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 Cancer and Gemini.
This Mercury retrograde begins June 7, 4:57 am PDT, 7:57 am EDT, 12:57 pm Greenwich (BST). This retrograde moves from 4 Cancer back to 25 Gemini, with the Inferior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun occurring at 29 Gemini June 19/20 at 3:50 pm PDT, 11:50 pm Greenwich (BST).
The Sabian Symbol for Mercury’s Stationary Retrograde Degree
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 Cancer is “A cat arguing with a mouse.” In "the Astrology of Personality," where Rudhyar uses the original Dr. Jones' class notes on the symbols, 4 Cancer is said to be a symbol of “the urge to self-justification through intellectual sophistry or social-ethical considerations” and “a sense of righteousness.”
We are told in the Astrological Mandala that this symbolizes "an attempt at self-justification,” where we are confronting the results of an act or decision that radically reoriented our lives. We are told that this involves the multitude of lesser decisions that follow the big shifts in direction, and we are told to take note when echoes of desires argue with the voice of our new self. He continues that this symbol is related to cat and mouse arguments, whether within self or with another who is echoing the past.
He states there may be hesitancy and conflicting motives, with the mind “not facing the consequences which follow from desires or even from restlessness. Attempts at rationalization are experienced and should be understood.” He says it falls in the Span of Expansion, and it’s the penultimate (technique) degree in the actional level of the scene of Decision in the Act of Stabilization.
So we'll use our Mercury function to catch glimpses of a technique of “decision in action” that shows us any internal hesitancy about recent decisions and reorientations. This will help us take a look at any arguments against what we’ve done, while showing us how the past may undermine our future. Here we take a look back and rework some feelings about things.
According to Dr. Jones, creator of the Sabian Symbols, this degree is one of our need to establish a mindset or realization “as a preliminary to any entrance into personal experience, and our (our) tendency to enjoy the preparatory more than the consummatory phases of (our) participation in reality.” He states here is “the eternal effort of human nature to get outer acceptance or social sanction for (our) inborn desires, as well as inner or intelligent and practical confirmation for the values it has made its own.”
He offers us the keyword JUSTIFICATION. He states when operating in a positive manner, this degree “is a gift for persuading others to accept the motives of self and to co-operate with its ends.
So What Are We Reviewing?
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 past feelings that connect us to what we do and do not care about, as well as what we do and do not need. This can help us take a look back at the emotional intelligence we’ve developed since June-July 2013, and new perspectives on our feeling-experiences since then, and perhaps get a new sense of family or wholeness of immediate experience.
Once it is retrograde in Gemini, we can get a new understanding of old ideas, perceptions, interpretations, and information we’ve recently received that needs a new look to see alternative views, applications, and ways to be communicated. Perhaps we’ll revisit past things we heard and said (or thought we heard and said) and get new insights, new vision and understanding of how that helped us externalize something we knew that we can now adapt for current conditions. We can get new perspectives on old close associations from when we were younger, and some will find themselves reconnecting with old friends who are like spiritual Brothers and Sisters.
These reviews and new points of view will be activated in major ways as the Sun moves through this Mercury retrograde degree span in Gemini and 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.
Again, of some importance is that we’ll also get to review or re-think the long wave movement of our larger social reality associated with what Jupiter brought us when it traversed 4 Cancer during the second week of July 2013, as well as the subsequent cycle that began at the Mars conjunct Jupiter at 6 Cancer in late July 2013. This will give us new insights into what that Mars-Jupiter cycle is all about, and we can get glimpses of ways to shift the methods or trajectory begun then.
So this Mercury retrograde point is going to echo the early degree Grand Water trines of early June through late July 2013, as well as subsequent developments when Neptune retrograded across 4 Pisces between late August and early October 2013, which conjuncted the last Mercury SRX degree that trined this one. This should give us new insights into that period since Mercury again trines all the Water trines created then.
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 this continues the Mercury station sequence of trines, since it exactly trines the Mercury SRX point at 4 Pisces, as well as the November 2013 SD direct point at 3 Scorpio and the Mercury SD point at 6 Pisces in March 2013. Much of this will become clearer during the inner planet transits to this degree in late June and the third week of July. As Mercury will be back at 4 Cancer exactly at the coming Jupiter entry into Leo, it also indicates this degree will be a highly active player for the year following that point in time, since it’ll be hot at the ingress.
So pay close attention to the signs and signals this Mercury retrograde in Cancer 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 sense of what you care about, the needs of a new life based in a recent past decision, or a sense of what you’ve been through as it relates to your “up close and personal” feelings and ways of experiencing your daily life.
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, specializing, 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 is triseptile Pluto, triggering the Grand Irrationality, and Mercury is septile Venus, putting more than a few areas of our lives at a critical fork in the road of destiny.
