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 Capricorn and Sagittarius.
This Mercury retrograde begins December 19, 2:55 am PST, 5:55 am EST, 10:55 am GMT. This retrograde moves from 16 Capricorn back to 29 Sagitttarius, with the Inferior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun occurring at 8 Capricorn on Dec 28.
The Sabian Symbol for Mercury’s Stationary Retrograde Degree
The Sabian Symbol for the 16th degree of Capricorn is “Boys and girls in gymnasium suits.” In the original Jones class notes from “The Astrology of Personality,” Rudhyar says this is a degree of "normal dependence upon physical stimulation” and “robust enthusiasm in approaching life’s contests; or immature impulsiveness.”
In the Astrological Mandala, he goes on to say that this degree symbolizes “the need for physical activity and play, especially in adolescence.” He goes on to state that we’ve learned the need for a balance between physical activity and intellectual study if we would have “harmonious development of the human personality.”
He offers that this symbol suggests we need “physical stimulation and exercise for the maintenance of our health” as well as a healthy society. He says this degree falls in the Span of Dependence, Act of Capitalization, and is the first degree in the Scene of Group-Performance on the Actional level.
Dr. Jones says this is a degree of “developing self-competency” rooted in practical experience, and the “never-ending adjustment of ideals and motives” to greet various social potentials. Here we must continually re-evaluate our “powers and capacities” to get them working together so we can “bring an aliveness of interest to everything” we’re involved in.
He states “a disciplined self-responsibility is demanded for a common achievement,” and offers us the keyword ANIMATION. He states that when operating in a positive manner, this degree “is an effective appreciation of joint action and a high skill in supervising group effort.”
So we’ll be using our retrograde Mercury function to send and/or receive impressions and ideas related to previous ways we trained to be competent in some social forum or group effort, or perhaps we’ll remember how we made prior adjustments and learned forms of disciplined cooperation in group situations. Here we get insights and returns related to previous ways we brought “an aliveness of interest” and made some joint effort more joyous or fulfilling.
Some will experience returns of people from the past who were spiritual Brothers and Sisters who were co-workers in a project, or we’ll remember skills we once cultivated that served a group purpose. Some projects or ambitions will have to be postponed, or a new way found to make something work. This can give insights into several different ways to get something done, and favors practical rehearsals before “doing it for real.” All of us will get glimpses of how our past experiences and choices resulting from the last Mercury retrograde have led us to a new view of possibilities.
Short Term Future Triggers
During this Mercury retrograde period, pay attention to the roundabout signs and signals opening you to noticing these qualities. These lessons will be illuminated when the Sun crosses this degree January 4-5, and remain in focus through the time Mercury re-crosses this degree around January 27-28, when it finishes its forward motion shadow transit.
It should be a great time to see things we didn’t understand before, or perhaps reclaim something from the past. Here we take a look back and reconsider or renew some prior service or discipline. We can find a new angle of perspective on our purpose, and revise and/or renew how we do what we do. I gave you a lot about the themes of this retrograde period a few days ago in the first article of the series, "The Guide of Souls in December 2016 - Mercury Slowing Down, Preparing to go Retrograde at 16 Capricorn." When you're done here, if you want to know more, go to that article. It's linked at the bottom of this one.
This stationary RX point is tredecile the last one at 30 Virgo. It implies that all of us, having “escaped from a narrow destiny” of some sort, now are free to exercise and train for some future “group performance.” By the forms of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual exercise, we should encounter serendipitous meetings and circumstances that will be uniquely suited for who we are and what we are to do in the future.
As with all Mercury retrogrades, we can use this time to take a look back at whatever in the past has recently begun. We’ll definitely get a look at Pluto forces or seeds of long wave transformation that began to sprout when Pluto went stationary retrograde at 16 Capricorn March-May 2015. More than that, we should be able to glimpse some previously unknown connections from when Pluto occupied 29 Sag to 16 Capricorn, meaning from 2007 to now.
This one in Capricorn helps us re-shape our way of expressing Capricorn energy in the house where that sign is active in our chart. As it retrogrades back to 29 Sagittarius, when our review is done, Mercury will be sitting on the degree where Mercury and the Sun had an Inferior Conjunction in December 2010, and one degree away from where Saturn will go stationary retrograde in early April 2017.
That means during this retrograde period we will get glimpses of Saturn’s transit of late Sag and early Capricorn in 2017, 2018, and early 2019. It also gives us other glimpses of the future, since Jupiter will transit this part of the zodiac between November 2019 and February 2020.
Mercury Retrograde and Element Patterns
As I said in part 1, we have entered a new Mercury Retrograde element period. All 3 Mercury retrograde periods in 2015 were entirely in Air signs, making the houses where we have Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra in our chart the focus of those retrogrades. That means we looked back, or got new understanding, around all things that were Air-related.
The January 2016 retrograde was a transitional Mercury retrograde pattern, where the retrograde period began in an Air sign but ended in an Earth sign. The Taurus and Virgo RX periods were entirely in Earth signs, which continued the reviews and rehearsals in all things related to the practical arena of existence in 2016!
