WHEN THEMIS SPEAKS

By Marcia Buchart

How many of you have seen the video of Elizabeth Warren?

Rather marvelous, Not only because what she says needs saying, but because sometimes, the universe gives you just the right sign.  Something occurs that captures the essence of the celestial energies in play so well that it, well, goes viral through the public’s consciousness.  It is a terrific bonus when it also illuminates a neglected aspect of a zodiac sign’s energetics. 

I’m talking about Libra

On September 27, we had a New Moon at 4 degrees Libra.

That New Moon followed hard upon the autumn equinox of September 23 (when the Sun ‘ingresses’, or enters the sign Libra).  Many of my friends had also been biting their nails over the fact that just after the ingress the Sun would promptly form a configuration known as either a T-Square or T-Cross. 

It will directly face Uranus in Aries while making a square (90-degree angle) to Pluto in Capricorn.  And the Sun was not alone in this dynamic!  First, Venus marched across the relevant degrees from Sep 17 – 19.  The Sun followed on September 26 – 27, with the Moon catching up to join Him on the 27th while Mercury galloped into the fray on both the 27th and 28th, finishing the dynamic by conjoining the Sun and thereby fully shedding  (see previous post regarding Mercury and his roles in your chart) His Explorer outfit and putting on His Administrative robes.) 

And on the 28th, Themis, the Greek goddess of divine justice,stepped up and had some strong words (Mercury) to say about the social contract (Libra) she deemed should exist between the self-proclaimed, independent overlords (Sun) and the common people (Moon).

Mythic Themis, a daughter of Gaia, sat at the side of Zeus to give him counsel.

She also had a function of judging the souls of the newly deceased to determine whether they would enter Tartarus or the Elysian Fields. 

This bears a striking resemblance to another Goddess with such a function: Maat.  

She held a feather that was placed on a scale to weigh the heart of a deceased person to determine the soul’s worthiness.

Calmly impartial deities of divine justice don’t often seem to gibe with popular notions of Libra.  The sign’s keyword is “I Balance”.  But, when we think of balance, how many times do we think of maintaining stasis?  Of taking no action whatever?  But Libra is one of the Cardinal signs, whose energies initiate the beginning of a season, something too often overlooked. 

None of the Cardinal signs—Aries, Cancer, Capricorn and, yes, Libra—are passive, paralyzed or wimpy. 

To get a sense of Libra in your own body, stand up.  Close your eyes.  And just stand there.  Feel the minute adjustments your body must make to remain upright.  Now open your eyes and, with that consciousness of your body’s balance engaged, walk. 

Miraculous, isn’t it, this exquisitely controlled falling forward?  

You are using balance to move forward not to stand still! 

Just like dancers,

 skaters,

gymnasts,

                                                  —all are using balance in order to move.

“Well, gee,” you might be saying, “all this balance stuff for walking requires an inward focus.  Isn’t Libra about focusing on The Other?”

Okay, let’s do another exercise, this time with a partner.  Get someone to sing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ with you (maybe after a few glasses of whatever).  Sing it first in unison.  Not too hard; we all remember the tune.  Next, try singing it as a round:

Voice 1: Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream/
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream/

                  Voice 2: Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream/                                                     Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily…

…and so forth. 

Harder, yes?  You not only have to listen to The Other to know when to come in, you have to focus with great intent on “hearing” you own inner musical line, so you can contribute to the harmony.  Without that inner focus on your own contribution, you won’t have anything to contribute.

Wouldn’t you know, this exercise was presented in a class I took with a teacher who had five (count them!) planets in Libra, including her Sun.

But what about Libra’s reputation as Mr. or Ms. Nicey-Nice, who will do anything, say anything to avoid conflict?  In an astrological joke series, you identify someone’s Sun sign by what they say after having sex with you.  The stereotypical Libra response is, “I liked it if you liked it!”  The idea is that balance and harmony are so important to Libra that a Libra Sun person is afraid to rock the boat, to disturb the peace.

Oh really?

How about the Libra who values balance and harmony enough to fight for them?  To initiate action? 

