Civilized man tends to be in a state of chronic worry and fear and anxiety, because he is always confronted not with the simple actuality of what is happening before him but with the innumerable possibilities of what ‘might’ happen. And since, because of this, his emotional existence tends to be in a state of anxiety and tension, he increasingly loses the ability to relate to the concrete world as it manifests to him in the actual present in which he lives.
— Alan Watts (from Zen and the Beat Way)
Mercury will encounter retrograde Venus passing through Gemini in the opposite direction tomorrow. The opposing directions of apparent motion will make make this particular conjunction of Mercury and Venus brief but meaningful. As if to make sure we understand just how meaningful, Mercury and Venus will meet while opposed, to the degree, by another conjunction that has persisted to the degree for literally months on end, the Sagittarius merger of Pholus and Ixion.
As complex as it may seem, the combination of contrast, precision and paradox held by the unlikely and ephemeral double aspect of Mars and Venus opposing Pholus and Ixion will pertain to your life as a simple but urgent wake-up call to mindfulness.
Somehow, attending to where you are, what you are doing, and events in your vicinity has become quaint at best, a vice at worst. Yet nothing is more vital to survival than paying attention. What could we be thinking to elect unconsciousness? When it comes to thinking, or lack of it, astrology tells us to look at Mercury.
Mercury is the difference in tomorrow’s double aspect, creating an entirely different dynamic from what existed on April 29, when Venus in direct motion previously opposed Pholus and Ixion, quietly feeling out its options and choices — some of them, perhaps, unthinkable. Now that Mercury will be timing its brief conjunction with Venus to coincide with Venus’ second of three oppositions to Pholus and Ixion, the sky is asking you to be mindful of your great power to achieve what you conceive.
The lack of mindfulness goes beyond the unaccountable habit of texting while either driving, walking in traffic, or (for Pete’s sake) using the toilet. There is a deeper and more pervasive trend that has been developing over a long period of time. It started with a drift away from the natural check and balance on behavior provided by community and cooperation, tending towards isolation within hierarchy.
In recent decades, the powers that be invested in and relied on automation to the point where the only thing being truly managed is masticated numbers that mean nothing. Isolated within automated hierarchies, a growing number of people have replaced the dearth of community and cooperation with digital interface to indifferent data streams where the wind does not blow and the flowers are not fragrant, feeding a mindless state of anxiety and tension. That trend is diminishing the one human quality which, more than any other, has allowed us to survive: looking out for each other as we would look out for ourselves. Without compassion to guide your mind, you or anybody else become capable of unconscionable things.
The double edged phrase that most frequently resonates with the Neptune-crossing object named Ixion is that anybody is indeed capable of anything. You have the great power of being able to achieve anything you can conceive. For most of human history that power, and responsibility, were held and exercised in community through cooperation. Only recently has that gift been surrendered by many to a few who are devoted only to profit.
When the sheer pain of chronic fear and anxiety finally does awaken an isolated individual from digital doping, the profit-oriented hierarchy readily provides the capability, such as a gun, of terrible things that no mindful person would do. Mercury and Venus opposing Ixion is asking you to think of and feel for others as well as yourself, not to be one of those who pick up a gun and lose their soul. Fortunately, very small actions on your part can have a big effect. That’s where Pholus comes in.
If Mercury is the difference in tomorrow’s doubled conjunction-opposition, Pholus is the saving grace. The expression that often best describes how Pholus works in astrology is that a small cause frequently has a big effect. Although that term is usually applicable as a caution, it can also have a fortunate application, such as when it comes to mindfulness.
Mindfulness is not difficult. It means paying attention to where you are and what you are doing. It entails taking your surroundings in instead of shutting them out. Sure, you can text while climbing a flight of stairs, but do you know how many stairs you just climbed? That’s an example of a small thing that can have a big effect in a positive way. If you start paying attention to the number of stairs, you might become conscious of the number of trees, then all of a sudden birds will start singing out of nowhere and you’ll feel your heart beating and actually taste your food and maybe even notice the fragile, precious beauty of other people. There is no limit to how far you can go with mindfulness, but it does place a limit on what you are capable of — the kind of limit that makes the world safer when we are self-compelled to simply love.
Offered In Service
Len is available for astrology readings. You can contact him at lenwallick [at] gmail [dot] com.