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 Water sign of Cancer. What does this mean for all of us?
This Mercury retrograde started June 26 at 6:08 am PDT, 9:08 am EDT, 2:08 pm Greenwich. This retrograde moves from 24 Cancer back to 14 Cancer (The Star Sirius, the Sun of our Sun!), with the Inferior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun occurring at 18 Cancer occurring July 9 at 11:41 am PDT, 7:41 pm Greenwich.
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 24 Cancer is “A woman and two men on a bit of sunlit land facing south.” In "the Astrology of Personality," where Rudhyar uses the original Dr. Jones' class notes on the symbols, 24 Cancer is said to be “the three ‘souls” in man – actional, emotional, mental – ‘exiled’ in the body,” “potential fulfillment,” and “Sense of being lost in life.”
We are told in the Astrological Mandala that this symbolizes "the focalization of complex inner potentialities in harmonic and concrete relationships.” Here we are told the women and men symbolized parts of our personality, where each confronts the need to relate to the others in a “passionate” setting.
He says in this symbol we need to find “a harmonious and well-integrated (way of life),” and must learn a technique of how to live. This can help us integrate our mental, emotional, and biological drives through understanding how interdependent the parts of our personality are on each other.
He says it falls in the span of Ingenuousness, and it’s the penultimate degree in the emotional-cultural level of the scene of Consolidation in the Act of Stabilization. So we'll use our Mercury function to catch glimpses of a technique of personality integration, whether through feelings we’re remembering, or feelings we need to honor to be more effective in the future. 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, this degree is one of “the soul’s necessary decisiveness” in its practical allegiances. This is a degree of “mediation between the competing demands for immediate attention to various transient needs, and for some consistent or over-all goal which will bring (our) efforts into a cohesive pattern.”
We are told “inner capacities must be disciplined continually for the sake of a plethora of outer opportunities.” He offers us the keyword INCEPTION. He states when operating in a positive manner, this degree “an unusual gift for organizing and exploiting the self’s potentials.”
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 Cancer helps us re-shape our mind, perceptions, understanding, and methods by taking former insights into feelings and needs, filling in some blind spots or elements we formerly didn’t understand. We can get new perspectives on old experiences and how we feel now as a result of them, as well as old ways of living, old habit patterns, and old family issues as spurs to personality integration.
These reviews and new points of view will be activated in major ways as the Sun moves through this Mercury retrograde degree span in Cancer over the three weeks Mercury is retrograde. This will illuminate the Mercury lessons we first saw when Mercury was approaching this retrograde period. Now that Mercury is retrograde, we’ll get a new look at these things.
We’ll also get to review or re-think recent events associated with what Venus heralded between June 13-22 when it traversed the span in Cancer where Mercury will retrograde. So Venus along with Mercury initiated this activity, and now Mercury is moving back over the span as the Sun moves across it.
These are giving us clear signals about what we will have to deal with when Mars moves through this span from August 1-18, which will lead directly to Jupiter lessons and opportunities when it moves through this span from August 26 through November 6-7 when direct in motion, continuing retrograde through January 25, 2014. What we were initially exposed to through Venus, and are now reviewing, rehearsing, reflecting on, or re-thinking via Mercury, will become activities and opportunities pretty much from August through next January. This process finishes between mid-April and mid-June 2014 when Jupiter direct finally crosses the span for the last time.
So pay close attention to the signs and signals this Mercury retrograde in Cancer is giving you. This can help round out whatever forms of emotional intelligence you’re learning via the Grand Water Trines, and will lead many to an ageless, timeless eternal Wisdom after Mercury goes direct at 14 Cancer on July 20, 11:22 am PDT, 7:22 pm Greenwich. After that, Mercury moves across the RX span a third time through August 4, giving us the ability to weave multiple old views and understandings into new ways of coordinating that part of our lives.
All Mercury retrograde periods are great for returns, reviews, rehearsals, reversals, and seeing things from unusual angles. This one require fluidity, caring, a greater empathy, and letting go of bad habits and crabbed emotions that keep us defensive rather than able to care for and nurture others.
Find the source of supply, and/or the “container of personality” that can help you feel secure as you move into important new directions that will integrate your personality. If something seems lost, it could very well return. And we can expect many echoes from the past during this Cancer retrograde, especially some early family memories engraved on our subconsciousness, so take time to nurture the parts of yourself that need it.
