Mercury in Sagittarius :: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Mercury entered the adventuresome sign of Sagittarius on November 17th and will depart for the more strategic sign of Capricorn on December 6th. Mercury governs the way we communicate with one another. I often think a fitting slogan for Mercury in Sag would be “S/he with the most stories wins!”.  This is a sign that connects through heroic exploration of the wide-wide world and all the experiences to be mined within it.

Mercury will be in the sign of Sagittarius on Thursday, November 24th: a day that some of us will gather with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving. Like all signs, there are advantages and disadvantages to having a planet express through a particular sign.  Let’s take a look at Mercury expressing through the mutable fire of Sagittarius.

The Good

The ruler of a sign will tell you a lot about the characteristics of that sign. Sagittarius is the diurnal home of Jupiter which equips Mercury to communicate in a generous way and with gratitude and humor. Sagittarius is the sign of the story-teller, the one who has travelled far collecting experiences to place into their cauldron of simmering wisdom. Mercury in Sag enjoys performing in front of a captive audience and those eager to hear of faraway places and people.

My favorite singer-songwriter, Tom Waits, is a Sagittarius Sun. His Mercury, also in Sag, conjuncts his Ascendant. The colorful characters in his songs are larger than life. They quest, mythological style, with buck shot eyes and purple hearts on a road that promises nothing. You’ll find them in a circus, at the bar, in a Hong Kong Drizzle, in barns and basements always searching for meaning. It’s the same with The Archer… no matter how far that arrow flies, there’s a homing signal that’s really trying to unravel what’s it all for.

Perhaps that’s why Sagittarius is the sign connected to philosophers, preachers and teachers: it’s aspirational. Forged in fire, this communication style is passionate, inspiring and looks at the bigger picture.

The Bad

Yet looking at the bigger picture can lead to missing important details. Mercury is said to be in exile in Sagittarius. It’s precision and meticulous observance of specifics gives way to grokking the whole. Sometimes, useful information slips through the cracks because it’s either not sought out or the person feels as if they already know what’s best for them.

This can look like dream-filled ambition without any solid foundation. It can be an announcement from left field that has no grounding in reality. It can result in over-promising and then under-delivering. And it can also be selectively holding on to information that already fits in one’s worldview, reinforcing one’s own prejudices and perceptions. Which leads us to the ugly…

The Ugly

The ugly? Over talking and under listening. Trying to convert the other to one’s own position, and when that doesn’t work, self-righteous huffing and puffing. You can see how someone making an announcement that demonstrates they haven’t thought things through might trigger a reactive response from someone who thinks they know better.

What to do?

A helpful piece of advice this Thanksgiving would be to listen more and opine less. Also, be careful not to over extend yourself on wishful thinking.

Another piece of advice would be to lean on the good side of Mercury in Sagittarius and remember all the wonderful things to be grateful about; and if there’s a story connected to gratitude: share it.