Navigating the celestial
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Mercury Retrogrades in Pisces; then Back It Goes into Aquarius!


Three times a year we move through a time of Mercury Retrograde.  Here we go again, this time with Mercury at 3+ Pisces turning around and moving back through Aquarius until it once again turns direct on February 28th at 18+ Aquarius.

Because Mercury has also almost touched Neptune at 4+ Pisces we are experiencing an interesting mix of reverie and reflection amidst the action-packed and often turbulent Cardinal Cross energies at work.  I know in my own life the past has lately been rising up to meet me in present time and asking for further resolution and integration in order that I may move forward.  This Mercury Retrograde period will certainly give us an opportunity to synthesize past, present, and future over the next three weeks.  Perhaps it can be more of a ‘quiet lull’ before the fast-speed ‘maelstrom’ of the Grand Cross in Cardinal signs whacks us again in April.  That being said, some of us experience the high impacts of such energies whilst others glide on through.  It all depends on your own energy fields.

Right now the Sun is rising ahead of Mercury, but by the time Mercury turns Direct, Mercury will be rising as ‘Luciferous’ ahead of the Sun.  Blending this with the shifts between Aquarius and Pisces certainly keeps us on our toes to look backwards even as we look ahead.  Are you dizzy now?  Please do find your grounding cord and keep working it diligently or you will find yourself thoroughly disoriented. 🙂


The Sabian Symbol for Pisces 4 (where Mercury has just now turned from) is “Heavy car traffic on a narrow isthmus linking two seashore resorts.”  How appropriate a symbol for what is being activated.  An isthmus is a very narrow strip of land jutting out between the ocean and a lagoon of water.  The isthmus may in this modern world now have houses, roads, and people inhabiting it.  Dane Rudhyar keynotes this symbol as meaning “The mobility and intensity of interchanges which make possible and characterize complex social processes”

Perhaps Mercury now symbolizes a process where our ability to reflect and dive into the unconscious (water/ocean/lagoon) may also have to maintain its navigational compass  as we move to and fro and go about our busy lives.  Is it possible to handle both simultaneously?  Those of you who have both Water and Air elements strong in your charts may find that it certainly is possible.  Those of you with more the elements of Earth and Fire may find this highly disconcerting.  Earth wants stability and pragmatism while Fire wants some spark of inspiration and enthusiasm to keep it motivated.

I see good therapists as often having this combination of Air/objectivity and Water/feelings to help them navigate with their clients the process of gaining consciousness of their unconscious watery eddys and undertows.  Let’s say that this time suggests just that process as we attempt to deal with the staggering amount of ‘traffic’ that modern life demands.  Dane Rudhyar, when he interpreted these symbols knew nothing of the inter-net.  Traffic today means much much more than it did then.  We live in restless times and we are simply bombarded and overloaded with all sorts of EMFs (electro-magnetic frequencies).  How are we handling them all energetically?  We know we try to keep up with the myriad avenues of the inter-net, cell phones, ipads, and all the rest.  What does all of this do to our unconscious?  How do we process it all?  I’m not even referring to how our physical vehicles handle it all!

I encourage each of you in your own way to take the time over the next three weeks to BE REFLECTIVE to the best of your ability.  What are the modes you use to quiet your mind?  What avenues do you avail yourself of to relax and let go of the stress and strain of modern-day life?

Look at your own chart and see where Mercury is taking you for the next three weeks.  That is the area of life which may need your attention on a deeper, more contemplative level.  If it’s your 12th house, for example, the reflective withdrawal from the great hustle may be easier.  If it’s your 10th house, perhaps more challenging.

By the time that Mercury arrives at that 18th degree of Aquarius, Sationary Direct, we see two very significant symbols emerging.  Keep in mind that we always round up to the next degree when working with the Sabian Symbols.  The 18th degree is this:  “A man’s secret motives are being publicly unmasked.”  According to Rudhyar the keynote is:  “The difficulty for the modern individual to keep secret their private past or their deeper motives.”

Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask

Do we need to further UNMASK during this Retrograde period?  We can certainly see the need on a collective level.  There are too many dark secrets being veiled everywhere it would seem.  Each of us may have our own need to unmask hidden aspects that we are yet unwilling to look at in our own lives.

