Nabu plans to meet Nergal in the Bow. A consideration of the forthcoming expression of the Mercury retrograde loop in the bow of the Archer occupied by Mars and Pluto. 

Mercury's Conversations - a look at the role that Nabu/Mercury plays in your natal chart.

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Nabu plans to meet Nergal in the Bow

  By Bernadette Brady M.A.

A meeting is about to take place. It was organised only a few days ago, 20-23 November. The plan was made as Nabu (Mercury) brushed past Nergal (Mars) along the corridors of the ecliptic.

They quickly agreed to meet and talk later. The idea was that Nabu was to go by himself to the Bow of the Archer and then wait till Nergal could meet him there.

This meeting will happen 13-14 December 2010 and once completed, Nabu will hurry back to the royal court of the King – the Sun - and either give him Nergal’s message or report on Nergal’s activities.

Is Nabu playing the double agent, or is he the negotiator? And exactly what royal court are we talking about?

Is this somehow linked to the release of Aung San Soo Kyi on 13 November in Myanmar?  Possibly, but I think a more obvious candidate may be the ongoing power struggle between North and South Korea and the USA's war games in their area. In the figures below as well as in the short movie available (click on the link) you can see this quick encounter between Mercury and Mars (figure 1), Mercury then moving to stand still in the Bow of the Archer (figure 2) and Mars meeting Mercury in the "Bow" (figure 3).

Figure 1 - 20 November, Mercury hurries past Nergal

Figure 2 - 7 December, Mercury waits (stations) for Nergal
in the stars of Sagittarius.

Figure 3 - 13-14 December, Mercury is joined by Nergal
in the Bow of the Archer with Pluto near by.

Watch a short movie of this meeting


There are some key points in this combination which need to be considered. The first is that this particular Mercury-Mars combination in the Bow of the Archer is combined with Pluto, making this planet-star combination unique in the last 2,000 years. To this symbolism Pluto adds the promise of large events and irrevocable change. The second consideration is that the Bow of the Archer is, within its mythology, a place of aggression. It is associated with strong focus and decisive action, usually against another. So this meeting appears to be a discussion around a plan to take strong decisive action against another and this action will have irreversible consequences.

As we have noted before in this newsletter, when a sky narrative begins to unfold, it attaches itself to an emerging event. This event, which loosely fits the sky symbolism,  becomes swept up in the inevitability of the sky narrative, playing out its expression in an earthly realm.  It is as if the story, having found an outlet, flows without obstruction into those earthly events.

Korea – North and South - in the news

Mercury joins with Mars in this area of the sky in a three-step repeating pattern consisting of periods of 18 years, 32 years, 29 years. The last three times were in January 1992 [18 years ago],  December, 1963 [29 years earlier] and December 1931 [32 years before that]. In each of these last three conjunctions there has been issues around North and South Korea. At the time of the 1992 conjunction Japan apologized to Korea for forcing Korean women into sexual slavery during WWII. At the 1963 conjunction South Korea was in the news as they were finalizing their Presidential elections and faced pressure from the USA to join the Vietnam War, which they did in 1964. In December 1931 Korea had not yet been divided and was dominated by Japan who, in 1931, strengthened its military rule.

All of the above are just loose associations.  However, as chance would have it, Korea is once again in a rolling and escalating news story. This story began in September with speculation around North Korea’s ailing leader, Kim Jong-il, handing power to his youngest son, Kim Jung-un. The Western media were allowed to take rare footage of parades featuring the potential heir. On 29 October there was an exchange of fire across the border, followed on 12 November by the G20 meeting of world leaders in Seoul. By the 23 November as Nabu was leaving his first encounter with Mars and hurrying to their next meeting North Korea had launched an artillery attack on the south. Now there is strong talk of war as North Korea threatens to attack if South Korea and the USA go ahead with their planned war games in the area.

Given this situation the world can expect the next event to be around the 13-14 December when Mercury meets Nergal again. This event will not be another skirmish or sabre-rattling but something that should change the nature of the game, either an escalation or a stepping down. Either way the game will be altered.  

The royal court that is involved here, the house of the King, is more than likely to be the USA. Nabu will hurry to the king for help or to give information once the events of mid-December unfold. It is a tense time and let us hope that calm heads prevail. 



 Mercury’s Conversations

Darrelyn Gunzburg

We are all born in the midst of sky narrative and one of these is Mercury’s story. In visual astrology Mercury is the eyes and ears of the king (Sun) and as Darby Costello pointed out at StarLogos 2010, there are two different styles of Mercury in a horoscope: one rises before the Sun, acting as a scout, collecting and seeking information; the other follows the Sun and acts as the king’s analyser of information.

