by Robert Wilkinson
Following up on the general meaning and function of the "Inferior Conjunction" between the Sun and Mercury, today we explore specifics of the Inferior Conjunction of April 19 at 1 Taurus. This “fusion of life and mind” will impact the rest of the retrograde period, and many weeks after.
Because this particular Inferior Conjunction is an extremely important event due to when and where it's happening, this is a long article that will pull together a comprehensive overview that ties together past, present, and future.
The Inferior Conjunction is when Mercury (mind) conjuncts the Sun (life) while retrograde. This indicates that signals, messages, and ideas from either outer sources or subconscious sources will fuse with the life principle, setting the tone for the lessons involving how our minds are relating to our lives during the next four months. Since Mercury is retrograde, the degree of the inferior conjunction shows how our lives will merge with our perceptions and bring forth a new understanding of our light.
The Sabian Symbol for the Inferior Conjunction
The Sabian Symbol we’ve been given for the 1st degree of Taurus is “A clear mountain stream.” In "the Astrology of Personality," where Rudhyar uses the original Dr. Jones' class notes on the symbols, 1 Taurus is said to symbolize “Purity, excellence and immediate availability of the strength and power of being,” “refreshment,” and “self-sustainment.”
In the Mandala he goes on to say this is a degree of "the ppure, uncontaminated and spontaneous manifestation of one’s own nature.” He states here life “in its original dynamic form” has “emerged from its spiritual source,” with the “mountain stream” “conditioned by the nature of the soil” and its history within the mountain rocks.
He continues that “out of the past a new, pure release of potentiality has emerged,” “ready to perform whatever work its dharma is to accomplish.” He offers that “matter is still imbued with great potential energy, energy being matter at its source,” and it’s “flowing irresistibly toward its own destiny.” He states this degree falls in the Span of Experience, Act of Differentiation, and Scene of Substantiation on the Actional level.
Dr. Jones, creator of the Sabian Symbols, says this is a degree of “the individual spirit in its irrepressibility, and of the purity and excellence of its real sources of strength.” He states this symbol frees us of any need “to meet the superficial limitations of life” or “conform to any pattern of events” which do not offer a “genuine contribution to an ultimate goal.”
He offers “the self possesses illimitable depths on which to draw in any special emergency, and holds to an overall consistency in its self-expression.” He offers the keyword RESOURCEFULNESS, and says when operating positively, the degree is “high achievement through an unswerving fidelity to some definite course of action.”
So we enter a time of the fusion of life and mind that offers us new insights about our true nature, and the power of nature to express itself genuinely and powerfully. Here we get to understand how we were most naturally ourselves in the past, and can bring forth that power in the future. This will yield insights into how we can act in some way, playing a natural role.
Looking Back, Looking Forward
The period ahead will show us glimpses of the future, and ways to live a more natural life. Take a new look at things, and the power you’ve stored up that now can be expressed in ways that show you who you really are, and what you’re here to fulfill. Remember that due to the Mercury retrograde effect, signs and signals may come in roundabout ways, like echoes from the past, or memories coming up from the subconscious mind.
This Inferior Conjunction can fuse hindsight and life experience to see how new forms of light, life, and perspectives have come forth after periods of building personal power or resources in the past. The next four months are a time to embrace new ways of managing transitions through seeing the past through different angles and interpretations and finding alternative views or understanding.
A benefit of Inferior Conjunctions is they offer us views of how we prepared in the past for current attitudes and ideals, or conversely, through the retrograde lens see how past attitudes and ideals led us to where we’re at right now. When Mercury gives us a backward look or alternative view and understanding of something from the past, it also in a strange way prepares the ground for the future when other planets cross this degree.
Aspects in Play
Remember that in any celestial event, forming aspects show the future, and separating aspects show the past. The Inferior Conjunction makes an out of sign trine to Saturn, and out of sign conjunction with Uranus, and a semisquare to Neptune. These indicate the recent Fire trines will be seen in a newer, simpler, more practical way, with a deep psychological turning point in the air.
Other forming aspects include the Moon binovile the Inferior Conjunction, semisquare Venus, tredecile Mars, trine Jupiter, semisquare Saturn, and quintile Uranus. Taken together, these are highly specializing with some internal intensity of crises shown by the Moon bisecting Venus square Saturn. The Lunar degree shows we’ll be pulling back from sending or receiving projections in our world, and planning anew based in understanding that after something has run its course, it’s time to pull back and reset the defaults.
