Mercury plunges into Scorpio Sunday at 7:38 am EDT to prove small things matter. Furthering that proof, Mercury will promptly enter the echo (or “shadow”) phase of its next retrograde cycle about 48 hours after this ingress to fixed water. With the beginning of the shadow phase, October will also begin, and with it some big astrology. Regardless of how big corresponding events may be, Mercury’s role in October implies nothing and nobody will be too small to make a difference.
At some point, you may have been told (or believed) that you are too small to make a difference. If that should happen to you in October, think of Mercury, and think again.
Mercury is the smallest planet visible to the unaided eye, but judge it not by its size. It is also the closest planet to the Sun. Because the Sun symbolizes consciousness (among other things) for astrologers, Mercury often corresponds to what you are most aware of.
In other words, you notice its manifestations in the world as if it were big.
Mercury’s proximity to the Sun also confers rapid apparent motion because its orbit around the Sun has the inside lane on us. As was its namesake in mythology, it is astrology’s representation of speed. That correlates neatly to what, such as thought, is closest to consciousness. Most of the time, only the Moon moves through the signs more quickly than Mercury, and most years Mercury catches up to pass us three times.
When Mercury passes us from the inside lane, its apparent motion appears to slow, then temporarily reverse for several weeks before returning to direct motion and slowly getting back up to speed again. That’s how the famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Mercury retrogrades happen. It’s a familiar illusion if you have ever passed a train running parallel to the road your vehicle is on.
Illusions though they may be, most folks would agree Mercury retrogrades get your attention. They get your attention not because of anything you can see in the sky, but by how they manifest on Earth. That phenomenon is among the things that make Mercury the small planet that matters a lot, and matters often — especially this year. This year is special because all three of the innermost planet’s retrogrades take place entirely in water signs.
Apropos to its trickster nature (another characteristic that makes the swiftest planet play bigger than its size), Mercury retrogrades exhibit a pattern of moving backwards through the elements over the years. From water signs, to air signs, to earth signs, to fire signs and back to water again.
In many years, the arc of Mercury’s retrograde travel crosses sign cusps to integrate water and air, air and earth, earth and fire, or fire and water signs. Sometimes, an entire year’s worth of Mercury retrogrades take place in only one element. When that one element is water, it seems that small things matter most. Take a gander at the events of 1967 and 1776 for just two examples.
We have already been through two water-sign Mercury retrogrades this year. The passage through Pisces from February to March took you deep, and let you know what you were in for. The voyage through Cancer from June to July took you back, and let you know what you could be. The final sail through Scorpio will be your chance to step up as the equal of any other, or any event for that matter. October and November will be your opportunity to make this a year when the small matters as never before, and continues to do so.
Because the emotional and intuitive nature of elemental water is not consistent with Mercury’s frequently intellectual associations, you will have to both feel and think your way through this one. You will have to feel the big power you may have denied, and apply it thoughtfully.
Think about how a kind word to somebody in public may contribute to a house of peace, rather than a house of pain, upon that person’s arrival home. Contemplate how an encouraging word to somebody at home may send her into the world feeling like she matters, making a difference that nobody else can — because she is who, what and where nobody else can be.
Meditate on the fact that kind words are just the beginning. Think about that when Mercury enters Scorpio Sunday. Then, on Tuesday, as Mercury enters its echo phase (passing the point where it will eventually resume direct motion), use your imagination. Consider that your imagination (another expression of elemental water in the world) can move as quickly, and matter as much as Mercury’s manifestation in thought, and you will both rise and lift others like small waters come together and matter as never before.
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Len is available for astrology readings. You can contact him at lenwallick [at] gmail [dot] com.