Such as…   Brigitte Bardot

(sexy movie star, to be sure, AND activist for animal rights)
 or radical feminist Andrea Dworkin
                                                     

or real-life hero Christopher Reeves who never gave up striving to walk                                                                                                                                           

    or President Eisenhower who, long before the “I Like Ike” campaign buttons were                                         handed out, was the American general heading the WWII effort in Europe 

–Lenny Bruce, the bitter, sardonic comic

                                     John Lennon, who led protests to “Give Peace A Chance

   rebel psychiatrist R.D. Laing, who fought the existing medical models of psychosis 

—controversial tennis champions Serena Williams and Martina Navratilova     

–Solidarity co-founder and political leader Lech Walesa 

or Jesse Jackson  

The current march of planets through Libra’s early degrees, which hook them up with revolutionary Uranus and transformative Pluto, have made Libra’s steel, the sword in the hand of Themis, visible. 

Do you have planets in early Libra?  Were you thinking of hiding under the covers for the next three years until Uranus and Pluto have left town? 

Fuggedaboudit. 

Walk. 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single (exquisitely balanced) step.

Scary?  You bet. 

But it could also be the thrill of a lifetime, knowing that

the art of balance can—must!—be used to move you forward.

Hey– I been good!

Hey—why me?  I’ve been good!

I said that to my friend and colleague, Margaret Gray, yesterday while bemoaning the transits of our times and the fact that even though I’m doing all the right things, I haven’t lost a pound (and yes I’m working on that) in two months.  Plus the economy is whako and…and… I said—out loud.  Why me?  I mean—I’ve been good.  Actually I was impersonating Bill Cosby impersonating Noah and God.

–Call me intuitive or smart or in touch with the divine, but I just know Noah had to have been born near the constellation Capricornus carrying the story of the Sea Goat–that ever so practical animal in the night sky who would tell the people how to handle hard times like floods and such. Or maybe Noah had some planet in the mid degrees of Taurus and heard a voice from the deep. Maybe Noah was being stared at by the monster from the black lagoon—the leviathan—the whale who ate Jonah—that whale (not Free Willy). That whale called Cetus.   Ahhhhhh maybe that is it.

Is that you, Cetus? Collage C.Johnson 2010

Bernadette Brady describes Cetus in the Starlight Program as:

According to the Greeks, Cetus is the sea monster who was sent to devour Andromeda. Perseus, however, saved her by using the severed head of Medusa which turned the sea monster to stone. But the stories of this whale in the sky seem to predate the Greek version. It has had various forms but it is always some aquatic beast that blows water from a blow hole. Cetus has been illustrated at times with a dog’s head and forelegs and with a mermaid-like tail. It would seem that this creature is more like the fresh water mythic creature the Loch Ness monster than a marine whale in that it represents an unknown beast from the depths rather than what we know as a gentle giant of the sea. Aratus in the 4th century B.C.E., referred to the constellation as: “the hateful Monster Cetus”. And Jobes referred to it as representing a monster “that rises from the dark nether sea with a ravenous appetite for humans”. Christian mythology saw this as the whale that swallowed Jonah, whereas the Arabs broke it into three separate constellations: The Hand, the Ostrich and the Necklace.

The Brightest star is Menkar, the nose or jaw of the whale.

Like all of us, I am trying to figure out how to maneuver through these times and how to assist my clients as the waters appear to be rising (think the new phrase referring to mortgages~ “my house is under water”.)   And these times do indeed call for something akin to the building of an ark.

I mean when you look at the news or the transits — say Pluto squaring Uranus or Saturn squaring Uranus or Pluto opposing Saturn or…take your pick–I feel like Noah being given a job–build an ark!  “Get the animals on board and stay on top of the waters and I ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie sayeth the Lord!”  (well I don’t know if that is biblical but it feels right)

I also identify with Noah’s disbelief that this could be happening–oh say with the economy or with riots or with the clear and present revolutions occurring–and I can feel as Noah did that he was being “put upon” — he was tired and frankly pissed that he has to “do something”.  Remember this one?

Ri-i-ight–this isn’t a shower.  It isn’t even personal.  We are watching the earth and the structures that we might have thought stable tumble and wobble; people that we expected to bring wisdom and sanity scratch their heads in amazement at their inability to do so. And– Like Noah, I protest—hey I’m retired!  I should be able to kick back and enjoy my golden years and not have to think about arks.

Ri-i-ight!

Noah says to God—and what about that mess down there in the ark?! Who’s gonna clean that up?   awwwwwww man.

