The Saturn-Mercury Conjunction of the Last Two Weeks :: How is it Showing Up in Your Life?

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 societyvalues 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.

I recently read a 2-part series of thought-provoking articles related to the Fear of Success. If this resonates with you, you can check out them here and here.

 

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!


Pssst… for additional and more frequent cosmic weather updates, follow Lilith Rebellion on Instagram and Facebook. To receive a weekly cosmic weather overview by email, subscribe to Lilith Rebellion email updates. The week’s cosmic weather forecast will be published on the blog every Monday, with periodic additional posts to mark important cosmic events.

What does your Natal Mercury Placement say about your Communication Style?

I originally posted this on Instagram on Tuesday night, just before the New Moon in Virgo (occurring opposite Chiron). I believe this is the only time I have ever posted a series of astro “cookbook” style descriptions for each sign – and it might be the last time I do it! However, on Instagram, it became less about the post and more about the dialogue in the comments I think.

For those of you who are reading this post for the first time here, I’ll offer a disclaimer: For the same reasons I can’t bring myself to provide regular sign-by-sign horoscopes, most of the time I’m extremely reticent to offer sign by sign, planet by planet, generic piecemeal type interpretations because an individual’s natal chart holds an immense amount of information that is intricately woven together. A single placement can express itself in a dramatically different way then anticipated – which will make perfect sense once it is interpreted in light of the entire chart’s beautiful complexity. However, piecemeal descriptions are obviously really accessible, they can be fun to read, and they do often contain a seed of truth. I’ll let you decide for yourself though! Continue reading “What does your Natal Mercury Placement say about your Communication Style?”

An Eclipse Primer

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The eclipse frenzy on social media is a little overwhelming to say the least – both astro-related and otherwise! Everything from ominous and dire apocalyptic predictions, to enormously inspirational messages about how this is going to be the month when your life transforms beyond your wildest hopes and dreams.

When I first plugged into astrology news years ago, there was such intensity around eclipse reporting that I got the impression eclipses were this really rare event. And different types of eclipses certainly are rare and particularly significant at a global level – like the long-awaited Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st. But I think it is important to note that eclipses (including partial eclipses) occur at least twice a year, six months apart. Eclipses may only be personally significant or life changing for you if they land within 2-3 degrees of a personal planet or angle. That’s not to say you won’t feel the intense heightened energy during eclipse season – eclipses just might not have the same level of potent ripple effect in your life as they do for others or vice versa.

I hope to publish a post later about the symbolism of the Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius (since as some of you know, I’m a little obsessed right now with analyzing the Leo-Aquarius axis; my natal chart horizon line), but before I do that, here are all the nitty gritty details beginning with the absolute basics, up to more advanced descriptions of what is actually happening and how to interpret eclipses according to how they activate your natal chart. I hope you find it grounding and informative!

Here we go, in point form:  Continue reading “An Eclipse Primer”

Astrological Autoethnography: My Saturn Return & Chiron Rx

There are over 7 billion people on this planet. Can global planetary transits really be correlated with the daily lives of each one of them? On any given day there are people experiencing horrific tragedies, and others who are riding waves of blissful happiness.

The skeptic would look at me incredulously, but I would argue… yes, global transits are globally correlated to daily (monthly and yearly) life on Earth. Mundane astrologers, who apply an astro lens to international world events, political and economic developments, would also agree.

Of course, it is complex. Global planetary transits interact with a person’s natal chart and their individual circumstances in widely diverse and unique ways. And yet I would argue that the archetypal energy of a transit, its inherent symbolism, will still show up for everyone. I would also argue that it depends on which transit is making “the most noise” in your life/chart. Some transits will activate many of your chart’s hot spots and will be correlated with major events and shifts in your life, whereas others will make a much more subtle appearance. Some transits breeze easily through your natal chart, leaving only a quickly vanishing whisper in their wake. Some transits will show up externally, while others will be expressed more internally.

At an individual level and case-by-case basis, an astrologer is able to weave together the various multiple transits to provide a more accurate depiction of what might be occurring in a person’s life.

