Mercury stations direct at 6:33 pm EDT this Thursday, June 11. It’s been retrograde in Gemini since May 18. I’m again hearing from some readers and people who speak to me spontaneously that this was the most difficult Mercury retrograde they’ve experienced, though not nearly as frequently as with the prior one in Aquarius.
The current retrograde is in Gemini, though really the most salient factor is the involvement of planets in Pisces — centaur Nessus, Neptune and centaur Chiron. Neptune in particular adds the factor of events below the level of normal perception. With Neptune one can proceed on a current of thought not fully connected to awareness and drift in some unusual directions, then awaken as if from a too-long nap on a hot day.
Mercury in Gemini is distinctly mental, though in retrograde it’s also ‘something else’. That something involves Pisces — what you might think of as an imaginal, numinous, astral or creative factor. Neptune in the mix (Mercury is in an unusually long 90-degree aspect to it, called a square) makes it difficult to discern what is real, or even relatively real. Neptune often has an invisibility factor, a veil, deniability or isolation. That does not make things any easier.
As Mercury slows to its station-direct position (in apparent motion, it ‘stops moving’, which is an illusion on several counts, but a potent one) give yourself a chance to pause, consider what you’ve experienced, and be open to new viewpoints.
They’re likely to present themselves to you in any event. Whether you take active interest is another story. You might skip over the obvious, ignore what is subtle or, alternately, tune in and get the message.
I’ve noticed that Mercury stations (either retrograde or direct, but more often direct) arrive with a revelation of some kind: the truth about something percolates out; you make a discovery; you come to an understanding with yourself. Given the Mercury in Gemini factor, I suggest you take an inventory of what you’re not saying and what you’re not hearing. Notice what you’re not noticing. See if you can figure out when you don’t know.
On a purely practical note, keep an eye on cyber security. At the beginning of the retrograde I cautioned about this directly, and last week we heard about one of the most massive cases of hacking in U.S. history — four million federal personnel records were accessed by someone, somewhere, assuming of course that the report is true.
This week Mercury is backing into a square with centaur Nessus. The third-discovered centaur if you begin counting with Chiron’s discovery in 1977, Nessus themes include our collectively-held dark view of sex. Not all individuals feel this way, but Western society seems to be caught in a sexual dystopia that spans from AIDS to rape to pedophilia, where the only ‘good news’ lately is who had a sex-change operation.
Nessus is complex, but its themes are soaked in this dark world of the shadow erotic, so far as I can tell, for the purpose of awareness and healing. Astrology that points to the problem points to the solution, or at least how to make some progress.
Mercury retrogrades into a square just slightly more than a degree from Nessus. It’s very close as we speak and will be for about two weeks. This illustrates the approach toward a necessary topic, though in an unexpected or oblique way. The square was exact back on May 3, just before the Beltane Full Moon. The current square is a near miss, but it’s close enough for Mercury to pick up on what is being agitated or transformed by Nessus.
I would offer two informed theories as to what that is. First, there’s individual sexual darkness, unresolved history, ignorance and a wide generation of young people over-boiled in evangelical Christian repression and denial about sex.
Many people have been through sexual hell. Many others have not figured out they’ve been deceived: sex is a natural and beautiful mode of human communication and contact. It is not inherently a product, not an act of violence, not a property right. We have plenty of influence over where we want to take the dream.
Every individual is responsible for initiating and maintaining their own healing. This is an invitation. Mercury touches the edge of whatever Nessus is processing, enough to pick up on the message and learn something significant, though not enough to plunge in irrevocably. This is a call to healing and to awakening. What does that look like? Well, it sounds like a real conversation.
It sounds like a real conversation about sex and what you need to share about it. You personally. Not the weirdo on the Internet. Not the former Speaker of the House of Representatives. You, yourself. What you have to say. What you need to say. What you’ve learned and discovered and figured out; what you are willing to admit that you want, and challenge any shame you feel as you do so.
Second, we, you and me, are on call for bringing the conversation to the collective, in order to help shift the cultural reputation of sex. The PR position of the most natural experience in the world, the one just about everyone thinks about all day and much of the night, is at its worst ever — yes, worse than in the 1950s, when transvestites and queers were routinely arrested (that went on well into the 1960s).
This will take some courage and also the willingness to heal. It’s different from the ‘private’ conversation in that there’s an awareness of the collective issues involved; the way in which individuals are nearly asphyxiated out of a sense of play by a culture that’s obsessed by negativity, fear, poor body image and perhaps most of all, glamour.
Once you see the connections between you and all that stuff, you’ve stepped into the transpersonal level. This is, by the way, why stories of crime, pain and ‘deviance’ dominate the news when sex is broadcast. That stuff is filling the void where the real conversation belongs.
What we face is personal indeed; it’s interpersonal (others are often involved) and it spreads out into a much wider collective, and that’s where we need to bring the conversation. There are many counterfeits and diversions (scandal, for instance). There is shaming not just of so-called sluts (who don’t really exist; this concept is merely defamatory) but often of anyone who openly admits something kind and friendly about sex (that’s not dressed up for Sunday in some religious or moral value, i.e., sex is OK as long as you’re married).
This is not about OK, not about morals and it’s not about anything weird. I am talking about our natural critterness, our Bio 101, bees and trees, our inherent drive to create and to relate. Get it or admit that you do. Be bold and speak up about what is true for you, what you want, what you need, what you want to change, and see change.
It’s time to loosen up before rigor mortis sets in. There are better reasons of course, though that’s a pretty good one as they come.