by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mercury Direct and an Evolutionary Yod

The photograph upon which this blog header is based was taken of 
Mercury by spacecraft Messenger on a second flyby.
(photo credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics
Lab,Carnegie Intitute of Washington, January 2013)

Mercury will be going direct at 5 Pisces on March 17th at 8:04 in the evening, UT/+0 time.

As we have spoken of many a time, fixed (and Royal) star Fomalhaut is positioned at 4 Pisces, a degree which asks us to live in this world but see the greater importance of what we do. When we do that, and when we are able to see that what we do matters, yes – we may get ‘shaken’ (or stirred, she says in her very best James Bond voice) by sensing the vastness of time and our own ability to ruin things (for ourselves and others) even when we don’t mean to.

And with Neptune at 3 Pisces, there’s a lot going on. 3 Pisces happens to be one of my favorite Sabian Symbols. Why, I’m not sure, but I think I just love the clarity and geography spoken of in the image: HEAVY CAR TRAFFIC ON A NARROW ISTHMUS LINKING TWO SEASHORE RESORTS. However you think of this Sabian Symbol, it seems to imply a.) a lot of other people, b.) some sort of congestion or a circumstance which is ‘tied up’…and those seaside resorts? They may represent choices or destinations or sources of pleasure. Or you might go with the more metaphysical concept of ‘where land meets water’ and the intersection of solid ‘mental ground’ and the tide-tossed waters of emotionality.

This image can also be thought of as something which ties two things together. For you that could be something as simple as a road. Or some philosophical concept such as your place in the great chains of human generations as the parent which ties your parents to your children - be that a cultural measure or as someone recognizing how the world changes, and has changed.

You may even think of this in terms of people (or positions) such as that of the newly elected Pope, who on a theoretical basis ties the Beyond to the Now - and how such people stand for more as an examples to us all, whatever you believe or don't believe in Catholic doctrine.

We are each and every one of us a link. We are each where the All of Existence becomes the One person - the 'us' - who has a chance to do good or fall into ills, or to serve witness in this world.   

However you think of it, Neptune’s presence in this degree denotes a time when our ‘reality boundaries’ about all such matters ‘dissolve.’ So where you may have had great clarity, you may now not feel so sure. Or maybe you haven’t felt sure at all but have been all angst-ridden about something. Now you may learn to do what you need to do without caring what it ‘looks like.’

This all connects rather well to Mercury’s position in 5 Pisces, as 5 Pisces is a degree which is at some level about ‘presenting an image.’ Yet with Neptune close by, why that image is presented may be the question.

Neptune is often associated with gurus, charity, spirituality and healing because it is a symbol of ego-denial. That ‘dissolving’ spoken of above is exactly that. Whatever your thoughts are, or your positions are or what you think you ‘know’ (all those things being symbolized by Mercury)…wherever you have fears connected to those things, or hopes which are just about wanting things to be ‘nice’ (or okay or devoid of strife) simply because you can’t bear to feel those “terrible feelings,” that’s where your biggest ‘tests’ are likely to occur.  Though I’m not trying to say something truly difficult or painful might not happen (it could, let’s face it), there’s a difference between dealing with the inevitabilities of reality and the fear connected to having to feel whatever feelings we attach to the idea of the thing.

That’s Neptune in Pisces. And when we throw in the mentality and communications side of Mercury, we get those who would escape reality and those who will realize that as was put by a far greater human being than myself (Franklin Delano Roosevelt), “there is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Fear is…our greatest fear. I know that sounds funny, but if you think about it, it’s true. What is going to happen will happen. How we feel about it is what makes some things so horrifying. For all the blood and gore in today’s movies, one of the best stories (and truisms) in all of Hollywood’s history comes from the master of tension himself, Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock knew that if you don’t show the act itself you can scare the audience in ways showing something on film will never reach. Why? Because each of us are afraid of different things. The functionality of our imagination (Neptune/Mercury) is far more powerful than reality.

So! Yes, this would be a great time to release a horror film which doesn’t show the gore, but ‘shadows’ it…letting us ‘know’ something terrible has gone one while letting us each fill in the blanks in our own gruesome way.

