Today at 4:48 pm edt in Washington DC, Mercury's current retrograde station occurs @ 24Ari21. I use '4:48 pm' because that's the moment my Solar Fire software gives for Mercury's first minute Rx (notwithstanding the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan which knocked Earth's axis off a smidgen.)
Then on April 23, 2011, Mercury performs his/her Direct Station @ 12Air53 (6:04 am edt in DC.) As you know, All Things Mercury are subject to re-view, re-consideration, re-doing, etc, during Mercury Rx periods and it is wise to begin no new projects or set in motion plans during this time. Trade, commerce, and transport are likely areas where Mercury Rx may hamper us now and we think of Japan's auto industry and parts manufacture which we already know are due more of a supply slowdown thanks to the nuclear meltdown.
US wars in the Middle East and the recent step-down of Mubarak in Egypt also threaten easy shipping in the Suez Canal but hopefully chaos won't lead to such dire results; food shortages and higher food prices are in the news now and we'll see if these situations spread between now and April 23rd, May 11th, or thereabouts.
Now I know that a reading of all the Sabian Symbols between 12 and 25 Aries is in order and would be instructive yet I trust you to handle this task yourself, if you will. Other sites and blogs are covering Mercury's trail of Rx-Direct degrees, and Lynda Hill's excellent Sabian Symbols site is always a good place to visit for more information on the Babylonian symbols.
For now, I want to paraphrase some highlights from the lesser-known degrees in Adriano Carelli's book The 360 Degrees of the Zodiac to add more depth to our mercurial re-considerations. This will be symbols which have a 'word picture' for not all of Carelli's degrees do.
April 23, 2011's Mercury Direct Station will occur at a critical-crisis degree so we expect more news (Mercury) of crisis conditions on top of the current crop (with a US gov shutdown in the making?) so let's begin there with Mercury's Direct Station degree and move toward today's Rx Station degree with a synopsis of each degree's meaning:
'12 Aries' = "An eagle on its nest." ("Sacred selfishness; strong fatherly or motherly instincts; keen sense of one's 'I', of personal initiative, and of the free individual property and leads to ...danger of clashing against the established order..or against the economics of the so-called modern democracies.) (IMF and World Bank? Austerity cuts to further bankroll the rich? jc)
An 'eagle' is, of course, a symbol of America (and the fallen Roman Empire); these days, Pluto is rising with Fixed Star, Altair (Alpha Aquila, the eagle; keywords: boldness and determination.
If you prefer to round-up, here's the symbol for:
'13Ari' = "A crucible in its oven." (Subjected to exceptional tests; if gold in the crucible, the furnace might purify and purge it of any dross; in less noble characters, the temperament will be harsher, warlike, even destructive...the tests will be frightening, but courage will not go unrewarded; fondness for gold.)
'15Ari' = "A warrior whose iron armor covers him from his toes to his chin, his head staying bare and unshielded." (Shutting windows but leaving the doors open; keep both eyes open and leave nothing to chance, have faith in yourself if you want others to rely upon you, and do not lean on others for anything; listen to others but follow no advice; first impressions of others may be erroneous.)
The middle of the period is April 11 with the Rx period's mid-degree of:
'18Ari' = "Wedding night in the king's palace. The queen, still in bride's attire, waits for the prince consort, seated on the marriage bed in a queenly yet modest attitude." (Keen intelligence, a sociable and hearty nature, (and) a talkative disposition; a personality worshiped by some, envied or slandered by many, feared or respected by all; love of peace (yet) compelled by karmic law to face some decisive fight for which destiny exacts the strictest control; rash acts may lead to trouble with fatal results owing to the plot of the envious.)
'19Ari' = "A gold digger at work in his mine, a satchel of nuggets slung from his belt. His face and attire betray a harsh, stunted life." (An eye only on gain; a soul utterly devoid of feelings; may be selfish, stingy, suspicious, misanthropic, and often unscrupulous.)
'20Ari' = "Ulysses in Polyphemus' cave." (Few moral principles, if any at all; an original mind, never at a loss; a daring temper with a pioneer's or adventurer's craving inquisitiveness; some renown and possibly a violent death.)
'23Ari' = "The medical pharmaceutical emblem of the snake and the chalice, the reptile's tail being wound round the stem and its head overhanging the bowl, its cleft tongue nearly skimming the contents." (A degree of fatality; an instrument of collective karma or the victim of his own; a healer or great invalid, aggressive and warlike; liable to fall under the influence of ill advisers; initiation is not ruled out.)
'24Ari' = "An almost naked woman." (Should a man want to be free, he must let the woman be free as well, who may become his wife tomorrow; to such hypocrisy we owe the institution of the demivierge, a typical infamy of the so-called modern civilization.)
'25Ari' = "A crisp-haired man riding a huge ram, which he holds by his horns." (An awakened ambition to rise very high and the power to do so; active, fierce, and independent but restless and selfish; the power tends to drift into intolerant tyranny; no sense of justice with not the least trace of chivalry toward foes or opponents.)
Well, perhaps these degrees add a bit of astro-info concerning our current Mercury Rx period and as you know, we must be patient until transit Mercury turns Direct and passes its Rx degree (its shadow) on May 11, 2011 when mercurial things begin to move forward once again without the glitches and snafus a Rx period so often engenders for both individuals and governments.