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 begins in the Fire sign of Sagittarius and retrogrades back into the Water sign of Scorpio. What does this mean for all of us?
This Mercury retrograde started at 3:04 pm PST, 6:04 pm EST, 11:04 pm Greenwich. This retrograde moves from 5 Sagittarius back to 19 Scorpio, with the Inferior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun occurring at 26 Scorpio at 7:47 am PST, 3:47 pm Greenwich.
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. The July 2012 period was in Fiery Leo the entire time. This one begins in the Fire sign of Sagittarius, and winds up in the Water sign of Scorpio.
As this one retrogrades in Sagittarius, we'll get to research, re-think, rehearse and get a new look at new forms of truth, abstract understanding, plans for the future, and a wider view of possibilities. This could bring the renewal of an old way of finding spiritual or philosophical understanding, or even a the return of an old truth in a new form.
This Mercury retrograde begins at 5 Sagittarius, and moves back to 19 Scorpio over the next 3 weeks. That retraces ground we experienced October 18 through November 6 when Mercury first transited that span.
Astrologers should take not that while in Scorpio, Mercury is ruled by Mars, but when in Sagittarius it is ruled by Jupiter. So this period begins with Jupiter in Gemini in Mutual Reception with Mercury, but when Mercury retrogrades back into Scorpio on November 14, then Mars will rule.
As Mars is in Sagittarius until Nov 16-17 when it moves into its exaltation sign of Capricorn, Mercury in Scorpio will be far more pragmatic and organized than when Mars is in Sagittarius. Mercury will still rule Jupiter in Gemini, so Jupiter will have a very Sagittarius energy until Nov 14, after which it will have a more Scorpio-Capricorn type of influence.As noted in other articles (links at the bottom of the page), this retrograde begins with Mercury septile Venus in Libra. That indicates some non-rational energies at work in all things Mercurial and Venusian, and I gave you the hot zones in the first article in this series.
Given the other septile-series aspects in play, we can expect to confront some heavy “forks in the road of destiny” in just about every area of our lives. All the planets except Saturn have one of those aspects at work (and even there, Saturn in Scorpio is ruled by Mars which began this period in biseptile to Uranus in Aries which it also rules.
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 5 Sagittarius is "An old owl up in a tree.” Rudhyar says this symbolizes “poised observation upon the drama of life,” Mellow judgment,” and “ingrained confidence in the situation and worth of the self.”
We are told in the Astrological Mandala that this symbolizes "a poised and wise approach to existence based on a clear perception of unconscious factors and their operation.” Here a symbol of wisdom able to see in “the night of existence” helps our consciousness to be active in hidden ways usually unnoticed by ego.
He tells us this “suggests the possibility of developing a wisdom beyond tragedy, a peace and poise beyond conflict,” and gives us the keyword “Translucidity.” He says it falls in the span of "Receptiveness” and it’s the culminating degree in the actional level of the scene of Abstraction in the Act of Group-Integration. So we'll use our Mercury function to see how to find new forms of translucid wisdom in action based in seeing what we usually don’t see. This can lead us to understand unconscious factors in our own lives or the lives of others, 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 NORMALITY. He states this is a degree of some needed stability in our affairs, where we use accepted life values functionally to confirm some element of our reality. Here we have power “to give an eternal stability or a deeper universal compulsion” to whatever calls our deeper potential.
He goes on to say that with this degree we can find and demonstrate a “real dignity of self-respect.” He continues that this degree, when positive, is "exceptional wisdom or effective self-restraint in each detail of personal accomplishment.”
As with all Mercury retrogrades, we can use this time to take a look back at whatever in the past has recently begun. This one in Sag helps us re-shape our mind, perceptions, and expectations through seeing former truths, abstract understandings, potential futures, and higher, broader, and wider views through a new lens.
These reviews and new points of view will be activated in major ways when the Sun moves across the Mercury retrograde span in late Scorpio and early Sagittarius. Then we'll find pleasing forms, values, and relationships arising from this Sagittarius and Scorpio review when Venus passes through the span during the second and third weeks of December.
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 Scorpio and Sag is good for, the coming Inferior Conjunction and what it means, and what we can expect between late November and late February when it goes direct several 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