by Boots Hart, CAP

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mercury in Capricorn

An English country lane in Autumn
(photo credit: Jongleur100, 2008)
From late September to December we all lived through the intensity of Mercury in Scorpio. Compared to that, the couple of weeks of Mercury in Sagittarius were a fling. A gallop. A blink and a flight and a chuckle and a time when time was doing one of the things time does best – flying by.

Of course there is the fact that during Mercury’s December 5th through 24th transit of Sagittarius Uranus also went direct. Uranus on station always requires flexibility and with this one all caught up in things Mars, that flexibility was in high demand (along with the need to direct your focus, lest your focus end up getting you into trouble, directly).

In that sense, Mercury in Sagittarius couldn’t have come at a better time – even if the down side of Mercury in Sagittarius tends to be overstepping bounds and things getting out of hand.

Maybe in the cosmic/karmic sense had we been any more confined or self-restricted than we were (if Mercury had still been in Scorpio, for example) we would have only made things worse. Life’s opportunities do tend to want to provide for us, we just have to be willing to avail ourselves of that ultimately good thing which may not be the easy thing.

And sometimes not even the likely-seeming thing.

So Venus went retrograde on the 21st – in Capricorn, setting the stage for six weeks of trying to get something better from ourselves, not others. This is support-of-self time – and considering Mars having moved into Libra (sign of relating through interactions) on December 7th we’re in for weeks yet of having to deal with people knowing they don’t know (and for some, care) what we’re all ‘about’ at the moment.

Is that true? Maybe or maybe not, but anything life can pull to get us to pull back to a place where we’re considering how we may need to change considering how everything in our lives has changed – of late and otherwise – that’s what life is going to come up with.

This Venus-Mars Capricorn-Libra square is likely to manifest in all sorts of things which bog us down, tie us up, totally bug us and otherwise force us to focus on things which well may need doing and which may even benefit us in time.

But it’s not what we WANT.

Venus and Mars both relate as ‘modifiers’ of our feelings and emotions, so to have them in square with one (Venus) in retrograde suggests having to put something which makes sense over personal preference.

So what do we stand to get from that? A whole grumpy planet. :(

And then Mercury enters Capricorn. The date? December 24th, which would be just as Mars and Uranus are nearing the crispy crackle of their potentially enlightening, perhaps invigorating and just possibly unnerving opposition. There will be some who react to this shift by getting serious – and it is to be expected that some odd ‘last minute’ Christmas/holiday maneuvers will go into gear with just hours to go before midnight.

Then again, this combination may mark travel difficulties. And for a few, depression – intermittent or otherwise – or depression’s far more manageable cousin, disappointment. The first days of this transit are likely to be the most difficult what with the working through of Mars/Uranus, but after that it may well simply be useful to think of this transit as the collected sort of ‘realistic’ thinking, communicating and/or organized efforts we need to be focused on now so as to make the best of Venus retrograde.

The positive here is that Mercury in Capricorn is a credence to us that we can make a difference in our own life and as pertains to our own goals – as ikky as we might think the process of reaching them may be. Throughout these weeks moments and situations and things simply become clearer than ever, for whatever reason.

With the Sun, Mercury, Pluto and Venus all in Capricorn that’s a lot of drive. Determination. Willpower. It’s all about getting down to whatever represents the structure, the idea, the construct upon which we can build and have what we build last. A good number of us will spend at least part of these weeks working towards ‘proving’ something (to self or others) while others will be waiting something out. Neither is right or wrong provided your aim isn’t manipulative. In other words, if you’re taking some stand because you believe in it, that’s fine. But if you’re taking some stand because you are hoping someone else will ‘see your point’ (or otherwise ‘see the light’), that’s not likely to go all that well; either the point won’t get made or whatever you will have done to make that point will set you back in your own life in terms of everything you need to do.

This whole period – meaning the eight long(ish) months that will see Mars through Libra (a sign ruled by Venus, let us remember) is going to be hard for many of us. By generation, the Baby Boomers (Pluto in Leo) are going to be hell-bent on doing what they think they need to do in the world – and please, don’t try to distract them, lest you hurt yourself in the effort. Under Mercury in Capricorn, the Baby Boomers are always likely to take on too much…and yet, since only that which works for everyone is going to work for them, that’s a bit of a problem. This is a headstrong generation which is fine when pursuing their own goals if a little short on the ability to see the issue when others see things differently.

And yes, they’re going to get a few opportunities to do some of that seeing over these next few weeks.

All this will be going on as Pluto in Virgo peopled are continuing an ongoing shift from the way they want things to work to the way they will work if one is willing to make a few changes. Like Pluto in Scorpio, Pluto in Virgo is a generation used to taking its cues from what goes on around them and in the world which Mercury in Capricorn certainly supports, even if the changing world denoted by Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Virgo is forcing this generation to rearrange their thinking and methodologies.

To Pluto in Virgo people, Mercury’s transit of Capricorn is a time to figure things out. With Venus retrograde in Capricorn, not only can hasty decisions can be wasteful but what is to be gained by thinking things through is not to be ignored.

The Pluto in Scorpio-Gen Y folks will also be having a time of things for this next while, but their challenge is less about changing who they are than it is about dealing with the actualities and realities of who they are…and perhaps some limit or constraint that puts on some plan.

(Or at least how you had thought said plan was going to work, that margin of error being your next little clue in the puzzle.)

Then there’s the Millennial Pluto in Sagittarius tribe – which is having a hassle of a whole different kind, namely the difference between their idea of how the thing should be and how they just plain are. Venus retrograding in Capricorn is likely to manifest in any number of momentary (or even protracted) struggles with ‘being satisfied’ along with frustrated ‘not liking this’ moments when said Pluto in Sag person isn’t satisfied.

