You Talkin’ to Me?

On September 17th, the planet Mercury moves into Libra for a couple of weeks.  If you recall your mythology, Mercury was the messenger of the gods; he is usually represented with winged feet.  In astrology, then, he represents communication.  How do we communicate with others?  With ourselves?  How do we perceive, reason, and make sense of the world?

Mercury is one of the faster moving planets in the sky, and so it doesn’t stay in any one sign for very long–generally two or three weeks each.  So that means in a one-year period, we here on Earth will experience twelve different communication styles.  (If you are thinking that my math doesn’t add up, you will need to figure in the Mercury Retrograde periods.  When Mercury is retrograde, it can stay in one sign for up to ten weeks.)

So, this messenger planet goes through twelve  different styles of communication each year. Plus we each have our own natal Mercury sign (where Mercury was at the moment of our birth).   Hmmmm. . . .  Perhaps this explains why we humans have such a difficult time getting along!

One simple way to help us all communicate better is to think of the four Element categories of the signs.  This way, we only need to remember four main styles of communication, rather than twelve individual ones.  Here are the Element categories and their signs:

FIRE–Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

EARTH–Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

AIR–Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

WATER–Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Fire signs emphasize action, intensity, and identity  Earth signs focus on stability, practicality, and sensory input.  Air signs are intellectual, logical, and social.  Water signs operate in emotions, spirituality, and transformation.

As someone with prominently placed Mercury in her chart, I am fascinated by communication and am always thinking of ways to make it better.  When I listen to or read others, I try to determine their bias–does the speaker have a Fire, Earth, Air, or Water Mercury sign?  That way, I can be more objective in my listening and stand a better chance of understanding and being understood.  Next time you interact with others–whether it’s a big presentation at work or just chatting with your buds–think about the different astrological “languages” and how they shape your communication.

Mercury Retrograde: Time to Reflect

This weekend, Mercury goes retrograde.  In astronomy terms, retrograde means that the planet’s orbit appears to us here on Earth to move backwards.  In astrology terms, a retrograde period symbolizes a time to review and reflect.

Mercury is in Leo for this retrograde period, which will last until August 8th.  So what do Mercury and Leo mean?  What should we be re-evaluating in these next few weeks?

Mercury represents our communication style, the way we look at the world.  It is an intellectual and dynamic energy.  If you recall your classical mythology, Mercury was the messenger to the gods.  Think words, quick-wittedness, learning, and such.

Leo, a fire sign, is the king of the zodiac wheel.  It represents the heart, ambitions, and authority.  Leo can also be quite childish and demanding of attention.  Think of it this way:  when Leo has its act together, it is the regal and dignified King of the Jungle; a Leo who succumbs to his own self-centeredness ends up just being a show-off who can never have enough attention.

Putting those symbols together, then, we can come up with our astrological homework for the next few weeks:

  • Am I communicating clearly, creatively, and from the heart, especially in areas where I am the leader?
  • Am I expressing warmth and generosity?
  • Do I love the sound of my own voice so much and I really want you to hear it too? Or am I confident enough to allow you to speak as well?
  • Am I being joyful and child-like, or just being childish?
  • In situations where I am the leader, am I paying attention to details, conducting myself with dignity, and following my heart?  Or am I simply in it for my own gain?

Some astrologers caution that we should never sign contracts or travel or make important decisions during a Mercury Retrograde.  I usually don’t go so far as that.  For one thing, I’ve learned “never say never.”  For another, life still keeps rolling along no matter what, and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  So I would just say to keep these symbols in mind and be thoughtful in your decision making.  Listen to your heart and choose wisely.