In my last post I said that Mercury hates going slowly. That was an exaggeration. However, I think it could be true to say that the symbolism of Mercury – as an archetypal projection of our current society – values fast and devalues slow.
Mercury Retrogrades harness the gifts of Slowness. They provide us with an opportunity to shift into another way of thinking, processing, and communicating. I always find Mercury Retrogrades magical, even when they are at their most difficult. New insights emerge, important conversations occur, synchronicity abounds, and breakthroughs happen. The past whispers into the present, re-weaving life threads together in new ways.
When you are first beginning to learn astrology, interpreting the way a global transit is interacting with your natal chart and showing up in your life, can be confusing at times. Since everyone has a unique natal chart, transits will show up differently for different people.
Identifying the astrological HOUSE(S) that are being activated by a transit in a natal chart, is a key interpretive factor that can be used to narrow in on what a transit’s expression might be for an individual. Each of the 12 themed houses in every astrological natal chart encompasses a particular chunk of a person’s life territory.
(if you have never accessed your birth chart before, check out my instructions on how to do so)
In this post I provide FIVE very tangible examples of how the recent Saturn-Mercury conjunction has been expressing itself in my own life, and in the lives of people around me, based on what house this transit is activating within their natal chart.
The examples from my friends’ lives focus primarily on obvious, external events. However, I am sure that there is also meaningful internal processing accompany these external changes and events, of which I am unaware. Transits (and especially Mercury Retrogrades) can express both externally, and internally.
First, here again, are the Key Dates for this transit:
- Saturn and Mercury have been conjoined within a few degrees of each other in Sagittarius for about two weeks (since ~November 24th they’ve both been between 25-29 degrees of Sag).
- Saturn and Mercury had their first exact conjunction (when both planets were at the exact same degree) on November 28th (Tues) at 27 Sag.
- Mercury turned Retrograde on December 3rd (last Sunday) at 29 Sag.
- Mercury then headed back toward Saturn and there was a second exact conjunction on Dec. 6th (last Wed) at 28 Sag.
It is noteworthy for a quick-moving, visible planet like Mercury (referred to as a “personal planet”), to spend such a prolonged time close to a slower-moving, outer planet like Saturn.
The expression of both planets are typically quite noticeable; Saturn because it can be very serious and harsh, and Mercury because its symbolism is woven deeply into our minute-by-minute lives.
Therefore, as the energies of both planets co-mingle for an extended period of time, you’d likely be feeling this one.
I’m going to break this down for anyone who is still figuring out the astro basics. Before I get to the examples, here are the symbolic keywords and concepts for Mercury and Saturn:
MERCURY (the messenger): Information processing and the concept of “practical exchanges” are key to understanding Mercury. Think of life content that has a “back and forth”, or “give and take” motion to it, such as: an exchange of information through written and verbal communication; the exchange of time and effort for the development of a new skill; collecting knowledge and then sharing it with others in conversation; the act of exchanging money for desired items; trading goods for other goods; bartering; short-distance or short-term travel to some location… and then returning back home; technology that does stuff in exchange for the input you give it (especially communication devices).
Mercury also symbolizes siblings, cousins, and sometimes peers, friends, neighbors and acquaintances – i.e. people with whom you learn the art of give and take. And possibly pets? I’m still exploring this correlation (let me know if you have any thoughts on this or know of any asteroids associated with pets!).
SATURN (the teacher): The harsh realities of living as a mortal human being in a time and space-bound world. Some of these harsh realities include: time, aging, decay, death, gravity, physical limits, delays, obstacles, fear, guilt, rules and regulations, isolation, loneliness, existential anguish and responsibility, and the consequences of our actions. Saturn also symbolizes long-term goals; tangible outcomes; serious tests and tasks; commitments and big decisions; contracts; following-through and completing what we’ve started; doing that which is not fun but necessary and important; being responsible; ambition; working hard; endurance; focus; patience; wisdom that comes through lived experiences; authenticity; firm foundations; boundaries; father-figures and authority figures; leadership; maturity; self-sufficiency.
