by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mercury in Scorpio

The Perseus Nebula is about 1043 light years from Earth.
(photo credit: Spitzer Space Telescope - NASA JPL, Caltech,
L Cieza/University of Texas, Austin, October 2006)
When Mercury enters Scorpio on September 29th at 11:29 in the morning (UT/+0 time) it will be adding what we might think of as another ‘layer’ to the intensity and complexity of everything which is already going on in life. We’re all doing some ‘testing of the waters’ and we’re all experiencing some form of being tested.

Venus is already in Scorpio – and Venus will remain in Scorpio until October 7th. That means our desire quotient is more insistent than usual and now our thoughts are coming to bear on how we can have what we want…or…wait, is that really what I want?

This is the inward-versus-outward sort of effect this Venus/Mercury combination can truly have. And as we feel ourselves moving back and forth and back and forth between our personal yes-no-yes-no of wanting and realizing no, maybe I don’t want that, we’re all going to get a bit dizzied. Or maybe confused. And yes, certainly frustrated. After all, with the current Sun in Libra there’s some underlying sense that we should be able to make this work…and when it doesn’t work – or if someone disagrees with us or even causes us to feel like we’re being frowned upon, we’re likely to get all out of hand.

We think it’s them. It’s not. The weeks…no, actually the months ahead of Mercury in Scorpio are NOT about them. They’re about us. They’re about our ability to understand why we want what we want and why it’s so hard to change what we want even when it doesn’t work for us.

Even when it’s bad for us.

Even when it’s self destructive to want it or go after it.

Before I go any farther, I want to explain what I said back in that last paragraph about Mercury’s lengthy stay in Scorpio, because this is going to be a doozie of a traverse. Mercury enters Scorpio on the 29th, as stated. Then on October 1st, Mercury will cross the “invisible line” into the shadow of it’s upcoming retrograde. 

Yes, you heard me…Mercury is going to go retrograde in Scorpio. By the time it gets to doing that, it will have moved all the way up into Scorpio’s high ‘teen degrees – which is the most intense of this seriously fixed water sign.

Call it intensity intensified, and you just about have it. Just remember we’re talking about our mental attributes, our focus…and in particular, the emotionality we bring to any subject.

This is high stakes mentality we’re talking about. And let’s not forget that by nature Scorpio is an interactive sign – and that applies whether you’re interacting, or whether you’re totally anti-interactive. All signs have polarities and hardly anything is thought of as more polarizing than Scorpio, a sign which represents everything which can scare us out of out of our wits not necessarily because the thing itself is scary, but because the feelings we bring to the situation, to the transaction, to the event, to that moment when we face the music (so to speak) are scary to us because they mean so much to us.

Yes, Scorpio is the sign of war and conception and death. But Scorpio is as much a sign about reclamation as it is about destruction – so why do we all get the jitters when something Scorpio comes up?

Answer: because Scorpio anything is about letting go of control. Yes, you can try to control things – you can pick the finest surgery for the operation, you can build the very best weapons and supply the largest army the world has ever seen. You can discuss an investment and read up on market theory and prospectuses on the company and on and on and on.

But when it comes to Scorpio, there is a moment when you have to let go…or when by the very nature of the act or situation, things become unpredictable. They may go exactly as you predict. Then again, they may not. And it’s that exact Scorpio quality which gives us the queasiness, the nervous twitch, the moment of ‘what if’ which is so very, very Scorpio.

Mind you, Scorpio is also very tough. This is a sign about survival so while the prep and wariness goes on you will also feel yourself prepared to endure no matter what. In spite of anything. Scorpio fires our survival instincts like nobody’s business and that’s all well and good.

And that’s pretty much the point: the fear, the positioning, the shyness, the lust, the desire to win, the craving to control or not to have to be in control…all those Scorpio things are good OR bad depending on where we are with ourselves on our ability to survive.

Sometimes yes, this is physical survival. But most of the time, transits of Scorpio are about emotional survival, the making ourselves make it through no matter what comes along.

