By Len Wallick
Mercury has been retrograde in Taurus since April 18th, less than two days before Chiron made its temporary ingress to Pisces. Today it stations forward in the third degree of Taurus. According to the generous ephemeris resources at serennu.com the exact point is two degrees, thirty-nine minutes, thirty-four seconds. The exact UTC time (on a 24-hour clock) is 22:26:35.
To translate, that’s about 6:26 pm EDT on the East Coast of the United States, 3:26 pm PDT on the Left Coast. As has been noted in this space before, the transition is immediate, Mercury spends no measurable time standing still. Thus we are in the midst of what is usually called the storm phase, when the expression of Mercury retrograde is at its peak.
Hence the highest implementation of retrograde protocol is indicated. Above all, be patient. Distinguish between a thoughtful response and a thoughtless reaction. If you go off half cocked, let it go. Another chance is coming up.
Just as the beginning of this Mercury retrograde had a link with Chiron, so does the station forward. Mercury’s position today is within one degree of where Chiron is situated on its discovery chart. This dance of concurrency continues with a third event. Just before the end of May, Mercury will emerge from its echo phase just as Chiron is entering the exact arc minute at which its own retrograde will begin. Not incidentally, Saturn stations direct to end Memorial day weekend. As the saying goes, one is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, three times a pattern. Mercury and Chiron are in the midst of a pattern involving the astrological phenomena known as a retrograde. Saturn is involved.
Let’s break it down a bit. First of all a retrograde is an illusion. Planets don’t actually move backwards. The illusion is generated by perspective, but not the kind we are used to. On earth we consider perspective to be a matter of changing our static frame of reverence. We go to a museum. We look at a marble sculpture by Michelangelo. First from one side. Then from another. The sculpture remains unchanged while we move. We go into the mountains. We take a compass reading. First on one peak, then another. Then we create a triangle on our map to get a “fix” on where we are. We can do this because we and the peaks are holding the same position. Those are the types of perspective we usually think of. Those where the object being observed or the viewer or both are fixed in place or in form or both.
Take it up into the sky (or down to a chart) however, and perspective is a whole new ballgame. There is no fixed point of reference. Everything is moving, either apparently or in actuality. The perception of the motion of the observed is relative to the motion of the observer. In the solar system, most moving bodies trace the pattern of an ellipse, an elongated circle. Some ellipses are smaller than others and that’s where the retrograde illusion comes in.
From our moving perspective Mercury seems to be faster because it traces a shorter ellipse around the Sun. It completes about three orbits to our one. Therefore it effectively “laps” us three times a year, which by no coincidence is the number of Mercury retrogrades we have over a year’s time. A rough comparison is like being in a train or on a bus with another close along side. As we start to slowly move forward, out of the corner of our eye we perceive the other moving backward. It is disorienting and so is the perspective of a planetary retrograde.
Even if we don’t see the planet in question, synchronicity assures sympathetic resonance of all events within a particular context. Part of that context is subject matter. If it resonates with the planet, it will go backwards when the planet does. No cause and effect, mind you, synchronicity. That and evidently a profound connection with consciousness.
Another part of that context is placement. In what sign(s) or house the retrograde is taking place? Finally there is the temporal context.
So let’s take a flyer. Among other things, Mercury is about thinking and thought. Taurus, a fixed earth sign, second house, is, among other things, about what we possess and value. Mercury retrograde in Taurus is synchronous with a change of perspective about what we have and what we value. This can be disorienting. One way of dealing with that is to adjust our thinking about having and being. Sound familiar so far? Lets go to Chiron.
Chiron, among other things is about systems. Specifically awareness of what element(s) in a system needs attention so that the whole can be sustained. Pisces, a mutable water sign, representing the twelfth house is where the whole story of the zodiac comes together dissolving in preparation for a new beginning. A mysterious, fecund, deep place. Like maybe, the ocean?
On to Saturn. Saturn, among other things is about the relationship between the individual in the collective. Retrograde in Virgo, mutable earth, 6th house, is synchronous with a change of perspective as to the health of that relationship and the adjustments that can facilitate a reorientation. Virgo’s element connects us back to Taurus. Taurus back to Chiron. The quadruplicity (mutable) connects us back to Pisces. The house connects us back to Mercury, Virgo’s ruler, thus completing a circle.
Put it all together. The health of our relationship with the collective and how we identify with our earthly values is undergoing a re-orientation that includes a growing and even painful awareness of dysfunction in the system that contains and sustains both. How does that leave you? On the edge?
Now, what do we do? Besides the usual Mercury storm precautions and forbearances, we can start at our original edge and move out for a wider perspective with the timely help of none other than the Moon.
For a long time humanity thought of Saturn as the edge of the solar system and, by implication, our consciousness. Being part of the collective was life. Ostracism was death. Simple as that. Then for most of us now alive and aware, Pluto took over the edge. Life opened up to the mysteries of the infinite universe even as imminent universal death became constant in consciousness — confounding as that.
Today the Moon conjoins Eris, allowing us to to actually feel the new edge if we want to. The outcast woman — upon whom an epoch of patriarchy projected its failures and transferred its responsibility — has come home. Not just to roost but to rule. Come home with the perspective of the outsider. Not in illusion about the hypocrisy. Not invested in the failed and the failing. Comfortable with disorientation. Secure in adjustment. Possessed of a new perspective. Eris, among other things is the place we arrive at after a retrograde experience. Luna reminds us that she’s waiting. Amazing as that.
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