Mercury dips into aquatic Pisces – one of the two signs of its astrological Detriment (the other being Sagittarius) – this evening, and as such I thought this to be an opportune time to discuss Mercury’s relationship to our mental well-being. Astrologically, Mercury is associated with the mind; it is intellectual, analytical, communicative, and incisive. It concerns what and how we think as well as how we verbalize (or perhaps don’t articulate) those thoughts – from here, it is not difficult to see how this might correlate to mental health.
Now let’s look at what it means for a planet – in this case, Mercury – to occupy a sign of its Detriment. When a planet enters a sign that is antithetical to its very nature, it becomes debilitated; meaning the planet in question tends to have a more difficult time functioning optimally by default. That’s not to say we can’t get anything good out of it, but whenever we have a debilitated planet we should always watch it a little bit closer because it’s more liable than run-of-the-mill placements to act up in problematic ways if we aren’t displaying self-awareness as to its related qualities and characteristics that might be considered “less than helpful”.
To wit, let’s take a look at Mercury in Pisces. Why is this inclined to be a more challenging place for Mercury to reside? Simply put, dreamy, sensitive, intuitive Piscean energy is something naturally at odds with all that Mercury stands for: rational thought, data, and logic, just to name a few key concepts. When Mercury is forced to don this sign’s fish-tail, it is ill-fitting garb likely to cause Mercury to sink rather than swim. How can Mercury keep its head above water in such an environ; it is an Air (mind) planet forced to submerge itself in the fathomless sea of Piscean Water? Mercury in Water signs – which Pisces is – behaves in a more subjective manner; the thought process is apt to be colored by emotion, whether this is conscious or unconscious. Cold clear logic can become muddled by vague yet often undefinable “feelings”, or – in a much better scenario – intuitive “hunches”. We may be inclined to suspend disbelief instead of analyzing facts or crunching numbers (anyone living in the USA during the prior 4 years should be able to see how this might be, um, “problematic”). Our minds can become occupied with fiction and fantasy instead of dwelling in the world of science and reason. You see where I’m going with this?
In its most neutral sense, Mercury in Pisces is a sign that often prefers to be alone with its thoughts; on one hand this can be a positive source of inspiration (say for pursuits like art, poetry, writing works of fiction, or maybe even songwriting), but on the other this tendency toward isolation can be hazardous when left alone in a vacuum. Adding to this is the fact that the Mercury in Pisces mind is inclined to be quite impressionable and subject to external influences – isolation is helpful when we’re trying to tune into our own thoughts and separate them from outside “noise” in a way that truly serves our Highest Good; not so healthy when maybe we’ve come in contact with some kind of intellectual “contaminant” or “thought virus” that distorts our thinking so that it is no longer anchored in reality, facts, or logic and there is no one there to provide feedback, contrast, or resistance. Mercury in Pisces can sometimes incline toward insularity in this regard; where the mind becomes cocooned off in its own little “bubble” and disconnected from humanity/the rest of society if we’re not careful.
Again, being in one’s “own little world” in a mental sense can be positive if we’re using it for creative inspiration; negative if we effectively become mentally “checked out” and seek refuge in a world that either doesn’t exist or that does not functionally integrate with the rest of society. Alcohol and other substances (natural or pharmaceutical) that alter mental state should be avoided, and the tendency to intellectually escape into realms of fantasy/fiction – whether that’s through movies, books, social media consumption, or simple daydream/imagination – should be monitored and moderated. There’s nothing wrong re: sitting down with a good book or unwinding with a decent movie; however if we find ourselves compulsively reading book after book in a way that causes us to avoid being fully present in our day-to-day lives or zoning out in front of the TV as a way to cope with the stress of everyday living, then we may need to mentally re-calibrate.
The same can be said of being alone with our thoughts; applied with conscious intention to find clarity and understanding in a way that serves our own & humanity’s Highest Good is a definite plus, yet a hermetically-sealed mind (in both senses of the word; both hermit-like and airtight) can be problematic if there is anything funky-smelling and yeasty that’s been (half-)baked-in. Mental illness only multiplies in such an environment; this is why suffering in silence is ill-advisable. Mercury in Pisces can sometimes be so sensitive to what is said (or unsaid) that it finds it easier to say nothing at all, or seeks out only a sympathetic ear (read: echo chamber) when it might be better served by some amount of intellectual contrast. If there is a problem within the mindset, talking to someone about our thoughts or our suffering and bouncing this off an external source can help us collectively – as a society – ensure that we’re getting people the help they need and identify potential mental health problems before they can ripple outward any further. A gentle and compassionate – yet non-enabling – approach works best from a communication standpoint. In this era of social isolation, have we found ourselves or others withdrawing overmuch? Maybe it is time to make a call or reach out if there is anyone – or anything within ourselves – we’ve had some concerned thoughts about recently; certainly this is something worth pondering whilst Mercury spends the next 3 weeks in Pisces.