by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mercury Retrograde in Aries: Who Put the Why in our What?

Mercury in 'false' colors
photo credit: NASA/JPL - Caltech

Any time we see an astrological symbol do anything (or just wander by looking organic) in a degree between 20 and 29 of any given sign we know the indication is only person to the degree that things happen to us and we respond. Or we witness something and react. Or we are presented with a challenge or opportunity and decide what to do or not do, depending on many a factor (mayhaps including how Shakespearian we feel at the moment…!)

In this case, the symbol of the moment is Mercury – symbol of mentality, whether that’s in your head (as in, I was thinking….or maybe I should think this through, put a list together, organize my thoughts…) or in functional terms – whether that’s what the fern were they thinking? or the ever-so-not-popular act in haste, repent in leisure which is so the tale of not thinking things through before doing them!

So combine these ideas and the first thing we come up with is situations or moments where we are handed a project or asked a question or confronted with something which asks us to think…

and considering this is Aries, the “I Am” sign of doing, being and acting all brave and warrior-like, the advisability to think things through before committing to them, taking them on or even just reacting to them.

As for why we would be discussing all this, that would be because Mercury is going retrograde on March 30th at 10:49pm (UT/+0). (Were you wondering?) we arrive at this moment there surely will be  those among us just champing at the bit, ready to go. Or insisting this needs to be done right NOW!!! Then there are those who will get the order and, urgent or not, stop a moment to reflect…if I do this, then that means… 

One of the big dividers here is generally whether Mercury is retrograde or direct in your natal chart. The gung ho types are more likely to have Mercury direct in their natal chart. Why? Because a natal Mercury retrograde predisposes you to thinking things through anyway.

I know many a person who hears the words ‘Mercury retrograde’ and groans as if they’ve just been asked to scrub the pyramids spinky-spanky clean using nothing more than a toothbrush and coffee cup of suds. I know people with Mercury natally retrograde who when asked will say they have no idea what the big fuss about Mercury retrograde really is.

This leads to the obvious observation that it’s the difference between the motion of natal and transiting Mercury which really gets to us. Me, I have Mercury retrograde (which works well for writers and anyone else who needs to go back over their work!). So if Mercury is direct, it just means that if I want to put it out there, I can. And if Mercury’s in retrograde and it’s a time to sort, polish, re-think, clarify, ask questions – that’s no big deal in my world.

But for those who are born to do, go, see and operate in constant real time motion? Telling those people that it’s time to stop buzzing and chatting and time to reorganize and plan sounds like a really serious wet blanket.

So I get their Mercurial pain. Not that I can change anything, but I get the chomping at the bit thing. If only they could order their life to take advantage of Mercury retrograde! It does come along with fabulous regularity – why not plan for it? It’s not about turning your brain off, after all – it’s just not about trying to get something done. You can certainly do research. You can make plans. You can test things out. You just shouldn’t set anything in cement if that’s where you’re planning to end up.

Common astrological lore says don’t sign any contracts under Mercury retrograde. But I know astrologers who have clients who buy and sell real estate all the time under Mercury retrograde. My brother (bless his heart…!) tends to take jobs under Mercury retrograde.

And there really isn’t anything wrong with that unless you are planning on the current action being the “end of the line.” My brother seldom ends up in the actual position he initially takes; he gets hired, then they realize he’d really be better doing a slightly different position so he ends up doing that. When I heard of the real estate transactions I asked that astrologer what was going on and it turned out that the properties in question were ‘house flips’ – properties being bought, rehabilitated and sold in order to move on to a bigger house.

In each case, the transaction under Mercury retrograde was not the end of the line. And Mercury retrograde does support that…it’s the idea that something is in an interim situation and not finalized. 

To pair this with Aries seems easy…we’re in the middle of something and not entirely sure of all the details just yet. Or when (exactly) it will be done.

This would also be apt for those who are in the process of changing their life in some way. Are you moving? Are you in the middle of some ‘personal makeover’ – physical or not?

Mercury retrograde is about the process. It’s about moving through whatever that process is, whether it’s the beginning, middle or end of a process.

And if you have a planet or other vital chart position within 5 degrees of 24 Aries (either way)? Then pay attention to events, situations, ideas and communications of the moment; they may well be important to some ‘long run’ you may not even be focused on at the moment.

