Mercury’s Revenge

Posted by Amanda Moreno


After Mercury retrograde in Aquarius repeatedly thwarted Amanda Moreno’s attempts at this column, she finally gave in to its demands that she pay attention to it. The result is a personal and enlightening consideration of Aquarius, that paradoxical sign of individuation and the love of tribe.

By Amanda Moreno

I usually try to ignore Mercury retrograde. I mean, I do the whole re-think, re-view, re-check thing. I try not to submit grants (I’m a grant writer in one of my other lives) and I pay closer attention than normal to what I say, but by and large I shy away from anything with lots of hype. And boy oh boy, does Mercury retrograde come with hype.

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

I also try not to comment on the fact that I normally get through these periods unscathed, lest I bring on some scathing. Sometimes I’ll feel it emotionally, but that’s about it.

This time, however, I noticed the glitches creeping up days before Mercury stationed, and now I’m just annoyed. Because, you see, my iPod just died — and then I learned that they don’t make those anymore. And because my brain has been a ball of loose ends with no hope of connecting the dots, and I have grant deadlines to meet. And because I have now written this column not once, not twice, but three times and somehow lost it all three frickin’ times.

So you will not be reading about mandalas and polycentric models of the psyche. I’ve had to re-think my original plan. My attempts to move out of the realms of personal narrative writing have been very firmly thwarted.

*Enter a 15 minute pause while I stare out the window.*

I really like Aquarius. And by “like” I actually mean love. How is this relevant? Well, because Mercury is retrograding through Aquarius, and because Aquarius is my Sun sign. Growing up, I was a part of the Catholic cult for a moment, a fundamentalist Christian cult for a second, and bounced from Methodist church to Methodist church in the in-between stages. The scripture and gospels were fairly irrelevant to me, and nothing really spoke to the strange nature of my experiences. What I loved about the various churches was the sense of community they provided. We Aquarians sure do love a good tribal vibe — even though we often feel like complete outsiders, or make ourselves that way. We’re weird. It’s true.

When I was 12 or 13 I came across a poster in some kitschy shop in the mall that said “Aquarius” at the top. Lo and behold, it spent three paragraphs describing someone who was somehow like me. It explained my experience. It spoke to my soul. I became hooked on astrology, at least in theory — the real hooking didn’t take place for about a decade. I soon thereafter read a book that said something along the lines of, “Aquarians travel further in their minds in a day than most people do in a year.” Uh, yup.

I love the Aquarian ideals — brotherly love, progressive thinking, evaluating the structures of society to see if they’re still working and relevant and if not, breaking through them (I am indeed a fan of the Uranus-ruled Aquarius, although the Saturn rulership is clearly important as well).

I also tend to think of Aquarius as the sign of individuation, of finding one’s own path and breaking away from the collective, which makes things confusing when you think of Aquarius as a tribe-oriented sign, as tribes don’t tend to like outsiders. That seeming sense of paradox is so important to astrology as a whole.

In fact, that conflict — the Aquarian/11th house affinity for tribe and friendship — is a core conundrum. In my experience it mainly manifests as a longing for tribe conflicting with a feeling that I’ll always be an outsider, that I will never truly belong — at least when I’m feeling low.

Aquarius, to me, is also very much about detachment, particularly detachment as a function of trauma. In evolutionary astrology, Aquarius, Uranus and the 11th house indicate tendencies toward and experiences of trauma and fragmentation. As the sign associated with individuation, or the process of following the path of the soul and differentiating from the group, it is the sign of the outsider or exile. The beauty of the mind is that it can see far into the future, and the danger of the mind is that we can get stuck there, bypassing emotion, especially when the body has become an unsafe place to be. We can also be ostracized for seeing something that seems weird or different before our culture is ready for the idea.

I find the detachment most prominently in my own life when I head full-speed into an experience that I know will be intense but sounds so interesting. For example, as I explore my kinky self, someone will say to me something like “Hey, Can I tie you up spread eagle on this massage table?” And I’ll say, “Sure! Sounds interesting!” I then have to make space for my emotional body to respond — or not, depending on the situation.

I can’t even tell you the number of times in the past six months I’ve experienced the disconnect between the Aquarian part of me that finds super sexy kinky experiences to be fascinating and interesting and the 4th house Scorpio Moon part of me that is extraordinarily sensitive and vulnerable (and, well, totally down for intensity too). Bridging the two is a matter of letting myself feel the intensity and then processing it later, rather than bypassing it all together.

So, what’s the point? Well, the point is that I’ll hopefully have a more cohesive blog for you next week. In the meantime, I’m going to take some advice from a recent Planet Waves horoscope for Aquarius and review the past six years of my life. I’m also going to give in to that urge to keep staring out the window in reverie. Mercury is dredging something up, and I’m curious to see what it is.

Posted in Columnist on | 12 comments
Amanda Moreno

About Amanda Moreno

Amanda is an astrologer, soul worker and paradigm buster based in Seattle. Her adventures in these forms of ‘practical woo’ are geared towards helping people to heal themselves and the world. She can be found in the virtual world at

12 thoughts on “Mercury’s Revenge

  1. Cowboyiam

    Amanda – Mercury truly does seem to be dredging the bottom of my mind at this moment also. Hard to articulate and difficult to deal with but maybe something profound will be pulled up. Its nice to feel connected right now.