And let’s be real – there’s a lot of Scorpio action already in progress. We discussed Venus and that’s one part of the puzzle. But Saturn is also transiting Scorpio, and that’s a sure-fired signal that there’s a lot of important growth going on. There’s a lot to be done, and as much as our inner twinge might get to us, we know there are responsibilities we really have to be dealing with.

So in light of that…how much risk will we take?

The Nodes are counting down through Saturn’s first decanate degrees like some sort of space launch countdown. As Mercury enters Scorpio the North Node is at 8, and 8 Scorpio is a degree known for emotional glitches and our ability to outsmart ourselves through our very cleverness. Since the North Node is about relationships and how we need to pay attention, we can hope that the first few days of Mercury in Scorpio will have us focused on those areas where our attentiveness can do us the most good.

I just wouldn’t count on it. Yes, we can insist of ourselves that we do the right thing and in particular, do that Scorpio Thing and not assume we know what’s best for everyone without asking. Scorpio is a sign where we would like to impose our will simply because our emotionality is so strong it feels like invalidation to have to change.

Within a day of Mercury entering its shadow, the Nodes will move back a degree into 7 Scorpio – a degree noted for an indescribable and mysterious strength which appears either as charismatic...or an “alternative”…or even a "rebellious" form. With the North Node resting in this degree for the rest of October, the balance of Mercury’s transit of Scorpio (which is mysterious enough!) is going to like as not be an ocean of wanting to know what is best, wanting to know which is the right choice and wanting to both seize our power and not have to be in charge perhaps at all.

Once Venus moves in Sagittarius on October 7th the sense of what we just might be able to do lightens and brightens. We may not understand everything yet…but we’re likely to find the right questions to ask – and quite possibly the right person to pose those questions to. Providing we don’t get overly pushing about things, there’s good progress to be made in the week or so before Mercury reaches its station/retrograde point (on October 21st) but that ‘don’t push’ is going to push us – and our “buttons” pretty hard!

Pragmatism settles in as Mars hits Virgo on October 15th, at which point one of several things is highly like to be true. Some of us will be in the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ mode. But others of us are definitely going to be feeling stymied and stuck. You may not have the answer or enough information yet (which is very common just prior to a Mercury station)…or you may just not have the courage to decide something – most likely because you know your decision either means you’re ‘risking’ something…or because you out-and-out know that to decide in ‘this’ direction means ‘that’ will happen, but deciding in favor of ‘that’ means something else will happen.

Yes, this would be one of those ‘can’t I have my cake and eat it too?’ sorts of moments. And there is some chance that you might be able to have and eat cake, but you’ll never know unless you commit to one thing or another. And there is that pesky niggling point about how if you thought you were in trouble and it turns out you were simply driving yourself nuts, that’s a whole other brand of being wrong.

In other words…why DID you get so cornfuzzled? What in your psyche caused you to be fear driven? Where did you learn – and through what did you learn – to be so scared of being wrong about anything that dealing with that fact can freeze you in your tracks and lead to even more consequential results?

Ah yes…our mental life is such fun, isn’t it? And with a quick ‘don’t throw anything at me, please…’ the next item up for grabs is a Lunar Eclipse – this one being at 25 Aries on October 18th.

Can you say “wild card”? This is definitely a celestial wild card…with the emphasis on the ‘wild’ side. The nuances of the eclipse itself will be discussed a bit down the road, but just the fact that it is occurring with the Sun in the sign ‘behind’ that Mercury is in puts the Moon (our feeling self and sense of ‘how things are at the moment) in an 8th sign harmonic TO Mercury (below, in yellow) and a 6th sign harmonic FROM Mercury (below, in red).

And that makes the period going into and around the time of Mercury October 21st station/retrograde point a power struggle. Many of us will experience our struggles with something which has to do with what we’re working towards (i.e., that which will afford us the ability or power to move forward in our lives) while others of us struggle with someone…as still others of us struggle with our Self, trying to understand or become better aligned to being the person we know we need to be but have some problem with being.

Make no mistake: this is an intensely provocative moment. But what it’s intended to provoke is not some full scale war, but an awareness of what it means to be in interaction with other people. Or working with other people. Or just being on the planet with 7 billion-plus other people.

