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 is entirely in the first half of the Fire sign of Leo. What does this mean for all of us?
This Mercury retrograde starts at 7:16 pm PDT, 10:16 EDT July 14, 3:16 am Greenwich July 15. This retrograde moves from 13 Leo back to 2 Leo, with the Inferior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun occurring at 7 Leo at 12:58 pm PDT, 8:58 pm Greenwich July 28.
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 2011 was entirely in Aries, a Fire sign. The one in August 2011 returned to the pattern of December 2010, in that Mercury RX began in the Earth sign of Virgo and retrograded back into the Fire sign of Leo.
In November-December 2011 Mercury was again retrograde entirely in the Fire sign of Sagittarius, while the last one in March-April 2012 retrograded from the Fire sign of Aries back into the Water sign of Pisces. As noted earlier, this one begins in the Fire sign of Leo and stays in that sign through the entire retrograde period.
As this one retrogrades in Leo, we'll get to research, re-think, rehearse and get a new look at new forms of self-expression, a new way to be creative, enthusiastic, or spontaneous in some area of our lives, or even get a new look at our children, or insights into children in general. This could bring the renewal of an old way of playing or enjoying ourselves, or even the return of an old way of being theatrical in our self-expression so we can further embrace the new life set into motion between mid-March and mid-June 2011 that is now a permanent part of our Being. This begins a time of learning how to contemplate trials and dramas in our past so that we can find peace through reflecting on what we experienced.
This gives us a check-in as we stand on a new threshold of life enjoyment and self-involvement in activities that are more fun than what we’ve been doing up to now. This also gives us a look back at the recent past that we may see connections to the "liberating ordeals" of August 2011 that showed us a new "freedom from social rigidity." We now get a new look at what we’ve left behind, and can find peace in knowing we made it through those life challenges.
This Mercury retrograde begins at 13 Leo, and moves back to 2 Leo over the next 3 weeks. That retraces ground we experienced June 26 through July 14 when Mercury first transited that span.
Also remember that since it entered Leo on June 25-26, it’s been disposed of by the Sun, heralding what we can expect when the Sun is in Leo between July 22 and August 22. Since Mercury rules both Venus and Jupiter due to its rulership of Gemini, as well as what I wrote yesterday about Venus triggering the Grand Irrationality, we can expect to confront some heavy Mercury-ruled “forks in the road of destiny” wherever we have mid-Gemini in our charts over the next several weeks, as well as where we have Taurus, Libra, Sagittarius, and Pisces on our house cusps.
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 13 Leo is "An old sea captain rocking.” Rudhyar says this symbolizes “Reward of growth from outer to inner realms,” Serenity through the overcoming of storms,” “Self-gained mellowness,” and “Retirement.”
We are told in the Astrological Mandala that this symbolizes "the quieted mind’s recollections of crises and joys long past,” where we can see how we’ve “steered the ship of (our) ego-consciousnesss through seas and storms, maintaining the integrity of (our) individual self-hood while in close contact with the collective Unconscious.” That enables us to distill wisdom from those trials and triumphs through contemplating past and present realities, gently rocking us into peace.
He gives us the keyword as “Quiet recollection.” He says it falls in the span of "Assurance” and it’s the synthesizing degree in the individual-mental level of the scene of Combustion in the Act of Stabilization. So we'll use our Mercury function to see how to find new forms of individual assurance or confidence in our mind or individuality to stabilize our creativity, either as a result of new information or old ideas and perceptions seen in a new light.
According to Dr. Jones, creator of the Sabian Symbols, the keyword is RETROSPECT. He states this is a degree of humanity’s “great love for re-living (our) experiences in memory, and of (our) gift for achieving a mastery in advance of whatever new situations (we) may face” through seeing our relationships in terms of their potential.
He goes on to say that with this degree we fight the ever-recurring battles in our world in our imagination over and over since we bring life under leash through mastering recurring challenges. He continues that this degree, when positive, is "each person’s unlimited capacity for calling up afresh the powers (we have) gained in (our) struggle toward self-fulfillment.”
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 former pleasures, enthusiasms, ways of natural self-expression, and old ways of regarding children through different eyes, or a more playful and spontaneous view of what’s fun in our lives through a new lens. These reviews and new points of view will be activated in major ways when the Sun enters Leo, and we’ll find pleasing forms, values, and relationships arising from this Leo review when Venus passes through the first half of Leo in the second and third weeks of September.
In future Mercury retrograde articles, we’ll explore the aspects in play during the next three weeks, how its transit in various houses will affect each of us, what Mercury retrograde in Leo is good for, the coming Inferior Conjunction and what it means, and what we can expect between August and early November after it goes direct in a few weeks from now.
Here are other articles on this Mercury retrograde, each with important information about this period and the nature of what Mercury retrograde is and isn’t, and how to best use these recurring energies.
Copyright © 2012 Robert Wilkinson