From Aug 2002*
Mercury in Virgo Square Saturn in Gemini
Mercury in Virgo has just formed a square to Saturn in Gemini, putting that placement under stress as well ... but for a shorter time, and the fact that Mercury moves into much more cooperative Libra today may get us safely past this problem as well. However, when Mercury squares Saturn, an energy of intellectual blockage exists ... a condition that can indicate opposition to new ideas, a failure to "think outside the box," an unwillingness to say what you think ... or sometimes even a failure to tell the truth, a lack of imagination, and a tendency to fret over possibilities that are unimportant or possibly paranoid.
When this energy prevails, you may feel stuck with (or oppressed by) traditional ways of thinking -- even though they don't seem at all productive. Your ability to generate fresh viewpoints or new ideas about entrenched problems is quashed -- sometimes by you own lack of courage. You may be reluctant to speak up and risk the criticism you are sure will rain down over what you think ... or have to say. You may feel intellectually "stuck" on a problem -- or mired in petty details that are both infuriating and intractable.
Novel or inventive concepts are blocked -- at least temporarily -- by conventional thinking and a "can't change" mentality. You may be working with restrictions that just don't allow for much freedom to experiment or where resources are severely limited and even minor mistakes can be costly.
You may simply feel intellectually burned-out ... or exhausted by too much mental stress. You may be tired of dealing with narrow-minded people ... but fail to see how much this same energy is influencing your choices and actions. You may be afraid to try anything new ... and it may be hard to get past the anxiety and pessimism this energy describes. You may feel belittled -- or you may do the same to others who challenge your thinking.
Fear of failure may prompt unreasonable anxiety, helping you convince yourself you are in greater danger than is really the case. Communication problems can keep you from seeking advice that would soothe your fears, or keep you from believing it if it's offered.
Misunderstandings are very likely, especially ones where you feel mistreated, harshly judged, or "not listened to" by people in authority -- people who could (and maybe are supposed to) help you with the challenges you face. But the fact is, the most important person you are probably not listening to is yourself. Fortunately, this energy dissolves in about a week ... so do what you need to to get through it, and trust that things will look better soon.
* Articles in the extensive series "Things to Know About" are constructed from information originally published in Step-by-Step, our Premium Members several-times a week Astrology Ezine. This Ezine has been continuously published since late November 2001. The material is published here mostly for my convenience. It is not intended to be finished, organized, polished or even complete. Some of it may be notes that don't even make a lot of sense, but you're welcome to look at it.
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What Does Mercury Represent in Your Natal Chart? -- What is it ... and why is it important? ---> In mythology, Mercury was the winged messenger of the Gods. -- Your mind -- at work and play -- In Astrology, Mercury represents your conscious, rational mind. It tells a lot about your intellectual self; your ability to study, learn, analyze, communicate and work with information.
Mercury in General -- Your Inner Selves of Learning and Work ---> Learning stuff, using your mind and putting it to work -- Like Venus, your Mercury energy describes two inner selves. One manages your mind and all its talents; the other is in charge of the work you do ... the ways you use your skills and abilities to help others and build the kind of life your want for yourself. Again, as with Venus, these are usually reduced to the basic categories of "mind" and "work," but they also include whole subdivisions of behavior and talents.
Mercury and the Miracle of the Mind -- Astrology's Search for Intelligent Life ---> As an Astrologer I see both the mundaneness of common knowledge -- handling the basic facts of awareness and everyday rituals -- and a touch of miracles in Mercury.
Mercury Retrograde -- Rethinking Your Present Direction ---> In the territory of the mind -- When Mercury is retrograde (Mercury Rx -- in shorthand), it is a time of rethinking, refocusing and re-communicating. In Astrology, Mercury represents your intellect; your mental focus; your mind and how you use its assets.
What Does Saturn Represent in Your Natal Chart? -- What is it ... and why is it important? ---> Saturn ... finding stature, taking responsibility -- Saturn depicts an Inner Self that is careful, precise, methodical and concerned with creating lasting structures in the world. It contains your self-discipline, your sense of responsibility and your ways of relating to authority. It describes your need for status, and is apparent in how you build a career or public reputation to gain public admiration and respect.
Saturn Retrograde -- Rebuilding Your Personal Foundations ---> Delays ... get worse -- Saturn is notorious for signifying delays, and because under stress it also symbolizes limitation, restriction, and loss, many followers of astrology consider it their least favorite planet. But I think it gets a bad rap and lots of blame it really doesn't deserve.