Once the Sun moves into Scorpio early on the 23rd (UT/+0 time) the reconciling of our mentality to reality (or to realities) begins in earnest. Life will present us with pressing situations which need negotiating in or carefully negotiating through and woe be to those of us who simply think we can stonewall life.

Yes, you may (MAY mind you!) be able to forestall effects for the moment. But not forever. And those who do evade, avoid or postpone the reality are going to earn what we might negative karmic points… which is a fancy way of saying dealing with whatever is not being owned now later on is going to cost you ever so much more.

And we ain’t just talking money here, buck-os!

So the solar eclipse rolls through on November 3rd, then Jupiter (still in Cancer) goes retrograde on November 7th, doing so at a degree which will trine Mercury’s station/retrograde point.

Not that Mercury will still be lurking there, no. But this should be taken as life’s way of ‘holding us to some point’ and making us mind whatever process is going on.

Or maybe we’ll just mind it a lot, if you take me.

Either way, that Jupiter trines Mercury’s station degree is sort of a la-dee-dah celestial way of saying ‘you thought this was going to be easy? Maybe not!’ which rather goes along with Mercury’s being in retrograde since hardly anything ever gets ‘settled’ under Mercury retrograde.

Then…at last…Mercury goes direct and by Wednesday November 27th, Mercury clears it’s shadow and goes toodling on about its Mercurial business just in time for retailers in the US to do  their boombox holiday business and for lots and lots of people to be traveling not just on Thanksgiving here in America, but throughout the world over the holidays as the Sun heads into Sagittarius on November 22nd (UT/+0 time) and life carries on.

But probably not as it was. Not quite. Between the Solar Eclipse in Scorpio and this rather long Mercury (aka Mercurial) transit of Scorpio, by the time December 5th rolls around and Mercury follows the Sun into Sagittarius, a lot of us will have found out a whole lot more about who we are – and in particular, how well our ‘who we are’ quotient functions when it comes to making decisions, creating alliances and…to paraphrase a well known line, how well we do unto others, since between the things which go into how we do unto them and how where we stand with ourselves determines who we do what unto…how well all of that is working.

Here’s to our recognizing our errant ways – and to the courage and fortitude it not only takes to change us, but to go back and make amends with whoever we might have treated rather badly along the way.

They say ‘to err is human…to forgive, divine.’ Too often we tend to think that’s about forgiving ourselves and just moving on. But where Scorpio is concerned…or I should say especially where Scorpio is concerned (not that anything is scot-free under any other sign) the interactive nature of the energetic requires that we purify ourselves and then connect (or reconnect) and purify that connection. 

Or the process of connecting.

If you’re familiar with Tantra, this is akin to Tantric liberation. Tantra is not just about sex, though many think of it that way. Tantra and Tantric processes are about harmonic alignments and the ‘fine tuning’ of our beings which, through the accessing of our energetics and the matching of what we might call a ‘vibrational frequencies’ allow us to dissolve barriers which lie within us - and between our Self and another (Tantric sex or intimate Tantric unity) - and between our Self and our world.

Seen in this light, the universality of Tantra is very much akin to the universality of the unbounded whole which is Pisces.

Thus because Scorpio as our depth of emotional experience is found as a 9th harmonic – the sign through which we learn or expand our horizons – from Pisces…it is through this that we come to understand that the ‘alliance’ which allows us to access or unlock our Tantric Self and our Tantric experiences with others (which would include our fullest expanse of Scorpio power and personal transformation and transformative experience) is initiated through a “Libran” pathway which requires openness of our Self and to our Self. It requires not the ‘appearance’ of beauty but the willingness to be beautiful in the integrity of our being…which coming from Pisces includes the admission of our fears, our flaws and our humanity.

Scorpio has always been seen as the sign of that power which allows us to understand and reclaim our inner sense of vibrant being. While Mercury is traversing Scorpio during these days of an unfolding solar eclipse cycle, we have a singular opportunity to see without and look within…and thus find that we need to know in order to empower our moving on into greater growth.

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