Venus is sextile Mars, quadranovile Jupiter, square Saturn, and quintile Pluto. Mars is sesquisquare Jupiter, decile Uranus, quadraelftile Pluto, Jupiter is quintile Saturn, and Saturn is trine Uranus.
The Venusian aspects show productivity in carrying things forward as other things flow down the timestream, with an understanding that it’s time to contemplate old dramas we retired from in the past. Venus square Saturn is an excellent time for finding one’s “mission” or sense of purpose, and this square in particular shows liberation from pressures in the past we no longer need to bear by focusing our will and demonstrating the power of our personality in moments requiring dynamic movement. Though things may seem tough right now, renovation and innovation will bear big rewards this Summer and Autumn.
The Sun biseptile Pluto makes this a VERY important Inferior Conjunction that will bring roundabout signs and signals of the larger “Grand Irrationality” energy into our lives in simple ways. It would seem there will be the sprouting of the seeds of major changes in the weeks to come, and all we have to do is “water the sprouts” according to our true nature.
Those most affected have planets or angle points near 17-21 Capricorn, 8-12 Pisces, 29 Aries-3 Taurus, 21-25 Gemini, 12-16 Leo, 4-8 Libra, and 25-29 Scorpio. You can bet when Mars moves through the Gemini zone in the last 10 days of May, something related to these karmic changes and “forks in the road of destiny” will come forth.
Quintiles bring gifts, and the coming period will not be short on them! Moon quintile Uranus opens one set. Moon-Uranus gifts and blessings will be found by those with active degrees near 9-14 Aquarius, 21-26 Aries, 3-8 Cancer, 15-20 Virgo, and 27 Scorpio-2 Sagittarius.
Venus quintile Pluto opens another set. Venus-Pluto gifts and blessings will be found by those with active degrees near 16-21 Capricorn, 28 Pisces-3 Aries, 10-15 Gemini, 22-27 Leo, and 4-9 Scorpio.
Jupiter quintile Saturn opens yet a third set. Jupiter-Saturn gifts and blessings will be found by those with active degrees near 15-18 Libra, 27-30 Sagittarius, 9-12 Pisces, 21-24 Taurus, and 3-6 Leo.
Elements, Dispositor Backdrops, and the Jones Pattern
The element spread is fairly balanced right now, with a balance between Fire, Water, and Air, with a preponderance of Earth. This brings a practical focus to things, grounding the coming period. Because Uranus has been leading the Sun, we’ve been in a revolutionizing period, and now Mercury again will lead the Sun for quite a while.
As explained in last Full Moon article, Venus and Saturn are the final dispositors of all the other planets except Neptune, and they’re in mutual reception, a very powerful closed energy loop. As Venus is quadranovile Jupiter, this spiritual angle indicates we’ll be accepting some things and rejecting some things because we realize either they’ve gestated long enough, or have been with us for too long. In any case, they promise abundance perfectly suited to who we are and what we need.
This Inferior Conjunction occurs during this period where we will have a Bucket Jones pattern every time the Moon is between Sagittarius and Leo. I discuss the Jones patterns at work in each Lunation article, so please consult the last Full Moon article, or if you want, you may wait for the coming New Moon article to find out more about the “Bucket” Jones pattern.
Here I’ll introduce something of great importance. Because Jupiter is the nozzle, handle, or “focal determinator” for the Bucket, we are being taught lessons involving Wealth v Poverty, and how our consciousness shows whether we are “grasping circumstances with abundance or neediness.
Open to using time, energy, or money in balanced ways, and open to the eternal abundance of the Universe and accept what we need when we need it. And because Jupiter always searches for truth and bestows mercy according to our faith, be led to forms of your “sacred self,” and open to new archetypal adventures and truths.
So Just How Does the Process Work?
The Inferior Conjunction between Mercury and the Sun is the second step in a two-conjunction process. The first step is when Mercury conjuncts the Sun in forward motion after its retrograde period. This is called a “Superior conjunction.” Most recently this occurred at 17 Pisces on March 6, 2017.
That “fusion of life and mind” marked the beginning of Mercury getting out in front of the Sun. That has given us “glimpses of rebirth” and a sense of renewal in some social context. Now we are in a different Sun/Mercury phase of operation, where we confront a time of seeing many different ways to play roles that are naturally ours to play. Some will adapt past roles to the present, and some will reshape current roles to prepare for a future that is still on the way. The “pulses” of the Inferior and Superior conjunctions of the Sun and Mercury constitute an entire field of research unto themselves.
As Mercury is faster than the Sun at any “Superior Conjunction,” after that event Mind again outraces Life, gets ahead of the Sun, and explores ideas and perceptions of experiences yet to occur. That’s what we experienced between March and early April before Mercury began to slow down.
After Mercury gets as far forward from the Sun as it can, it begins to slow, eventually going stationary retrograde. By then it is slowing rapidly. That marks the second step that leads to the point when Mercury again conjuncts the Sun while retrograde. This is when Mind is being absorbed by Life, or Life takes on the results of subconscious or collective ideas returning to source.
Then Mercury, still slow in speed, becomes distant from the Sun anew as the Sun moves forward while Mercury is still retrograde. Eventually Life gets as far from Mind as it can, Mercury goes stationary direct, and begins to speed up preparing for the first step anew in a different part of the zodiac. I explain this process in greater detail in A New Look at Mercury Retrograde.
Mercury, or Hermes, the “Guide of Souls”
All Mercury retrograde periods teach us about how Mercury functions. Mercury’s duality is “Life/Death,” so we can get a new look at how our consciousness and responses are either creative, destructive, or both, to cite the venerable Kabalistic Arhat Paul Foster Case. Mercury is where we learn if our mental processes are creating chaos and disorganized scattered conditions through ambivalence, and thus come to see how to use discernment to coordinate various functions to bring forth perfect knowing how to do whatever needs to be done.
As the backdrop to how our mind and life relate to each other, perhaps we can learn how to deal with Mercurial energies in ourselves or others from a different angle of view, organizing or reorganizing or ideas, perception, interpretations, and way of communicating. As this Inferior Conjunction falls in Taurus, it should provide us new ways to understand, communicate, or interpret the signs and signals of our existence through looking back on the discoveries we made and views we acquired in past cycles when Taurus was prominent.
All in all, the coming 4 months will bring interesting returns, reflections, and rehearsals of how and what we’ve dealt with in the realms of what we are learning about how to use Taurus energy productively. This includes all the usual Taurus keywords, such as simplicity, enjoyment, calm, agreeability, and good stewardship of resources.
So the new views, understandings, and reinterpretations shown by this Inferior Conjunction should be considered in the light of the house in which this retrograde and inferior conjunction is happening. We can see our ideas from a different angle, find a new focus, and make progress in some form of transforming initiative that will be the source of much information and activity in the next few weeks. Wherever you have early Taurus will bring a fusion of Life and Mind.
Once the Inferior Conjunction happens, whatever has seemed delayed, postponed, or dragging along will move forward soon. This can bring forth a greater holistic vision of how events and people are connected, as well as why we must rethink some things, people, and plans.
Generally, the 11 days before the inferior conjunction (fusion) of mind and life is a good time to take a new look at how you can bring out your inner wisdom by adjusting to a future vision or broader perspective that's opening for you. It's also good for getting a new point of view regarding what your imagination is willing to consider and how to coordinate your life to reorganize it productively.
It's great for intuitive flashes, insights into the larger collective consciousness and unconsciousness, and seeing how you're being led to see elements of your Soul you may not have recognized before now. So think back on what's happened in the past couple of weeks, and find a new way to view how those things may symbolize the future somehow.
Just remember during retrogrades, especially Mercury retrograde, that often things that don't turn out one way lead directly or indirectly to other things somewhat related manifesting down the road. It's as though nothing should be taken at face value, and often what we do or think during Mercury retrograde creates odd echoes in the future that take different shapes, or different functions related to the original intention.
A New Look At Mercury Retrograde
Because we’ll still be dealing with Mercury retrograde through May 3 (and to some extent for the 2 weeks after that while Mercury is still in its shadow zone), if you haven’t already, you can find out all you need by getting a copy of A New Look At Mercury Retrograde. It offers in-depth information about Mercury retrograde in the various signs and houses, and what the Mercury Retrograde phenomenon is about.
By knowing more about 2016’s Mercury retrograde periods in Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, 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. And taking a look at the 2017 retrogrades in Capricorn and Sagittarius, Taurus and Aries, and Virgo and Leo will give you clues about what to expect in the months to come!
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 order your ebook copy of A New Look at Mercury Retrograde.
If you want to go back to any of the previous articles in this series, please visit
Copyright © 2017 Robert Wilkinson