by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mercury in Libra: The Extent of our Grasp

 The constellation Libra (source:

Among the many things that Libra represents is that place where our efforts end and other people begin to judge, react and respond, whether that be positively or negatively.

In that - and very much in keeping with the image of Libra as the sign of the scales - is the idea that what 'they' think is as important as what we think. And - conversely - that what we think is as important as what/how they think, yes...absolutely. No matter what culture we are born into or live by, astrology defines a theoretical equality in matters of exchange and conversation, making all interactions (no matter their nature) something of a negotiation. Or barter.

Bartering for sheep in China
(source: AMorgan/Flicker)

As of October 3rd, it's Mercury which is moving into Libra, bringing all that Mercurial contemplation and 'variations on the possible theme' into the realm of conversation, contemplation and - because Libra is a public sign - worldly initiation.

Of course there is a plus and minus here...while Mercury is in one of the zodiac's first six 'private/personal' signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo or Virgo) there's this quietly 'closed' sort of quality to our thoughts. What we think never has to leave our mouth. It can, but there's a whole lotta thinking going on which never goes beyond our internal cycle of thinking about things and learning more about what we think.

But once Mercury enters Libra, it is in for a goodly period of public and worldly doings. That means we learn more and better through interactions. That means we learn how to interact more effectively - and that what we really need to learn is going to be found through at least listening to (if not reading or talking with) people or sources beyond our own skin.  

Entering Libra with Kalypso and TNO Typhon behind in Virgo - and Atropos just ahead at 5 Libra.

Kalypso (Calypso) as a detail from an 18th century painting

AND with Mercury in opposition to Byblis and Eos in Aries....

PLUS Scheat, Uranus, Jupiter and Hebe in opposition but in feeling-my-feelings Pisces rather than knowing-myself Aries

Given all this, maybe the first thing to remember when diagnosing this crowd of influential signposts is that any celestial body entering Libra is going to meet up with M87, the famous super-massive Black Hole which sits just inside the boundary of Libran influences.

Since Black Holes always indicate 'alternative realities,' this tells us right away that part of the very act of shifting from the 'personal' to the 'public' is because  our situational encounter with 'others; provides us with some 'alternative' to our own thinking. Or that we need to think in terms of the 'I/thou' dynamic during whatever period specific planets (and therefore aspects of our lives) are indicated to be in a 'public sign' mode - as signaled by their being in any of the zodiac's 'worldly' signs (Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius or Pisces).

Mercury is a symbol mentality and thought. Or lack thereof. Or the actions/activities involved in following through on a thought or idea. In the Mercurial sign of Gemini we choose, plan, prioritize, correlate, organize and think things through. In Mercury-ruled Virgo we improve, recognize ramifications and consequences, consider functionality and implementation and in general, concentrate on function and functionality.

Mercury as photographed by the Mariner spacecraft (source: NASA)

In Libra, Mercury meets up with where 'my' thought ends and your thought begins. Thus Libra in Mercury fosters conversations, negotiations, arguments and debates, agreements, gossiping and the general sorting out of the mental level of relating. Libra in Mercury is not necessarily lovey-dovey though it can be very poetic (poetry being the expression of the romantic thought).

Under Mercury in Libra, we work things out, we establish a basis for understanding and/or communicating, we get our point across and we tell others what we think.

Meanwhile, they're telling us what they think, speaking their mind and expressing whatever their priorities are.

With Mercury entering Libra in opposition to 'old-school'  Byblis and over-focused Eos, we can bet there's going to be a lot of standing one's ground - at least to begin with. Another way to see this would concern the 'status quo' (whatever that may be on any given subject) and whether that is defended or considered totally trash-worthy. We could also bet on a bit of name-calling (rock throwing, mud slinging...that stuff) on every side. Alas... but humans will be human.

This is not made any less potent by Uranus/Scheat - a call to change things and a cry by forces exterior to any problem, declaration or situation about how 'very wrong it is.' To quote a wonderful (not to mention useful) song from the old Marx Brothers movie Horse Feathers:

Whatever you're for, I'm against it
If you've commenced it, I'm against it...

 Movie poster for Paramount Pictures'
"Horse Feathers" starring the Marx Brothers


Yes, there's a lot of that going around - in general, I mean. And what with Uranus/Scheat (plus Jupiter/Hebe) having been playing around at the end of Pisces and beginning of Aries all year, everybody's been up in arms about changes other people need to make (Uranus) and that it's criminal (or at least a cryin' shame) (Scheat) that anyone should go around being so dim as to not get what 'right' really is.
With this has come a liberal helping of Jupiter/Hebe - the 'I'm the good guy - I want to do right! I'm trying to help everyone! But does anyone listen to me? Noooo...and they're going to be sorry they didn't!' sort of stuff.
Life has been full of this, morning, noon and night. We get it at home, at work, from the family, from our government...our government (whichever one is yours) is getting this from other governments....

