I wrote this original post in early January 2016, yet it’s drawn recent attention thanks to reblogs from my kindred spirit and friend Leeby Geeby @ Shamagaia and a few others (thank you!).
As it happens, we’re just now at the end of another Mercury Retrograde in another Earth sign — this one in Virgo (earlier one in Capricorn).
The themes are timeless — the Path of the Initiate is constant, not seasonal.
This time we dipped into the Mercury-Hermes-ruled Virgo Mysteries as well as the Capricorn ‘sign of the Initiate’ Mysteries, so ever more focused on ‘the Power of the Word’ and the power of focused attention, restoring the sacredness to even the most mundane ‘matters’, coming to our senses and re-occupying our bodies, and calling ourselves to greater mindfulness.
It seems this Mercury Retrograde in Virgo helped to resurface reminders on these themes, and illuminated where we might have fallen into forgetfulness.
And so we continue along the mastery Path of the Initiate. Happy (and mindful, embodied) travels, my friends. Now, on to the original musing …
What are the themes and potential gems available to us just now?
As I write this, we find ourselves living, breathing, and having our Being amidst streams of the archetypal energies and Mysteries of the Feminine-Earth landscapes of Capricorn and Virgo, as well as fiery, questing Sagittarius and watery, spacious-and-Big-Love-emanating Pisces.
Look to where you find 10-20 (ish) degrees of these sign-archetypes in your own astro-chart, and how that reaches into other parts of your chart (and thus your being!). For personalized Sophiastrology consultations on your own ‘energies of Now’, see below.
In esoteric astrology, Capricorn is the sign of the Initiate, of Wisdom, and of the most valuable of riches that don’t come cheap — the Pearls of Great Worth, so to speak — that are worth the efforts required of the Initiate’s path.
That’ll be coming up again, so read on.
First, the ‘Myth Magic’ — the mythic maps that help us to understand the energies in play within and around us.
Second, what might we notice, what might we look for, and what are some of the potential ‘gems’ of this time?
Mythic Intel & Clues
Mercury-Hermes, the winged shamanic-alchemist messenger, turns back from the doorway to Aquarius on January 5th to revisit Capricorn and to meet once more with Pluto-Persephone in later January, before heading back through Capricorn and, once again, through the doorway to Aquarius’s Promethean air space.
We find a couple of very interesting clues from shamanic and mythic astrology:
First, Mercury — Hermes to the Greeks — is the shamanic, Magi-initiated ‘winged messenger’ who was able to travel between the worlds or dimensions, carrying messages and guiding souls.
In the latter role, Mercury-Hermes is the ‘psychopomp’ or thresholder … the guide for traveling between the dimensions or ‘worlds’.
Notice how Mercury-Hermes is shown carrying the caduceus and often the snake symbolism — clues to the healing nature of Mercury’s shamanic purpose.
Iris the Rainbow Goddess would be Mercury-Hermes’s Feminine complement in that work, or that archetypal-shamanic role.
Mercury did its retrograde or ‘revisited’ the terra-firma of Capricorn from January 5th — Epiphany on the ‘new calendar’ — through January 25th.
During that retrograde time, Mercury-Hermes ultimately heads back for one more meeting with the transiting Lord of Ultimate Transformation, Pluto-Persephone, before heading back to Aquarius.
This time — in September 2016 (give or take a few weeks in August and October) — Mercury and Pluto now gracefully Trine one another from the Feminine-Earth landscapes of Virgo and Capricorn respectively.
Another rung on the Spiral Path.
So there is a theme of ‘soul retrieval’ or a type of ‘shamanic journey’ — by whatever words we’d like to use — to retrieve some bit of deeply-buried, transformative Earth Wisdom (Capricorn) and soul nourishment and guidance.
Delving for soul-path-and-purpose clues, we might say, as well as for deep nourishing and restoration.
With Pluto having set up house for awhile in Capricorn, there is an agenda of deeply transformative energetics and reclaimed ‘buried Wisdom’ — soul fragments lost or claimed by the errant abusers and mis-wielders of Power of the Dominant Power-Over system (the lower or ‘personality’ expression of Pluto in Capricorn, and aberrant shadow-Saturn, too).
Think of Saruman, the ‘White Wizard turned Sorcerer’ in Lord of the Rings, or Darth Vader in Star Wars, and you’ll get the idea of the shadow-side Pluto and Saturn in this territory.
The latter would be the shadow side or ‘malefic’ expression — the sorcery — of the abuse of power, the Patriarchs who fall into the malefic-father rather than the sacred-Masculine in their adopting and wielding of ‘power over’ for the all too worldly agendas of greed and other of the Seven Deadlies in action.
Mercury the shamanic Winged Messenger is called back to confer with Pluto, and thus Persephone, in Capricorn, offering the opportunity for reclaimed insights, reclaimed soul fragments, and revelations about parts of ourselves — as well as culture and our own ancestral lineage — that have succumbed (or have been subjugated) to these power-abuses and now call to be reclaimed.
Mercury as soul-retrieving shamanic ally asks, too, “What of the Feminine, the Underworld-initiated Persephone-Wisdom needs to be reclaimed?
With Pluto in Capricorn, there is also a connection to the deeply ancestral line, so some of these patterns, traumas — and buried gifts, too — may have been passed along the ancestral lineage and call to be freed, healed, and transformed into their ‘gift’ expressions.
These insights or soul-bits can then be brought into the radically (r)evolutionary presence of Aquarius in latter January as we head towards the cross-quarter portal of Imbolc-Candlemas.
Since Capricorn is traditionally ruled by Saturn-Sophia, we also find, or feel, the Master Magi, the adept, initiated Wise Teacher who is the gatekeeper between us and Sophia, Wisdom, standing in the room with Pluto-Persephone.
There is no instant-gratification happy pill for that, sorry to say.
The adept Master Magi Wisdom Teacher (Saturn, in the highest manifestation) invites us to ‘grounded transformation’ with the Saturnine qualities of devotion, dedication, discipline, perseverance, and ultimately, a well-earned and true Wisdom and gravitas that infuses the initiates who have risen to that invitation and ‘done the work’ … who showed up, consistently and persistently.
The initiate knows that, though these seem serious, there is a humor there, as well as a deep, rooted joy to them, too.
That said, neither Saturn-Sophia nor Pluto-Persephone have much patience for the uncommitted surface-skimmer, though their impatience for that isn’t without a sharp or ‘dark’ sort of humor.
Remember, in the mythic story, Persephone was bopping around picking posies when she was sucked into, or chose to journey to, the Underworld, from which she returned an initiated Magia or Wise Woman.
The Sophian-Persephone Adept
If we look at symbolic imagery of the Saturn-Sophia, Pluto-Persephone adept, though, there’s a bit of a twinkle in the eyes and a smile at the corners of the mouth to be seen by ‘those who have the eyes to see’. The adepts get the ‘cosmic joke’ behind the seeming seriousness.
Themes of Now (and the near-horizon):
With Mercury revisiting (retrograde) in this zone these next weeks, and Mars, Saturn and Neptune in this transit ‘archetypal-energetic cocktail’ or astro-party, we may see some reminders or have a few insights around any propensity we have for surface-skimming — wanting the rewards and wisdom without ‘showing up’ to do the work of the initiate or the ‘disciple’, as well as the opportunities we have for saying ‘yes’ to the initiate’s or the disciple’s path to grounded, experiential Wisdom.
We may also be invited to see the humor … the ‘cosmic joke’ … even amidst the seriousness of it all.
We may feel the call of the Ancestors, with the buried gifts and the gems of ancestral legacy arising from the depths.
The winged-messenger, shamanic Mercury/Hermes, offers to revisit and bring forth clues and messages, and perhaps a soul-fragment or two that can enrich and deepen our transformation journey — and situate us ‘in the world’ more able to bring our unique ‘medicine’ (as shown by our chart), or personal brand of alchemy that flows from initiation.
Now, Presence, embodiment (as in Being In Your Body), mindfulness, the sacredness in the smallest of things and acts, and the immense Power of the Word — thought, spoken, written.
And being aware of the tyranny of the ego-conditioned mind that too often runs the show. We’re being called to remember, called into greater awareness and mindfulness.
That’s what it’s really about.
As Howard Thurman noted, and I paraphrase, the world doesn’t need more materialistic surface-skimmers; it needs people who’ve come alive, who have said ‘yes’ to the call of the Hero’s Journey — and to help reclaim vital things, vital wisdom, that has been lost and is needed now.
Not really for the faint-of-heart or the lazy-daisies, but that level of journey isn’t the soul-purpose of everyone. We all have a particular soul agenda and purpose, after all.
If you’re called that more transformative initiate’s path, you pretty much know that, and have the chops and the devotion for the harrowing as well as the rewarding parts of the Initiate’s (or Hero’s) Journey, and can even have, at times anyway, that ‘gallows humor’, which helps.
There are other ways these archetypal energies can express themselves, but this gives you a theme and a clue or two for the coming weeks as we begin a new calendar year and head towards the next cross-quarter power-gate in mid-Aquarius (Imbolc-Candlemas).
What to watch out for in the coming weeks:
– being caustic or snappish (Mercury the communicator and messenger meets Pluto, etc.) – unconscious Pluto meets Mercury = potentially nasty thoughts and words.
– avoiding the call to deep-Yin restoration, rejuvenation, and nervous-system soothing and staying in the frenetic-Yang-always-busy mode that will result in fatigue and ‘enforced stillness’ … the cold, flu, etc.
– misusing power, and the Power of the Word — getting a bit ‘too full of ourselves’, and not in the good way.
– self-punishing, punitive, or indiscriminately projecting that out onto others — note how close “punitive” is to the word “puny!”
– this alchemy or energetic can also have veins of melancholy, weightiness, loneliness, or even feelings of ‘being in a funk’ or depressed — all states of being associated with Saturn, Capricorn, and sometimes Pluto.
An important note if it all feels a bit too much:
For those who experience these ‘heavy’ states in a too-intense, too-acute, overwhelming way, it’s wise to consult a psychotherapist or medical professional who can be of more immediate help with that.
The possible fruits or gems possible now:
- returning to greater mindfulness;
- an awareness of how our ego-conditioned mind chatters away … until we bring our consciousness back into our body;
- practicing Presence … Now rather than in the mind’s constant temptation to past and future;
- the Power of the Word … words are magic, and we think and speak all the time — what quality of magic are we weaving?
- skillful, wise, thoughtful communication;
- deep insights and Divine guidance;
– a greater restfulness, restoration, and rejuvenation;
– insightful dreams and clarity of vision;
– epiphanies — even moreso when Mercury is retrograding and then returning up from the retrograde Underworld journey with fresh insights and aha’s.
– slowing down (aligning more with the too-often-neglected deep-Yin) to allow restoration, rejuvenation, deep nourishment, ‘refilling the well’;
– access to spiritual sustenance, discernment, and vision (that’d be added from Neptune-Pisces and Jupiter readying to retrograde in Virgo);
– a sense of greater ‘rootedness’ and all of the bounty that comes from that, etc.
As farmers have long known (and the Farmer’s Almanac used to note!), it’s during the deep-Yin time that the plants’ roots sink more deeply and are thus better able to draw up deep nourishment and have the ‘rootedness’ to weather surface storms a bit more resiliently.
How best to engage and experience some of the rewards?
Allow yourself and ‘show up for’ the deep-Yin-meets-Earth+Body practices — spiritual or shamanic — that create a space for sacred messages and insights to come to us.
When we’re all aflutter, mind always busy, body always moving, running frenetically (in body or mind) here and there, we don’t even notice the insights, messages, revelations, insights, and synchronicities arising, because we’ve allowed no room for them to come; they can’t catch up with us — we whiz right past them.
We become ‘thoughtless’ (Mercury+Pals shadow side), ill-considered, brittle, and perhaps even a bit malicious or perpetually fatigued. And that really doesn’t feel all that good, whether we’re dealing it out or on the receiving end of it.
Deep-Yin times (Winter, Night, Dark of the Moon, Sleep) are excellent times to cultivate and create that space for the ‘good, restorative aid’ of rest (and restoration), and the Divine guidance, wisdom, and more valuable insights to arise (and be noticed by us).
Earth and embodiment are ways to feeling a greater sense of groundedness, centeredness, rootedness, solidity, stability, and presence.
Earth-Nature and body-presence also pathways to greater mastery over the mind’s incessant fear- and past-future-centered chatter.
We may even glimpse that secret, knowing ‘wink-wink’ twinkle in the eye and smile on the face of the Master Wisdom Adept and Teacher lurking behind the things that try us to our core.
“You’ve got it in you; you can do this. I have every confidence in you, and for you … just dig a bit deeper, and you’ll find your treasure,” says our Master-Magi Teacher, before breaking into a broad and genuine smile and then a deep, rich laugh.
(And don’t forget … if it feels too much, too overwhelming, reach out for help from a psychotherapist, medical professional, spiritual director, as appropriate — someone trained to skillfully and safely help you through that patch!).
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