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 Pisces and Aquarius.
This Mercury retrograde begins February 6, 1:43 pm PST, 4:43 pm EST, 9:43 pm Greenwich. This retrograde moves from 4 Pisces back to 19 Aquarius, with the Inferior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun occurring at 28 Aquarius February 15-16 at 12:22 pm PST, 8:22 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 4 Pisces is “Heavy traffic on a narrow isthmus.” In "the Astrology of Personality," where Rudhyar uses the original Dr. Jones' class notes on the symbols, 4 Pisces is said to be a symbol of “linkage in activity of all community values,” “free flow from ideas to consummation,” and “sense of significance in relationships.”
We are told in the Astrological Mandala that this symbolizes "the mobility and intensity of interchanges which make possible and characterize complex social processes.” We are told this has to do with “commerce and social interaction,” and the “need to establish unceasing dynamic relationships” in our social life.
He continues that this symbol is related to “traffic,” where “the technique for achieving social results is always based on an interchange of ideas and interplay of activities.” He says it falls in the span of Innocence, and it’s the penultimate (technique) degree in the actional level of the scene of Federation in the Act of Capitalization.
So we'll use our Mercury function to catch glimpses of a technique of “federating” in action that brings us and other closer together in more complex interactions based in shared feelings. Here we link to “our group,” or get a sense of the significance of our past or present social matrix. This can give us a look back at the significance of various past relationships, or give us a new look at the significance of current relationships, 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 ultimate illimitability of human relationships” in terms of “the personal … environment of everyday affairs.” He states “there are no potentialities of common self-interest that (we) cannot shape for the convenience and encouragement of a whole selfhood and a well-integrated community, but a high discipline is always necessary” for each of us as we develop.
He offers us the keyword CONVERGENCE. He states when operating in a positive manner, this degree “is an unusual gift for organizing all transient enterprise in patterns of a rewarding and overall effectiveness.”
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 Pisces helps us re-shape our mind, perceptions, understanding, and methods by taking former insights into past feelings that connect us to all others across time, filling in some blind spots or elements we formerly didn’t understand that can help us forgive something or someone, or have compassion for something we went through that’s part of the universal human conditions. We can get new perspectives on old experiences and how we feel now as a result of them, as well as old motives, sources of suffering, or past behaviors that created sorrow.
Once it is retrograde in Aquarius, we can get a new understanding of old goals, old friendships, and old ambitions. Perhaps we can re-visit some past ideals we embraced in former groups, and find new vision and understanding of how that helped us manage our energies in ways that we can now adapt for current conditions. We can get new perspectives on old associations and group activities from when we were younger, and some will find themselves reconnecting with old friends.
These reviews and new points of view will be activated in major ways as the Sun moves through this Mercury retrograde degree span in Aquarius and Pisces 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 the love wave movement of the collective field associated with what Neptune brought us when it traversed 4 Pisces beginning May 2012, going stationary retrograde on that degree in June 2012. Especially when Mercury is in early Pisces, we’ll get glimpses into the dreamscape we’ve all been learning to navigate since then. Once Mercury retrogrades back into Aquarius on Feb 12-13, we’ll begin to get a new understanding of what our collective Neptune in Aquarius experience was all about
That means when Mercury is at 29-30 Aquarius and 1-2 Pisces, it will again give us a retrograde look at the “Cusp of the Age,” and specifically where the collective field was at between April 2010 and January 2013. As Mercury retrogrades back to 19 Aquarius, during that part of the retrograde period we’ll be glimpsing back to 2006-2007. This may help us achieve finality around ideals set into motion then.
So Neptune immersed us in the current Mercury RX span between 2006-2013. Now we’ll get different signs, signals, and information about this late Aquarius and early Pisces experience. And while Mercury moves back over the span, the Sun moves forward across it, meeting Mercury at the Inferior Conjunction at 28 Aquarius, the exact degree Jupiter went stationary retrograde in June 2009 and moved into forward motion January 2010.
This Mercury retrograde point is going to echo the early degree Grand Water trines of early June through mid-July 2013, as well as subsequent developments when Neptune retrograded across 4 Pisces between late August and early October 2013. This should give us new insights into that period since Mercury again trines all the Water trines created then. And because it’s so close to the degree where Mercury went stationary direct in March 2013, this will pick up the themes related to the period between mid-March and early June 2013.
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 mid-March 2013 is directly related to what we’re reviewing or is returning during this February Mercury retrograde period. Much of this will take shape during the inner planet transits to this degree in late February, mid-March, and early April. As Mercury will be back at 4 Pisces exactly at the coming Northern Hemisphere Vernal (Spring) Equinox occurring March 20 at 9:57 am PDT, 4:57 pm Greenwich, it also indicates this degree will be a highly active player for the 90 day season following that point in time.
So pay close attention to the signs and signals this Mercury retrograde in Pisces 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 last Summer, and can help you to a greater or deeper compassion, forgiveness, or sense of what you’ve been through as it relates to the generic human condition.
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, because of the quantity of both frictional and non-rational aspects, this will be an extremely important retrograde, even if it makes no sense how or why things have arisen as they have. The Sun-Moon-Saturn fixed T-square will release a LOT of energy in Leo, so consider this a mobilization of the heart based on seeing which way the “winds of destiny” are blowing. For many, this will renew the “release from social inhibitions” that was the theme of the Full Moon in February 2012.
