Today is Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011. The waning Moon is in Scorpio today, but the main event is that Mercury stations (or stationed) retrograde in Sagittarius at 2:19 am EST. We’ve been anticipating this event for weeks; hopefully you have made any important electronic purchases already, have left yourself extra travel time if you have to go anywhere today, and are mentally prepared to take communication snafus with a grain of salt.
At the basic level, your typical Mercury retrograde advice applies for the next three weeks or so. Don’t assume you’re getting snubbed if you don’t hear back from someone; try them again, and perhaps try a different method of communication, such as phone instead of email. Make sure you check your gas gauge, your directions and the weather forecast before you head off anywhere. If something seems broken, see if you can work around it until Mercury stations direct, and then see if it still needs to be replaced or repaired. And despite the fact that ‘Black Friday’ — the biggest shopping day of the year — is the day after this Mercury station, be aware that something isn’t a ‘bargain’ if it never gets used; be selective about any purchases you make tomorrow if you do go shopping.
More specifically, and personally, every Mercury retrograde has a slightly different flavor and focus; some are less challenging than others, or in different ways. The location of this event is 21 Sagittarius, a degree symbolized by a boy and a dog wearing borrowed eyeglasses. This would seem an utterly bizarre image. Eyeglasses are symbols of intellectual development. Dane Rudhyar in his commentary on the degree symbols describes a tribe where the chiefs wore eyeglasses without lenses to evoke the feeling of a race of ‘superior’ beings. As ridiculous as this seems, there is the message that we need someone to look up to, or at least something to aspire to. This image may imply is the importance of choosing that object of aspiration carefully — though of even greater importance may be how fully we use our imaginations to envision ourselves as what we can become. Play is an act of creation.
Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius describes questioning our beliefs, our sources of information and wisdom and indeed checking in with our core spiritual source. Sagittarius describes the mystical element, and Mercury retrograde is an introspective phase of questioning. This Mercury retrograde happens with Mars in Virgo, which is demanding mental precision, documentation and facts to back up theories. This is some extra help from a power tool to get at the details, and to invoke a clarity of intellectual precision.
Friday’s partial eclipse of the Sun is in a sequence of events called Saros 123. These Saros cycles can go on and on for centuries. The pattern is cast into the chart of the first eclipse of the cycle, which could be centuries ago. The ‘parent eclipse’ as its known is like a piece of DNA that carries forward. We had a brand new Saros start with an earlier this year, so the parent eclipses are not always ancient history.
The planets in Saros 123 include a T-square between Saturn and Neptune with Pluto at the apex. It sounds like that’s a chart with some tension in it, but it’s invisible tension because Neptune has a way of disappearing, but still having its full effects. Pluto is stellar in this chart, moderating between the ‘total illusion’ of Neptune and the ‘harsh reality’ of Saturn. The only thing that can moderate between these two polarities is the soul’s evolution (Pluto). Despite that tomorrow’s eclipse does not itself have this configuration, its placement in Sagittarius, home of the Galactic Center, carries the theme.
While we’re on the subject of Friday’s eclipse, its Sabian degree symbol is Two Men Playing Chess. This is a cool metaphor, given that Zuccotti Park became a chess board in the financial district, in a game of the 99% calling out the 1%. It is indeed a form of ritualized conflict, though one side has the paint and the other side has the pepper spray. The key concept is that it’s the transcendent ritualization of conflict: the confrontation is taken to a different level. That’s what we’re seeing.
Noting that chess teaches us to be more objective and less impulsive, Rudhyar goes on to say that at this degree “we are dealing with conflict at the level of group cultures and psychological symbolization.” As Mercury retrograde takes you on an inner tour of your belief structures, check out how such polarizations have taken shape, and whether they seem to have switched poles with Mercury’s shift in direction.
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