On another level, this ‘implying but not showing the whole truth (Neptune/Mercury) can be deceit. Or propaganda. Or lying.

Into all this comes Deneb, a fixed star greatly overshadowed (astrologically, at least) by Fomalhaut. Situated at 5 Pisces and thus exactly conjunct Mercury’s station, Deneb is part of the constellation Cygnus – the Swan.

  A Cygnus constellation map, including Deneb in the position of the swan's tail
(credit: copyright 2003 Torsten Bronger, used by CCR permission)

In the Greek stories, Cygnus is connected to Pisces through the idea of Zeus (Jupiter) having taken the form of a swan in seducing Leda, wife of a Spartan king named Tyndareus and the mother of none other than Helen of Troy…which apparently proves that even Greek gods are subject to Karma.

The swan is of course, a water bird. And through this Jupiterian-swan connector, we see that the Jupiter ‘wisdom of the choice’ (which is highly Piscean) can have huge, universal consequences.

But Cygnus – as a constellation – goes back beyond Things Greek. This means that when we move back to a time before the Hellenistic separation of intellect and emotionality into a time when there was no ‘science’ per se, just spiritual philosophies…the attempts by mankind to understand their world. All of this time has come down to us conceptualized as ‘early religion.’ But back then it seemed to have operated more as a unifying and universal shamanistic theory - an understanding of how Existence works as opposed to ‘rules, rituals and regulations’ to live by which is more akin to today’s rather codified religions.

Anyway…back then the image of the swan was somewhat akin to what we think of today as ‘the phoenix,’ if less in the death-and-rebirth ‘rising from the ashes’ mode (which would be Scorpio) and more in the ‘understanding you are part of Something Greater and that in being part of that Greater Thing have both the power to work good and the power to destroy.’

 Another amazing Hubble Space Telescope photograph, this one being of one of the stars in constellation Cygnus. Here the star is in one of its late phases of 'star life,' a stage where the star sheds its atmosphere into nearby space
(photo credit: ESA-Hubble-NASA, July 2010)

And to know that? To understand that in being part of the Whole and so very much a valid part of that Whole that you can really affect the whole – that we ALL can?

That’s pretty daunting. Even scary.

…There is nothing to fear but fear itself…

In the constellation of Cygnus, Deneb is the tail. With a bird, tails serve as stabilizers and rudders – they keep the even keel and help determine where the bird (our power) is headed. In Pisces, that’s the Jupiterian ‘in door’ decision to do something or not do it, to recognize the truth of it or to deny it, to relinquish the control and feel the feeling or to deny reality through the power of our ego.

And of course the tail is the last thing to leave ground. So we can remain rooted…or we can be grounded.  Which is it?

Deneb has a reputation for strong wills and strong tempers. With Mercury going direct here with Neptune so close by and with Chiron (vulnerability) positioned at 10 Pisces this would be a time when your own relationship to will and displays of will are likely to play out. Are you afraid of confrontations? Or maybe you’re someone who speaks their mind and lives to regret it?

Foot-and-Mouth is an animal disease. Foot-IN-Mouth is an all-too-common human habit!

Having Chiron in orb (within 5 degrees) to be conjunct Mercury and in the first of Pisces’ emotion-meets-emotionality degrees tells us this is a time when we will at least feel some sort of vulnerability. It may not be in present tense…meaning, this could be about guilt rising up to stick in your craw like a pill which won’t go down.

With Mercury going direct on the 17th, that means its ‘station window’ opens on the 15th, as the Moon moves into Taurus, rousing our feelings about self worth, the values of our values and our general security about our lives, whether that ‘security’ plays out on a physical, emotional, financial or whatever other level.
But then…just because the universe is a fun sort of place, then we get a little Yod thrown into our Mercury station party.

A Yod, you say?

Yes, a Yod.

Maybe you remember our discussing a Saturn Yod as part of the Saturn-going-retrograde discussion back in February?

Well, let’s just say that the first thing to consider with this next Yod moment includes the fact that Saturn is STILL sitting at 11 Scorpio.

