Back in February, I mapped out the relationship between the 2013 Mercury retrograde periods and the movements of Saturn. In two days, Mercury’s last retrograde of 2013 will come to an end when he stations direct. Of course, it will take until 11/27/13 for Mercury to finish his last sweep over previously trodden territory before he can venture into new terrain once again.
Intermittently since February, I have revisited the Dynamic Duo. When I gained new insights, I shared my findings. What I now realize is that it was not simply a duo at play, but really a Trio.
On March 17th, the first time Mercury stationed direct (completing his first retrograde of 2013), he did so at 5o 38’ Pisces. Neptune was at 3o 44’ Pisces at the time and thus they were conjunct.
The second time Mercury stationed direct was on July 20th. Mercury ended his second retrograde at 13o 22’ Cancer. Mercury did not aspect Neptune then. However, he was exactly trine to Chiron (13o 18’ Pisces) and the North Node of the moon (13o 56’ Scorpio), and was square to Uranus (12o 31’ Aries).
On November 10th, Mercury will station direct for the last time this year. He will do so at 2o 30’ Scorpio and exactly trine Neptune at 2o 35’ Pisces. Interestingly, on 11/27 when Mercury finally extends past the point when he stationed retrograde (at 18o 23’ Scorpio on 10/20), he will be conjunct Saturn (at 16o 43’ Scorpio).
In a sense, in this last retrograde period, Mercury will gain information from Neptune when he stations direct, and deliver it to Saturn just as he leaves the retrograde territory. If you consider the entire year, Mercury ended his first retrograde conjunct Neptune, and ends his last retrograde trine Neptune.
As you can tell, I’ve clearly been giving this a lot of thought. And thanks to the personal ways this Astrology has hit me, I’ve been feeling a lot. So what does it all mean (a very Mercury thing to ask)? Well, let’s consider the data.
First of all, we have the three most characteristic planets for three of our elements. In my opinion, there is nothing more airy than Mercury, nothing more watery than Neptune, and nothing more earthy than Saturn. These three working together is nothing less than pure alchemy.
Another way of looking at it is like so. Neptune is the most otherworldly influence upon us. Yes, Uranus is totally out of this world too, but I think we are subject to Neptune more than Uranus. In other words, Uranus tweaks us now and again, but I am not sure we are evolved enough yet to fully utilize his energy. However, Neptune’s influence is more constant and more apropos for this current era. (Again, this is my opinion.) When we get more of Neptune under our belt, we’ll be ready for more Uranus. [Another way to think of it is like this. We are completing (or have completed) the age of Pisces (Neptune). We are just beginning the Age of Aquarius (Uranus). We have 2000 years to get Uranus energy under our belts, but we need to finish up enough with Neptune to pass our tests.]
So the interaction between Neptune and Saturn is to facilitate the grounding of Neptune’s influence into physical life on planet Earth. And it makes sense that the environment for this conveyance would be with both planets in water signs.
Now I said Neptune is watery, but I want to retract that slightly. Neptune is otherworldly. It is the part of existence that is currently experienced as unreal or surreal. Yes, we experience altered states of reality all of the time, but we cannot prove what happens (to others or even our selves). And we certainly have not figured out how to utilize these experiences for our own good or the good of all.
By contrast, if you give someone a hammer and some nails, it takes very little instruction for him or her to make good use of them. Even with something as complex as a car or a computer, we can learn to use them relatively easily. But give someone a psychic or healing gift and it can take lifetimes to figure them out. We, collectively, can’t even decide if these tools are real. Many of us believe (or think that we believe), yet the establishment doesn’t accept them.
So Neptune is not watery per se, but what Neptune rules is more like water to us than any other element. We don’t understand feelings, but we experience them. Similarly, we don’t understand Neptune’s gifts, but we experience them.
Neptune’s gifts may be otherworldly, but they do affect matter—even if our establishment continues to deny the evidence. [For the record, there is enough scientific evidence to prove that psychism and energy healing exists; the scientific community simply rejects, denies, and shuns the data.]
So, this year, Neptune and Saturn executed a plan. Planet earth needs Neptune’s tools, now more than ever perhaps. In order for us to make the best use of what Neptune has to offer, we must integrate it with Saturn.
For example, a psychic may get a message that something dangerous looms just ahead for an individual. But what do they do with that information? Is it appropriate to just walk up to a stranger and say to him or her, “I am told that you will get into a car accident in the next week,” and then walk away?
