July 30, 2008 by Nina Gryphon
Mercury will enter its own sign and exaltation, Virgo, on August 10th. This is great news for Mercury, which has been in a relatively weak position since it left Gemini in early July. But Mercury could not be any happier than it is in Virgo, a mutable/double earth sign, where the Trickster gets to apply all he’s learned to the real world. Mercury is right at home in mundane affairs, indeed. The only problem is that he rarely looks at the big picture, so busy is he running to and fro.
Mercury in Virgo
Virgo is an earth sign associated with the harvest, which is odd, because it is also a barren sign. Its qualities, cold and dryness, are not exactly associated with massive fertility. The harvest association likely came from the days when the extremely benefic fixed star Spica (the Stalk of Wheat) was in Virgo, despite the fact that Spica is now at 24 Libra, and was last in Virgo over 1,700 years ago. Indeed, many depictions of Virgo today still show a young woman with a stalk of wheat.
Ibn Ezra, a medieval astrologer, writes that Virgo rules writers, comedians, women and eunuchs, and mathematicians. This is convenient, because Mercury rules these as well, with the exception of women (the eunuchs could be Mercurial, because they are neither fully male nor female). [from The Beginning of Wisdom by Avraham Ibn-Ezra, trans. Meira Epstein]
If you have Mercury in Virgo, this is very positive, and unless your Moon is much more prominent than Mercury, you can rely on your left brain skills pretty well. The exact way you use your Mercury in Virgo depends on its position, rulerships, and aspects. As an example, a Mercury-Saturn aspect might show a tendency to serious, scholarly thinking, and negative influences might tend to depression and gloom.
Larry Ellison has Mercury conjunct Mars in Virgo, if memory serves, which probably makes him very sharp and quite critical. Princess Kiko of Japan, originally a commoner, has Mercury in Virgo as her significator of wealth, and Mercury’s position probably makes it quite helpful to her in surviving the rule-laden Japanese royal household.
Now, let’s see what Mercury will do in August, and what it means for us.
Mercury Aspects in August
August 15 – Mercury conjunct Saturn in Virgo. Probably not the best day for your Mercurial tasks, such as important communications, journeys, or merchandising of any kind. Saturn is restrictive and produces denials and delays. However, the day is favorable for solitary, deep thinking, and scholarly pursuits.
August 18 – Mercury trine Jupiter in Capricorn. A day when Mercurial things seem to turn out better than they really did. Jupiter in Capricorn is weak, and because it is a benefic, it appears rather better than it is in reality. Lots of things are going on, and you may want to do make your big Mercurial move, but your expectations are bigger than is warranted.
August 19 – Mercury in Exaltation Degree (15th degree). Mercury is very strong today, so if you don’t mind the applying aspect to a weak Venus, now’s a good day to do your Mercurial errands and tasks.
August 21 – Mercury conjunct Venus in Virgo. Venus in Virgo can have trouble letting her hair down, and Mercury is happy to communicate that. This might be a good day for fun without consequences, or fun…but not too much of it. Not the most favorable combination, as Venus is another debilitated benefic, like Jupiter.
[Missed Mercury in Leo? Here it is.]
December 13, 2006 by admin
Around Christmas, there is often some discussion about the nature of the Star of Bethlehem, which led the Three Magi to the infant Jesus. Most writers come to the conclusion that the “Star” must have really been a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (thanks, Kepler!), which occurred in the assumed year of Jesus’s birth. I believe that this is an incorrect conclusion, for a couple of reasons.
One, there are many documents extant today showing that the people of 2000 years ago knew their planets, and that they knew them better by sight than many people today. I find it difficult to believe that the ancients could not distinguish the conjunction of two familiar planets (Jupiter and Saturn) from a single star. We tend to look at the old stargazers as though they had trouble keeping the very basics straight, but let us not forget that these people could calculate a horoscope from scratch blindfolded (figuratively speaking) and were extremely familiar with the heavens through routine observation.
Two, just by sheer logic, it is easy to see that a unique event such as the birth of Christ could not have been shown by a recurring event, such as the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. If an event is highly unique, the same should apply to the astronomical configuration mirroring it. We do not get a new Christ every 20 years when Jupiter and Saturn conjoin, or when Jupiter passes through Aries, or conjoins Regulus every 12 years, or whatever.
Part of the problem in determining the nature of the Star of Bethlehem is that we are not sure of the year in which Jesus was born. Presumably, it would have been no later than 4 B.C., when King Herod died, but even so, Jewish records of observed astronomical events around that time are kind of fuzzy. My best guess is that the astronomical event (to the extent it was astronomical, and not a religious vision visible only to a few) would have been unique, like a comet that made a special appearance. Chinese astronomers are supposed to have seen a comet hovering in the heavens for weeks on end in 5 B.C., which would support this theory.
There are a great number of theories about the nature of the Star of Bethlehem, some more plausible than others. The ones put forth by astronomers tend to be most convincing to me (except when they start theorizing about astrology). I would love to hear your own thoughts on this.
—And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. (Genesis 1:14)