Heading to Starlight to see just what might be happening in the watery part of the heavens, I find Jupiter right smack dab in what Darrelyn Gunzberg has named: The Stare of Cetus.  Hmmmmmm

Awhile ago, Bernadette Brady wrote in the Visual Astrology Newsletter a piece called “Saviors Need Not Apply” . The title alone caught my eye. (and that piece was about Jupiter in the sky stories). I was reminded then of that other eye –the eye of Cetus.  Darrelyn Gunzberg has brought that one to the surface with her eloquent writing and fascinating inquiry into what that whale means for people and “the” people.

She says of Cetus the whale in the April 2008 Visual Astrology Newsletter:

The ram of Aries shares his glory with no one and Cetus the Sea Monster is the unknown beast from the depths which can erupt bearing with it moments of great insight or chaos. When a planet/luminary passes through this area of the sky, then, depending on which planet/luminary that is, whilst it may imply independence or supremacy of an individual or a concept (in Aries, the Ram), it comes at a price, for it is trapped in the stare of the sea monster and there will be hidden issues which sit beneath it.

and more about Cetus in the May2008 VAN

(does Bill Cosby have anything connected to that whale and were those riffs “messages” as only great comedians can impart?)

Well lookie here—Bill Cosby does have the brightest star in the whale in paran with Jupiter. Quoting from the report that Starlight can generate for one’s sky story:

Menkar-The Whale, with Jupiter in Foundation

Feast or famine, the fickleness of life

Menkar is the alpha star of Cetus the whale, and this whale represents the human collective unconscious, that can erupt like a beast from the deep bearing, with equal probability, moments of great collective insight, or chaos and mayhem. Symbolic of these unconscious forces, Menkar’s effect on your life, via its paran to Jupiter, can be difficult. However, the collective unconscious is not always evil or dark, it can also be great and glorious. Jupiter will soften the impact of this star, and indicates that if you follow your intuition and reach for the big picture your success can be based on popular support. This can result in many different expressions. The record breaking and successful sports person, the gifted teacher, or perhaps the lawyer who represents a large collective issue. This really is a stellar combination of feast or famine. If you aim high some of your ideas and plans will definitely become popular, but at other times you will fall from grace. Learn to ride the waves and the valleys. 

And Cetus is staring at the wandering star Uranus in Bill Cosby’s sky story as well. As with many comedians — as with the Jester — the truth get told.  Think the current Jon Stewart show where many of us now go for our news :)–and I’m not kidding.

There is revolution in the air. And Arks to be built. Yup.  But as Noah says:  um….what’s an ark?

Since I’m identifying with Noah today.  This is getting interesting.

Another twist is that in the night sky story’s cast of characters — Jupiter is considered the Crown Prince. That is the part he plays on the silver screen. And as we said above, currently (like right now) Jupiter is “in the stare of Cetus”.  So um…. Speaking of “crown princes” wonder who else in on “ark-duty”.  Note to God:  Call Barack.  Tell him about the ark thing and that there is no compromise.

About an hour ago, I heard about a friend of ours who for the umpteenth time is in hospital–a broken bone–now needing Physical Therapy–(she is in good hands and will be ok)–and–She is Mega Taurus–with Cetus staring at her Moon, Uranus and Venus!!

This woman is amazing—she just takes the pain and inconvenience and suffering and transforms it into smiles and love for all–and I do mean ALL.  She turns what is tough and chaotic into music and gratitude and courage.  Frankly she is quite impressive and a grand example of how to manage that stare from the deep.

Plus she attracts the greats. 

Recently we were all together at Teatro Zinzani’s celebrating Elaine’s 75th birthday and enjoying a grand evening

Elaine, Rhoberta, Claudia and Susan June2011

—seeing her chart, one is not surprised when Joan Baez picks her out of the crowd, walks over, takes her hand and sings to her. (now Elaine will be the first to tell you that that had happened before—with Joan herself at another event–yes–Joan Baez loves Elaine Levine.  It is on a tree somewhere in the forrest.with a heart around it–carved. ).


Good work with that whale, girl.  This song’s for you.

Ok…gang—-let’s go build some ark’s.

PS–Darrelyn recently wrote a very moving piece about Amy Winehouse and her life lived in the stare of Cetus in the July VAN  (You can sign up to receive these newsletters at http://www.zyntara.com–well worth it!)

