May 2016: The Fixed and the VolatileMay 2, 2016
Astrology 5/16 – 5/22: The Arrow’s PathMay 15, 2016
This week offers insight and the opportunity for joys large and small. Things begin, on Monday, with retrograde Mercury’s meditative conjunction with the Sun and Jupiter’s optimistic direct station. Tuesday then has the pleasure of hosting a luxurious Venus-Jupiter trine, and things continue along similarly pleasant lines with Friday’s conjunction of Mercury and Venus. Though the weekend’s Virgo Moon is likely to come with a little turbulence, the winds are generally calm this week, for it is not the air, but the earth which is due to speak.
The most visibly dramatic of this week’s planetary action is the inferior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun. The inferior conjunction marks the center of Mercury’s retrogrades, and is the point where the planet crosses the space between the Earth and the Sun, which is also the closest point to Earth in the swift planet’s cycle. Being so close, it is not surprising that Mercury’s themes at this point tend toward the chthonian. They drive deep through the surface, like an electromagnetic drill.
Though the inferior conjunction always puts Mercury between the Earth and the Sun, there is usually just enough vertical discrepancy to put Mercury just above or just below the Sun. This Monday, though, Mercury and the Sun will, for a moment, occupy the same place in our sky, and tiny Mercury will do his very best to eclipse our giant star. Although not unheard of, these perfect conjunctions of Mercury and the Sun are not common. Though there are 3 inferior conjunctions per year, there will only be 10 more of these perfect conjunctions during the 21st century.
The conjunction occurs on Monday (5/9 8:11 AM PDT) at 19’25” Taurus. This is an interesting place for it to occur, as the sign of Taurus is not especially connected to Mercury’s significations. The fixed earth sign is ruled by Venus, and is generally concerned with more substantial and sensible matters than abstract Mercury himself with. Yet it is here that it occurs.
Taurus is, in many senses, the earthiest of the earth signs, the zoidion most concerned with the nature of things as they manifest and endure. While quick Mercury prefers that which can be quickly created, arranged and destroyed, such as words and numbers, what Taurus presents is thick, obstinate and durable. Furthermore, earth is also a quiet element. It does not howl like the wind, gurgle like water or cackle like fire. Its speech, very much the topic of this retrograde, is difficult to hear, much less interpret.
While some voices may echo out of our mind’s caves and labyrinths, for the most part the earth writes for us in the language of braille. The patterns of its hills and valleys, its soft dirt and hard stone, is its code. This is the cypher of geomancers, and it is our writing in the tongue of stone that endures longest. The deepest human past speaks to us only through ziggurats, statues and monoliths.
Like the earth, our lives have their own topology. This week, run your hands across its surface. Feel its many textures, its hard, rocky edges and yielding soil. Smell the rich veins of ore hidden further down. There are messages hidden on this surface, their mystery veiled only by our unfamiliarity with the script they are written in. Yet it is our first and primordial language— you have but to remember it.
Born of Clay and Fire
Mercury’s transit of the Sun occurs within 3 hours of Jupiter’s resumption of direct motion and is inextricably tied to it. Jupiter has been in tropical Virgo since last August. Virgo, like Taurus, is an earth sign, but one which takes Mercury as its ruler. While Taurus refers to the sheer mass, the total materiality of being, Virgo speaks to the many crumbly bits which comprise and the multitude of shapes it can take. In Virgo we take apart the substance of life, and sort its component pieces before recombining it. This process of separation and rearrangement is an essentially Mercurial one, and thus answers to the swift planet’s motion and will.
As Mercury’s perfect conjunction with the Sun happens at the same time as Jupiter assumes forward motion in a Mercury-ruled sign, their actions are linked. We will thus moisten and knead the clay of life, eyes in our hands to see its shape, mouths in our fingers to speak instructions. We’ll use methods both gentle and harsh, additive and subtractive, to sculpt a future worthy of firing in Mars’ infernal kiln.
Tuesday the 10th sees Venus in Taurus complete a trine with freshly direct Jupiter in Virgo. This happy angle between the benefics is also attended to by the Moon, and provides excellent support for a wide variety of endeavors, and offers pleasures for both the body and mind.
Things continue through the mid-week along the lines laid down by Monday and Tuesday’s cluster of events. Come Friday, the conjunction of retrograde Mercury with Venus occurs. Mercury’s meeting with Venus fleshes out the insights which arrived during Monday’s Sun-Mercury conjunction, and helps clarify the questions of value which have characterized the month.