Mercury Retrograde in Libra, September-October 2015

Hermes from Alistair Crowley Tarot deck

To represent this event I’ve chosen a Tarot image from Alistair Crowley’s deck representing the ‘Magician’ or ‘Magus’, first of the Major Arcana. To my eyes it depicts well the cosmic side of our little brother, his connection to the spiritual realm, his ability to ‘magically’ interconnect the physical, the psychic and the metaphysical. Mercury, and his Greek counterpart Hermes were the only gods permitted to travel between the three worlds, the earthly, the heavenly and the underworld, signifying the human mind’s potential to function at the rational level (earth realm), the spiritual (the heavenly realm) and the psychic level (the underworld) and to be thus the go-between these different level of awareness.

Mercury Retrograde

On September 17 Mercury began its Retrograde period that will last until October 9 2015, from the middle to the beginning of Libra. Mercury, now an Evening Star, will conjunct the Sun on October 1 (Inferior Conjunction), and afterword return to the morning sky.

This special Transit will be felt by everyone, at some level, but in particular those people who were born with the Sun, Moon, Planets or Chart’s Angles in the first half of the Sign of Libra (0 to 17 degrees); and also people with natal placements in the other Cardinal Signs, Aries, Cancer and Capricorn. The effect will vary in intensity and quality of experience depending on the nature of the celestial body or Angle involved.

During the whole Mercury retro’s period we may encounter many opportunities to review our thinking, to become more flexible so to be able to adapt to changing circumstances. To have too rigid plans and expectations, from others as well as ourselves, may not work during this time.

Stay tuned to your inner feelings, listen to your intuition and don’t try to rationalize too much. Creativity, dreaming, imagination can all gain from a retro period of Mercury, especially in the artistic and aesthetically minded Sign of Libra.

Mercury/Hermes represents our inquisitive spirit and intellectual curiosity. He was he who ‘invented’ the spoken and written languages we use to share ideas and thoughts. Despite this, during a Mercury’s retro phase, non verbal communication are naturally facilitated over verbal, because we all can more easily tap into our innate abilities to ‘read’ other people’s feelings and thoughts.

October 1 will be the turning point of this period, with Mercury conjunct the Sun, when those inner experiences may be at their strongest. At this point in fact Mercury will be passing directly between the Earth and the Sun, the closest he can ever be to our planet.

Apart from the conjunction to the Sun, the major alignment of Mercury during his retrogradation will be the 90 degrees angle to Pluto in Capricorn, repeating three times (earlier, in direct motion, on September 10; again, in retro motion, on September 25; and lastly, in direct motion, on October 23). This type of connection indicates generally a time not suitable for small talk or superficial conversation and reading, but rather a time when we can all penetrate a bit deeper and explore more courageously subjects that we may usually consider taboo or just too hard to discuss, demanding a level of intimacy and trust that is difficult to achieve in normal circumstances.

It could be an ideal time to embrace some form of ‘inner’ therapy, meditation, visualization etc. and also confront deeply buried issues festering in our unconscious: fears, feeling of inadequacy, dislike, resentment, jealousy, even undisclosed stuff we suspect others are hiding from us, or those lies we like to tell ourselves when too scared to look into what’s really going on. Sharing secrets and, by doing so, building trust with the people who matter to us could be scary now as always, but it could also prove incredibly rewarding during this suitable cosmic time.

Considering that most of the Mercury’s retro period will fall between two Eclipses (Solar on September 13 and Lunar on September 28) a period that some astrologers defines as a sort of twilight zone, there is even a greater chance for this Mercury’s phase to stir up our longing for a better knowledge of ourselves and others, transcending our habitual way of thinking and sharing ideas. Even in his more mischievous aspect of disrupting our routines and muddling our plans, Mercury retrograde offers an opportunity to think out of the box, to stop and consider things in greater depth, to understand what it’s really important and what instead we can do without or do in a different, less ‘straight’, more creative way.

Libra is a Venus’ Sign. This Mercury’s Retrogradation in Libra coming up just after the end of a difficult Venus’ Retrogradation (July 24 to September 7) will impact particularly on love relationships, heightening difficulties while offering opportunity for more real closeness and honesty.

If interested click here for a recent post on the general mechanics and meaning of Retrogradation, focusing mainly on Mercury.

An aside: Saturn in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Virgo, the time Keepers’ recent Signs change

Contemporary with the beginning of the Retro Station of Mercury is the ingress of Saturn into Sagittarius, where ponderous Saturn will reside until 2017. Hopefully this is not such a negative event, as some astrologers have been predicting, but rather a lift from Scorpio’s emotional quagmire to Sagittarius’ more open and philosophical outlook. Because Sagittarius is known to presides over religious dogma and matters of faith, many believe that Saturn transiting this Sign could spell more religious divisions and prejudices. I am more optimistic about this (wishful thinking, fear that the international situation could get even worse than what it is?). I sincerely hope but also see the real potential for this Transit to help to lighten the situation, offering a more enlightened, less personal approach to everything. Moving into Sagittarius Saturn has also finished his mutual dangerous dance with Pluto in Capricorn, each transiting the Sign traditionally ruled by the other during the time Saturn was in Scorpio (Mutual Reception 1).

1 Section on Mutual Reception from my Tutorial on the astrological Aspects. Click here to see the whole Aspect Page.
Mutual Reception is one of those astrological terms that often baffle the beginner. It may be at first a bit difficult to understand, having to do with the Planets’ connection to the Signs rather than with actual distances or angles between Planets. To ‘notice’ these types of Aspects in a Natal Chart one needs to know the Planets’ rulership over the Signs by heart. This Aspect joins the Planets in a mysterious, subtle but very real way. Such mingling of energies can be very creative.
Definition: two Planets are in Mutual Reception to each other when one is positioned in the Sign ruled by the other and vice versa.
A few examples should make this more clear:
Venus in Gemini (Sign ruled by Mercury) is in Mutual Reception to Mercury in Taurus (Sign ruled by Venus).
The Moon in Capricorn (Sign ruled by Saturn) is in Mutual Reception to Saturn in Cancer (Sign ruled by the Moon).
Jupiter in Virgo (Sign ruled by Mercury) is in Mutual Reception to Mercury in Sagittarius (Sign ruled by Jupiter).
The Moon in Aquarius (Sign co-ruled by Uranus) is in Mutual Reception to Uranus in Cancer (Sign ruled by the Moon).
The Sun in Aries (Sign ruled by Mars) is in Mutual Reception to Mars in Leo (Sign ruled by the Sun).
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