Before I came to look at astrology as a story of heavenly cycles for life on Earth, I lacked a certain appreciation for the “story” arc of certain planets, especially Mercury. We all get the waxing and waning of the moon’s cycles, however. We naturally accept now that Luna freshens up at the new moon and has a monthly debutante ball at the full moon.
However, the ancient Babylonians once felt about the moon how we seem to freak out about Mercury retrograde. In fact, that’s how we got the idea of the Sabbath and our seven day week. The moon changes phase nearly every seven days and on the days she changed phases, the Babylonians didn’t know what to expect. So, they were like, “Eff it! Just don’t do jack, because we don’t know how anything is going to go!” The whole thing about G-d resting on that day came after the Jews left their exile behind in Babylon to go back home. But I digress.
As I was saying, we slight the other planets, like Mercury, seeming to believe that they should just keep going without their own changes. Or when they do have their own changes, like a retrograde, they are misbehaving or messing us up. Mercury has his own cycle of renewal, and one part of it happens this week. It’s called the inferior conjunction. However, my friend, astrologer Kevin Uehlinger, once better described the event as an interior conjunction.
For those who don’t know about all this retrograding jazz, planets don’t really retrograde. They only appear to retrograde, because we’re moving forward in the Zodiac. All planets in our solar system are racing around an elliptical track, with Mercury and Venus being on the inside lanes from our planet’s third place. When either of these planets finishes its celestial year before us, which almost always happens, it appears to lag behind. Mercury finishes his year in about 88 days. Hence, about 3 times a year, he appears to go retrograde. When he’s on the inside track, between the Earth and the Sun, he has what’s called his inferior/interior conjunction. When Mercury is behind the Sun, away from us, he’s having his superior/exterior conjunction.
The interior conjunction would be like a new moon, while the exterior conjunction would be like a full moon. When a planet conjoins exactly with the Sun within 16 minutes, then it’s said to be cazimi, or disappears into heart of the sun. According to the astrology dictionary, cazimi is a Latin transliteration of the Arabic term kaṣmīmī, which means “as if in the the heart”. The Arabic term appears to be a translation of the Greek term egkardios (ἐγκάρδιος), which literally means “in the heart”.
So if you’re like many of my followers on twitter or clients, you’re probably asking at this point: But what does it mean, Sam?! Okay, I’ll tell you, though, FYI, some things in astrology don’t mean jack. They’re just cool, astro-nerdy stuff or stuff that we haven’t figured out yet. Fortunately, this ain’t one of those things.
When cazimi happens, one medieval astrologer named Abu Ma’shar described it as “like a man who purifies himself and so lacks strength, but will regain health afterwards.” Another way cazimi is described is that the planet is ushered into the majesty of a royal’s throne room. I’ve always pictured this as a moment when the King or Queen has a private conversation with the planet that imbues with it a renewed sense of mission and understanding. If a planet (our proxy in celestial “government”) is willing to humble itself in that throne room, then we, in turn, humble can benefit from this “private conversation” too.
Wait, there’s more.
This particular cazimi conversation for Mercury happens when Mercury and the Sun are at 23 degrees Libra, conjoined the beauteous fixed stars Arcturus and Spica (separate stars, but very close together by degree in the Zodiac! (Cue dramatic music!) Okay, that’s more astro-nerdy stuff, but again let me lay out why this is sooooo cool!
Spica (23 Libra 50) and Arcturus (24 Libra 14) are deemed two of the most blessed stars in the heavens. Jamie Partridge has a very good take on Spica & Arcturus, but I found this passage on his page particularly compelling and relevant for this week:
“We only reap harvest if we have first sown the seed and cared for the fields, and what we reap must last us, and all who labored in our fields, until the next harvest is ready. He does not do so well from Spica who reaps what he has not sown, uses it profligately, or denies to others their share of his good fortune. As though to rub this in quite firmly, Arcturus in the sky above the Virgin’s Hand is the prime star of the much rougher character, the Herdsman, just as ready to take care of his herd but not to stand any nonsense from them.”
It seems the royal Sun will hand Mercury a hoe, a cattle prod and planting secrets when he withdraws from throne room. Where and what he will seed depends on your chart…and how industrious we are with our labors. Well, if Spica and Arcturus promise half the fertility that’s usually associated with it, I’m game. How about you?