She writes: The eastern horizon 

Additionally, rising in the east and lying above that eastern horizon and along it at the time of her birth was Cetus, the Sea Monster, carrying hidden issues from deep within the collective. Those issues found a ready voice in Winehouse. Lyrics that were intensely autobiographical, a voice that was suffused with gritty realism, the more complicated her personal life became, the more successful she became as an artist.[8]

 


 

but seriously folks…

Astrology is an ancient and intriguing discipline. I take it very seriously.  One can learn about oneself, the cycles of one’s life, current events, history, cosmology, relationships. We can get all worked up over eclipses, transits and things that go bump in the night.

As an astrologer–it is my job to empower you as you explore possibilities, what to do at certain times or how to look forward and make responsible plans or look back at your life and make meaning out of the past. I think it is the astrologer’s job to offer assistance as you wander through life’s peaks and valleys.  It is also my job (as I see it) to do my homework, work with integrity, study my craft, all the while weaving together the disciplines and research that allow us to experience aliveness, empowerment and an understanding of what it means to be human.

So–this week (upon returning from NORWAC–the Northwest Astrology Conference held in Seattle every year)—I am charged with the rather daunting task of sharing the wisdom I gained while studying my craft –

 

Question: What is the proper way to begin a conference and serious course of study?

Answer:  by laughing your head off… 


On Friday, Rick Tarnas conducted a seminar titled—The Comic Genius: An Archetypal Perspective

Tarnas on numbers of occasions joins John Cleese for what must be wonderful ways to spend a life!  Tarnas and Cleese at California Institute of Integral Studies

We spent the day watching various clips from Cleese’s Monty Python series and other comedians and entertainers.  We looked at their charts–and frankly in this day and age of rather serious events and transits that indicate a momentous time in our history—-laughing and remembering the healing power of laughter was a gift from the Celestial Comedy Gods.

Tarnas pointed out Mercury and Mars contacts in Cleese’s chart speaking to the notion that the mind takes in information (I’m not quoting him exactly – just from my memory and notes) and then one must defend the ideas. Cleese thrives on the thrust and counter thrust—Tarnas noted that he generally begins his pieces with an argument—a contest.

 Argument Clinic

 

Cleese also has a T-Square to Uranus and Tarnas points out thatbest humorists—have a high Uranian component”—the trickster (Mercury ) saying that which is taboo (Uranus). Think about some of your Aquarian friends—they are often the ones who at some point in the meeting–point at the elephant in the room with an innocent expression—stopping us in our tracks, so to speak. Tricksters indeed.  

And talk about talking about that which is taboo!  

John Cleese delivered a memorable memorial speech for Graham Chapman at a memorial service held two months later in the Great Hall at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Cleese delivered a humorous eulogy for his friend Chapman and took advantage of “this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf,” which he then went on to do.

Part of the speech is included below:

Video of Eulogy for Graham

Graham Chapman, co-author of the ‘Parrot Sketch,’ is no more.

He has ceased to be, bereft of life, he rests in peace, he has kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last, and gone to meet the Great Head of Light Entertainment in the sky.

And I guess that we’re all thinking how sad it is that a man of such talent, of such capability for kindness, for such unusual intelligence, a man who could overcome his alcoholism with such truly admirable single-mindedness, should now so suddenly be spirited away at the age of only forty-eight before he’d achieved many of the things in which he was capable, and before he’d had enough fun.

Well, I feel that I should say, ‘Nonsense! Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard. I hope he fries.’ And the reason I feel I should say this is he would never forgive me if I didn’t. If I threw away this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf. It’s not a funeral, I grant you, but a memorial service is still pretty good.

It is magnificent, isn’t it? You see, the thing about shock . . . is not that it upsets some people, I think; I think that it gives others a momentary joy of liberation, as we realized in that instant that the social rules that constrict our lives so terribly are not actually very important.

Well, Gray can’t do that for us anymore. He’s gone. He is an ex-Chapman. All we have of him now is our memories. But it will be some time before they fade.
Cheer up—you know what they say:

Always look on the bright side of life…

Tarnas pointed out that great comics have strong Sun / Saturn components in their charts. That is to say that the Sun and Saturn are in some aspect to each other or prominent by house or sign—they are, if you will, in ‘conversation’ and depending on the nature of the relationship it becomes apparent how the comedic archetype takes hold in their manner of delivery.

