Purging and Patience: Sun-Pluto and Mercury Storm

By Amanda Painter

If you emerged from last week’s Libra equinox and New Moon feeling as though things are slightly off-kilter, you’re not alone — but don’t blame the Moon or the change of season. Pluto and Mercury are the two planets intensifying in influence as we head into the weekend.

Lights on bicycle wheels; photo by Amanda Painter.

Lights on bicycle wheels; photo by Amanda Painter. Click here for larger version of photo.

Let’s begin with Pluto.

As the Sun has moved into Libra, it’s begun to encounter the Uranus-Pluto square. This is our current era-defining aspect, the one making seven exact contacts between 2012 and 2015 — the astrology shaking up the world as it breaks open old systems and ushers in something new. The Sun will square Pluto first (exact Oct. 4, but has been in effect for days); shortly thereafter, it will oppose Uranus (exact Oct. 7).

Pluto is kind of like the subterranean bulldozer in Capricorn. The Sun represents your ego consciousness, or how you express your Self out in the world.

Squares tend to be an internally felt aspect — something akin to a lever being applied in some facet of your life. You have a choice: take hold of the lever and self-direct your response to any sense of pressure you feel, thereby owning and integrating it; or try to hold your position against the tension building within.

Which option sounds more productive and least wasteful of energy?

Sun in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn puts this dynamic in signs having to do with balance, justice and relationships (Libra) and institutions, structures and the past (Capricorn). Translation: pay attention to how free you feel to express yourself in your relationships, especially those with ‘traditional’ structures.

Pluto is pushing for something to give there — for some old, codified way of experiencing and expressing your ‘relationship self’ to burst open into something more authentic, more truly balanced and ultimately more loving. Love is the opposite of restriction, despite what we’re taught by example. What old habits filed under ‘relationship me’ are ready to be purged?

Note that a Sun-Pluto square can also manifest as mechanical troubles. You’ll want to take your time fixing anything of that sort given the other major astrological event this weekend: Mercury stationing retrograde.

Mercury stations retrograde in Scorpio at 1:02 pm EDT Oct. 4. We’ve been in the thick of its ‘shadow’ or ‘echo’ phase for a couple weeks, and now we’re entering the ‘storm’ phase that surrounds the station. You might be noticing that certain electrical or digital devices are starting to act up, or that certain communications or plans are hitting unexpected snags.

This means it’s not too early to begin practicing your basic Mercury Rx hygiene: pick up the phone if you’re not sure an important email was received; back up your files and computer drives; double-check addresses, times for events, instructions and your keys before heading out the door; if you’ve been researching a major purchase or commitment, see if you can wait until Mercury is direct to finalize it.

These cautions applied doubly to your communication with relationship partners, and in any legal or aesthetic matters, while Mercury was in Libra. When Mercury backtracks into that sign Oct. 10, re-focus your attention in those areas.

Currently Mercury is in Scorpio, where the emphasis is on secrecy, sex and the potential to be sharp in a way that cuts to the heart of a matter, rather than simply showing all sides of the story. Scorpio is a water sign, whereas Libra is an air sign; we recently shifted from a more cerebral, abstract experience of mind to one that is more like feeling one’s thoughts. This shift will reverse itself Oct. 10.

That emotional edge is one to watch for, given the square between the Sun and Pluto (Pluto is Scorpio’s modern ruler) and Mercury’s apparent slowing down (which lends it power). Words spoken in anger, out of hurt, or under extreme pressure often have an impact not easily shrugged off or undone. The sky says you’re in line to change or release something; make sure you’re dealing with the root cause and not just the messenger as you make your moves.

7 thoughts on “Purging and Patience: Sun-Pluto and Mercury Storm

  1. beths

    This so clearly fits my situation at the moment. I am in the process of acquiring a new (part-time) job that is very similar and very connected to a job I left 5 years ago, though it is a whole new direction for me in many ways. I have been nervous about agreeing to this (and negotiating and signing a contract) with Mercury in the shadow/storm phase. Pluto has been conjunct my natal Mercury for months, and it has helped with confidence in negotiation and communication, something I lacked in previous relationships of this kind, even though the strength was inside of me I was too fearful to speak up when needed (which is related to having had to keep everything inside as a child). I will note that I emailed my resume four minutes prior to the start of a Void of Course Moon. A few things are vague in the contract, and I am trying to get it settled prior to Saturday, but it may not be possible. It is very possible that this is a detour rather than a new step on the path I am trying to focus on, but many side benefits will allow me to pursue that path at the same time. It’s all a little confusing, but I am moving forward with confidence that if things need to be renegotiated in the future after this month of October, that it will be for the better. Thank you for helping to put words to my current experience, that until today had me a little frazzled and stressed.

    I do have one question, I am scheduled to start the job on 10/13 and will deliver the contract that day, but will have the opportunity to sign it as soon as the negotiations are complete. Would it be better to wait until after the storm phase, closer to the eclipse and / or is there any benefit to signing while Mercury is in Scorpio vs Libra?

  2. Lizzy

    So that’s what it is! Have been feeling emotionally and physically lousy (anyone else?) – and felt that it had to do with the present astrological climate, plus solar flares and weird weather. Many thanks, Amanda! (and for the fantastic photo).

  3. Pat

    So that’s what it is! Have been feeling emotionally and physically lousy (anyone else?) – and felt that it had to do with the present astrological climate, plus solar flares and weird weather.
    me too!…………
    Thank you Amanda & all of Planet Waves.it does make a huge difference!

  4. wandering_yeti

    Bulldozer is right. Shortly after Pluto entered Capricorn for good back in ’08 a fire knocked me into enforced walkabout. Had I read the signs maybe I wouldn’t have suffered as much. Or maybe not. This far downstream I’m at another crossroads where I could struggle again to find a big enough, dry enough space in the city to shelter me and my dwindling pile of stuff. That search is proving to be blocked at every turn. Even if I had money for rent I can’t handle close in living with other humans as in a room in a collective house or an apartment and that’s about all that’s available in the increasingly gentrified Portland, Oregon. Elegant old wood houses that could have stood another few centuries are being knocked down all over the place to build high density metal and concrete buildings. Get me outa here!

    Another possibility is to give away everything I have left from my past life, the one that sprouted from the soil of my parents and their fears which I continued to make work for me in one failed attempt after another. I want to shed all the things I can’t or don’t want to carry by bike. I welcome and bless this beautiful limitation for it prevents me from saying fuck it, I’ll just burn some more fuel to get it done cause I can’t see another way. I can see another way so I don’t have to do that.

    My pile of stuff has been a ball and chain around my neck. I used to whip myself into a fury of stress and internal conflict over finding another shelter big enough for me and my stuff. If it’s just me I’m healthy and strong enough to build a shelter in the woods or stay warm with a sleeping bag, winter clothes and a tent. If it’s me and my pile of stuff it’s a paranoid heart storm to get it all together yet again.

    In my twenties and thirties the forces of gentrification were spinning their wheels, but I didn’t understand that level of things back then. My dreams and my heart have been calling me back to the living world for many years while every year it becomes harder and harder to find suitable shelter for one such as me. But here Mercury stops and goes back for a review. I don’t know if my landlord will let me wait until Spring and by the time the retrograde is over I’d best be further south than I am now.

    Well something I’m beginning to understand on this path is I’m not in control. At least not of very much. The doors open when they open. Pluto on my Sun is unbearable suffering, but only if I refuse to take the Medicine.

Leave a Reply