Mercury will be going backwards for 3 weeks starting 14 Feb. Don’t let anyone tell you that ‘really’ it’s going forwards in its constant orbit around the Sun. That’s just Science trying to disempower you by telling you that your experience isn’t real. If Mercury wasn’t really going backwards, then there would be no observable effect, and we astrologers know that there is. Rant over.
I think as long as you’re a bit internal about it, Mercury Retrograde can be a great time. It’s a vehicle, like any other aspect, but humans find it hard to drive this one. It’s about time and patience and getting a sense of things having their own flow and rhythm. If you’re result-oriented, Mercury retrograde will work against you. But if you’re process oriented, you can get a sense of knotty problems moving on in their own way.
The chart for this MR is right out there: Mercury in Pisces, conjunct Uranus and square to Jupiter. Mercury is tricksy anyway, but this one looks like it’s going to be completely over the top. All bets are off. There are going to be some really bizarre things going on. And some things sorting in completely unexpected ways.
The Valentine’s Day Yod (see last posting) is also part of this chart, with Venus at one end of a Pisces stellium of Mercury-Uranus-Node-Ceres-Venus. This yod of Venus and Mars at the base, with Saturn at the apex, is easier than some because Mars and Venus are both in their favourite signs of Capricorn and Pisces respectively. OK, Saturn is technically in its fall in Leo, but I can think of much worse signs for Saturn to be in.
I don’t really know how Yods work. I can give you some of the theory, and I can probably get a bit mystical about it into the bargain. But I don’t seem to get round to them when I do readings, because there’s so much else to talk about. So I’ll give myself some practice by looking at the composite chart of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, which has a yod with Mercury at the apex and Neptune and Pluto at the base.
This one really works well. These 2 have been fated to work together over a long period in a really difficult relationship, full of power struggles (Pluto) and, we are told, broken promises (Neptune). It has dominated British politics, and it has got as bad as things can get. Yet neither of them can get out of it. Even after an attempted coup last September, there was no way Tony Blair could have sacked Gordon Brown. They have had to compromise and compromise and put up with it and live with it. It is not about them learning to be friends or willing colleagues. They never will be. As Rory Bremner said of them, “It’s not exactly Brokeback Mountain.”
The sextile is supposed to be the nice bit. Here there is Neptune sextile to Pluto, and they have been working together on a vision for the collective. That bit hasn’t been too bad, in the sense that policy hasn’t been the main issue. At least they have had that. Like any challenge, they may or may not learn from it. There will no doubt be plenty of mutual loathing by the time it’s over. But one or both of them might have learnt that life is sometimes about accepting difficult conditions, there’s nothing you can do about it, it’s not what you would have wanted, it is of such a nature that you baulk at it, you can never fully realise your ‘dream’. But from a deeper perspective, it’s maybe not such a limitation as it appears to be.
So back to the Mars-Venus-Saturn Valentine’s Day Yod. The nice bit is Mars sextile Venus, both exalted. The potential for a harmonious romantic involvement in which there is plenty of mutual attraction. And then the hard bit: Saturn. Saturn is about learning anyway, and so is the apex of the yod. And Saturn is also frequently to be found in long-term relationships, he is what binds people together (for better or for worse). So I think this Yod is about keeping the romance and appreciation alive in long-term relationships. As it’s Saturn, it’s not just about keeping it alive, which sounds rather desperate, but actually building it. And that’s not necessarily easy when you’re both gradually falling apart and there’s things about the other person that you don’t like, never have liked and never will like. A bit like Tony and Gordon. But it’s real. It’s a compromise, or seems like one. But that’s maybe because we’ve got some ideal relationship in our heads. So I think this Yod involves all these sorts of issues. It’s a good time for deepening long-term relationships, and for those of us who back off from them (again, Saturn), a good time to look at why. Or why they just don’t seem to work for us.
Saturn is also about age. I seem to regularly do readings for women around 40 who are single and who fear they are getting too old to be attractive. I’m always having to point out that people of a similar age continue to find each other attractive. It’s easily observable. And old people’s homes are full of romantic jealousies! So here’s another issue for that Yod.
Back to Mercury Retrograde. As I said, this one looks like being really out there and over the top. And it stelliums onto the Yod Venus. Now I’ve got to provide an interpretation. I suppose it could mean that a theme of this MR will be stuff getting sorted or exposed in long-term relationships in unexpected, creative, maybe crazy ways. Issues around commitment being suddenly thrown up. But I’m not sure how wise it is to try and second-guess tricksy Mercury Retrograde and tricksy Uranus.