Mercury is the planet of communication, ruling the thought processes that govern our approaches to expressing ourselves as well as our approach to perceiving. During Mercury retrograde these processes are turned upside down and inside out. The previous Mercury retrograde in Virgo began August 30th as Mercury stationed between Jupiter and Venus, and ended as Mercury stationed direct in an exact trine to Pluto in Capricorn. Now, Mercury has built to less than one and a half degrees conjunction to Pluto, as he hangs motionless, ready to retrograde once again.
This particular retrograde is deeply personal, as we come to the end of the Leo cycle of Venus. Mercury will be retrograde as Inanna ascends through the gates corresponding to the third eye and crown chakras. Mercury stations direct in January on the same day that the Sun transits conjunct Pluto, then Mercury finally completes his conjunction to Pluto on January 29th- the same day that Venus enters her retrograde shadow.
The Jodorowsky Marseille Tarot has been immensely helpful to me in my depression as I struggle to connect to source for inspiration, information, and insight. Lately I have been drawing my astrology spreads from a deck made of the major arcana, court cards, and aces- pip cards removed. For this spread, I also removed the cards I drew for my previous astro/tarot article.
Mercury Station Retrograde, conjunct Pluto
Mercury is represented by the Emperor, and Pluto is represented by the Chariot, both powerful, driven archetypes that seek to achieve goals via yang. The Emperor’s eyes are looking in the direction that Mercury will travel during retrograde- he seems to be gazing directly at the Sun and Saturn…
The Emperor is usually seen as a dominator, what is not acknowledged as often is his mastery of *holding space.* He is the number 4 major arcana, and 4 is not an active number, it denotes stablity. Within the archetype of a conquering male ruler who establishes and enforces borders, we find a hero, the protector and rock of the Empress. The borders established by the Emperor are a safe container for the endless creative birthings of the Empress.
The Chariot, for me, is always about inertia and the obstacles that stand in the way of overcoming it. Pluto energy so often presents itself as an intrusion- inconvenient at best, violent at the worst, but almost always unwelcome. The Chariot as Pluto draws attention to the ball and chain we are dragging behind us that impedes our desire to move forward. Contrary to popular new age quote-memes, that ball and chain is NOT a figment of your imagination, and simply deciding that it doesn’t exist anymore is actually running away from the work you must do to solve this problem. Mercury as the Emperor is in charge of the mission to get you to a safe and stable mental state where you can address and overcome the inertia that is holding you down.
The Moon conjunct the North Node in Virgo
The Knight of Swords provides the perfect description of the lunar north node of fate transiting through the sign of Virgo- the practical essence of the intellect performed as a perfect action, in the pursuit of broader frontiers, where the actualization of the intellect leads to the blossoming of a new emotional reality. The Moon calls us by the heart into this space, and deep into Neptune’s embrace… at the moment Mercury officially begins retrograde, the Moon is a 9 Virgo, exact opposite Neptune at 9 Pisces- Moon opposite Neptune is a deeply emotional aspect, eliciting feelings of compassion and connection to those around us. But this is made possible by Neptune’s boundary-blurring properties, which can also be deeply uncomfortable or even disturbing. Fortunately we can focus on the Knight of Swords and his mission to carry our heart’s focus through the fog.
Neptune and the Crown Chakra
What better metaphor for Neptune in Pisces than The Tower, which depicts the cleansing of the crown chakra, that potentially disturbing and disruptive process of psychic boundaries dissolving. Neptune is the embodiment of the subconscious, and Pisces is his natural kingdom, mutable water. The south node transiting Pisces creates a wide open channel to the collective subconscious through our previous incarnations. It’s worth noting, but not focusing on, how many weak minds are manifesting this as white nationalism and fascist propaganda. But for those of us who seek to navigate these energies consciously, the question is, what do we hear when we listen to our ancestors? What do we find when we shake the dust out of the rug of our incarnations? We find the hopes and dreams of our ancestors realized in our lifestyles. And we find their fears and hatreds buried underneath our nervous tissue. It is our soul’s mission to sort this out. Remember opposite Neptune is the Moon, Knight of Swords. Eyes on the prize. The prize is riding on the dragon’s head into the future.
Mars and the Mystery of Pisces, a.k.a.,
“It’ll Rain A Sunny Day, Shining Down Like Water”
The Moon’s opposition to Neptune in Pisces at the moment of Mercury retrograde is given even deeper context by the fact that Mars enters Pisces that same day. Mars in Pisces is a placement that highlights inner strength, the bold actions that we can take without moving a muscle. It is an active volcano that appears calm for 100 years. My card for Mars entering Pisces is interestingly The Sun, which points to the helpful, stabilizing effect of meditation on our Mars energy. The card depicts one figure helping another step out of the water onto land, as they are literally splattered with illumination. The figure stepping out of the water has a tail, which suggests to me a weakened and closed root chakra, and he reaches out to the friend on land for assistance with grounding. The same illumination is available to both the helper and the one needing help. Before Mars explodes into his home sign of Aries, he must pass through the Pisces Meditation. As he transits the south node, Neptune, and Chiron too (and transiting sextile Mercury and Pluto) Mars will inspire us to take action that exists exclusively within our own energy field, grounding our root chakra as Neptune and Venus each work their magic on our crowns.