No, you’re not seeing double – a retrograde Mercury just retread its tracks for a second passage back through fiery Aries while Mars entered dualistic Gemini less than 24 hours later. With Mercury occupying the sign Mars rules (Aries) and Mars making a run through Mercury’s turf (Gemini), we have what is known as a “mutual reception” between Mercury and Mars in effect – for a primer on mutual reception, see my previous post here.
The effects of this Air (Mercury/Gemini) and Fire (Mars/Aries) combination can be particularly volatile, as we all know that Air feeds Fire. With Mercury retrograde, this is making me think of the word “backdraft”; something I’m using as a metaphor for a dangerous and highly combustible situation where the rapid re-introduction of oxygen (i.e. the wind of our words) into a heated situation may explode and make arguments come rip-roaring back to life in an instant. While this Mercury/Mars mutual reception remains in effect for the next 3 weeks it would be a particularly ill-advised time for any of the following:
1) To pick this period to initiate the re-hashing of a repeated point of contention – doubly so if it happens to be with a sibling, cousin, or neighbor. You’re not going to get anywhere new with Mercury Rx, and it’s highly likely to just wind up being a shootout at the O.K. Corral.
2) To insult someone’s intelligence. This is never a nice thing to do, but even if snappish understand that under this energy words can quickly turn into fistfights and this is particularly likely to be a near instantaneous trigger for such to happen.
3) To *not* think twice before saying something in anger, period. Because you can’t take it back and it’s likely to be especially cutting/brutal now.
4) To say something rude. There’s straightforwardness and then, well, there’s just being an asshole. What; I thought you wanted plainspoken? So how does that grab ya – on the receiving end, it’s grating to the listener/reader, isn’t it? 😛 The point is, don’t be “that guy” regardless of gender – directness is no excuse for barbarism, nor is brevity justification for tactlessness.
5) To hurriedly, hastily, or agitatedly fire off a missive that is just plain ill thought out. The aggravation and strife (Mercury plunks down next to discordant Eris and upset-oriented Uranus, remaining near one or both until it exits Aries in mid-May) likely to result may be similar to kicking a hornet’s nest.
6) To drive angry. When there’s such a strong Mercury/Mars vibe in the air, it’s the little things that will tend to piss us off. Mercury is transportation-related, and when we put this into a vehicular context we may be inclined to find ourselves swearing at someone who cut us off or who blew through a stop sign, for example. This can lead to things like road rage, impatience behind the wheel, and really aggressive driving in general. While anger is understandable when somebody is driving like an inconsiderate jerk (because nobody wants to wind up in a collision due to this!), instead of becoming belligerent and feeding the fire by giving it more air, take a deep breath, count to 10, and focus on staying in control. Remember, your own actions behind the wheel may very well dictate whether or not the incident ends in a phone call to emergency services.
7) To use inattention when handling sharp or hot objects. On a physical level, Mercury/Mars can make for cuts or burns to our arms or digits – especially if we are agitated and thus inclined to use excessive speed or force.
Please, if you could take away only one thing from the above list: Don’t be a conversational arsonist during this mutual reception! Mercury/Mars combinations tend to heat up the mouth & sharpen the tongue, perhaps inclining us to say rude things, yell, interrupt, or fire out the first thing that comes to mind without really thinking about it. Remember that Mars is traditionally a malefic in astrology, so when it is double-teamed by Mercury/Gemini energy the problems will multiply when we give a fire air; particularly if/when it has been choked of oxygen. The speed, heat, and force with which we verbalize irritation can rapidly ignite with hair-singeing capability, resulting in everything from tempests in teacups to dangerous backdrafts. Before unthinkingly creating a scene that might best be described as belonging in Dante’s Inferno (i.e. “What fresh [circle of] hell is this?!”), mull all this over. Again, if need be – repeat as necessary until this mutual reception ends on May 16th.