by Boots Hart, CAP

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mercury in Sagittarius... Arachne and Pandora Direct

(background) A spider web strung with dewdrops
(photo credit: William Waterway, September 2006)
At a guess, one of the biggest hurdles in learning how to use astrology is learning to conjugate metaphysical meanings. Take Arachne, for instance. The astrological Arachne is very aptly named: it applies to every precept we could attach to the idea of a biological arachnid - a spider. So to be ‘caught in a web’ is very Arachne. But so is trying to ensnare or otherwise entangle something/someone else. From entanglements to ingenuity, Arachne is by turns the all of it - including that very particular, spider-like ability to wait.

Wait for what, you ask? Well, for fortune, of course... which with Arachne may appear in the form of something you ‘prey’ on (use to accomplish your aims), or something which is what you’ve been praying for - that opportunity which wanders by like a living, meandering feast.

Arachne often manifests with a touch of persistence, though whether that refers to our trying over a period of time (duration - which if Arachne is prominent may manifest as being ‘entangled’ in something you can’t/won’t walk away from)...or the more repetitive kind of trying which is all about try-try-trying again, replete with that trace of falling short which very much does speak to experience.
What kind of experience...? Well, that’s a whole other matter - and that would be primarily read from where Arachne falls in our natal chart.

So...if that’s not making you climb the wall just yet (or hide in a corner) we’ll just proceed to the facts de esta matter, which are that asteroid Arachne is going direct on November 27th at 10:24 in the morning (UT/+0 time) at 14 Aries, a degree which describes some sort of ‘trial by fire’ which often enough are presented in the form of an event, moment or situation which has not occurred because of anything which has to do with us personally - call it ‘fate’ or the matter of not just what cards have been dealt, but where those cards have come to fall as a matter of forces far beyond our control.

So... will we be hunkering down and waiting for the storm to pass? Or will we see some opportunity and begin stalking that?

In the United States, November 27th being Thanksgiving, the recent clout of early winter brings up another Arachne sort of terms: stuck - as in ‘I can’t get there, I’m stuck.’ That could be literal, that could be figurative - and it could be a matter of showing up at the right house at the right time to claim your seat at the table... or it could be the fact that because you’re at that table (or otherwise occupied doing something it would be improper to up-and-flee) you can’t do what you might rather do... whether that means watching a game, tackling Black Friday sales (whether online or in person)... or just getting away from noise, hassles and whatever else for a while.

Sholem Aleichem crater on Planet Mercury
(photo credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory,
Carnegie Institute of Washington, January 2008)
Then there’s the idea that Mercury moves from Scorpio into Sagittarius the day after Arachne goes direct. (In other words, while Arachne is on station and direct, if still moving slowly.) This is a bit of a mix, as Arachne is more about being tied down (or up, depending) where Mercury in Sagittarius is more of a speak-your-mind, act-and-then-discuss-change-modify sort of influence. The polarity here being Sagittarius/Gemini (and Mercury rules Gemini) with Arachne contributing Aries-versus-Libra says a lot about our wanting to get out there - or at least to advance our point.

Or to have our say. Or make things right as we see, or learn to see what is right, correct, effective or applicable to some specific instance.

Hardly known as the least opinionated combination which ever was, Mercury in Sagittarius represents the eagerness to get things done and the ability to overburden ourselves or to trip ourselves up by doing too much. Given that by mode Sagittarius is a mutable (as opposed to cardinal or fixed) sign, we should expect changes, too: mutable signs describe the process of learning as we go and correcting our course or manner of doing things as we meet up with new information along our merry way.

Even our not-so-merry way, but that’s another matter.

Under Mercury in Sagittarius the list of things which need doing gets longer and the parameters of what needs to feed into that list gets more complicated - it just does. Time flies by whether we’re having fun or not and we should expect several dribbles of the unexpected - though with regards to that, we should expect more oddities and surprises to pop up towards the end of Mercury’s run through Sagittarius than at its start simply because Uranus will be going direct on December 21st. Mercury will be moving on into Capricorn before we all get to said Uranian station (Mercury will exit Sagittarius for Capricorn on December 17th), but even without any other metaphysical influence, Uranian influences tend to decorate much which surrounds its official station.

Plus in this case there IS an additional metaphysical influence, that being the fact that Uranus is going direct on the same day as the Capricorn Solstice.

Things are changing. Things are going to change structurally. But that’s a different post. For the moment we should be concerning ourselves more with the fact that Mercury (in Sagittarius) will be conjuncting royal and fixed star Antares on December 3rd (UT/+0), warning us against being too ‘obsessed’...which because this is Mercury (the emblem of thought, communication, activity and mentality) in a fire sign is easy enough to slip into and often so lacking in perspective that we don’t (or won’t) notice ourselves either blocking out things we need to hear (think about, take care of or participate in)... or we will get so over-immersed in our own perspective that we can neither see its flaws nor take advantage of that which would help us achieve our ultimate aims because we cannot allow for something to work other than the way we want to think it works.

Antares promises success ONLY where we do not obsess (or get involved with something which is ‘obsessive’ or over-focused by nature).

There’s also an interesting association between Mercury conjuncting Antares and a few days later opposing Rigel - the fixed star all about sharing what we know and being inspired to learn. Since this is a sequence which would happen any time any object moves through Sagittarius, there isn’t always anything to emphasize connection, but since this year will have Mercury opposing Rigel on December 7th/8th (UT/+0) just as Jupiter goes direct at 22 Leo and Saturn opens its 2015 datebook by rolling over the degree (28 Scorpio) which will be its 2015 shadow point...?

The Orion Molecular Cloud with astrology's fixed star Rigel at the upper right as
photographed by Rogelio Bernal Andreo in October, 2010
Yes, that would be a bit of emphasis. Quite a bit of emphasis, as a matter of fact. It suggests that this period (December 4 through 8) will be something of a ‘turning point’ for what we’re doing now - and turn out to be a time when things happen (or fail to happen) which end up having a deal of influence with regards to things we will be (Saturn) working on and (Jupiter) growing into and learning to utilize the potential of over the next twelve to thirteen months as come the December 2015/January 2016 Saturn rolls through the zodiac district we’re seeing highlighted now.

Some of us will spend this current early December time in a ‘wait and see’ mode. Others will use this time to keep working to grow and build things of long-term importance. With Jupiter (the ruler of Sagittarius) going direct as of December 8th there will be - as there is almost every year - a distinct ‘turning inside’ as a lot of people begin thinking about the holidays and their end-of-year plans. But every year as some do that, others use the time to plan ahead - which given how society ‘expects’ us to be more focused on family now can afford many of us the mental room to think.

And thinking... imagining... dreaming up new ideas is just as important a Mercury in Sagittarius function as pressing ahead and learning about those details which are keeping you from your goals is.

Sometimes they even go together - and when they do, real magic of the most ‘I didn’t imagine this could happen’ type occurs. Sagittarius teaches us (among other things) that ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ is a truism even if it comes with pitfalls, critiques and a few out-and-out flops along the way.

It’s all part of the learning process - as is learning how to get things through that invisible barrier which is our Sagittarian mindset seeking to bring things into (Capricorn) reality. So often we see alternative points of view as threats when they might be opportunities; Sagittarius challenges us to learn how to see for our Self (and our enrichment) beyond that we hold as ‘sacred’ in our personal thinking - as distinct from religious scripture.

Some people find Sagittarian exploration exciting and natural, as is the ‘sharing’ of interests which comes from such excitement, that being the source of Sagittarius as the sign of ‘getting the word out’ and thus media, publications, publishing and travel (mental or physical). Sharing is the plus of Sagittarius where locking thoughts down, be it through codification of a code or ‘chiseling in stone’ some body of history, law or thought invites contrast, debate and further question simply because the ‘known’ quality of “chiseling something in stone” invites a Sagittarian exploration.

Either we just can’t win... or maybe (just possibly) our definition of winning needs revising.

All of that is now going to be funneling not only through the Sun (life, will, consciousness) but as of November 28th, through Mercury.