”Hard,” or frictional aspects that will require some immediate and occasional hard adjustments, include Moon conjunct Mars opposed Uranus and quincunx Neptune, Mercury sesquisquare Saturn, Venus quincunx Mars opposed Saturn, Sun quincunx Saturn, Mars opposed Pluto, and Jupiter sesquisquare Neptune. Specializing aspects include Moon biquintile Venus, Mercury quintile Uranus, Mars biquintile Neptune, and Saturn biquintile Uranus. Overall, if we did the right thing up to now, we’ll get returns that are positive, even though the entire time is one of hard adjustments and sacrifices.
Behind the Scenes in this Cancer Retrograde
While in Cancer, Mercury is ruled by the Moon. So this Mercury retrograde period has as its backdrop energy the very powerful Moon conjunct Mars in Libra, where we confront the results of previously held ideals as we either a) rededicate ourselves to digging deeper to find something we needs, or b) come up “out of the underworld” for some fresh air and sunshine. This will give us a look back to find why we had to recalibrate our sense of proportion, or why something that was out of balance had to be brought back into balance so we can move forward at the end of this retrograde period.
Once Mercury retrogrades back into Gemini, it will again be its own final dispositor. It will therefore be the ruler of the Sun in Gemini, as well as Venus when it finally enters Gemini in July. That shows the focus of this retrograde period will be heavily Air, or relationship and idea oriented.
At the stationary point, Mercury goes retrograde septile Venus, showing a crucial opening “fork in the road” requiring choices in the areas in our charts related to Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, and Virgo. Those with planets or angles near 10-14 Taurus, 2-6 Cancer, 23-27 Leo, 15-19 Libra, 6-10 Sagittarius, 28 Capricorn-2 Aquarius, and 19-23 Pisces will be most affected.
Mercury sesquisquare Saturn challenges us to think big without rigidity or pessimism. This is an aspect of learning, so train your mind not to argue with yourself uselessly, but when old stuck feelings come to the surface, it’s a great time to eliminate them. Mercury quintile Uranus blesses us with brilliant insights through roundabout means, and should help many to find a new way of seeing things and putting things together.
After the Inferior Conjunction on June19-20, Mercury begins to speed up gradually, and goes stationary direct on July 1 at 25 Gemini. During the last half of June, Mercury constantly holds the quintile to Uranus, bringing highly specialized mental perceptual gifts to those affected. These degree are approximately 14-18 Aries, 26-30 Gemini, 8-12 Virgo, 20-24 Scorpio, and 2-6 Aquarius.
As noted in the preliminary article, the Sun is triseptile Pluto at this Mercury station, making the Grand Irrationality front and center during the time the retrograde is in influence. This will again bring global pressure for transformation, this time through the mind, perception, and what is externalized, in the way of an outreaching transformation of vitality into the power to build ideas. As it involves the Sun, it’s fundamental to our lives and our light, in terms of emergent cooperative energy.
Those most affected by this configuration at this time have planets or angles near 12-16 Capricorn, 4-8 Pisces, 25-29 Aries, 16-20 Gemini, 8-12 Leo, 29 Virgo-3 Libra, and 21-25 Scorpio. To note, the Sun will begin to biseptile Neptune, affecting collective consciousness, on June 8, and stay in biseptile until June 12-13. So overall, major choices involving Mercury, Venus, Sun, and Pluto affected areas.
Quincunxes force hard adjustments. They also rule the health of a thing, whether physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. Things must be sacrificed and other unknown or untested methods introduced to bring productivity. This chart shows Moon quincunx Neptune, Venus quincunx Mars, and Sun quincunx Saturn.
Expect sacrifices and adjustments in areas influenced by these planets. Since these involve Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, it would seem that we’re all in for adjustments across almost every area of our lives.
Add that this chart shows a huge number of extremely important specializing aspects indicating what’s up both for the next few days and the entirety of the retrograde period, and unique insights and communications should be abundant (including internal cat and mouse games!) The day that Mercury goes stationary retrograde, the Moon is conjunct Mars on the degree of needing to focus on future ideals, or confronting our previously held ideals.
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 transform life into mind as we take a look back even as we are propelled into our future in rhythmic ways. This will be a transformative period, where we can take graceful initiatives as we survey what we’ll need in the coming 4 months. This is a time of returns, reviews, rehearsals, and renewals that will have deep echoes for many months to come.
Because of the preponderance of water, we are still in 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 caring and nurturing to yourself, and see why any internal arguments against your new way of doing your Being must be pruned from your Tree of Life.
Action and a sense of urgency will be in the air. Build the outer structures, as well as the ego-structures, you need to actualize your purposes. Feel your way to a decision and act on it. Find newer, more up to date information and ways of viewing things.
Do not cling to old conceptions of anything. Use your practical experience to teach others, or remember how you did something and give it a new application. People will be important. Who makes you feel good?
In future Mercury retrograde articles, we’ll explore more about various elements of what’s in play during the next three weeks, how its transit in various houses will affect each of us, what Mercury retrograde in Cancer and Gemini may be good for, the coming Inferior Conjunction and what it means, and what we can expect between early June and early October when it goes direct several weeks from now.
Previous articles in this series:
Copyright © 2014 Robert Wilkinson