by Robert Wilkinson
Today we take a look at important Sabian Symbols, aspects, and other important factors in play the next three weeks as Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio.
This Mercury retrograde starts October 21 at 3:29 am PDT, 6:29 am EDT, 11:29 am Greenwich (BST). This retrograde moves from 19 Scorpio back to 3 Scorpio, with the Inferior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun occurring at 10 Scorpio November 1 at 1:19 pm PDT, 8:19 pm Greenwich (not BST).
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 19 Scorpio is “A parrot listening then talking.” In "the Astrology of Personality," where Rudhyar uses the original Dr. Jones' class notes on the symbols, 19 Scorpio is said to be a symbol of “Dependence upon inner or outer environment for the substance of understanding,” “Transmission of knowledge,” and “channelship.”
We are told in the Astrological Mandala that this symbolizes "the capacity to transmit transcendental knowledge.” Here we are told that those who live in a focused faith may be able to become “a channel for the transmission of a knowledge or wisdom that transcends… normal mental understanding.”
He continues, “the mind that has learned to be silent and attentive can become attuned” to that which we may not understand, but which can lead to “superhuman realizations.” He says in this symbol we have a capacity to attune to “sources of higher wisdom if (we) can be sufficiently attentive and careful…” This is not about “automatism and unintelligent repetition,” but about learning to listen to the inner voice so we may learn from “higher Intelligences.”
He says it falls in the span of Appreciation, and it’s the penultimate (technique) degree in the actional level of the scene of Faith in the Act of Group Integration. So we'll use our Mercury function to catch glimpses of a technique of faith in action that brings us and “our group” closer together, 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 what we do and don’t want to attract 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 raw substance of intelligence,” where we can shape our existence to our desire. This involves a “continual reworking of reality on the ideal or imaginative side,” where we select or reject various elements of our life.
We are told this is about us projecting our image into our creations. He offers us the keyword CONVENTIONALITY. He states when operating in a positive manner, this degree “is exceptional skill in bringing the whole tenor of transcient circumstances to the service of a personal aspiration.”
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 Scorpio helps us re-shape our mind, perceptions, understanding, and methods by taking former insights into feelings and desires, filling in some blind spots or elements we formerly didn’t understand or eliminating negative mental magnetism. We can get new perspectives on old experiences and how we feel now as a result of them, as well as old ways of dealing with death, loss, shared values and things, and social values so we can eliminate and/or regenerate as needed.
These reviews and new points of view will be activated in major ways as the Sun moves through this Mercury retrograde degree span in Scorpio 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 September 13-27 when it traversed the span in Scorpio where Mercury will retrograde. So Venus initiated this span of experience, followed by Mercury direct giving us signs, signals, and information about this Scorpio experience. Now Mercury is moving back over the span as the Sun moves across it.
As I noted in last Monday’s article, these transits are giving us clear signals about what we will have to deal with when Saturn moves through 17-19 Scorpio in late November and the first half of December 2013, and again from late May through the first half of September 2014. Please refer to that article to learn more about this transit. We’ll certainly get some crystallized forms of whatever Mercury has been showing us and will be showing us through the end of November 2013.
Of particular importance is that 19 Scorpio is where Mercury went stationary direct in late November 2012. That mean this retrograde in some way forces us to review what we’ve done with these Mercury at 19 Scorpio energies over the past year, and find new power in taking a new look at the “cosmic utterances” and/or “superhuman realizations” we’ve experienced via Scorpio events and people since then. If you’ve had a death or loss, I’m talking to you.
So Mercury direct gave us clear signals about what this technique was about over last Winter, taking us up to the understanding via Mercury going SRX at 20 Pisces in late February, in an almost exact trine to Mercury’s SD degree and the current SRX degree. The emotional understanding and/or rewiring our emotional or desire magnetism was completed in June-July 2013, when Mercury conjuncted Venus trine the current SRX point and then went SRX at 24 Cancer immediately after the conjunction.
All these Mercury water trines are linking and stabilizing an emotional energy in all of us. Here’s where we get to look back and see how our feelings have been reshaped, or how these feelings reshaped our lives and relationships in terms of knowing what we can and cannot hold on to.
So what began when Mercury went stationary direct in late November 2012 is directly related to what we’re reviewing or is returning during this October-November Mercury retrograde period. That will begin to take Saturnine shape in a few weeks, and stay a major long range structuring energy through Summer 2014. This will lead us to a new Mars-Saturn cycle at their next conjunction in late August 2014 at 18 Scorpio, ending an old life chapter for everyone and beginning a new one through its transit of the 2012 and 2013 Scorpio Mercury stationary points.
So pay close attention to the signs and signals this Mercury retrograde in Scorpio is giving you. This will help you deepen your understanding of the forms of emotional intelligence you’ve learned via the Grand Water Trines of June, July and August. You will recall the last Mercury stationary direct point was on the Star Sirius at 14 Cancer. That has led those of us who are open to a fearlessness, or an ageless, timeless eternal Wisdom. Now we get to look back at what wisdom has been felt, glimpsed, or embraced since July 20, and feel it deepen in our lives through what the inner voice tells us.
All Mercury retrograde periods are great for returns, reviews, rehearsals, reversals, and seeing things from unusual angles. This one offers us unique skills by rearranging how things are related within a larger process, even while navigating some important forks in the road of destiny that will seem extremely weird at times. Overall, though, because of the quantity of productive and specializing aspects, this should be an extremely productive retrograde, even if it makes no sense how or why the gifts and unique conditions arise that are perfect for our skills and needs.
Find a way to integrate new information into the flow that’s already established. This shows us how to act on our faith, and find a greater appreciation for what we understand and how we understand it. If something seems lost, it could very well return. And we can expect many echoes from the past during this Scorpio retrograde, especially some memories of loss or frustrated attachments engraved on our subconsciousness. Take a new look at why those things were denied or taken away so you can see what you attracted in its place.
Behind the Scenes in this Cancer Retrograde
While in Scorpio, Mercury is ruled by Mars and secondarily by Pluto. So this Mercury retrograde period has as its backdrop energy the very strong and practical Mars in Virgo, making these two in in Mutual Reception. That makes these two planets exceptionally powerful as the backdrop to the function of the Sun, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto, and Venus once it enters Capricorn November 5. The Moon will also be subject to this influence when it’s in Gemini, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Aquarius during the retrograde period.
At the stationary point, Mercury goes retrograde in quintile to Mars, sharpening up everyone’s skills in some way, or at least their attention to details. Mercury then retrogrades to the sextile to Mars and sextile to Pluto just before the Solar Eclipse at 12 Scorpio on November 3, 4:50 am PST, 12:50 pm Greenwich. The end of October and beginning of November should be incredibly efficient and practical in getting things done that haven’t moved forward very quickly up to that time.
After the Inferior Conjunction on November 1, Mercury begins to speed up gradually, and goes stationary direct on November 10 at 3 Scorpio. During those first 10 days of November, Mercury will be semisquare, septile, and then sextile Venus, staying sextile to Venus through all of November. Very good potential for happy, harmonious, interactive experiences!
Also in November, as it goes direct, Mercury will biseptile, then tredecile, then trine Jupiter, conjunct Saturn, biquintile, quincunx, and triseptile Uranus, biseptile, tredecile, and trine Neptune, and septile and sextile Pluto. Wow! Taken together, Mercury is going through some great “relationships” with all the other planets, with only an occasional hiccup via the quincunx. Otherwise, these are all productive, specializing, and promise some interesting gifts and circumstances perfect for our unique qualities!
In the first article in this series I explained that while Mercury is setting the Grand Irrationality into motion in the stationary retrograde chart via the septile to Pluto, many of the other planets are also making a septile series aspect, indicating a lot of important choices and changes will be made that alter our life directions. Because of the sheer number of favorable aspects going on, even the sudden shifts should turn out to be beneficial over the long run. If you want to review the degree spans active during this phase of the Grand Irrationality, please go back to that earlier article.
I also noted there that the chart gives us a huge number of extremely important aspects indicating what’s up both for the next few days and the entirety of the retrograde period. The day that Mercury goes stationary retrograde, the Moon is quincunx the Sun, septile Jupiter, and makes an out-of-sign T-square with the separating Mars opposed Neptune. The out of sign T shows that some condition related to Moon in Taurus must pass before the T will operate.
Venus is semisquare the Sun and biseptile to Mars, and Mars is semisquare Jupiter, sextile Saturn, biquintile Uranus, and trine Pluto. To that we add Jupiter is trine Saturn, biseptile Uranus, and sesquisquare Neptune, Saturn is biquintile Uranus and tredecile Neptune, and Uranus is square Pluto during the entire retrograde period.
