by Robert Wilkinson
Each Mercury Retrograde period is unique, yet related to other Mercury RX periods, usually because the signs are harmonized with those of past Mercury retrogrades. This one moves backwards through the Fire sign of Sagittarius. What does this mean for all of us?
This Mercury retrograde starts at November 23, 11:21 pm PST, Nov 24 2:21 am EST, 7:21 am Greenwich. This retrograde moves from 21 Sagittarius back to 4 Sagittarius, with the Inferior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun occurring at 12 Sagittarius at 12:52 am PST, 8:52 am Greenwich December 4.
We finished a sequence of Mercury retrograde periods in 2010 where the retrograde span was entirely in Earth signs. December 2010 Mercury moved from Earthy Capricorn back to Fiery Sagittarius. The one in March-April was entirely in Aries, a Fire sign. The one in August returned to the pattern of last December, in that Mercury RX began in the Earth sign of Virgo and retrograded back into the Fire sign of Leo. Now Mercury is entirely retrograde in Sagittarius.
As this one retrogrades in Sagittarius, we'll get to research, re-think, rehearse and get a new look at the future we aspire toward, the truths we believe in, the possible vision of a larger reality we've dreamed of. This begins a time of learning through imitation and "make believe," so that by playing a role we actually rehearse being that role. This should show us how we've blended mind and heart in our relationships that have opened since the new beginnings of March through May and the "liberating ordeals" of August that showed us a new "freedom from social rigidity."
This Mercury retrograde begins at 21 Sagittarius, and moves back to 4 Sag over the next 3 weeks. That retraces ground we experienced November 4-23 when Mercury first transited that span. Also remember that Mercury and Venus were really close the entire first 19 days of November, adding a Venusian quality to the Mercurial experience.
Where Mercury goes retrograde indicates a threshold from which we take a look back, or get a newer understanding from multiple points of contrasting views. The degree for 21 Sagittarius is "A child and a dog with borrowed eyeglasses." Rudhyar says this symbolizes "usefulness of make believe," "Rising to situations through the imagination," and "assuming a part ahead of natural development."
We are told in the Astrological Mandala that this symbolizes "the use of imagination and make-believe in anticipating higher stages of development," where "by imitating features belonging to a level of consciousness as yet unreachable," we accelerate growth. This is "growth by identification with a 'Master' or guru" where by wearing "a Shaman's mask" we become the power associated with that role.
Here we learn through imitation. He says it falls in the span of "Detachment," and it's the first degree of the emotional-cultural level of the scene of Transference in the Act of Group Integration. So we'll use our Mercury function to see how to transfer energies through imagination that helps us practice a form of identifying with a "higher power."
According to Dr. Jones, creator of the Sabian Symbols, the keyword is EXAMINATION. He states this is a degree of humanity's "unimpeachably universal spirit," and where we realize there are no boundaries between our "higher and lower life." Here our consciousness requires "supplements" to develop as we enter into reality using our insights. He says this degree, when positive, is "an exceptional skill in the analysis of personal opportunity throughout the many dimensions of experience."
Due to the Mercury retrograde being in the same sign as the Sagittarius Solar Eclipse, we will be able to see what has transpired recently with an eye to what has to end for something to move forward. As with all Mercury retrogrades, we can use this time to take a look back at whatever in the past has recently begun, and re-shape our mind, perceptions, and expectations through seeing an old truth through different eyes, or a higher view through a new lens. As noted, these reviews and new points of view will be activated in major ways when Mars and the other inner planets roll across this degree beginning November 2012.
Though it's still a few weeks away, where Mercury goes direct indicates the platform from which Mercury goes forth from mid-December through mid-March 2012 when it again goes retrograde. So let's take a look at where we'll wind up about 3 weeks from now. The degree where Mercury will go direct is "A little child learning to walk."
I'll elaborate on this degree closer to the time Mercury goes direct. For now, some themes connected to this degree are finding or offering encouragement to actualize potentials and learning through "self-induced progress," and learning techniques to resolve conflicts through growing in power, freedom, and individuality. Crises in self-development from mid-December through mid-March should be seen through the lens of "life's kindliness in creating safe opportunities for growth."
So we enter a time of review, reflection, rehearsal, and new angles of using imagination and imitation with a focus on accelerated growth that will leave us at a platform of finding new skills and learning techniques. Many could find information or mental impressions showing new paths to truth and higher understanding wherever mid-Sagittarius falls in the chart. These can also work out through the house(s) with Sagittarius on the cusp.
Expect a profusion of ideas, communications, insights and evaluations that will take many twists and turns before becoming clear visions of how to decide and what to do. By the time this RX period is done, we'll know what's being shut down or will be shut down so that we can find new abilities, new concentration, and new views of what's important and what's peripheral leading to techniques we can use to grow safely, appreciating new opportunities.
Of note is that this Mercury retrograde period begins with Mercury retrograding back toward the New Moon Solar Eclipse at 3 Sagittarius. That Mercury will retrograde back through the span where it was conjunct Venus for weeks should "sweeten" the retrograde period as it takes shape over the next three weeks. We can get new insights about what we feel is beautiful, valuable, and appeals to the heart that opens a new freedom of understanding.
Notable aspects Mercury makes during this RX period feature a semisquare and septile to Venus, a biseptile and square to Mars, a sesquisquare and biquintile to Jupiter, a septile, semisquare, and novile to Saturn, a biseptile and tredecile to Uranus, and quintile to Neptune. Remember that Mercury already made most of these aspects in the recent past, so we'll get a review of the lessons associated with these over the next 3 weeks so that we can show skill in these once Mercury goes direct.
I have already discussed other important aspects going on during the retrograde in the article The Guide of Souls in November-December 2011 - Mercury Slowing Down, Preparing to go Retrograde at 21 Sagittarius. The two most important configurations dominating this Mercury retrograde period are 1) Mercury revisiting its septile to Saturn and biseptile to Uranus, and 2) the Mutable T-square involving the Moon in Pisces opposing Mars, with both of these square the Sun and Mercury RX. I discussed both of these in the above linked article, so please take a new look at it to see what signs and degree spans are most affected.
Mercury in Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter. This makes Jupiter a very important influence during this Mercury retrograde time. Though Jupiter begins the retrograde period at 3 Taurus, it quickly moves back to 2 Taurus and then to its stationary direct degree of 1 Taurus. A study of these degrees will show the backdrop to this retrograde and the Inferior Conjunction. Pay special note of the aspects Mercury makes to Jupiter during the next 3 weeks.
Over the next 3 weeks Mercury moves back from the second half of Sag back to the first half, retracing the actional level of Transference through the individual-mental and emotional-cultural levels of Abstraction back to the actional level, after which we'll again move through this territory for the third time during the last half of December. Retrogrades give us opportunities to look back and claim things from the past we may not have seen before.
Mercury retrograde is good for reworking, rehearsing, rethinking, researching, or finding a different approach to whatever is not well understood. It's also great for busting lies and misconceptions, though if you have the misfortune of dealing with someone operating from a delusion, they still may not get what's right in front of their face. In that case, let them go and apply your energies to more worthy relationships and endeavors.
On a final note for today, during any Mercury retrograde period there are always strange twists and turns and returns. However, 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.
More Mercury retrograde articles to come in the near future. Other parts in this series will discuss the nature of how it affects individual birthdays, the coming Inferior Conjunction, its coming stationary direct degree influences, and what this Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius is specifically good for.
Other articles explaining Mercury Retrograde:
Copyright © 2011 Robert Wilkinson