Author Topic: Hermetica Triptycha by Gary Caton  (Read 735 times)

Offline Barbara Ybarra

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Hermetica Triptycha by Gary Caton
« on: January 17, 2018, 02:47:23 PM »
I've just finished a first read through this new book put out by astrologer Gary Caton.  I believe it's an important presentation of the Mercury synodic cycles which he calls "the Mercury elemental year".  I learned things from this book which I have not read in any other book, though of course I've missed reading gads of astrological books, but, really, I can't figure out why these cycles are not already common knowledge and commonly in usage for our personal development.

The premise of the book is that Mercury is a transpersonal planet, every bit as much as the outer planets (and so are the rest of the inner planets including Sun and Moon says Gary); it just needs to be recognized through the awareness of the greater cycle which it describes in our sky, and then applied to our personal chart.

Here is the scoop.  We are born in a certain "Mercury elemental year", which is the element of the signs that Mercury retrogrades 3 times in any given year.  The most significant marker for us personally is the Mercury retrograde period just prior to our birth (or at our birth in some cases).  Yes, sometimes it retrogrades into another element after our birth.  All is explained.  This is not as simple as spotting the date when Mercury turns rx.  The ephemeris Gary created for his book establishes the 40 day period between the Eastern elongation of Mercury and the Western elongation, and the point between them when Mercury makes its conjunction with the Sun while it is retrograde.

Mercury returns to an elemental year every 6 1/2 to 7 years.  To return to our own elemental year is a productive collective mental processing time in our lives.  There are 12 of these returns which bring us to age 79 when Mercury comes back to the exact degree at retrograde where it was prior to our birth.  This is (in my words, not Gary's) a bit like being a precursor to our Uranus return at age 84, and not unlike the transpersonal and transformative process of experiencing one revolution of Uranus around the Sun if we did it right. 

There is a lot of esoteric reasoning to all of this in the book, and some shamanistic exercises which Gary includes, but the insistence that we have been missing out all these years by ignoring its significance strikes me as right on the money.  Prior to this book I remember appreciating Erin Sullivan's chapter on Mercury in her book Retrograde Planets, and thinking that she came very close to explaining the beauty and power of a retrograde Mercury, but she mentioned nothing about the magic of the entire cycle.  Read this book by Gary Caton.

At the end of this month I am also attending an NCGR lecture by Arielle Guttman on the Venus star point.  I hope it is as enlightening.   

 

 

Offline Barbara Ybarra

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Re: Hermetica Triptycha by Gary Caton
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 09:50:36 PM »
I must clarify that the return point at 79 years is actually the retrograde degree of Mercury when it is conjunct to the Sun.  So, the conjunction of the Sun and Mercury rx occurs in a particular degree only once in every 79 years.  Although Caton does not talk specifically of focusing on these points other than their meaning for our personal elementary year cycle, we can of course check to see if any Mercury rx degree conjunct Sun hits a significant point in our horoscope at some point in our lives.  Obviously, since it occurs only once in 79 years, it may be something we might want to know.

Gary Caton is one of the few astrologers I know who takes the time and effort to learn the astronomy or our art.  There are others of course, but I am impressed with his efforts.  Historically, astrologers were also astronomers.

Offline Hudson Valley Astrologer

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Re: Hermetica Triptycha by Gary Caton
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 04:11:23 AM »
Thanks Barb...

Sounds interesting to say the least...

A quick calculation on the Sibly chart suggests that we recently passed the third such return phase... 3 X 79 = 2013.

HVA

Offline Barbara Ybarra

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Re: Hermetica Triptycha by Gary Caton
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 11:14:19 AM »
Thank you very much, Tim, for reading this and responding to it with an even broader reference.  Gary Caton's whole point about the Mercury cycles is that we are being asked to respond to life collectively.  What is more collective than a horoscope of a whole country?!

