Dead End World ~ Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn

In a West end town a dead end world

The East end boys and West end girls

In the final weeks of 2016, you may find that the effervescent cheer of the holidays will be syncopated by a little sigh of sadness. This not to say that joy is entirely lost, but the end of the year is tinged with a particular shade of melancholy. Some savor this emotional ambiance more than others.

As you meditate upon all that has happened over the last twelve months, the lace of black branches shivering against the winter skies may turn your thoughts towards dark imaginings of what the New Year may hold.

Fortunately, before this New Year begins, there is a perfect astrological opportunity to do some soul-searching and really reflect upon your life and its direction.

On December 19th, 2016 Mercury will station retrograde at 15 degrees Capricorn and will remain in retrograde motion until January 8th, 2017.

This three week retrograde begins with Mercury conjunct Pluto in Capricorn, which will begin calling forth a transformed vision of your own evolutionary purpose.

However, because of Pluto’s propensity to unveil and uncover that which is most vulnerable, during this period you may expect to be haunted by the ghosts of your own denial.

Mercury’s travels through the subterranean realms will ferret out the trembling fears that have been tucked away and buried. Though there will be an agonizing vulnerability in this exploration, this is the right time to submit to such a process.

You’ll have a magnificent window of opportunity to rewrite your life’s narrative, transforming from distressed victim into courageous champion.

In popular understanding, Mercury retrogrades are dreaded times, fraught with misfortune. However, I prefer to think of Mercury retrogrades as periods that promote individual and collective neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity, a term that describes the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections, is essential to learning, healing and enduring change. The loss of neuroplasticity is something associated with degenerative disease and the rigidity of old age.

With this in mind, you can welcome Mercury retrogrades as times of increased neuroplasticity. You can make new connections, reinterpret old information, and to great effect rewrite your life’s narrative from a more refined perspective.

Archetypally speaking, Mercury is a psychopomp, meaning he enables communication between the overworld and underworld, dancing in between the sharp edges of logic and the frayed ends of primordial wisdom.

This dance flows as a stream of consciousness. Under such an influence, your mind may feel loosely strung together, but this may also allow you to be exceptionally creative! When you cast a wide net, you tend to bring many exotic elements together.

As an example of a Mercurial masterpiece of this kind, consider the song, West End Girls by The Pet Shop Boys.

The lyricist and singer, Neil Tennant, described the lyrics as a stream of consciousness, inspired by T. S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the dialogue from James Cagney gangster films.

Owing to all the disparate influences used to create the ambiance, West End Girls is ambisexual, lyrically cryptic, and decidedly noir. And yet, as there always is with Mercury, there is a Message!

In a West end town a dead end world

The East end boys and West end girls

The message of West End Girls is the same as T.S. Eliot’s and the same as Grandmaster Flash’s. The modern world, with all of its corruption, pollution, and exploitation, is hell.

As was sung in The Message:

Don’t push me cause I’m close to the edge. I’m trying not to lose my head. It’s like a jungle sometimes. It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

Like T.S. Eliot’s modernist vision, in West End Girls the city is the land of the dead: a postmodern underworld. Like in Eliot’s poem, Neil Tennant sings this song from many perspectives, some with nihilistic detachment and some with biting humor.

West End Girls has a message too, about the inhuman qualities that emerge when people only relate to one another through social status and power.

Thus, this retrograde period, Mercury will travel to the dead ends of the Earth, searching for signs of unbreakable integrity. Now with Mercury stationing retrograde on top of Pluto, the legacy of exploitation and corruption in this world will be profoundly communicated through many signals and synchronicities.

Capricorn, this retrograde will offer you a test of the evolutionary strength of your will to power. This will be a time when it is best to face the truth about what you have been avoiding, finding the strength to climb up out of fear and despair.

Sometimes you’re better off dead

There’s a gun in your hand

it’s pointing at your head

This may be a task that is easier said than done.

But if all goes well, by the end of this transit, you’ll find yourself living with a new depth of perception about the roots of some of your most troubling issues.

You think you’re mad too unstable

Kicking in chairs and knocking down tables

Because Pluto’s transit through Capricorn is a long process of unearthing the decadent treacheries that underlie the webs of world power, this Mercury retrograde will summon a personal confrontation with your place in the scheme of things.

In a restaurant in a West end town

Call the police there’s a mad man around

Whether on the East End or the West End, in the Underworld everyone is tormented.

Think of your guilt about being rich. Or your disgrace about being poor. Your shame about having been promoted. Your envy of another’s promotion. Suffice it say, all seven of the deadly sins will rise to the surface for inspection and healing.

Running down underground

To a dive bar in a West end town

Therefore, this Mercury retrograde period will be a chance to confront whatever it is that you are currently in denial about. If that feels grim to you, then you are not alone. Pluto in Capricorn is rather grim. But healing can only take place in the heart and mind of someone willing to face the shadows of ignorance and regain their sense of direction.

In a West end town a dead end world

The East end boys and West end girls

This three week period will be a protracted meditation upon the question:

“How am I being exploited?”

The answers to this question will bubble over with personal pain.

You will see where you have allowed yourself to be lied to and how you have sacrificed your talents and your energies for no great purpose. And you will see how easily you have become accustomed to being bored, drained, diagnosed, and anesthetized.

But even these dark visions are easier to withstand than the next wave of exploration. Knowing how cycles of abuse naturally repeat themselves, you’ll be forced to ask,

“How do I exploit others?”

Too many shadows whispering voices

Faces on posters too many choices

A deeply buried Plutonian answer will emerge and this may represent an anxious moment.

If… when? why? what?

How much have you got?

Whatever you are forced to take responsibility for, during this Mercury retrograde, in so many ways you will see how cowardice is the same thing as violence which is the same thing as cowardice.

Which do you choose

A hard or soft option?

(How much do you need)

These are the ugly truths and vicious cycles that Mercury’s trip through the underworld will inspire you to face.

This deeply introspective period at the end of 2016 is wonderful for strengthening your integrity because integrity is not founded upon political opinions, religious beliefs, or pious platitudes.

On January 4th, Mercury will re-enter the sign of Sagittarius, where the retrograde motion will offer you a period to re-examine any ill-fated idealism that you may still be clinging to.

In a West end town a dead end world

The East end boys and West end girls

The ultimate lesson of this Mercury retrograde will be to impress upon you once again that integrity is only built upon humility.  In all humility, you may acknowledge your human errors with dark humor and good will.

If you have been cruel, selfish, manipulative, or violent, you are not special and it is probably no secret.

You got a heart of glass or a heart of stone

Just you wait till I get you home

With such deep and penetrating honesty, you will become possessed by delight in embracing a higher code of honor. From such a position of strength, you will be empowered to transform your life!

You may choose life, get out of debt; treat people with more respect; study with great purpose; make promises you can keep; break addictions; deepen your intimacy; and so on and so forth.

We’ve got no future

We’ve got no past

Here today built to last