When a planet apparently reverses direction in the sky it also symbolically reverses itself in our lives. When this planet is Mercury, the invitation is to tread more carefully in the realm of thought.
The Mercury function turns inward during every Mercury Retrograde, which happens three times per year. This presents an alternative way of cognizing the regular day to day experience. Every Mercury Retrograde cycle, we have the ability think about the world and our lives in a different way. This can be compared to entering a different state of consciousness than the one you’re usually in, and allowing this new way of perceiving to influence your thought process.
The sign Mercury passes through is the collective trip the globe takes together. We are all experiencing Mercury retrograde in Libra, the sign of justice, balance, and relationships. Mercury stationed retrograde in the second face of Libra, at 15 degrees 55 minutes. This face of Libra is about contracts, agreements, oaths, unions, negotiations, and promises.
Three clues indicate the importance of Saturn in this Mercury retrograde (the fourth is that I am a Saturn-loving Capricorn). Saturn changed signs within 9 hours of Mercury’s station. Saturn is exalted in Libra. Pluto, part of the hallmark aspect pattern of this Mercury retrograde, is in Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn.
Noticing that Mercury stations in the second face of Libra, and the association with Saturn, we can integrate these two sets of symbols. The astrological prompt is to proceed with the highest prudence. Saturn has to do with obligation. It is now wise to understand that the obligation Saturn brings to bear in all forms of commitments, contracts, and agreements. Obligation is a force which binds a person to an agreement. An agreement sets the stage for continuity over time, despite external circumstances, be they pleasant or undesirable. A binding agreement also sets the stage for the fruits produced within the container of continuity.
Understanding this first, the next step is to be clear about the terms being agreed to before signing on the dotted line.
This requires reading the fine print, thinking the plan through to the end, and, most importantly for a Mercury in Libra, dialogue. Mercury stationing retrograde in the second face of Libra is an invitation to engage the other in discussion. A discussion is fair when both parties enlist their most reasonable game-faces and hear the other side out, share their perspective, consider the situation thoroughly, and arrive at a balanced, fair conclusion. This type of back and forth is a negotiation based in reference to objective principles (both parties hearing each other out despite inner passions), and requires a certain stark sobriety. Enter Pluto.
The hallmark aspect pattern of this Mercury Retrograde are the three squares it makes to Pluto. Pluto will be direct for the third of three squares only. This square is cardinal. Mercury is in air sign Libra, squaring Pluto in an earth sign.
We can extend this idea of designing or negotiating an agreement to include Pluto’s realm. As a transpersonal planet in Capricorn, Pluto deals with hidden social realities. All the structures within the fabric of society that are radically absent from mainstream dialogue, and which might be overwhelming to cognize, grasp, or grapple with are within Pluto’s realm.
Mercury squaring Pluto means that this realm must be fairly engaged. This is helped by Mercury’s special affinity with Pluto, since he is the only god who could travel freely to and from the underworld.
Within the orb of this transit, which we can say is influencing this entire Mercury retrograde, (which certainly appeared to be the case with Mercury in Gemini square to Neptune earlier this year), the highest route of prudence is to show your hand. Lay all your cards out on the table. Especially to yourself, and even if only to yourself.
Mercury square Pluto can be an exceedingly obsessive influence, especially as Mercury has to do with the mind. There is potential for tunnel vision to the maximum. So, some negative expressions of Mercury square Pluto would be fixating on a negative idea, letting the mind be drawn to negative thoughts and dwelling there, excessive secretiveness, and so on. Healthier expressions for a brighter future would be fixating intensely on a project and really thinking through every element with an eye for completion, agreeing to talk it out until you work it out, crafting a creative solution to a challenge, or asking for assistance from transpersonal sources (guides, angels).
An Exercise in Remedial Technique
This exercise in astrological remediation is working with techniques expounded in Andrea Gehrz’s Astrological Remediation. Remediation is the use of inventive methods to soothe a planetary energy that is presenting as problematic by re-directing the energies emitted from the planets to alternative funnels or channels that match the symbolism. This is done in order to create a brighter future.
While the book focuses on remediation techniques for individual charts, where the individual chart, case history, and transits are taken into consideration, the suggestions below are designed for a generalized remedial model. Read through and take up any suggestions that resonate to help this energy flow consciously through your life, or to re-direct the flow from a problematic expression to a more constructive expression. Exercise discretion and intention and personal responsibility. If you know you can’t sleep for weeks after watching a horror film, don’t take that suggestion. If it’s not your thing to think about gangs, don’t take that suggestion. But I don’t have to tell you that : )
Remedial suggestions for Mercury in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn
* Freewrite your deepest darkest troubles and never show anyone
* Freewrite your deepest darkest troubles and show your most intimate companion
* Write an agreement you would like to release and bury it in the earth
* Write a wish, a reconciliation, a clarification, a conversation, and go to the highest place you can, rip it up and toss the pieces in the wind
* Deeply transform the boundaries of a standing agreement
* Have a thorough talk about the structure of a relationship. Include all the difficult territory in the conversation
* Engage in deep conversation of everything on your mind, often, in a safe space
* Work hard to understand the other person’s perspective
* Get perspective on your inner experience. Unearth what you are experiencing by giving it language. Get help to do this from a supportive and uplifting person
* Give your experiences a symbol. Call on Libra and make music or art that reflects what you’re experiencing.
* Radically purify your mind
* Radically purge what is in your mind
* Work with darkness of your mind as something useful and creative, rather than making it fit some kind of aesthetically pleasing concept or label that makes it less overwhelming. Get on speaking terms with what is overwhelming.
* Challenge yourself beyond your limits
* Find a way to make peace with the absurd
* Rummage through old photos and process your wounds. Do something lighthearted afterward.
* Read or write about catastrophes
* Read or write about criminal activity and gangs
* Read or write about sex workers
* Read Supreme Court decisions
* Read treaties between countries
* Take up reading a daily practice of reading an artfully composed essay
* Take up a daily kundalini yoga practice
* Think intensely about the role of the arts in your life
* Agree to make peace with an institution that is bigger than you
* Challenge an institution that is bigger than you
* Watch Alfred Hitchcock Films
* Watch highly acclaimed films that have to do with underworld themes, or stories of radical transformation
* Read about psychological coping mechanisms
* Set a timer to allow yourself to think about something, think about it exclusively while the timer is going, and then stop thinking about it after the time is up
The potential of this triple square to Pluto is the possibility of coming out with a much clearer picture of the foundational structure of your relationship reality, which then enables to you to make wise decisions moving forward. This especially has to do with relationships, but it also has to do with any contracts, agreements, legal documents, negotiations that you would like to revisit and radically restructure. These should be existing agreements that are in ongoing negotiation, not new agreements. New agreements or contracts should wait until after Mercury has gone direct, with ample time allotted to process and integrate your Mercury retrograde passage.
Toward increasing balance this Rx season,