Time really is the wanderings of these bodies.
— Plato (referring to the planets in “Timaeus”)
Mercury’s apparent retrograde motion, which commenced June 7, takes it back home to Gemini on Tuesday after a 19-day dip into Cancer that started on May 29. You are experiencing that dip now. After these 19 days have elapsed, Mercury will have traveled scarcely over six zodiac degrees, an exceptionally slow appearance for the fastest sign ruler after the Moon.
That’s how, so far this month, Mercury and everything it corresponds to have been characterized by two parameters: its motion and its potion.
The motion has consisted of one of the frequent apparent reversals which identify Mercury as unique, combined with a uniquely slow period with which Mercury is not readily identified. The potion consists of the cardinal quality and watery elemental nature of Cancer, which is home to the Moon.
Beginning Tuesday, the potion will change radically to the mutable quality and airy element of Gemini even though Mercury’s motion will remain uncharacteristically sluggish.
In all probability, Mercury’s unusually slow speed during a regression from one sign to another will be something you will notice and should appreciate, for such a combination does not happen every year. In other words, Mercury is symbolically telling you that this is a very special time when it will be possible to both observe and do very special things.
What you observe will be instructive and useful regarding how Mercury manifests in your life. First and foremost, Mercury is a planet, one of the “bodies” whose “wanderings” defined time for Plato. Indeed, the English word “planet” is derived from an ancient term meaning “wanderer,” which distinguished the motion of objects in the solar system from the distant and apparently fixed stars.
Mercury is further distinguished from the rest of the solar system by the “mercurial” variety in its wanderings. At its fastest, Mercury’s apparent speed on the zodiac is greater than two degrees per day, exceeded only by the Moon.
On the other extreme, Mercury will periodically appear to slow almost to a stop just before and after apparent reversal (or retrograde), something the Sun and Moon never do.
Additionally, Mercury differentiates itself from other planets orbiting the Sun by appearing to retrograde more than once (usually three times) during the course of a single year. Hence, by the wide variances in its speed and the frequent changes of its direction, Mercury is individuated as very different from the other wanderers who have in common the delineation of time.
Mercury’s distinctive motion carries over to the mythology behind its name, which portrays an adaptable jack-of-all-trades with indeterminate gender and situational ethics, all of which makes Mercury a reverse avatar of sorts — godlike with human characteristics.
Finally, astrology interprets the role played by Mercury and other heavenly bodies through the field in which they move: the zodiac and its 12 signs.
To paraphrase shamanic astrologer Sheila Belanger, signs function to clothe or costume any planet’s archetype. With a change in costume, of course, comes a change of role, which is true whether one speaks of an actor on a stage or of you in your life. Or haven’t you noticed how people perceive and treat you differently depending on how you are dressed?
Hence, we live in a special time for Mercury right now and, by implication a special time for you. With its motion apparently reversed, and its apparent speed on the extreme low end of a wide range for an unusually extended period, while also changing signs, Mercury will be displaying an uncommon combination even for its exceptional nature. You might be able to do, or at least perceive, along the same lines.
Because of the many ways Mercury manifests in your life, the next week or so implicitly holds a potential of many uncommon combinations for you. That is not a bad thing.
Indeed, if proverb is valid and variety is the spice of life, this may very well be one of the most exotically seasoned times in your recent memory.
Since astrology indicates how such times do not happen very often, you would be well advised to embrace any exceptions you may encounter or have the opportunity to make while you have the chance.
Mercury is symbolically saying that this is a time to learn from change rather than fear it, and avail yourself of difference rather than avoid it. Who knows, If you make the most of the opportunity represented by Mercury’s motion slowing long enough for you to savor a change of potions, you may even find your human characteristics taking on a bit of the divine.
Offered In Service
Len is available for astrology readings. You can contact him at lenwallick [at] gmail [dot] com.
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