I try to consider the broad range of transit manifestations when I write forecasts and I always hope that bits and pieces at least, will be applicable to readers. I would hope that by centering on certain keywords and descriptive phrases you would be able to pick up on the “vibe” of the day and notice where this is appearing in your life.

But the honest truth is every astrological forecast written for over 7 billion people will inevitably be generic and only partially relevant at best. This does not make general forecasts worthless whatsoever. General astro forecasts can still provide inspiration and guidance, but they always run the risk of becoming stale.

Astrologer April Elliot Kent wrote a wonderful article in 2005 called “Putting the Self Back in Astrology”. She calls for a revitalization of astrology through autoethnography; a qualitative research method that originated in the field of anthropology. It involves the researcher reflecting deeply on their own personal experiences with a sharply analytical eye, while connecting their autobiographical narrative to broader (e.g. cultural, social, political, symbolic, astrological) meanings and understandings. Subjectivity and researcher vulnerability are embraced in autoethnography.

It’s basically a fancy research-based term for sharing one’s story, but I love the idea of “astrological autoethnography“, probably because anthropology forms a significant part of my academic background and because it involves intentionally contextualizing personal individual experiences within broader systems of meaning (such as astrology).

Here are some excerpts from April’s article:

“How can we re-imagine astrology, keep it fresh, and ensure its ongoing relevance, without including our real-life observations? When we maintain an artificial separation between astrology and our daily lives, astrology suffers. And when we astrologers use astrological knowledge to maintain a separation between us and our readers, our writing suffers — and so, quite possibly, does our astrological research.”

“…At best, generic, cookbook-style interpretations provide a framework for stimulating creative interpretation of individual chart factors. But honest, astrologically sound, and well-written accounts of an astrologer’s unique experiences with astrology can provide the same kind of stimulus — and are fun to read as well.”

“…We can never present an interpretation of astrology that will be completely meaningful for all of the people all of the time… But by writing about our own experiences as honestly and richly as possible, we can at least attempt to present an accurate account of one person’s astrological experience.”

…As astrologers, we are in a unique position to observe life with unparalleled perspective. By engaging in an ethnographic approach to astrology, we are invited to participate in the astrological journey with our readers and clients instead of simply observing it, to embrace our own humanity instead of standing apart as omniscient interpreters of texts. Perhaps the greatest contribution we can make to astrology is simply to write about it — honestly, with enthusiasm, and from our individual experiences.” – Read the full article by April Elliot Kent here, first published in The Mountain Astrologer, April 2005. 

So on that note, here is an excerpt from my astro transit journal; a piece of astrological autoethnography about the transits and symbolism of Chiron and Saturn in my recent life history… [Click below for the rest of the post] Continue reading “Astrological Autoethnography: My Saturn Return & Chiron Rx”

Pluto Transits: Don’t confuse the mission with the side effects!

I will preface this post by stating that my life experiences and study of astrology have led me to believe in a purposeful Universe that is continuously working toward positive growth and ultimately good outcomes (granted, in a very mysterious big picture kinda way). That’s a simplistic sentence for which I can point to no hard proof, but I am stating my biases regardless 🙂 This belief shapes my worldview, my philosophy on life and astrology, and my writing. Someone with a different worldview would perceive the planetary archetypes/energies differently.

Yesterday as Venus squared Pluto, I saw a lot of online warnings about Pluto’s side effects, as I call them. This happens during any Pluto transit, or Scorpio / 8th House related transit – since Pluto is the landlord of the 8th House and the modern ruler of Scorpio, they all share similar energies.

I think it is important not to confuse Pluto’s mission with its (often uncomfortable) side effects! The side effects occur when our psyches, emotions, bodies, and soul react to Pluto’s movements across the sky (or Pluto/Scorpio/8th House in our natal charts) – especially when Pluto is making a more challenging aspect to another planet (such as a conjunction, square or opposition). But let’s not get stuck with the side effects and ignore Pluto’s intended medicinal action!

Stay with me while I personify our dear planet of Hades.

Pluto wants you to be fearless. To reach fearlessness, you must face your fears. Facing fears often involves experiencing them – you have to touch them to conquer them.

