Today, exactly at 4:44 pm, EST, transit Mercury, from Earth’s point of view, appears to turn, to “go retrograde.” Now that would not be such a big deal, and frankly, I normally don’t pay much attention to this phenomenon, since Mercury moves backwards for three weeks three times a year. So it’s not that rare. And I pretty much know what to expect: the mind turns inward, to go back over stuff that it may have taken for granted for too long. Travel plans may be interrupted, or switched, or confused. Likewise, communication of all kinds. Don’t sign important documents, since they may need to change.
On the other hand, I date my beginning as a professional astrologer to a day when Mercury was moving backward in the sky. I didn’t pick the date of this inception because of that; in fact, I didn’t notice it until another astrologer told me I should never have picked a time when Mercury was retrograde to start anything new! That judgment set me back — for a minute or two . . .
I went on to become a very “successful” astrological consultant, teacher, and conference presenter, without once needing to advertise. Perhaps part of my “success” had to do with the Mercury Rx inception chart, since I was fascinated with probing the inner reaches of the psyche.
So why do I consider this Mercury retrograde period important? Because obviously I do, or I wouldn’t be writing about it here. And yet, just why is hard to talk about, as you shall soon see.
Okay, here’s the facts: If you notice in the chart above, Mercury, in the 8th house, is located at 3°20′ Pisces, slightly over one degree from 4°25 minute Neptune in Pisces. The two planets are in near exact conjunction. Notice also that they are in the hidden 8th house, and that they make no significant geometric aspects to other planets (no lines link them to other planets).
This conjunction of Mercury and Neptune, at the time when Mercury turns to go retrograde, stamps this Mercury retrograde period with the aura of mystic, right brain Neptune, and symbolizes the journey of the next three weeks. A journey, that, since it involves no other aspects other than the conjunction itself at the moment of its inception, is singular, doing its magic alone, unimpeded. Furthermore, since the Scorpionic 8th house is involved, let’s invite in some kind of death/rebirth scenario, a letting go which yields to regeneration.
Ever since long-cycled, mystical, oceanic Neptune, the planet that dissolves all boundaries into the infinite, moved into its home sign, mystical oceanic, formless Pisces (2011) I’ve been sensing that over these 14 years (until 2025, when it leaves Pisces for Aries), Neptune’s voyage through its home sign — i.e., the sign where this planet feels most at home and thus can most easily perform its function of dissolving boundaries — will be of great help in cushioning the blows of the harsh, unpredictable, volatile Uranus/Pluto transit (strongest 2011-2016) which is cracking open the stuck, hierarchical, foundational infrastructure of civilization.
Neptune’s position in Pisces greases the sharp-toothed inexorablly grinding Uranus/Pluto gears, makes them run more smoothly, so that the stressful 90° corners that we are forced to turn both as individuals and as a collective will be negotiated with more ease and, ultimately, more trust.
However, given that it’s Neptune we’re talking about, we’ve got to remember that there are many ways Neptune can work, and of course, one of them is denial, the “normal” head-in- the-sand “Huh, what me worry” attitude spoon-fed to us by MSM media and entertainment industries, all part of our rampant consumerism, to which, of course, just about every one of us is addicted.
Ah yes, addiction! Another, very Neptunian pursuit. Addiction to whatever it is that we crave to make us feel better, or more alive, or at least somehow escape, for awhile, or sleep off, harsh reality. I’ve posted two pieces on addiction within the past few days, (here and here) both inspired by the recent apparent heroin overdose demise of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, whose natal Neptune in Scorpio was being hit by the once every 30 year transit of strict, stern, judgmental Saturn at the time of his death. His karma, he would probably say, came due. Bingo.
So, as Mercury approached Neptune, in early February, the public started communicating about addiction, triggered by our shock at Hoffman’s death on his bathroom floor in his underwear with a needle stuck in his arm.
