Water Logic


Mercury's latest retrograde begins this coming Saturday (Feb 23) in the watery realm of Pisces… a sign in which, according to astrological tradition, Mercury is at an innate disadvantage.

This is the first of 2013's three Mercury retrogrades, all of which will occur wholly within water signs. This elemental emphasis only further accentuates the timely importance of our collective need to honor the 'watery' ways of knowing—intuitive gut-level truth, felt in the body, in the heart, irrational, unarguable, mentally inexplicable, emotionally nuanced though nonetheless clear, aroused by care, motivated toward greater Integration and Unity.

We've already been splashing around in a rather watery astro-environment for a few weeks now, as I've previously described… met by synchronistic clues about what we're being called to do, as well as soul-depleting symptoms of where we've drifted too far away from the path of that special calling. This is an effect of the present convergence of planets in Pisces—along with Mercury, there's the Sun, Mars, Neptune, Chiron, and (as of Monday Feb 25) Venus—which at once 'confuses' our usual modes of life-organizing logic and heightens our psychic sensitivities to those subtler insights not always immediately apparent to our data-crunching minds.

Mercury is thought to be ill-at-ease in Pisces because his typical job is to help us process and communicate information in a relatively objective and/or distancing manner, while Piscean energy is unabashedly subjective and affords little opportunity to step back from the psychic immediacy of any situation. Mercury in Pisces serves less as analyst and more as empathy, filtering our understandings through the lens of how any given truth might impact others' well-being. As a heartfelt supporter or evocative conveyor of poetic wisdom, this Mercury is fairly well-equipped to shine. But as a cool observer or unemotional reporter of potentially pain-inducing news, just-the-facts-ma'am-style? Er, not so much.

We should assume, then, the standard mixed-messages, misperceptions and mishaps often associated with Mercury retrograde will carry this empathic, emotionally sensitive Pisces vibe. We might, for instance, miss a certain clarifying detail or practically necessary step because we too completely trusted someone else's word for it and didn't want to offend 'em by asking too many questions or explicitly seeking confirmation. Maybe we struggle in expressing the full brunt of an important sentiment, out of fear we'll upset 'em. Mercury in Pisces is known for falling prey to wishful thinking, coloring over inconvenient specifics or troublemaking truths in hopes that 'looking on the bright side' or 'making the most of it' will magically ensure everything works out okay. When retrograde, such wishful thinking often ends up creating a lot of after-the-fact cleanup work… not to mention the humbling encounter with one's own self-deluding na´vetÚ.

But if you know me, you know I don't consider any astrological phenomenon as unilaterally 'good' or 'bad'—and certainly not a Mercury retrograde (even in a sign of its detriment). In fact, Mercury's upcoming retrograde lines up quite neatly with the other present Piscean influences, allowing us involuntary access to those 'happy accidents' of muddled communication and mucked-up methodology, which also hold the potential to surprise us with new dimensions of self-understanding we otherwise wouldn't have stumbled upon if we hadn't been stumbling in the first place. Beyond all else, our 'goofs' reflect our humanity. The kindness shown to us in such situations can often feel like divine intervention, and, by extension, those people showing us the kindness are revealed as angelic agents of the Divine… which, of course, is exactly what we all are when we're at our spiritual best.

Because Mercury in Pisces is already a highly poetic placement, its retrograde version could mischievously thumb its nose at anyone's too flatly prosaic reading on their current circumstances—through poignant, romantic, narrative irony. In other words, should you find yourself caught in a Mercury-retrograde-style mix-up, detour or delay, please don't limit your meaning-making, problem-solving efforts to a myopic fixation on the mundanely obvious. Readjust your focus, for a better view, to a symbolic interpretation of the 'signs' you're being shown… and you just might be startled at how perfectly a situation's superficially descriptive characteristics also illustrate its deeper significance, in the archetypal language shared by the cosmos.

Pay extra-close attention to any words or phrases, images, tones and/or interpersonal dynamics that recur or otherwise protrude into the foreground; this is water logic announcing itself. Hail its 'irrational' enlightenments! In that miraculous moment when you suddenly discover how all the pieces fit together in symbolic perfection, you may even find yourself laughing aloud along with the Universe (which will, of course, lightheartedly steal an innocuous chuckle at your expense).

Such watery revelations continue to be a saving grace throughout 2013, a year in which the disconcerting force of revolutionary pressures ceaselessly bearing down on us from the Uranus-Pluto square is best mollified whenever we fall back on gifts from the water element. This potential grace only grows more accessible as the year progresses, when, first, benevolent Jupiter moves into watery Cancer (the sign of his exaltation) in June and, then, we welcome a grand water trine between Mars-and-Jupiter-in-Cancer, Saturn-in-Scorpio, and Neptune-in-Pisces in July. How wet and wonderful!

I, again, remind you: Caring is cool. (So is paying attention to the 'signs'.)

Mercury remains retrograde in Pisces through March 17. Mercury's other 2013 water-sign retrogrades will be June 23-July 20 (in Cancer) and October 21-November 10 (in Scorpio).