Keep all of this in mind for next week too, since Venus also goes cazimi (with a harvesting superior conjunction) during new moon in Scorpio eclipse! (Another dramatic music cue!) Although there’s no Spica or Arcturus to sweeten the conjunction, but, in Scorpio, this cazimi is bound to have its own upsides. We’ll cover that next week, though.
In the interim, here are horoscopic musings on what Mercury may seed for each sign once he leaves the Sun’s throne room.
You might feel a bit punchy and slow on the uptake this first week after a full moon eclipse in your sign. Your punchiness affects your focus, not energy levels, however. You’re learning to see with “new eyes,” so to speak. This interior conjunction of Mercury in your opposite sign messages that you should hear out somebody’s whole story before you honor your initial feeling about what’s going on. It’s not that you might get it wrong. For instance, your intuition might, in fact, pick up that someone’s about to give you a sob story that ain’t got nothin’ to do with why something wasn’t done that needed to get done. However, honoring the possibility that you could be wrong is a way to check yourself and be sure that when you cuss someone out, it was fully deserved and they were given a fair chance. It keeps justice in the world.
The Royal’s reception of Mercury in the throne room happens in Libra, the sector of your chart that deals with all things necessary to maintain your life as you know it—from your job to how you comb your hair to how you battle a bout of the sniffles. So when Mercury comes out of that throne room, he’s likely going to model some improvements you’ll be making at your job or with your daily routines. You might have a sharp awareness and sensitivity to unfair practices that you hadn’t previously noticed. You might also notice how drab your work space could be and feel you need to spruce it up. You might have similar thoughts about your wardrobe as well and the closet that keeps your clothes. Be patient, because you might feel suddenly everything needs an overhaul. However, attempting to make it happen overnight will just stress you out.
Your monthly horoscope
I picture Mercury coming out of that throne room of the royal Sun looking like she or he has had some of the best sex of his or her life. (Yeah, it was so good, he or she has lost sense of what gender she or he might have been. Hey, it can happen.) Maybe I’m thinking all of this because “the throne room” for this interior conjunction is in your fifth house of pleasure and fun. Now that doesn’t mean you’re definitely going to have the best sex of your life this week, in case you were wondering. HOWEVER, there’s no good reason why you can’t be about to business of learning how to increase your pleasure, whether you’re having sex (or not). “Wicked smaaart” Mercury freshens up for you so you can get fresh and flirty right back!
The royal Sun encounters Mercury in his throne room while traveling through your fourth house of home and security. This fortuitous meeting suggests that Mercury’s “new moon” moment will likely reignite stalled conversations you’ve had with family or the people you live with, like roommates or partners. If there’s been disharmony in the home, you could sprout insightful ways to have more peace in the home. You also could feel the swirling of juicy, new ideas for renovating your home or have inspiration to find a new place altogether. No need to act too quickly, however, because all seeds need time to germinate. Research options to ruminate until Mercury goes direct on the 25th.
Your monthly horoscope
Mercury’s retrograde now in the part of your chart that deals with how you communicate with peers, neighbors and siblings. You can expect his renewal in the Sun’s throne room to tweak any communication problems you’ve been having lately with these kinds of people. Can’t promise that it will be smoother in lightning speed, but what will improve is how to identify and possibly even anticipate problems before they fully surface, almost as if you have ESP. Your one job, however, is to pay attention to it. Your first impulse might be to sweep your premonitions under the rug or struggle to hold on to “normal,” as if you shouldn’t be able to intuit what you’re intuiting. Your job isn’t to figure out why this works, because it probably wouldn’t make sense anyway if explained. Accept this new normal. Life will go easier.
The royal Sun mints Mercury like new money when he disappears into “the throne room” this Thursday. I’m partially saying this because this Mercury cazimi does happen in your second house, one of the moneyed sections of your chart. However, let me stop you before you put out a small fortune on a bunch of numbers to strike it rich. The new money will not likely work that way. You’re more likely to see or hear messages about how you’ll come upon more money, like an idea will light upon your fertile brain to work fiduciary magic…eventually. Or it could be as simple and mundane as money wends its way to you in the form of a long overdue check. However money makes its way to you, it’s coming. Just be sure you’re not pulling your punches with your best ideas, saving them for rainy days. There will be new ideas too.
