The First Degree
…On Mercury’s conception

When our final day is done, will our heart weigh more than that feather?

It’s an Egyptian image of the afterlife that has always stuck. With forgotten gods looking on and a life review on the scales, it’s a wyrd and sobering moment of judgment. It inspires us to live better. And whether Anubis will greet us on the other side or Hermes will be there to guide us along the way, the desire to have a feathered heart, free from regrets, not bogged down by unfinished business and relationships unresolved is a worthy pursuit in life. To strike this balance is our work.

At the moment, somewhere between this pale blue dot we call Earth and the nearest star, a little planet is whizzing past the two, about the create a syzygy (a cazimi; conjunction). It will occur on September 23rd at 00º of Libra. Even though Mercury stationed retrograde in Virgo, this synodic cycle begins in Libra-the 1st degree. Where the last degree is considered faded (or fated) and exhausted (anaretic), the first is its opposite. Fresh-footed and wide-eyed, excited and overwhelmed, a journey into the realm of the social dilemma is soon to begin.

Libra is the tangled web that stretches from left to right, blue to red, jabbed to unjabbed. It’s where we play by unwritten rules to gain favor and likes. it’s also where we learn to push against the consensus, desiring to become the rabble-rouser. Between the jagged peaks of public opinion lies an uncanny valley where we traverse this treacherous terrain. Many boobytraps are set and alluring shortcuts are presented to get us to where we think we need to go. The first step into Libra is a clash between what we think is true and what the world is saying.

Mercury retrogrades can be confusing times. In this one so far, a Queen has died, Ethereum sold its soul, and the Little Mermaid was reborn; All of which summon the volley of arrows from both sides. In our personal lives, I’m sure the tales are even more interesting. So the idea is this: As we near the conception of another Mercury cycle, we listen. We listen closely to the language of birds. We do our best to capture our dreams and turn them into something; words on the page, songs to fill the air, anything. And if we are doing our part, Hermes will gift us with an Idea, one which will likely shape our relationship with the social dilemma. Remembering: If we stand for nothing, we will fall for anything.

Ever since I started tracking these cycles, my life has been properly tuned to them. It’s an extraordinary gift to know that my chapters are led by the Magician. It’s true for all of us. All we need to do is pay attention and make up our minds about what to do about it. We have a choice. So we must choose and refuse to shrug our shoulders.

*Find 0º Libra in your chart. This is the hermetic pivot.

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Adam Sommer

Adam Sommer


Dedicated to Kosmos, Mythos, and Psyche. “Great stories are worthy of constellations.” Substack: