Mercury Retrograde in Aries & What’s Profound About It

Mercury stations retrograde from 27 Aries on April 1, 2024. The pre-shadow began March 18. Mercury will station direct on April 25 from 15 degrees of Aries, conjunct the North Node in Aries, and will leave post-retrograde shadow on May 13, 2024.

We can intuit some of the themes of this retrograde by the main contacts Mercury is making to Chiron in Aries and the North Node in Aries. This is also made significant by the fact that the April 8 eclipse which happens during Mercury’s retrograde is a New Moon in Aries on the North Node & Chiron. Mercury’s involvement here means that we may be gaining more mental understanding and perhaps psychological flexibility on the matters this eclipse is pointing to.

Welcome back, or in case this is your first time here, I’m Sabrina Monarch and I’m a soul-centered astrologer. I love providing perspectives on the opportunities of transits and putting into words what the zeitgeist feels like at this moment in time, to support you on your path & open a dialogue between us and the cosmos. If you would like to receive these forecasts to your inbox and be notified of upcoming educational opportunities, sign up for my mailing list here.

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Watch my video on it with added commentary or read the article version below:

Chiron in Aries has been (for a while) prompting us to face the thing about ourselves that we believe makes us wounded and rejectable. There is also a psychology around this in terms of how we cope with this: if we already separate ourselves from the equation and put up defensive armor, for example, or if we are motivating our ambition and pursuits with a sense that we will prove ourselves ultimately. Wounding is a place that we can become distorted from our true nature, and so the strategies that come from our wounding while not entirely worthless (and often these strategies do get us to places) hold the seed of that wounding and eventually confront us with that in the moments we can’t hold it all together.

A student of mine shared (with permission to use this example here) that in childhood she became convinced that she had to be perfect. This allowed her to get straight A’s, up until she couldn’t run the mile in gym class under the set time limit and the threat of losing her straight-A track-record spiraled her into an extreme depression where she questioned the value of life itself. When our pursuits are motivated by coping, or by a sense of personal wounding, we are that much more triggered by setbacks because it means far more than the situation at hand itself. Usually layers underneath this, there is a natural part of the self that still actually truly wants to excel or express their talent (such as this person I’m speaking of is an immensely creative individual), but we have to liberate the essence of our desire from the tendrils of our wounds.

The Chiron story on the North Node in Aries has been magnifying our awareness of that scar, the scab, that painpoint that we carry as part of our personal identity. Chiron is an archetype that also relates to healing crisis, healers, and the discovery of healing methods that are beyond our previous awareness.

What I think is interesting then about Mercury conversing with this storyline is that Mercury works to heal by trickery – perhaps most commonly known is the “placebo effect” whereby a person believes they are receiving a medicine when they just are receiving a sugar pill. But at a psychological level, Mercury’s healing trickster capacities look like disarming a person’s initial defenses to get to something deeper underneath.

(Image source: @mos_jef)

“An alert therapist must also be capable of realizing the lie in a patient, perhaps in the form of defensiveness or unconscious withdrawal… Let’s not forget that Hermes [Mercury] as patron of liars suggests that a therapist is also at fault if he thinks his patients never lie to him. A therapist without metis has trouble detecting a symptom’s disguises, the lies hidden behind the defense mechanisms. Hermes used a diversion to kill the monster; he put him to sleep with this flute-playing. Doesn’t the therapist do the same with a patient whose problem is psychosomatic? He puts the problem to sleep (lowering the defense mechanism) in order to root it out; he charms the monster in order to kill it. This is one of Hermes favorite tactics, avoid any direct attack but vanquishing nonetheless.” – from Pagan Grace by Ginette Paris.

When we are motivated by our wounding (Chiron) we “act out” and it is Mercury’s finesse that softens or lowers the defense so that different choices can be made in the moment, or healing can actually happen (instead of living from the wound and the wound’s strategy, which perpetuates the wound itself).

To place this in Aries, consider the following:

