In Water signs

I haven’t been able to get to a computer to log in in the past week, much less write a post in time for Mercury’s retrograde station in Sagittarius.

Between Hurricane Sandy and the US elections and the general state of perpetual crisis we seem to be in, not to mention two upcoming eclipses this month, what can I say about Mercury retrograde at this time?

This current retrograde spans most of November and crosses from fiery Sagittarius to watery Scorpio (6 to 26 November 2012, 4+° Sagittarius to 18+° Scorpio), creating the potential for some steam. As Mercury moves from outward-looking Sagittarius back to inward-looking Scorpio, we may be asked to consider what relationship or impact the wider world (Sag) may have on our inner psyches (Scorpio).

Here’s a summary of what Mercury feels like in Sagittarius; and here’s Scorpio.

  • Communicates openly, truthfully, optimistically, enthusiastically, and tolerantly
  • The need to learn is expressed through restless aspiration propelling one toward an ideal
  • Thinking and reasoning are guided by long-term goals rather than mundane details
  • Interest in teaching others what one has learned; learning and teaching are seen as closely related
  • Need to establish connections with others by being direct, truthful and broad-minded
  • Coherent thinking can be blurred by the over-generalizations that idealistic aspirations motivate

(Stephen Arroyo, Chart Interpretation Handbook, CRCS, 1989)

So how are people feeling? This Mercury retrograde has been a bit of a ride with Uranus involved, and doubly frustrating with Mars retrograde in Mercury-ruled Virgo.

When Mercury was retrograding in Aries, I still felt the urge to revisit and revise things; when it moved back into Pisces, however, I just felt like staying in bed.

The Mercurial energy for rationalising, organising and making lists doesn’t do that well filtered through the hazy Piscean mist, as I mentioned before. But more subtle messages may filter through as our propensity for doing slows down. Mercury in Pisces calls softly, subtly, almost like a whisper from time — we just have to listen closely.

Here’s an excerpt from an article from Planet Waves about what to pay attention to as Mercury stations direct in Pisces: 

Mercury stationing in Pisces will have an impressionistic or emotional quality. Notice your environment, in all forms of that word: the people and things around you, what you eat, the energy fields if you’re able to perceive them. ‘Energy fields’ encompasses anything from the emotional vibes to the tone quality of conversation to what you may notice on the subtle planes. With Mercury swimming around in Pisces, your dreams may be particularly revealing. As we often suggest, keep a notebook handy.


Notice, as well, your relationship to the past. Pisces is famous for its relationship to everything that we tend to forget, or want to forget. However, you may be remembering, so — remember. Notice what ‘comes up’.


Here’s excerpt from an article from Aquarius Papers:

In Pisces, Mercury’s energies show down to rethink in a movie-watching or witness mode. It is over-attracted to the past and re-examines endings and universals that may be beyond words. It is in an intuitive mode, and not quite sure of what it is seeing, hearing, or knowing.

There may be visions from the distant past, as information is constantly coming in from the collective consciousness or Collective Unconscious. This position is highly receptive to subtle signals from the subconscious, whether one’s own or that of another. There is often a lack of clarity about these signals and their meaning, resulting in ambivalence or an inability to decide anything with certainty.

There may be feelings like being lost in a fog, pressure drops into sorrow, as the mind is shifting in empathy with its environment. Mercury here is able to become a living conscience witnessing the universal human experience.

This position reasons intuitively, sees whole situations, but may have a hard time communicating satisfactorily. There is an atmospheric sensitivity and an environmental impressionability. In Pisces, Mercury retrograde can offer a gift of visionary poetry, and use a subtle sense of humor to communicate universal truths.

Mercury retrograde is cycling back through Fire and Water signs this year, creating the potential for … steam! Use it to power engines, but don’t get scalded.

12 March to 4 April 2012, 6+° Aries to 23+° Pisces
14 to 8 August 2012, 12+° to 1+° Leo
6 to 26 November 2012, 4+° Sagittarius to 18+° Scorpio

Mercury is currently stationing retrograde in Aries, a Fire sign. It is close enough to Uranus for any volatility to be amplified, but also the potential for ‘out of the box’ thinking and problem-solving. So there may be the opportunity to revisit old problems and come up with creative new solutions, once you’ve sidestepped all the delays and technical glitches!

Image: Irregular Solar Coronae at the steam from hot springs at Yellowstone National Park. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Mercury next retrogrades from 22° 50′ Libra to 7° 34′ Libra, from 24 September to 15 October 2008.

My previous post on Mercury in Libra can be found here.

Libra rules issues of harmony, balance, justice and fairness. Let’s see if the coming retrograde will help remind us of their virtues.

More soon.

On 31 January, it was announced that several undersea internet cables had been cut. This occurred shortly after Mercury went retrograde in Aquarius. Mercury is the planet of communications and Aquarius rules not just technology but also the egalitarian nature of the internet, Aquarius being the sign of the humanitarian.

This incident brings to light not only the connectedness of human society (ideally) embodied by the internet (it is clear that not everyone is connected and the question of uneven access is always contentious), but also calls attention to how fragile those connections might be. It also calls attention to the intimate connection between those networks and the raping of oceans we are experiencing as symptomatic of the central crisis of our times.

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