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Mundane Astrology & Current Transit Articles by Julene Packer-Louis
Mercury Retrograde December 10 - 30, 2010
Mercury goes retrograde on December 10, 2010 at 7:05 a.m. EST. This occurs in the tropical degree of 5:56 Capricorn. Mercury will appear, from our geocentric point of view, to travel backwards through the tropical zodiac to 19:37 Sagittarius where he stations direct on December 30, 2010 at 2:21 a.m. EST. When a planet is retrograde, it is closest to Earth and its influence is actually strengthened. However the apparent backward movement also signifies that things ruled by that planet can manifest in a backwards fashion. Apparent retrograde motion also slows a planets apparent speed through the zodiac as it stops from our geocentric point of view in a degree of the zodiac to station and change apparent direction. This slowing also means things under the planet's domain can be delayed. Things can also get kind of screwy.
We all know that Mercury retrograde is not a good time to sign contracts, buy a car, or start communications regarding something important. However sometimes these things can't be helped, so read the fine print if you have to sign a contract and follow up on the details. If you have to buy a car, take it to your mechanic to look it over. If you have to start communications on something important, make sure you have a clear plan laid out that is easy to follow and again follow up on the details.
There are plenty of good things to do while Mercury is retrograde. Read that book you've been wanting to reading. Take a class or study a topic of interest. Clean out or re-organize your closets, move the furniture and clean the dusty baseboards behind the couch and refrigerator. File away that stack of papers on your desk or re-arrange your office space. You'll likely find that important document you've been looking for! Yes, even if you've already looked there. Clean out your car, you might find something in there you didn't even want to know was missing, like the French fries your kids dropped down in the seats. Watch one of those movies that starts at the end and works its way back to the beginning - it might make more sense this time. Ponder where those missing socks go - look for them yet again and then let them go. The washing machine eats them, they aren't coming back! Double check that spam or junk folder before dumping it, chances are it caught at least one thing that wasn't junk. Most importantly, laugh when you dial the wrong number, hit send on the email before you meant to, make a wrong turn, forget where you were going or what you were saying. It's ok we are all doing it.
A few key days occur in this Mercury Retrograde Cycle as Mercury makes conjunctions to various planets.
On December 14th Mercury, Pluto and Mars all conjoin at 4 degrees of Capricorn. Watch your tongue on December 14th, anger and tempers can easily flare up and mostly over power struggles. Everyone will be in a hurry on the road too. Practice defensive driving, be alert and stay off your cell phone while driving especially on December 14th. Watch out for that car to come out of nowhere, or suddenly jump lanes to hurry to the front of the line. Mercury-Mars is an accident combination and with Pluto in the mix make sure your insurance premiums are paid. Don't let that bill slide for extra Christmas money, pick something else. This is a good day to contemplate transformative action. To take action to rid the garbage from your psyche and create new mantras to replace the unhealthy ones that leave you stuck in repetitive patterns.
On December 17th Mercury conjoins the True Node at 2 degrees of Capricorn. The North Node holds our soul potential, it is where we are going, and it feels uncomfortable because it represents the unknown uncharted territory. Mercury conjunct the North Node is a good time to make your business plan for the upcoming year. Then revisit your business plan when Mercury conjunct the North Node direct on January 15th and make revisions where you left something out or got another idea since then. The North Node is Rahu, the head of the serpent that causes eclipses (more on this in my upcoming eclipse article). Rahu represents the material world and all the desires it creates. So it is also a good time to meditate and free the mind from attachments. So make your plan and let it go, do not be attached to the outcome, turn it over to the universe to take care of.
On December 19th Mercury makes inferior conjunction to the Sun at 28 degrees of Sagittarius. This is the day of cazimi when Mercury is within 17 minutes of the sun. This is powerful Mercury day as the Sun imbues Mercury with positive life giving energy. However Mercury is retrograde so this may be a better day to recognize just how powerful your internal dialogue is. It's a great day to start a mantra practice for something you want to remediate or turn around.
Now if we were able to see Mercury in the sky, which we won't be as it is travelling to close to the sun, we would notice its position in the sidereal zodiac against the backdrop of the stars of the zodiacal constellations. Mercury stations retrograde at sidereal 11:55 Sagittarius and goes backward to sidereal 25:37 Scorpio. Mercury will conjoin the planets on the same day, but the view point from the seasonal moving zodiac (tropical) to the constellated fixed zodiac (sidereal) gives us a different sign. This difference in degrees between the two zodiacs is called ayanamsha and currently the Lahiri Ayanamsha, sanctioned by the Indian Government is 24 degrees, 0 minutes, and 56 seconds.
Using the constellations, Mercury retrograde is occurring in the Nakshatra Mula. Nakshatras are the lunar mansions of the Vedas. They are 13 degrees and 20 minutes in length, the average amount of travel the Moon makes across the sky in one day. There are 27 days in a sidereal lunar cycle and 27 Nakshatras.
Mula is comprised of the tail stars of the Scorpion and foot of Ophiuchus. Mula means "root", and you'll probably gather if you know the root chakra is called Muladhara. Mula is located at the Galactic Center and encourages us to look deeper and seek a higher power. The Hindu Deity that rules over this nakshatra is Nirriti, the goddess of illusion and destruction who resides in the realm of the dead and has the power to ruin, destroy and break things apart. If you think about it, there is a black hole at the center of the galaxy. Nirriti is sometimes depicted as Kali who wears a necklace of human skulls and dances to destroy illusions.
Considering the planets Mercury is conjoining along with the essence of Mula we can get a pretty vivid image of what this Mercury Retrograde period is about. Mula indicates a passionate nature and investigative research to get to the root of things. This is reinforced by Mercury conjunct Mars and Pluto in Mula. Consider again the black hole at the center of the galaxy for Mula also represents material things being stripped away to learn the lessons of non-attachment that leads to spiritual revelations. This is reinforced with Mercury conjunct the Sun (ego) and North Node (desires of the material world and their accompanying illusions).
On December 22nd, Mercury retrogrades into the prior Nakshatra, Jyestha. This Nakshatra contains Antares the heart of the scorpion and its Deity is Indri, chief of the gods. If we use this Mercury Rx in Mula to seek a higher power by looking deeper, we may well find a deeper meaning of life in Jyestha. Jyestha provides a keen intellect and hidden occult powers. Antares is one of the four Royal Stars of Persia and its meaning is carried into this nakshatra. As a Royal Star it offers success but, this is Scorpio remember, it does so through the cleansing fire of life-death-rebirth.
On January 7, 2011 Mercury in direct forward motion re-enters Mula. I see the backwards portion thru Mula as a time to recognize our worldly illusions. Then from December 22, 2010 - January 7, 2011 as a time to cleanse our selves of our unhealthy attachments and look deep within and without to connect to a higher universal power, Spirit or God. Then use the second time in Mula to let go of the attachments of our minds. This is a very transformative Mercury Retrograde where we can burn off some of our old karma we are carrying around in our repetitive patterns. Take the time out to calm your mind in meditation and check out my list of mantras to see if one strikes you as being exactly what you need to facilitate changes and a new perspective to start the new year.
© Julene Packer-Louis 2010