Mercury stations Retrograde in Capricorn, December 18th, 2016

This holiday season might give off a keen déjà-vu vibe, as the year ends the same way it started: with a Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn.

Mercury, planet of thought and speech, comes to a halt on December 19th, at 15 degrees 7 minutes in the Saturnine sign of the Sea Goat; he will then proceed to exit Capricorn for Sagittarius on January 4th, 2017.

The process of taking stock of our recent history and planning for the year ahead will thus be informed by the introspective, surreal energy that accompanies relevant planetary retrogrades. With Capricorn being the sign where the bulk of the Rx action happens, the emphasis falls on self-sustenance, integrity, and the very notion of ‘commitment’: the overall vibe of this station is that of unavoidability, seriousness.

That’s because Saturn-ruled Capricorn is stark, decidedly unadorned, in its adherence to truth and pragmatism. I’m reminded of the Hermit arcana, the ninth trump of most traditional tarot decks, and the quiet aura of strength and solitary resilience exuded by the card: like this archetype, we’re called to take a second, deeper look not only at the foundations of our existence, but also at its building frame, the goals, purpose and intents that sustain and propel our quest. We must do so inspired by the light of common sense, foresight, judiciousness, imitating Nature herself during the wintery darkness of Capricorn season: life contracts and recoils into an auspicious rest; the bare branches of trees point to the sky, stripped of their leaves so they can survive the cold without wasting their sap.

Survival is indeed another major subtext that underpins the process of reflection, review and reconsideration typical of every Rx cycle.  The station happens in conjunction to Pluto, lord of deathly passions and torturous rebirths; as it steers us towards our inner dialogue, we might find ourselves face to face with arcane, suppressed fears that concern our ability to provide for ourselves, live up to our own standards, and discipline our own instincts for the sake of bigger, more important duties. Thoughts might take a slightly morbid, obsessive turn. Still – if we follow the lead of that mental disturbance and apprehension without getting dragged too far down, we will eventually reach that deep, bottom-level truth that was missing from an incomplete understanding of our situation. This is what will make the process of reinvention and re-evaluation all the more transformative – perhaps resulting in concrete, tangible changes to the course of our life.

When coming out on the other side of this subterranean, chtonic Retrograde phase (the direct station occurs on January 8, 2017), at 28°52 Sagittarius, we will start to get a glimpse of how the whole process (perhaps including our experience from the previous Mercury retrograde in Capricorn as well) has led us to new possibilities, renewed visions, and perhaps a sense of restored faith.


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