Since the start of the New Year—and really since the start of Mercury Retrograde on January 6—the rhythms and routines of daily life have been a little more than slightly wacky, and this week, the madness continues to take its toll, even though the retrograde is almost over. Mercury goes direct on January 25, at 1:49 PST. Unfortunately, these final five days are likely to be the worst. Mercury is currently in a square to Uranus, and because Uranus signifies computers—and every other form of technology used to keep the digital universe spinning in cyberspace—meltdowns, mechanical or human, are probable. Keep breathing—it’s the only way through—and continue to keep it real by acknowledging just how hard it is for most to get through these retrograde snafus, and especially how difficult it is for those who don’t know they have Mercury Retrograde to blame.
The source of this week’s difficulty is a combination of Mercury, Uranus, and Pluto. Mercury symbolizes all things related to communication, travel, and commerce. And when Mercury is retrograde, all things related to its domain tend to encounter delays and detours. Uranus signifies revolution and sudden and surprising plot twists. Pluto represents the process of transformation, especially the processes related to death and rebirth. So far, so good.
Mercury is conjunct Pluto for the rest of its retrograde phase, and even after it goes direct, it continues to travel in tandem with Pluto until February 6, when it gains full forward thrust. (Those familiar with Mercury Retrograde probably remember the wisdom of the three-day rule, which recommends waiting for three days after the retrograde to initiate new projects.) Mercury/Pluto combinations lean toward deep thinking and penetrating insight, but they just as easily fuel a compulsive need to cling to ideas. And it is not above the ruthless nature of Mercury/Pluto to motivate manipulating information to win. Mercury/Uranus combinations symbolize invention and the need to break free from intellectual bonds that inhibit innovation. Again, so far, so good.
Unfortunately, the square between Uranus and Pluto continues to fuel fractious interactions that manifest as extreme unrest, and when that unsettled energy coalesces with the already frustrated and uneven pace of Mercury Retrograde, daily routines collapse from the strain. Unfortunately, Uranus exacerbates the intensity of retrograde snafus, especially technology problems, turning mundane frustration nuclear. Try to avoid fixating on what isn’t going your way. Step away from whatever vehicle you’re trying to control, and breathe yourself into a less attached perspective. Sometimes letting go creates just enough space to make necessary adjustments without having to abandon the core of the plan, project, or idea.
Significantly, on January 25, Mercury goes Direct in a tight conjunction with Pluto; Mercury at 14 degrees 55 minutes Capricorn and Pluto at 15 degrees 54 minutes Capricorn. At the end of the next two Mercury Retrograde phases later this year, Mercury turns around at that same degree, in Earth Signs. The final Mercury Retrograde of the year begins at 15 degrees of Capricorn. (See the December 30 column in the Archives for a list of 2016 retrogrades and eclipses.) This concentration on the same position is an unusual occurrence that points our attention to the same degree of Capricorn, a degree that Pluto occupied last year and continues to occupy in 2016. http://aquariumage.com/Archives/2015/index.html
It’s not easy to interpret each and every degree of the zodiac—that’s not usually what astrologers do. But recently, in response to my thoughts about Mercury’s year-long reminder about Pluto’s placement in Capricorn, a reader sent in an interpretation of that degree based on the The Sabian Symbols. First “discovered” by Marc Edmund Jones and Elsie Wheeler, The Sabian Symbols is a volume of esoteric interpretations for every degree in the zodiac. (http://www.khaldea.com/articles/pss_gkm1.shtml)
In that book, the symbol related to 14 degrees Capricorn is: In a Hospital, the Children’s Ward is Filled with Toys. Lynda Hill has a website devoted to the interpretation of these symbols and offers good information about how to understand them. (http://sabiansymbols.com/)
Again, I’m not sure what this means or why Mercury is “pointing” it out, but I think this Sabian Symbol bears contemplation throughout the course of the year. Many of our fellow travelers have experienced a loss of innocence as a result of recent collective changes, changes that have challenged many to maintain balance in a seemingly insane world. Even more of our fellow travelers, especially children in war zones, refugees who have no voice, as well as children in previously safe places are in need of deep physical and psychic healing. When children can’t play they are robbed of joy, the essence of a healthy heart.
