by Robert Wilkinson
This Mercury retrograde starts 12:31 pm PST Jan 28 (Jan 29 in Pakistan and points east) and ends 6:57 pm PST Feb 18 (Feb 19 east of Greenland). This retrograde moves from 24 degrees Aquarius back to 9 Aquarius, with the inferior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun occurring at 18 degrees Aquarius at 10:19 am PST just before the Solar Eclipse on Feb 6-7. This degree is "A Man's Secret Motives Are Being Unmasked" symbolizing the difficulty we have keeping our past, motives, and secrets from public view, and "the introvert's desire to protect himself from social judgment" and "clinging to self valuation." A degree of "Unmasking," Rudhyar also says this degree involves "conservation of experience," perhaps requiring protective agencies to remain relatively unrecognized.
The inferior conjunction is when Mercury (mind) conjuncts the Sun (life) while retrograde, indicating that signals, messages, and ideas from either outer sources or subconscious sources will fuse with the life principle, setting the tone for the lessons involving how our minds are relating to our lives during the next four months. Since Mercury is retrograde, the degree of the inferior conjunction shows how our lives will merge with our perceptions and bring forth a new understanding of our light.
This is the second step in a two-conjunction process. The first step is when Mercury conjuncts the Sun in forward motion after its retrograde period. As Mercury is faster than the Sun, after this Mind again outraces Life, and explores ideas and perceptions of experiences yet to occur.
Then Mercury goes stationary retrograde, and moves into the second step when Mercury again conjuncts the Sun while retrograde. This is when Mind is being absorbed by Life, or Life takes on the results of subconscious or collective ideas returning to source. Eventually Life gets as far from Mind as it can, Mercury goes stationary direct, and begins to speed up preparing for the first step anew in a different part of the zodiac.
We are told that 18 Aquarius is a technique of MANAGEMENT on the Actional level of experience, where synthesizing our actional management skills with our need for protection can now be demonstrated. This Inferior Conjunction of mind "looking back" into life will help us reinterpret experiences we've had which deepened us but we may not have noticed up to now.
The fact that the Inferior Conjunction falls with the Moon at 13 Aquarius, the degree of Anticipation, indicates this will show us a new look at what we can anticipate is coming based on the "changes of pressure" today, and give us a "vantage point in consciousness" so if we need to we can "retreat" to find truth. Saturn, ruling Aquarius in worldly affairs, is the backdrop of the Moon, the Inferior Conjunction, and the Eclipse to come. At the Inferior Conjunction, it's retrograde at 7 Virgo, said to be a degree of training and "development of individual soul, with full yet binding protection," and "freedom from responsibility and restraint." This should bring us all forms of practical, working wisdom if we know how to use the "down times" while we're waiting to demonstrate skill and power in a repetitive situation.
During the 11 days before the inferior conjunction (fusion) of mind and life, take a new look at how you can bring out your inner wisdom by adjusting to a future vision or broader perspective that's opening for you, and get a new point of view regarding what your imagination is willing to consider and how to coordinate your life to reorganize it productively. It's great for intuitive flashes, insights into the larger collective consciousness and unconsciousness, and you should find a new ease and sophistication among those you're with.
This retrograde beginning at 24 Aquarius retraces ground we covered January 13-27, and the degree is "Now Freed From Passion, A Man Teaches Deep Wisdom," symbolizing "geniune dispassion" and "self conquering." A degree of "Communicability," Rudhyar also says this degree is "The constructive use to which difficult past experiences can be put as examples for those who are still striving to overcome their passions," referring to the need for those who have managed difficult experiences to pass their wisdom on to others who also struggle with those same issues."
It is a degree of utilizing experience and feelings by a Higher Intelligence that remains detached and dispassionate in order to assist or be assisted. It is the technique degree in the Emotional-Social-Cultural level of "Management" and according to Jones, its formula is Manipulating, Ideal, Ingenious, Generalizing, Social, and Responsible. He offers the keyword SERENITY, and says it's a degree of "the values of a generous... participation in everyday life, and "The self assimilates itself to its own higher vision and so achieves an outer selflessness" in "effective accomplishment through a genuine peace of inner understanding."
This picks up almost exactly where Mercury went stationary direct in March 2007, leading to the need to show a form of "higher power" to our world Spring of 2007. This stationary degree is conjunct Neptune and septile Pluto and Venus, thus triggering a long term "Grand Irrationality" effect. This is yet another in a string of Mercury sensitive points that are triggering this long wave global irrationality.
