by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mercury in Virgo

 The Messenger spacecraft gives us a
close-up photo of planet Mercury
(photo credit: NASA-JPL 2009)

Mercury will enter Virgo on September 1st at 2:33 in the morning UT/+0 time - which is still Friday, August 31st in many parts of the world.

Important to this ingress is that its happening just as the Lunar Nodes have changed signs and within the allowance we make for Ixion going stationary-direct.

Mercury enters Virgo September 1, 2012
at 2:33 a.m. (UT/+0)
(Aries Wheel - Location Not Specific) 

With Mercury opposition Neptune, plainly we are up against our feelings, if nothing else. This is a classic signature of confusion and misleading information – and yes, out-and-out lying.

But the first question is who is doing what to whom? Are we fooling ourselves? Lying to ourselves? Are we being misled - and if so, are we a willing party to the deception? Maybe we don’t want to know the truth. Maybe it would be too uncomfortable for us to face that truth or our own errors, lies or failings.

With Mercury in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces, there is a strong polarizing force which may well draw us into hoping for something better…or cast us into the kind of despair which says ‘nothing is going to work if…'

Neptune is a nebulous quality to matters which are at hand now. Virgo being an earthy, tangible sign, Mercury in Virgo represents either the effort we put towards doing something real which may lead to a better tomorrow.

Or a passing acknowledgement (perhaps enjoyment) of the entertaining idea – after which we get ourselves back to our tasks.

Or the wholesale rejection of what could or even should be.

Known for its attention to detail, industrious nature and shamelessly practical ability to deal with many things which for some evoke truly squeamish reactions, Virgo is truly a sign about the here-and-now…what I’m going to do, how I’m going to do and what is something made of. From this comes the legendary Virgo focus.

But to be honest, this focus is sometimes a way of covering up that which Virgo is not so comfortable with – the emotional issue, the emotional reaction to consequences intended or unintended, the more cruel parts of reality. I’ve known Virgos who can deal with blood, guts and the messiness of babies who can’t watch a war movie because that make-believe image is too real for them. I’ve known Virgos who could face medical death but not the emotional repercussions of their callousness.

It truly takes all types in this world, doesn’t it?

The point here is that this Mercury/Neptune opposition will raise all such issues – and more in our own minds than those in others. As a transit, Mercury in Virgo has a very personal quality, though the same placement (Mercury in Virgo, that is) in a natal chart may be all about caretaking and attentiveness to others.

Odd how it varies, isn’t it?

That Neptune is conjunct Fomalhaut at the time of the ingress is a rather sure sign that of our many dreams only those which are decent and considerate of others will succeed.

With Mercury conjuncting Regulus at 0 Virgo (with Kallisto and Edisona a degree ahead) tells us that we the challenges which lie ahead are ours, and not to be put off on others. That we might want to do that is signaled by Lilith/Sphinx-Algol in conjunction with the South Node. It would be so much easier if we could just go on doing like we've been doing!

Unfortunately, we can't. And the change isn't about 'them,' it's about us - an idea which points to the North Node (the direction we're supposed to go) in conjunction with Juno, which is the management of one's resources and all it takes to teach yourself how to be effective.

The idea of the Lunar Nodes having just moved back into Scorpio and Taurus gives us some potent thoughts on where our challenges will come from, be they internal or interactive. With the Nodes always indicating relationship, that can be how we relate to some idea, some group or something like a job, a task or something we’re facing having to deal with. It can also point to how some group receives us (or rejects us) or the more conventional sense of being ‘in relationship’ – whether that’s to someone in particular or just as a concept.

The banana peel on the floor here is formulated as follows: Mercury is entering Virgo. The North Node is in Scorpio and the South Node is in Taurus. By sign this is a harmonious paring. In fact, when you toss Neptune in, by sign we might well think in terms of that magical concept of the magic square – a configuration all about the ability to make things happen with less than extraordinary effort which is oddly (and fairly frequently) plagued by the inability to get into gear or out of your own way when changes become necessary.

Yet the truth of this is that with the Nodes at twenty-nine of their respective signs, by aspect we might as well think of them as being in the 0 Sagittarius/0 Gemini arena. And when we think of combining Virgo-Pisces with Sagittarius-Gemini, what we come up with is a Grand Cross – specifically here, a mutable Grand Cross.