So yes, that brings in all that energy we could associate with the fire aboard the cruise ship in the Caribbean…

Pope Benedict XVI announcing he was going to step down…

...anything which would in any way call our attention to a lack of ability or having reached our limits, or tests of tolerance along with our individual and collective sense of standards, all that is Saturn in Scorpio, which is now retrograde, or working from within.

Saturn's energy isn’t going to be quite as potent or focused now that Saturn has actually gone retrograde, but it’s still pretty darn thick. How you feel about it and what part of your life is being affected a lot or a little will depend on where Saturn is sitting in your chart and what it may aspect, of course.

But if Saturn is 'on' in your life, Saturn's having gone retrograde may actually feel even more intense. It may feel isolating or increase your sense of being burdened. Considering the sign here is Scorpio, there is an interactive quality to life which tests you - as all 'things Scorpio' will. And now, as Mercury goes direct, and especially as Mercury moves forward into orb to Saturn (which will start on March 21st and end on April 3rd)...this all becomes emotionally provoking.

It may not be overt, but the feeling's still there.

All if this effects us all at some level. Even if your chart isn't aspected directly by 11 Scorpio or by Mercury's going direct at 5 Pisces, you're living in a world which is being affected by the values - or lack thereof of others. You may feel some part of your life is being threatened in some way...or you may merely have to deal with others with grave concerns of some kind.

That's the funny thing about one level, Piscean issues are incredibly clear, and totally present. At another, they're impossible to define or pin down. And just that can be frustrating and upsetting, if not for us, to those around us. Many of the difficulties and isolation, the desperation and 'giving up' which is associated with this most universal and 'deep water' oceanic of water signs is the nebulous inability to convey ideas and feelings with clarity.

Or in some form others can deal with.

Acceptance lies at the heart of all Piscean situations. The accepting of love, the accepting of loss, the accepting of differences, the accepting of gifts. The acceptance that we have a responsibility to see and feel that which we know is true whether or not it 'feels good' or is popular. Accepting that no matter how close we will be to others than they're always someone else and that at some level we're all alone.

That's one of the hardest things we encounter with Pisces. And yet...we do have a chance to work our way through the 'traffic' of our thoughts or feelings or habits. 

Considering what's seems to be afoot now, we are all likely to be feeling a little separate...and perhaps in that be causing someone else to feel a bit more alone. And yet, it is when we are alone that we can so benefit from feeling ourselves think...exist...and feel.

Ah yes, another Piscean dichotomy.  

We should expect what we think, feel and hear to test our faith, our trust, our sense of reality, our capacity.

And just where ego gives way, that's where we'll find our greatest strength. But let's face it - the desire to know to define to predict is incredibly strong.
And then there's the Yod:

Obviously the fact that Saturn is involved in this Yod is why we should be drawing the mental (Mercury) line between now and Saturn’s mid-February station.

On the other hand, considering that Saturn and Mercury are both in water signs suggests emotionality. Or maybe emotional reactions which stem from realizing what we perhaps simply cannot do. Or cannot do anything about. Or maybe it’s about what we could do, but haven’t done.

With Jupiter being the ‘in’ door to Pisces and involved in this Yod, that brings all the Pisces questions up for grabs. So how well do you (Jupiter) know how your (Pisces) emotionality works? Do you (Jupiter in Gemini) really understand your mental capacity – or how emotions affect our ability to think things through, whether that’s you or someone else? How do your (Pisces/Scorpio) emotions and emotion-driven values affect what you choose to do or not do…or judge others or their opinions?

Do you even know what you think about something…or whether some subterranean (or submerged) emotional bias or emotional (Chiron) vulnerability or emotional (Pisces) fear is driving your (Gemini) choices?

And let’s remember…Jupiter in Gemini is FAMOUS for overstepping the bounds, going a little too far, talking out of turn, saying too much, leaping before we look – all that stuff. While we can use Jupiter in Gemini to force us past our own ‘I don’t want to go there boundaries,’ and in doing so perhaps discover important and useful things about ourselves or our world, this Yod, replete with its floating Plutonic sense of doom-versus-salvation can be a tough time.