People who have charts emphasizing 19 to 29 Libra, Cancer or Capricorn are also in the Mercury bucket. Cancer and Capricorns are meeting up with challenges, those with Libra positions are making decisions and dealing with ‘what they put out there’ and whether or not they’re getting a good, useful, viable reaction.

Learning from whatever goes on is apt now. Though people whose charts place emphasis on degrees between 19 and 29 Leo and/or Sagittarius won’t quite feel as ‘confronted’ by Mercury’s going retrograde in Aries as (say…) someone with an affected Libra component might, trines can spell ‘inability to escape’ which with the Aries ‘I/me’ idea thrown in may well be some responsibility or obligation which you are thinking through and maybe not all that thrilled with.

Oh, changes, changes – things need changing!

Also in the hot seat would be those who have planets, nodes, or axis cusps positioned between 22 and 26 Virgo or Scorpio.

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But back to those Virgo/Scorpio folks. For you, there are adjustments to your efforts which at least need to be considered…if not enacted! On the Virgo side the question is effectiveness, functionality and efficiency. On the Scorpio side the question is whether you (or others) think things are actually ‘fair.’ Just because you do doesn’t mean they do – and vice versa!

Here, fair is only ‘fair’ if it feels fair. And to get at what feels fair, there needs to be a.) full disclosure and a leveling of the ‘entitlement playing field.’ For instance, if one side is working on/for/towards life’s basics (food, shelter, clothing, survival) and the other side thinks ‘basic’ is haute couture style, a life of privilege, mansions and a private suite in the hospital for a case of laryngitis, there’s going to be trouble.

And let’s not forget: Neptune is still at 29 Aquarius. So while one side is likely to think that there’s nothing wrong with having earned billions…that they’ve worked hard or are just lucky, and who should begrudge them that – if that’s going on in a world where people are literally without food or decent shelter or an opportunity to educate their children or any hope of bettering their life the justifications for why people should just ‘suck it up’ and accept their lot (or work harder or whatever)…

That’s so not going to work! Look around – everywhere you go the rich are getting richer and the poor are struggling to be heard. The old rule – that “golden” rule He Who Has the Gold Makes the Rule allows the rich to get not just richer, but more powerful.

And then comes a different rule: absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

Neptune at 29 Aquarius exacerbates the differences. And if you think things are out of line now, wait until Neptune gets into Pisces!

All this is important…why? Well, in part because it’s what’s going on in our world. From obvious matters like Libya and Japan we draw big long dotted lines to entire economic systems modeled on trying to keep up with costs at the top based on foreshortening the opportunities of the bottom

It’s the classic inverted pyramid – and as any dairy farmer can tell you, there’s only just so much cream available to rise to the top.

The reason to recall all this is because this Mercury retrograde, though centered in the highly ‘first personal personal’ sign of Aries is all about who we are in this world.

Or who we need to be.

Or how this world needs to change so that we even have – or get – a chance.

By the time Mercury gets to the other end of its retrograde come April 23rd it will be positioned at 12 Aries – a degree of personal emotionality. How will you feel about you? How will you (and your efforts) be being received?

When April 23rd arrives, such questions will be on the table. Saturn will be in exact opposition to Mercury’s station/direct (at 12 Libra) and for most of this date the Moon will be positioned at the mid-point in Capricorn. That it's been at 12 Libra since...oh, around April 15th (happy tax day, US people!)...that just reinforces the whole concept of how basic, how developmental, how we all need to be considering/reconsidering and revamping our goals, approaches, means and methodologies really are!

In fact…just as Mercury goes direct, the Moon will be sitting at 13 Capricorn.

Remember that degree? Yes! The degree of this past January’s Solar Eclipse – the eclipse which has served as the herald to all the sweeping changes which are now ongoing in our world.

The Moon at the midpoint of what amounts to a transiting t-square says we need to get ‘past’ our inability to be real. If not, we “bounce” back to Saturn and hit hard times and tough receptions. And yes, this may well be part of the message given by the New Moon of April 3rd being at 13 wee little astrological 'tick' of the degree past where Mercury will go direct. It sounds like the universe saying 'understand this and you can move forward. Don't understand this and you'll run into all sorts of interference and stoppages.'

So this retrograde is personal. But at the same time as it’s about finally cleaning the closet (or heaven forbid – the garage!) it’s also about “getting real” and realistic about what is and isn’t working in our world.
In your world.

And what’s more important than that, since our world isn’t our world without each and every ‘you’ who is alive?

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