by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mercury into Capricorn: A Big To-Do About Doing?

 The Grand Cross described as Mercury enters
Capricorn on January 13, 2011 at 11:26 (am) UT/+0

What with Capricorn being the traditional sign of commerce, government and durable success, to have Mercury entering Capricorn in year’s early days sounds pretty good. After all, the Mercurial quality of ‘activity and communication’ is a plus in negotiation, commercial transacting and the sort of focused efforts which go a long way towards producing accomplishment...right? 

Absolutely right.

So to have Mercury entering Capricorn on January 13th at 11:26am (UT/+0) is a definite positive.


Well, yes. But....there is the fact that with the North Node sitting right there at 1 Capricorn there’s a whole lot of discussion, transacting and effort needed. There's a lot which needs doing. There's a lot which is in progress and which needs to be considered in terms of the facts involved.

Maybe more to the point, because nobody (read: NOBODY) likes doing North Node things, all this is a problem. And this isn't about people not knowing what needs doing or how to do it. They simply don't want to.

So there are the things we don't want to do on our lists,  those things we don't want to need to do on our individual and joint lists. And there are things we don't want to know how to deal with on those lists.

Hear the implied note of reluctance warming up here? Or maybe that's just plain stubbornness.

Whatever it is, the astrological figure describing this moment of Mercury moving into the worldly world of Capricorn doings is a rather grand Grand Square: Mercury/North Node facing off against Betelgeuse (ease) conjunct the South Node (what I like to do)…which right away brings in a petulant tracery of I’ll do this because I CAN. Or because I WANT do to THIS...but not THAT. 

Whether all same comes with the ‘nah-nah, nah, nah-nah’ and sticking out of the tongue...? Well, that's just decoration here. Sort of emotional buttercream frosting of the most childish short - the childishness being brought in courtesy of Cancer. Cancer always calls out old habits and in particular, childish habits. Or sometimes just those time honored 'this is the way we've always done it and by gum, that's good enough for me' sort of thing.

Ever notice how people are all for modernization and updating until it isn't their favorite subject or going "their way"? That would be very Mercury/North Node versus Cancer South Node.

 ESO's Very Large Telescope photograph of astrology's fixed
star Betelgeuse, a supergiant red star which is so big that if it was
at the center of our solar system it would probably fill the whole of
our local space out to the orbit of Jupiter. That's big! (photo credit: 2009)

It's also perhaps to consider that this moment is also brought to you by a background framework courtesy of  fixed star Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse being all about an 'ease of doing,' when combined with the 'what I know how to do (don't strain my brain!)' South Node suggests that this  moment and Mercury's several weeks of moving through Capricorn will be filled with one situation after another built on themes which mentally (Mercury) ask us what's worth changing?

And as that happens, we will not want to focus on it. And never mind that, but the idea of biting any bullets personal (Cancer), professional (Capricorn), national (Cancer) or governmental/rule of law-ish (Capricorn)...though it may in (Capricorn) reality be needed, it sure isn't (Cancer) appealing!

Looked at from the other side, these weeks ahead may also become big ones for the nay-sayers and pronouncers of doom. You know, everyone from the nothing good ever gets done, so abandon all hope and grab what you can while you can types to those announcing the end of the world.

You'd think humans would be tired of that 'end of the world''s been going on for literally thousands of years. It there had been ancient newspapers, ancient members of ancient populaces would have been reported as announcing the end of the world on a regular basis.

It's just what people do. Why? Heck if I know - it's probably some sort of instinctive acknowledgment of our mortality. And we all do know that when things are bad, there's nothing like company in one's misery, right?

Seriously...even optimistically, we can expect to hear a lot of about 'a need to take care' and 'let's not make a bad thing worse.' There's going to be a whole boatload of reluctant to do what it takes to fix problems at the core.

Why? Because that's not fun. That's not sexy. That's not exciting. That's not even comfortable. And if there’s anything people want to hold onto in difficult times, it’s whatever sense of personal comfort (ease) they still feel they have at their beck and call.

Not to be outdone (or maybe underdone) here, this Mercury-Node-fixed star dynamic is being challenged by Athena/Lust-Uranus-Jupiter-Scheat in late Pisces facing off against Juno/Makemake in Virgo – with Makemake in retrograde.

In the Pisces quadrant, we have one background piece: fixed star Scheat, a star notorious for symbolizing “public disapproval”. So there’s just a lot of that going around – probably rather in the mold of the famous Groucho Marx lyric from the movie Horse Feathers which has Groucho proudly announcing ‘If you’re for it, I’m against it! If you’ve commenced it, I’m against it!’ 

 The poster for Paramount Pictures' 
1932 film 'Horse Feathers'

This is the background of the mass emotional consciousness (Scheat in Pisces) of this moment which is being set off by the presence of Uranus (change) and Jupiter (knowledge/understanding).