Pluto wants you to transform and change. But transformation and change is scary because it involves letting go of what is familiar to us. Thus some of the side effects kick in as we try to maintain control in our lives – a hunger for power, manipulating others, obsessions and possessiveness. The challenge is to see a Pluto transit as an invitation to transform and move beyond the resistance which produces the side effects.

Steven Forrest writes that “Pluto forces us to stare into the ultimate meaninglessness of our existence… and to face the elemental futility of life.”

I’ve been doing a lot of abyss-gazing into the gaping hole of absurdity these days, and it can be a painful and dark, soul-wrenching experience.

Humans need meaning in life like they need oxygen. When we are forced to face existential questions of meaning (questions which often emerge following loss in our lives), we have access to the potential gifts of insight, self-awareness, and a deeper sense of meaning and purpose than we have ever known before. There are few things more valuable than that. But the side effects? Despair and hopelessness are common risks on route to these gifts.

Pluto wants you to acquire an inner peace that will not be shaken – no matter how volatile, unpredictable and chaotic the world becomes.

Pluto wants you to confront the shame and secrets you carry and bring them to the light where they will wither, freeing you from their chains and ushering in a much deeper sense of self-compassion and self-worth.

But as always, there are no shortcuts. These precious gifts must be earned. On route to inner peace and self-acceptance we encounter Pluto’s uncomfortable side effects again. We may feel acutely vulnerable, ashamed and anxious; aware of our mortality, faults, and weaknesses.

I’m not denying the uncomfortable side effects, or their association with Pluto’s transits, but I believe it is beneficial to remember that the side effects are not the point. They are not the end-goal. Perhaps struggling with some of these side effects may be a necessary part of the journey toward the destination, but keeping your focus on Pluto’s ultimate mission will prevent you from being completely overtaken by the medicine’s side effects.

And once you come through Pluto’s underworld? You are like the Phoenix; the highest expression of the Scorpio archetype. No longer crawling on the ground like the Scorpion, you have walked through Pluto’s fires. You have died and been reborn with wings. Newly armed with spiritual and emotional resilience, you now have the fortitude to walk with others through their own dark journeys.

Sounds dramatic? I’m speaking in mythic terms and what we experienced yesterday was a fleeting Venus-Pluto transit that will dissipate quickly. However, Pluto remains in orbit, Scorpio still claims 30 degrees of the zodiac wheel, and the 8th House finds its niche in each one of our birth charts. Pluto’s invitation to transform is always a constant call. It’s just that some days this call is more piercingly sharp than other days.

As Pluto challenged Venus on Thursday – our planet of love, relationships, beauty,  pleasure, art, self-worth, and finances, currently moving through the sign of Aries, asking us to courageously pursue our heart’s desires – did you feel any side effects? I did. Fear, doubts and insecurities, vulnerability, withdrawal, discouragement, and intense emotional reactions were all present for me yesterday.

Transiting Saturn (opposite transiting Mars) is also forming an exact square to my natal Sun and Mercury cazimi today. Saturn too,  has its gifts and its trials; its mission and its side effects. I’m wading through the swamp, scanning the murky waters for submerged jewels as my toes sink into the slime and the warm glow of the opposite shoreline beckons in the distance.

Stay the course loves, the astro weather is pretty rough until after Monday. Moderate and bear with the side effects while plumbing the depths of these transits for their gold. Remember that all transits are temporary and we all get to share in the experience of global transits together 🙂

Learning Astrology is like Learning a Language

“Hello. How are you? I’m fine. Bye.”

These are the types of basic words and sentences we might learn how to say when first learning another language.

Astrology, is a language. When someone says “I’m a Pisces”, this is equivalent to being able to say the above sentence in Arabic when you are not a native-speaker. It’s fun to be able to know a few words in another language so you can exchange a basic greeting with a native-speaker of the same language, but really, it won’t get you very far! It is only the beginning. Most people don’t move beyond this point. They learn how to say some basic phrases just for fun, or to be able to navigate their vacation trip with less frustration.

I’m not a language expert. I’ve tried to learn French, Spanish, and Arabic, but I haven’t come close mastery. However, I have learned a few things about the process of learning a language, and learning astrology. Here are 6 steps that will get you well on your way to learning astrology! Continue reading “Learning Astrology is like Learning a Language”