DOING THINGS RIGHT VS. DOING THE RIGHT THINGS
“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”
Mercury Guardian of Thresholds
A liminal deity is a god or goddess who presides over thresholds, gates, or doorways; a crosser of boundaries. In roman mythology Mercury is the messenger of the gods and guide of the dead or psychopomp. His Greek equivalent is Hermes who is associated with omens, roads, travellers, border crossings, thievery and merchants. Dual in nature, he is the eternal youth, puer aeternus and the old man senex messenger to the dead.  The patron and benefactor of highway bandits, thieves, rogues and liars. He is jester, trickster and magician. He mediates between waking and dreaming, between the underworld and the world of mortals – bringing fateful tidings.
Think twice before you speak
The modern pop-culture interpretation of Mercury retrograde is often one of doom and gloom where anything that goes wrong is blamed on Mercury. Missed connections, delays in travels, breakdown of electronic, mis-communication and objects disappearing are amongst the plethora of beliefs associated with its retrograde. While this is partially true, it is a generalisation that has become the norm. We need to look beyond these minor annoyance to understand where and how the trickster might be playing with us. Studying the sign in which the retrograde will take place helps us diagnose the ways in which a particular Mercury retrograde will manifest.
Mercury Retrograde in Virgo
Mercury in the sign of Virgo is associated with good judgment, intellectual ingenuity, flexibility and the overall ability to analyse and implement things in a practical way. It brings order to chaos by sorting details and making it into a coherent system. Taking to the extreme, Mercury in Virgo becomes, hyper-critical, obsessive-compulsive and nit-picky loosing itself in trivial details. Mercury in Virgo finds its exaltation here and holds rulership by sign which means it is essentially dignified. He also has rulership by face on the last 10 degrees of Virgo (21º-30º) where he will spend a good part of this retrograde. (The retrograde takes place between 14 and 29 degrees of Virgo) Assessing strength and dignity is an important part of analysing how a planet will perform in each sign. Since Mercury in Virgo finds itself in essential dignity and ruling over the last 10º degrees of Virgo the adverse effect of the usual retrograde might be tempered by the fact that Mercury is quite potent here. Without overriding completely the circumstances that a retrograde can cast we might be able to use this time to our advantage.
‘Totally Intent Upon Completing An Immediate Task, A Man Is Deaf To Any Allurement”
Sabian Symbol for 29-30º of Virgo
When wick and oil are clean
A good rule of thumb during a Mercury retrograde is to practice your ”RE”: revise, re-organize, re-tool, re-group, re-think et cetera. Sure it might be more difficult than usual to initiate new projects and travel from point A to point B during a retrograde. But Mercury retrograde in Virgo is a fantastic time to get your various project and ideas in order. Greasing the engine, polishing the silver, cleansing the systems. A good part of the month could be spent analysing what we are doing. Are we being efficient with our attention or are we wasting time focusing on the wrong things? If you do something “right,” but it’s the wrong thing to do, your efforts will be futile. If you do the “right thing,” but you do it wrong, you’ll also fail miserably.
Thoughts could seem very black and white well into September with the Saturn/Neptune square in the background. With Mercury retrograde in Virgo adding to the noise we could feel overwhelmed by responsibilities one moment and extremely focused on our work the next. Do not overload your plate at the risk of driving yourself crazy. But do not abandon your ship either. Rest your nerves when you can and focus on one task at a time. See the process for what it is and listen for the cues. Your attention is currency. Spend it wisely.
“There is nothing quite so useless,
as doing with great efficiency,
something that should not be done at all.”
― Peter F. Drucker
Overview of the Mercury Retrograde in September
August 30 2016: Mercury station retrograde at 29º04′ Virgo at 9:04am (EDT)
September 1, 2016:
New Moon/Solar Eclipse at 9º21′ Virgo at 5:04am (EDT)
The potential of Ordinariness
The eclipse happens two days after Mercury begins its retrograde. Mercury is the guardian of this New Moon and Solar Eclipse. The fact that Mercury is moving backward is significant. It could be that the events and realisation surrounding this eclipse will be implemented much later into the Fall. A New Moon is a seeding time. A New Moon in Virgo is a good time to set intents around the logistics and systems in our lives and the various process that helps us be efficient. A New Moon in an Earth sign is asking for tangible and realistic goals.
A New Moon AND Solar Eclipse is a powerful reset. If you are born with personal planets between 4 and 14 degrees of the Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) this New Moon and eclipse could impact you more strongly. If you have invested your time and energy wisely, this period could open new doors, bring unforseen opportunities, new beginnings or a confirmation that you are on the right path. There could be a tendency to take on a big work load. Discard the superfluous from the essential and divide your time accordingly. As usual with this much Virgo in the sky the feelings of anxiety and inadequacy could creep up. Discard guilty and damaging self-talk, plant the proper thoughts and be present.
