by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mercury Goes Direct

 A statue of Mercury in Bratislava
(photo credit: Peter Zeliznak, April 2009)

As of Saturday, July 20th at 6:23 in the evening UT/+0 time, Mercury will go direct at 13 Cancer. That means the window for station effects opens as this post goes up on July 18th…and ‘closes’ again on July 22nd.

During this time, we can expect the metaphorical Mercurial breeze to be making itself particularly known, particularly if our natal chart…or the chart of the company with which we work…or the town or nation in which we live…has any particular placement which ‘answers’ to the degree of this station.

By ‘answers’ I mean the following:

With regards to any planet, cusp, node or important object between
15 and 25 degrees of any of the cardinal signs:
Cancer, Libra, Capricorn or Aries...

These are the ‘hard’ aspects, the word “hard” meaning more challenging to work with. The Cancer conjunction will feel personal (especially since it’s in an emotional sign all about feelings!), the Capricorn opposition will bring up questions of acceptance, acceptability and everything which triggers ambitions or insecurities (which sometimes appear so, so similar!) and the two squares (Libra and Aries) represent factors which need factoring in. Maybe you’re just “getting to that step in a process”…and maybe you just didn’t take something into account. Squares of any type are life’s way of getting us to think in not so linear a fashion. It’s as if life is saying ‘it’s not so simple’ or pointing out the value of slowing down and appreciating the fullness of things as they occur.

With regards to any planet, cusp, node or important object between
18 and 22 degrees of Sagittarius, Aquarius, Gemini or Leo...

Sagittarius and Leo are fire signs, and fire signs are all about the sliding scale which at one end is ‘the vision’ and which at the other is ‘the expectation.’ The difference between these being all about our ‘emotional mindset’ (if you will), Mercury doing its turnabout in Cancer may well raise exactly this…reminding us that expectations, like the vision which we confuse with reality, leads to disappointments. Visions are meant to inspire, not replace reality. Situations and realizations which now prick our mental balloon and force us to be more realistic aren’t fun – but they do offer a way forward with new lessons learned, lessons which well may yet lead to future achievements.

On the Aquarius and Gemini side we’re dealing with the idea or the theory, against which Mercury’s station in Cancer is akin to life’s rubber hitting our mental road. Temporary burnout, the burning of bridges, burning brain cells (or midnight brain oil)…all can be part of the process here as we reconcile ourselves to having to deal with reality. In that process, Mercury in Cancer represents our frustration, our wanting things to work differently.

Except they don’t work differently. Sometimes the ‘idea’ isn’t the reality. And that’s what we have to adjust to. Skinned egos and bruised momentum incurred during this time hurts like heck, but despite whatever our ouches are telling us, all is not lost.

With regards to any planet, cusp, node or important object between
17 and 23 degrees of Taurus or Virgo…or between 15 and
25 degrees of Scorpio or Pisces:

These are the ‘easy’ aspects to this Mercury station. But don’t kid yourself – they aren’t all benign. Scorpio and Pisces are the trines here, and far from being the ‘pleasant’ aspects Victorian astrology would have had us all think, all trines mean is ongoing. And let’s remember, there’s already an ‘ongoing’ water trine between big boy planets Neptune, Saturn and Jupiter in progress.

However…there is some light, even if what we’re doing is looking up, up, up through what seems like acres of water to where dancing sunlight promises freedom, options and air.

This goes to the idea that Mercury’s station are always about a ‘turn of thought’ or our ability to alter our trajectory, path, methodology or rationale, which here happens to be focused through the feeling-memory-sensibility and (oh yes) money-as-means-to-survive sign of Cancer. For you, that money thing may be about what you have to survive with. Or it may link here to what you do to earn that money. Or what you do with your money in order to have, protect or create a foundation for all else.

As opposed to the trines, Taurus and Virgo are sextiles – the happiest of all aspects in astrology, if aspects which get little to no press.

Sextiles represent opportunities. Sextiles aren’t the open door, but the having the address where there’s a door you could go to an open. That astrologers and devotees of astrology don’t think much about opportunities really says things both good and bad about human beings…how on one hand we tend to take things for granted, and how on the other we are so afraid of change.

I had an amazingly telling conversation with a young professional just recently. This thoroughly likeable person had not only finally finished his degree and passed his certification exams, but had almost instantaneously got invited into a firm where he could begin to build what will eventually be a substantial life in the big world of business, commerce and human transacting. (Yes, I have his chart. He has huge potential.)

