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Breaking Through the Doors of Perception: Mercury Out of Bounds in Sagittarius

La Puerta (The Door) by Mauricio Garcia Vega.

As the month of November comes to an end, the planet Mercury will enter the tropical sign of Sagittarius (Nov. 20), followed by the Sun (Nov. 22). Within our classical system of astrology, Mercury is considered to be “unhappy” in Sagittarius since it is in the sign opposite its sign of rulership (Gemini)—a position known as detriment. Within the evolutionary astrological paradigm, planets in the sign of their detriment symbolize opportunities to acquire foreign attributes or capabilities, diversifying the archetypal expression of that planet. In the case of Mercury, it is an opportunity to assimilate a foreign perspective, perception, a new understanding of reality, or an alternate form of communication.

While this may be an uncomfortable process, if you work with it, with an open mind and a willingness to see reality in a different light, you may come out the other end with a greater understanding of your environment and a diversified communicative faculty. Imagine moving to an entirely new country and having to learn the local language via a process of immersion. While likely awkward and difficult, the experience has the potential to increase your ability to communicate with a varied group of people. While you shouldn’t expect to master a new language over the next few weeks, the metaphor is a relevant description of the process.

While moving through Sagittarius, Mercury will descend beyond the Sun’s lowest declination, which means that Mercury will be considered “out of bounds”. It has reached past the Sun’s lowest descent along the ecliptic. For nearly a month, our collective perception has the ability to see past the consensus agreements which dictate what we discern. Within Sagittarius (until Dec. 9), Mercury will entice each of us to reach beyond the known and accepted truths of our reality—glimpsing into an alternate perception of those truths. This may be a time to acquire a new or renewed awareness of natural laws that transcend the synthetic laws created via collective agreement.

If you’ve been striving to gain a clearer perspective of a situation you’ve been faced with, a greater awareness of where a particular creative process is going, or a different approach in communicating with others, the next several weeks may help catalyze your ability to break through the doors of perception, rendering greater awareness and cognizance of what lies ahead, along with confidence in your ability to understand something that you couldn’t quite grasp before. While Mercury is in Sagittarius, you may also be confronted with a need to change your tactics of communication, trying a new approach so that you can connect with others on a different and diversified level.

On Dec. 9 Mercury will transition into Capricorn and will remain out of bounds until Dec. 25 (Christmas Day). Mercury will also pass through the first shadow phase of its upcoming retrograde cycle while in Capricorn (Mercury will turn retrograde from Jan. 5 to 25). With a renewed sense of perspective and a more resilient understanding of the holistic picture, you may be better equipped to get some things in order and acquire an innovative strategy or game plan. Mercury out of bounds in Capricorn offers you an opportunity to see beyond your current strategies to conjure an improved approach toward reaching your current goals. 

Mercury’s retrograde back through Capricorn will give you extra time in Jan. to revise that strategy and get yourself back on track. Mercury moving through Sagittarius at the end of this month and the beginning of Dec. may be awkward simply because change itself is always awkward initially. When left to its own devices, Mercury so easily gets distracted and unfocused. The next three months offer you an opportunity to reframe your focus and to establish new priorities so that you can get where you ultimately want to go. This also opens a temporary window of time where we can rise above the surface of collective awareness. When in doubt, just keep your mind open and follow the signs and omens. They will guide you to where you are destined to go. 

Current Events 

You're probably aware of the recent massacre in Paris, France involving supposed terrorists. When looking at the astrology, I found it interesting that the killings coincided with Mars' ingress into Libra while simultaneously conjunct the lunar North Node. The symbolism of the event is a clear correlation to a lower expression of Mars in Libra--a planet in the sign of its detriment (and strangers in a strange land, indeed). But more interesting was Mars' contact with the Aries point. The Aries point is located at 00 degrees of tropical Aries and thus anything situated at or near (typically within an orb of two degrees) 00 degrees of any cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) will contact the Aries point. The Aries point itself symbolizes what astrologer Eric Francis Coppolino calls the "intersection of the personal and the collective."

Planets in contact with the Aries point seemingly "jump out" onto the world stage. They have far reaching effects and influences. An Aries point event is a collective event that has consequences for the vast majority of the human community; they become personal and reach into our intimate lives. We can recall such events as the massive earthquake that hit eastern Japan in March 2011 when the planet Uranus hit the Aries Point itself. The radiation released from the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant has inundated the Pacific Ocean and northern hemisphere and continues to do so. And of course, we can't forget the events of Sept. 11 which paved the way for the endless war and American occupation in the Middle East, as well as the mass surveillance of citizens the world over (e.g. the NSA). 

On Sept. 11, when the first plane struck, the planet Mars was "out of bounds" and square (within a degree) to the Aries point, along with the lunar South Node. The Moon was also nearing a square to the Aries point in Gemini and was in opposition to Mars. The next day, the Moon jumped out of bounds for two days. The same thing happened after the earthquake in eastern Japan. On Dec. 9 of this year, Mercury (while out of bounds) will cross the first degrees of Capricorn, and so theoretically, we can expect information or a message regarding a potential strategy (not violence) coming from authority figures (world leaders) that will have vast consequences and will seep into the personal. Will it be connected to the events of Nov. 13? That's very possible. Mercury, while out of bounds, will cross the radix Mars and lunar South Node in the chart for the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11. Is this a continuation of this ongoing narrative? These events may be more connected than we realize. The days surrounding Dec. 9 may be something to watch out for. 

Planets out of bounds don't follow the rules. They break them. They tell whoever is in charge to "stick it" (as astrologer Steven Forrest likes to say). That can be a great thing for someone striving toward achieving something positive; it adds a flair of genius and innovation. But in the "wrong" hands, the potential of an out of bounds Aries point event has a darker manifestation. An out of bounds planet can breed criminality and sociopathy. Whether in the hands of terrorists or a nefarious, elite group of world leaders, the ability to have free reign and break the rules can turn ugly. All we can do is be mindful of the potential that exists within ourselves. Because the world "out there" is merely a symbol of the world "in here"--a projection of our collective inner darkness. The more light you cast upon your own psyche, the more you help raise the rest of us out of this darkness. 

So, shine on. 

For personal readings and consultations, please e-mail me directly at kosmicmind@gmail.com