It’s a recipe for more of everything - in particular anything which has to do with a Mercurial subject: communications, details, errands, traffic. Phone calls and phones, letters, mail and the systems which transport or deliver them - all of which are Mercury objects (planes, trains, boats, trucks, feet and cars, rockets, internet facilities and systems, etc.) as are (generally) the operational factors which have to do with anything which services those Mercury objects, be they the delivery dispatching system which sends the trucks out, the shoes and socks which keep our toes happy or the air traffic controllers and radar which keeps watch over planes.

With Mercury in Sagittarius, things - including systems - can get overtaxed, which hopefully doesn’t mean any volcano is going to choose this moment to send up any smoke screens. It would fit with the Sagittarian Mercury concept, but especially as Mars moves into Aquarius come December 4th (UT/+0) it would be more like frost than frosting on the end-of-the-year economy, some part of which could pay a penalty for some sort of Mercurial ‘too much.’

All of which says that we can enjoy ourselves to the hilt so long as the point is only mental - and preferably enlightening or enjoyable (Sagittarius is all about a good time in-the-live, if not necessarily in-the-flesh).

So with the general (Sun in Sagittarius) trend of life pace on an uptick we come to Thursday and Friday of this next week - November 27 and 28 - still [Arachne] dealing with ongoing matters or things which aren’t quite wrapped up (or dissipated) as yet. Then Mercury moves into Sagittarius and life’s ‘moving pieces’ multiply, become more active and perhaps noisy - with everything happening at once (or coming together for worse or betterment) or with so many different things happening, you could be thrown into Arachne-like confusion.

Or maybe disparate sources or unalike aims and concepts will come together and ‘gel’ as some new idea or complicated, Arachne-like solution to some equally entangling and Arachne-like sort of problem.

In any case, because asteroid Pandora is going direct at a prompt 2 a.m. (UT/+0) on November 30th, all of that is likely to lead to two very disparate situations.

Pandora by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
(1881, rendered to black and white for posting)
We think of Pandora as ‘Pandora’s Box’ - the box part of which was probably a jar and the tendency to be sufficiently curious as to ignore rules and open said jar being a Pandora quality which hardly gets talked about at all. But the point here is in part about perspective as in the famous story Pandora is assailed by a cloud of mortal ‘ills’ which escape from ‘containment,’ whatever shape it is. The ills are whatever would trouble or threaten us in our life, whatever those factors would currently be. Yet because Pandora holds onto that jar (or box, if you prefer), she still has hope - because of all our human traits, hope is the one which didn’t flee when the jar (or box) was opened.

So... when we ‘witness’ this story - and thus when asteroid Pandora’s effects come into play, we will either ‘see’ or - seeing as Pandora is currently taking its station at 18 Aries - how we experience things individually, from a hopeful or a beleaguered perspective.

In that regard, 18 Aries delivers little hope that things will be clearly defined or simple in that this is a degree which known for both a love of nature (which may be physical nature as in Mother Nature or their personal nature, as in character traits)... and competition, a combination which on one hand can lead us to want to ‘win out’ against nature and which on the other can lead us to want to master and/or utilize that nature which again may be physical and may be personal. Noted for strength in the area of imagining and inventing, 18 Aries may here contribute to great works of art and great tales which are merely lies... any of which we may be hearing, telling to others or telling ourselves.

Pandora will be taking its ‘turn’ to direct on Sunday, November 30th at an hour early enough to make its station-direct moment November 29th for everyone in the Americas and eastern Pacific region. It also says that the first couple of days of December are likely to be anywhere between hectic and complicated.

So... what to do?

With Mars set to enter Aquarius on Thursday, December 4th, that puts Mars in Capricorn’s most worldly and far-reaching degrees as Pandora goes direct and December comes upon us. Between that fact and Pandora’s station in a degree which suggests study and observation as a natural and productive course, this would seem to be a moment when we have the opportunity to ask critical questions, but most often of our Self.

Or selves.

And what comes of that? That’s to think about next as we know what evolves out of these stations and Mercury’s shift will proceed under Mars in Aquarius.

And that’s not just a different post, but something which speaks to our ability - and maybe more importantly our willingness - to interact in such a manner as to fit in with others, for that is the way to get our desired results in... and from life itself.

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