Category Archives: Mercury: Retro and Direct + Mercurial Tales (6 articles)

Guest Slot : ‘Unruly Tricksters of the Twelfth House’ by Jude Cowell

The planet Mercury – my ruling planet – has certainly earned his tricksterish reputation in my life, never more so than when he turns retrograde, this time in Virgo. Just as he quit dancing around my 9 Virgo Ascendant, disappearing into the Twelfth House this week, I decided to re-visit some articles in my Writing from the Twelfth House blog, an archive since May last year. Just on cue, up popped one of the most frequently read posts on that site: all about trickster Mercury and the Twelfth House!

I love it when astrology does that…

Gorgeous Mercury

Mercury, by Praxiteles – isn’t he gorgeous?

So –I am delighted to be re- publishing this topical article by prestigious and prolific USA fellow blogger, my friend from Georgia, Jude Cowell. During that season of three weeks (13/8 – 5/09 2017) when the ultimate planetary trickster, Mercury, turns retrograde and challenges us all with communication conundrums, Jude poses and answers a few mercurial conundrums of her own…

” Having astrology’s trickster planet, Mercury, or Mercury-ruled Gemini or Virgo, associated with one’s natal twelfth house can be quite a ‘tricky’ proposition for anyone to manage.

When one considers the unconscious nature of the twelfth house and Mercury’s rulership of our thinking and communicating processes, the picture becomes fraught with possibilities for confusion, doubt, and awkwardness.

In fact, in similar fashion to this blog’s creator and author, the gracious Anne Whitaker, I am communicating with you from the twelfth house right now, with sixteen degrees of a mercurial sign directing the show from behind the curtain.

As you know, repressed energies of the twelfth house (12th h) are identified by planets posited there, and by those which are connected by sign and aspect to the house of Self-Undoing and Karma, the 12th h of the Unconscious.

But when fleet-of-foot Mercury is involved, we can be certain that unbidden thoughts will frequently float up into consciousness from the watery depths of the Neptunian realms of the unconscious – some useful and to be acted upon, others not as useful and to be disregarded.

Mysterious Mercury

Mysterious Mercury

A 12th house Mercury may give a tendency to talk to oneself, and the old caution that it’s ‘okay as long as one doesn’t answer back’ may be moot with Mercury involved in the house of the Unconscious – for talk back the trickster will, and often out loud at the most inappropriate times or in awkward ways.

“Foot-in-mouth” syndrome is a common manifestation of the predicament of having connections between the Unconscious psychological 12th house and our thinker-communicator planet.

Plus, ‘The Fool’ card in the Tarot deck illustrates neutral Mercury’s brash characteristics quite well as he/she haplessly opens mouth to insert foot – and usually at the worst of moments…the ‘speak first, think later’ tendency.

Yet that is where Astrology can aid us in understanding these mercurial 12th house dynamics and learning to make productive use of them so that we don’t mistakenly shoot ourselves in the very foot we placed in our mouths. Now that would be a definite ouch!

Directing mercurial 12th house energies outwardly into the wider world may produce a writer or other type of artisan who draws upon knowledge from the collective unconscious and expresses it on behalf of mankind, while remaining the private sort of person that a mercurial 12th house requires.

But before projecting them outwardly, it’s important to replace self-defeating attitudes (such as the repeating loop in our heads of mother’s old discouragements: “oh, you can’t figure that out,” or “what would you know about it?”, etc.) with a more positive attitude; for after all, neutral Mercury can ‘go either way’ – so why not take the high road? Especially since we know that decision-maker Mercury, in his Hermes disguise, is the mystery guide at the crossroads of life, isn’t he?

So aspects to planets in, or associated with the 12th house (or its cusp), show us how and where to use these repressed, unconscious energies to best advantage by ‘tricking the trickster’ and turning them into the talents they truly are.

And developing our verbal and non-verbal creative work is one of the better ways to manage these unruly mercurial scamps of the 12th house while benefiting the collective simultaneously; attempting to push these energies further beneath the oceanic 12th house surface only causes them to fester and become even more distorted than they were from being stifled during childhood by the adults around us who had their own 12th house issues to deal with. And perhaps they didn’t manage it as well as we, with Astrology’s instruction, may now.