A look back at previous Mercury retrograde articles discusses this more extensively, but in just one example, Mercury's RX station in October 2007 at 10 Scorpio put it biseptile Neptune's stationary RX point of Spring 2007. This stationary point is within the "hot zone" created then that will be triggered continuously by Neptune and Pluto throughout 2008-2009 as they respectively biseptile and septile this Scorpio point.
This would indicate that whatever "threshold" lessons, ideas, and perceptions the October-November 2007 Scorpio-Libra retrograde held for us will help us move into our Higher Destiny over the next two years each time the Grand Irrationality pattern is triggered by transits, including the Moon. As a result of deepened relationships and connectedness with life, expect opportunities to teach and be taught how to manage feelings and social-cultural experiences. This will help many to find a group work where they can embrace higher ideals and activities creating a better world on whatever level that group operates.
Please read more about Spiritual Astrology in January-February 2008 Pt. 1 - Jupiter Trine Saturn Practical Grounding with A Grand Irrationality Eclipse in Aquarius to learn more about the weird larger atmosphere that is affecting all of us until early March. Due to the Mercury stationary point activating the larger irrationality pattern as a result of its stationary retrograde point, expect things to get somewhat weird. During the retrograde, while there are always strange twists and turns and returns, if it's not a return of something you should have taken care of before then, remember that whatever happens, it probably won't turn out the way it seems at the time.
Being trine the stationary direct point of the last Mercury retrograde in October-November, this period should bring forth a natural understanding of what new realms we entered at that time where new heart strengths came forth. Of special note is that this retrograde point falls close to a trine where Mars goes stationary direct on January 30, 2008, with both trine the previous Mercury stationary point forming a Grand Air Trine. This should complete and harmonize many of the relationships, signals, and information we've been exposed to since then, and we should see that the Mercury and Mars ruled areas of our charts find understanding and harmony of operation in whatever we've re-done, undone, or prepared to do between November 2007 and April 2008.
This retrograde Mercury starts off completely unafflicted except for a semisquare to Jupiter, showing us how we need to get our lower mind and Higher Mind in synch. Of course, it's sitting on the conjunction to Neptune, thus focusing the Grand Irrationality mentioned earlier, never an easy or clear time, but definitely one of major choices and changes.
Due to the RX, it may take us a while to see the results of those choices made at this larger "fork in the road of destiny," but things should be VERY clear by the time that both Mercury and Venus conjunct Neptune at 23 Aquarius, ushering in a training period where we're learning balance to be able to "pick up and deliver a higher power" in the future.
While not an affliction per se, any time we're dealing with the Grand Irrationality being triggered we are reminded there are certain "forks in the road of destiny" we may have postponed but cannot postpone much longer. During this retrograde, take a new look at the choices and changes presented beginning March 2007 and accelerated May 2007 so you may better understand what to do or not do just before and after the Inferior Conjunction, preparing to cut loose the third week of February.
Mercury retrogrades through some minor aspects to the other planets this period, as all but Mars and Saturn are clustered between Pluto and Uranus. Of special note is when the Moon passes through the hot zones of the Grand Irrationality while Mercury is there at the front end of the period, and when the Sun is there the second week of February. This makes Jan 29 important (Moon in Scorpio zone), as well as Feb 2-3, and 10. Expect these days to be very important in terms of information showing choices that should have been made or will need to be made.
Mercury toward the end of its RX period is in early Aquarius, said to be a span of "Contribution" where we can see a greater group dedication and launch a wider vision and ideal. Toward the end of February, Mercury is favorable to all the planets except a sesquisquare to Mars, though it does make a triseptile to Saturn when it goes stationary direct, thus setting a second irrationality pattern into motion until its next retrograde period in May-June 2008 in Gemini.
While Mercury is in Aquarius many will find their ideas are operating at a high level of cognition, with information and insights filling in gaps yielding a larger vision of the greatest good on whatever level your mind operates. Cultivate the synthesizing mind through pulling together diverse views into an integrated overview, and confer with friends or members of your spiritual community in order to see what is needed to coordinate situations.
