Mercury Stations Retrograde in Pisces

The quality of the forthcoming week features Mercury stationing to retrograde motion on Sunday. The days surrounding the retrograde (sometimes called storm phase) can be weird, perplexing and frustrating — and very interesting.

Planet Waves

The old and the new: a modern-day smartphone rests on a model dating from roughly a century ago. Photo by CJ Sorg/Flickr.

The truth has a way of seeping out during the stations of Mercury, though it can be subtle. You might put together three things you’ve been thinking about for years. Someone might reveal something to you.

Then there are all the usual effects.

Thinking I lost my cell phone Thursday led to taking a series of long overdue security steps associated with it and the accounts connected to it. In the process, a satellite found my phone on an office chair (and I could not explain how it got there).

Mystical de lo Habitual

That aside, for the first time I deployed a device in outer space to find another object in the room I was sitting in. The days of miracle and wonder — the long-distance call.

There’s a touch of mystical de lo habitual to the retrograde effect of Mercury. This is true of Mercury generally, the planet of the mind and of consciousness. The retrograde calls our attention to this often taken-for-granted planet, here in the age of Pluto and Eris getting so much attention.

The retrograde of Mercury represents the unseen seeping into the everyday, offering some of the most tangible demonstrations of an effect associated with astrology.

The New York Times once did an informal study of Mercury retrograde, tracking it against service calls to Apple and delays for a big commuter railroad. By their reporting, which seemed honest to me, errors or odd incidents did not increase.

While all studies should be repeated (and this was not scientific, I am aware), I’m not surprised at these results. I consider Mercury retrograde to be a figment of consciousness, not of the train schedule.

From Pisces to Aquarius

The current retrograde begins in early Pisces on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 7:54 pm EST and ends in late Aquarius on Monday, March 9, at 11:48 pm EDT.

Pisces is slippery where Mercury is concerned, though it can also be brilliant, prolific and make unusual observations. There is a window into the invisible here, and a tap into the imagination. One key is never assuming you know too much for sure. Leave your mind in inquiry/observation mode, and let your curiosity lead you.

Water signs tend to reveal their secrets in layers. When you’re in this territory, if you want to learn something, take a laid-back approach and see what comes to you. The active piece can be expressing your curiosity — and reading. Even reading material unrelated to your chosen topic can be revealing.

Planet Waves

Fountain statue in Rouen, France, depicting the mythological centaur Nessus abducting Deianira, wife of Hercules. There are variations on the exact story, though the actions of all three characters are tightly intertwined, and influence each other’s eventual fates. Photo by Frédéric Bisson/Flickr.

Expose yourself to what gets your creativity going rather than to what you think will answer direct questions. You are the real source of information.

It is best to avoid belief, and notice when you’re believing something, which is a spiritual shortcut that leads nowhere. This is not easy, in a time when belief is considered everything, and with so much happening in Pisces.

Mercury Conjunct Nessus

The retrograde begins with Mercury conjunct Nessus in Pisces. This is a long-period centaur discovered in 1993 (122-year orbit, and also the first planet named at the suggestion of astrologers).

Nessus has two main properties. It carries a lot of legacy material from the genetic line (all centaurs have a tap into the ancestral realm). Yet this can also bring up material from your personal past. You might not be so eager to have it surface, though this is a good time to do so.

We do a lot of suppressing in our culture — of feelings, of personal history, of symptoms, of our true thoughts. The first place to be real is with yourself (and that is challenging enough). The second place is with someone you trust: a close friend, or a healer, so you have some context. The third is with your intimate partner.

The second main property of Nessus involves accountability. On one side, it’s the very sigil of victim consciousness. On the other, Nessus is the bold advocate of The Buck Stops Here: taking responsibility for your words, your feelings, and how you respond to the events of the past.

Let it be the past, let it all come up for healing, and then address your concerns as you become aware of them. As A Course in Miracles reminds its students many times, only the truth is true, and nothing else matters.

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