Coming soon: Mercury stationing retrograde in Pisces

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We could call this a fairly quiet week astrologically but for one thing: Mercury will station retrograde in early Pisces on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 4:43 pm EST, putting us in the ‘storm’ phase right now. Mercury’s station occurs the same day as the first quarter (waxing) Moon, and of course there are all kinds of aspects among the minor planets. But in terms of high drama, bold messages or simply the kind of astrology the average human can relate to, Mercury stationing retrograde is the star of the show this week.

Simplified chart section for Mercury's station retrograde Thursday. Shown L-R: Neptune and Mercury in Pisces, Nessus and the Sun in Aquarius, Venus and Pluto in Capricorn. View glyph key here.

Simplified chart section for Mercury’s station retrograde Thursday. Shown L-R: Neptune and Mercury in Pisces, Nessus and the Sun in Aquarius, Venus and Pluto in Capricorn. View glyph key here.

Mercury spent most of its pre-retrograde ‘echo’ or ‘shadow’ phase in late Aquarius, where it will be returning while retrograde. (The pre-retrograde ‘echo’ or ‘shadow’ phase is when a planet travels in direct motion the section of zodiac it will cover again in apparent reverse motion.) As of Friday, however, Mercury has been in Pisces.

Pisces is where Mercury spent the entirety of its first of three all-water retrogrades last year. This year, Mercury is merely wading in just far enough to whisper to Neptune before it heads back to the air of Aquarius. Or as Eric described it in conversation, Mercury is bringing back some water to the water bearer (Aquarius is symbolized by a youth pouring water from an urn back into a stream).

Mercury does not quite make it into an exact conjunction with Neptune before it stations — rather like how Venus, while retrograde, also came within a couple degrees of conjoining Pluto in Capricorn before stationing direct on Friday. Even without the exact contact, the planets’ energies will blend, magnify each other, or possibly feel like a blind spot in your awareness — something you can feel but might not be conscious of enough to articulate.

Mercury in Pisces, even while direct, can feel a little unusual to those who are not used to feeling their thoughts or thinking their emotions so intensely. Mercury retrograde in Pisces could feel even more disorienting after the agility and concreteness of thought that comes with Mercury in Aquarius. Add to that Mercury nearly drifting into Neptune, and there’s the potential to feel like you’ve just submerged yourself into a particularly ‘impressionistic’ watercolor painting.

This is all an indication to take things deliberately this week as we approach the station direct. The couple days on either side of a Mercury station tend to be the most challenging part of the retrograde. If you can’t stay focused on what you’re doing, see if you can pause the activity just long enough to work out what is on your mind (journals and ‘to do’ lists are great for this) and then resume. Persisting in an activity while your mind is elsewhere (even going on ‘autopilot’ for the most routine tasks) is the perfect recipe for having to re-do work, needing to backtrack in your car to the exit you missed, mailing an important bill without a stamp — or worse. You don’t have to move like a snail, just know that rushing is not likely to have the desired effect.

In the realm of feeling thoughts and thinking emotions, what do you do if the psychic channels opened up by Mercury-Neptune have you a little overwhelmed? Or you can tell you’re getting too caught up in daydreams, fantasies and romantic shimmer? What if you’re feeling drawn to be less than truthful (with yourself or others)?

Eric has suggested we look to the asteroid Pallas, which is roughly opposite Mercury-Neptune in Virgo. Pallas the strategist in Mercury-ruled earth sign Virgo says: sit down and make a plan. Diagram it, plot the steps, start small with the most tangible actions you can make. All mariners use charts to navigate the seas; why shouldn’t you if the planet representing your mind starts to drift a little in the ocean of emotion and illusion?

Note also that Mercury is stationing roughly trine Ceres, which will ingress Scorpio today at 12:20 pm EST. If your erotic life is feeling less nourishing than you’d like it to be, consider putting those fantasies fueled by Mercury-Neptune in Pisces to good use. No partner necessary, if none is available.

If you’d like to chart the course of Mercury’s retrograde (as well as other major astrological events) for your Sun sign and rising sign, consider signing up for a three-month Planet Waves premium membership. Membership includes our twice-weekly mailings, weekly and monthly horoscopes, Eric’s in-depth articles and more.

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7 Responses to Coming soon: Mercury stationing retrograde in Pisces

  1. marymack says:

    Amanda … I got to thinking about the Aquarius water-bearer as I’d spent most of my life around lawyers, in Washington. The lawyers have a way of applying any and all of life’s experiences into formula, so as to condense and judge, and in my mind that goes well to the air aspect of Aquarius. While that might do for some, the formula aspect of dealing with life doesn’t work much beyond the courts as it is not just, it is not based on love … hence my notion that the water-bearers cannot toss their ivory-tower airy-ness into the sea of all and hope for resolution as it’s all air … it floats and does not integrate. In other words, it’s not truth.

    mm.

  2. mariapadhila says:

    midheaven at 5 Pisces, with Neptune camped thereabouts, maybe for all the future years I’ve got! As Amanda knows, I’m feeling that Mercury push sloshing the wave against the midheaven–job, public self, how I’m perceived in the world, and how exceedingly tricky that’s gotten. I wish it would just spill it, but back it goes–leaving me to ride a particularly seasick-inducing chop. In fact, there’s an email right now, with another message of misunderstanding–and it’s from a client who’s been drinking! Dear Mercury, could we try that take again? It’s a little too on the nose. Thank you.

  3. wandering_yeti says:

    What do I do when I feel the drift? Stand still and breathe. The silent breath passes through the monsters and dissolves them from within. Keeping a part of my mind open that can remind me to keep my breath smooth and silent when practicing qi gong seems to expand my awareness so that instead of feeling like a boat tossed on a stormy sea I feel like the sea and sky herself, surrounding the emotion with love and calm, riding out the wave without disrupting my breath no matter how compelling the emotional drama. I think it’s a side effect of internal practices, practice in standing still and paying attention. Over the years I’ve been able to sense the physical patterns of emotions so that I’m actually bigger than whatever emotion is swimming. Feeling it as a sensation while keeping my breath smooth, silent, long and continuously moving makes it something my mind can encompass and regulate. If I lose track then my breath gets stuck and I have to gasp to start it again. Not losing track gets easier as the years go on.

  4. Amanda Painter Amanda Painter says:

    marymack — sounds like a great take on the situation; i’ll be giving it some thought!

  5. marymack says:

    hey Amanda and my fellow p-wavers,

    I’ve always been a little obsessed with the water-bearer and the distinction between the “water” that is poured out from Aquarius to the following next sign, Pisces. I ended up thinking that the water bearer is pouring his/her own individualized truth into the sea of truth where all lives/breathes/creates and gets murky. That particular exchange between Aquarius and Pisces is a bit of a mofo for some of us who are tested by life to get centered on our own truth before diving in to get the good stuff.

    Thoughts? I love to hear it all.
    mary

  6. Salamander says:

    Thank you for the information, Amanda. I am being careful and relaxed on the road, I have been working on my emotional intelligence, I have been enjoying artistic works, and I have noticed a few unusual situations where either I needed to calm someone down, or I was the one who needed to be calmed. In addition, I am learning to control my power in martial arts (working on being aware of when I am underusing my power, and when I am overusing my power…natal Mars Rx in Aries), and I am improving my ability to study (watching lectures, reading textbook material, exploring other sources to grasp an equation etc.) in order to ace the courses I am taking. So I am putting this Mercury transit to good use.

  7. Kelly says:

    “No partner necessary, if none is available.”

    Hahaha.
    Amanda, thank-you for the reminder.

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