The 19th degree of Aquarius is “A forest fire is being subdued by the use of water, chemicals and sheer muscular energy.”   This speaks to our time as well!  Here we finally get some FIRE into the mix.  Dane Rudhyar’s keynote of this symbol is:  “The skill and courage necessary to bring under control the destructive potential of carelessness of karmic ‘visitations’.”

Krishna swallowing the forest fire

Krishna swallowing the forest fire

I’m now going to quote an excerpt from his interpretation of this because it already feels like a revelation in my own life right now (remember, we have already experienced once that 19th degree activation when Mercury was moving direct through Aquarius back in January 23rd):  “…Every individual—at least once in his lifetime, if not repeatedly—may perhaps have to face spectacular reactions to seemingly insignificant acts.  These are to be considered means to test his/her strength, ingenuity or emotional stability.  Every faculty at his/her disposal must be made use of—emotional, mental, physical.  He/she needs faith in him/herself and in superior Powers.”  Wow!  Keep this quote in mind as you continue to process elements from your past that are now emerging in present time so that you can move forward with “a deep sense of INDOMITABILITY” into your own future.

Don’t you just wish that all of humanity would work with the planetary energies and even the fixed stars as a matter of course in their daily lives?  Don’t you just wish that we were all in resonance with the celestial spheres?  I personally am so exceedingly thankful for the guidance and clarification I get from using celestial guides in my own life.  Blessed Be!

February 7, 2014  12 Comments
Categories: Astrology, Mercury, Pisces | Tags: , , , ,


1 Vanessa { 02.08.14 at 8:13 am }

Hi Genevieve,
Lovely post and images. I agree with you in that I too wish we all followed the promptings of the stars, if not at least the seasons.
I liked your explanation of the elements of water and air – the 2 predominant elements in my chart.
All of these transits are just activating my natal moon, and truthfully all I have been able to do is draw.
With my strong emphasis on Gemini, Mercury retrograde is always challenging to me. Especially this one, as it’s on my 10th/9th houses. So to the drafting table I go! 🙂
I guess that’s what Mercury wants. It wants us to go back to our drawing tables and review our projects.

2 Genevieve Vierling { 02.08.14 at 3:26 pm }

That’s right, Vanessa! Back to the drawing table or board we can all go. Perhaps for you, once Mercury goes back into Aquarius your Gemini energies will feel more in compatico. I certainly hope so! It seems that Mutable energies are always betwixt and between anyway, though Sagittarius less so.

3 Vanessa { 02.19.14 at 6:55 am }

Hi Genevieve,
I just find it so interesting that this time of the year my Pisces house is highlighted with a Mercury Retrograde – last year it was about this same time again. It sure makes February a very watery month, that is often hard to navigate, as I feel so fatigued as well. I feel that our culture, despite 2,000 (or so) of being in the Piscean Age, still hasn’t learned to deal with this archetype in a healthy way. The energies of in betwixt and between are still a mystery to our linear thinking culture. It makes those of us with Pisces highlighted in our charts want to run for the hills!
Keep up the good work you are doing!

4 Genevieve Vierling { 02.19.14 at 3:59 pm }

You are so right on Vanessa. Our culture doesn’t encourage introspection or even drifting and dreaming, except maybe for the pot cultures that abide in my neck of the woods, and that path really doesn’t go anywhere but in circles primarily. I like to think of Pisces as a natural water flow from the smallest trickles of rain drops on to the greatest expanse of ocean. If you follow the rivulets and streams you eventually end up in vastness and oneness.

5 Paul { 10.20.14 at 5:23 am }

I have both Mercury and Sun in Pisces in the 11th house. I have read that this may lead to foggy reasoning, nervousness in these pursuits, and a fatigue when using the mind too long. What is your opinion of this placement? And. what other aspects could influence said placement?
Quick personal anecdote: I wanted really bad to get into an ivy school(Columbia). Even passionate and determined about going, there was no way I could ever execute it, financial aid notwithstanding. If it wasn’t being scatterbrained and complacent, then I ‘psyched’ myself out to a degree that was hopeless. I recently visited the Campus and it opened up a can of worms- just like to here your opinion. OT: Taurus rising, moon in Aquarius, MC Capricorn, 9th house Capricorn.

