by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Retrograde Stations: Mercury and Neptune

...From inside the reef on Grand Cayman Island
(photo credit: Ray Bodden, March 2009)

Four people close to those in my life have passed away since just before April’s eclipse. The last of them I found out about only some short time ago by logging onto Facebook - and that’s really not the way to find out someone has died. And even stranger (and somehow terribly ironic) how that one last person was someone I wrote about in an eBook put out just a couple of months ago.

It took me over fifty years to bring myself to tell the tale...and within a couple of months life itself echoed the closing out of that cycle with the finality of his death.

There’s a lot which is going on which feels cosmic, karmic and inevitable - a combination which rouses our desire to control through revealing how all control is in essence, essentially futile...and yet how the gap between futility and peace is less about what goes on than our ability to accept it.

The fight is ours...or not ours, as are the emotional vacillations and insecurities.

This is our primal and primary Neptunian lesson: we are only in control of anything once we surrender to whatever feelings come with accepting we don’t (and can’t) control everything.

We’re not superheroes, we’re humans. And with Neptune going retrograde on June 9th at 7:52 in the evening (UT/+0) after several long weeks of being positioned at 7 Pisces, we can expect the whole of this week and in particular the period of June 5th through June 11th to call upon our ability to deal with our feelings about control (and what we can’t control) with some degree of focus...if not precisely intensity.

Why so long a period? That, you’ll understand in a minute. But first, why not ‘intensity’? the astro-sense, ‘intense’ is more of a Scorpio-Mars-Pluto word - a term which implies that singularly Scorpio sort of feeling connected to some situation, desire or focus which tests our ability to manage, maintain and find our way forward...all of which has to be applied to Self first and then to the situation to be productive and positive.

(A fact Pluto in Scorpio/Gen Y people are coming to comprehend thoroughly and viscerally.)

In any case, as opposed to ‘intensity,’ with Neptune there is ‘disconnection.’ Like the sign (Pisces) Neptune is so strongly associated with (and which it is currently transiting through), Neptune isolates anything and everything having to do with personal ego - and in the process forces us to face extraordinary possibilities as possibilities so that ‘in light of that (Pisces) enlightenment’ we can (Neptune) let go of our ego-investment or ego-driven priorities in favor of perhaps more humble, but humanly and humanely productive (in other words, integrally moral) overall choices.  

So with that said...a couple of nights ago I got up in the middle of the night (‘tis human to get thirsty) and because I got up I discovered a flood which had, in its own watery, seeping manner snuck into my personal space - which is not what I suspect anyone wants to deal with at 4 o’clock in the morning.
It was a soggy, soggy dawn.

But as I worked through the aftermath, it came to me how as I had gone to sleep I was thinking about a phrase used to describe Neptune - in particular, certain forms of Neptune connecting with Mercury.

The phrase was ‘flooded feelings.’

How quaint, right? And yes, how metaphysical. Making those connections is the hallmark of Pisces and Neptune, both of which are known as promoters and provokers of human instinct.

What that means is that since 2012 we’ve all been dealing with a continuing series of events (reflected by solar eclipses) along the Taurus-Scorpio axis bringing out all the many ways we balance our own (Taurus) interests and security against that of (Scorpio) others... into which now comes/has come a healthy dose of questioning/self-questioning which in being Neptunian (and therefore Piscean in nature) has caused insecurity where, and with regards to anything and everything which ‘touches on’ that Neptune/Pisces issue of not wanting to be scared by how we feel about something we now have to confront.

It isn’t the ‘thing’ which is the issue, though many (if not most) of us will have our moments of utter conviction that the threat is real and that our feelings are justified.

Well...maybe they are. That’s the astro-news of the moment. But we just can’t know.

No...that’s not you haven’t done enough to know, and it’s not you don’t care so you don’t know...that’s we can’t, don’t, won’t and (for those who are more metaphysical or spiritual) we aren’t supposed to know yet.

