Time Magic

Adam Sommer
4 min readAug 2, 2023

…On the Mercury/Saturn opposition & another pre-shadow

“The good man, though a slave, is free; the wicked, though he reigns, is a slave, and not the slave of a single man, but- what is worse — the slave of as many masters as he has vices.”
-Saint Augustine

It often feels like our ideas don’t stand a chance. When compared to the behemoth institutions of academic authority and state-sanctioned truth, unless it passes the science test, our ideas meet the fate of most baby turtles racing toward the sea. Yet, some actually do make it; they then swim freely in the collective waters, growing day by day, influencing those who get the chance to float along with them. Our ideas not only have a chance, but they are also the only way change ever happens. It is an illusion to think we need approval from anyone or any gatekeeper for something like astrology to work. We know it works, so why bother?

There is an attention component as well. If energy goes where attention goes, then it’s TIktok or some rival that is stealing much of our energy. As aspiring magi we must profoundly understand this principle. We must also turn to The Magi for guidance.

Ideas, attention, and magic — these are all themes we find within the orbit of Mercury (Hermes). In a natal chart, this amorphous planet helps us to understand the ideas we are attracted to, what holds our attention, and what kinds of magic we are capable of; by transit, Mercury helps to refine this trinity even more — especially when retrogrades are near or interesting aspects are occurring. Both are true as I write this.

Mercury is currently opposed to Saturn (5º Virgo/Pisces). Tomorrow, he will enter the pre-shadow of the upcoming Rx which begins on August 23rd (8–21º Virgo). It is a brief moment for us to seriously consider our attention deficits. Whether we are part of the 5% of the population who have officially been diagnosed with ADHD or a part of the rest who may think we are fine, but most likely are not, we have to be honest with ourselves. Considering screen time vs book time or time we are actively manifesting vs passively procrastinating is where we invite Saturn into the conversation. All questions concerning time are Saturn’s wheelhouse. It’s a transit that demands a bit of our time for a sober consideration of the current state of our minds.

Saint Augustine opened up this piece with a thought bubble pertaining to slavery. The way it ends is the most compelling part. The only true way to confront these masters is through fasting, meditation, wilderness vigils, and for some, medicine in the shape of serotonin. Only then can we spot the way in which we reach into the world; only then will we notice how we negotiate with ourselves; really, it’s only then do we finally notice how our own minds are creating most of our problems in life. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons Saturn finds such great joy in the 12th house: it’s a sweet kind of solitude that allows the soul & spirit to realign in accordance with natural law within a purified mind.

And when it comes to the pre-shadow, this is where we begin to walk the fields searching for the best ideas to harvest. When Mercury comes close — which is always the case while retrograde — these ripe ideas are easier to spot; and so are the tricks! Out of all the retrogrades, it is Mercury who I would wager gets the most curses sent his way. It’s unfortunate, mainly because of what is then withheld; no gifts given. We must learn to see the tricks as riddles and when properly solved, we become stunned at the precision at which all the information is delivered at just the right time. Some may even call it magic.

If there were a sentence to sum it all up, it may read: “To change the world, we must change our minds — and for our minds to change, they require powerful ideas, attention, and — of course — good, god magic.

* Mercury opposite Saturn (Aug 2nd; 5º Virgo/Pisces)
* Mercury pre-shadow (Aug 3/4th; 8º Virgo)
* Mercury Rx (Aug 23rd; 21 º Virgo)
* Mercury cazimi/beginning of the cycle (Sep 6th; 13º Virgo)
* Mercury station direct (Sep 15th; 8º Virgo)
* Mercury leaves post-shadow (Sep 30th; 21º Vigo)

* I’ve taught many classes on Mercury cycles throughout the years and you can find them all on my website below…




Adam Sommer

Dedicated to Kosmos, Mythos, and Psyche. “Great stories are worthy of constellations.” Substack: https://kosmognosis.substack.com/