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 Taurus and Aries.
This Mercury retrograde began April 9, 4:15 pm PDT, 7:15 pm EDT, and April 10, 12:15 am BST. This retrograde moves from 5 Taurus back to 25 Aries, with the Inferior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun occurring at 1 Taurus on Apr 19-20.
The Sabian Symbol for Mercury’s Stationary Retrograde Degree
The Sabian Symbol for the 5th degree of Taurus is “A widow at an open grave.” In the original Jones class notes from “The Astrology of Personality,” Rudhyar says this is a degree of "revelation of meaning behind fleeting appearances,” “restless quest for understanding,” and “birth from illusion into reality.”
In the Astrological Mandala, he goes on to say that this degree symbolizes “the impermanence of all material and social bonds.” He goes on to state that everything at some point “loses its potential energy through continuous actualization” and then “the principle of integration and form is withdrawn, leaving the Void – ‘the open grave’ – that ends all attachments.” Then comes the need for renewal, hopefully at a higher, “more inclusive and universal” level.
He offers that this symbol “deals with root elements and basic actions and responses,” and “opens the door to self-renewal.” He offers that we cannot participate in a greater existences unless we are ready “to discard the past.” He says this degree falls in the Span of Experience, Act of Capitalization, and is the last degree in the Scene of Substantiation on the Actional level.
Dr. Jones says this is a degree of “the impermanence of physical things whenever (we) permit reality to come to center” in static ways and “neglect the creative contribution through which (we) have responsibility for the larger whole.” Here we have a need “for an inner and constant return to every enduring value achieved,” and “a complete and immediate release from all outworn elements of existence.”
He offers us the keyword REORIENTATION. He states that when operating in a positive manner, this degree “is (human) genius for personal aplomb or an effective transcendence of disappointment and dealy in an ever-spiraling self-discovery.”
So we’ll be using our retrograde Mercury function to send and/or receive impressions and ideas related to previous things, people, and experiences we’ve left behind, or parts of our past we buried, or thought were buried. As I noted in an earlier argument, this could also be a “return to the scene of the crime,” or we may have to “exhume the bodies already buried” to make sure we buried the right things. In any way, we should be able to get new insights into old losses to see how those endings opened the door to life renewals.
Some will experience returns of memories of people from the past who opened the door to a renewal once they were gone, or see how old losses were related to moving into a better future. It may also demonstrate as new insights into what must be buried, right here and now, or new insights into what we thought was buried but still lurks in our subconscious mind, or the subconscious mind of another.
So far I’ve heard a LOT of people are talking about the past, as well as those who have been gone a long time. The retrograde quality could also show as endings we postponed that now need execution, or recent endings will be revisited to see why they were necessary to open the door to current life renewals.
As with all Mercury retrogrades, some projects may have to be postponed, or a new way found to make something substantial. 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 April 23-24, and remain in focus through the time Mercury re-crosses this degree around May 20-21, 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 value. We can find a new angle of perspective on what we need to fulfill our purpose, and revise and/or renew some things from the past. 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 April 2017 - Mercury Slowing Down, Preparing to go Retrograde at 5 Taurus.” The link at the top of this article will take you directly to that one when you're done here.
Like the last stationary RX point at 16 Capricorn was tredecile the previous SRX point at 30 Virgo, this stationary RX point is tredecile the last one at 16 Capricorn. While the 30 Virgo point helped all of us “escape from a narrow destiny” of some sort, freeing us in the last period to exercise and train for some future “group performance,” this one will build on that group work by giving us unique interactive understanding about the value of leaving the past behind. By the forms of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual detachment, we should encounter serendipitous things and people we can draw on which 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. This one in Taurus helps us re-shape our way of expressing Taurus energy in the house where that sign is active in our chart.
As it retrogrades back to 25 Aries, when our review is done, Mercury will be sitting on the degree where Uranus went stationary retrograde in July 2016 and will go stationary direct in January 2018, as well as where the Sun will conjunct Uranus in a few days. That means during this retrograde period we will get glimpses of Uranus’ transit of late Aries and early Taurus between 2016 and March 2020.
Mercury Retrograde and Element Patterns
As I said in part 1, we are now in a blended 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 were 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.
We’re now in 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.
Behind the Scenes in this Taurus and Aries Retrograde
While in Taurus, Mercury is ruled by Venus. Venus is in Pisces, ruled by Jupiter in Libra. Jupiter is ruled by Venus in Pisces, making Venus and Jupiter in mutual reception, a very powerful closed energy loop. This makes them powerful backdrops to all the other planetary energies, except Neptune in its home sign of Pisces.
This will change significantly when Mercury retrogrades back into Aries on April 20, just after the Inferior Conjunction. At that point, Mars will be Mercury's dispositor, and in the last degree of Taurus. It immediately enters Gemini on April 21, creating a "mutual reception" with Mercury, allowing the Venusian energy to fade even further into the background.
So enjoy the pleasant backdrop of Venus in Pisces locked in tight with Jupiter in Libra, since once Mercury changes signs, it immediately shifts the backdrop from those pleasant energies to Aries and Gemini, which are much more agitated! Still, with Mercury conjunct Uranus and both trine to Saturn, it will continue the structured innovative inspiration indicated by those strong fire trines.
This should be an extraordinary retrograde period since there are a host of favorable aspects but very few frictional aspects. Of particular note is the Moon at 6 Libra and Mercury at 5 Taurus triggering the Grand Irrationality! This indicates that the coming weeks will feature major forks in the road of destiny for those with planets or angles in affected degree spans. I discussed the Mercury trigger at length in recent Full Moon articles.
This Mercury station also has Moon conjunct Jupiter, Venus sextile Mars and quintile Pluto, the powerful fire trines made by the Sun and Uranus with Saturn, Mars biquintile Jupiter and quintile Neptune, and Jupiter quintile Saturn. Again, since this station falls so close to the Full Moon, you can find out a lot more by referencing those articles.
There are only two frictional aspects in play at the stationary point. We see Moon sesquisquare Mars and Venus square Saturn. Each of those will be useful in releasing the powerful building energies these planets have via other harmonious aspects. So overall, this should be a fairly good retrograde, with lots of inspired understanding as we navigate forks in the road and say goodbye to many things.
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 on seeing the results of our previously held vision, or prod us to be more clear about what we want to see made manifest in the future. Given where Mercury is, it would seem that by looking back at what is dead and buried, we can see how it was inevitable, as well as how it helped shape our expectancies. I would also think the grave symbol can help us dig deep into our subconscious mind to see how things long gone shaped our current expectations.
The Sun will bring light on our ability to generate power in a social context. Venus ruling the Moon (and Mercury) will bring us forms of abundance perfectly suited to our circumstances, and Mars ruling the Sun indicates we should search for the “white dove flying over troubled waters,” bringing us a message that we have outlasted the “flood” and now are given a Divine signal that ahead there are new times, new days, and new lives.
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 Taurus may be good for, the coming Inferior Conjunction and what it means, and what we can expect during the first 3 weeks of May after it goes direct in early May.
A New Look At Mercury Retrograde
If you want to know what we can expect from Mercury retrograde in Taurus and Aries, 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 any 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 2017 retrogrades in Capricorn/Sagittarius, 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 © 2017 Robert Wilkinson