Now here are the FIVE examples to help you put together the puzzle pieces…
EXAMPLE #1 of a friend with the Saturn-Mercury conjunction transiting her 2ND HOUSE, which encompasses the life domain of: income, material and skill-based assets and possessions, values and self-worth…
On the day of the first conjunction she returned from a trip away to a busy stressful week of catching up on work (she runs two businesses). During that week she had a meeting with a company that agreed to take care of doing all her business taxes. It is a service she had to pay for, but one that will take away a lot of stress. She signed a contract with this company and put a down payment on the service. This is very apt since Saturn correlates with taking care of not-fun stuff, being responsible, big commitments, decisions and contract signing, while Mercury is about practical exchanges and information processing.
Then a few days later on Sunday, when Mercury turned Retrograde, her and her partner decided to take care of a chore they had been delaying (Saturn). They embarked on a short road trip (Mercury) in order to close up and winterized the cottage-trailer they own. Mercury Retrograde often sends us back to the past, or brings the past into the future, in order to gain new insight or closure on something. In this sense, “returning” to a summer location to winterize their trailer – a 2nd house “asset” – aligns well with the Retrograde occurring on the same day.
EXAMPLE #2 of a friend with the Saturn-Mercury conjunction transiting her 4TH HOUSE, which encompasses the life domain of: one’s physical home; one’s history, roots and childhood; internal foundations; inner psyche and emotional realm; the desire for a stable, secure and safe home – both externally and internally; the cultivation of a sense of “belonging”…
Recently she relocated to another country (very appropriate for a Sag stellium in the 4th house). The Saturn-Mercury conjunction correlated with her moving into a new apartment, which better suited her needs (a Saturnian commitment to a new home). This conjunction also marked a time of trying to figure out how and when to apply for a different visa, which would enable her to work in her new country (i.e. this is related to trying to establish a secure sense of home in a new country through obtaining access to jobs, which highlights the 4th House – 10th House axis).
Just before the Mercury Retrograde began, she booked a visa application appointment for early next year (i.e. evoking Saturn themes of government, regulation, rules, along with Mercury’s themes of information-processing and paperwork).
In the remainder of the Mercury Retrograde period she will be hosting a friend from her original home city who is coming to visit (i.e. Mercury symbolizes friends and travel; Mercury Retrogrades often bring old friends back into your life; Saturn symbolizes the role of being a responsible host; and with the conjunction occurring in her 4th House, of course the theme of home is emphasized again).
EXAMPLE #3 of a friend with the Saturn-Mercury conjunction in the 7TH HOUSE, which encompasses the life domain of: close friendships; romantic partnerships; business partnerships; contracts, agreements and commitments with/to another person; as well as open enemies and litigation…
During the period of this transit, this person has become very aware that a friendship in their life has become imbalanced. He knows he needs to assert boundaries and deliver some difficult news. He is rallying the courage to address this issue (i.e. Saturn often brings us face to face with the harsh reality of life and together with the planet of communication, Saturn + Mercury can be the bearers of hard news).
He also found a study-buddy partner last week for an important upcoming exam. They met to figure out what their study “plan” would be and made an agreement to meet up regularly (i.e. this is a 7th house agreement and partnership between two people; Mercury represents learning and communication while Saturn often speaks to deadlines as well as difficult tasks – together this symbolism correlates with him studying for an exam with another person).
EXAMPLE #4 of a friend with the Saturn-Mercury conjunction in the 8TH HOUSE, which encompasses the life domain of: death and rebirth processes; surrendering control and power to discover a more infinitely valuable resource and strength; learning surrender through trust, sexual and emotional intimacy, and the merging of resources; learning to balance responsibility, control, trust and surrender through receiving unearned income and/or addressing debt, loans and shared finances; exposing hidden truths; facing one’s shadow and deepest fears in order to grow and transform; deep healing and liberation; death, illness, disease, and disability; being confronted with (and learning how to accept) the element of chaos and uncertainty in life that we are all vulnerable to…
Throughout the period of this Saturn-Mercury conjunction in her 8th House this friend has been in the process of moving in with her partner and unpacking her boxes as they completely merged resources – right down to the flours and spices (Mercury can be very detail-oriented)! This is a significant external event which mirrors the internal development of increased commitment, trust, and intimacy.
