Transit Lab: Mercury Retrograde (10Dec-30Dec10)

In a now-defunct blog I did a series of posts called “Transit Lab”, wherein I offered thoughts and experiences as transiting planets affected me. Though of course personal, I intended to bring to life the concepts and show how real life is or can be affected by transits. They varied from the very short term transits of inner planets to installments on longer transits of outer planets. I really liked doing that series yet have not yet really done them here.

Until now.

What’s been happening is that I’ve wondered about how much personal stuff I really want to share. You’re reading a 2nd house Scorpio here who has an ongoing internal argument with his Libra rising and Sagittarius Moon. It could be so useful! People or even just one person could learn something from it! they say. The Sun of course responds that it’s no one’s [expletiving] business but mine. But I just observed myself doing such a Mercury retro thing that I apparently cannot help but do a transit lab entry.

Mercury retros are useful to revisit old or unfinished things in order to resolve them, bring them to completion, or understand them in new ways so that we can learn to let them go. We hear that we shouldn’t begin new Mercurial things during these times, and this is because our minds are not working clearly. We either cannot see the full picture, cannot understand the implications of what we do see, or do not connect enough dots to keep ourselves out of trouble. The planet is from the earth’s perspective appearing to move backward during a retrograde, with the result that Mercurial things in the world and the function within us work differently during these times.

But this view on the past in order to resolve things from the past is important, especially as this Mercury retro is in Capricorn. I would expect you during the next three weeks to gain some insight into decisions you made years ago. Ideally you can make peace with whatever feels unresolved and move ahead. But it might take some time spent looking into that past. It might be that feelings you have about that past can come into clearer focus during this retro. Capricorn is not about feelings, but it is about investing in long-term goals and sacrificing certain kinds of things we might enjoy in order to further a goal, and sometimes our feelings about sacrifice, etc. do not get processed fully when we do Capricorn.

It might be about family specifically, as family is the incubator in which we learn our earliest Capricorn lessons: What is responsibility? What is maturity? What does it take to get tough things done? How can we grow up to be the right kind of adult? It might also be surrounding non-filial authority figures from your past, people who are older, wiser, more experienced than you were then.

Mercury is stationing retrograde on my 3rd house Jupiter in Capricorn. I’ve seen this coming. Pluto’s been dancing around that natal planet in slow motion for a while now, and so I’ve been fortunate to get to know a lot about this part of me over the last year or so. I’ve written a lot this year, and it’s felt at times as though I am a tube of information paste and am being slowly rolled up from one end and squeezed. So far the result is five books and as many in various stages of completion.

Mercury coming to natal Jupiter I really didn’t think would do that much. Yet tonight I found myself doing a survey from and then looking up the Facebook page of the philosophy department of my alma mater. Scrolling down the page, there were many articles linked to do with various corners of philosophy. One was on Camus, the French-Algerian philosopher on whom I did my thesis there, and I just had to read it.

It brought back tons of memories – though I was primed from doing the survey, which asked questions about the efficacy of the program and my thoughts on my experience doing a major in it there. Well, then I just had to read the entirety of this long article on Camus…and I was reminded that I’d always wanted to do something with the thesis. Like develop it into a longer work. The ideas in it are exciting and inspiring, yet I’d always felt the execution could have been better.

So then, I just had to go find my copy of the thesis. It was in a box with unpacked books and notebooks. I’ve always felt not quite as proud of it as I’d wanted to. It said what I wanted it to, but I never felt it was done. The ideas in it impressed one of my advisers and that meant a tremendous amount to me, but there was something missing.

Mercury stationing on a 3rd house Jupiter in Capricorn will call up any insecurities from the past about how that Jupiter has worked. Hitting anything in Capricorn will do the trick, actually. With Venus, how one has used resources or prioritized life issues or circumstances…or made relationship choices. With Mercury, how one has gone about communicating and working to have a clear head. With the Sun, it’ll be about how one expresses the self, utilizes creative energy, and perhaps stood up for oneself.

I have the option of working on it, and that might or might not alleviate the feelings from the past about my potential not-that-greatness during that time. Perhaps I don’t need to do that to get over them. I think that since writing a few books, my self-confidence in the writing/communication/organization arena is very healthy. I’m proud of each book I’ve published, and that seems to have allowed me to move on from the insecurities from those college days.

The thing about me in college was that I felt I could never quite keep up with all the philosophy goings-on. I feared I was always two steps behind everyone else, and therefore often turned out to be. I couldn’t traffic in the lingo and think on my feet, and seem to have had a great deal of pressure on myself to do all of that well.

Since then, I’ve learned that my progressed Mercury retrograded from ages 7-28, making most Mercurial functions work differently until about age 32, when it was picking up speed in direct motion. Another example is that as a kid I had many opportunities to learn languages but found it really challenging – almost impossible – to speak them. Even to do the verbal exercises. I could all the reading and listening, but engaging the mouth to emit what was in the brain was next to impossible.

My mom pushed Spanish and French on me and my sister, I studied Hebrew for the whole Jewish kid preparing for a bar mitzvah (4 years of Hebrew lessons), and was taking German in school…and I came out of all of that alternating between not being able to speak any of it out loud or having such fear about doing so that I’d stop myself or trip over it. Incredible stage fright when it came to talking! If you listen to either of my podcasts, you will know for sure that it’s no longer in play, but it was in full force in college.

So what can I do during this retrograde? I can connect with the ideas of the thesis, and can do something new with them or not. I can edit it and get it where I want it to be, I can use it as a launching pad for a new project – I can do anything with it, and I can do nothing with it. But I know I need to get into the feelings surrounding that inadequacy from all those years ago. Feelings that spanned more than two decades, actually.

If someone with this situation came to me for a reading, I’d focus on letting go of the old feelings of inadequacy. I’d focus on being in the present moment with whatever fulfilling communication happenings are going down now that inspire self-confidence. Also, I’d invite that person to spend time with the old feelings and self-judgments, and to stay open to feeling that part of the self that needs attention now; that is being stirred up a bit by this station retrograde.

The ideas in the thesis have since I was 18 saved me from the worst sort of pessimism (the kind that can result from taking in most forms of existentialist writing without the aid and guidance of a professional – Camus is not typical of those writers. He offered a very life-affirming view of things that can actually empower us). Perhaps it’s time for me, now in a Mercurial/3rd house phase with much more confidence in my ideas and my right and ability to express them, to go back to that work and revitalize it. To even open the thing and read a word, however, I know I’ll have to do some serious grounding and getting over my old self-judgment.

But I can swing that.

Tom Jacobs is an evolutionary astrologer, medium, channel, author, and coach offering insight into why your soul is here and guidance about how to make it happen. Contact him via his site for private readings and to learn about intuitive coaching. Tom is the author of five books on metaphysics and astrology available via his site and Amazon. Chiron, 2012, and the Aquarian Age: The Key and How to Use It is his new 11-hour MP3 course, also available through his site.