by Robert Wilkinson
At 3:50 pm PDT, 11:50 pm Greenwich on Thursday, June 19, we'll experience the "Inferior Conjunction" between Mercury retrograde and the Sun at 29 Gemini. The Inferior Conjunction is an important point in the dance Mercury and the Sun do each year. So just what is the difference between the Inferior and Superior Conjunctions of Mercury with the Sun?
Mercury conjuncts the Sun two ways. When Mercury is direct in motion, it's called the Superior Conjunction. When Mercury is retrograde, it's called the Inferior Conjunction. These conjunctions of the Sun and Mercury mark important points showing how our life and mind are fusing past and present to vitalize the future.
Mercury symbolizes our mind, eternally racing forward or backward. The Sun symbolizes our life-in-the-making, illuminating the integrity of the moment. It holds a steady pace while all the other planets move in their orbits. When the Sun and Mercury conjunct, it allows the mind to evaluate and process past, present, and future experiences.
I offered a little on how these work in the 2006 article “Astrology Class - Mercury retrograde and the Superior and Inferior Conjunction.” Rather than just give you the link as I have the past several years, I updated this class so you can understand more about how this “fusion of life and mind” at the Inferior Conjunction at 29 Gemini will affect all of us. And I’ll be giving you another article on this one that goes into greater depth about this particular Inferior Conjunction.
Mercury Retrograde and the Superior and Inferior Conjunction
There are two critical points in the Sun-Mercury cycle. One is at the “Inferior Conjunction” of Mercury with the Sun when Mercury is retrograde, and the other is at the “Superior Conjunction” which occurs when Mercury is direct in motion and again catches up to conjunct the Sun. So the Inferior Conjunction of Mercury retrograde is always followed by a Superior Conjunction when Mercury is direct, which leads in turn to the next Inferior Conjunction during the next Mercury retrograde.
The Inferior Conjunction brings insights from the past, or collective consciousness, or personal subconsciousness, to the life and vitality symbolized by the Sun. They can be reflections leading to new insights about past or present life coordination issues, they could be messages or symbols from personal or collective subconscious, and/or they could be new or alternative insights about some part of the life experience, also symbolized by the Sun.
The Sun is the Law of our Light-Life, the Central Order of our personal Solar System of our material, emotional, and psychological affairs. All conjunctions to our Sun are important fusions of parts of our life, affecting the era to come, whose length is determined by the particular planetary cycle engaging our Sun.
As an aside, the Sun can only make “inferior conjunctions” with Mercury or Venus when they are retrograde. All other Solar conjunctions to planets happen when they’re direct. It could be said that the Solar conjunctions with Venus when it’s retrograde are a sort of “inferior conjunction” with that part of life symbolized by the retrograde planet.
Two years ago , we had a fusion of “likes with life” when Venus conjuncted the Sun in June 2012 while retrograde. You will recall it was consider a VERY BIG DEAL at the time, a very rare cosmic event that would shake our world. That hyperbole aside, you can find more about that celestial event through the links on the bottom of this article.
You can of course apply these concepts to the Inferior Conjunctions of Venus whenever it’s retrograde and “looking back” over its experience. We just finished the last Venus retrograde period, where the “inferior conjunction” between Venus retrograde and the Sun occurred January 11, 2014, at 22 Capricorn. I’ve put a link to that article at the bottom of this one, as well as a link to the 2013 Inferior Conjunction of Mercury and the Sun at 10 Scorpio.
Anyway, let’s get back to the concept of Inferior vs Superior Conjunctions of Mercury with the Sun. The Inferior Conjunction between Mercury and the Sun always happens when Mercury, the planet of mind, is retrograde and “looking backward” at a recent span of experience it crossed when originally direct in motion.
After the Inferior Conjunction, it's still retrograde for a brief period, after which it goes direct in motion. It then speeds up, eventually resulting in the Superior Conjunction when Mercury conjuncts the Sun about half way between the previous and next retrograde period.
After the retrograde period Mercury goes stationary direct. It then takes all that it learned from the first period when it initially transited those degrees that became its retrograde span, along with the second period when it actually retrogrades over that span, and in the third phase it puts it all together when it again traverses that span of degrees during its new direct motion phase.
When Mercury is direct in motion, it again brings mind in direct connection to our life, symbolized by the Sun. After its retrograde period Mercury again conjuncts the Sun one or two signs later, and about four months after that it again goes retrograde, preparing for another Inferior Conjunction when it again delivers all that it has learned since the last Superior Conjunction.
Mercury's direct motion period is when it directly learns, evaluates, classifies, divides, and generally dissects reality. The mind (Mercury) races ahead of the life (Sun) and gets as far ahead as it can before it begins to slow and turn inward, look backward, listen to other beats, other drummers, other interpretations, other ways of weaving the experiences of life into something we can understand from a different point of view. This is how we gain perspective, and is essential if we are to learn the many ways the Higher Self both is and is not.
The experience we get through Mercury retrogrades that give us perspective allows us to become well rounded in our knowledge and ability to apply our knowledge, skills, and talents in ways that fulfill our purpose on this Earth. It is said that Mercury, or Hermes, is the "Guide of Souls." If that is true, then perhaps looking back with a different perspective may help us to reconsider our footprints in time, and choose to re-think some of our assumptions that are not leading us to our Higher Self. Then we can consciously choose a different way to coordinate our mind, feelings, and lives, and begin to live a more fulfilled sense of purpose.
Mercury retrograde periods are an extremely important period of getting signals that can lead you to your Soul. Take an unusual view, look back with a new perspective, see the patterns, both productive and destructive, and then when it goes direct, implement your new insights and perspectives into new ways of seeing, communicating, and envisioning.
At this Inferior Conjunction at 29 Gemini, we will have “a fusion of life and mind” that will help set a platform where in blending these principles we will see a shift in our affairs, attitudes, and understanding about those things symbolized by Mercury in Gemini. Natal points in harmony with 29 Gemini will see productivity, understanding, stabilization, and unique qualities come forth. Natal points in friction with 29 Gemini will see turning points, blocks, braking action, and release of potential.
In the next article in this series, we will explore the specifics of this June 2014 Inferior Conjunction in Gemini, and what its lessons hold for us over the next 4 months.
Here is the article on the last February 2014 Inferior Conjunction of Mercury with the Sun at 28 Aquarius. This has impacted the span from then to now.
Here is the article on the November 2013 Inferior Conjunction of Mercury with the Sun at 10 Scorpio. This impacted the span from then to February 2014.
As I promised, here are the articles on the 2012 Venus “occultation event.”
Here’s the article on the most recent “inferior conjunction” of Venus and the Sun:
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson