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Planet Series: The SUN & Mercury

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Planet Series: The SUN & Mercury


The SUN and MERCURY are a fitting focus to start the Planet Series" Sun & Planets off with. We all hear about the various planets being discussed, yet those that are most discussed seem to be Saturn, Venus and Mars with the other planets playing second fiddle. When pressed, many early-studies students of astrology can give you some idea of Neptune or Pluto, but ask about Mercury and the conversation often slows to a crawl.

I submit that Mercury is not well understood. Perhaps we can learn from each other here about Mercury through our discussions, reading and considerations -- all of which are "Mercury words." In mythology, Mercury was the messenger of the Gods and was supposed to know much. Yet, a messenger only knows what he is told to pass on, he often doesn't know the reasons behind the message. This gives us an important clue about Mercury. Mercury was also a traveller of great speed and was exposed to many different people, cultures, and forms of communication. These give us more clues about Mercury. Finally, for this part of my discussion, lets look at the planetary glyph assigned by the ancients to Mercury -- it has all three elements: the circle, cresent and cross representing the spirit, sould and earthly life. This suggests that Mercury is associated with all three elements.

In astronomical terms, Mercury is close to the Sun and does not wander more than 28 degrees or so from the Sun as it quickly circles that central point of our solar system. Of course, Mercury doesn't proceed thru the zodiac in a straight line -- in a given year Mercury will turn retrograde three times and then end up more or less covering the same span of zodiac as the Sun in a given year. So, in effect, Mercury does act like a messenger, stopping here, pausing or moving back over ground already covered, then moving forward again -- only to stop, pause, retread his steps, then rush off to another point of interest. So, we can say (as a broad statement) that Mercury doesn't cover more than three or four signs without pausing to re-cover part of its passage -- then it moves forward again.

Mercury cannot assimilate, in terms of its orbital behavior, more than four signs before it has to pause and reconsider. The "signs", of course, represent the shared, collective experience of us all. In this sense, signs are quite unlike houses which are personal experiences. So, we can summarize this point by saying, "Mercury gathers worldly, shared information (external data and knowledge) and then pauses to review-reconsider-revisit portions of this gathering-travel-experience."

Given that last statement in quotes, and assuming that there are no counter views, this suggests that Mercury has an "inner" function that might noy yet have been discussed. What is this internal function? Some astrological books don't really talk about this, some do.

Internally, Mercury takes its information and categorizes it, plunking it into little pigeon-holes for later retrieval. Mercury has to tag this information and establish ways to remember it thru associative processes. Its these linking functions that shape the way Mercury, our minds, work. Whereas the Moon gives us automatic, habitual responses that fuel, emotionally, the needs and initial interactions we have with others -- we need to think about how Mercury fits into this process.

Mercury sees. Mercury hears. Mercury takes information and perception into our minds, into our storage system, into the network of our associative processes. How we perceive what we see, how we understand what we hear, how we choose to link and associate one piece of information with another piece of information determines our overall thought, thinking, memory processes. And these inner, fresh experiences feed into and retrieve the older memories of feelings and memories, and together seem to shape the way we TRIGGER emotional feelings.

That is a profound concept. It is not an original concept, I believe that others have expressed it many times and in better ways. But, this is very important to remember about Mercury. Mercury is a partner with the Moon in the way we gather and store and recall and reuse our experiences and our knowledge. Does Mercury drive the Moon, does the Moon drive Mercury, are they really one or are they a duality or seperate by somewhat interactive forces that both impinge upon a portion of what each of us is?

If Moon and Mercury play some form of role together as well as seperately, then how does Mercury interact with the Sun?

The Sun "integrates." Jeff Mayo of the Faculty of Astrological Sudies in London said this over and over again. The Sun "integrates." The Sun draws out the energies symbolized by the planets, the Sun infuses and focuses those functions. The Sun doesn't have those particular functions but it can energize them and bring them out in us. So for Mercury, how does the Sun work? I'll try to address this question in different ways in following threads.

We have to remember that Mercury doesn't reach a point of opposition or of trine or of square to the Sun like other planets might. Mercury has a special relationship that we have to take time to examine. Dave.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsnook2000
If Moon and Mercury play some form of role together as well as seperately, then how does Mercury interact with the Sun?
So if my mind is working correctly at this time of night ........ could we say that the Moon's knowledge is instinctual or empathic, internal ....... whereas Mercury would be more logical, mental? And connecting/interacting Mercury with the Sun would be to demonstrate this logical knowledge in an external fashion?
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For huredriel


The answer may be "no." Mercury perceives (this is different from seeing in that a crowd of people will all see the same thing but each of them will perceive it differently. Mercury catagorizes what it perceives and is links these bits of knowledge associatvely based on how the mind has set up its memory system and how it uses it through practice and functioning over time. The patterns formed by recalling and using some groups of memories, thoughts or concepts more than other -- as well as in different combinations -- alters the associative processes over time. Usually, the use of the mind makes the associative processes more complex.

Wire in the emotional, habitual, long-term and subsconsious memories into this current and short-term thinking-deciding-perceiving-categorizing conscious mind, and where is the boundary line? Where is the logic? Where are the habits? There is no fixed pattern, I believe. It depends upon how we choose to function. Do we decide to be dispassionate and logical? Do we decide to live our lives in an intuitive fashion? Do we stay mired in a tribal or childish frame of mind and just react intensly? This is what the astrologer has to be aware of. Mercury is not automatically "logical." Mercury can be all screwed up and illogical, at the mercy of "feelings." Mercury can have created deep complexes, obsessive behavior that is triggered through the associative processes that were built up -- or allowed to be built up but never changed and/or modified by maturity and thoughtful comptemplation.

Hopefully, I can take us through the processes enough so that by these types of questons and discussions we can all clarify how and what Mercury can be for each of us, individually. For, if nothing else, Mercury is very much an "individual" function. Dave.
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Just a quick observation that I find quite interesting.

I have looked through the birth data of those that posted and I find it quite interesting that Mercury is either in the same Sun sign....or the sign just after. IE....Sun in Gemini, Mercury in Cancer or Sun in Taurus and Mercury in Taurus. Mercury is quite close to the Sun in one's birth chart. I'm also trying to figure out the significance of a retro Mercury in one's birth chart and how that would affect one's "storage" abilities and one's stagnant type communicaton.....wondering if one born with Mercury retro would have a difficult time getting thoughts across to others....or accessing the storage points in the memory....(yes, I have Mercury and Sun in same sign and Mercury is retro...), but there are others that have Mercury (R) as well.
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retrograde to retrograde


whiteraven:

Fear not, mercury retrograde is in fact quite common among many a successful people of all walks of life (JRR Toliken comes to mind as a notable and relevent mention). I too have mercury retrograde, with being conjunct across two signs-Gemini and Cancer. I have noticed that my biorythems in regards to mercury, my communication life, and all mercury like aspects of my life, my outward existance as i am a mercury ruled rising virgo, just seem to be in a different cycle as others around me, doubly so with double the mercury rulership. I may feel insociable for while when every one else is partying about, and then I will feel like the life of the party when the energy has long dissapated. AS a retrograde natal, you may feel the natural drive others lack duirng a retrograde and feel dissapated when mercury is benifical to others. A quick look through the forum board and an internet search with a bit of effort can answer any other questions you might have, in the end though you will have to decide for yourself what your planetary positions mean to you, and how retrogrades fit in your life.

I personally believe that mercury retrograde matters in an interpretation of a chart, and with the retrograde coming in march, now is the take note of all things 'mercury'.
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Whiteraven, or anyone that is interested in this for that matter

You have mentioned that there seems to be a pattern where the Sun sign and the Mercury sign is either the same, or that the Mercury sign is the one just after. Well, although mine is quite close, it is not right after, it is right BEFORE, that is, Sun in Virgo, Mercury in Leo



Bec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxx
whiteraven:

Fear not, mercury retrograde is in fact quite common among many a successful people of all walks of life (JRR Toliken comes to mind as a notable and relevent mention). I too have mercury retrograde, with being conjunct across two signs-Gemini and Cancer. I have noticed that my biorythems in regards to mercury, my communication life, and all mercury like aspects of my life, my outward existance as i am a mercury ruled rising virgo, just seem to be in a different cycle as others around me, doubly so with double the mercury rulership. I may feel insociable for while when every one else is partying about, and then I will feel like the life of the party when the energy has long dissapated. AS a retrograde natal, you may feel the natural drive others lack duirng a retrograde and feel dissapated when mercury is benifical to others. A quick look through the forum board and an internet search with a bit of effort can answer any other questions you might have, in the end though you will have to decide for yourself what your planetary positions mean to you, and how retrogrades fit in your life.

I personally believe that mercury retrograde matters in an interpretation of a chart, and with the retrograde coming in march, now is the take note of all things 'mercury'.
Thank you Paradoxx....I haven't really taken notice to the difference when Mercury is Retro...I will pay more attention to this upcoming retro in March though. The only Major Aspect I have with Mercury is Moon Conjunction Mercury 533 and Mercury Trine Uranus 459. What that means is way over my head at this point. (This is according to data from Astro.com)

I normally am anti-social....as I said above...I will see what kind of difference and whether I feel more socialable when Mercury goes retro.
Thanks again!
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Where is Mercury?


Because Mercury has a closer orbit to the Sun than any other planet, it will always stay near the Sun from our point-of-view here on Earth. It generally doesn't appear to ever by more than 28 degrees from the Sun -- so, we will always view it as being in the same sign as the Sun or in the immediate signs before or after the Sun. That is just basic math. There is nothing amazing or meaningful in this --- it just is.

Part of the time in Mercury's orbit the planet cannot be seen because it is too close to the Sun and its glaring light. If we take 10 degrees as a value (given that Mercury is said to be "combust" if within 8 to 11 degrees of the Sun or less) where Mercury appears to be over-powered by the Sun's brightness, than a simple check of the ephemeris will show that Mercury spends about 247 days further from the Sun than 20 degrees, and the balance of the year being closer to the Sun than 10 degrees -- a 2 to 1 split. Of course its time further away from the Sun is split into some six periods as it is either behind or ahead of the Sun relative to its three retrograde periods each year.

Earlier I had mentioned something about Mercury retracing its steps as it follows the Sun, more or less, around the Zodiac each year. Over a short period of time, every three years or so, Mercury has the opportunity of backing up and re-covering each of the zodiac signs. This seems to symbolically suggest that Mercury "reconsiders" its experiences over time, and it gives us another clue about the Mercury function in each of us.

Mercury perceives, it seeks to understand, it categorizes, it stores experiences in short term memory and associates what it perceives and understands with other experiences (short term and long term memories) -- and it learns, considers and re-evaluates/re-categorizes over a period of time. In doing all of this it creates complex associative patterns that assist it in filing and retrieving and using all of the information it takes in and retains.

So, knowing (or thinking that we know) how Mercury functions within us, it is time to start considering how we individually, at this point in our lives and in the basic natal chart, use our head. We will pursue this in following postings. Meanwhile, if there are thoughts or questions about what we have covered so far, then ask them. Dave.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsnook2000
Mercury perceives, it seeks to understand, it categorizes, it stores experiences in short term memory and associates what it perceives and understands with other experiences (short term and long term memories) -- and it learns, considers and re-evaluates/re-categorizes over a period of time. In doing all of this it creates complex associative patterns that assist it in filing and retrieving and using all of the information it takes in and retains.
This is interesting too! It coincides with what you stated about the Prophet Phase. Both Mercury and the Moon reside in the same house for me.

This series is quite informative and I'm enjoying this quite a bit.
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An added thought


Given Mercury's unique situation relative to the Sun, it occured to me that we might want to attempt one more thing to help us understand Mercury. This planet changes apparent motion (direct 2/3s of the time, retrograde 1/3 of the time) and distance from the Sun in degrees very rapidly. Let each of then do a little simple homework. I'll explain in a moment.

Mercury can exhibit the following characteristics:
1) Its motion is direct
2) Its motion is retrograde
3) It is close to the Sun -- within 10 degrees
4) It is further from the Sun -- more than 10 degrees
5) It is moving very fast in apparent motion -- more than 1.5 degrees per day
6) It is moving normally -- between 1/2 degree and 1 1/2 degrees per day
7) It is moving slow in appraent motion -- less than 1/2 degree a day
8) Its behind the Sun in zodiac position
9) Its ahead of the Sun in zodiac position

Why not make a note of which of the above fits your natal Mercury. I don't know if we'll use all of these factors or not, but we may to a greater or lesser degree. Dave
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