So rather than setting ourselves up for subliminally undoing ourselves from the unconscious 12th house, I say: let the 12th house trickster breathe freely, romp with the other kids, take up his quill or paintbrush, and reveal mercurial insights for the benefit of all! “

Zodiac

Zodiac

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(Written for Anne Whitaker to use, with Jude Cowell’s  permission)

700 words Copyright Jude Cowell /Anne Whitaker 2017

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

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Check out Stars over Washington for Jude’s outspoken astrological and political commentaries on USA’s current affairs….and Jude Cowell Astrology for her varied astrological writings.

Jude Cowell

Lifelong artist Jude Cowell is a native of Athens, Georgia and an Astrology novice since 1996. She attended Atlanta College of Art in her younger years where she studied Fashion Illustration, Layout, and Design, and has exhibited her artwork in Athens, Augusta, and Atlanta, Georgia. She now displays her colored pencil drawings exclusively online.

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As Mercury goes direct…a tale of three Virgo planets, an astrologer, and a blessed cupcake…

How’s this for astrology in action, emotionally, physically and symbolically? I spent this morning in a highly Virgoan pursuit: going through all my old paper files and systematically weeding out all the masses of stuff I no longer need. So far, so Moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter in Virgo.

Astrologers at Work

Astrologers at Work

And now it gets more dynamic. My Ascendant is 8-9 degrees Virgo. I decide to check my TimePassages astrology app ( excellent, by the way!) just before leaving the house at around 1345 BST. The Moon is exactly conjunct Mars and both are sitting right on top of my Ascendant.

Looking at the chart of the moment I think to myself “I wonder what woman is going to annoy me today?” At that PRECISE moment, folks, my phone rings: a London number. I answer it. It is a female sales person, trying to get me to report an accident ( which of course I have not had) in order to make an insurance claim. I loathe those calls. “Excuse me! “I shout into the phone, several times, trying to break through the spiel to inform the caller that we do not accept unsolicited calls and that they should remove our details forthwith. At my third attempt to break through, she hangs up, leaving me fizzing. Three attempts to call the number fail. Exasperated, I give up, then realise the precision of the astrology’s relationship to that moment. And calm down.

I take another look at the moment’s horoscope and realise that the Moon is leaving Mars and heading for Jupiter – 12 degrees Virgo conjunct my Ascendant in the First House. “Mmmm…” I think. “And what woman is going to please and cheer me up today, who is in some way connected to health and education?” Holding this thought, I exit my house, walk along the street, and stroll into our local Botanic Gardens – a few minutes’ walk from our house.

A few seconds later there is a cheery “Hello, Anne! How lovely to see you!” and one of my favourite astrology students, a nutritionist and yoga teacher, screeches to a halt, jumps off her bike, gives me a big hug, and walks with me along the riverside through the park towards my office, chatting cheerfully as we go. I tell her about the Moon/Mars/Jupiter /my Ascendant episode, and she beams. “Well, that’s astrology for you. No wonder we love it so.” We part ways, me thoroughly uplifted by the encounter.

Approaching the office, I remind myself, very happily since the last three weeks have been the most trying at every level of communication I’ve experienced for many a long year, that Mercury is about to go direct. I also realise that the transiting Virgo Moon is drawing ever closer to Jupiter in my First House.  “Wouldn’t it be great if that review book I’ve been expecting has arrived?” I think. Yes, there it was, beckoning enticingly in my in-tray.

So, Reader, I lay on the office sofa happily for the rest of the afternoon, drinking coffee, eating the chocolate cup cake recently blessed by the lama at the Buddhist centre round the corner (which I had been saving for a special occasion), and reading. What a perfect beginning to Mercury going direct!

Mercury in Action!

Mercury in Action!

Any tales from my readers demonstrating how jaw-droppingly descriptive astrological symbolism can be, are most welcome. Do share your story by leaving a comment.

Zodiac

Zodiac

600 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

Mercury stations – enter domestic mayhem!