One example a classic Sun/Saturn comedian is Woody Allen  who also has Jupiter in the mix such that even the expanding universe is cause for worry.

Woody Allen’s chart

 He said among many things:  I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. 


Colbert at Rally to restore sanity and/or fear 2010

Steven Colbert was born with the Saturn opposing Pluto conjoining Uranus era in 1964. This funny progressive liberal (Uranus) is a trickster cloaked as a conservative Fox News Commentator. He pretends to be the opposite of what he really thinks and says of himself. It is the only way he can stay sane—to laugh. He says if he didn’t – he’d cry. Did you see him at the Correspondent’s Dinner in 2006? Actually the clip watching Bush’s face is equally as interesting as the court jester speaks and shocks and gets away with it as only the court jester can do.  (you can click on the chart for an enlarged image)



Only the best comics (Court Jesters) can pull it off. Tarnas played the clip of Colbert interviewing the head of Ploughshares (an anti-nuclear organization) — the interview itself is a poignant example of the current SaturnUranus-Pluto catastrophe. Colbert begins the interview and with a serious face asks if the head of Ploughshares will “at least admit that a nuclear explosion is awesome”

 


And I cannot forget my favorite Ernestine aka Lily Tomlin. Able to transform into character after character—the characters are real and have a structured presence as well as that Uranian shock effect. Tomlin was born under the 1939 Saturn Pluto square, has Mercury squaring Uranus and her Virgo Sun opposing Saturn. She can make us laugh at ourselves as she becomes aspects that we often want to hide, but never fail to recognize.

Here she is as Tommy Velour w/ Michael Jackson & Elizabeth Taylor 2009  


And on the Johnny Carson show–she talks about all her characters–Johnny Carson was my dad’s favorite comic.  I’ll bet my dad has some similar planets in his chart–he was one funny guy. (gotta go look)

Spent time today going off on my own for a while, looking at charts of people/friends I think are funny. I am seeing how Mercury and Uranus and Saturnine flavors are present in their charts.  I see how those archetypes come alive when laughter just erupts around the dinner table.

Just think about when you are watching Jon Stewart (I don’t have his chart) or laughing with your friends as you or one of them says something that just has you almost on the floor. It is generally unexpected, taking you over and  — then it begins to take hold and even if you wanted it to end…you just can’t stop——Laughing.

Laughter loosens up the body, the heart and the mind and I’ll bet we can find all kinds of medical reasons for it being a healthy thing to do – and do a lot. One of the people I laugh with on a regular basis is my sister, Peggy. We just think about each other and the jokes start coming. Sister jokes. My favorite kind! Best friend uncontrollable laughter often accompanied with trips down memory lane (Saturn) when something erupted and took over and we had to pull over to the side of the road if driving. Those times make life worth living, the comedic archetype and the astrological signatures worth looking at. A hell of a homework assignment for this student!

In honor of my Gemini sister and Gemini friends with whom I have shared a world of laughter here is a clip from Victor Borge. He was our grandmother Peggy’s favorite comedian—and since my funny sis, Peggy, has a birthday this month, I chose Borge to honor her and our Nanny Peggy. Borge was a Capricorn, a classical musician with his Sun conjoining Uranus, Mercury opposing Neptune.  

 

Borge famously said: “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people”.

Here’s laughin’ with you kids…

and FOR THE GEMINI’S

Birthday Song performed 2007         Victor Borge

Featured post

The Mass and the Center – The 2011 Pisces/Aries Stellium and Uranus in Aries

by Carol Ferris

For thousands of years, we humans thought the Earth was the center of the universe — until we discovered we weren’t the center, and made the Sun our center, with our visible planets orbiting circularly around the Sun in a more or less flat plane.

Then we located the “outer planets”. Then we discovered that, in fact, we were one of a number of centers and satellites, or galaxies.

It took us a long time to discover all this, first by eye, then by telescope, but always by conjecture and theory.

As our understanding of the nature of our system took shape, our social structures evolved parallel to that understanding: centers with satellites translated into chiefs and subjects, popes and congregations, presidents and employees.

As our view expanded telescopically, we quested for the ultimate center, and we arrived at — emptiness, and the systems moving equidistantly from each other.

