Mercury Conjunct Pluto: Intensive Research, Ancestral Work and Shamanic Journeying
On January 11, 2022 Mercury will make an exact conjunction with Pluto at around 26 degrees of Capricorn and stay close to the planet for several days before and after.
Since Mercury just recently finished a retrograde cycle, this is the third time it will meet up with Pluto in Capricorn. The first time was on December 30, 2021, then again on January 30 when Mercury was retrograde, and now for the third time on February 11.
Mercury conjunct Pluto can be great for:
delving deeply into topics
facing deeply seated emotional issues
exploring intense, dark or taboo subjects
engaging in ancestral work
Pluto intensifies whatever it touches, and and this case, it’s the intellect (Mercury). Although this can be used positively as listed above, you also need to watch out for overly obsessive thinking and paranoia with this combination.
To better understand how the energy might show up in your own life, look at the house with Capricorn on the cusp and think about the dates when this aspect became exact in the past six weeks or so. What types of topics came up and what were you called to reexamine or revisit?
Here are a few other ideas for how to lean into this energy in positive ways.
Working with the dead
One thing this particular aspect really speaks to is “working with the dead.” Capricorn is the sign of graveyards and its ruler, Saturn, is the lord of death. Pluto is literally the god of the underworld and Mercury is a psychopomp who leads newly departed souls to the afterlife, a god who can freely move between worlds.
Because of this, the energy from now until around February 16 (my birthday!) when Mercury moves back into Aquarius would be great for anything from delving deeper into genealogy and family history, bringing fresh flowers to the grave of a loved one, setting up an altar to your ancestors or simply taking a stroll through a graveyard, like this lovely one near my apartment.
If you’d like to go even deeper into ancestral work and healing, I highly suggest working with Daniel Foor’s book Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing.
Shamanic Journeying: How to visit the lower world
As I mentioned in the podcast, my mother taught me how do shamanic journeying in my 20s and I’ve found it very useful for working on emotional, creative and spiritual topics or issues. Since its all about moving between worlds (and in this case, the “lower” or underworld), giving it a try also nicely ties in with this Mercury conjunct Pluto energy.
Shamanism splits the world into three:
the lower world, which is the world of ancestors and animal and other spirits
the middle world, which is the spirit dimension of our world
the upper world, which is the dimension of ethereal and celestial beings
Today we’re going to talk about visiting the lower world, which is the one I’ve personally found the most helpful. Here’s the basics on how to get there.
To visit the lower world:
lie down somewhere comfortable and close your eyes. Focus on your breath and relax for a minute or two.
When you’re ready, imagine a very large tree. It can be a tree you’ve seen in pictures, one you simply imagine or even that tall Elm tree in your backyard with a rope swing hanging from its branches.
Walk towards the tree. Near its roots, you find a hole. Go down that hole under the ground. Once you reach the other side, enter into the new space. Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a jungle with monkeys swinging from the branches, or a desert vista with a hawk soaring high above or an ocean shore where a seal and its mother frolic in the waves.
Perhaps you don’t see much of anything, just a few shadows or the feeling that you’re in a different space. That’s also ok.
Take note of any animals or creatures you might see, but know that you do not need to interact with them unless you want to.
Explore as long as you like. When you feel ready, go back up the hole the same way and reenter the “real” world.
So that’s about it for how to enter the lower world. If you found it difficult or nothing much happened, that’s totally normal. Although some people find it more easy than other, it is something that takes practice for everyone.
Another tip: If imagining a tree is not your not your cup of tea, you can imagine any other opening leading under ground, like a cellar door, stairs down to the subway or even a rabbit hole a la Alice in Wonderland. It may also be helpful to listen to drumming like this one (the fast drumming at the end means its time to go back up the hole):
If you feel like sharing your experience, please feel free to do so. If you stick with it, you’ll see there are worlds upon worlds down there, in the rich and sometimes eerie place where dreams and stories come from.