Motion and Potion — Mercury Retrograde In Two Signs

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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.

Astrology by Len Wallick

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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Len Wallick

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11 Responses to Motion and Potion — Mercury Retrograde In Two Signs

  1. Len Wallick Len Wallick says:

    Lunesoleil, Elizabeth, be-autiful be, kate, jere, Green-Star-gazer: Apologies for once again being taking so long to acknowledge and appreciate how your comments combined to enrich all of us who read Planet Waves. Your contributions truly brought depth and discovery to what my service initiated. Thank you all so very much.

  2. Dear Be,

    Your comments to Jere have shed some profound light for me on my natal 8th house Jupiter-Uranus conjunction (within a degree) which is trine my 12 house Sun again within 2 degrees and which also square my moon within a degree. Yeah… it’s a tight-knit bunch! You’ve let me see something about myself that I’ve always viewed as a flaw and a burden and never understood the WHY of it.

    Many thanks to you both… for Jere who asked and for Be who answered! :-)

  3. bkoehler says:

    jere, dearheart, you may not have been aware of transiting Uranus but he obviously was aware of You! I love your idea re: parking lot entertainment. . .just DO it!

  4. jere jere says:

    Thanks Be. I honestly didn’t consider transiting Uranus.. slip of the mind. I’m not trying to put too much weight on the sesquiquadrate, but it’s kinda interesting to me through my progressed chart, and it’s been pretty elusive to me over the years.

    I’ve been developing an idea for a while now, where I go out into public (random parking lots?) with my guitar and amp (powered by an inverter running off a 12 volt), pre-recorded accompaniment on my comp., a projector with space and nature visuals, play some music for 15 minutes, and be out in 20 (before the cops come to hassle my party). It just sounds fun, non-commital, and other folks might enjoy it too.

    I’m juggling natal, transits, and anything else I can wrap my heart-mind around these days, so it helps to listen to others’ perspectives, that I might be able to glean something that I might of otherwise not seen.

    Again, thank you immensely for your perspective. It does help me to stand back, re-focus myself, and remember the larger view.

    Peace and Love,


  5. bkoehler says:

    Wow jere. . . natal Jupiter at 15 Aries? Both natally (in retro) and progressed (direct)? And transiting Uranus is at 15+ Aries? Let’s take this one step at a time.

    When transiting Uranus was conjunct my natal Jupiter (which squares my Sun) I had no sense of time (of the day or how long I would spend on something). Ideas kept coming so rapidly (mostly about astrology of course) I could not concentrate on routines (shopping, laundry, writing checks, eating) but it was a thrilling experience and my nerves were pretty well shot. Your mileage may vary.

    If we consider that your natal Jupiter was retro at birth and by progression is now direct, AND conjunct natal Jupiter, AND is being transited by Uranus who is squared six ways from Sunday. . . . . who needs a sesquiquadrate? But it IS important, because Timing Is Everything and your Jupiter, the ruler of your Sun conjunct Mercury, and I assume, your 6th house? Let’s accept that natal Jupiter in the 10th and ruling the 6th has something to do with work, career, reputation, society, accomplishment, service of some kind, and now, with Uranus it could be unique, even radical.

    Let’s assume you like to entertain or be entertaining (Sun in 5th) and/or enjoy being with children or being child-like. Mercury “answers” to both Sun and Jupiter so I don’t see that as a major problem, but a 5th house Sun might like the freedom to be creative whereas a 10th house Jupiter, now that he’s direct by progression, would require a more public space to operate from. Transiting Uranus might be encouraging you widen your public self and this might conflict with your private side (5th house is fun and games and romance). It would seem that the gods want you to cut your ties to anything that binds (that’s transiting Uranus) and Jupiter DOES love his freedom, so flexibility and faith in yourself is being put to the test.

    The sesquiquadrate is not a major aspect jere, you know that. It points out areas that need development – perhaps more freedom is one of them. Mercury should help a lot in your case, but will tend to favor the mind over the heart. With Scorpio on the 5th house cusp privacy will be important and should be respected. I believe transiting Mars is making an important aspect in your chart; nudging you out of your relatively comfortable nest and that could make you feel anxious. Why not wait until transiting Jupiter leaves the sign of Cancer to commit to anything? Mercury will conjunct Jupiter at 3+ Leo in early August and things should start to fall in place. Hope this helps a little.

  6. jere jere says:

    Be, caught your words, interpreted in perfect sense. :)

    Question for anyone?,.. (don’t want to steal your brain-space, I’ll get there eventually, but I figured I’d inquire anyway..),..

