Yesterday, 4th March 2013, Mercury retrograde made his inferior conjunction with the Sun. In two days time, on the 7th March he will form a conjunction with Venus. These conjunctions that Mercury forms while he is retrograde are times when thoughts from our subconscious may surface, or where we might experience encounters or events that raise previously hidden issues. These are the issues that Mercury will think about over the remainder of his time retrograde and will begin to address as he moves forward. The final outcome of this process will become clearer as he re-forms the conjunctions, but this time moving forwards. Mercury will re-form the conjunction with the Sun on the 11th May and with Venus on 24th May. Bearing in mind the process of uncovering, reviewing and addressing that comes with these movements it is worth having a look at the Sabian symbols as they can help to shed light on how that process takes form this time around:
To begin with, yesterday’s inferior conjunction with the Sun has a symbol fraught with tension and potential conflict and speaks of the need for thorough planning in order to deal effectively with these times, not just for oneself, but for our communities as well. It speaks of the uses and abuses of power and asks where power is exercised in our lives and whether it is done for the ultimate benefit of ourselves and others, or whether it is done in order to control and suppress – and ultimately work against our own higher purpose. It also speaks of the same dynamic in operation that I have noted being enacted through the ongoing yod – namely the balancing of the needs of the individual with the needs of the group:
(PISCES 15°): AN OFFICER INSTRUCTING HIS MEN BEFORE A SIMULATED ASSAULT UNDER A BARRAGE OF LIVE SHELLS.
KEYNOTE: The need for thorough rehearsing before any complex and inherently dangerous social ritual in which power is used or evoked.
In this fifth symbol of a series dealing with the confrontation with superpersonal group or occult power we see a picture which once again synthesizes what the four preceding symbols have implied, rather than stated. In social life, as well as occultism, conflict is always to be expected; one must prepare for it. At the close of the great cycle — in the zodiac, the sign Pisces — a deep-seated struggle is inevitable at least to some extent. It can be a struggle against the ghosts of the unfulfilled past, the “unlived life,” or a confrontation with accumulated and often-eluded karma. Indeed, Pisces refers to a period in the year during which many generals and admirals have been born. The rules of the game, at least in traditional forms of warfare, can be known. One may have to rehearse the dangerous play, just as our astronauts endlessly rehearsed every step in the moon-landings. Individual rashness cannot be tolerated. Even a deliberate sacrifice must play a well-conceived part — like the sacrifice of an important piece in a game of chess.
This is the last symbol in Scene Twenty-three. The entire scene dealt in various ways with the process of integration of the individual into a social Whole, a community, an occult Brotherhood. A concluding Keyword could be VALORIZATION. The concept of group-value dominates the entire scene.
Conversely, the outcome that begins to show itself with the superior conjunction in May offers a very different image, suggesting that if we are strong in ensuring that we seek to achieve this balance then there is promised the reward of more peaceful time ahead:
(TAURUS 22°): WHITE DOVE FLYING OVER TROUBLED WATERS.
KEYNOTE: The spiritual inspiration that comes to the individual in the overcoming of crisis.
Here also we are confronted with a symbol of guidance, and the dove flying over troubled waters reminds one of the story of Noah and the Ark. Noah met his and mankind’s crisis courageously and in complete obedience to God’s promptings. The test completed, he received the dove’s message. It is a message from the Holy Spirit announcing a new Dispensation. This symbolic scene can be applied to personal crises resulting from emotional upheavals or from the irruption of unconscious forces and impulses into the consciousness — if the crisis has been faced in the right spirit.
This second stage symbol is in contrast to the preceding one because here it is not the product of a culture, a “book,” but instead the rhythm of cosmic, God-ordained cycles that reveals its conclusive beat through a living and concretely significant sign — a REWARD TO THE FAITHFUL.
With the involvement of the Sun this process is about our ego and the way we express ourselves in our outward lives, it is about being strong in understanding who we are and what we bring to this world, and also in understanding where we contribute to others and how they contribute to us.
In a similar process but more concerned with Venusian themes of relationships, beauty and values, the coming conjunction of Mercury and Venus carries a symbol for a degree that is in a partile sextile/trine with Pluto and Saturn and which was mentioned in my last post. It is a symbol that speaks of tests suggesting that experiences and encounters bring out aspects of ourselves to see whether we have indeed learned the lessons of the past (this is even more the case with the trine to Saturn, the great teacher, who is cheering from the sidelines hoping that he has done a good job). This Venus mercury conjunction is also conjunct Eros an asteroid that has been a significant character over the past months and his presence indicates that this is a time when we are challenged to think how we are going to make things real, give them form, bring some sort of order to insights and intuitions which, in Pisces, might seem nebulous and difficult to grasp:
(PISCES 12°): IN THE SANCTUARY OF AN OCCULT BROTHERHOOD, NEWLY INITIATED MEMBERS ARE BEING EXAMINED AND THEIR CHARACTER TESTED.
KEYNOTE: The ever-repeated challenge presented to the individual by the group in which he has claimed acceptance — the challenge to prove himself and his ability to assume responsibility effectively.
At any level of activity, sooner or later life itself demands of the individual that he or she stand up clearly and unequivocally to the ideal he himself has declared publicly his own. At the occult level the testing seems to be controlled and irrevocable. The “initiate” has become a constituent part of an integrated field of mental-spiritual activity. He is therefore controlled by the structural order of the group. He is no longer seeking; having found his place, he must prove himself able to fulfill the function associated with it. He is no longer “free” as an individual, for he has become a part of an integral Whole operating under structural principles of immense antiquity.
This second symbolic stage of unfoldment stands in contrast to the first in that the individual is now bound by collective laws and traditions. At a mundane political or business level he is the junior executive incorporated in a hierarchical institution. He has at all times to prove his worth. QUALIFICATION is an apt Keyword.
Looking forwards to the conjunction of Mercury and Venus that comes when Mercury is moving direct we are again linked into themes of knowledge and understanding – the initiation and testing that came following the conjunction with Mercury retrograde has now become a more mature awareness of wisdom and how our own individual lives link to age old themes. In this chart Psyche is conjunct the North Node and, like her partner Eros, Psyche has been a significant character in the past few months – she represents the deepest desire of the soul to find connection with something other than the self and so this conjunction of Mercury and Venus comes at a time when we can have a clearer understanding of how we can achieve that connection:
(GEMINI 19°): A LARGE ARCHAIC VOLUME REVEALS A TRADITIONAL WISDOM.
KEYNOTE: Contacting the all-human planetary Mind underlying any cultural and personal mentality.
Occult tradition tells us that all cyclic manifestations of the human mind have had a primordial revelatory Source. It speaks of ancient books made of especially treated papyrus leaves and conveying through symbols the archetypal processes at the root of all earthly existence (see Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine). Such volumes, said to remain in the possession of certain Adepts, constitute the “exteriorization” of archetypal knowledge and wisdom. They contain the“seed-ideas” from which the human mind grows, cyclically producing cultures of various types.
This fourth stage symbol evokes for us the “technique” by means of which the human mind can uncover the foundations of its nature and acquire what might be called SEED-KNOWLEDGE, the knowledge of the structure of cyclic and cosmic manifestations of life on this planet.
Aquarius Papers has a good article on the Mercury Inferior Conjunction