The good news here is that these next few weeks of Mercury in Capricorn is going to have Millennials focused on their own business, which will be quieter, if not any less of a concern. Over the next few months this generation is going to for whatever reason and by whatever means begin ‘hearing’ some wider and broader concerns. How Millennials react to such information mirrors how well internally balanced they are when it comes to internalized security (the structured Self) versus a capacity to rely on those around them.

You may have noticed that I skipped Gen X, the lovely, airy, Pluto in Libra group. That’s because the next eight months of Mars in Libra is going to be a trial if a blessing to Gen X in which this Mercury in Capricorn transit brings a perspective on others which causes the native to reassess who they are (differentiation from the other) while (hopefully) processing the ‘why’ of the basic “attraction” whether the term ‘attraction’ is meant in the human/personal sense or the metaphysical like attracts like (and) what you put out comes back to you sense.

For the whole of this passage Mercury will be in what’s known as a ‘whole sign square’ to Mars with this particular square linking Mercury in earth (the facts) with Mars/Libra as the “desired/desirable aim” inclusive of any blessings or problems you have gone on at the moment.

This square – like any square – is asking us to bring these two factors not into “oppositional” balance, but dynamic balance. Mars is in an interactive sign (Libra) so the idea and/or means is ‘the idea’ of the thing involved and thus how it is expressed.

Or not expressed, of course. Just as in Gemini to not make a choice is to choose not to choose, in Libra not dealing with the other person or the issue is a valid relationship action. So whether we now choose to do or not do something – or anything – in, to, about or through the process of interacting with others (specific or generic others both qualifiy) that is what you are doing.  And just as dealing with our responsibilities and taking ownership of what we do and why we do it – or at least being darn certain that we know why we’re doing something in our own terms before we ‘go public’ whether in word or deed, so Mercury in Capricorn puts us into a mode and mood where we become highly aware of life in the Big World and indeed our life in the Big World as a matter of our ability and willingness to structure our lives not as an image, but as a reality.

A copper engraving of Mercury dating from 1597

Where we lack and where we are lacking – most of all as people – Mercury in Capricorn defines influences which will give us reasons to strive or deliver grief (of some kind) because we’ve so cut back on the reality of what we stand for in our own daily lives.

This Mercury/Mars square tightens to exact through the New Years Eve/New Years Day when in squaring Mars from 11 Capricorn, Mercury is also conjunct Pluto.

This is a potent and powerful moment. Pluto and Mercury will be at 11 Capricorn and the Sun at 10 Capricorn as the Moon enters Capricorn on New Year’s Eve at 6:02 in the evening UT/+0 time.

(Someone wrote to ask me what ‘UT’ is. For information’s sake it’s ‘Universal Time,’ a “+0” time zone designation outside of any jurisdiction and therefore not subject to any tinkering.)

All of this means yes, there will be a New Moon on New Years – it will be at 10 Capricorn with Klotho (beginnings, initiations), Kallisto (persevering through the worst of it and charismatic fixed star Vega.

That doesn’t sound like fun, does it? And then we add in Mercury-Pluto, which has a (rather notorious, actually) reputation for obsessive thoughts/thinking and persuasive or manipulative communications. Mind you, this could mean you’re Sherlock Holmes or a fabulous orator or something. And since 10 and 11 Capricorn both tend to refer to the ability to get things done, this Mars/Mercury square could be just that – getting something which requires a lot from you into gear. Or to fruition – something. With Venus retrograde, any ‘something’ is going to not feel right and you should not expect it to. At the moment the expectation of what you thought ‘would happen’ is taking away from the Mercury/Capricorn energy you could be using to understand what has happened or what you could make happen.

And that is just the thing. If you think things through you may well realize that while what’s on the table may not be your idea(l), it may well be…indeed you may know it is a path to the thing you want.

This brings us back to that Venusian issue of values and that conflict between the idea of the thing and what it is.

You know…Mars in Libra, Mercury in Capricorn.

Good luck!


  1. I have natal Chiron at 11 degrees Capricorn. I plan to stay flexible during the holiday season and be available for whatever shows up. This article makes me feel like drama is on its way!

    Thank you for your articles over the past year. They have helped me digest rather tough times.

    1. From what you're saying, I think your plan is a good one. I don't know about everyone else, but your comment about 'drama being on the way' hit home for me this morning as I no sooner got up and checked my email than drama was delivered on a platter!

      I guess I should be grateful it was a la carte...hmmm....

      In any case, I'm glad I have been able to offer some useful thoughts. Chiron at 11 Capricorn will teach you how to think and the importance of thinking, I'm sure. Try to remember it's not the 'thing' which is the problem, it's your feelings about and regard towards 'the thing.'

      Merry happy - be well!

    2. Merry, Happy to you as well! Glad we're ordering a la carte this time around. I'm a Sag with natal Uranus at 17 degrees Cancer and my Moon at 20 degrees Cancer. It's an extensive and intensive menu, but I've narrowed it down - I'd like the lemon meringue pie to close out the meal. What? You're out of lemon meringue. Do you have apple?

      Blessings in the New Year - once again, thanks for your writing. I cannot imagine the amount of time it takes to produce these articles, as well as the fine, supportive graphics! Bravo and onto 2014!

    3. You're most welcome - and I admit I laughed when I saw your comment on time, as what I think I ended up referring to as 'the blog post which ate greater Paris' is coming up this year's New Year's Eve.

      Thank you so much for your kind comments. It's really helpful to know the articles are useful - and I'm fine with apple pie, a la carte or otherwise.

      Happiest of holidays!