Sun conjunct Mercury, 11th November 2019, an Astronomical Conjunction

On the 11th of November 2019, a transit of Mercury across the Sun will take place between 12:30 and 18:00UT. At this time, Mercury will be visible against the solar disc by obscuring a tiny part of it. After the 2019 event no further astronomical transit of Mercury will take place until December 2032.

Although this is true for the astronomical event, astrologically speaking, the symbolic conjunctions between Mercury and the Sun are by no means rare events.  Nevertheless it might be of interest to take the opportunity and have a look at this particular conjunction.

The exact astrological conjunction will take place on the 11th of November 2019 at 15:22. The chart below, cast for London, shows the event.


Sun conjunct Mercury.png

The conjunction is placed in 18*55 Scorpio; Sun and Mercury are in a separating sextile to Saturn. With the greater malefic involved, it may be expected that this event will be of some significance.

Let us now have a closer look at Mercury. What immediately springs to mind is the fact that he is retrograde. To understand the significance of this, we may have a look at what traditional astrologers have to say about this.

Abu Ma’shar informs us in his Abbreviation of the Introduction to Astrology in the chapter on The Impotence of the Stars

“…  but the worst [is] the retrogradation of Venus and Mercury, particularly if they are hidden by the Sun; or [planets are] found [under the rays of the Sun or] in dark degrees.” (Dykes, Introductions to Traditional Astrology, p220).

This immediately cuts to the heart of the matter of our investigation about Mercury conjunct Sun. When applying to the conjunct with the Sun, Mercury will not only be retrograde, he will as well be under the sunbeams and later on combust. That is exactly the worst-case scenario, highlighted by Abu Ma’shar in the quote above.

To understand what this means, we have to look at the definitions of these two terms.

  • Firstly, a Planet is said to be combust when it is between 17.5 minutes and 8.5 degrees of the Sun.
  • Secondly, under the Sunbeams is a harmful area, extending from the end of combustion until a Planet is 17.5 degrees apart from the Sun.

William Lilly informs us in his Christian Astrology, that Mercury

“is cold and dry, and therefore Melancholy; with the good he is good, with the evil Planets ill; … he is author of subtlety, tricks, deceives, perjury, &c.” (CA, p77)

And Mercury will be very much afflicted on the 11th of November. We have established so far that he will be retrograde, under the sunbeams and later on, closer to perfecting the conjunction, combust. Apart from that he will be aspecting Saturn, the greater malefic.

If we put all this information together, we come to the following conclusion.

Due to his natural and also his debilitated state during the conjunction to the Sun, Mercury will not affect us in a positive, measured manner but he will rather test some of us to a high degree. There can even be some level of fanaticism expected. It is also very likely  that things will go wrong on an epic scale. Particularly electronic devices may unexpectedly malfunction, or the odd communication breakdown may occur. It is also not advisable to sign any kind of contract or agree to any binding arrangements during this transit.

Sun and Mercury are also conjunct fixed star Zubenelshamali. This is the determinant star of lunar mansion 14, al Zubana: Robson knows that this:

“hinders journeys and marriage, harvest and merchandise, favorable for redemption of captives.” [Robson, Fixed Stars and Constellations, p.72.]

It is likely that people who have Scorpio rising in their nativity or have their natal Sun or Mercury at or around 18* Scorpio will experience some of the effects of this conjunction.

The only time when the negative influence of the Sun will be turned into a more positive one is the time Mercury spends in the heart of the Sun, otherwise known as cazimi. This beneficial span of time, which is only very short, will be on 11th of November between 12:28UT and 18:16UT.



Sun conjunct Saturn in Scorpio

On 25 October 2012, the Sun will perfect a conjunction with Saturn in Scorpio. This is a rare event that will only be repeated on 6 November 2013 and 18 November 2014. Thereafter, Saturn will move on into Sagittarius and it will take him until November 2041 to return to Scorpio again.

Generally speaking, Scorpio is a cold, watery, nocturnal, feminine fixed sign and is ruled by Mars, called the Lesser Malefic. Key words for Scorpio are: sex and sensuality, death and rebirth, forbidden secrets and hidden matters. People with Scorpio rising or the Sun in Scorpio are often thought to be generally wary, calculating and intensely secretive.

If we have a general look at Saturn, who is also called the Greater Malefic, we find him to be a cold, dry diurnal planet. He mainly represents sobriety, setbacks and restrictions, and when in Scorpio, he specifically indicates the possible appearance of serious problems, as well as an increase in phases of melancholy. During Saturn in Scorpio, many people are drawn towards an exploration of the paranormal or the occult sciences.

With the Sun in Scorpio, we are exposed to similar themes, like an increase in melancholy but may also experience spells of fanaticism, jealousy, a heightened level of determination, and become intensely passionate. We also may be more secretive, manipulative, cunning or obsessive.

When the Sun is conjunct Saturn in Scorpio, many of these themes may become an issue and particularly so for people who have Sun or Saturn natally placed in Scorpio, have Scorpio rising or many even have a Sun – Saturn conjunction in Scorpio in their birth chart.

In sum total, the conjunction between the Sun and Saturn in Scorpio seems to test how we experience identity as individuals. An increased amount of negative or complicated outside influences are seemingly trying to affect how we respond to other people and the world in general. As a response, many of us will become more sober, withdrawn, jealous, more obsessive and so forth.

Between 16 October and 4 November Saturn is very close to the Sun; traditional astrologers say that during this time Saturn is combust. (The actual definition is that a Planet is said to be combust when it is between 17.5 minutes and 8.5 degrees of the Sun.) During this time we all will be exposed to the influences of this conjunction and, as the ancient masters told us, the closeness of the Sun will increase the detrimental effect of Saturn.

But there is a short period of time when Saturn will be very close to the Sun. Traditional astrologers say that Saturn will be in the heart of the Sun, often also called cazimi. (Any Planet within 17.5 minutes of the Sun’s position is said to be cazimi). On the contrary to being combust, this is very beneficial.

  • Saturn will be cazimi on 25 October, between 00:46UT and 16:18UT.

During this period of time, the Sun will enhance Saturn’s beneficial side. Everybody who is going through an identity crisis or suffers from a lack of self-esteem, caused by the problematic configuration of the Sun and Saturn in Scorpio, will greatly benefit from this short spell of cazimi Saturn. Meditating on these Saturnine themes and allowing ourselves to develop a strong identity, combined with bold decision making in the categories of the Scorpionic themes, like sex and realtionship or death and rebirth will make it possible to embrace the lessons Saturn in Scorpio has in store for us.

I would be delighted if you, gentle reader, would share your experiences of the Sun – Saturn conjunction in Scorpio in form of a comment.