So what does he say to me? I really need to begin dealing with things. But who really wants to grow up?

Like I say, humans don’t like change. He didn’t ask me (and I was taken off guard by his comment, frankly) but even if he knows he can accomplish just about anything he wants to providing he’s willing to work for it and take on ownership of his trajectory in life…will he do it?

Some of us just don’t want to take on carving our futures. For that matter, even our present.

The sextiles given here connect earth with Mercurial water. So the idea of what am I going to MAKE of this….moment? Situation? Opportunity?…has the ‘making’ part of the equation representing whatever symbol we have in earthy Taurus or Virgo set against the waves of Mercurial vacillation brought up by this Cancer station.

And again…all of this, even for those of us who have not a shred of anything aspected by this station…all of this is taking place in a world awash with situations emotional and emotional provocation. No matter who we are, no matter where we live, things we don’t (Neptune) understand, things we want to feel (Jupiter) better or good about, things which we need to work for us and work in (Saturn) general all seem in flux.

Are they? Or is this time, this moment, month and year simply part of the evolving continuum?

My answer…which I give you to with all wryness implied, all empathic channels invoked and all awareness set to ‘acceptance’ says ‘probably all of the above.’

Amzinybe (Eternity) by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1907)

So where is this station happening? The degree is 13 Cancer, a degree known in lore as one which is perceptive in the utmost, blatant to the point of disquieting and quick to grasp and perceive inner meanings. These notes from lore are particularly interesting (and probably telling) in that they refer specifically to mental function coming from Cancer, an emotional sign. So does this mean that our thoughts will be emotional? Or that the information which is evidently dealt with in such a facile manner at this time provokes emotion or evokes memories or stirs up all those Cancerian cultural or familial or childhood ‘settings’ we all grow up having installed in our psyches and hearts?

Probably. And of course there is that ‘standard’ station concept about before-the-station versus after-the-station to take into account. Anything which occurs around the time of any station appears to be more important to us…which given Mercury might be better more about making a deeper impression on us. Things which happen going into a station often have yet to play out ‘in full.’ Things which happen after the moment of station exactitude often pertain to things which have already happened – the playing out of that, or what happens (or occurs to us) as a result of something prior.

Then we add in the idea that Cancer is not only the first of the water signs…AND the fact that in terms of zodiacal order and the ‘natural’ zodiac wheel, Cancer is the first of the reactive signs. Whether you think of this as emotional responses or how reactions based or built on experience (or cultural orientation or personal history) Cancer is always about the me, the I, the most basic sense of being.

And where we find Cancer in our personal natal chart, that tells us many things about where and how and through what sorts of experiences we are affected by…and how we go about learning how or why or when we’d react on this level. Or come to understand ourselves and where we ‘come from’ in our lives in a better and more clarified sense. I have a friend who has Cancer on the 12th house. He learns about his own feelings through his spirituality – through feeling himself as one person among many, and but a tiny part of the universal whole.

I feel for him. His love/hate relationship with being simultaneously totally individual and but a spec in the cosmos confounds him. And well it should…there’s nothing tougher than our 12th house lessons. The same joy of release so many feel in accepting that there is a Greater Power or a universal function beyond our being can scare the willies out of us when we realize that we are but a grain on one of a million beaches which front…and confront…the eternal flow of time and space becoming. This 12th house position also says that though he will be ‘imprinted’ (if you will) by the sign on his 4th house natal like we all are, he will learn about who that Self is in terms of emotional basics (the Cancerian archetype) last of all.

For him, that emotional self-knowledge comes last. It’s in some senses the ‘why’ he goes through many a process.

Whatever sign is on the native house of Cancer (your 4th natal house) is how you get colored. It will describe the attributes which color your most native, feeling world. Where the sign of Cancer falls is where you learn about that.

And those are two very different things. (Alas, right?)

Being that astrological signals are both objective and subjective, there’s the simple and straight-on sort of experiencing of personal revelation which now may come to light. Or maybe you’re someone who will now meet up with events which prompt some sort of Cancerian insight.