Pine Mountain Observatory Oregon
Robert Jastrow, space scientist and author of Until the Sun Dies notes:

“. . . if you were sitting on a planet in one of the other galaxies in the Universe, you would observe the galaxies around you receding in exactly the same way that an observer in our galaxy sees our neighbors moving away. Your galaxy would seem to be at the center of the expansion, and so would every other galaxy; but, in fact, there is no center.”

“To understand this statement more clearly, imagine a very large, unbaked loaf of raisin bread. Each raisin is a galaxy.

Now place the unbaked loaf in the oven; as the dough rises, the interior of the loaf expands uniformly, and all the raisins move apart from one another.

The loaf of bread is like our expanding Universe. Every raisin sees its neighbors receding from it; every raisin seems to be at the center of the expansion; but there is no center” (Jastrow 8-9).

Additionally, we have learned something else about the nature of centers and satellites.

When we think of the center of something, we often think of the dead center of it — e.g., that the center of the solar system is the center of the Sun.

But:
“The mass of the planets is about 1/750th the mass of the Sun and the center of mass of the solar system can move from close to the center of the Sun to up to one solar radius outside the surface of the Sun! Where the solar system barycenter is at any given moment is determine by the configuration of planets as they revolve around the Sun” (Michelsen in Tables of Planetary Phenomena 16).

Motion of Barycenter of the solar system relative to the Sun

Watch:

This represents a paradigm shift in both scientific and social thinking — from universe as dependent functions of an ultimate center, to the universe as relational; from the atom to un-seeable space, everything is a center in relation to everything else, or omnicentricity. The internet is a concrete manifestation of the omnicentric principle — each a center connected to all centers, potentially, by volition and capability.

But our social systems have been slow to reflect our new understanding of the cosmos, and governance at all levels — nation, state and local — and social and family life continue to insist on a center around which everything satellites and from which the satellites derive their power.

In astrological symbolism, the planet Uranus represents the desire for freedom as an outcome of enlightenment: as such, it is associated archetypally with such mythic figures as Prometheus, the Greek titan who brought fire to humanity. Historically, Uranian cycles can be shown to indicate periods of human revolution, when the collective desire for freedom outweighs historically confining governance structures. Astrologer Lynn Bell, in her address to the astrological conference in Seattle in 2010, traced radical events when Uranus has previously entered and transited in the hot, fiery sign of Aries:

  • 1258: the fall of Baghdad to Genghis Khan
  • 1675: tax revolts in France against Louis XVI, Indian Wars in the colonies
  • 1765: stamp tax revolt in the US
  • 1848: revolutions across Europe
  • 1927: Wall Street, mobsters, flappers, Gandhi and the Indian resistance

At the time of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami localized in Japan, 7 of our system’s 10 planets

were concentrated within 60 degrees of longitude of each other, with Uranus in Aries in the heart of the mass.

We are seeing in our time graphic expressions of our evolving consciousness about the relation of the mass to the center, and the power of the mass to move the center, with far reaching consequences for systems of governance and relationship.

Over 1 Million in Tahrir Square demanding the removal of the regime and for Mubarak to step down February 9, 2011 6 46 PM


In our own lives, expressed in the symbolism of the horoscope.

Looking for the house and planets in which these Pisces/Aries transits are moving will show us where we are experiencing our own paradigm shift away from an historical center to a radicalized, potentially more democratic, omnicentric inner system.

fractal strings from omnicentric universe


Mercury sits directly down

Mercury--go sit down!

Has your boat been rocking for the past few weeks?  Go ahead blame Mercury Retrograde.  He can handle it–but just for the record–he’s had help.

Look at who is in the boat with Mercury: Yup—Uranus, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and just recently, the Sun.

Oi.

We’re in a boat in choppy waters and Mercury is just running backwards, dancing, yelling stuff at the captain.  Wrecking havoc it seemed to me.

Let’s just look for a moment at Himself-that winged messenger.

Mercury from Raphael's Manual of Astrology 1828
Mercury from Raphael's Manual of Astrology 1828

Perhaps not shooting the messenger and listening now that the winds have died down just a little bit might be useful.