Mutable signs learn and course-correct as they go. And with Neptune as part of this particular Grand Cross there’s more opportunities for idealism, expectations, confusion, indecision and simple lack of understanding (knowledge) implied. So during Mercury’s passage through Virgo (September 1st to September 16th) we will all have to put up with not knowing. This is thus a time which is pretty much defined as one during which we will have to find our way and learn as we go. And though we may not like the idea that things (relationships and our relationship to the world) is changing, the fact is that it is.

We can’t necessarily control things which are changing, but we can choose to change those things within our own life which need changing. That’s very much Virgo and a big plus of Mercury in Virgo is that its a combination of sign and object which tends to focus us in those sort of directions with the promise that diligence, effort and upstanding perseverance will be rewarded.

Also, if needed or necessary, assistance is there for the seeking out.

Jobs, responsibilities, work-a-day ethics and question of how we do (or could do) some things…and how well that works are also emphasized by this passage. That’s great for getting things done and a signal that motivation (particularly self-motivation) is on the rise, against which will come the inevitable Virgo quality of critique. As Mercury moves into Virgo’s second decans (sets of 10 degrees) on September 5th we can expect to feel more critical about what’s going on (in general) and about our own efforts (in particular). Some of us will suddenly get inspired and some of us will tear ourselves down.

And of course, there will be the nay-sayers. Mercury in Virgo has a reputation for what can be intense pessimism and even bouts of depression. If this applies to you, try to remember – this is a very short passage. 

Sometimes all we will need is emotional support – someone to supply the missing Piscean compassion we may not be about to give ourselves right now. And sometimes we need a helping hand. Or the knowing guidance of someone who has walked our road before we even thought to put our tennis shoes on.

Once Mercury rolls into Virgo’s third decan (degrees 20 through 29) on September 10th or 11th (depending on where you are) the world chimes in, making this the likely time to hear back from people you’ve tried to contact, when things you’ve been wanting to take ‘that next step’ with will come to the fore and when things you have put out there (or which you deal with during this period) result in reactions and information…some of which will be fine and some of which is likely to point out what needs doing.

Is Virgo always about mistakes, problems and needed improvements? No – unless if you think all input is negative.

 If life is a journey, Virgo is a sign which asks us to grow in our competence and understanding of all which is at hand, at stake and possible to achieve.

Think of it this way: even geniuses like Michelangelo have had their learning curves. There’s just always something more we can learn!

Considering that Mercury will move on into Libra just as Pluto enters its ‘station window’ to go direct (on the 18th) it’s likely that part of what is going on now will be either in preparation for something about to happen or as the ‘final hurrah’ of something about to end.

One more item here: if you are someone whose natal chart has a point of note between 2 and 10 degrees of Cancer, that point is emphasized in this moment as it would complete the construction of an astrological picture known generally as a Kite.


Kites are another image of opportunity. Composed of a grand trine (in blue) and a pair of sextiles which ‘build upon’ the ongoing ability described by the grand trine, Kites depend on our ability to ‘steer’ them.

In this Kite, Pluto (still conjunct Facies) is at the top of the figure denoting something which can be ‘reached’ or ‘built.’ But to get there, you have to deal with a combination of Chiron in Pisces and Mars in Scorpio in trine plus whatever Cancer point your natal chart places between 2 and 10 degrees of Cancer.

Unfortunately I can’t give you every variation on that Cancer theme, but a little hunting around here on the blog (or out on the internet) will give you basic concepts for whatever point is in your chart.

Then add to that the necessity to face your own vulnerabilities…and how you feel about your  vulnerabilities (Chiron in Pisces) and how these affect who you do and don’t get along with (Mars in Scorpio) and what it’s going to take for you to create bonds and profitable, working alliances with those who you need to get along with (or have the support or cooperation of) in order to achieve those Plutonic “I want my world to change” goals.

It’s a very tall order, I know.

Fortunately, it isn’t all to be done all at once. But during these weeks to come…this is a good time for figuring out what it will take for you to build the world you want.

And don’t we all want that? 

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