So as the coming weeks unfold, think about how you might be able to bring greater happiness into your life and into the lives of your fellow travelers. We all need joy to heal.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
All year long Mercury and Pluto emphasize issues of career, recognition, and social standing. Accept this challenge and commit to putting your best foot forward in every situation, no matter what the circumstances. Sometimes keeping that commitment will be easy, while at other times it will require effort. Don’t worry—you’re up to the task.
Taurus April 20-May 20
Mercury and Pluto are probing your belief systems, especially ideas you may have outgrown—Santa Claus, anyone? Rather than resist this process, consider it an opportunity to clean your spiritual house. You’re not succumbing to doubt; you’re simply demonstrating the courage to face tough questions that will ultimately strengthen your beliefs.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Mercury and Pluto team up to stimulate the process of transformation, which means all year long you’ll be dealing with issues of power, control and trust. Take the time to notice where you must be in charge, and then ask yourself why that’s so. Be willing to investigate how subconscious forces might be influencing your choices, and you’ll make good use of this time.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Mercury and Pluto focus on partnership issues, especially how you communicate with significant others in personal as well as professional situations. Pay attention to how you talk to spouses, lovers, friends, family, children and co-workers. If you listen carefully to yourself and to others, you’ll be able to identify where you can improve all your relations.
Leo July 23-August 22
Mercury and Pluto concentrate on issues of service and care. Part of that process includes self-care—health issues and stress management, to name but two. This also includes how you care for others. Be willing to ask important questions about the difference between service and sacrifice—are you obligated to help or enthusiastic to participate?
Virgo August 23-September 22
Mercury and Pluto stimulate romance and creativity, so be prepared for strong urges to motivate dramatic behavior. I’m not suggesting you fall in love with everyone—although you could. My best advice on how to handle this emphasis would be to fall in love with yourself first. And then allow that love to inform authentic, thoughtful self-expression.
Libra September 23-October 22
Mercury and Pluto put the emphasis on deep-seated needs for emotional safety and security. Be willing to explore early childhood imprints that may have formed attitudes and assumptions about those needs. But also be open to letting some of those attitudes go, if only because you may have outgrown those forms of self-protection.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Mercury and Pluto concentrate their power on communication, and while you may not appreciate the push toward intimate dialogue, those who love you would benefit greatly from more frequent conversations. Continue sharing your ideas, even if they aren’t popular or readily accepted. Just remember to listen to others with the same respect you would like to receive.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
All year long, Mercury and Pluto probe issues of value, and while their investigation includes finances, the fundamental emphasis is on all your resources, not just money. Be willing to look at what you value and why, but also explore the notion that you are your greatest resource. Seeing yourself as valuable can open up a deeper dimension of self-awareness.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
Mercury and Pluto turn the year into a non-stop identity crisis. Yes…this is certain to be overwhelming at times, but it can also be a beneficial process if you’re willing to participate whole-heartedly. Put pride aside and make an honest assessment of what needs to change, and then commit to the hard work it will take to make those modifications.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Mercury and Pluto stimulate internal inquiry, so don’t be surprised if you decide it’s time for therapy or any other sort of process that will open up the power of the unconscious. It could be dream work, meditation, or other forms of inner exploration. Find a method that works for you and then devote yourself to self-discovery.
Pisces February 19-March 20
Mercury and Pluto turn your attention to communal participation, including everything from farmers’ markets to political activities to group therapy or workshops of every ilk. Dive in—it will take less energy to engage than it will to resist. And as you make contact with more individuals in group settings, feel where you are most comfortable.
Ralfee Finn specializes in Transformational Astrology. For readings, call 1-212-222-3232, write P.O. Box 343, New York, NY 10025, visit AquariumAge.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2016 by Ralfee Finn