The Mercury semisquare Jupiter in late January most affects those with planets around 23, 24, and 25 degrees of Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio, as well as 8, 9, and 10 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. This would impact birthdays around mid-February, late March, mid-May, late June, mid-August, late September, mid-November, and late December. If your birthday falls in these spans, communicate positive imaginings, get a sense of how others are seeing things, be a good interpreter of a larger view or vision, and don't allow your imagination to go where it doesn't need to go. Avoid exaggeration and making mountains out of molehills.
Other elements of note during this retrograde are that Mercury disposits Mars and Saturn, and so directly influences our Gemini, Virgo, Capricorn, and Aquarius houses and planets. Of especial note is that at the Inferior Conjunction it is quadranovile with Saturn, which will show us who our "Dharma allies" are and aren't, and so probably will precipitate some separations between obsolete relationships while showing us who we must unite with for spiritual purposes. As noted, it is triseptile Saturn for the week before and week after it goes stationary direct, setting forces into motion that will definitely affect our future purpose and spiritual work.
As with the last Mercury retrograde, this time at one of itsstations it's also in trine to Mars. This time, however, it retrogrades back to the sesquisquare, then moves forward again through the trine and tredecile in March, eventually hitting a biseptile in late March-early April and the square in mid-April. As a result of the aspects it made back in October-November 2006 during its retrograde, since then Mercury has offered us easy and obvious choices through understanding fundamental patterns where we could clearly see the seeds, the needs, and what has to be done to launch some new life pattern in March 2008.
Remembering that nothing turns out as expected during a Mercury retrograde, and that things take strange twists and turns and there are curious returns of people, ideas, and experiences in new forms that resemble old forms, open to useful but overlooked angles of viewing things, learn and teach through a sense of perspective of how past and present relate in unusual ways, and be alert to roundabout or indirect communications that show things going on below the surface.
All in all, given the lack of volatile aspects between Mercury and the other planets, there shouldn't be too much upheaval or upset. It's more a time of getting clearer about our understanding of a larger vision related to many things, people, and experiences, where we can integrating, harmonizing and broaden our aspirations we're in training to manifest during this Saturn in Virgo era.
Mercury going stationary direct at 9 Aquarius on February 18-19 shows that through May 26, 2008, we will have opportunities to go through a "spiritual rebirth," move our realizations from inner to outer manifestations, and incorporate new social values demonstrating the highest spiritual ideals of those values. Rudhyar says it's a point of "acting out" a spiritual vision, where the seeker becomes the doer, and the vision is dynamized is brought into focus and "the archetype is given living substance and wings."
We'll wind up with new friends, new goals, new visions of a greater good, and new social resources as a result of this period, building on the new ideals, new ways of relating to others, and a new sense of balance and proportion that came out of the Mercury retrograde of Autumn 2007. This initiates a time of getting it into gear, acting on our vision, and joining with others in pioneering cooperative group endeavors. Synthesize! This should help us concretize a higher vision and effectiveness by helping us take a look back, reinterpret recent information and insights, fill in some gaps previously leaving us with holes in our understanding, and rehearse future scenarios that will develop quickly after mid-February.
When Mercury goes direct, it is at a platform from which to bring the lessons it has reflected on during the rx period forward into the future life-in-the-making. The angle of retrograde exploration was the stationary retrograde degree. The degree of the inferior conjunction shows how life and mind must come together in a different, perhaps overlooked but definitely useful, view of what must be known.
The entire retrograde function is inward-turned, so we can get insights into what must be known to understand some thing from a more holistic point of view. We can also note how our mind, ideas, or worldview are affected by our subconsciousness, or our receptivity to others' subconsciousness.
Mercury retrograde periods reveal their own unique rhythm in offering us a new look at things. Every period in some way echoes the messages of prior retrograde periods, and affects those to come. That's why it's important to observe what has been revealed during other periods in the recent months and years past, so that you can see how Mercury, or Hermes, the "Guide of Souls," is leading you to your authentic self. Regardless of appearances, or how difficult or easy, Mercury retrograde periods show us the path to our Soul.
If you want to know how this larger sequence of Mercury retrograde periods is unfolding its roundabout magic, please check out the archives from October 2007, as well as June 2007 and January and February 2007. Each of these periods have several articles, so enjoy connecting the dots by looking back to get a sense of the future. And on that note, obviously there are more Mercury retrograde articles coming in the next few days.
© Copyright 2008 Robert Wilkinson