    I have a (natal) conjunction between Merc./Sun @ 0+/2+ respectively, in Sag., in a Scorpionic 5th house, sesquiquadrate rx Jupiter @ 15+ Aries 10th house…

    ..In progression, my Jupiter has just now, in my 38th year on this planet crossed over it’s point of origin in direct motion.

    ..Without going too far into details (I just erased a bunch of stuff), does anyone have any insight into how I might view, and/or utilise this situation?

    Again, not looking to steal your mind,.. (but hell, if you don’t ask… you never know.. [until you figure it out on your own anyway… which is never your own ’cause the Universe is nothing but a giant signpost anyway… and we’re all here to direct cosmic traffic in the capacity we are.. :) ])

    Smiles, Laughs, and Love,


  7. bkoehler says:

    Hey Len, don’t know why my correction didn’t show up the first time I made it but earlier I meant to say Mercury started his retrograde conjunct the U.S. Venus at 3+ Cancer (not at 3+ Venus). duh!

  8. kate kate says:

    I was being all smug and thinking…Merc X is a usually a good time for me. Don’t know why. I usually reconnect with people that I value and vice-versa, when I travel – it goes swimmingly (just made a short European trip this weekend from echo through to standstill, no probs at all), have bought and sold houses during this time and its been a breeze, and I find my creative work peaks during these phases, and so on.

    Except, I booked tickets for a performance I really wanted to see tonight and what do I do? I totally forget that today is THE day, and now it’s too late and I can’t go. SMH.

  9. bkoehler says:

    My take on Mercury’s specialness of the moment remains linked to his once a year (more or less) conjunction with Jupiter. I’ve already noted how his path linked the U.S. natal (Sibly) Venus at 3+ Venus to the 2011 lunar eclipse at 24+ Gemini, among other things. What I didn’t know at the time is that Mercury’s annual cycle with Jupiter, the one we are in right now, started at 23 Gemini 12, the degree this retrograde will bring Mercury face to face with when it is completed. This is a do-over period, the “do” most likely revealed in the chart for that 2013 conjunction between Mercury and Jupiter.

    Here are a few things you might personally relate to that are special about that chart, in no special order:
    (a) Venus was at 21 Gemini 43, about 1 1/2 degrees away from Mercury and Jupiter, so loving the amount of talk, data, thinking encountered this year comes to mind;
    (b) the Sun, Moon and Saturn were in a tight yod with the Sun at 6+ Gemini at the apex power point, the same degree as December 2012’s lunar eclipse (think Mayan calendar end) and the same degree where Jupiter stationed direct in January 2013. Sabian Symbol is “A Well With Bucket And Rope Under The Shade Of Majestic Trees;
    (c) Pluto at 11+ Capricorn squared Uranus at 11+ Aries and were in a T-square with Vesta at 12+ Cancer. I believe this is important to include because on July 5th (the day after the U.S. national holiday), Vesta will exactly conjunct Ceres after two years of traveling together, never more than 6 degrees apart. In this 5/27/13 chart Ceres was at 18+ Cancer. In the mythology of the ancients, Ceres was worshipped because she provided man the ability to grow his food and Vesta was worshipped because she provided unfailing warmth and protection to family and community. Both of these goddesses contribute to the stability of the family unit, something the sign of Cancer is all about.

    Today retrograde Mercury is at 1+ Cancer and free from the degree where he spent over 3 days in a conjunction with Hades at 2+ Cancer. We have all just spent 3 days thinking about something we don’t like to think about.

    The next Mercury-Jupiter conjunction begins their new cycle in the sign of Leo, leaping over the sign of Cancer. Everything happens for a reason. I can tell you one interesting thing about the chart for the future Jupiter-Mercury cycle starting in August; Mars in Scorpio trines Neptune and Nessus in Pisces, and Hades in Cancer. . . . . . . and Vesta will conjunct Mars and Ceres will conjunct Vesta. The cycle ending soon began in a transitional (mutable) sign and the new cycle will begin in a solid, inflexible fixed sign. My guess is that Mercury is giving us a last chance to face something unpleasant and begin to fix it, otherwise it might become a permanent fixture.

  10. Elizabeth Michaud Elizabeth Michaud says:

    Thanks for the advice, Len. I admit, I’ve been getting used to the depths of emotion I’m swimming in lately, and the thought of the sluggish yet wacky retrograde back into Gemini is a little weird. But versatility and variety are the keys to being enriched by this phase and not frustrated from the diversity of energies. Water and air– you can flow with both, right? Bring on the exotic seasonings!

  11. Lunesoleil says:

    Hello Len
    For me there is something to understand the changes in sign by mercury, by a change of thought, from a point of view to another point of view. Clear failover from one thought to another, the mindset changes to adopt another…
    Excellent full moon at all 😀

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