  • We might be receiving messages (Mercury) through anger and agitation. At times we might be quick enough to know exactly what the heart of the matter is, but other times there may be layers of meaning to decipher through the original message of the agitation. This may have us and others reacting and double-backing. Or, that might happen internally before choosing a course of words and actions.
  • Hidden in Aries is the opposite polarity of Libra and the theme of balance. It expresses through Aries in terms of the line we walk around not even trying or taking the leap (cowardice) versus over-doing and going too far. Aries invites us to become intimate with our appropriate courage and the truth inside of our instincts. It is crucial within Aries to trust our instincts. Trusting our instincts is not just a matter of force and “doing it” but rather coming into relationship with a very primal part of us and learning about our capability to test our edge and then bounce-back and get back up after we’ve fallen. If this part of us is ‘wounded’, we might resist current opportunities to try new things or follow our instincts because another part of our psyche compensates with a highly cautious, inner-critic, contracted-judge part who is trying to protect us from fucking up, for example.
  • For as long as we overspend our time in the “won’t leave the house”/“won’t answer the call to adventure” part of Aries fear, the part of us that doesn’t want to try anything and remains in a fear state, we also develop a sense of ineptness and inability because we conceive the obstacles are just too large or too damning to even face. We find other ways to cope or compensate. We may have to consider how our courage or willingness to answer the call wants to be tended, and at what therapeutic dose.
  • Another general theme with Aries is that whatever we uniquely are, if this is wounded inside, we’ve internalized the message that we are not allowed to be that way. We may have faced situations of domination, oppression, rigid authority, or so on, or may have been rejected by someone whose opinion we made godly. When we believe this message that we cannot be, or that we cannot be this aspect of ourselves, we build a scab around a core/essential part of ourselves and life eventually tries to guide us back to acceptance and integration of this part of ourselves. We may find this part of ourselves becomes a key for successfully navigating an emergent situation. Even life itself, not just Mercury, tries to trick us back into friendship with the part of ourselves that we left behind!

Lastly with all of this talk of wounding, I want to also emphasize that part of healing or moving on is living without the identity we have attached to our suffering, to whatever degree we find ourselves willing or capable. We have to free ourselves from particular pointed narratives that boils everything about ourselves down to some obvious, blaring wound and to  simply let ourselves have a life outside of and beyond that. Not to bypass, not to ignore, but to not become so preoccupied that we suffocate ourselves with our own pointed single-track-minded perception.

Perhaps one of the healing balms of Aries is actually just that of having new experiences and forging new contexts for ourselves (and really backing ourselves if our experiments don’t turn out the way we’d hoped, or we face any kind of perceived failures or setbacks — and not using those experiences as ammunition to punish ourselves back into inaction). It’s expansive to celebrate our wins and to make wins out of the fact that we even tried, and to try again. 

Try to be smarter than the internal voices that convince you you’re not enough and you have to compensate somehow. Try to instead hear the whispers or callings of your instinct that wants to guide you to a real, connected freedom. The strange thing is, sometimes those voices actually want the same thing (i.e. to go the gym and get stronger, to develop a talent, to make a big life change) but their logic is very different and one of them is a whole lot kinder, more grounded, and more open to the unfolding.

At higher levels of mental mastery of these patterns, people still find that the trickster within tries to new ways to seduce them into old patterns of thinking. I’ve been mindful lately that if I wake up in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning, sometimes I can feel a part of my mind that is searching for something to grab onto, to be horrified by: something bad that happened, or something I did that was so ‘embarrassing’ and worth me crawling into a hole for eternity. I’ve been reminding myself as I watch this part come up that it has nothing to grab onto, and I encourage it to go look for something to be excited or grateful for because it clearly just wants a job. The thing is though, I spent many years ‘haunted’ by things, unrequited desire, limerence, etc, and did validate the existence of that mental grabbing for horror. This is a part of myself I’ve worked (and tricked!) to change because It’s a wound I’ve long been tired of feeding, and that for some years I actually just believed it (and you bet it motivated me to “become” someone amazing, so I could make it all better! Still, see the distortion?).

We are tricked by our minds into thinking our wounding is so incredibly unique when the reality is that everyone has something or has their thing, and Earth is not an easy place. At some point we have to decide to relate differently to our particular burdens and to get some advantage over the subtle and sneaky ways our wounded material tries to dominate our experience. Our wounds need more love and acceptance, than they need the power to run our show and life.

Come study Evolutionary Astrology with me in my upcoming intensive, beginning April 2. This all-levels program is a ceremonial classroom that will initiate you into having your bearings astrologically if you are a beginner, or will deepen your existing practice if you are intermediate to advanced. Over the years I have refined this course as well as my entire practice to continue deepening my offering around how far astrology can go and how it can be a tool of transformation and animistic connection with cosmos and Life. You will find this is not just an astrology class, but truly an invitation to a deeper and richer life. My students have the opportunity to be personally guided and reflected in the journey of assimilating the class’s material. It’s special. Applications are open until March 29.

Listen to my recent podcast recording with Britten LaRue (recently published author of Living Astrology) on her podcast Moon to Moon about what Evolutionary Astrology is. Listen on Spotify here or find where you listen to podcasts.

Britten has Pluto conjunct her North Node and in this part of the conversation I was speaking about her chart and connecting this signature to her amazing series on Unshaming the Signs (we podcasted together on this note, for Sagittarius, on Magic of the Spheres!):

with love,

Sabrina Monarch

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