6 Genevieve Vierling { 10.20.14 at 3:18 pm }

Dear Paul,
First of all, Mercury in Pisces can be a very universal type of mind. My mother had that placement and she was quite scholarly and ended up teaching every single grade from 1st through graduate psychiatric MDs before she finally retired. She loved literature and was an excellent English teacher, but she also taught statistics in college. She had a very universal mind I’d say! So you simply can’t accept ‘foggy’ as necessarily a quality of this placement especially when it is in the 11th house of future and far-reaching Aquarius!

I would have to see whether or not Mercury was ahead of your Sun, or behind, for example. Was it Retrograde at birth? Did it turn Retrograde later by progression? What aspects does it make natally? Does it aspect Saturn, ruler of your 9th, for example? In other words, you really have to look at everything relating to your Mercury before making a judgment. How far from the Sun, by degree, is it?

You are Venus ruled (Taurus Rising), so that planet plays an enormous role in how Mercury functions. Is Venus ahead or behind Mercury, for example. What aspects does Venus make to Saturn, ruler of your 9th? These are also important factors to consider.

I have dozens of examples of Pisces clients with Mercury also in Pisces in my files. One man who does have Mercury in Pisces in the 11th house, such as you, is a classic homeopath who is so skilled that he actually saved my husband’s life. This is a man who only works by phone and has traveled extensively living in a motorhome for awhile. Very 11th house!

In my files are photographers, architects, teachers and story-tellers, actors, healers of many persuasions, spiritual leaders, therapists, pharmacists, acupuncturists, and on and on. So don’t allow negative opinions to deter you from your goals. 11th house planets sometimes take time to develop—usually not until middle age I have found. Never give up. Keep going!!! With Capricorn on your 9th your Saturn may say higher education is delayed but not denied.

7 Paul { 10.21.14 at 2:45 pm }

thorough and thoughtful response and very, very much appreciated.

I’ll look into those mercury aspects; I checked: it wasn’t retro. at birth. No merc aspect to Saturn(rx Leo in the 5th) that I know of, but it does conjunct the Sun and trine Uranus. I’m using for my chart report. I do not know of it’s accuracy.
One thing interesting to add: in my chart, I notice there is an element imbalance of too much Water and to too little Fire amongst the signs .

I’d like to eventually learn how to read a chart myself; right now, I only know just bits and pieces of the whole.
Thank you for your time.

8 Genevieve Vierling { 10.28.14 at 12:41 pm }

Hi Paul,
Sorry for the delayed response. I am encouraging you to study astrology further. You have a great chart for it with that Sun/Mercury trine Uranus. I’m not sure how accurate Cafeastrology is either, but they have a good reputation. All programs have to compensate for the endless time changes for each city/state/time period.

All that Water creates great sensitivity all right, but also great empathy. Progressions and transits will help you to build more Fire as well as physical exercise, adventures, and Fiery people.

I have CDs for sale on the various topics of astrology and there is a wealth of information out there now in the inter-net. The text I have used for my beginning students is ASTROLOGY FOR YOURSELF by Douglas Bloch and Demetra George.

9 P { 10.29.14 at 9:44 am }

I recently stumbled onto a video on YouTube on the archetypal Pisces by Rick Di Clemente and it really made a big impression on me. He wrote a book called ‘The Exquisite Zodiac’- are you familiar with it?? His approach to Astrology reminds me a bit like yours.

*No worries about the delayed responses; get back to me when you can…

10 Genevieve Vierling { 10.30.14 at 2:08 pm }

No, I haven’t watched this particular video, but will certainly check it out. Thanks! I’ll also take a look at his book.

11 P { 11.10.14 at 8:08 pm }

Hi, have you had a chance to see the Youtube clip?? I’ll send you the link if you’d like…

12 Genevieve Vierling { 11.12.14 at 2:51 pm }

Yes—Paul! I enjoyed it very much. He’s quite a character and a good teacher. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Comment