This past week, I’ve been thinking a lot about communication, how I relate to others, and especially how to avoid getting into unproductive or disastrous arguments.
So, like any good astrologer, I’ve been looking at what my chart has to say about all of this.
I’m a pretty typical Aries when it comes to patience and persistence. Considering that I have my Sun, Mercury, and Venus all up in that sign—with Leo as my rising sign—this makes sense. I dive into new things with reckless abandon, obsessively engage them with all of my energy, then collapse in exhaustion.
One way this manifests is in how I communicate with others, particularly when tensions rise and conversations turn into arguments. It’s taken me most of my life to learn that I don’t have to die on every hill, or turn every disagreement into an all-or-nothing situation.
When I’m in an argument or disagreement, I tend to focus my energy on “logic-ing” my way through it, and getting the other person to see things my way. Sometimes this works, but usually it just leaves everyone frustrated and angry.
You see, more often than not, arguments between people who are close are best settled when those involved can acknowledge and validate each other’s feelings. This doesn’t mean you should just abandon logic or reason entirely, but rather that instead of spending all of your time saying “I’m right,” you should also be able to tell them “I see you.”
That’s easier said than done, though, especially if you and the other person don’t think or communicate in the same way. Fortunately, astrology can give us some insight here. This won’t be a “deep dive” into everything a chart can tell you about ways of thinking and communication styles, but it should give you more than a few insights, especially if you haven’t looked into these traits before.
Mercury and the Moon
Broadly speaking, how a person tends to think and communicate is most easily seen by looking at where Mercury and the Moon are found in their chart. As usual, we look first to how essentially dignified or debilitated these planets are.
If Mercury is essentially dignified, it tends toward straight-forward thinking, rational observation, and clear communication. There’s cleverness, but it’s more the “honest” variety—the ability to think around corners, and to communicate in a way that is best received by the audience. If Mercury is peregrine or essentially debilitated, the person’s thinking can became less linear, less rigorous, and sometimes leans toward dishonesty.
To be clear, this is a bird’s eye view of one planet observed in isolation. Don’t put too much stock in this general interpretation. Just keep it in mind.
The Moon, on the other hand, is not about rationality or reasoning at an intellectual level. Instead, it’s about instincts and emotional reasoning. It’s how we respond to situations “without thinking.”
When the Moon is essentially dignified, this usually indicates a person who tends to have a positive experience of their emotions. There’s usually an ease or flexibility to their emotional responses, often with an underpinning of kindness. With a peregrine or essentially debilitated Moon, the person may feel more “afflicted” by their emotions rather than “affected” by them.
Now, which of these two planets is most influential in a person’s thinking and communication is best answered by seeing which of them is the most accidentally dignified.
For instance, if Mercury is in an angular house, with the Moon tucked away in a cadent one, the person will usually operate more at the “intellectual” level. On the other hand, if the Moon is in an angle with Mercury in a cadent house, the person likely favors “emotional” reasoning and communicating “from the heart.”
Another piece of the puzzle is whether or not Mercury and the Moon are aspecting each other, and which sort of aspect it is. Easy and flowing aspects such as the trine and sextile mean that the person’s emotional and intellectual minds tend to work well together.
Difficult aspects such as the square or opposition (or no aspect at all), usually implies a struggle between these two modes of thinking and communicating. In such cases, the stronger planet will tend to win out, whether that strength comes from accidental dignities, or if one planet is placed in the essential dignities of the other.
Again, these are just the most basic of considerations, but this is a decent enough starting point to begin understanding how two people will think and communicate when misunderstandings arise.
A Personal Anecdote
Last week, I had an extremely unpleasant interaction with someone close to me. At the risk of being one of those astrologers (one who talks about their own chart all the time), let’s take a peak at a few of my placements and how they compare with the other person’s.
My Moon sits alone in Virgo, and I’ve already noted my Mercury is in Aries with my Sun and Venus. In their respective degrees, both Mercury and the Moon are peregrine, but neither has any other essential debilities. As for accidental dignities, my Mercury sits in an angle, while my Moon is chilling in a cadent house.
And, of course, with the Moon being ruled by Mercury here, it’s not hard to see that I tend to logic my way through things, but it’s not always easy. Also? There is no aspect between my Mercury and Moon, meaning the connection between my intellectual side and emotional side isn’t the greatest. Most obviously, this means I’m frequently caught unaware when my emotions get all up in my business.
As for the person I was trying (and failing) to communicate with, they also have their Moon in Virgo, but it’s not alone. Venus is in that sign, and this person’s Mercury is in Libra with a stellium of other planets.
In the degrees where the Moon and Mercury sit in this person’s chart, both planets are essentially dignified. However, the Moon is in a succeedent house while Mercury is in a cadent one. This means emotional reasoning tends to win out more often than not. Oh, and once again, we have no aspect between Mercury and the Moon.
One last thing to note here is that with so much Venus and Libra going on in this person’s chart, compared with my Mars and Aries, we definitely don’t come at situations in the same way in general. Getting on the same page as this other person can be a challenge. When we do have a meeting of the minds, it’s awesome.
It’s just not always easy to do that.
There are other chart dynamics at work, but the crux of the matter is whenever we disagree, I spend far too much time trying to convince this person that I’m right. What I should be doing is listening to them, understanding and validating how they feel, and trying to relate to them on a more emotional level.
This doesn’t mean setting my own needs or expectations aside, but I need to be willing and able to “yield the floor,” and allow this person to express how they feel. And then I really need to work at understanding and validating those feelings, as well as trying to see how my own emotional state might be affecting me.
Once we’ve connected on an emotional level, that’s where we can start to find common ground and bring Mercury into the picture. But until that connection is made, there’s a very real risk of things just spiraling out of control as an immovable object meets an unstoppable force.
Putting Everything Together
So what should you take from this rambling little tract? Well, if you haven’t done so already, take a look at your chart and see where Mercury and the Moon are sitting for you. Are they in aspect to each other? Is one stronger than the other?
Look also to the elements and primary qualities which your Moon and Mercury signs are affiliated with, as well as their rulers, and which other planets the Moon and Mercury are making close aspects to. You’ll likely find a lot of nuance there, and more keys to turn as you try to unlock your thinking and communication style.
Once you’ve looked at your chart, compare it with how you approach challenging or tense conversations with others. You’ll usually find it’s a pretty close match.
After you’ve gotten a good handle on your own chart and experiences, look at whatever charts you may have for the people closest to you in life. Consider how you both respond when you fall into a disagreement, and see whether or not a match can’t be found there as well.
One thing I should probably point out before closing out this post is that there is no one right way to think or communicate. Don’t make the mistake of comparing charts with the idea that one set of placements is “better” than another. The key takeaway from all of this shouldn’t be to create differences where there aren’t any, but rather to understand where differences already exist, and how to best address them.
Always try to be aware of your own blind spots, to the best of your ability anyway. For me, this means I need to recognize when the other person is looking for emotional understanding and connection, and to slap down my jerking Mercury when I see it.
And maybe one of these days, I’ll figure out how to do that.
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