Astro Journal

Astro Diary: Notes on Secondary Progressions – Mercury

To prepare for the big year of progressions that I have in 2022, I’ve been looking back at my earlier experiences to get a feel for how it works. Last time we explored some of the changes that happen with the progressed Sun, and in this post, we’ll look at Mercury. For an overview of secondary progressions, see the first post here.

Progressed Mercury

The movements of progressed Mercury influence how you think and communicate, the sort of ideas you’re interested in and how you learn. Unlike the Sun and Moon, Mercury can change direction by progression and most people will experience this at some point in their life. Progressed Mercury will go retrograde and then direct again, or vice versa, depending on where in the cycle it begins in your chart.

When Mercury stations retrograde by progression your mind may slow down and become focused inwards making you more introverted than usual. You may begin to think and communicate in new ways as your experience of the planet is internalised. This allows you to gain a deeper understanding of how it works for you.

My Mercury started out in Virgo in the 8th house and went retrograde seven months after I was born. I’ve always been an introvert and don’t chat easily – something to do with having Saturn in the 3rd house and Mercury conjunct Pluto in the 8th. But perhaps I became this way because Mercury turned my mind inwards before I’d even started to think.

Obviously I can’t remember what happened during my first year, but I was born with a heart defect that was discovered a few months after Mercury changed direction. The operation to correct the defect didn’t happen until the following year and that had a huge effect on me – I’ve written about that here. Other significant transits of the time include Pluto conjunct Pluto, Saturn conjunct Saturn and Chiron conjunct Chiron – all returning over their natal degrees following retrogrades.

As with the Mercury retrograde cycle, a retrograde progressed Mercury will move back through your chart before stationing direct and moving forwards over the same spots again. It also meets up with the progressed Sun to form a progressed inferior conjunction – the midpoint in the cycle that represents the planting of seeds and intentions for the future.

My progressed Mercury moved backwards over my natal Pluto when I was 6 years old and then continued backwards into my 7th house when I was 13. With progressed Mercury in the 7th house you can learn more about others through relationships and by communicating in ways that bring people together in harmony and balance. By this point I was at high school and playing lots of music in various orchestras, but the big turning point came the following year.

When I was 14 my retrograde progressed Mercury caught up with my progressed Sun in an inferior conjunction at the same time that my progressed Mars was conjunct my natal Sun. With progressed Mercury conjunct the Sun you can know yourself more directly and express yourself clearly to others. You may be more focused on yourself, which is either good or bad depending on the state of your self-esteem before.

At this time, I was gaining confidence in myself through my musical activities. I was still quiet and awkward in social situations but playing the piano and flute gave me a voice and a way to be visible to others and to connect with them. When I was playing music I was happy and knew who I was.

My chart with progressed Mercury stationing direct – courtesy of Astro.com

My progressed Mercury went direct when I was 23, the same year as my progressed Sun was conjunct my natal Mercury. When progressed Mercury stations direct it has reached an inner turning point and your mind turns outwards again, making it easier to communicate your thoughts. While your progressed Mercury was retrograde you were thinking about things in great depth, and now you can share what you’ve learned.

This was a major turning point in my life when I was recovering from the breakdown that happened when the progressed Sun was conjunct my Pluto. I was able to rebuild my sense of self and completely overturned my whole worldview by learning new ideas and ways of seeing reality. I began to leave the past behind and decided to return to college to follow my dream of becoming a sound engineer. This was what I had always wanted to do but had never had the confidence or self-belief.

Ten years later my progressed Mercury finally made it back into the 8th house when I was 33. With progressed Mercury in the 8th house you want to understand things in more depth and may become interested in subjects like psychology or the occult. You can go deeper with your thinking and transform your mind and how you communicate.

This progression coincided with the big changes I made under the influence of the progressed Sun conjunct my Uranus (see Sun post). I had stopped boozing and started doing yoga and was feeling more like myself again. But my meditation practice was stalled and I was frustrated – I wanted to go deeper – and by the end of the year I experienced my first major satori (read Stop Making Sense for the details).

