Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times
“…in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.” Max Ehrmann
There is a New Moon in Gemini on May 28th, and Mercury — planet of the mind, of information, technology, journalism, teaching, curiosity, and ruler of Gemini — owns this chart. He stands right on the Midheaven of the chart cast for Washington, DC., strong in his own sign of Gemini, ruling, not only the Sun and Moon, but the Midheaven and Ascendant as well. (Get the chart here)
Things are never boring when Mercury is powerfully placed in a chart, and it looks like the month ahead will be marked by an almost obsessive focus on the need for information, questions about the appropriate use of both information and technology, and developments in the ongoing conversation between science and religion. We’ll see ideas and opinions flitting about as thick as fireflies on a summer night — and many of them will be as ephemeral. Escapism, particularly into drugs, fantasy and religion, will be rife, as will deception, fast-talking, and sermonizing. Mercury is also the planet of commerce, so we can expect considerations of business, and the ease of doing business, to be prominent. There may be legal challenges or decisions that have a strong impact on the conduct of business. The conduct of foreign policy is also emphasized. The Cardinal Cross is still in orb, and the presence of Pluto in the 4th house of this chart suggests major environmental issues, particularly involving any underground aspect, especially nuclear waste storage.
People with Mercury strong in their charts are sometimes accused of shallowness — particularly Geminis, whose Suns are ruled by Mercury, and who often have Mercury in Gemini as well (because Mercury never strays far from the Sun). This airy sign embodies the winds that sweep along the Earth’s surface, stirring up and mixing particles of earth and carrying them to new places. But a broad if relatively shallow approach to a topic is not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re driving across the country, you want a map of the roads on the surface, not an in-depth geological survey. Information-gathering and organizing — Mercury’s special talent — is the first step in making wise decisions.
Mercury is also strongly associated with magic, for we must be able to clearly perceive the world around us, to gather information, to organize and communicate our thoughts if we are to practice magic effectively, and Mercury, planet of the mind, rules raw perception. We also must develop the ability to walk between the worlds, and Mercury is both messenger and psychopomp — the guide of souls.
One good example of Mercurial magic can be found in the accusations of “hashtag activism” and resulting fuss that erupted around the use of the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag (Heather Greene covers the subject well here). Twitter, with its 140 character limit, immediacy and information overload is Mercury incarnate, and so are arguments – Mercury loves a good argument. Despite all the comments about the shallowness of using a hashtag and then getting on with one’s comfortable Western life, the sustained attention and expressions of concern have brought world-wide attention to the subject — hopefully making the girls’ rescue more likely. (Personally, I think it quite likely, and soon.) One article even took Americans to task for encouraging the USA’s involvement in the situation, stating that using the hashtag made one “a complicit participant in a military expansionist agenda on the continent of Africa.” Whew. That’s one powerful hashtag.
The ability to control and direct the mind is a hallmark of the magician, and working on mental discipline is an excellent way to handle a Mercury retrograde period — which begins June 7 and runs through the rest of the month. On a personal level, the challenge of this New Moon is to stay grounded, and to look under surface appearances for deeper meaning. It’s important to get the facts straight, but decisions need to be made from facts considered in the light of values. Meditation, or at least periods of quiet reflection, will help soothe an over-stimulated nervous system, something many of us will find necessary. Breath meditations should be particularly effective now.
You may find illusions breaking down during these next few weeks — and you’ll want to be careful that you don’t build new ones. The New Moon is in a tense aspect to mystical Neptune, strong in its own sign of Pisces, which means you may find yourself industriously running around trying to sort, organize and pin down the intangible, or desperately trying to put the indefinable into words. Almost certainly, you’ll see a lot of that sort of behavior around you. Gemini is all about granularity; Pisces is all about flow — give them both a place at your table, and remind the highly-strung people in your life to breathe.
All in all, sincere efforts at communication are likely to be rewarded this month, as long as you stay flexible and willing to shift gears on a moment’s notice if new information dictates change. Insist on clarity and perspective from yourself and others and the month can bring you both insight and personal progress.
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