Oh...and did I mention Mercury’s going on station? That’s right - Mercury will be going retrograde at the end of this week. The date is June 7th, and the time will be 11:58 a.m. (UT/+0).

THAT’s the reason for the extended period of sensitivity.

With Mercury a symbol of all which goes into and gets processed by our mind (or doesn’t get processed, depending) plus all we are, and need to be mindful of - and Neptune a signal for the blurring of ego lines (and thus our feelings of discretion) all sorts of things are likely to get said now.

And revealed now.

How we react to what we hear depends on how ‘married’ we are (mentally or emotionally) to our ‘image’ - the ‘picture’ we imagine of how things are going to turn out. Again, the issue is not the ‘thing’ or the process - it’s the emotional investment we have in our “solution,” our goal and our aim, some part of which is likely to get challenged during the days ahead by some reality or fact we hadn’t counted on.

Reactions can (and will) range from disappointment to outrage, with the greater intensities of negative emotionality virtually surely a projection of inner hurt, disappointment or denial of some essential sort of reality - most commonly that which has us believing that ideal we hold so dearly in our soul can ever be real.

Pisces...the 12th house of the horoscope (and therefore Neptune)...was once aptly described to this astrologer as ‘the distance by which we will fail our own expectations.’

And the problem there would evidently be the ‘expectation’ part. When we ‘expect,’ we vest our ego.  When we ‘allow for what might happen,’ we are accepting reality as a whole.

That is - and will be a theme heard and well felt in the days which lie ahead.

Even more ironically, it is likely that those who believe these ideas the least will experience them most deeply.

(Life is just like that, you know.)

As for the degrees of station, Neptune is going retrograde at 7 Pisces - a first decan degree indicative of energies which are felt personally, physically or focused through our choices of action or pursuit. The Sabian image here - “A GIRL BLOWING A BUGLE” is a call - and by being expressed through Neptune the cause is truly human, something which we all would feel and understand regardless of our place in life, time or national society.

Pisces is akin to the Jungian collective - it’s the most human part of our mortality. The ‘girl’ here being metaphysical, this is an expression of response, willingness to respond or experiences/resources already gained which are brought to and applied to a given question.

With Neptune going retrograde, we’re questioning our Self...or that Self is questioning the validity, integrity, morality, wisdom and/or consequences of ‘plowing’ ahead without sufficient reflection.

That reflection would generally be defined (at least as a first stage) by the 21-day Mercury retrograde period beginning on June 7th.

But there is a bit of a quirk here - namely that Neptune-Mercury contacts are known for a quality most often typified as 'deception.'

Mind you, this doesn’t have to be a negative - and it doesn't have to refer to lying. As the momentary daydream distracts us from some form of tedium, as a motivational idea we keep in our head isn't 'real' but still spurs us on to greater effort...the movie which entertains us - that movie just isn't ‘reality' even when it's non-fiction as those events aren't taking place right there in that moment.

All such things are entirely typical examples of Neptune-Mercury connections which though not ‘real’ (in any everyday operational sense) are still real enough to our feelings.

You know...those messy Neptunian, Piscean, emotional experiences we all go through in our own personal and really 'unreal' way.

Such things can challenge...and reward. Sometimes in the very same (and ultimately positive) moment.

To all of this, Mercury’s going retrograde at 3 Cancer speaks to some ‘turn of thought’ - something which is as likely to arise spontaneously from within as to be generated from without. Again defined as a personal degree which applies most frequently to physicality or actions, 3 Cancer refers to basic emotional needs, loyalties, feelings, habits and wherever those reactions or tendencies to be reactive come from - our Cancerian association with, feelings about or allegiance to childhood, family, home, national identity, customs and traditions and all which that becomes in our day-to-day life.

