Dear Friend and Reader:
If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably noticed things getting exponentially more insane by the day. Everything seems to be out of control. And if you follow astrology, you may be wondering what the holy heck is going on. I’m here with some information for you.
We’re about to experience what may be the most interesting Mercury retrograde I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen a few, and studied them all. There’s always some interesting twist, though the one that spans from Sunday, Dec. 3 through Friday, Dec. 22 has many unusual properties. This retrograde process has the distinction of being the fanfare connected to Saturn’s ingress into Capricorn, a sign that it rules.
For starters, Mercury retrograde happens three times a year. Astronomically, it’s when Mercury passes between the Earth and the Sun. So during a retrograde, Mercury is nearby; it’s a planet-sized hunk of iron. Based on one theory of astrology, it’s also getting its particular properties picked up by the solar wind, which are cascaded all over the Earth and our bodies.
Not all astrology is based in astronomy, though a giant magnet blowing by is a good candidate.
I maintain, however, that most of the effect of retrograde Mercury is on our minds, which are electrical and magnetic devices. This explains how one’s disk drive might fail, and one might lose a check between the pages of a magazine that arrived in the same day’s mail. Hence, one might deduce a mental effect, which would be right in line with Mercury (which represents the mind before anything else).
Here’s a Planet Waves classic on Mercury retrograde, for all the generalities, some details and some recommendations. Share away!
Saturn, Pholus and the Galactic Core
As you may know, Saturn is near the end of its run through Sagittarius. It’s now conjunct the Galactic Core, which factors prominently in the story of this Mercury retrograde. Saturn in Sagittarius began in late 2014, and ends on Dec. 19, two days before the solstice. I consider Saturn, with a 29-year orbit, to be a slow-mover. Saturn transits affect everyone in some significant way. I described some of what Saturn in Capricorn might be about in the current monthly edition, and Saturn conjunct the Galactic Core in the prior monthly edition. These links are worth checking out if only for the excellent artwork.
As mentioned, Saturn is slowly creeping past the Galactic Core, which is the center of our spiral island in space. This is the culmination event of Saturn in Sagittarius. To me this is about beaming in, making real and making solid the ineffable spiritual themes emanating from the heart of the Milky Way. The astrological effect is probably symbolic, though you may find it entertaining to know that the existence of the Galactic Core was discovered by a Bell Telephone engineer named Karl G. Jansky. The link takes you to some excellent Planet Waves coverage from 2007, when Pluto was conjunct the Core.
The Milky Way tends to represent things that are so high you can’t get over them, and so wide you can’t get around them: that is, people and events whose influence is profound, pervasive and often part of the invisible environment.
One of the most notable charts with the Milky Way prominent is the chart for the first flight of an airplane, which has the Sun and Uranus aligned with the Galactic Core.
It also happens that there are other planets conjunct the Galactic Core, which include the second centaur planet Pholus. Unlike Chiron, which tends to act slowly though with unusual intensity, Pholus serves as an accelerant. It represents two things, mainly: the release of something under pressure, which cannot be re-contained; and a kind of catalytic action that Munich-based astrologer Robert von Heeren has described astutely as the "small cause with a big effect."
Saturn tends to structure and contain things. Pholus tends to precipitate uncontrolled release, like a runaway reaction. Putting Saturn and Pholus together is therefore a setup for such a release from that containment.
We are indeed seeing many factors in society run wild, from the sex crimewave of multimillionaires, to the Republican trend of nonstop horrid policies (they’re about to run up a new $1,500,000,000,000.00 [$1.5 trillion] in debt and give most of the money to the super rich, to Donald Trump projectile vomiting pure insanity.)
Whatever seems to go on and on and on often has Pholus somewhere prominent in the chart. (One of my best pieces about this involves Rupert Murdoch, called The World in a Grain of Pholus.)
Astrologers young and old, astrology students, teachers and fans, take note: Pholus is a basic and elemental energy of our time in history. It’s every bit as basic as Saturn. And note as well: much of that from which we’re seeing an uncontrolled release specifically involves Saturn-based structures (corporations and governments).
So, the basic structure of this event involves Saturn and Pholus aligned with the Galactic Core. Think of the main energy source being the Core, Saturn acting as a condenser, and Pholus pushing it out of any containment. Though the news seems to be mostly negative, you might imagine a spiritual gusher right behind it. As we used to say in Miracle Manor, "Love brings up everything unlike itself."
Now Add Mercury to the Mix
All week long, Mercury has been creeping past the Saturn-Pholus-Galactic Core conjunction. On Sunday, Mercury will station retrograde in the very last degree of Sagittarius. It will then retrograde back over Saturn, Pholus and the Core, and proceed retrograde to mid-Sagittarius and station direct. Notably, for the station direct on Dec. 22, Mercury will be conjunct another deep-space point, called the Great Attractor (a kind of supercluster of 100,000 galaxies; yes, that is crazy, but it’s true).
Mercury is about mind, communications, communication devices, commerce and ideas. It’s a local point — it’s right nearby, both in physical proximity and in consciousness. Mercury will be concentrating and retweeting the effect of this conjunction, though it will also serve as a precipitating factor. That’s to say, Mercury conjunct these powerful points is stirring things up. And it’s converting them into what you might think of as communication brainwaves.
It would seem, therefore, that the feeling of a pressurized reaction going out of control will persist for a while. The Mercury retrograde/Sagittarius/Pholus connection is a caution about social media and the internet in general. The whole thing has the feeling of (whatever it may be) "going viral."
Then, on Dec. 19, Saturn will enter Capricorn and cool things off a little. Next the Sun will enter Capricorn and cool things off a little more, and then Mercury will station direct a day later and we will learn something entirely new.
Keep Your Cool, and Remember…
This whole arrangement is a setup for losing your cool. You will need to be patient about delays, frustrations and those moments when you cannot seem to keep a grip. You will need to watch your stress level.
Focus on what matters the most. Keep your priorities in order. And we need to dial back the rage, vitriol and blame that’s become part of the political and social landscape, because we cannot afford any collateral damage in the name of social justice. This is not about destroying the village so we can save it, though you don’t need to look too far to see that happening.
Remember: in the true spirit of Mercury retrograde, it may not be broke — so you may not need to fix it.
Oh, while I’m here — one more thing, and this does deserve more bandwidth on Planet Waves. Here is a preview. Donald Trump’s ascendant is in the last degree of Leo. Mercury stations retrograde in the last degree of Sagittarius, also a fire sign — the retrograde trines his ascendant, which is like opening a tap.
Robert Mueller III is closing in on the Drumpf. That’s part of the insanity we’re witnessing: Trump knows a lot of things that we don’t know. FBI agents assigned to the Special Counsel’s office have been interviewing his family members, former staff members, current staff members, and many other people — and sooner or later, probably sooner, something is gonna give.
When it does, it will feel like what we’re witnessing now, only greatly magnified, and probably scarier. A change of administrations during the midst of a term is a rare event and it’s always a little frightening, because suddenly it’s possible to feel how vulnerable society is.
While Saturn in Capricorn will cool things off, as many astrologers are saying, government will come into clear focus and we will witness a whole new kind of change.