This was the beginning of a long process of change which was due more to the transits of the time, with the progressions providing a supportive foundation. Neptune was crossing my Ascendent and Uranus was conjunct my north node and trine Jupiter. And when Uranus moved around to oppose my Sun, I began to write – out of the blue.

Underpinning this unexpected change was progressed Mercury trine my natal Saturn in the 3rd house. Looking back, I can see that ‘becoming a writer’ shouldn’t have been a surprise. My natal Mercury is conjunct Pluto and Uranus, sextile Neptune, and trine Saturn, so I had to do something with a configuration like that. When progressed Mercury returned to trine Saturn, it brought my mind into sharper focus and forced me to take it seriously.

Progressed Mercury then returned to conjunct my natal Pluto again when I was 37. With progressed Mercury conjunct Pluto you can free yourself from the fears and doubts that hold you back and transform old habits of thinking to communicate in powerful ways. This progression continued the transformation of my mind and coincided with a year of intense writing. I was cranking out screenplays and going to workshops and my mind was on fire with a million ideas and possibilities.

The following year progressed Mercury finally returned to the position it was in when I was born. With progressed Mercury conjunct natal Mercury your mind works clearly and you can communicate what you want to say and you may be ready to explore new ideas and ways of thinking. This progression became exact the same month that I won a screenwriting competition in 2008, which was also marked by the transit of Saturn conjunct my natal Sun.

The competition prize was to work with a script editor to rewrite the screenplay over three drafts. Progressed Mercury entered Libra the following year as my work on the script came to an end. With progressed Mercury in Libra you want to communicate with fairness and diplomacy to bring harmony and balance to your relationships. This was when I began to send the script out to find a producer and receive feedback, so I was learning how to sell my ideas and make them acceptable to others.

The writing continued in various forms and when I was 43 progressed Mercury had reached my Uranus. With progressed Mercury conjunct natal Uranus your mind and communication speed up and you’re filled with original ideas and flashes of inspiration. Your intuition will be fired up and you may use technology to connect with others and that may change the way you think.

This progression inspired me to take the risk of going self-employed after I had lost my job two years earlier. It followed the transit of Uranus opposite my natal Uranus in the 8th house which reinforced my need to be more self-sufficient. Prior to this I had switched to writing novels and during this progression I self-published my first book on Kindle. I was also writing early drafts of The Shining Ones which is full of all sorts of crazy ideas!

Now that my progressed Mercury has moved beyond its natal position I can see the pattern of the whole cycle – although it doesn’t officially end until the superior conjunction which is due in 2029 when the progressed Sun conjuncts progressed Mercury both conjunct my natal Jupiter. Should be fun!

But my feeling is that my early obsession with music was something I had to get out of my system, almost as if it was a carryover from the past in some way. Music is still important to me, but I haven’t played or performed for many years. Since progressed Mercury stationed direct, my focus has gradually shifted and now everything I write about comes from what I was learning about then – astrology, psychology, and the awakening process. Perhaps the coming conjunction with the progressed Sun will help me to integrate my past with what I’m doing now.

In 2022 my progressed Mercury reaches my natal Venus in Libra in the 8th house, one month before my progressed Venus stations retrograde in my 9th house. With progressed Mercury conjunct natal Venus your mind and communication become more harmonious and charming and you can connect with others in positive ways. It can be good for your finances, as well as writing and all forms of creativity.

This progression has been in orb since November 2021 which is when I opened my Payhip store and shortly after I set up my Buy Me A Coffee page, which has been a huge success so far. I’ve been amazed and humbled by the response and with your support, hopefully I can finish the writing projects that I have planned for the coming year – more details soon!

Next time, we’ll explore progressed Venus

More from my Astro Diary

Image: Typewriter

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