My Experience with Mercury 1st
I chose Mercury 1st October 5, 2016. My partner and I had been traveling, with lots of road trips, just perfect for Mercury. We spent November 2016 through January 2017 away from our Brooklyn home, visiting family and exploring California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Utah. Beginning of February 2017, we drove a moving truck cross country from NYC to our new home in Los Angeles. I felt more and more how "all over the place" I am on the inside, especially as I was literally all over the place geographically.
My natal Mercury in Cancer is in the Fourth House and is also the ruler of my South Node. Signs and planets in the Fourth House reflect our "home" experience and our instinctual conditioned reactions. They represent our reactions to feelings; the combination of our sensing and feeling mixed with our thoughts and memories. In many ways, the Fourth House shows how we respond to life and therefore how we form our ego sense of self. Operating beneath the surface, planets in the Fourth generally function unconsciously, until, through maturity, they're exposed and received for their true nature.
The Fourth House is personal and emotional. We often use "feeling" as a keyword for Cancer, but it's actually feeling mixed with thinking which is emotion. It's through the Cancer domain of consciousness that we encounter our conditioned reactions to life. Aries is also reactionary, but its impulsive instinctual nature is pre-thought. In its purity, Aries is simply streaming life force, moment to moment. But Cancer is drawing from a deep well of history that lives not only in the body-mind but in our bones and blood as ancestral memory.
I’m coming to know Cancer as my/our personal reactions. Our human experience is through our reactions. The Fourth House, Cancer, and the Moon may be the closest representations of humanity and the stages of life, as we experience them.
I’m in charge. I choose how I experience life, me, you. I’m always choosing. Mercury is one of the planets that shows how we make decisions and our decision-making style. Choosing Mercury 1st is showing me more and more of what I’m choosing and the way I choose. I thought choosing Mercury 1st would reveal my natural wiring and connections, hoping to unbind myself from mixed signals, blocked channels, and millions of bypass operations that disconnect me. I think I wanted a fix to some seemingly neverending problems. Living Mercury 1st freed me up enough to recognize more truth about how my natal Mercury's been operating - but knowing something doesn't mean we can live it. I wanted more change than I was ready for.
MERCURY (thinking, rationalizing, knowing, communicating):
Interesting enough? Make sense? Identifiable? Can I track it? Am I getting somewhere with it? Classifiable? Can I work it out – the problem? Can I relate to it? Do I want to know more about it? Clever enough? Witty enough? Smart enough?
I intimately felt (and still feel) how I've not been able to work my "problems" out or find the answers I’ve been seeking my entire lifetime. It seems strange, but I get that I haven't wanted to "make sense" of these things, probably because it would rip the bottom out of my "reality." Mercury wants to track and solve things and I’ve intentionally made this extremely difficult. My version of Mercury 1st was painful and at times I felt crippled by my close-mindedness in certain areas. There's so much I don't understand, especially about me.
My natal Saturn-Mercury conjunction feels stifling and punishing. Mercury doesn’t want to be chained to Saturn! My Pluto-Mercury square feels like a violation. Mercury runs away from the deep abysmal snare of slow death. Even my Venus-Mercury conjunction feels meddlesome. Nothing is clear in my world of melded mind and feelings. There is no sense or rationale. And I’m boring myself with my old story.
Mercury 1st, Mercury in the 1st = MOVEMENT!!!!!!!!!! To the extent that my body and spirit are not moving, my mind will move extra in compensation. Amazing! Moving my physical body is like living in a completely different dimension, especially listening to music. And when I don’t exercise my body and spirit, my nervous system seems to have no outlet, running relentlessly within.
My choosing Mercury 1st reminded me how picky I am about words, intellect, and wit. A boring conversation that evokes no emotion is not even worth engaging. Sometimes I wish the people of the world (including me) would shut up until they have something meaningful or entertaining to say. Most talk goes nowhere and I learn very little except the feeling of my impatience, arrogance, and apathy; more than anything apathy and loathing of simple-mindedness.
Instead of wanting to prove something or manipulate things, I just want to move on when I’m not stimulated. I just don’t care. My superiority complex rises like a waking dragon. Let’s go to realms less visible and get to something, actually go somewhere! And so very often, I’m the one sitting, procrastinating, waiting for something that will never come through just waiting. I often find myself wide awake, unable to sleep, going nowhere. And like a good little Mercury, I write about it, "knowing" it isn't enough; isn't enough for me.
Yes, we moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, driving Penske trucks across the country, collecting our belongings from Arizona and Seattle on the way. We experienced unplanned delays and detours that led to more moving stuff around and in and out of storage units. We were all over the place. I stressed myself out trying to figure out auto and health insurance, but it wasn't easy without a technical, physical home for a while – And it’s difficult and frustrating signing up for any benefits in a state where you don't have an address, job, or driver’s license. The "between" is like no man’s land, and I learned to employ new workarounds and live more as a free agent, which means more self-reliance and self-identification.