These reviews and new points of view have been activated in major ways each time the Sun moved through these Mercury retrograde degree spans in Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo. The Sun will illuminate our current review and reflections over the next few weeks, especially those 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.
With this Mercury retrograde, we begin a sequence of three Mercury retrograde periods that begin in Earth signs and retrogrades back to Fire signs. This indicates we begin with a practical review and wind up with an inspired view or dynamic information. A good Mercury retrograde exercise is to take a look back at the Mercury RX Air influences in 2015, and see how they affected the Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra sectors in your chart. Then take a look at the Mercury RX Earth influences in 2016, to see how they affected your Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo sectors.
Current Positions Related to Past Stations
An interesting feature of retrogrades is that often the SD and SRX points are on or near previous SD and SRX points. This one continues the pattern of being in a favorable aspect to past Mercury SRX or SD degrees, since it is one degree away from its Jan 2015 direct station at 15 Capricorn, trines the 2016 SRX at 24 Taurus, as well as the SD degree at 15 Taurus and 15 Virgo. So this is the final “middle Earth” emphasis we’ve been experiencing for about a year!
Looking back, the 2014 sequence had Mercury stationary direct at 19 Aquarius in February, 25 Gemini in July, and 17 Libra in October. In 2015 Mercury went stationary retrograde at 18 Aquarius, 14 Gemini, and 16 Libra. So in 2015 all the stationary RX degrees conjuncted and/or trined all the SD degrees of 2014. If you want a more comprehensive perspective on the Mercury retrograde effect in your life in 2015, take a new look at what began at those 2014 stationary direct points.
In 2015, Mercury went stationary direct at 2 Aquarius, 5 Gemini, and 1 Libra. The January 2016 SRX degree was 2 Aquarius, conjunct or trine all of those forward moving points. As noted, this year the trines have been entirely in Earth signs, and now, as Mercury goes stationary retrograde at 16 Capricorn, it is literally 8 minutes of longitude from the January 2016 Mercury direct station at 15 Capricorn!
In 2017, all of Mercury’s RX stations will be in Earth signs and retrograde back into Fire signs except for the period in December 2017, which will be entirely in the Fire sign of Sagittarius. There are far reaching implications in how these patterns affect our lives, since over time they eventually trigger every element in every house in our chart.
Behind the Scenes in this Capricorn Retrograde
While in Capricorn, Mercury is ruled by Saturn. Saturn is in Sag, ruled by Jupiter in Libra. Jupiter is ruled by Venus in Aquarius, ruled by Saturn. Therefore the chain of dispositors involving Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus is the “ruling backdrop,” or final dispositors for all the other planets except Neptune in its home sign of Pisces.
This makes Saturn very powerful during the time Mercury is retrograde, showing this is a period of reflection, rehearsal, and research, anticipating future events and adjusting accordingly in the present. As Saturn has some very favorable aspects, this should be a productive and stabilizing period where we exercise to prepare for a future that’s coming soon!
This should be an extraordinary retrograde period since there are a host of favorable aspects but very few frictional aspects. Of particular note are numerous quintiles and quindeciles, as well as a very favorable tredecile between the Moon and Sun. There are so many quintile series aspects that gifts and specialized circumstances will be everywhere!
There is a lot of building awareness on a practical level due to the Earth trines, a lot of inspiration based in the strong fire trine between Saturn and Uranus, and a fortunate stabilization of our interactions and ideals due to the very favorable Venus trine Jupiter. Overall we are now in a “4 note chord” of productive aspects involving Jupiter in Libra, Saturn in Sagittarius, Venus in Aquarius, and Uranus in Aries, setting up extraordinary harmony in the houses they occupy in our charts, as well as affecting those houses and planets we may have in Taurus, Libra, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.
At this Mercury station, we see the Moon in Virgo trine Mercury and Pluto, triseptile Venus, novile Jupiter, and opposed Neptune, with Mercury semi-square Mars, quindecile Saturn, and sextile Neptune. Overall, these are very harmonious and specializing, except for the semi-square which is the death blow to forms left at the end of this Mercury-Mars cycle.
The noviles give a strong set of spiritual resonant voids near 1-2 Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, 8-12 Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, 18-22 Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius, and 28-30 Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. If you have something in these zones, then expect a revelation that’s been cooking for a while, perhaps related to something you once understood one way and now can understand from a different angle.
Moon triseptile Venus puts us at a turning point in our interactions with our world in areas influenced by Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, and Aquarius. Hot zones are near 8-12 Virgo, 30 Libra-4 Scorpio, 21-25 Sagittarius, 12-16 Aquarius, 4-8 Aries, 26-30 Taurus, and 17-21 Cancer. If you have a planet or angle in these zones, expect something related to your habits, home life, emotional state of peace or disharmony, or your values and/or your relationships to take a turn at the crossroads of Fate Street and Freewill Street on Eternity Boulevard.
