by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mercury in Aries

Guatemala's Volcan Fuego fuming between eruptions
(photo credit Luisfi, November 2009)

As Mercury enters Aries at 3:36 p.m. (UT/+0 time) on April 7th, whether we notice it at the time or later life’s ambient light seems to intensify. Gone (at least for a while) is that universal if slightly removed-into-feeling-mode which typifies Mercury in Pisces.

And in its place we get a crisper, more clarified mindset.

Mind you…not one of us is likely to think we’ve been the least bit ‘fuzzed’ in our thinking until we get there.

But apparently yes…we have – not that such things don’t have purpose. Mercury in Pisces represents a time when through feeling, sensing, coming to understand some ‘universal chord’ which is or has been struck (even which needs to be struck), we connect with the idea of not what it means to be human…but what it feels like.

That feeling human…feeling our humanness…connecting with the experience of being mortal…all that now gives was to a more ‘first person’ orientation which may have us working from what we’ve learned so very lately.

Then again, we may simply lay that aside for a while.

Is that wrong? Probably not. There is no right or wrong in such a mental or operational (Mercury) choice, only why you make the choice you make.

And that is about Mercury in Aries, a transit which now stretches ahead, covering the next two weeks or so…leading into the end-of-the-month Taurus solar eclipse. Such an association does place emphasis on what we think and how we go about ‘thinking about what we think’ (or why we’re thinking that way) simply because of the eclipse and Taurus’ natural orientation towards security, self worth, the desire for respect (most of all self-respect, but most of us tend to take what we can get!).

But the avenue is still Mercury in Aries – a ‘style’ template for personal mindset, if you will. Aries is a sign all about the Self, which puts our awareness of that Self at center stage. The positive is the Aries drive for realization of potential and the famous Aries strength of attention, focus and directed action.

With that of course, goes the equally famous Aries potential (and tendency) for ego. From braggadocio to tyrannical attitudes, dictates and demands, all the Aries negatives display the same quality as it’s positives: a focus on self.

What differs is whether anyone else is remotely involved. In positive mode, Aries contributes without needing more than a simple word of thanks.  In negative mode, Aries takes or thinks first and last about self, never feeling truly fulfilled.

So as for the dates here…Mercury enters Aries on April 7th and remains in Aries through April 23rd, when it moves on into Taurus (days ahead of the solar eclipse on April 29th). During this time we’re likely to hear at least some tooting of horns and witness how the cause/effect and positive/negative of assertion…even aggression really functions.

Another interesting quality of Mercury in Aries: its tendency to make things seem ‘sharper’ than before – and maybe even ‘sharper’ than they are. Things may well seem ‘amplified,’ but is that because the ‘volume’ on life is being “turned up”…or is it just that we’re listening?

Or even hearing what was said which we were too distracted (by something else, even our own thoughts or feelings) to really focus on decisively?

 Mercury's ingress of Aries (glyph chart)
(Aries Wheel - location not specific)

 Mercury's ingress of Aries (text chart)
(Aries Wheel - location not specific)

Perfectly capable of (and yes, willing to) carry the day through a forceful ‘cutting through’ of whatever (or whoever) stands in our way, the strength of Mercury in Aries is in its own nature – its strength. Functioning through the medium of mentality, we now sort through decisions (and what it takes to make/unmake one). And in doing that, we well may discover something about what we’re doing – or about how to do it more effectively.

We may even be feeling ‘reborn.’ Aries being the first sign of the zodiac we are given an indication of beginnings…including all the enthusiasm and zeal, all the freshness and all the inexperience, naïveté and working out of kinks. Aries native blatancy, its tendency to be to-the-point and somewhat indelicate, the lack of compassion which reflects determination – it all has its place and all has its limits.

Even its detriments.

Now we get to see and think through which is which. And let’s remember, we’re doing this as all our values and our notion of whether others value us is being temporarily exposed to our inner crucible. The value we have in life and to others in this world our evaluation of who they are and what our relationship his about (including how we feel about it)…all that is being gently but inexorably turned inside-out.

8 Taurus – the degree of the solar eclipse – speaks of ‘cyclic renewal,’ which in your life could mean any of a million things. You may be ‘renewing’ something which is ongoing. Or something…some idea…something which you have thought (or stood for) may now be ending.

Once it ends, as with the phoenix something else may (yes) rise from the ashes. But right now we don’t know how that will work and we can’t know what the final ‘outcome’ will be.

That’s the solar eclipse – in which process Mercury in Aries marks the time where we get to think through what we know, what is ours to choose…and what we don’t have any choice about.

And what that means – to us as people (the generic) and to us as an individual.

And why it means that.

Mercury in Aries marks a time when we're aware of those limitations. We don't however, necessarily like them.

By definition, because Aries and Taurus are side by side, this combination defines something of a quandary.

We all have one…at least one. And that’s what’s important to us. With the ongoing retrograde of Mars in Libra we’re feeling less ‘attached’ or ‘enmeshed’ with others than usual which makes it easy (easier) to prioritize our own thoughts.

But things are about to shift. By the time Mercury enters Aries, Mars will have retrograded down through the degrees of Libra’s most worldly/externalized third decanate (degrees 20 through 29) and back into Libra’s second (degrees 10 through 19) decan. Any second decan is where the sign expresses itself most ‘emotionally’ – which in the case of this airy ‘ideas on how we relate to each other’ sign we call Libra would seem to indicate opinions.

A diagram of Mars' 2013-2014 transit of Libra

Maybe even some opinionated fervency – an outpouring of (retrograde Mars in Libra) ideas on what relating means. Or what does and doesn’t work for us about someone else.

Or what we think ourselves capable of.

Even what we think ourselves guilty of.

Mercury in Aries represents the sharpening of our critical faculties and the critiques which prompt us to ‘stay sharp’ and remain aware – most of all of our (Aries) Self.  Where we are not critical judges of our own inner nature the natural opposition presented by Mercury and Mars retrograde will promote disagreements and can even spark outright hostility. There is a natural defensiveness about this combination which is not about ‘the other guy’ but more about our instinctive understanding of vulnerability.

Under any circumstance Aries is all about vulnerability because it’s about warrior – whether we’re defending against aggression or embodying it. The intense sort of commitment which is so Mercury in Aries is all about the mental (Mercury) struggle to be ourselves, making whatever confronts us now some sort of trigger or challenge to our inner abilities.

So we take it in. We decide. And then we fight.

And yet…given the incoming eclipse, who or what are we fighting, and what are we for or against?

Moreover, why is that so important?

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