EXAMPLE #5 – My turn!
Saturn is conjunct Mercury in my 5TH HOUSE, squaring my natal Sun and Mercury in the 8TH HOUSE.
In terms of 8TH HOUSE themes, on the day of the first Saturn- Mercury conjunction I finally went to my family doctor to address something I was putting off because doctors sometimes make me anxious (i.e. being responsible in a Saturnian way and facing an 8th house fear of vulnerability). In the days that followed, I created an Excel sheet of all my financial accounts and spending (very Mercurial)… and was confronted with how painfully in debt I am (i.e. Saturn’s harsh reality, and the debt themes of the 8th House). I also caught up on my journaling (Mercury), which is a form of therapy for me (8th House).
The major initiation for me though, in regards to this transit, has definitely been a 5TH HOUSE matter, which encompasses the life domain of: acts of creation; creative projects – which includes children as well as new romantic exchanges; passion, play and present-moment human pleasure; authentic self-expression; identity, confidence and self-esteem; discovering and celebrating the special way we can contribute to the world as unique individuals; being “seen” by others and having our unique identities, contributions and creative projects received, valued and appreciated…
Since the beginning of Mercury’s pre-shadow period, the idea for a creative writing project has been brewing and I’ve also been really motivated to get back into making mosaics and stained glass work.
The day that Saturn first conjoined Mercury was actually the same day my Progressed Mercury left the last degree of Pisces and entered into Aries at 0 degrees (this is a once in a lifetime transit that I have been waiting for, forever!). This Progressed Mercury in Aries felt like a good omen – especially since Aries rules my 9th House, which is associated with publications. And of course Mercury symbolizes communication and writing, while Saturn is about getting down to business, committing, and DOING THE THING.
I started working on the project that day.
My motivation waned during that weird Gemini Full Moon weekend when Mercury turned Retrograde, followed by Chiron turning Direct. Chiron has been grinding down on my Sun/Mercury for a couple years now as my identity and self-worth have been completely challenged, leveled and rebuilt (as my Sun and Mercury have simultaneously been also squared by Saturn during my Saturn Return).
I was struck with waves of doubt.
On the day of the second Saturn-Mercury conjunction (last Wednesday), I reached the 1000 follower mark on Instagram. This struck me as very appropriate for the transit since Lilith Rebellion is an important creative (writing) project I birthed this year, and Saturn appreciates tangible, obvious outcomes measures.
It actually made me nervous though, to be honest, even though 1000 is a humble number in the IG realm…but what would happen, I wondered, if Lilith Rebellion kept growing and reaching a wider audience? How would that change it? I have been blessed with incredible connections through this IG account – would I attract online trolls and negative comments?
In many ways, I have retreated from the public world for almost two years now, and yet I am at the brink of midwifing new creative life projects into the light. Can I pursue my passions? Can I fully unlock and cultivate my creative impulses? Can I make a living income through various forms of creative self-expression? What’s stopping me?
Saturn, transiting my 5th House of creative projects and self-expression, symbolizes ambition, goals, high standards, tangible outcomes, and fear. I’ve been realizing that it is not so much that I fear failure, as much as I fear success – although the two are closely linked.
The internal processing work of my Mercury Retrograde is compelling me to reflect deeply on my resistance and to face my fears in this area.
EDIT to my last post – in addition to Ronan Farrow, journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey were also responsible for publicly bringing the Weinstein allegations out into the open through a New York Times article. I apologize for my ignorance of this fact!
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