A meditation on Mercury retrograde in Pisces, 17 February, 2020: A butterfly emerges from the chrysalis.

By Agent 159 – Pete Jeffs

A meditation on Mercury  retrograde in Pisces, 17 February, 2020:

 17 Feb – 11 March, 2020 12° Pisces- 28° Aquarius

A butterfly emerges from the chrysalis.

Mercury Retrogrades, like Sun signs, have without doubt made it out of the astrological community and into the wider world. It is common to read in the popular press lists of “do’s and don’ts” associated with this period. We are told in earnest to wait for Mercury to go direct before signing contracts, repairing our vehicle, the list is long.

Astrologically speaking, a Mercury retrograde is a time to review and reflect, both upon what the planet rules in our own charts and how it may affect us by transit. Steven Forrest, in an elegant piece on a previous Mercury retrograde, wrote that “When any planet is in retrograde motion, it is going back to places it has already been. Mercury correlates with information in general. Information which you already have is called memory […] so one term for the purpose of Mercury retrograde is going back and reviewing your memories”. 

Mercury goes retrograde on the 17th Feb 2020

Mercury will go retrograde at 12°53’ of Pisces on the 17th Feb at 12h54UT, will station at 28°12’ of Aquarius by the 10th March, before going direct once more at 3h49 UT. Mercury retrogrades 5 degrees before its full conjunction with Neptune in about seven weeks, on the 4th April 2020. What might Mercury wish to review before opening a new conversation with Neptune? 

In the February 17th chart there are several aspects apparent: Mercury squares the Moon in Sagittarius, sextiles Jupiter in Capricorn and as I mentioned is 5 degrees off conjunction with Neptune. In Pisces, Mercury invokes a blending of the mind with our intuition. This could reach its high-point as Mercury conjuncts Neptune – save that here, Mercury turns back prior to the rendez-vous, suggesting that time is needed before we are ready to enter into the full visionary depth of this cosmic alignment. 

Within the shadow of Mercury in Pisces lie the dangers of confusion. Since Pisces is also linked to the archetype of the 12th House, a nuance to this period is that of not being heard. The image of a child not being heard in the family home? A partner not being listened to? A Government ignoring the voices of its citizens? Things we thought we had said, but in fact, we didn’t? 

A Sagittarius Moon seeks her sense of satisfaction in the exploration of philosophies and religions, the search for wisdom. Squaring Mercury in Pisces, she might recall memories of past seeking that has either been forgotten or has become confused with time. The sextile with Jupiter in hard-headed Capricorn however speaks of action. This could be a time for reflecting on ideas or ideals we expressed in the past, but then abandoned, leaving them behind. Life perhaps pushed us in other directions. In the hustle and bustle, we simply forgot!

An ancient sword

The Sabian Symbol for 13° of Pisces: “an ancient sword, used in many battles, is displayed in a museum”. The museum is itself a place where the past is held for all to see. Here, the mind is a sword, and  expresses the tension that exists for Mercury in Pisces. Thought precedes action. We must reach clarity, step out of Piscean confusion in order to act purposefully. A sword in a museum – a potent symbol,  reminding us that with precision of thought we can cut through confusion.

Mercury goes direct on the 10th March 2020

Stationing at 28°12’ of Aquarius, and then going direct on the 10th March 2020, Mercury will square Vesta in and Sedna in Taurus. Mercury is more at home in Aquarius, an Air Sign, than in Pisces, and resonates here with communication more at the level of the community rather than of the individual. The question of community is reinforced with the squaring of Vesta. The Vestal priestesses maintained the eternal holy hearth of the city of Rome: their responsibility to ensure the sacred fire remained alight. If extinguished this could mean but one thing – calamity for Rome. The Vestal Fire is thus an enduring symbol for the survival of the community. Survival of communities is something that many of us are reflecting upon actively at this time.  Squaring Sedna we can expect more growing issues regarding climate and resource management surfacing in many places.

A Butterfly emerges

Let us return in closing, to the Sabian Symbols, this time for the 29th degree of Aquarius: Phase 329: A butterfly emerging from a Chrysalis. The Keynote here evokes “the capacity to utterly transform the character of one’s consciousness by radically altering the structural patterns of everyday living and the types of relationships one enters upon”. Whilst the popular press may still urge caution regarding contracts, computers, phones and transport… this Mercury retrograde holds within its passage from Pisces to Aquarius an extremely powerful image – that of our inner butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. 

Following a long period of Plutonic transformation, let us take these three weeks of Mercury retrograde to really go inward. When Mercury returns to Pisces, ready for his meeting with Neptune, we will have taken time to reflect deeply. Perhaps we will then be ready to articulate our vision, neither diluted nor distorted by Neptune’s waters. If we have done our work, we will be equipped with inspired visions – not only for ourselves, but perhaps for the well-being of our communities too. 

Pete Jeffs

Agent 159

Agent 159 Peter Jeffs

Agent 159 Peter Jeffs

Writer, Consultant

Agent 159 – PETE JEFFS

Capricorn rising, Leo Sun and Moon in Sagittarius. I was born in 1963 in Glasgow, Scotland. I studied plant science at Durham. My Sag Moon took me from the UK  to France in 1992 to take part in the great European project. I lived for two decades in Paris, my two children were born and grew up there. Life events took me back to the UK in 2012, a time in which I was opening to energy work, first in Reiki, and then in Systematic Kinesiology. My astrological life began listening to Kaypacha’s Pele Reports on the web. I had always been intrigued by astrology – even at grad school, my workbench was adorned with photocopies from Michael Maier’s “Atalanta Fugiens”.  The Pele reports immediately struck me for their deep wisdom. For someone always interested in science, what struck me was just how beautifully empirical and precise it all was. I joined New Paradigm Astrology as a member in 2016, and began my own personal program of training with Kaypacha’s 101 Astrology. I soon discovered Steven Forrest’s books, the Lunar Nodes, Jan Spiller, Jeffrey Wolf Green’s Pluto. Mark Jones’ work on Uranus has particularly influenced me, as I come to astrology from a background of healing work. Astrology is taking an important place in my life, alongside my work with the Shamanic Healing Circle which I founded in 2015. I currently live on the Avon and Kennet Canal in Wiltshire, on a narrowboat, close to Avebury. It is through my writing that I look forward to contributing to the C*I*A in the months and years to come. 
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