Mercury’s Epimethean-Retrograde phase begins when Mercury is stationary, turning retrograde,
and about twenty zodiacal degrees ahead of the the Sun. In terms of duration, it is the shortest of the four types, lasting only ten to fifteen days. This means fewer than one in ten persons are born during the phase. During the fourth phase, the Sun and Mercury move toward each other — from opposite directions. The movement culminates at the inferior conjunction, when, in Rudhyar’s poetic words, Mercury "is once more fecundated by Solar will and power."
The fourth face of Mercury suggest a philosophical or introspective mental temperament. Like the Epimethean-Direct type, it carries a sense of tradition, but it is never satisfied with second-hand knowledge. The Epimethean-Retrograde type questions authority and social, religious and even scientific dogmas and presumptions. It is a phase of inner illumination.
If you were born during Mercury’s fourth face, you possess a contemplative, deeply introspective mind seeking inner meaning.
This doesn’t mean other Mercury types lack contemplation and introspection, just that it comes more easily and naturally
for you. When in doubt, you’re likely to examine all the issues involved from every perspective. Your want to discover the reason, meaning and purpose behind everything, and you are unlikely to be satisfied with easy, superficial answers. Others exposed to your insight may mistake it for Promethean intuition. While Epimethean insights may affirm the intuition of Prometheans, different process stand behind them — one founded in an intuitive vision of the future and how things could be, the other based in an understanding of the past and how it leads to a creative future.
Individuals born during the Epimethean-Retrograde phase may at times experience a profound dissatisfaction with the order of things as they are, with the status quo
, and they may encounter a good deal frustration attempting to inspire others with their ideas and inner realizations. During such moments it is best to avoid protracted feeling of frustration. Focus on the future and its new possibilities, symbolized by the inferior conjunction just ahead—the seed consummation of the past cycle and the gateway to the future.
Sri Aurobindo, who was modern India’s greatest holistic mind and an early activist for Indian Independence, was born at the very beginning of the Epimethean-Retrograde phase. Marie d’Agoult, an influential nineteenth century social and philosophical commentator, and an early liberated women, also exemplifies the fourth face of Mercury. The surrealist painter, Salvador Dali
, the Indian saint, Ramakrishna
, and Ben Franklin were also born during the Epimethean-Retrograde phase.
Like female Promethean-Retrograde types, women born during the fourth face of Mercury often find themselves breaking new ground and embracing controversial issues. Their biographies, inner realizations and personal philosophies often inspire and guide others. Jane Fonda
and Dr. Joyce Brothers
are examples of the type, issue-oriented and intellectual, with a strong sense of precedents, they make a powerful impression while projecting a strong sense of natural femininity. target="_blank"Madonna, Tina Turner
and Janis Joplin
also exemplify the Epimethean-Retrograde woman, and in their biographies we witness some of the type’s "soul discontent."
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