At this moment, with Mercury preparing to resume direct motion at 11.35pm BST on Thursday 11th June, I am sitting writing in my Glasgow office – wondering whether we will be spending the night here…. No matter how long one has been studying and practising astrology, there are times when its accuracy in describing the prevailing energy field of a given time period is simply breathtaking. So – sit back, fasten your seatbelts, and let me present you a case in point!

This is what I wrote on this blog’s Facebook Page on the evening of Tuesday 9th June : “Well, is everyone looking forward to Mercury resuming direct motion, at 11.35pm BST on Thursday 11th June? Or are you now – like me – too spaced out to care much? Tomorrow and Thursday sees our local Electricity Board replacing an electrical cable in our building, then linking it to the supply of each of our community’s ten flats.

I can barely contain my enthusiasm about this…how many bets that the whole job will go smoothly? No, I thought there wouldn’t be many! We are due to have our supply cut off from 830 am to 430 pm tomorrow (10th) and Thursday (11th) so that essential work as described above can be completed. Somehow, I don’t get the feeling that the Electricity Board knows anything at all about Mercury Retrograde…. Watch this space!…”

I just KNEW there would be complications, with the current planetary pattern linking Mercury with the prevailing Saturn/Neptune square…I just didn’t realise how bad it would get…

Mercury Direct Glasgow UK

Mercury Direct Glasgow UK

Day One went ok, apart from the Electricity Board’s workers discovering that “the wrong kind of scaffolding” had been erected on our third floor landing ( the building has four floors). This means that the job cannot be completed in the two days stated. So the whole rigmarole of alerting and informing all of us in writing, with accompanying instructions, arbitrary date and attendant inconvenience will have to be gone through all over again at some hitherto unknown date.

Day Two...well…picture the scene. Our podiatrist Lydia visited us this morning, weaving her way up through the building site that is our close in order to get to us. She had done Ian’s feet, and was half way through doing mine, when Ian burst into the room. “We all have to vacate the building, NOW!” he shouted. “There’s a gas scare!”. The strong odour of gas accompanied us as we hastily grabbed a few essentials for the day, Lydia hastily packing up her podiatry equipment as she ran.

Gas was pouring from the wall outside our second floor neighbour’s door. On the street, surrounded by neighbours, curious passers-by and stunned-looking Electricity Board workers, we discovered that they had accidentally sliced through a gas pipe which they had not expected would be embedded in the wall.

The emergency gas services had been alerted and half an hour later were allegedly on their way. There was absolutely nothing we could do, apart from pray that a random spark – the electricity supply apparently could not be turned off since it was too risky – would not result in our building being blown up.

I am not a person who panics in an emergency, or gives up easily (thanks, Mercury/Saturn/Pluto!). I turned to Lydia, who was standing beside her car on the pavement opposite our house. “Shall we finish the job?” She is not a giver-upper either. So I sat on the driver’s seat, feet resting on Lydia’s knees as she balanced herself on the pavement and coolly carried on beautifying my feet – quite a task at the best of times, it has to be said!!

We attracted quite a bit of  passer-by attention – I’m a Leo, no problem there! – and a very kind, chatty lady from the next street offered us coffee and a seat in her garden for the rest of the day, if we were going to remain homeless. So kind! Emergencies do indeed bring out the best in some people. In the course of our conversation I did such a good PR job for Lydia and her podiatry skills that the lady went away happily with one of her cards, promising to book a session for her son, a sufferer from bad feet.

The neighbours, who know me well enough to expect occasional bouts of left-field entertainment, were most diverted by all this from our collective worry that the building might blow up. It still might…but it hadn’t done so by the time the emergency services at last arrived, and Lydia, Ian and me went on our respective ways.

Being an astrologer, of course, absolutely everything no matter how dire is a potential astro-learning experience. You could scarcely make this one up: stationary Mercury square Neptune and Saturn: sliced-through gas pipe and interrupted podiatry session. Moon in Aries applying to the Uranus/Pluto square from Aries to Capricorn – threat of gas explosion in building.

