Welcome to a new year and some great astrology. We kick off the New Year with a new moon in Capricorn at 19 degrees on 10th January 2016 at 1.31 am, retrograding the ominous Uranus-Pluto square, a potential ouch. But with the Sun and Moon trining abundant Jupiter at this new moon it puts us in a more buoyant and optimistic mood.
With Saturn being the ruler of Capricorn and so the driving force behind this new moon, the aspects it’s making is important. Saturn’s square with Neptune brings together hard realism and creativity and imagination. This softens Saturn and grounds Neptune, not an easy process but great if you are working on grounding a vision.
There is much to be gained from our current Mercury retrograde, currently at the 29th zenith degree of Capricorn and about to enter into Aquarius. This new moon, with its accompanying Mercury at 29 degrees means setting your new year intentions and resolutions will hold a little more bite, although some adjustment might be required later on. It’s sometimes hard to make firm decisions that stick under Mercury retrograde.
Mercury retrograde is a time for potential misunderstandings, but it’s also a great time for dealing with relationship issues, as we can unravel the layers of understanding which keep us separate from one another.
Mercury is the planet of communication and when he appears to go backward in the sky to the naked eye, it heralds a time when we can begin noticing another kind of communication – the type that usually exists on the edges of our awareness.
Most communication is written or verbal, visual or auditory – the transmission of information. But what is information? Information, defined by Gregory Bateson, is “the difference that makes a difference”. Information is not a static thing, it’s a dynamic process, it’s instant and continuous, and it’s a process of differentiation.
We perceive ‘information’ because either our perception differs from what we expected or assumed would turn up next, or it stands out from what preceded it, or from the norm, in some way. It’s ultimately about rules and breaking rules since as our whole social interaction is governed by culturally specific rules, like the way someone shakes your hand, or hugs you, there’s a message in it. And when something strikes us as in some way as significant, then we have information.
While the content of what we say is of course important, we can often control the output of this with our conscious minds. What we can’t control are those unintended signals, since they are spontaneous and outside of awareness.
The challenge, with Mercury retrograde, is to make what’s implied more explicit. Even within the content of language, there’s this hidden language, operating behind the scenes. Much of what we say is implied, or left unsaid. Like for example if someone said “I don’t want to impose”, then you they probably do want to!
Most of what we communicate isn’t actually up for discussion most of the time. And if it were, perhaps we would then be living more integral, loving, honest relationships, talking about the signals we really get from people, rather than what lies on the surface. This is one route to experiencing more of our wholeness, through a picking up of our underlying feeling and communicating this.
With a retrograde Mercury, the more hidden kind, the more unintended communication, seeps through more easily. Things can’t be so hidden; it’s like the veil between the digital and analogue signals that we transmit is lifted somewhat. We betray ourselves, we misread our own signals, perhaps we get confused because this is an opportunity for catching what resides at the edge of our awareness, and we jump in as per usual to the obvious. It’s the time for noticing the subtle, not over communicating and getting lost in the verbatim.
The easy answer is go inside and go slow, to be introspective, to pause before you speak, to check in, and then communicate what’s really going on for you.
Interestingly the sign of Capricorn is also the sign of the Hermit. The hermit symbolises an internal journey and connection. He carries very little with him, for him his journey is about his own inner being. It’s the same here. This Capricorn new moon, alongside Mercury retrograde, can support the unfolding and gentle extension of our inner world so it feels connected to others, seen, acknowledged and heard. These times require emotional and mental space to feel and think.
So Mercury moving direct (i.e. not retrograde) might make communication smoother, oftentimes fluid communication flows so fast that there’s no room for us to catch our awareness. It’s only when we are forced to find the right out words, we misspeak or can’t find the right words that we are called upon to really notice ourselves and what’s going on for us. Pauses and losing our chain of thought are all useful ways of developing awareness, if we honour them as sacred moments, with a valuable message, (instead of mistakes in need of correction) then we are honouring the present moment.
When we go more internal, we align more with what’s happening inside of us, our observations here give us the opportunity to be more congruent, more authentic, and catch our own double, unintended signals, as well as those of others, what doesn’t ring true in other’s communication. Of course there’s the potential for much confusion and misunderstanding when trying to pick up the message behind the message, but if we stick with it doggedly and work things through with others then we can only ever gain.
Why is all this important? Well smooth relationships require the communication of authentic feeling and having those difficult conversations that most people shirk away from. And a fair amount of these hidden messages we actually pick up on, but we just prefer to not discuss them, like elephants in the room we just prefer to not go there.
Mercury retrograde demands that we speak from our hearts, gently and kindly, what we really feel, even if that puts us in a vulnerable place where you feel your own fear, treading carefully and not retreating or disappearing when the going gets tough.
This is the perfect time to address those relationship issues, if you are prepared to dig deeper into your own awareness and feeling to support yourself and another. It’s not the time to just dive in and say what you think – that will get you into relationship trouble, but a sensitive navigation of your relationships is now on the agenda.