As for astrological specifics, Mercury’s going direct a degree off Sirius’ position is a plus, as Sirius is known as a star all about ‘brilliance.’ And since Mercury will have backed over Sirius just prior to going direct, that rather backdates the glimmerings of brilliance date all the way to July 13th – or if you’re into orbs, some sort of ‘dawning of brilliance’ (or ‘seeing the light,’ perhaps) which was experienced during a ‘reflective’ Mercury retrograde phase anywhere since July 6.

Moral: never underestimate a Mercury retrograde. It isn’t all about losing your keys, car breakdowns, waiting for someone to get back to you and such. It can also be a potent time when by experiencing that slowdown…or by simply stopping to think, to reflect, we recognize that thing which was probably waiting to be discovered all along.

Once Mercury goes direct, it will move forward and again conjunct Sirius on its way to moving on into other realms, other decanates, other signs and districts of the zodiac.

But here, at this station it’s in a grand trine (yes, another one) with the North Node in Scorpio and Chiron / Achernar in Pisces. And with the North Node conjunct Medea and more-than-substantially sized asteroid Psyche, that we may meet up with some aspect of our mentality (Psyche) and in particular those parts of it we damage ourselves (Medea) by being over-invested in (or not letting go of) is more than an echo of the idea that sometimes we just can’t help but get in our own way.

And (Chiron – Achernar) how we are going to do that over and over again until we simply decide to do something different…or differently. With Chiron in this mix, the ‘not knowing how to’ quotient stands our loud and clear, if not helpfully. About the only thing to say here is that as humans (and not mythic figures such as centaur Chiron) we have the ability to direct ourselves along a new path, even though it may not be comfortable and may not feel even vaguely native to our being.

As someone who feels these influences as deeply and thoroughly as anyone else might, I sympathize for our lot as humans. Chiron being involved in this grand trine suggests that as long as we refuse to walk through that long, dark, scary mental tunnel towards the thing we “don’t know how to do” we’ll never learn how to do it.

That’s terrible. It’s scary. But what’s our choice?

Having said earlier on how sextiles are opportunities, the sextile to the Taurus South Node and Menkar is the obvious ‘out’ – the “opportunity” we may feel (or think) we have to simply do the easy thing. Or continue on doing what we know or have already learned how to do. Any Taurean reference conjures up the question of security and thus our so-called ‘comfort zone.’ And with Menkar involved, who’s to say we can’t be effective if we just keep on doing what we’re doing?

The answer to much of that would seem to be posed by TNO Deucalion sitting with Psyche, the North Node and Medea. Deucalion being a Trans-Neptunian Object which speaks to our finding the moral way to be who we are (i.e., fulfill our human potential) that’s probably the biggest clue to this whole Mercury station.

That the moral thing is to do what we need to do (that North Node thing) – whether we want to, like to, or even feel we (Chiron) know how to, is now our challenge most moral.

Some of us will take it on. Some of us won’t. Some of us are likely to feel judged for what we do, while some of us are will feel judged because we choose to do nothing. Some of us will own our feelings and responsibilities while some of us continue to project, ignore, deflect and abdicate.

The reasons…the feelings we do any of that however, all that is in – and comes from our minds.

And that’s the Mercury in Cancer point.


  1. Wow, such a lot of insight and thought provocation there. I'll probs have to read it a couple of times, but i wanted to say, THANKYOU for this post and, all the photos are wondrous. PS my natal moon is 6 Scorpio and this water trine has felt beautiful and exciting to me!


    1. My 7 Scorpio Moon is happy to say 'you're welcome!' to a 6 Scorpio Moon!

      Everyone I know with water sign planets and nodes is feeling this shift particularly deeply in their water/emotional souls. The compounding of Uranus-Eris-Mercury stations this week seems to have 'punched up' effects as well. One would have to think the current 'sequence' "turning" on Mercury's station in water (Cancer) would point to inner revelations and the sort of 'grounding into emotional Reality' of things which up until now have seemed more or less amorphous.

      Thanks for the compliments on the images, too. I have a friend up in Canada who runs a blog there and early in my blogging 'career' she commented on how finding the right image can take longer than writing the blog. At the time I laughed, but as I've continued to write here online I've come to realize the value of finding that 'right image' and taking the time to frame and present it with care.

      That which we do in life it pays to do well, I guess!

      Thanks again - and thank goodness Mercury is going direct, I say!