Well,  I do hope you have found this dramatic tale interesting! I’d love to hear how any of my Readers have fared during these few days. Do let us all know! And I will post an update on this blog’s Facebook Page. Will we have a home to go to tonight? Watch this space…

Zodiac

Zodiac

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900 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

 

 

Mercury Retrograde status report: the pain – and the gain!

Well, this so far is the most tricksterish, troublesome Mercury Retrograde I’ve had for many a long year –a little post asking for feedback on my Astrology: Questions and Answers Facebook Page has validated this impression.

Mercury’s fellow travellers Mars and the Sun also in Gemini – opposing Saturn  square Neptune – do, I feel, explain this amplification. Such a complex, contradictory energy pattern also accounts for the accompanying confusion, lassitude, lethargy and feelings of being oppressed by tasks with which which one can’t quite come to grips… 

Gorgeous Mercury

Gorgeous Mercury

Mercury rules my horoscope, and aspects every planet, so I knew things might be a little tricky…the torture started on Tuesday morning, mere hours after Mercury went retrograde, with my losing my office keys.There followed frantic searching – husband helpfully went through all my handbags and coat/jacket pockets in my absence and could not believe how many pairs of gloves, lipsalves, emergency cash, pencils, notebooks, tissues etc etc inhabited those arcane corners of my life.

The keys turned up, eventually – in the cafe in the park across from my office where I’d been with a friend last week. Then, two days later, I had walked half way to work when I discovered I had left my office keys behind and had to trudge all the way back home ….there’s more, there’s more! 

In the last week, I have had to conduct a skype astrology reading over mobile phone because something happened my end and skype did not work. My client seemed much less phased by this than me, and wants to book another half hour very soon. Thank goodness I only do half hour sessions at present –I think I might have passed out if I’d had to do a whole reading between here and the USA over a mobile!

I have also got crossed wires with friends re timing of meet-ups, and offered people appointments which I later had to retract because of double booking. ( I am normally very well organised). And – how used I was to this feature of Mercury Retrograde in the days before my long 2001-8 sabbatical – my client/student cancellations and re-schedulings began just as Mercury stationed, prior to turning retrograde.

Today’s arrangements with two friends – I have given myself a writing day with no clients or students, worn out with the nervous strain of trying to keep my practice on an even keel – have been so interrupted and disrupted I cannot face describing what has happened. I haven’t even mentioned Web and computer glitchiness of which there was plenty. Advice: do not attempt to link your PayPal account to your bank account at these Retro times…

However, lest you readers out there imagine that Mercury Retrograde is all bad news, let me stress a fundamental principle of working creatively with planetary energies, whatever they may be. To quote Liz Greene in one of her 1990s Centre for Psychological Astrology Seminars:

“You have to give the god what the god wants. If it’s Mars, don’t offer a bunch of flowers!”

Capricious Mercury

Capricious Mercury

I have never forgotten this witty, sage advice. So – what should we offer Mercury in his retrograde phase? First of all, philosophical acceptance that, the more Mercurial one is, the more day to day screw-ups on the communication and travel front one is likely to have. Just allow more time to do everything, and don’t expect too much to flow smoothly if it is anything to do with communication or manual dexterity.

And of course, paying attention to the Retro part gives you a clue that going back over matters to do with communication/writing is a constructive use of this time.

I am now beginning seriously to contemplate getting to grips with my next book. So I used last Friday to dig out some material I had put together off and on over the last three years – and discovered that I have actually drafted an outline of my core idea, as well as having already conducted and recorded one of the case study interviews. I spent a happy couple of hours re-reading, refreshing my memory, and re-inspiring myself for the task ahead.

Also, on Monday I got down to completing one of my least favourite chores in the whole world: preparing my previous year’s accounts to send to my accountant. This involves going through receipts in excruciating detail, etc etc too boring even to list. My husband swears he simply has to utter the phrase “Tax Return” to me and steam immediately starts pouring from my ears…BUT…I did it!

So – how have you Mercurial folk out there been getting on this first week? Do let us all know – assuming you can get the Comments box to work!

Zodiac

Zodiac

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800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

Strange tales from Mercury’s Retrograde Realm….

