by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mercury in Pisces

The VLA (or) Very Large Array of Socorro, New Mexico
(photo credit: Hajor, August 2004)

Mercury is said to be not ‘weak’ in Pisces, but…well, maybe indecisive. Undecided. Overly flexible, she says, bringing her best natal Pisces Mercury to the post...

As ruler of Mercury and Virgo, Mercury is all about thinking it through and doing the right thing. The thing which will work for you in the longest of long runs. Thus in Gemini we choose carefully and think things through, assembling our understandings, scheduling our time and communicating with sufficient care to be properly understood and to get the information we need to further our thinking.

Maybe even more to the point, Mercury as ruler of Virgo is all about that famous Virgo sense of functionality. 
No, we’re not talking about the Virgo nitpicking critique quotient. Nor are we talking about Virgo’s ability to not see the forest for the trees. Those two ideas represent the Virgo negative of over-focus where the detail gets focused on so specifically that…as they say…we get all overwrought about the alligators trying to eat us and totally forget that the original prime directive was to drain the swamp.

An Alligator on the St Johns River
(photo credit: Mwanner, December 2007)
As ludicrous as that last example sounds, it’s a pretty good outline for how Virgo’s tendency to be ‘localized’ can get too local. Every sign is a polarity, and thus with Virgo, we need to balance that ‘entirely local’ with the ultimate in emotional universality: Pisces.

Thus, to deal with the alligator problem, you drain the swamp. If you drain the swamp, the alligator will go away AND you can walk safely, spotting the dangerous quicksands of life without sinking in up to your hoo-hah’s.

(Yes, hoo-hah’s. They’re north of your whatzis and south of your whatever.)

But to return to the esoteric (yes, laugh here) when we approach the converse and think about Pisces, the issue is being localized enough. It’s all about balance. The classic Pisces/Virgo (and Virgo/Pisces) error is embraced by the all-too-often-popular theory of ‘try, try again’ when we merely repeat what has already been thoroughly tried with a thorough failure as a result. You know this one as ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way, thinking you’ll get a different answer.’

Mercury is a symbol which is always – at every level – about the ‘thinking portion of consciousness.’ It’s how we think and what we think about. It’s what we do to further our thinking, the process of thinking itself and what we do once we’ve thought thing through.

Pisces, on the other hand, is about feeling. It’s about feeling our feelings and feeling how we feel ABOUT our feelings.

So let’s start the astrological conjugating…this means that Mercury in Pisces is every form of Mercury thinking which is either about our feelings, about how we feel about our feelings, about how to integrate our emotionality into our everyday life more effectively, how to express our feelings – and since Pisces is universal, thinking about how others feel and what bearing we have on their feelings and what effect their emotionality or (Mercury) communication has on our thoughts or emotionality.

Or our feelings about our feelings, yes.

And that’s just the start of it. Pisces is a sign about that part of life where ‘bounds’ of reality are removed, allowing us to experience spirituality and faith and idealism and fantasy and daydreams and the power of inspiration and imagination…and which, by then bringing us to understand the difference between that and reality forces us to face our humanity.

That’s a rather shattering gap, and some of us fall right into it, becoming those addicted to rose-colored glasses strategies…or maybe self-abandonment to some belief or activity we adopt as our ‘world view’ believing that’s the whole of our ‘life’ with so much vigor that we won’t have to feel our discomfort when it comes to dealing with the realness of reality.

And, of course, there are those who are truly addicted to whatever it is which allows them to not be reality-grounded.

And there are those who do what they at some level – conscious or unconscious – so that they can ‘remove’ themselves from the whole of reality and just occupy some little part they can deal with. (This group would be populated by hermits, isolationist elitists and inmates and those who flip out not because they can’t cope, but because they can’t cope with the effort of coping. Such people do exist.)

Mercury in Pisces can also be glorious. In Pisces, that ‘thinkery’ which is so Mercury can serve to ‘ground’ the oceanic and boundless quality of Pisces, reeling the fish in to solid ground, producing great insight. Or art.

From 'Photographs from Amasra'
(photo credit Nevil Dilmen, November 2009) 

Many writers have Mercury in Pisces. Inventor of the telephone Alexander Graham Bell had Mercury in Pisces – and boy, didn’t he figure out how to communicate? Abraham Lincoln’s stirring words and ability to touch so many of us at our core is a very good example of Mercury in Pisces.

But this door swings both ways. Lincoln is a good example of this – for all of his orating and writing talent, Lincoln seems to have been an internally self-bedeviled soul. As was Kurt Cobain, another Mercury in Pisces sort.

Sometimes we bridge the gap with Mercury in Pisces – or when Mercury is in Pisces – and sometimes we fall into it. The Mercury choice to do one or the other depends on how well balanced we are at any given time. Granted, this is a bit of a different task for those with Mercury natally in Pisces against those who will merely experience the transit, but whatever the scale of your experience, the question of balancing and grounding in reality, replete with your ability to accept that reality, is always the crux of the question.

It’s fine not to like things. Pisces just says that you can’t ignore, deny or abandon reality in order to avoid them. In the end, that just hurts and limits you.

Apparently we need a deal of this experience at the moment as the Year 2013 Mercury transit of Pisces is going to be a long one. And why would that be? For those of you who are guessing there’s a Mercury retrograde about due, you’re absolutely, pozzolutely right!

Apart from the fact that this Mercury station is happening on this astrologer’s birthday, what this means is several things. The first – and most obvious – would be that this is a full two months under Mercury in Pisces.