Other significant forming aspects besides the ones already mentioned include Venus septile Saturn, quintile Uranus, and quindecile Neptune, Sun sextile Mars and quintile Jupiter (both out of sign), quintile Neptune (via collection of light), and vigintile Pluto, and Mars trielftile Jupiter, quintile Saturn, conjunct Neptune, and semisquare Pluto. So Venus is exceptionally favorable due to the trine to Jupiter, quintile to Uranus, and quindecile to Neptune.
Venus septile Saturn also pulls together 7 resonant void points where destiny will be set into motion. They are almost exactly like the voids made by the Moon to Venus, but because Saturn doesn’t fall in the Sag zone, this set of zones begins about 2-3 degrees ahead of the ones mentioned 2 paragraphs up. It will operate by triggering Saturn first, then Venus and the Moon.
Outer planet aspects include Jupiter sextile Saturn and opposition Uranus, Saturn trine Uranus and quindecile Pluto, Uranus novile Neptune, and a frustrated Uranus square Pluto. So we have a long term line of tensional awareness created by the expansive force (Jupiter) and the individualizing Spiritual creative force (Uranus). This is cut into a sextile and trine by the force of Spiritual Mastery (Saturn) throwing a favorable void into Gemini. Time to learn, examine, open, communicate, discuss, move about, check out how to activate spiritual productivity in your environment and communications in the house area where you have mid-Gemini.
The the quintile, tredecile, and the quindecile are all specialization aspects, and the novile, binovile, and trinovile (trine) are gestative aspects that promise spiritual realizations at some point for those who are inclined in that direction. These can come from things that have been cooking in the past, or revelations to come in the future. The elftile series aspects show the need to transcend a duality by making leap of faith, and with so many of each of these active, this period will yield some amazing spiritual growth for everyone.
You can find out more about the spiritual aspects by referencing this brief overview of the Spiritual aspects, complete with glyphs for all of them, or purchasing the much more extensive in-depth class on the spiritual aspects, including the septile (7th harmonic) series, novile (9th harmonic) series, and elftile (11th harmonic) series aspects. If you want the class with powerpoint graphics and accompanying recorded tracks, email me.
The hard aspects challenge us to take a broader view of things, and be flexible and adaptable as we move through changing conditions. As noted, there is a dearth of frictional aspects, as we have only Mercury semisquare Mars, and Mars semi-square Pluto, marking the beginning of the end of the old Mercury-Mars cycle, and the opening crisis of the new Mars-Pluto cycle. I don’t believe that the oppositions need be frictional per se, since both are cut by third planets to make very favorable and productive configurations to both oppositions.
As is usual for Mercury retrograde periods, this one will also be a “back to the future” type of energy, where the Guide of Souls will give us a new look at things, people, ways of working, and how be more effective. Here we look back even as we are productively propelled into our future in inspired ways.
The Moon will bring the focus to “consciousness functioning in inner and outer realms” as we grow in our sensitivity to practical realities and more effective Spiritual service, if only to our Higher Self. The Sun will bring light to forms of practical craftsmanship that is both functionally sound and aesthetically pleasing. Mercury ruling the Moon with a favorable trine between the two should help us all see a greater consecration, as well as the inadequacy of past knowledge and a need to mobilize our Spiritual power to counter the inertia of the material substance we must work with.
In future Mercury retrograde articles, we’ll explore more about various elements of what’s in play during the next three weeks, what Mercury retrograde in Capricorn may be good for, the coming Inferior Conjunction and what it means, and what we can expect between early January and late March after it goes direct several weeks from now.
A New Look At Mercury Retrograde
If you want to know what we can expect from Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, as well as all the other signs and houses, if you haven't already gotten your copy, please consider purchasing my award-winning 2nd edition of A New Look At Mercury Retrograde.
The first major work on Mercury retrograde ever written, it offers in-depth information about Mercury retrograde people, Mercury retrograde in the various signs and houses, and what the entire Mercury Retrograde phenomenon is about. If you want to know what we can expect from Mercury retrograde in Virgo, or any other sign or house position, it’s all in there.
It is written for both astrologers and laypeople. I have just about everything you could want to know about Mercury retrograde, including how it works, what it means, celebrities who have it in their charts, historic events that happened during Mercury retrograde, and what signs are involved in future Mercury retrograde periods.
By knowing more about 2015’s Mercury retrograde periods in Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra, you may see patterns in what was going on in your life, what you were taking a new look at and why, and how this "looking back" influenced your choices as you moved through past events. This applies as well as the 2016 Mercury retrograde periods in Aquarius/Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo, as well as this one in Capricorn/Sagittarius, and the next ones in Taurus/Aries and Virgo/Leo. It’s all in the book!
Here's the Createspace link to the page where you can purchase a paperback edition of A New Look at Mercury Retrograde, and here’s the link to where you can order your copy of the ebook copy of A New Look at Mercury Retrograde.
Previous articles in this series:
Copyright © 2016 Robert Wilkinson