It is said that when Mercury goes retrograde (appears to be moving backwards from earthlings point of view) that one needs to put the prefix “re” in front of everything—review, revise, rethink, reverse, renew, re-whatever. And Mercury goes retrograde about 3 times a year for about 3 weeks at a time. He turned around on March 30th and then just today he stopped and is now facing forward—ready to move in a forward direction. Hooray, I say. This genius has played tricks on me and mine for the last 3 weeks and I’m ready to move on.

There are some pretty great stories about this Mercury guy—he was called Hermes in Greek mythology.

Erin Sullivan writes about Mercury/Hermes in her book Retrograde Planets, Traversing the Inner Landscape:

In the Homeric Hymns we read of the birth of Hermes: ‘He was born at dawn, by midday he was playing the lyre, and in the evening he stole the cattle of far-shooting Apollo.” This show him to be a trickster par excellence, as well as having great charm: to make and play the lyre he inveigled a tortoise out of its own shell. The story when that Hermes, restless after his birth, set off in search of the cattle of his brother Apollo, and en route happened upon a tortoise. When great charm he told the hapless tortoise he would make a good dinner companion indeed he did, because Hermes promptly ate him for dinner! Hermes also promised the tortoise that he would make beautiful music when he was dead. The tortoise’s shell was to become the prototype lyre which Hermes eventually gave to Apollo to appease him for the theft of the cattle.
This cattle theft has a most remarkable aspect. Hermes ‘made their hoofs go backward, the front one last and the back ones first; he himself walked straight ahead.’ This is the literary origin of the dualistic path and deceptive brilliance of Hermes the Trickster, and the first hint of his retrograde characteristic. Only minutes before, he had been happily playing his new lyre, but ‘his heart was set on other pursuits’. Versatile, wily, double-edged Hermes, doing one thing while planning another. The hiding of the cattle in the case of the Sun god Apollo is an apt metaphor for the retrogression of Mercury as it trots ‘back’ towards the Sun hiding from Earth view, only to re-emerge later as the redeemed morning star. (p.46)

In the night sky stories Mercury is the messenger—he often has the “ear of the King”.  There are 8 million stories in the naked city :).

Look at where this boat ride has been rocking in your life (what house are Mercury and company jumping around in?). That is where Mercury has been telling the captain to wait, whoa, look back, we’re being followed—terrible things just might happen!

(Mercury is now at 12 degree Aries  – find where that would land in your chart)

Wherever Mercury is transiting your chart is where you have probably noticed yourself chewing gum and walking at the same time while trying to concentrate. You may have been a bit more on edge, or perhaps confronted by something or someone. You may have been busier than usual in that area of your life, perhaps finding broken things — things that require your attention and aren’t what you had in mind for that day.   Saturn has been on the other side of the issues (Saturn is opposing all that Aries activity) trying to keep order, drawing lines in the sand and either having you feel like you have to be the adult or someone is “out-adulting” you.  Jesh.

This boat has been rocking and rolling through the 4th house of my natal chart. The area of life having to do with home, real estate, roots, my core, where I hang my hat. So–Among other things, there is a new leak in the sunroom, the heater broke. We are going to meetings for emergency preparedness after the sirens went off here at the coast. Home and security and land being threatened—fear abounding. It has felt like I “lost my footing”. We are re-viewing lists of things one will need to remember in a crisis. All of that.

Quoting Erin Sullivan again:

“Mercury acts as an agent for recollection –anamnesis—and for the curing of the soul through illumination. Any information, event, fact or awareness that Mercury surfaces with in the course of the retrograde cycle is completely within character and totally relevant to the needs of the individual. In this way, Mercury acts as a civilizing agent. “(p.54).

As I am writing, I am seeing in retrospect, that the guy yelling and waving his arms at the captain and rocking the boat is pointing at exactly what I need to address—fear itself. Ah, I see.

Can’t beat that line—nope—we have nothing to fear but fear itself? Thanks Franklin.

What lessons might you have gleaned from this period of review?

Head on over to this post by Theresa Jordan. Helped me get all this.She is a fine fine writer: this post is called Choosing our Battles

Whatever you say you have learned will, I assure you, serve you well as the boat goes forward.

Hermes is also known as a soul guide. I think I’m going to look for a harp – oh wait—there is one in the heavens called Lyre. Guess I’m moving forward.

Gleefully!

Back soon with a harp a song and perhaps something about the star Vega.

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