September 2, 2016:
Mercury conjunct Jupiter at 28º04′ Virgo
Small Pot – Stunted Roots
Jupiter is finishing up a 1 year stay in Virgo and is preparing to move into the sign of Libra on September 9. Realisation around the way we have restrained our growth could surface. If we have spent too much of our attention finicking over things that stunt our progress it becomes obvious. Anything limiting could surface. Conversely if we have overlooked some important details now is a good time to go over them. Since Jupiter is closely linked to beliefs, spend time reflecting on where and in what you have put your faith. Is it sill relevant for you at this point? Can you see how your beliefs shape your life for the better or for worst? Where is it leading you? On a positive note, there could be some revelations and opportunities that help you see the path ahead.
”If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard,
just keep putting off doing it.”
♄September 10, 2016: Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces♆
September 12, 2016:
Mercury in Virgo square Mars at 20º49′ Sagittarius (2:58pm EDT)
Mercury Cazimi (conjunct the Sun) at 20º37′ Virgo (7:40pm EDT)
The Heart’s Chambers
The sequence of aspects on Monday September 12 are very dynamic. First Mercury square Mars in the sign of the fiery archer. This can bring a variety of side effects including more unpleasant ones. There could be volatility in communications and impulsive missives fired. Strong opinions and even zealousness about ones beliefs and firmly held opinions will be flying left and right. A sense of righteousness permeates the day and this can play out on various stages in our lives including our personal relationships. The truth is trying to surface. With Jupiter at 0 degree of Libra and ruling over Mars in Sagittarius, a compromising and diplomatic approach is favoured over impulsiveness.
After its dynamic encounter with Mars in Sagittarius, Mercury conjunct the Sun in Virgo and sits in the Solar throne. A moment of clarity and perhaps something that had remained hidden from sight is revealed. A door opens briefly and we get a glimpse, a clue, an indication of things to come. Take note.
The Moon will be in Capricorn and Aquarius on September 12 which are both ruled by Saturn. This weaves in the bigger themes of the Saturn/Neptune square that perfects two days prior. We are confronted by our responsibilities vs the cherished ideals that fuel our imagination. What must be done versus how we wish it could be. The well of dreams where our eternal child quenches his thirst versus the reality and limitations of the material world.
Science and Truth are simple phenomenon of nature, but it is the known that is preventing us from mastering the unknown.
September 16, 2016:
Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse at 24º20′ Pisces at 3:05pm (EDT)
The seeds planted at the beginning of the month culminates with the Full Moon in Pisces. Old stories lose their hold and the whispers of the past fade into the void. Don’t be lured back by the haunting calls of the sirens. Short-term gains or pleasure must be weighed carefully against the long-term ones. Bound yourself to the mast of your boat while the Moon passes in the earth’s shadow and looses her light. An era is definitely over and you get the confirmation if you can stand the darkness for a brief moment. If you have personal planets in the last 10 degrees of the Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) this Full Moon will affect you more significantly.
September 20, 2016:
Mercury in Virgo trine Pluto at 14º56′ Capricorn
Integrity and honesty will be wonderful allies for the duration of this Mercury retrograde. Avoidance will bring more trouble than necessary. Honesty begins with oneself and than moves outward into the world. Being true to our convictions can be trying especially when we juggle conflicting beliefs or ideas. We can now see clearly the strict or severe frameworks in which we have been operating. Being at the mercy of conditioning and programming is no longer viable although we need these systems. The truth emerges with its fair share of readjustments.
September 22, 2016:
Moon in Gemini square Mercury in Virgo
Mercury station direct at 14º49 Virgo at 1:30 am (EDT)
Mercury station direct on the Fall Equinox with the Moon in Gemini square to Mercury in Virgo. Trying circumstances will abound and applying the lessons of the retrograde might not be that easy. Multiple voices will be shouting for our attention and separating the wheat from the chaff will be an ongoing process.
Mercury station retrograde at 29º of Virgo on August 30th 2016.
You can interpret this Chandra Symbol freely.
Virgo 29*: A witch preparing magic mushrooms
Within the delicate, formative stages of major departures into the unknown, there is encountered an extraordinary task and lesson that detains you a long while. It becomes self-evident that it is everything that comes before that makes the difference. There must be a fully attuned, magical sensibility to make the future possible. Coming to this requires arduous discipline, elaborate ritual and internal initiation. This becomes such a labyrinth of discipleship and apprenticeship that you wander through the maze discovering everything you ever needed to know. All is played out within. There is no need to make anything happen on the outer. You are assigned to empty yourself out, to strip everything away, to become invisible. And if you excel at your craft, so many ventures and initiatives will be seeded, that this inner planes total mobilization will prove to be more fruitful and productive than any premature thrusts of outer mind, no matter how impressive or seemingly necessary. The entire path lies well within, and needs no surface success to substantiate itself.
*For the Chandra degree, I used the 29º instead of 30º my logic being that Mercury is moving backward.
 Dig deeper into Mercury (Hermes) with Dr Z
 The Liminality of Hermes and the Meaning of Hermeneutics by Richard E. Palmer
 Inside Degrees by Ellias Lonsdale