There are a lot of people out there that believe warning others of every possible danger is the appropriate thing to do. They find out that one human somewhere on the planet got hurt in a particular way, and then warn everyone else of the pending danger that plagues us all. “Did you hear about that one person who got robbed in that one weird way? You had all better watch your backs because they are coming after YOU now!”
[I guess you have figured out that I do not feel this is a very responsible way to act, but I digress a bit.]
Bringing things back on track, I think that Neptune and Saturn decided that the best vehicle (in 2013) for teaching us how to use Neptune’s gifts in a way that Saturn approves is through Mercury. If we come to understand better, then we will likely take more responsibility on our own. Saturn, after all, wants us to choose responsibility. It may seem like he shoves it down our throats like an over disciplinarian father, but that’s not really his intention.
And yet, the reality is, Saturn lessons hurt, and they hurt like hell! Saturn is in Scorpio and that is precisely where his lessons sting the most.
Furthermore, disillusionment hurts too. In order to learn what is true, we have to realize that some of what we thought was true is in fact not true. You cannot have illumination without having disillusionment. Whenever Neptune and Mercury work together, you get both.
Karma, of course, comes into play. For example, on March 17th when Mercury first stationed direct, he did so exactly square to my natal sun. Even though Mercury and Neptune were conjunct, and thus harmoniously aspected, the result was a blow to me. The event was fantasy, but the pain it created was real.
Mercury’s pending station ought not sting me the way his first did. In fact, I feel (hope, and pray) that the pain is past. Mercury first entered this last retrograde area on 10/1 (when he first reached 2o 30’ Scorpio) and that is pretty much right when the pain started for me. I am (perhaps unfortunately) intuitive enough to see pain coming. Neptune has bestowed his gifts to me, but my Mercury and Saturn have not yet caught up. I don’t understand why pain hurts as much as it does (in physical terms) and I don’t understand why it is even necessary to experience such pain (in metaphysical terms). Yet the reality is, at times, we hurt and that pain is real—even if the cause is imagined.
November ought not be as difficult and painful as October was. Mercury, Neptune, and Saturn are dotting ‘i’s and crossing ‘t’s. In my case, I now know why there was pain. I know what needs to be worked on (healed and/or released). I know (generally) what needs to be learned. But I don’t yet know precisely how.
And really, that is the point too. Mercury is merely a messenger. Air is an equal element among the others—it is not the ruler. The mind may never fully understand Neptune or Saturn. We create hard and fast laws about what is right and wrong, but it is never quite that simple. ‘Law,’ ‘right,’ and ‘wrong’ are all intellectual concepts that in practice will never be agreed upon entirely.
For nearly the rest of November, Mercury will retrace the 16 degrees of Scorpio it has traveled twice already. I suspect that many of us will be thinking about the events since 10/1 that brought us pain and difficulty. (And for many of us, what happened since 10/1 simply brought up memories of pains from much further back, so we’ll be thinking about them too.) Hopefully, in November, we won’t suffer for our suffering. In other words, hopefully we’ll be able to look at what happened, but not fall back into the pain, and instead gain some more understanding around it.
For better or worse, we must experience to truly learn. That’s what pain is about. Conceptually, there are acts that hurt people (for example bullying). But until you’ve felt that pain first hand, you don’t really know what it feels like. However, once you’ve felt it, even for a moment, then you know what it is like. And even if you don’t yet know how to help someone in pain, at least you know why to help someone in pain. You know it is important. You know it is right.
2013 will end with more hard Astrology. At that time, all eyes will be on Pluto. All energies will be directed toward transformation. It is not the end of tough times. It is not even the peak of them. But our attention will be pulled in toward it.
In the Tarot, the sword is the symbol of knowledge (air). Knowledge is the approximation of truth—it is, perhaps, on the way. Like a sword, knowledge can cut through obstacles, but it can also pierce the heart. Wielding a sword requires strength, but it is best used with responsibility too.
Mercury has done his job well. He has brought up (brought out) information that was needed. Since he was working primarily with the element of water, everything he delivered came with feeling—the strongest of which was this last round. Neptune and Saturn directed him. It was their knowledge and wisdom he was conveying.
It’s pretty easy to think that all of the difficulty is over once Mercury turns around. “Phew, I’m glad that’s over.” But if you didn’t get the messages sent your way, I suspect they’ll get delivered again at another time.
Maybe someday we’ll learn…