    2. As a 10 Scorpio Moon (or is it 11, or do we know yet?), can I jump in here? I agree with Debbie on all compliments to this Master Blogger and the fact that I will have to digest this more than once! This is not skimming material. I am in awe... breathless even, yet again. Wow!


    3. It's 10 Scorpio - and yes, you can always jump in. (No, wait...this Mercury retrograde has manifested as all SORTS of Blogger oddities!)

      I hadn't thought of myself as Mistress Blogger, but it's a thought! The most blog-worthy name I've been dubbed with prior to now is 'Sorcerer Mentorus'...which reminds me - I really must go out on the castle catwalk and feed my griffins! :)

  2. Thanks for explaining some of the aspects. I’m wondering if we can interpret aspects the same way when similar aspects are made by a transiting planet. Aspects in your birth charts are qualities you are born with or familiar with (if you believe in reincarnation probably those are qualities – good and bad-- you have developed over many life times). But when a planet is aspected by a transit you are given an opportunity to feel it for a short while, but it is not something you are familiar with. So it could go either way (a difficult or an easy transit) regardless of whether it is a trine or a square?

  3. Aspects made by transiting planets can be 'events,' 'processes' or evolutionary signals which time out both things which happen and personal growth, maturation, development, challenges - all that. It depends on your chart and how that's organized - and what planet is doing the transiting.

    By and large, with the exception of stations made by personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars) their transits represent daily doings and such. They CAN indicate a 'major life change' but if they're going to do that, you'll see them acting as a "trigger" for a major transit (cast by a planet from Jupiter on out) which is either in progress at the time (doing multiple passes via retrogrades) or shown as exact within a week to ten days. The Sun is often seen as a trigger, as in "life" manifesting something which has been lurking in the metaphysical weeds (or flower bed!), if you will.

    As for trines versus squares in particular, though trines get all the good PR, astrologers have repeatedly shown that when natal squares get activated OR during a time when a major planet creates a transiting square to some object in your chart that big advances get made in life. The extenuation of this is that thing no one really glories in - the charts of many of the most accomplished people are natally marked by t-squares, which are notoriously difficult to master.

    This is all to your statement 'you are given an opportunity to feel it for a short while' which is not necessarily true in my experience. Often times a transit will - yes - mark a moment of DEPARTURE from the norm (that you are referring to as being 'not something you are familiar with') but many of us either remember moments of transit (especially one-time transits cast by major planets which manifest as events)...or we go on living that 'new' life because the transit timed out a true change in our state of being or life as a whole.

    On the subject of reincarnation astrology, I don't know if you're familiar with this, but there is a whole body of lore which says that the reason why we are so 'comfortable' with the South Node is that it represents a past life and is thus "what we know" and thus find easy. There is also a convention of reading past (and future) lives by using your current as a base: if you read your natal chart using the 12th house as the Ascendant, that is allegedly your past life...and if you read your natal chart with the 2nd house as the Ascendant that would be your next life.

    Obviously these are concepts - but I have noticed patterns when I have examined the South Node of a chart (and its ruler, and the ruler of the cusp of the house in which that South Node is place), and the reading of the chart from the 12th house as Ascendant.

    One last word here, that being on transits in general. Though it's only written to use/include 'standard' planets, Rob Hand's book "Planets in Transit" is still THE primer for transit work. There's also a book on using the Nodes to think through past lives called "Karmic Astrology" by Schulman. I don't know if this last book is still in print but "Planets in Transit" absolutely is.

    Does this answer the question? If not, give me a little clarification on what's still fuzzy and we'll tackle it again!

    1. Thanks for your answer and all the information!!

      I asked this question because unlike natal charts, transits are somewhat difficult to understand. During the same transit you can see some people being recognized for their accomplishments and some becoming murderers –regardless of whether it is a hard or a soft aspect. Thanks for all the info about books.

      You are right about a transits not being just an opportunity to feel it for a short while. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to learn about ourselves deeper and evolve. As you said depending on our natal chart it could trigger some events to help us in this process – maybe squares are relentless in making sure we learn the lesson and hence the bad PR .Through that process, perhaps we are in the process of creating new squares, oppositions, sextiles and trines for our next life….. So I’m not sure about being able to predict out future life from our birth chart. If the lessons we are here to learn are dictated by fate then that is true, but if the fate only intervenes to open an opportunity to learn the lesson and the rest is up to free will then that cannot be true. I would like to think it is the latter because I have a hard time believing some of us are here to learn our lessons through killing another human being….