 

Capricious Mercury

Capricious Mercury

Mercury – isn’t he gorgeous?! However….

….in the spring, summer and autumn/winter of each year, the planet Mercury does something strange. It appears to slow down in its orbital pace, stop, then start to move backwards. This is known as retrograde motion. It is of course an illusion. Otherwise, we’d have fallen off the solar system aeons ago.

However, the effects down here on Earth when Mercury is in its 2-3 week retrograde phases are anything but illusory. For years, I studied this phenomenon in my own life, the lives of family, friends, and astrology students. In sum, communications of all types become strangely awkward and hard to manage during those times.

I learned to look forward to having some rest during Mercury Retrograde, since my referral rate dropped. Normally clients always turned up for appointments, MR periods being the exception. Cancellation rates increased.

Once, a client called to cancel because her house had just caught fire (yes, she called the Fire Brigade first!).Two clients often turned up at the same time. Cheques invariably got lost in the post, or clients forgot to bring cash.

One summer I moved office during MR, becoming involved in a dispute of byzantine complexity with the telephone company which took almost a nervous breakdown on my part to sort out.

As MR periods approached, I used to entertain my students by looking at their individual horoscopes, which enabled me to be more specific regarding possible MR effects. I told one student, a lawyer, that a female helper in his workplace was likely to have communication problems which would impact on him.

His feedback?  His secretary sprained her wrist, and was unable to type during the entire MR period.

Mercurial people, ie those with the sign Gemini strongly emphasised  or the planet Mercury  dominant in their horoscopes,  are most affected  by Mercury’s retrograde phase. Anyone involved in the business of communication can look forward to a less than smooth three weeks.

A good example is my old friend Ronnie who runs a first rate copying and web design business here in Glasgow; Mercury’s retrograde havoc wreaked on his computers one year convinced him that “There’s definitely something in this astrology business, Anne!”

What can mercurial folk do, then, to maximise advantage and minimise disruption when Mercury is retrograde? MR is a positive time for going back over all matters to do with communication, and cleaning up.

Some examples: if you’ve been putting off a purge of your filing system, do it now. If your accountant has asked you nine times for your last year’s papers, use this 2-3 weeks to update them.

Dig out and finish some of those half-worked articles if you are a writer.  If you’ve been writing furiously and the brain/wrist is seizing up, have a break. Catch up with some reading. As we know, fallow time is creative.

The don’ts? If it is not feasible to avoid or delay taking important new initiatives or completing existing processes, eg signing contracts, leases, etc, try to accept complications or thwartings philosophically.

Also – be prepared for delays, eg when travelling, especially long distance.  Don’t sit under the mailbox waiting for cheques. And please, don’t arrange for a phone installation!

“Come on then !” I can hear you shouting as you search for my phone number or email. “Tell us WHEN !”

….oh, all right. I’ll tell you.

The Mercury Retrograde periods for 2016  are:

i) Retro 05/1/16, Direct 25/1/16

 ii)Retro 28/4/16, Direct 22/5/16

iii) Retro 30/8/16, Direct 22/9/16

Enjoy the next three weeks! And do let me know YOUR strange tales….

Zodiac

600 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014/Mercury Retro Periods updated 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Fasten your seat belts! Mercury is reversing…..

Why have I been feeling S-L-E-E-PY all day today? Could Mercury turning retrograde tonight at 21.38 UK Time, conjunct Neptune, have anything to do with it, I wonder? 

Gorgeous Mercury

Mercury – Gorgeous or what?!

Help, however, is at hand. Fellow Scottish astrologer Anna Estaroth has kindly shared a link for a 2014 Mercury retrograde periods calendar with us on Facebook. Plan your times for slowing down, re-visiting, re-linquishing, re-storing, re-working, re-connecting….anything needing going over and sorting out (get down to doing those accounts from last year, freelancers out there!) can productively be addressed during Mercury retro periods. Go for it!!

http://www.astrologyhoroscopereadings.com/2014-mercury-retrograde-calendar.html

Do tell your stories over the next three weeks…..if you can stay awake long enough!

Zodiac

150 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House