The Magician meets the Moon

For the past few weeks we’ve been enjoying Mercury in the air sign of Aquarius; clarity, directness, perhaps a little stubbornness? Mercury makes connections easily in the element of air, though the fixed Aquarian nature sometimes can be a little binary in its thinking. That’s all about to change when Mercury enters the mutable water sign of Pisces in early February.

For most planets traveling through Pisces, the experience is… immersive. Where Aquarius was happy to make dry intellectual connections between ideas, in Pisces the senses are flooded with input. Emotions build and swell like waves. Patterns are chaotic, nonlinear. You almost have to be a Pisces to surf it, and even if you manage that, good luck translating what you find back to the folks on shore.

It’d be wise to stay alert to these themes in early February, because the more you reorient then, the easier of a transition you’ll have when Mercury stations retrograde mid-February.

Oh, did I not mention Mercury retrograde?

Once again, it’s a great time for my Mercury Retro heads-up report to get a sense of where this will hit your personal chart. In general, just know that this is a time when things will get… weird, and it’s best to roll with the situation and adapt as you go. (One of Pisces’ most useful lessons is that of adaptability.)

Sometimes when I try to imagine how Mercury is functioning in astrology, I map to its signifying card in tarot — the Magician. What is the Magician, exactly? Like all cards in tarot, it’s an archetype; simply put, the Magician is you with your eyes wide open, when you have conscious goals and the means to take action towards them.

When the Magician — er, Mercury — is moving backwards, those goals aren’t so clear. Maybe it’s time to revisit past decisions. Maybe those past decisions will revisit you. And as I outlined in Symptoms of Mercury Retrograde, there’s more than enough random chaos to go around — not to mention miscommunications.

To give you an idea of what kind of zone Mercury is moving backwards in, know that Pisces in tarot is symbolized by the Moon, archetype representing the entire unconscious. You can begin making bets now on the most outlandish Freudian slip that might happen during this retrograde. You may find yourself confronted by fear, or get lost in a metaphorical wilderness. (Or the actual wilderness! If you’re hiking during this time, go with a map and be aware of wild animals.)

This would be a powerful time for a labyrinth meditation (or any guided visualization, really). Mercury’s magic in Pisces works by dissolving boundaries, drawing new connections that you’d never have guessed were there.

Mercury retrogrades all the way back into the sign of Aquarius, giving us one quick opportunity to close up outstanding business before diving back into the Piscean ocean. We’ll be good and soaked by the time Mercury finally enters Aries in April, and wiser in a way that’s hard to quantify.