  2. goatwool

    Catchy Title
    ( and a few other words too)
    I affirm your awarenesses to the glitchyness of the station to retro.
    Profound !
    I’m a merc retro fan, perhaps due to my natal merc retro amongst some other natal alignments.

  3. Samantha MorganSamantha Morgan

    Aquarius moon here. Detachment- especially emotional detachment, has always been my default mode. Currently it is my downfall now that I am in the thick of attempting to nurture an emotionally fragile family. Keeping my emotions to myself and avoiding the whole sticky mess of sharing my feelings rather than saving them for later is simply not working for me anymore. I used to skate by graciously with my independence and detachment. Now I am seen as too avoiding for my own good. Mercury retrograde over my moon sign has helped to shed a harsh light on why it is that I discard emotions. Revisiting the issues is tough but it’s obvious that I need to remedy this tendency to be unemotive. I’ll definitely be journaling and paying close attention to my thoughts and emotions during this retrograde.

  4. Pam

    Amanda – just in passing – for last week – if you can find a copy. There is a chapter called Letter to my unborn daughter in Nomad by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. i liked it. Thought of you too while I read…


      1. Pam

        Also often those who would be the best mothers question themselves or hesitate.

        A friend of my Dad talked about aiming to give kids roots and wings. My brother in law said make every effort to do the most work you can on yourself and give the kids everything for the first 4 years to create functioning/useful adults. I felt I didn’t have to be centre stage in my life all the time and so I was open to having a child sometime. But the cri du coeur ‘I want to live’ was the wave that opened the motherhood door for me. Each person is different!

        Just in case you go that route…

  5. Michael MayesMichael Mayes

    Amanda, this is a cool post. It sounds like revelations are on their way to you. The image of you staring out the window is symbolic. As you once read, “Aquarians travel further in their minds in one day than most people do in a year.” Now, couple that with the Mercury retrograde in your sign, and it seems as though your far-off thoughts are in essence coming back home to roost, or perhaps incubate in your actual body. I believe that even intangibles have destinations. So, once they arrive, and integrate on the cellular level, ideas become reality.
    It works in a similar way that you describe how you process your sexual experiences. You said you, “feel the intensity and process it later”. I often find that when I receive messages, or info from beyond, I must follow the same tenet. Sometimes the “process” part comes way later. Then it becomes a matter of patience, persistence, and holding on loosely while the “process” is processing.

  6. Pam

    Amanda, perhaps Planetwaves calls to the aquarian in all of us that we are proud of? Eric with his moon (and venus?) in aquarius, Len and you with your suns, Amanda Painter is Leo. Maybe virgos manifesting ‘aquarius’. I function (effectively) mostly with my aquarian Pallas MH. Pisces Sun conjunct Dionysius, trine cassandra (not the best for lucid thought/ communication/action?), salacia conj my sun for so long has been such a pleasure for me (calm and ‘generous’ seas), and I’m hoping I’ve fixed the vibration forever as an (anchoring/ongoing) option.

    And re Aquarius simultaneous mind/feeling one of the kids says of his aquarian Dad this am: but he doesn’t love me.
    Ask him, I said.

    Dad do you love me?
    No. (flatly).
    No no, I say, he loves you he just doesn’t always like you.
    No (says Dad; the child deflates).

    But this is familiar ground, (which anquished me for years).
    Do you love me, I ask (upbeat)
    No (flatly (he enjoys the absolute denial!), the child beginning to be anxious.
    Not at all. Not ever?
    (And ‘Dad’ smiles aside, because of course he loves us doesn’t always feel it or anything except the logic of the thing, so his mind doesn’t know it always.

    or something!)

    Sunshine all round

  7. Nicolas Salinas

    Hello Amanda, first time I’ve read you I think, I’m glad you’re an Aquarius, I’m really loving them these days after I avoided them because I could’t stand them a while back, and they are all my friends or have been my friends in some way, you know, time passes. I would like to say a few things if I may, I guess the outsider in the tribe as I understand comes from having an Aquarius Sun sign instead of just Uranus in Aquarius, as I see it, Uranus in Aquarius would be alright in a group but because of how the Sun is, He, the Sun, usually goes unnoticed or is another part of the group unless you take the Leo way which is the opposing sign and the group starts looking at you. I’ve also seen Aquarians be very very good in groups and they tend to shine by what unites them all, which is usually uniqueness. I may be wrong on all this but is my perception. I’m an Aries sun sign and I’ve had a plenty of Aquarius duets in adventure, fun,love, mischief and standing for an ideal or two. I also have my South Node in Aquarius. I think what you say about the Aquarian seeing an idea ahead of all the rest and being a bit alone because of that is so very true, but I can only admire and understand because I’d have to be an Aquarius to really know but I’ve been with them and I think that’s what makes them so firmly independent also, perhaps more than an Aries, Aries being kind of an insecure soloist sometimes, as I read somewhere. Well, to finish this, I must confess that when I think about Aquarians I always seem to remember Axl Rose and a line he sung a while back, he says, “you know I don’t like being stuck in the crowd”, coincidentally in a song called “Patience”, which makes me think of Aquarius’s co-ruler as well. As for exile, I would dare to lucky guess that that is what an Aquarian might “earn”, as in second house Pisces or second house from the eleventh=the twelfth, I personally associate the twelfth and not the eleventh with exile. Well, hope I wasn’t unpleasant and gave a little bit of goodness here, just expressing my thoughts and of course I can be wrong. Thank you Amanda and pleased to read you.

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