Mercury has been working its way through late Cancer, still settling down from its recent retrograde. A lot came out in the wash when Mercury stationed direct on July 21, as if deeper layers of emotional and mental reality suddenly opened up in a downpour.
This has been driven by more going on in the water signs than we've seen in years: Jupiter, Pallas, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, the North Node, Neptune and Chiron are all in water signs, and many of these factors are slow-movers.
Water can be a challenging element in our over-dry society on our drying out planet. It's the constant challenge to feel, a challenge that nearly every factor in our society guides us to evade. As part of that evasion, we are pushed to remain immature and distracted, and to keep our true opinions to ourselves.
Mercury has been in Cancer since May 31. That's a long time for fast-moving Mercury to be in one sign, especially a water sign; in the water signs, Mercury can lack objectivity and the ability to perceive multiple viewpoints (Pisces may be an exception).
Mercury in Cancer can be self-absorbed and subjective, and come with the sense that one's own feelings are what should (or do) dominate existence. Interest in the feelings of others can be compromised, if it's there at all.
On Thursday, Mercury changes signs to Leo. I think we'll feel that shift, especially since we've lived with Mercury in one sign for 10 weeks, through its full retrograde cycle.
Mercury in Leo can be the bright idea, but it also comes with its own cautions, which include some of that subjectivity and also pride in one's knowledge. That can include thinking you know when you're actually not so sure. Note that our culture is based on the "fake it till you make it" intellectual model rather than the "beginner's mind" model.
While Leo has a fixed quality and can get stuck in a viewpoint, it has the advantage of an association with children and childhood, meaning there's a touch of that beginner's mind quality available. But it may not be so easy to access if it's hidden inside a petulant or adolescent quality. That can take many forms, from bullying to an obsession with entertainment. The solar quality of Leo is pushing Mercury to grow up and not be so proud or opinionated.
Fortunately, there's a kind of check-stop included in the astrology: over the weekend, Mercury makes a square to Saturn. That is a moment of "grow up and get serious"—which I would count as the bogeyman of modern society. For all our talk about authenticity, nothing clears the room faster than someone getting real.
What Mercury is running into is Saturn in Scorpio. With this placement, there's always the question of the role of what is unsaid, taboo or presumed to be in the realm of secrecy. If you're stumbling over something, consider the possibility that it might be something you're not saying, whether because you're unwilling or afraid to say it.
That is a large category of topics, especially where Scorpio (the sign of sex, evolution, transformation and death) is concerned. If you're in a dialog and you don't know what it's about, or if it seems to get stuck, consider all of the things that you were taught must remain unsaid.
Sometimes it seems to make sense that these topics be veiled in an impenetrable taboo. The question to ask, I would propose, is why.
I've done two updates to Planet Waves FM this week. One focuses on the Leo New Moon that happened Tuesday, and then goes into an interview with me by Diva Carla on her podcast. I've also added a supplemental edition that covers the antics of the Mohonk Preserve, which are in my column in Chronogram this month, though I have a longer, illustrated version of the article.