...It's been a very long year. Amazing how long one solar cycle can get to be, y'know? The universe delves out these cycles in regulation sizes which hardly vary but a breath of an ootch of a nonce and some feel like they go by in no time...some seem to last for(dreary)ever!

The up side here is that with Mercury having moved from Virgo (where all the discussion was on 'workability' and enough functional details to put Rip Van Winkle to sleep) into Libra, where negotiations are far more the rule of the day.

Actor Joseph Jefferson playing Rip van Winkle
- photograph by Napoleon Sarony (1869)

Oh - and manners. Libra tends to be a mannerly sign, so there's less mud slinging likely. Virgo is known for cleanliness yes - but the Virgo dynamic also often wallows in the muck which then has to get cleaned up! 

This positive/negative of signs as they are (Virgo as clean and dirty or Libra as arguments and peacemaking) is totally typical. And totally to be accepted. People who think a glass is to be filled and never emptied will soon find themselves out of room to pour!

With Kalypso and TNO Typhon just behind Mercury in Virgo here we have arguments about who loves who and who's fault what is now behind us. Well, hopefully. There is some chance you will still feel like you're being chased by questions of being at fault and whether you care about things which (after all) should be common sense and things everyone holds dear, important, as correct...and all the rest of such.
You may agree or not - that's not the point. What is the point now is how any discussion now goes on. We have left the earthy world of Virgo for the more abstract and theoretical Land of Libra. So while feelings are still important, they are to be discussed, not acted out!
And that's worth noting - as is the presence of Atropos in this configuration. Standing at 5 Libra as Mercury enter the public arena, Atropos stands for an 'end' point. And given 5 Libra is a balance between understanding and lack of comprehension, this argues (yes, I used that word!) for a need to identify what is fact against what is assumption - what is rumor against what is actual.

Astrological metaphysics work in the short, medium and long run. So this 'image' of Mercury entering Libra is strong as the planet enters Libra and tapers off from there, with the caveat that Atropos is telling us that at five days, five weeks and/or five months there will be a resurgence of either the situation or the dynamic of the moment. Hopefully we will learn how to deal once and employ such solutions with ever increasing deftness, but one never knows.

Like I say, humans are so human.

Earth, today's only human home, 
as photographed from the Moon (source: NASA)

That Mercury is making this entrance into Libra only a few days shy of Venus' station/retrograde, with Atropos in this picture also suggests some decisions, statements or recognitions that certain things 'have to end.'

The realization is now. The tangle with the doing and all which goes with that? That's the Venus station-and-retrograde part, which obviously we will get to in just a few days.
In the meantime, enjoy your Mercury in Libra moment. Maybe it's time to patch things up with someone? Maybe it's time to have a meaningful conversation which gives you insight on where you want to go next? Maybe it's just a fine time to have some fun with friends.

Whatever it is, the awareness of what you're doing is yours, as is your awareness that what you choose do defines what you're not doing - and what therefore remains to be done.

It's always a toss up...that darn cake we so want to have and eat too? It's not in the kitchen - it's in our head, and the truth is, we can't be everywhere at once and can't be everything to everyone. There is much we can grab in life, and many things we can hold on to. Some are worth it, some are not. Some we should let go and at some point, we need to recognize there are things we may admire, but which exceed our grasp either mentally, or for lack of interest or time.

Which all comes back to being happy with who we are and choosing to go on from there!

 'So Happy Smiling Cat' by Yumi Kimura of Yokahama
Japan (Nov 29, 2009) as posted to Flicker



  1. Lots of resonance between the content of this post and what I've been thinking and journaling about the past few days. My content has been the inner-world equivalent of what you generally describe in terms of outer-world (but as above so below).

    Some of the ideas which resonated:

    "what 'they' think is as important as what we think" (coming to see more clearly the different sides of various inner debates and disagreements)

    "...conversations, negotiations, arguments and debates, agreements, gossiping and the general sorting out of [...] relating"

    "a call to change things and a cry by forces [...] about how 'very wrong it is.'" (the call to change my old inner [dis]order and structures)

    "...that anyone should go around being so dim as to not get what 'right' really is." (yes, it really is about Truth, and which forces secretly oppose it)

    "questions of being at fault" (blame, guilt, shame, and the role they play in my inner landscape).

    "a need to identify what is fact against what is assumption" (or, what is intuited knowledge, vs. what is projection/deception/illusion?)

    "recognitions that certain things 'have to end.'" (yep. it's time)

    "Maybe it's time to patch things up with someone?" (reconciling and healing old inner disagreements and feuds)

    "awareness [of] what you choose to do" (gaining clarity about what certain long-held choices and beliefs really mean, being willing to see their full consequences).

    Thanks for sharing - I never miss a post!


  2. Thanks, Rasha! It's always nice to know who is reading by hearing from them when they're not in the 'Followers' list!

    Here's to a usefully informative Mercury in Libra time!