The Elemental Changes in Mercury Retrograde signs since 2010
We finished a sequence of Mercury retrograde periods in 2010 where the retrograde span was entirely in Earth signs, showing a focus on practicality. December 2010 Mercury moved from Earthy Capricorn back to Fiery Sagittarius. The one in March-April 2011 was entirely in Aries, a Fire sign, showing a focus on inspiration and initiative. 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. The November 2012 began in the fire sign of Sagittarius, and winds up in the Water sign of Scorpio.
This year all three Mercury retrograde periods begin in Water signs and end in the same sign. That puts the focus on feelings, experiencing a greater flow or connectedness, and learning to navigate in the world of changing states between solid, liquid, and gas.
As this one retrogrades in Cancer, we will be getting a new look at the qualities of Cancer (described three paragraphs above) as we need to live them in positive ways. Cancer represents the up-close-and-personal feelings we live with on a day to day basis, our basic security or insecurity as we move through time, space, and experience.
Because this one retrogrades in Cancer, we’ll get to research, re-think, or get a new look at old forms of what we care about now relative to what we cared about in the past, as well as why we have had certain habits or feelings and responses to personal interactions. This could bring the renewal of an old way of caring or feeing, or even the return of an old habit or experience in a new form.
This Mercury retrograde began at 24 Cancer and moves back to 13 Cancer over the next 3 weeks. That retraces ground we experienced June 9 through 26 when Mercury first transited that span.
Behind the Scenes in this Cancer Retrograde
While in Cancer, Mercury is ruled by the Moon and secondarily by the Sun. So this Mercury retrograde period has as its backdrop energy the constantly changing Moon as it moves through the signs. That means Mercury will show the qualities of whatever sign the Moon is in.
During this retrograde period the Moon begins in mid-Aquarius and moves through the subsequent signs until it is in early Capricorn when Mercury goes direct July 20-21. So we’ll have all the signs as the backdrop to Mercury’s retrograde passage, with Aquarius through Leo up to the Inferior conjunction, and Leo through Capricorn as Mercury begins to speed up in the latter part of its retrograde.
We should see particularly strong Lunar/Cancer manifestations when the Moon is in Gemini from July 4 to 6, and again when the Moon is in Virgo from July 11 to 13. That’s because Mercury rules these signs, putting the Moon and Mercury in Mutual Reception. While the Moon in Gemini won’t make any aspect of major influence to Mercury (except a quickly passing semisquare), when the Moon is in Virgo it will make very powerful and positive aspects to Mercury, including a septile, sextile, and quintile.
For astrologers familiar with aspects, this retrograde begins with Mercury coming off a conjunction to Venus, with Mercury going retrograde just before an exact biseptile to Uranus while forming an exact biseptile to Saturn. And when we add the Moon at 19 Aquarius in the stationary retrograde chart making a forming triseptile to Mercury and septile to Uranus, we have an extremely important retrograde! This will most impact the parts of our chart where we have Aries, Gemini, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Aquarius, since these signs are most heavily aspected and activated by the dramatic exteriorization of elements of destiny indicated by these septile-series aspects.
Areas most likely to experience important decisions, choices, shifts, and changes include (approximately) 22-25 Cancer, 13-16 Virgo, 4-7 Scorpio, 26-29 Sagittarius, 18-21 Aquarius, 10-13 Aries, and 1-4 Gemini. If you have a planet or angle in one of these zones, expect dramatic events to throw you into your destiny via some Mercury retrograde means!
Of course more will happen during the times the Sun crosses this Cancer zone (July 12-18), Mars crosses this zone (August 13-21), and Jupiter crosses this zone (mid-October through late November 2013 and June 2014). And yes, if you have something to a degree or two to either side of these spans, the effect will be happening for you!
The best part of this retrograde is the Grand Water Trine made by the Sun at 6 Cancer the day Mercury went retrograde. That is the exact degree of the coming Mars conjunct Jupiter on July 22, the day of the Full Moon at 1 Aquarius-Leo. This implies that this Mercury retrograde period in some way is a “back to the future” type of energy, where the Great Light shows us how the past is feeding our future as we prepare to live that future in all its expansive potential beginning at the July 22 Full Moon.
Thanks to Jupiter now in early Cancer, this Mercury retrograde will also quicken the flow set into motion when Mercury and Venus were in early Cancer making their Grand Water Trines in early June. It should be a great time to see how shifting direction and embracing techniques to integrate our personality is leading us to a different set of needs and things to care for.
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 Cancer is good for, the coming Inferior Conjunction and what it means, and what we can expect between mid-July and late October when it goes direct several weeks from now.
Here is a previous article on this Mercury retrograde 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 © 2013 Robert Wilkinson