Mercury's Testing Times

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The planet Mercury traditionally is associated with communication, learning, speech, movement and perception, generally all the day-to-day workings of the mind. As such it, superficially at least, doesn't appear to be as juicy and exciting as the activities and energies of the other planets. It often gets overlooked as an important player in the scheme of things, but when you consider the full scope of what it rules, we and our world could not function without it.

This month, however, puts Mercury at the very centre of the collective picture, conjunct Saturn in Virgo, opposite Uranus in Pisces, sextiling Mars and the South Node in Cancer, trining the Black Moon and North Node in Capricorn and, inconjuncting Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter and the Moon! This then places it at the pivotal point involving the two great collective transits of this time, the Saturn/Uranus opposition and the Jupiter/Chiron/Neptune conjunction, the former still peaking and the latter off the boil, but still operating. Expect a major workout for our minds and brains!

Many of the themes of last month, including high levels of both creative and destructive stress and tension, multiple challenges on multiple dimensions, the same murky detox processes making people sick, still apply.

The major difference is that Mercury is now at the centre of the storm, bringing both greater strain on our nervous systems and opportunities for getting a better conscious handle on what's happening in our worlds. Mercury conjunct Saturn, in the last days of Saturn transiting Virgo, traditionally represents a tough time for all forms of mental and intellectual currency. In the face of the daily demands of the world, our thoughts, actions and communications meet a lot of resistance and many hold ups, testing our ability to stay focused, centred and disciplined. On an inner level, it tends to hold up a mirror to us about what early conditioning is still doing to the way we face the world, to show us more of the workings of our inner critics, so that we can make better conscious choices in what believe about ourselves.

Handled well, it will support us not to lose our heads when surrounded by multiple challenges and the collective psychic chaos of times like this. What might appear to be a toughening up process is also encouragement to find greater depth of solidity, knowledge and wisdom within, rooting us in something far more fundamental. The Shiva and Pallas Athena asteroids, either side of the Mercury/Saturn, provide both stillness and greater creative punch to the process. The Yogi, Alchemist and Priestess archetypes are very powerfully placed here in Virgo and can be accessed.

At the same time, we can expect a number of curve balls from that rabble-rouser Uranus to keep us on our toes, as he attempts to break up what is stuck, habituated and excessively conservative in our thinking. In the midst of the more dour work with Saturn, will come unexpected interruptions, flashes of brilliance and madness, as well as radical messengers and uninvited emotional challenges to the more rationalistic parts of self.

As chaotic as some of these experiences will be, they are also agents of deeper intuition, right brain awareness and of the upper and lower reaches of our chakras, all attempting some radical neuronal and psychic surgery of the ways we see, perceive and communicate. In this third instalment of the Uranus/Saturn opposition, we then have another chance to balance the ultra creative forces of self with the grounded, realistic and disciplined use of the mind.

Emotionally, this month is a concoction of gifts, turmoil, toxins, healing and purification, with the Moon at the centre of a multiple conjunction in Aquarius, involving Eros, Persephone, Diana, Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter! Simply put, while our minds are being rewired, our emotional lives will get a major, and at times, deeply unsettling workover.

To summarise this complex, this will bring up a lot of psychic-emotional residues from the past to do with our sexuality, the psycho-sexual transition from adolescence to adulthood, the absorption of emotional pain and patterns from our parents and particularly our mothers, to mention a few.

Pandora's Box is clearly open, but the resulting flushing is part of a great wave of energy aimed at healing splits between our spirits and our bodies, including our sexuality; to make the inner healers more conscious and available; to make way for deeper intuitive, creative and spiritual gifts. What is additionally tricky about this process, though, is that the dissolution of boundaries and defences necessary for the releasing of old material also makes people excessively open psychically. So it is an important time to be very conscious of what kind of energies, people and places we expose ourselves to. Make sure you look after yourselves.

The resulting sensitivity also increases the benefits from subtler forms of healing, including aurasoma, flower essences, visualisations and meditation, all of which are tremendous supports at this time of great openings. In fact, any form of healing and therapeutic work will bear great fruit at this time for the same reasons.

Daniel Sowelu (B.Sc.Dip Ed) is a therapeutic astrologer, primal therapist and groupleader in his 22nd year of private practice. www.sacredlawfirm.com.au