Venus biseptile Mars shows interesting twists and turns in relationships and resources, opening many up to a wider view of future possibilities through letting go of preconceptions. Those most affected by this aspect have planets or angles near 2-6 Virgo, 23-27 Libra, 14-18 Sagittarius, 6-10 Aquarius, 28 Pisces-2 Aries, 19-23 Taurus, and 11-15 Cancer.
Also affected are those with points near 2-6 degrees and 13-17 degrees of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. The Venus biseptile Mars will be triggered by Lunar transits just before the Moon-Jupiter degree spans.
The Moon septile Jupiter from the degrees they occupy show that it’s time for rebeginnings and renewals based on our appreciation of our experiences and how they’ve taught us solid truths and ways of viewing things so we can take care of ourselves within a larger abundant view of life. Those most affected by this aspect have planets or angles near 26-30 Taurus, 18-22 Cancer, 9-13 Virgo, 1-5 Scorpio, 22-26 Sagittarius, 13-17 Aquarius, and 5-9 Aries.
Also affected are those with points near 26-30 Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius, and 19-23 Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Revolutionary conditions are on the way for this group between November 2013 and January 2014.
Jupiter biseptile Uranus shows the entire world is on the threshold of questioning “the price of success,” and what it would even look like. Much from the past will be reinterpreted, and given “a wider scope of meaning.”
This will reorient many people’s narrative, and promises to be a major factor in the near future, since it’s happening through early December and will come back with a roar in July 2014 after the adjustments shown by the series of Jupiter-Uranus squares happening in February, March, April, and May. Those most affected have planets or angles near 8-12 Aries, 30 Taurus-3 Gemini, 21-25 Cancer, 13-17 Virgo, 5-9 Scorpio, 26-30 Sagittarius, and 17-21 Aquarius.
As you can see, this span overlaps with those of Moon septile Jupiter, but since the Moon is not septile Uranus, then they operate as a dual pulse rather than a unified field. Also affected by the Jupiter biseptile Uranus are those with points near 8-12 and 19-23 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn
Mercury quintile Mars and Saturn coupled with Mars biquintile Uranus will especially affect 1-7 Virgo, 13-19 Scorpio, 25 Capricorn-1 Aquarius, 7-13 Aries, and 19-25 Gemini. Lots of highly specialized interactions are promised by these quintiles and biquintiles. They also show a time of things coming back, for good or ill, depending on what we did or didn’t take care of a while ago.
Moon quincunx the Sun shows adjustments and sacrifices to express the Light of striving with others to make a more “civilized world” in forms that allow us to admire our experience as we come to rebeginnings. Find a newer, more mature response to things. Get your body, feelings, and minds in shape while combining beauty and elegance with functional precision. This is a fulfillment, where many will find a type of abundance perfectly suited to their needs while seeing how the parts relate to the whole, or the forms relate to the essence, as some things fall apart at the end of a long cycle.
The best part of this retrograde is that it kicks off the long term Jupiter trine Saturn. Except for February-March 2014, these two will be in a Water Trine through next June, helping us understand, harmonize, and stabilize the emotional intelligence we’ve cultivated since last June. This moves that intelligence we cultivated in early Water signs into the next phase of feelings represented by the middle sections of the Water signs.
This new era of learning more about emotional intelligence and flow began when Moon in Pisces trined Venus and Jupiter just before Venus trined Jupiter in late September from 18 Scorpio to 18 Cancer, forming the first in a series of Grand Water Trines in the middle third of those signs. The Moon in Pisces in October also created another Grand Water Trine, as will those times the Moon is in Pisces in November, December, and January. They pick up again when the Moon is in Pisces in late April, late May, and mid-June.
So like so many other Mercury retrograde periods, this one will also be a “back to the future” type of energy, where the Great Light shows us how to broaden and deepen our connections with others who share our ideals, as well as our ability to know things we never realized before now. This is a time of returns, reviews, rehearsals, and renewals that will have deep echoes for many months to come.
This is a time of decisions and actions that lead us to review what we know or how we perceive and interpret things. And yet behind all the doing and thinking we must honor our deep feelings, and use them as a guide for action rather than the shifting perspectives of Mercury retrograde. Be thoughtful in how you express what you express to various people in your life. While some may need a sledgehammer, others will need a caress. Figure out when and how to lighten up, and remember you’re at the end of one quest and about to begin another.
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 is good for, the coming Inferior Conjunction and what it means, and what we can expect between early November and early February 2014 when it goes direct several weeks from now.
Copyright © 2013 Robert Wilkinson