Given that Cancer trends towards the historical and old (the ingrained, traditional, the comfortably understood) there is some very good chance that some long-held notions or beliefs (in particular about who we are in our own minds) are likely to become active at this time. And with transformational Pluto in a multi-year conjunction with charismatic star Vega, at least some of our ‘star notions’...things which have held us in their charismatic sway as well as  qualities in us which reveal/denote our personal relationship with charisma or our inherent power of charisma are in for a bit of a flex. Seeing as Mercury is so mentally-oriented, it would not be unlikely to have a ‘new thought’ come into being now, just as the Sabian image for 3 Cancer (‘A CAT ARGUING WITH A MOUSE’) may indicate the need to consider, reconsider or accept some (unexpected) consideration as part of the process or probable whole...and all the rationalizing we’re likely to go through with ourselves (and others, yes) either as part of the process OR in some effort to thwart the underlying (Neptune/Pisces) need to face why we don’t want to ‘go there.'
The 'Ring of Fire' produced by the May 2012 Annular solar eclipse at 0 Gemini
(photo credit: Massaru Kamikura)
Plus there is one other a little notice which comes with Mercury as it enters its ‘station allowance’ period on June 5th.

What would that be?

That’s just how, as Mercury goes into ‘station mode’ on June 5th, how that would be the date when Venus reaches 8 Taurus.

You remember 8 Taurus, right? The degree of the April 29th (2014) solar eclipse?

Venus being a symbol all about turning cause into effect, with Venus well-placed in a sign of personal expression we should expect some ‘push’ for concrete conclusions as well as concrete demonstrations of various types, especially where the kind of limitations and fears so clearly set off by the eclipse haven’t yet been ‘owned’ by each or all (as necessary). Venus will be in a sextile to Neptune at this June 5th point, indicating a good time for conversation, an excellent time for exploring topics of mutual interest (and possible mutual benefit) without any definite point in mind. This sort of influence favors friendship, business discussions and it can be helpful where misunderstandings have produced difficulties with best results arising where everyone puts their agenda aside (and checks their ego at the door).

However...not many astrologers would suggest you commit yourself to anything serious during this June 5-11 Mercury-Neptune station. There may be great hope, and this may be a time when great movements are seeded or arise through discussion - particularly those which express, air and explore vulnerabilities, ‘mysterious’ reactivity and various forms of misgiving.

Mercury retrograde has long been thought of as a time when we think things over, do our ‘homework’ (research) on whatever subject and when we attend to that which we can do as opposed to focusing on something which...inevitably...fails to proceed, conclude or come to pass until Mercury’s retrograde concludes, an event which will happen this time come July 1st, 2014 at 12:51 in the afternoon, UT/+0 time.

Whether we have or haven’t thought about, through, or in terms of something inclusive of where our feelings, choices and/or convictions on the subject come from - that’s where Mercury retrograde delays or denies forward progress, calling on us to look beyond the obvious....and perhaps it’s just the fact that no matter who we are in this world...from the highly placed and mightiest among us to those of the truly wayward sort, we’re all likely to find some slice, some sliver, some ‘gap’ which merits thought.

There are no ‘rights’ or ‘wrongs’ in any of these equations - only that we bring to our discussions, be they with others - or with that person we think we know so well, our one and only Self.

Maybe we do know what we want...but maybe we don't really know yet. Maybe we need to give ourselves time to be who we are - never mind anyone else.

Either way and whether we're thinking in terms present, past or future we now feel ourselves responding...not to others, but to our own emotionality. With that in mind...and with a little bit of luck, from there we will be able to discern and more fully recognize the difference between success and possible failure in purely human terms...along with how two totally different things can bridge a gap without producing a diminution of, or compromise of valuable, viable connections providing we walk our most accepting mortal path.

1 comment:

  1. For those who follow American primary politics, the first-time (and evidently entirely surprising) outcome of the June 10th Virginia primary exhibit is a very good example of how Neptune's station 'dissolves' the veil between what one assumes/expects and the reality of our world.

    As long as I'm here, one of the anchors on CNN was having trouble getting a live feed on air and quipped 'we've been having these problems all week.' Maybe CNN needs an astrologer?