

Based on a quick glance at today’s chart, which I’ve simply taken off my astrology software for the present moment (i.e. I haven’t charted it for a specific time, like noon, or when the Moon first ingressed Gemini), I thought I would attempt to work out the dispositors of the major planets (i.e. ignoring centaurs, asteroids and other minor planets, simply because there are too many of them…).

  1. The Sun is in Gemini, so the Sun is disposited by Mercury rx.
  2. Moon is in Gemini, and is disposited by Mercury rx.
  3. Venus is in in Gemini, and is disposited by Mercury rx.
  4. Mars in Leo, and is disposited by the Sun (Leo’s ruler), which is in Gemini, and thus disposited by Mercury rx.
  5. Jupiter is in Capricorn, and is disposited by Saturn, which is in Virgo (ruled by Mercury), and thus disposited by Mercury rx.
  6. Saturn is in Virgo (ruled by Mercury), and is thus disposited by Mercury rx.
  7. Uranus is in Pisces, which is disposited by Jupiter (ancient ruler), which is in Capricorn, and is disposited by Saturn, which is in Virgo (ruled by Mercury), and thus disposited by Mercury rx.
  8. Neptune is in Aquarius, which is ruled by Saturn (ancient ruler), which is in Virgo (ruled by Mercury), and thus disposited by Mercury rx.
  9. Pluto is in Capricorn, and is disposited by Saturn, which is in Virgo (ruled by Mercury), and thus disposited by Mercury rx.

Whew! That was rather satisfying to do… :P

What does it all mean though? I can only take a guess. If the dispositor influences the character of the planet it is dispositing, in simple terms, it means that the quality of Mercury retrograde infuses the whole chart. Mercury rx being the final dispositor of the whole chart suggests a kind of funnelling, or a ‘buck stops here’ kind of energy. Or if you like, Mercury rx is in the driver’s seat.

Kathryn Cassidy suggests shutting everything down and taking precautions. Unfortunately, I’ve a whole slew of meetings this week that can’t afford to be shut down. Perhaps a workable alternative is to take the retrograde even more seriously — that is, to hold off major decisions, don’t initiate new projects but use the time to review old material, and so on.

Having Sun and Mercury in Gemini in my natal chart, I’m feeling like my brain is on overdrive and yet making very little progress by way of new accomplishments and new ideas. What I am getting struck off my list of things to do are things that have been there for a while, and getting in writing ideas that have been stewing for a while but I’ve either been too busy or lazy to give any time to earlier.

Most importantly, this Mercury rx, I am learning to say ‘no’ to people. Or at least, to stop and think about it before I agree to other people’s requests. I used to agree automatically and then try and work my schedule around it. These days I’m more realistic about my (finite) energy levels, and about prioritising what are really important to me — including time to, and for, myself — without feeling guilty or selfish.

Learning to work with Mercury retrograde can be fairly rewarding if you adjust your expectations to what it is conducive for, and your tolerance levels for what may not work out.

If you’re reading this and have a different experience of this dispositing Mercury rx, please share!