People want change. But they don’t want to deal with change. They particularly don’t want to deal with the dispassionate focus it would take to understand what kind of change would work (and why it would work) and all they’d have to learn, agree to and deal with personally as a part of change (Athena/Lust).

Opposite this Pisces grouping (the 600 pound gorilla in the room) we have Juno/Makemake: the need and desire for strong guidance. Given Makemake’s current state of retrograde we know means a willingness to stand for, learn about and master that which will work (and not just what sounds good). And that starts with us. We need to prescribe and take our own heavy duty prescription as people who in the end, are all part of a system. The haves and have not's die just as dead when it comes right down to it. The yearning for the 'good times' is not just about our good times.

Those who want what feels good and requires little to no effort of the putting-my-own-nose-out-of-joint type - they should be the first to fix the big picture. It's not 'what was' or what 'should have been' it's what is and what can be. But that can't just be for one: Capricorn is Pluto's sign of residence for some time to come - and if you think this is tough to deal with, just wait until Neptune hits Pisces!


And we all know what fun Neptune can be, right? 

Meanwhile, it doesn't do any good to think in terms of 'glory days’ or any other form of idea. That was a theme, an ideal - and with some, an addiction - drummed up while Pluto was in Sagittarius. It was good for the time. Wherever Pluto is, we get a big dose of that dynamic. So with Pluto in Sagittarius were were inspired to try new things. To push back limits. To be inspired by Sagittarius' incredible power to envision, aim for the stars and to deal with everything which stands in your way!

But then Pluto moved into Capricorn, land of reality. From heated inspirational ideals into the land of reality - the shift felt cold. For many, reality hit with a thud.

Yet in the long run, there's nothing wrong with reality. It's just what is. It's reality you can build on.

It's just that bridge which is a bit of a bitch, yes. And as Mercury moves from the hyper-imagery of Sagittarius into the more clarified actualities of Capricorn, some will feel the effect is chilling. Or hard (as in "hard reality). But it is to remember - you can only build for the long run with facts and in reality. That's the Capricorn plus - it's intrinsic strength and power.

Plainly the more we resist reality, the deeper and danker the problem gets. But that just causes us to resist and dig ourselves in, searching for that upwelling seep…that last vestige of ease and comfort we were so SURE was going to last.

Pisces: idealism vs. illusion. Fantasy vs. inspiration - the emotional as a positive when it's shared...or at least not simply or always about you and only you. Pisces indicates a collective.That can be a small collective (I and thou) or a family or a community or a class of people or a gender – whatever. But when we turn any Piscean concept into a personal thing, Pisces becomes an addiction, a confinement, an addiction to a limiting confinement or something of that ilk.

So there are all the negatives. But there are a ton of positives here if we’re willing to work for it. IF we’re willing to do our part to be the person who gets the right reaction considering the greater (Piscean) circumstance.

Mercury in Capricorn can be a time of great advances; Capricorn is a cardinal sign all about responding to the times and doing what needs doing. But we have to be willing to show some hard core conviction, some ‘take no prisoners’ sort of determination. We have to do what needs doing simply because its there to take on and the prospect of doing nothing is worse than dealing with the heck of a slog involved in tackling the beast.

And that beast isn't some 'thing' ranged against us. It's our own reluctance to face ourselves, our preferences, our egos.

 'January' by Leandro Bassandro (c. 1595)

For those still on the fence, this Grand Square (the configuration described here) describes a set of choices which feels difficult, but which can be dealt with simply by aiming for what needs doing. The temptations are weakness and unwillingness against strong arguments about what will or won’t work. Those arguments may occur around you or in everyday life or, particularly as Saturn goes retrograde later this month, be something you need to deal with within your own psyche.

No matter which way the debate goes and who poses it, the most difficult thing to overcome and the easiest thing to do is to hand off personal power because (for whatever reason) you ‘can’t be bothered.’ That may be to take the time, or to become acquainted with the problem. There are dozens of reasons we could come up with.

The point here is that given this particular configuration, the power you give away – like as not – will end up in the hands of those who won’t care. They won’t care about you or any ‘cause.’ They won’t care about anyone but themselves. Your disinterest or disgust or ignorance or lack of ambition, that’s what those who don’t care about your welfare feed on.

Polly want a cracker? Polly want to be a cracker?

Mercury will be in Capricorn until early February, moving into Aquarius as Venus – which is currently in Sagittarius – moves on into Capricorn. For those who dig in now, February will become a time of capitalizing on today's efforts.

For those who don’t dig in or who prefer doing what they’re used to, what’s easy and all the rest…for them, February becomes a time of being told ‘how things are going to be’ by those you have surrendered power to right now and going forward.


  1. I hear ya about the To Do List! But now that I'm into it, (kicking and screaming all the way, mind you), it's feeling good to start to get a handle on a few things that felt way more onerous (ominous) than they may actually be! Thanks for the pep talk!

  2. You're welcome - and yes, there is that 'mental inertia' thing to get past!