Now, today, February 6, as Mercury conjuncts Neptune within one degreee it also turns, to go backwards. I have a feeling that this Neptunian preoccupation will continue in our three-week spiralling down with Mercury, that a great preponderance of us will be finding ourselves sliding into some kind of weird, mystical, confusing . . . what to call it? . . . field? . . . space? . . . atmosphere? . . . some kind of vague, dreamy “place” or “dimension” which cannot be easily named, but which calls to us all, the primal womb, the amniotic fluid of love that fills and fuels the universe . . . aaahh . . . now I’m speaking more in the “mystical” realm, rather than that of the addict, who craves certain substances, or habits, in order to reach nirvana. Now I’m talking about nirvana itself, heaven, shangri-la, the great beckoning horizon beyond which all is well and all is one. That which our weary souls long for. That without which none of us ever feels satisfied. That incessant hunger for more, more, but of what? That great hole in being, in our being which, once filled, we will feel at home in the universe.
Meanwhile, we can sit here in 3D and do our thing, pretend to be living in this complex, electronically charged zany flashing matrix that beeps on and off on and off, faster and faster, like some kind of infernal churning scalar weapon, knicking slices off our nerves, exposing them to poisons, pollution, crap. Oh, and by the way, did you know that poison and pollution are also Neptunian? Especially those that are mysterious, that we don’t understand, are invisible, and can’t see. Like the chemicals in the West Virginia river. Like the plasticized snow. Like tap water, when contaminated by fracking.
Then — here we go! — on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, Mercury will slide back into Aquarius from Pisces, to more fully synch up with all those scalar waves, and the off/on digital electronic world, and oh yes, the pulsing news about radiation, a decidedly Aquarian phenomenon — it will all seem to much, so crazy-making! Mercury will remain in that sign, beeping its way back through Aquarius, working on us, on our nervous systems, and our logic, until the very last day of February, the 28th, when it will turn, on the 18th degree of Aquarius, to go direct — and then signal its way forward again, over all those same points, until once again it slides into the hazy aura of 0° Pisces, on the 18th of March, smoothly flowing now, to speed up and over 3°20 Pisces for the second and final time in this 33 day process that begins today, February 6th, on — guess which day, this is wild! — March 21st, Spring Equinox. The day of new beginnings. As if divinely choreographed.
Yes, today, at 4:44 p.m., on February 6, Mercury turns to go retrograde as it conjuncts Neptune. It reconnects with Neptune on that same degree, 3°20 Pisces, on the Spring Equinox, March 21. For the next 33 days (how do you like the numerical repetition, 444, 33, eh?) it will undergo a process that, if we are fortunate, if we are truly evolving, if we are truly learning from our experiences, will disassemble our tired old limited left brain linear logic and reunite it with our right brain quantum field opening to the heavens.
More impressions of Mercury/Neptune during this February/March retrograde period:
• Hazy, dissembling, atmospheric, moody, deceptive, things are not as they seem, vague, subtle, tonal, a recalibration of the vibrational field within which ideas and other kinds of symbolic pulses arise. An increase in the number of infinities in the expanding/shrinking field. A shaking up, a stirring of the currents, so that lines of forces, and linear chains of what appear to be cause and effect are disturbed, broken. So that we begin to see/feel all phenomena arising and falling together, as waves upon an infinite sea of divine possibilities.
• An opening into the multidimensionality of what is and can be.
• A letting go of rigid, hierarchical, controlling, strict, linear logic and a letting go into flow, abundance, mystery, and above all, trust — in the generosity, abundance, and benevolence of the universe.
All this and so much much more, if we but allow it.
Then, yes, at the magical Spring Equinox! when once again, the two planets Mercury and Neptune meet up. After going through this incredible 33-day process of noticing, gathering, reworking, disassembling and reassembling the individual and collective psyche, the noosphere; having absorbed bits and pieces and reweaving them into a glorious tapestry, showing possible beautiful new ways of looking at them altogether which until now, we had not yet imagined, and which, if we set our intention powerfully enough, we will bring into manifestation over time.
Might this Mercury retrograde change our collective mind? Might it link us irrevocably to each other, to Love and in Love — with the Earth, the cosmos?
Let it be so.