By Amanda Painter
Wednesday a friend of mine recounted a story on Facebook about her morning that seems to perfectly illustrate some of today’s significant astrology. The standout planetary event is that Mercury makes its ‘interior’ (traditionally called ‘inferior’) conjunction to the Sun today in Capricorn. This is the Sun-Mercury conjunction that happens at the midpoint of a Mercury retrograde, so take heart: the retrograde is half over.
Mercury and the Sun make some interesting aspects with other planets, which flesh out the interpretation. Also, Venus and Chiron are active. But first, my friend’s experience.
We just received a few inches of snowfall where I live. Not a huge amount, but enough to make the morning commute messy as sunlight hit the snow-salt-sand mixture and the cars mixed it up. As my friend walked to work, she saw three cars near each other stuck on a particular hill downtown; everyone just drove around them without stopping to offer assistance.
My friend approached a woman who was spinning her wheels, used the shovel that was in the trunk and pushed, but no luck. Spotting the YMCA nearby, she ducked in, grabbed their bucket of rock salt, told the employee she’d be right back with it after helping three stuck cars, and set about sprinkling it beneath the tires of each. My friend writes:
“As I pass the YMCA to get back to [the first car] at the top, the front desk guy comes out in his crisp blue polo and khakis and hollers at me: ‘You know, when you said you were going to borrow it that usually means you’re supposed to bring it back.’ I. Am. Outraged. I drop the bucket at his feet and shout: ‘I saw three people stuck in the snow, I was borrowing it to get them OUT! But hey man, if you want your ice melt back so badly, here you go.’”
Here’s what I see there astrologically; I’m going to start with Venus in Sagittarius, which is still square Chiron in Pisces (it was exact Wednesday). At it’s most basic, squares are push energy; felt internally, they push us to take action and then integrate the influences. Besides the literal image of my friend trying to push the stuck car, she also felt the push of her convictions (Sagittarius) and her awareness of collective (Pisces) need.
Yet a Venus-Chiron square can also indicate a release of emotions, potentially in an uncontrollable way, as Eric has written before. Witness my friend’s outraged shouting at the YMCA guy. With Chiron conjunct Borasisi, your beliefs will be wrapped up in any emotional release today; with Venus and the sign Pisces involved, this release might express for you as sexual energy.
Mercury conjunct the Sun in Capricorn further underscores the need to express oneself and seek new experiences, and to take initiative in that. (In fact, traditional astrologers often say that Sun conjunct Mercury would be the one day in the retrograde when signing a contract or making a purchase or similar could work out, if you cannot wait until the retrograde is over.) The conjunction is exact at 9:05 EST / 14:05 UTC.
But in Capricorn, as Len Wallick pointed out yesterday, you’ll want to keep it all very practical. You’ll also want to consider carefully any insights from past experience that are emerging for you.
This inner awareness, the need for taking a practical approach, and taking initiative are also underscored by the other aspects the Sun and Mercury are making. On one side, Sun-Mercury is sextile the Moon in Pisces; on the other side, Mercury-Sun is trine retrograde Jupiter in Virgo. (The lunar South and North nodes in Pisces and Virgo, respectively, are also in the alignment.)
Under normal conditions, this trine and sextile offer inner harmony between mind and emotions, and clear perception, judgment and communication. With the lunar nodes present, add in awareness of past emotional habits, and recognition of the current patterns that can show the way forward. But to have Mercury and Jupiter both retrograde are not ‘normal’ conditions.
What they are is a reminder to stay focused, to really lean on that idea of practicality, to listen very carefully to lessons from the past and your intuition, and that simply feeling good is only step one; you have to do something with that good feeling to make the most of this astrology.
That might sound counterintuitive if you’ve gotten caught up in ‘Mercury retrograde paralysis,’ whereby you’re too afraid of things going wrong to do much of anything. But consider my friend walking up that snowy, slushy street. She didn’t worry that helping out would make her late for work, or that she’d get covered in slush, or that she might get yelled at for borrowing the YMCA salt.
Instead, she took her sense of altruism, her compassion, her awareness of need and took initiative to turn it into service — some spontaneous, in-the-moment citizenship. And then, well…she ‘expressed herself’ and released some emotion. How will that look for you?