Fires burn in many lands as water falls on many others. The ground that now is soaked will in its turn be iced and burned, just as the places that are ablaze will be wet and cold one day. Fire and Ice, Ice and Fire, the way of the world since time began.
Mercury is known as the Planet of Fire and Ice because of his surface heat from his close proximity to the Sun, and from his ice core. As he moves backwards once again now his personality is emphasised: not only do we experience his capacity to confuse and trick us, but he encourages us to experience the fires of challenge and the ice of self-discovery. He offers us a seesaw to observe and feel the highs and the lows of life and of ourselves, and the opportunity to change if we dare.
The reminders of Fire and Ice are everywhere: they are in the colours of autumn, in the fires of Bonfire Night, in political plotting in the bowels of Westminster, in the first report into the Grenfell fire, in the California wildfires, and in the comfort of a warm home on a cool night. Beneath the damp ground and a land preparing to hibernate there is the hint of hard ground and heavy snow to come, and already frosts touch the leaves and freezes the waters despite the intermittent warmth of the Sun. Fire and Ice are with us, somehow, wherever in the world we live.
This is such a betwixt and between time, and it serves us well to use it to explore within and enable change if we can and if it serves. It is a time to be open to anything, and to allow Spirit to guide us forward even into an abyss of ignorance and nothingness but from which comes everything we need for the great journey we walk together.
It is at times like this, times of Fire and Ice, that we may – if we are lucky – be shamanically “dismembered”. A dismemberment means we are, symbolically, taken apart and then put back together in a new way for a new cycle of experience, and it can include the metaphors of baptism by fire, or being frozen alive. We survive the experience, which may feel is very real, and are the greater for it. Fire and Ice may seem the enemy, but like our enemies they can prove to be our best teacher.
Fire and Ice are real, in every sense and at all levels. They test us and help us sometimes subtly, sometimes prominently particularly when encouraged by cosmic energies such as Mercury. Mercury may be the Planet of Fire and Ice, but his genes are in our DNA: like him, Fire and Ice are in our core and on our surface. In our own way, we are planets too.