Find a way to integrate new information into the flow that’s already established. This shows us how to act within our larger social context, and practice new forms of emotional intelligence. Distant memories could very well return to be seen in a new light. And we can expect many echoes from the past during this Pisces retrograde, especially some memories of old sorrows, old self-undoing behavior, or old confusions engraved on our subconscious mind. Take a new look at why those things had to end the way they did, so you can see what ended in light of deeper universal wisdom.
Behind the Scenes in this Cancer Retrograde
While in Pisces, Mercury is ruled by Jupiter and secondarily by Neptune. So this Mercury retrograde period has as its backdrop energy the very deep and powerful Jupiter in Cancer on the degree of the Mystery, or revelation. As Mercury is conjunct Neptune sitting at 5 Pisces, we can master any tendencies to becoming discouraged lurking within our subconscious mind.
The fact that both of Mercury’s dispositors are in Water signs shows the focus of this retrograde period will be heavily feeling-oriented. And when it retrogrades back into Aquarius, making Saturn in Scorpio its dispositor, this Water emphasis will continue.
At the stationary point, Mercury goes retrograde semi-square Venus, showing an emergent “crisis” in how we have learned to express Venus in Capricorn energy before now. The wide trine to Mars, getting stronger as it retrogrades back into Aquarius, will help us demonstrate some form of skill or versatility in expression. This should help us get information we need, or make connections that are clear, even if things do begin to bog down with Mars rapidly slowing throughout the retrograde period.
After the Inferior Conjunction on February 15-16, Mercury begins to speed up gradually, and goes stationary direct on February 28 at 19 Aquarius, just before the New Moon at 11 Pisces. During the last half of February, Mercury exactly trines Mars and briefly forms a tredecile when it goes direct, after which it again trines Mars through mid-March.
During the last phase of the retrograde, it will also semi-square Uranus and Pluto, sesquisquare Jupiter, square Saturn, and finally go direct septile Uranus. After it goes direct at 19 Aquarius, during the first half of March it will make all those aspects again! This promises a LOT of friction and change bringing forth a new personality integration based in how well we’re managing energy, seeing the bigger picture, keeping it simple and straightforward, as well as heart-felt.
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. In all, we have Moon triseptile Mars and septile Jupiter (pulling the just separating Mars biseptile Jupiter back into play), Venus septile Saturn, and the Sun septile Uranus.
So ALL THE PLANETS have a septile-series aspect in play. Wow! That will affect every single area of our lives. This will certainly be an important time of re-evaluating old choices and making new ones. As I noted in the earlier articles, Mars is biseptile Jupiter on the exact degree of its last conjunction with Saturn, promising this retrograde period will give us insights into old karmic dues that have been paid since 2012 and how the endings that began in August 2012 have yielded a void that can now be filled once Mars moves across this degree three times in the next 5 months. To this we add Jupiter on the degree of “searching for the Mystery” and it’s evident that we’ll get glimpses or reflections on the “life Mystery or revelation” we’ve been chasing since August 2013.
So this chart shows 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 square the Sun with both in a T-square with Saturn. That will put a lot of stress on those with planets between 17-25 degrees of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. And the Moon in Taurus septile Jupiter on the degree of the Mystery or Revelation shows we’ll all be given hints as to what’s coming down the road!
The Moon triseptile Mars and septile Jupiter will definitely show us what is beyond “life and death processes.” This particular configuration involves the rulers of Aries, Cancer, Leo, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Pisces sitting in Taurus, Cancer, and Libra. Those most affected by these aspects 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 10-14 Cancer.
The Sun septile Uranus will show us what and how we’ll need to mobilize beginning in late February related to seeing the past in a different way, reinterpreting old imagery with new meaning in a broader context. This involves the rulers of Cancer, Leo, Capricorn, and Aquarius sitting in Aquarius and Aries. Those most affected by this aspect have planets or angles near 17-21 Aquarius, 8-12 Aries, 30 Taurus-4 Gemini, 21-25 Cancer, 12-16 Virgo, 4-8 Scorpio, and 25-29 Sagittarius.
Venus septile Saturn triggers the usual set of degrees defining the Grand Irrationality that I gave you in the first article in the series. This involves the rulers of Taurus, Libra, Capricorn, and Aquarius sitting in Capricorn and Scorpio.
So you can see that the Moon-Mars-Jupiter configuration is set into motion first. That’s followed by the Sun septile Uranus set of points, and then finished with the Grand Irrationality! That will make for a highly charged retrograde period, since each of these will be set off by the Moon at regular and frequent intervals!
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 manage our energies in actions that help us find or strengthen our ties with our spiritual “group,” as well as our ability to see clearly how our long term motives and connections within the field are helping us flow toward completion in a crucial area of our lives. 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 feeling a lot, and very deeply. Allow your feelings and review of emotional experiences and growth to lead you to decisions and actions that result in a review of what we know or how we perceive and interpret things. Use deep feelings as a guide for action rather than the shifting perspectives of Mercury retrograde. Find new information via various forms of communication, research, rehearsal, or review.
This is showing you the way to a new vision, new understanding, and new ways of expressing yourself. This can help you understand elements of your quest that you’ve never understood before, so be compassionate and forgiving of yourself, and all those old sorrows and vague feelings that need to be blessed and released without a lot of words.
In future Mercury retrograde articles, we’ll explore more about the aspects in play during the next three weeks, how its transit in various houses will affect each of us, what Mercury retrograde in Pisces and Aquarius may be good for, the coming Inferior Conjunction and what it means, and what we can expect between early March and early June 2014 when it goes direct several weeks from now.
Previous articles in this series:
Copyright © 2014 Robert Wilkinson