      Thanks again for your answer and all your wonderful blogs!!!

    2. Mercury is on station and (probably predictably!) I'm having trouble posting a full response to your comment.

      I'll wait it out and try again later.


  4. (Under the heading "try, try again...")

    To conceive of a birth chart as an 'image' of our initial manifesting in time/space as one of billions of 'wheels within wheels' (as the Maya put it) which function as 'What Is' is to realize that AS human beings who are endowed with a measure of choice, with that goes a Saturn/Capricorn-like responsibility to (Gemini) think things through and make responsible choices. Astrologically this recalls the 6th harmonic between Capricorn and Gemini and thus the requirement that we accept the effort (Saturn self-discipline) that it takes to make that choice properly and reach our (Capricorn) goal.

    Those past-and-future life thoughts I offered you simply because such teachings exist and you mentioned something which got me on that track. But as interesting as past and/or future lives might be, it's obvious that 'the Now' and our current life is what we should - and do - live in. All this comes down to our natal chart - indeed any chart, be it natal, return, event, Davison/relationship - they are all Fate in the sense that they are our starting place. But because there are rulerships and pluses and minuses of each degree, object, aspect, sign, etcetera, that says we DO have choice.

    Thus what is handed us is Fate - what we DO with it is Free Will. Even those who choose to do nothing are choosing - their choice IS to do nothing. Esteemed astrologer (and all around nice guy) Robert Hand said it best: "use the energy wisely, lest it use you unwisely."

    As for transits, I think we see them a little differently, which is fine. You seem to be expressing a 'creation' concept where I see transits as that which on one level speak to focal energies flowing through a particular part of our 'circuitry,' and which alternately speak to the 'time of our lives' when things will happen - or when we will pass that opportunity by. In part I think this is supported by the idea that many of us have personal "projects" or growth cycles which take years upon years to come to fruition, culmination, defeat or completion. Transits mark beginnings, ends and mid-point 'shifts'; they are signs of energetic clockwork 'striking the hour' or 'clicking over into the next phase.'

    But yes, I think transits are about personal evolution. And we don't evolve until we are ready to evolve. It's a sobering fact that many need to go through much darkness and pain in order to 'become ready' to change entrenched ways. But that's part of being human: though we would like to think we glory in love and acceptance, many of us only gain wisdom through pain, loss and those various deprivations which get us past our sticking points to where we are (Pisces/Neptune) willing to accept the reality that Reality is NOT nirvana - and that it's perfectly okay in spite of that.

    As for why one person killer with a knife and another becomes a surgeon who saves lives, that's a skill one can learn. If you haven't studied Sect (nocturnal versus diurnal charts), that's where I would start. The only book on Sect I know of is "Night & Day: Planetary Sect in Astrology" (Golden Hind Press)...and surely there are recorded lectures to be found through any of the big astrological organizations (links to which are in the sidebar). Put simply, and this was the example used in the original lecture I attended on Sect - without Sect we cannot know Hitler is Hitler. With Sect we see who Hitler is.

    Obviously I support learning such techniques. But I also acknowledge how until a student is ready, the teacher may or may not appear with the REAL key being the moment when a student submits their willfulness to 'do it my way' to their OWN recognition that 'their way' isn't enough. That is the key to willingness, change and learning - a lock the student unlatches.

    I hope you and your friends benefit even to a small extent from what I am able to do here at astroPPM. Namaste.


    1. Thanks. I’ll check out some of the links and books you have mentioned. I'm somewhat new to astrology....

    2. If you're new, then I wholeheartedly recommend Rob Hand's book "Planets in Transit." Rob also wrote a book called "Horoscope Symbols" which in my opinion is one of the great (if seldom talked about) astrology texts on the 'why it works as it works' side of astrology.

      Against that, the material on Sect is more advanced - which brings up a whole other subject. Having taught astrology to a few and served as an astrologer-mentor to others, my most earnest suggestion is that you build your knowledge sequentially. Techniques and new points and all that are so fascinating and tempting but they can only ever work to the extent that we understand the basics.

      But this does suggest what might be a good idea - and which I put to you because we've been chatting here (of course anyone else can vote too!)...would it be useful to you if I wrote up a list of books with comments on their level and subject here on the blog?

      Thanks for being in touch!