Friday, November 17, 2006

Mercury Stations Direct

Red and Yellow Sunflower Oct 2005
Mercury stations Direct motion at about 4:25PM today. This begins the third and finale phase of Mercury's third retrograde this year, retracing his zig-zagging path through the zodiac. The first phase which covered the same degrees Mercury will now be traversing, occurred before Mercury stationed retrograde and was a preperatory sequence emphasizing the issues we might encounter as obstacles during the retrograde period.

This initial period began October 8th and lasted three weeks until Mercury began its secondary phase of retrograde, on October 29th. Often the secondary retrograde phase is the only phase noted by astrologers; the initial and final phases, being direct motion, are largely ignored because Mercury works the same as it does any other time it is moving direct. But in order to minimize anxiety and obstacles during the retrograde phase as well as maximize your energy and focus during this often troubling period, you can track this energy through each phase as a way to learn how it manifests in your life.

Mercury is said to be the messenger of the other planets and therefore influences our methods of communication and ability to communicate with each other. Retrograde periods are supposed to bring difficulty and disruption of electronic communication, rerouting and mis-delivery of mail and shipped goods, as well as corruption of data and details. I'm not convinced that this is the only time these things occur, but I have noticed that when Mercury stations retrograde people tend to be more aware when communication goes awry.

It is interesting to note the symbol systems that are often used to identify individual degrees. For example, the Sabian symbol for 10 degrees Scorpio, where Mercury is stationing direct today, is "At a family dinner, the son negotiates with his father for the use of the car, while his younger sister is grounded for having sassed her father." Sabian symbols were developed in the nineteen twenties by astrologer Marc Edmund Jones and his student Elsie Wheeler as an exercise in psychic recall. An explanation for this symbol given by Martin Goldsmith in his book The Zodiac by Degrees is "asserting one's individuality, but respecting the basic requirements of the group."

Another zodiac degree symbol system I've been studying is the Chandra Symbols developed by John Sandbach from Chaldean astrological traditions. The Chandra symbol for 10 Scorpio reads, "On a human nose a wart that turns into a diamond." Ellias Lonsdale in his book Inside Degrees, describes this degree pertaining to "destructive patterns come around to regenerative places when they are persisted in tenaciously, yet with an eye toward the destructive patterns destroying themselves."

One way to look at these degree symbols is how they are extrapolated from planetary rulerships. John Sandbach identifies the dwadashamsas where 10 degrees Scorpio is as being influenced by Leo. This elaborates the above explanations of this degree as being the Sun (which rules Leo) interacting with Mars (which rules Scorpio) or issues of actions (Mars) encountering our self identity (Sun).

The degree where Mercury initially stationed retrograde during this cycle was 26 degrees Scorpio. The dwadashamsas where this degree appears is influenced by Aquarius, which is ruled by Saturn. Therefore this would deal with issues of actions (Mars) encountering limitation (Saturn). The Sabian symbol for 26 degrees Scorpio is "before dawn, a Native American chieftain oversees the silent dismantling of an encampment of tepees." Martin Goldsmith says of this, "Team efforts." The Chandra symbol for 26 Scorpio is "a she-wolf. Her udders full of milk." Lonsdale says, "bearing within you something vast and wild and true."

Obviously these symbol systems are not easily applied, but between the various examples one can surmise the emphasis and focus of this Mercury retrograde cycle as dealing with limitations on actions which can lead to actions based on self identity. In the realm of communication, applying these principles well can only improve your overall relationship with the universe.

Another note that leads back to my studies with the Meso-American sacred count of days is that today is Hun Ix or One Jaguar, beginning a cycle of spiritual transformation. Mercury's attribution within the Tarot is the Magician and Jaguars are revered in Meso-American culture as magical shape-shifters who often appear as spirit guides to other dimensions. Therefore there is some correspondence between astrological symbols and the symbols of the Tzolk'in.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

On Masks and Magic

Pansies Pot Oct 2005
Back in 2003 I'd been invited to attend a men's spirituality event in Canada. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend, and instead wrote this article with the research I'd done for the workshop in which I'd been asked to participate.