That’s a lot of emotional thinking. Or having our feelings evoked or provoked. It’s a lot of opportunities to get inspired, and a lot of time in which to get real. (Or realer, depending!) One would suppose this is a good time for getting past our own fears and when the rather standard (if regrettable) tendency to think that ‘it’s their responsibility to fix it’ (or change, or to take up the slack or whatever) is best served by owning our own stuff.

That’s one of the most magical things about metaphysics, incidentally. When you’re in the tightest of squeaky places, when you feel most unfairly put upon, that’s the time to deal with what in you has helped create the whole giant mish-mosh.

(Don’t ask what goes into a barrel of mish-mosh – you don’t want to know!)

All kidding aside, you’ve no doubt heard of that old saying it takes two to tango? In the big world of metaphysics (‘meta’ meaning ‘bigger than big’) ‘two to tango’ is a parallel to the standard concept called ‘what you put out comes back to you’ or the ultra-science version of same, ‘for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.’

This isn’t quite the same thing as Karma. Karma is more or less akin to ‘do unto others’ in that your karmic energy doesn’t always come back in the same way, shape or form as you put it out in. Chocolate does not always beget chocolate in the world of karma, one would say. It doesn’t even have to be food. Give someone a box of chocolates (check to see if their name is Forrest Gump first) and you may have some total stranger help you load that awkward box into your car. Karma is about the quality of the energy where metaphysics (astro-metaphysics, in particular) looks more to the connectives and contiguous quality of the interaction. Hence ‘two to tango.’

A fight can’t be a fight if one person doesn’t care, after all. They’ll just shrug.

A really good example here is Mahatma Gandhi’s belief in passive resistance.

Gandhi with textile workers at Darwen, Lancashire England (Sept 26, 1931)
Gandhi had an exciting life. And despite the fact that so many think of him as smiling and peaceful, he was no shirker. Gandhi was absolutely willing to stand up and fight...until he found out that not fighting was more powerful.

I’ve written about Gandhi and his chart, so if you’d like to read about him more in depth, click here.

My point here is that natally, Gandhi has Pisces on his 3rd house. The 3rd house of the chart is the native house of Gemini, and is therefore the house of mentality, thinking, planning, communicating and the priorities and choices we each make. So once Gandhi chose (3rd house) to make a universalist, accepting (Pisces) choice, his choices began to really work.

(That, by the by, is the most basic of basic ways to look at any house of your chart. If you know the sign which is native to the house, that’s the ‘area’ of life you’re concerned with and the first step in understanding how it works then takes into account the sign on the cusp of that house.)

Going back to the diagram of Mercury’s passage through Pisces, the first part of Mercury’s transit is with the Sun in Aquarius as Saturn slows to its stationary point and (from our Earthly perspective) goes retrograde in Scorpio. This is a recipe for difficult priorities and decisions which are tough enough that in all likelihood, only some of them will…or can get made.

The Sun moving into Pisces scant hours before Saturn’s turn to retrograde motion is a ‘realization’ or ‘reality’ point. Now some things ‘hit home,’ whether that means you’re on the receiving end of a long-brewing problem, something out-of-the-blue, a reward for hard work done (probably unanticipated) or the grappling with something which simply needs doing, straightening out or reconciliation.

(Reconciliation here can be personal, emotional, financial, spiritual or in any other sort of form.)

Connections/understandings/input with/from others remain highlighted until Venus also enters Pisces on February 26th. After that, we will all feel more space to deal with things in our own way and at our own pace, though some of us won’t like that very much!

(You just can’t please everyone, y’know?)

Those who take advantage of the next couple of weeks as a time to ‘do their own thing’ and get straight on their own standards for their own life, work, efforts and standards do well, especially once Mars enters Aries on March 12th. From there until Mercury’s station/direct on the 17th is likely to be a time of push-and-pull, some of which can be pretty raucous. Dealing with emotionality is going to be a necessity now; knowing who you are and what you really believe in (not what you ‘stand for’) is the dividing line between carrying your own day and earning your own respect and…well, probably setting yourself up for a fall.

(That ‘fall,’ by the by…will be Karmic in nature. So don’t waste your time looking over your shoulder, lest something hit you in the gut and don’t just run, lest something bit you in the…whatever.)

After Mercury goes direct, Mercury will be working its way back through Pisces as Venus and the Sun both move into Aries. This is a call for doing what needs doing while remaining in touch with your own feelings and those of others.

All of which brings us to the beginning of April – which is the onset of the rumbles we expect in the weeks leading up to any solar eclipse. That the next solar eclipse is going to be positioned at 19 Taurus is a big scrawl on the celestial wall.

And considering the sign and degree of said sign, what’s being written on that wall?

So maybe that’s the reason for this long transit of Mercury through Pisces.

And yes, that would be Karmic.

And since Scorpio is the sign of Karma, that spells Saturn…which again speaks to reality, and whether we like it or not, how well we deal with that reality in real, realistic and responsible ways. 


  1. Thanks Boots this really hits home. Hope I have the energy for this.

    1. Many people feel tired under Mercury in Pisces. The trick is to understand that it's more about our emotionality - and often our emotional resistance - than anything else. It sounds odd, but letting go and allowing yourself to accept and learn is both easier AND more productive under Mercury in Pisces. But yes, we do get scared of letting go. The unknown...the having to change our ways (or trying to imagine life lived differently) can seem pretty scary. Yet since there really is no 'alternative' here (merely procrastination), what really is our choice? The problem generally tends to be the desire to 'control' and in Pisces, that's exactly what we have to let go of - the idea that we know the 'only' answer when plain and simple, we don't. Sometimes being very strong means being vulnerable, especially to your Self.