Here's what to watch for:
* Mercury in Aries and Saturn in Capricorn combine fire and earth, which are incompatible elements that tend to conflict with each other. Fire is hot and dry, while earth is cold and dry. If fire is enthusiasm, then earth wants to cool and contain it. If fire is faith or certainty, vision or action, then Earth may have its doubts, may feel that fire is impractical or may seek to contain, hold, control, or make fire more "functional," potentially killing the mood or spirit of fire. On the other hand, where earth has a plan, where earth has a structure, where earth is proposing greater wisdom, rationality, or common sense, fire may be willfully defiant, rebelliously disregarding or even disrepsecting the careful and methodical processes of earth. Earth may be looking for tradition, conservation, method, and measure, while fire may wish to selfishly discard these things in favor of blazing its own trail or being willfully ignorant of something that is commonsensical. Earth may be exhausting the fire and making us sluggish, or fire may be exhausting the earth and making us feel burnt out.
* When fire and earth work together, we have passion in practical service. We have a measured but visionary response. We have method and enthusiasm in cooperation. We have maturity and strength, tradition and individuality working as one.
* It is inevitable, karmic, destined, or fated, that some of us will have to experience the clash of these symbolic/elemental dynamics in the next few weeks. How we respond to these elemental dynamics is also a matter of how we utilize our free will. We should never be so blind to think that we have no role to play in the unfolding of our lives but never so arrogant to think that we are in control of everything. Both extremes tend toward seeing ourselves and one another as impersonal and objective, rather than personal and relational.
* Among many other things, Mercury is the mind, speech, communication, highly developed skills, learning, technology, information, messages, invention, translation, and interpretation, whereas Saturn is ignorance, darkness, the maturity of age and time, death and disease, mortality, structure, discipline, loneliness or isolation, and things that are abandoned or outcast. When the two get together by square they are relating to one another through the language of Mars (ancient astrology tells us that squares are of the nature of Mars).
* The desire to control, squelch, direct, kill, extinguish, or exhaust someone's enthusiasm, speech or mind is a temptation to avoid right now. Similarly, the combination of Mercury and Saturn represents the fortification of the mind. If someone or something is trying to kill your joy or enthusiasm, if someone is trying to control you or tell you how to think, and it's not an instruction you've asked for, then you may find yourself needing to fortify and defend your mind from those invasive or domineering influences.
* On the other hand, sometimes our willfull, youthful, and rebellious nature, especially mentally or verbally, needs to be reformed. This transit may very naturally teach us to be less impulsive, self-centered, competitive, loud, fast, and furious...especially mentally or verbally. Sometimes we mistakenly think that the only way to communicate something is to do so with power, force, volume, or vigor. On the other hand, sometimes we mistakenly think that the only way to communicate something is to do so with as much control and reference to authority or structures of authority as possible. We forget how to be human; we forget how to be individuals because we worship structures of the mind rather than our various structures of the mind being employed to help us worship the divine.
* I refuse to think. I refuse to discuss issues or topics that are challenging or that require patience and careful or mature and compassionate reasoning. This is a problem. Sometimes people mistakenly think that spirituality involves ditching or not using the mind. People think that spirituality is nothing more than nice feelings, relaxation, beauty, and general kindness to others. These qualities are of course an important by-product of spiritual life, but if we refuse to think or if we refuse to consider the larger questions of life, "Why am I here?" "Am I more than my body?" "If I am an eternal spirit/soul, then how should I live?" "What does it mean to have a spiritual practice, and why should I have one at all?" Sometimes people say, "get out of your head and into your heart," forgetting that heart-centered practices, in fact, lead to heart-centered intelligence.
* We'll continue to look at this for the rest of the month!
Prayer: Mold our minds into the shape of our eternal selves, a pair of completely unique hands, pressed together in loving prayer. Make our minds a temple, free of the white noise of me and mine, and full of the flowering songs of devotion.