In the above diagram, I’ve given you the dates of all three planet’s positions for the full duration that the Yod will hold, and the thing to understand is that the Yod isn’t a Yod UNTIL the third point (Jupiter) gets into 9 Gemini.

And yes, that was back on March 11th. But because Mercury rules Gemini, Mercury’s station is highly likely to ‘set off’ or evoke the issues involved.

Hence my noting it now, not before. But now the effects we would associate with the Yod are building - and being built into many daily moments of many kinds. So this would be the time to really consider it. This is a time to 'make a turn' in our thinking - that would be a primary image we would associate with Mercury going on station.

So what happens now we should probably consider long term. Or at least longer term.

The ‘rule’ with a Yod is that you solve the issue presented (whatever it may be) by going to the opposition of the point in the Yod.

That ‘point’ is Jupiter. And this is where this gets really interesting, as the Yod starts with Jupiter at 9 Gemini, the exact degree of Aldebaran, the fixed star which stands for integrity.

So it’s likely most people will simply get all stuck on the ‘integrity’ concept. But the point in opposition to 9 Gemini being 9 Sagittarius, that’s where we really should be looking.

Part One: 9 Sagittarius is occupied by another Royal Star (one of the four): Antares. Antares promises success IF and only if we avoid obsessions or becoming fixated. So obviously getting ‘fixated’ on integrity isn’t the way out of whatever happens now, even if Fomalhaut-Mercury-Neptune-Deneb-Chiron may manifest as our wanting to get up on our high haunches about the ‘right’ thing to do.

With Antares is Hebe, the sacred servant of the gods, which sort of gets back to that shamanistic bent we were talking about earlier. What this amounts to is a calling upon ourselves to feel the right thing and to know it’s right without insisting on it. Thus this Yod – and the Mercury station is greatly about being that which we are, that essence of universality.

For the more astro-technical among us I’ll point out why this would be: Antares/Hebe in Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, and Jupiter is in Gemini, which is ruled by Mercury. So in essence this station in particular is a flowing back and forth of an energetic which is about who we are, who we can be and how what and who we are and what we do affects the world that we – and ultimately those we love – live in.
Interpret that as you will.

This is where the Mercury station information – as such – ends. But for the sake of being thorough, it’s worth noting that as Jupiter moves into 10 Gemini on March 20th, Hebe will be moving with it.

Hebe by Laurent Marqueste (1848-1920)

This is a very subtle metaphysical idea of ‘service’ and our ability to (Gemini) choose what to ‘serve’ up to others in this world and in our lives, and that in doing so, we need to (Sagittarius) learn what works and what doesn’t work and correct our methods, course of actions and (yes,) choices accordingly.

By the time Jupiter reaches 11 Gemini, the opposition point is unoccupied – Hebe will be going retrograde at 10 Gemini on April 3rd (meaning its on station on the 1st), Which is rather a message in its own right.

That would tend to say this Yod, and what develops out of the lee of Mercury’s station (including what we learn as it goes direct) is all about recognizing who we are. That may happen through others. That may happen through assumptions melting away or rationales being debunked. To the degree that our egos get a workout (read: a dunk in that ghost pepper sauce) that may feel like it’s ‘about them’ or that ‘they did it’ or whatever. And whatever the acts or actions which spoon that salsa onto your tender ego may well be something you didn’t ask for and which you’re not in control of.

(Pisces, like its 4th zodiacal quadrant companions Aquarius and Capricorn, is like that.)

But the greater reason that life is handing you grapes divine or grapes sour now (or both) is about YOU. It’s about your learning more about you, including why you may not have recognized whatever until now.
All that in a nice, neat little Mercury station.

From which and through which we will evolve, yes.


  1. THANK YOU for being you and for sharing your universal gifts! I enjoy reading your passionate and astrologically fit blogs. They have opened new ways of thought and inspiration within. You have reached me and I wish for you to know that I am grateful.

    1. Thank you for being so kind as to stop and write such kind words. I am honored to be of assistance in this life!