Getting schooled: Mercury and Saturn in conjunction

Mercury and Saturn will make conjunctions three times between November 2017 and January 2018, thanks in large part to Mercury going retrograde in December (see specific dates below).

Mercury normally whips along the ecliptic at slightly faster rate than the sun, making its aspects to other planets brief — typically you won’t feel them for much more than a day. But the same aspect occurring three times in quick succession makes for an excellent medium-term study of astrology in action.

Saturn is the most taciturn of the planets, even when it’s in a fire sign like Sagittarius as it is now. It brings order and discipline to any scene it enters, and even though it might feel like a damper on fun it does help you get your act together in whatever area it chooses to make itself felt. It’s considered a “malefic” planet (as opposed to “benefic”) which says something about its nature; it does its job not by bringing you an opportunity (like Jupiter might) but by forcing you to get down to work.

Mercury isn’t malefic or benefic — it’s the in-betweener of planets, the messenger. So when Mercury makes aspects like these conjunctions to Saturn, it’s really going to amplify whatever message Saturn is trying to get across in your life.

You might experience this as well-timed criticism, where someone literally tells you about a shortcoming you need to overcome. It might be something more indirect, like getting schooled in bar trivia and realizing you really don’t know shit about geography. And it might even feel good as it’s happening, like realizing your book-in-progress needs to go in a slightly different direction — stuff like that can clear out the mind-clutter that’s been holding you back from making real progress.

Questions to ask yourself during Mercury–Saturn conjunctions include:

  • What have you learned lately? Are you applying it?
  • How can you simplify or cut back on what you’re saying?
  • What sources of information can you trust to be consistent?
  • Is your mind focused? On what?
  • Have you asked enough questions to understand what you need?

Dates of the conjunctions

Times are all Pacific standard, -8:00 GMT.

November 27, 2017, at 10:59pm
27° Sagittarius
This first conjunction may bring a positive sense of clarity about something. It’s officially Sagittarius season at this point with festivities ramping up everywhere. Can you avoid distraction today for long enough to get the message?

December 6, 2017, at 4:05am
28° Sagittarius
This conjunction occurs shortly after Mercury goes retrograde, and is the most likely to come across as a scolding from Saturn. Be careful what you blurt out around this time, and prepare yourself to really listen to what people are telling you — even if it’s the uncomfortable truth that you’ve been wrong about something. You could learn something really valuable today.

January 12, 2018, at 11:03pm
2° Capricorn
Mercury and Saturn both will have changed signs at this point, and will be in Saturn’s “home” sign of Capricorn. This should feel like a very different conjunction as a result and will be a fantastic time for goal-setting. Use what you’ve learned from the past two conjunctions to make it a realistic one — but still challenge yourself! In ambitious Capricorn this shouldn’t be a problem.

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