Mercury and the Sun will meet in the same place in the sky in a conjunction at 19 degrees 25 minutes Taurus on May 9, 2016.
This event is the Mercury Retrograde midpoint. It is the middle of Mercury retrograde in Taurus, indicating that half of the Mercury retrograde journey is complete and half remains. However it is made rare as Mercury will pass between the Earth and the Sun, appearing across the face of the Sun for those who have eyes (with appropriate eye-protection binoculars) to see. This particular alignment occurs 13 times per century.
Mercury as a symbol represents communication, thinking, speech, messages and cognition. Mercury also represents the function of forming concepts from abstract notions and being able to put these into the written or spoken word. In ancient times, this ability was considered a point of power. While Mercury is not visible due to its being so close to the Sun’s light as to be considered combust, and entering the heart of the Sun at the midpoint, Mercury’s function of giving language to concepts could appropriately be expanded to include other forms of communication. Inwardly perceived impressions vary from person to person, culture to culture, and language to language, occupation to occupation. An artist might find that a particular concept they perceive should be expressed in free flowing watercolors rather than thicker more dramatic oil paints. The guitarist expresses concepts through scales or staccato or trailing notes. The UN spokesperson might deliver a galvanizing message through a story rather than a straight delivery of facts. These experiences move in us something un-nameable, though labels are offered as description. Both the labeling and the conceptualizing functions belong to Mercury.
Astronomically, there are interesting points about this Mercury retrograde. Mercury will appear to move across the face of the Sun from about 7 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. EDT. Under clear skies, using appropriate protective eyewear, looking at the Sun during the event time it will be possible to see the planet Mercury moving in front of the Sun.
This transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun is a solar eclipse of the Sun with Mercury instead of the more frequent eclipse of the Sun by the Moon. As the more typical solar eclipses featuring the Moon tend to function on an external level, likewise this solar eclipse featuring Mercury instead of the Moon will function on an external level, featuring the unusual cognition process of Mercury retrograde in Taurus.
Mercury, when invisible due to being under the beams of the Sun was considered by ancient astrologers to be in another place, therefore expressing its power in that other realm rather than the regular physical realm of existence. Thus it is considered more reflective and having access to information that is not readily available in ordinary waking consciousness.
With this transit of Mercury Cazimi, occurring from about 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT, we can expect the following:
* Thinking deeply about something and turning that into a practical action
* Taking the initial steps within a larger re-consideration process (Moon in Crescent phase after new; several planets retrograde, Jupiter stationing direct)
* Creating action from reflections
* Engaging in conversation about internal re-ordering
* Savoring simple pleasures
* Eclipsing the ego, identity, or the way things have always been done, to arrive at an unusual or previously unconsidered revelation
Mercury’s direct station will come around the time of the Full Moon in Sagittarius, which takes place at the Mars Retrograde midpoint. You can listen to a talk I gave on that passage by downloading a free mp3 set on the current retrograde season here. If you wish to discuss this event and more in your own life, book a personal astrological consultation here.
image: photograph by Dave Kleinschmidt. Trishul offerings to Guna Devi.