I happen to love the Sibley chart, whether or not it is the exact moment when the U.S. declared itself a country or not.  It has provenance. The chart and story has been preserved by the public, and it is agreed that Ebenezer Sibley mailed this chart to England because something monumental had occurred.  It is the earliest made astrological confirmation that the revolution was declared and people were being called to action. 

Anyway, that is just an aside.  In the Mercury book an ephemeris is provided with exact dates for Mercury-Sun conjunctions.  It doesn't go back as far as 1776, but I checked to see from the Sibley chart when it occurred, and see that the rx Cancer Mercury had not yet made conjunction with the Sun, which is fine, because it still says a whole lot about this country.  Technically the conjunction prior was in March of 1776 in 15 Pisces.  In Caton's ephemeris I can see the 15 Pisces in March of 2013, and yes, it is the third 79 year cycle for the United States!

Pisces in the US Sibley chart is in the 3rd house.  In 2013 the man Edward Snowden was charged with releasing information, violating the Espionage Act, etc.  It was a big deal, and we all talked about whether we wanted complete transparency from the government and whether or not we each wanted individual privacy to be respected.  We are still talking about it.  I just heard that my amazon echo allows the government to listen to my household.  Well, if they are, they are going to be bored off their rockers.

Here is a quote early on in Caton's book:

"Mercury is not commonly thought of in terms of collective expression, but since the Mercury elemental year is a context shared by everyone born in a particular year, it is precisely this collective expression of Mercurial themes to which the Mercury elemental year most certainly speaks."

I will not spend the time to see if there is a similar theme that came up for the U.S. at the other 79 year returns, but I think it would be worth looking at.  I myself unknowingly sent a manuscript to AFA for consideration for publication in September of 2016, almost to the day when it was my 10th return to the degree of the Sun-Mercury rx conjunction prior to my birth.  So, yes, I sent off a manuscript in the mail with Mercury in retrograde!  Who does that?  I didn't even look at the astrology that day, I just knew it was time to send it, and now they are almost done with editing and choosing the cover art.   

 


Offline Barbara Ybarra

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Re: Hermetica Triptycha by Gary Caton
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2018, 09:22:36 AM »
HVA, I just saw online that G. Caton wrote a short article in 2013 for the Mountain Astrologer magazine in which he talked about the U.S. making its third complete return of the cycles of Mercury. I'm sure it went zooming over the heads of most readers because it was not a concept that astrologers were familiar with, and he didn't explain the whole synodic passages in detail.

It's difficult to say how many individuals ever think about these things.  Certainly there are amateur astronomer-astrologers who are fixated on cycles and their numbers, but they are often people who cannot relate to the humanistic and esoteric application of that information.  I'm sure that Gary himself didn't know how many people would say to him after he spent so much time studying it "Oh, yeah, I heard about that, but it didn't seem to be a big deal to me". We all know how some of us are always protecting our egos. 

As Edgar Cayce said so many times: "Mercury is ever the builder".  And that is not just true for Mercury in Capricorn.   Mercury is a transpersonal planet which allows development over time for a human to make contact with the collective, to understand and aid the development of the soul which must connect with other souls.  Countries are the same.  America is not even 300 years old, so it is a very young soul. 

   

Offline Hudson Valley Astrologer

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Re: Hermetica Triptycha by Gary Caton
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2018, 06:15:29 AM »
Thanks Barb,

Was out of commission here due to being in commission elsewhere.  ;)

Not familiar with Caton's work but I love the elongation of perspective in his ideas.

What I'm finding is that opening my mind to other paths only serves to strengthen what I learned from Noel. I come back always to the lived experience, or what the human being component in the planetary formula means. Not my interpretation BUT a shared perspective of personal life experience. I wish that I were positioned to do more consultations. Where the rubber meets the road so to speak. Soon...