I applied for jobs with very strange results. I’d drive to interviews and more than once, the person would look at me like I’d made the appointment up, explaining that it wasn’t on the calendar or that the right person wasn’t available. On my way to another interview, a driver crashed his car into mine, and he didn't have insurance. Unable to drive any further, I missed my interview and spent hours on the side of the street, in constant communication with my insurance company and the towing company.
Along with the move and everything we typically associate with moving, I spent a lot of time problem-solving logistics of living, which included some very less than pleasant business and personal conversations about housing, permanent place of residence, transportation (back in car ownership world after NYC), and insurance policies. We also navigated various mail and physical property exchanges/hand-offs between Seattle, New York, Arizona, and Los Angeles. At times, life really felt all over the place.
Then, on May 15, 2017, I started a new job as the writing team lead for Sage Goddess, a large metaphysical company in the LA area. I’ve been writing my whole life, and it's been a significant part of my professional experience, but this is the first time my job title is full-time Writing! Our team writes product listings, social media copy, class material, blogs, marketing emails, product blessings, and more. It’s a perfectly fitting example of what I gave myself choosing Mercury 1st! The funny (or not so funny) part is how my job in two months has evolved into mass auditing and technical process improvement. I thought I ended my 22-year career in healthcare compliance, medical coding (translating doctors' notes into codes for insurance), auditing, and operations in July 2015, the exact time I started living planets (Venus) 1st. Well, the joke is on me! The subject matter has officially changed, but my Mercury mind is still in full force, perhaps even more hyper-focused and sharp than before.
What does this mean in the context of choosing Mercury 1st? It doesn’t sound like I’m really doing anything different – and this is the key! In choosing Mercury 1st, I became much more aware of what I’m doing, how I’m thinking, and how I apply my mind to things. As usual, I need obvious examples manifested in my life to "get myself." Critical analysis, process improvement, communication, and translating concepts, ideas, images, etc. into usable methods and understanding are part of me, and I’ve always been doing them…probably always will be doing them. I can choose different forms, but "I" always come through. As a clarifying bonus, my progressed Mercury and Mars were conjunct (23 degrees Virgo) in the Sixth House. I worked my ass off. I even lost a few pounds of the weight I gained during Venus 1st.
I continued writing my column for Infinity Astrological Magazine and presenting an EA (Evolutionary Astrology) Zoom Meeting for YouTube each month. I prepared to share more about Planets 1st in a Kepler College community service webinar and at UAC (United Astrology Conference 2018), and I wrote a blog for The Mountain Astrologer. My Mercury-self 1st was busy; busier than I’d been since my career transition two years before. Amongst all these new people and experiences, I thought about how I want to use my mind – how I want to use it for the greatest good; my own good, and the good of others. I want to make things better, in the ways I am capable. I’m a good auditor, with a laser focus, but for what purpose? I know I used to rip things apart to find the problems. I think I forgot the point; to employ a beneficial solution. Sometimes healing involves hurting, but the healthy kind of hurting is full of compassion, kindness, hope, and faith.
Information is powerful. How we communicate, from the words we choose to our body language, makes an impact. My Mercury 1st experience served me well. It revealed connections and patterns within me and how they manifest outside of me. When I hear feedback I don’t like, I challenge myself to look in that mirror with discernment; to find the parts of me I need to recognize and accept. I learned a lot about my relationship with rejection, criticism, and authority.
Astrologer and therapist, Jason Holley, taught about "Deep Mercury" at NORWAC 2017 (Northwest Astrological Conference). I was delighted I'd signed up for his pre-conference workshop. He's always amazing, but this time, I'd forgotten the topic of the workshop, and just days before, as I was preparing to travel, was reminded it was Mercury (and DEEP) - another affirmation of my Planets 1st experience. Jason encouraged us to look at the whole story with Mercury because Mercury is never as simple as X. He said that Mercury wants to get things moving that are stuck so that the/our story can continue. And Mercury is not attached to morals or a defined course; Mercury’s injunction for us is to keep moving. This resonated with me – from geographically moving, moving into a new full-time job, and moving internal parts of myself that have been stuck (specifically slowly extricating my head from being completely embedded in my digestive system) 😊. When I’m "going," I receive new information and awareness, through every step and connection on my path – from my jog in the morning to my commute in LA traffic, to my day in the office, back home to share time with my partner.
“Does it make sense?" According to what or whom? My Mercury-self is naturally controlling, authoritative, penetrating, and emotional. I’m choosing less "lock-down" within myself which makes more room. The combination of choosing Mercury 1st and my progressed Mercury-Mars conjunction equals doubled down mental action. My Mercury nature is also caring and cooperative; deeply enjoying the sweetness of life and love in all beings. I don’t care so much if things "make sense." I do care about the accuracy of information - not the crossing t’s and dotting i’s, but the truth that is palpable and emanating from the delivery of the message, in the message itself, and in the messenger. I believe in integrity – in being true to who and what I am, as I'm changing in each moment.