Of all the planets in our Solar System, Mercury is the smallest and closest to the Sun, with an orbital period of about 88 Earth days that makes it the faster moving planet. As a quick moving celestial body, never more than 28 degrees from the Sun, it epitomizes the swift, light and scattered energy of Mercurius/Hermes, known as the fast-flying messenger of the Gods – although the symbolism of these two divinities is far more complex and interesting, as we will see – and is therefore associated with information and the means through which it’s conveyed.
In the previous chapters, we covered the History of Astrology up to the Hellenistic period, following the iter that led to the birth of Astrology as it’s nowadays known and practiced. A great deal of this “elaboration” is mostly Claudius Ptolemy’s merit. Ptolemy (c. AD 90 – c. AD 168), author of the famous opus Tetrabiblos (‘four books’), was a Greco-Egyptian writer of Alexandria, known as a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, and also astrologer. He lived in the city of Alexandria in the Roman province of Egypt, wrote in Greek, and held Roman citizenship. He viewed Astrology as a theoretical science, by means of which it’s possible to explain the interconnections between celestial and terrestrial phenomena and to trace the cause-effect relationships between the stars and the earth.
Ptolemy’s theoretical approach to astrology was in sharp contrast to the approaches of his Astrologic peers: he wrote about basic physical principles from which all phenomena can be derived, the four humors, heat, cold, moist, dry, the favorable or unfavorable aspects, the angular relationships or aspects like conjunction, sextile, square, trine, opposition.
The Moon is one of the two Luminaries of the Birth Chart. Unlike the Sun, though, the Moon radiates no Light on her own, therefore she shines by the reflected Light of the Sun. The Moon is thus the ‘Unlit Self’, but this doesn’t mean her importance is secondary.
She is the passive, receptive end of the Yin/Yang spectrum, the Feminine polarity, and as such, she is the astro-marker of our irrationality, intuition, most importantly our emotions and the way we deal with them.
For a man to be fully conscious, all of his parts must become fully conscious. For a Sun to become fully radiant, all its planets must become radiant. For the Absolute to remember itself, all beings must remember themselves. To those who ask, ‘what is the purpose of the Universe?‘ we can thus reply that the task of the Universe, and of every being within it, from Sun to cell, is to become more conscious.
If you kept up with this serie, which was purposely geared towards beginners, you should by now have an idea of the basics of Astrology, its core mechanisms and how it works (or at least I hope my job was decent enough to get these notions across!). But getting an actual grasp on Astrology can be a long process, one that requires patience, and that can often be frustrating and with few initial success.