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.
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.
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