As Mercury is scouting or processing he is doing so ‘between meetings’. Mercury is the planet that moves from conversation to conversation, from one encounter to another, and this Mercury in ‘mid-conversation’ is captured in every horoscope. 

In traditional astrology Mercury as a translator of light will ‘carry’ information from one planet to another. We can see the origin of this technique in the Mesopotamian view of Mercury speeding between conjunctions, flying from planet to planet, yet always staying close to the king and returning to him with news and information.


Above: Council of Minerva, Mercury and Jupiter, Homer's Odyssey, The McCune Collection.

How does Nabu/Mercury  function in your chart?

Taking an example from the last VAN we can look at the Mercury of Michelangelo. His Mercury rose before the Sun, therefore it acted as a scout, collecting and seeking information for the king (the Sun). What information did he seek and from whom?

Michelangelo’s Mercury was deep in conversation with the Moon, and in his sky map (below) both were sitting in the mouth of the upturned rim of the urn of Aquarius. The information that Nabu/Mercury was gathering was thus fertile and productive (the flow of the urn of Aquarius). However, since the moon god, Sin, rode over the top of Nabu/Mercury, Sin controlled the information that he passed on to Nabu.


Michelangelo: 6 March 1475 1.50 am LMT, Caprese, Michelan, Italy.


Meanwhile the king (Michelangelo himself) walked with Nergal (Mars) amongst the stars of the eastern fish of Pisces, suggestive of reaching out beyond oneself (the eastern Fish). This is possibly seen in both his sculptural work and in his creation images within the Sistine Chapel.


We could say that the information that Nabu collected for the king, whilst restricted (Sin rode above Mercury) was productive and brought abundance to the king (the Sun) as long as he gave physical expression to his work (Nergal) and used it to accomplish gains beyond what he believed were his limits (the eastern Fish).

 Above, Michelangelo's Natal Sky Map


The second example also comes from the last VAN. This is the Mercury of Krishna Das.


Krishna Das. 31 May 1947, 11.43 pm, Long Island, New York, USA.

His Mercury rose after the Sun, therefore it acts as the king’s analyser of information, processing what is occurring to him and around him.

What information is he evaluating? In his horoscope, Krishna Das’ Mercury sits with Uranus in Gemini in the 5th house, so it is processes what is happening to the king (the Sun) quickly (Mercury-Uranus) and creatively (in the 5th house).

If we look at Krishna Das’ sky map we gain added information. In his sky map (below) the Sun sits in the face of the Bull close to Aldebaran, suggesting that Krishna Das faces challenges and does not back away from confrontation, so he needs an advisor who can assess each situation swiftly and promptly, make rapid assessments and take inspirational leaps with information (Nabu with Uranus).

Above - Krishna Das natal sky map  

: Above: Krishna Das sings kirtan.

Furthermore Nabu/Mercury is separating from Uranus and sits in the liminal space that is the confluence of the horns of the Bull and the club of Orion. This is a Nabu/Mercury that processes information about aggression (the tip of the club of Orion) and challenges (the horns of the Bull) and advises the king (Sun). Krishna Das, through a difficult life story has learn to deal with adversity through song, and in this way he gives this gift to others.


Questions to ask of your Mercury

Does your Mercury travel fore or aft of the Sun? What is the meeting that he is coming from or going towards?  Have a look at your chart and ask yourself how your Mercury supports your Sun in your sky map, either by pushing forward and gathering information or supporting and evaluating what is occurring in the given moment.






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Re-Thinking the Heavens -  
7- 9 January 2011 in Adelaide, South Australia.

Issue No. 71
November, 2010

On related topics

October 2010

The charts of Michelangelo and Krishna Das.

June 2005

The King, the Prize, the Rumour and the Merchant.  Mercury carrying messages.


April 2006

Nergal’s Story – A Mesopotamian look at Mars and his descent into the Underworld. An insight into another approach to the delineation of Mars in a natal chart.



In brief...

A look at the current sky narrative  involving Mercury- Mars-Pluto, as well as a different way of considering Mercury in the natal chart.


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visual astrology  sky happenings

December 2010

Saturn has now been joined by Venus as a morning star and she radiates Saturn giving those who hold the high ground greater strength.   They are joined by the crescent Moon in the early morning of the 2 December.

Jupiter continues to be high in the sky at sunset, glowing near the western fish of Pisces.   

Mars sliding into invisibility but forms this difficult combination with Mercury in the bow of Sagittarius. If you have a good view of the western horizon you may just be able to see this meeting as the sunsets.   

Venus continues as the Morning Star visible from mid-November and radiates the King (Saturn). As a morning star Venus is focused, active and empowering. Mid-November to late-November is a time when action can be taken.   





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