Honestly, I wonder if you’re exhausted. You might also have been experiencing periodic bouts of fatigue with all this planetary weather happening in your sign lately. Between last week’s full moon eclipse and this “re-birth of Mercury” moment in your sign, it’s been a lot to take in. However, it’s not quite time to allow yourself to transform into a puddle of goo. With this happening in your sign, there’s also the opportunity to put stuff out, especially about you. If you need to make an announcement about what you’re doing (like a press release) or speak to potential employers in interviews, now is a good time. Although it seems impolite to chat yourself up, it really does depend on the where and when. You don’t have to wrestle with yourself about that though. You can create more circumstances to self-promote, such as attending networking events or fairs, if you don’t come across opportunities easily in regular life.
Your monthly horoscope
For the record, Scorpio is the cosmic reply to what philosophically happens in Libra. In Libra, we have to weigh the light with the dark and rationally arrive at a decision. You’re the muscle the enforce the decision, however. You’re built to feel things out and respond intuitively. This Thursday’s cazimi of Mercury in Libra will press you to weigh out all the various options you’ve been mulling in order to know in your gut what needs to be done. Of course, you might wonder why you’ve been weighing out your fears and thoughts about people, places and things if you’re going to use your intuition to act anyway. Elementary, my dear Scorpio: too much rationality can keep your wheels spinning without going anywhere. On the other hand, it’s hard to know what your intuition is truly picking up without being in touch with the rational and what’s smoke blowing out your butt. Libran rationality helps with that. Now you’re releasing that.
As gritty as life can get, it’s good to have people to whom you can turn who will shelter you in a storm. For many folks, it’s that family does this for them. However, more often than not, it’s our friends who usually understand us from the inside out and know exactly how to comfort us in rough times. This re-birth moment for Mercury happens in the sector of your chart that deals with friends and your social groups. On the less intimate side of the scale, this cazimi Mercury could re-stimulate connections with professional organizations or groups that help you cope with what’s been ruminating through that spacious mind of yours. On the more intimate side of things, you could profit immensely from a heart-to-heart talk with a friend. It’s likely that he or she will benefit from the exchange too.
When Mercury retrogrades into the throne room of the Sun on the 16th, it’ll happen at the top of your astro-chart, in your career sector. This is actually a good thing. It signals that you’ve reached a new plateau, most likely from getting back to the nit and grit of what drives you over the last few weeks. When you strip away a bit of that cultured sophistication to tap into your primal well of yourself, unexpected things can happen, though. For starters, don’t be surprised if you’re hornier this week. This, of course, has no direct bearing on your career, unless your career is in the sex industry. (And even then, business is still business, and we’re talking about your pleasure, not someone else’s.) However, the heightened libido is still energy that you can sublimate into your work or, um, share. Let the horny goatness be its own reward for just being alive, achieving your goals and feeling your…goaty gotoitiveness! Enjoy it.
When Mercury disappears into the throne room of the royal Sun this week, it’ll be in your sign’s special area for receiving wisdom and understanding. In an information age, wisdom and understanding can sound trite, almost useless. Perhaps a more practical side of you might even question, “What can you do with those?” Well, they can provide you with the thing you need most this week: inspiration and perspective. You, reflexively, might need what you normally give the rest of the world: a vision of how we’re all connected, despite apparent separations. Perhaps you’ve gotten too caught up in how you’re different or how we’re all different each from other. It’s time to reconnect to your divine gift of seeing our commonalities in our specialness. Stay open to that.
Mercury’s close up with the royal Sun on Thursday happens in your mysterious eighth house. Last week, I talked more about the practical side of this house, namely how you can stave off financial losses or ways to gain control over burdens that seem to be out of your control. However, there is a subsection of this celestial house that’s unwieldy and doesn’t come with instructions or details. It’s a test of how you face no-win scenarios. With Mercury in justice-oriented Libra, your no-win scenario might center on what appears to be an unjust situation in your life. You might feel shafted. However, Libra always highlights how we’re presented with choices, and you might see you don’t have to keep choosing bitterness. What tips the scales toward justice first is focusing on what you can control rather than concentrating on what you can’t.