I've been reading a lot about Soul work, perhaps popularized like never before by Thomas Moore: Care of the Soul and Soul Mates. There is also The Soul of Sex but I haven't picked that one up yet. I lent out my copy of Care of the Soul, which was his breakout book in the early 90s, but it never came back.  >:(

What comes to mind when I consider this construct of Mercury's 79 year cycle, is the precession's movement of 1 degree every 72 years leaving 7 years left over. I think Mercury's rulership over Mind is interesting in that in many ways Mercury is the 'weakest' planet as it is closest to the Sun and doesn't appear to "move". And this suggests that man needs to evolve a more powerful instrument than mind, something above it or at the very least to transform mind sufficiently as the precession degrees tick by... A much needed transformation brings Uranus into the story as it is related to Mercury by planetary essence. There is a shared intensity, and it becomes easier to see that 'mind' has become the regent of man, a great mentality within politics, religion, science, communication, travel, language, education, etc. all the dominant domains of the 19th and 20th centuries. Upheaval, disruption, and change apparently are building toward a pique. Divisiveness, opining about one view as opposed another, and increasing polarities, all relate to this observation of Mercury's limitations because we are not seeing the holistic impartial relatedness of the circle; only a partial and fragmentary view.

Mercury exalted in Aquarius, ruled by Uranus, relates to the Universal mind, but the realization of this power is not possible without the discovery of the outer planets. We can see this simply through how our minds "color" our view. Mercury, is Yellow. A subdued hue of the purer Solar Rays of the Sun which are Golden. As such Mercury is suggested to be the intermediary between the lower forces rising up from our lower nature represented by Mars and the color red and 'heaven above' represented by Venus the color blue. Yellow and Blue combine to make Green, the energies that mix and blend to create our Earthly perspective. Unevolved, distortions mix and collide between the fallibility of our sensing instruments: our minds; our ideals. Bringing down higher powers to meet the evolving powers on the rise has a transformative affect that we experience as shattering. I think this happens at both a personal level and as well at the collective level. The descending power has been described as a surgical instrument slicing the skull to create an opening for the Light to enter. The ultimate collision between the descending power of Truth perhaps and the rising power of the Transformed Mind, and one that could possibly save the Planet. In some sense most religions relate fragments of this universal truth, but devotees become possessive and sectarian about their claims and faith, as if they held the Whole Truth, which is impossible at this point in the development as in those cases Mercury, or the lower mind, is still in charge. So we squabble and fight! And how interesting that those 7 years left over equals the time Uranus traverses each sign which is about 7 years on average.

Does Caton also write about the longer cycles of Venus and Mars? We could look at their relationship to their higher octave planets as well in similar fashion. The book really sound of interest as mention of it automatically triggers mental gymnastics in my own brain... hopefully adding helpful color and clarity even though I've not read a word.

So looking forward to hearing about a breakout book for you Barb.

All the best,

HVA

Offline Barbara Ybarra

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Re: Hermetica Triptycha by Gary Caton
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2018, 01:26:18 PM »
I hope everyone took the opportunity to read the deep and inspiring post by Hudson Valley Astrologer here above.  Tim is an accomplished person and an "adept" if you of the Tyl approach to synthesizing the personal horoscope for personal development. Though Noel Tyl has never emphasized the connection between the individual and the collective, not every astrologer can do everything.  Noel has laid a tremendously sound foundation for humanistic astrology.  None better, none greater!

The Mercury book is I believe the first book published by Gary, who some years ago was quite attracted to the Venus cycle(s).  Perhaps because there is more information already published on the Venus cycles, and perhaps because Gary was suddenly drawn to the Mercury cycles which no one seemed to incorporate into astrology, here is now his "first volume".  I'm sure if he had the time, he would do the same for Venus and Mars.  When you think about it, it makes sense to start with the planet closest to the Sun, then see where it goes from there.  First things first, a concept I think Don Borkowski used in another recent thread here.   Very wise.

-Barbara Y

Offline Hudson Valley Astrologer

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Re: Hermetica Triptycha by Gary Caton
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 03:29:32 AM »
Thank you Barb...