It took me some courage to finally write about the act of talking to myself, mostly because this is one of the first symptoms of an aggravated mental health condition. Then I started searching the web with ‘Dr. Google’ (obviously, the normal thing to do when you consider accurate self-diagnosis) and remarkably, I found some resources which brought me a sense of solace:
And especially this podcast which was informative and sweet (and I agree with her that our inner narratives can often feel like court hearings):
I enjoy the fact that the first article mentions the work of Jean Piaget, who was one of the first psychologists who described the mental stages of development for children. Piaget found that there were largely 4 of them: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal abstract (or formal operational). In his view, there is a link between the development of our mind from childhood onwards, and moments of intense emotional upheaval, but these aspects also have interesting astrological explanations attached to them, and I want to make this the aim of this article – to connect psychological knowleged with astrological transits and significations, in explaining self-talk and how this contributes to healing.
Therapeutical principles describe how in moments of intense emotional upheaval and trauma, adults could regress to a younger version of their selves, a less sophisticated one, usually experienced during childhood. Or in Piaget’s terms, when we grow up we develop naturally from stage 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 so we could operate at the level of abstract thinking. However, in situations where we experience trauma – with its strong emotional load – we overload the cognitive system and momentarily inhibit our capacity to think at a formal level level, moving us back from stage 4 (formal operational) to stage 3 (concrete operational).
At the same time, and at the level of language, adults also revert from what the sociologist Margaret Archer called ‘our inner conversation’ into its predecessor: the explorative loud-talk of children. Little known, is that this regression is helping the adult self to heal from the present situation, by temporarily escaping into the past. The real problems appear if the adult escapes completely into the past or in a world of illusions and is incapable of reverting back to mature forms of relating, or to act on the principle of reality.
I think there is something profoundly beautiful about how we return to our inner child, when as adults we experience trauma. Of course, I am not supporting traumatic events, nor do I say that there must be the condition of trauma in order to access your inner child – you can easily do so by playing with other children, by enjoying yourself and having fun in the present. It is just that during situations of trauma, one facet of our inner child usually pops up – the wounded aspect. What I find beautiful is that the self seeks solace in a previous version of ourselves, one that was more open, and more vulnerable to the social world. Psychologically, the mind re-attempts to learn again and heal, and this is a trully unique function that demonstrates the plasticity of our brain, and the hunger to learn and to improve.
In such circumstances, talking to oneself becomes like the Freudian ‘talking cure’, just that instead of lying on a couch, you carry these conversations with yourself as you go about your day. Sometimes these can produce some funny and quite embarrasing situations, such as when someone else notices how passionately you might reprimand or guide yourself in the supermarket or on the street. This happens to myself relatively often, since my Moon sign is in Saggitarius and I get some of my best ideas when I move, when I walk and roam around.
One way in which I managed to escape embarrasment, was by recording my thoughts into my phone with the audio recorder function; in this way, talking to myself looks like I am keeping an audio diary or talking to someone on the phone and it appears less crazy-looking 🙂 I also speaks quite silently when talking to myself, almost as if I am praying, which again lessens the mad aspect of this peculiar behaviour.
One one hand, talking to ourselves shows once again how social we are as human beings – even by ourselves we long to connect to something, to discuss, to relate to someone – just that in moments of deep solitude this relating means we only can socialize with ourselves. For some of us, being alone means being yourself, and being protected from judgement, harm and criticism.
Solitude can be a fortress into which we retreat to ‘lick’ our social and emotional wounds (and sometimes even actual, physical wounds); we share this behaviour with animals, and how they act after a fight. Solitude can then be a way of coping with running away from toxicity and a way of coping with life’s struggles. The downside to such an approach is that, if it is prolonged, it can end up alienating us from others and ultimately, from ourselves. This is why solitude has to be temporary (and regression as well) so that the link to reality is somehow maintained.
Neptune rules the sign of Pisces, while Mercury rules the signs of Gemini and Virgo. The Piscean world of escape, fantasies and dreams can heal. But if you spend too much time alone in a Neptunian haze, you might not be able to find your way back to reality, or the secure, stable ground of Virgo-logic. I understand the energy of Pisces to exist on a continuum with that of Virgo – in spite of the fact that these are two very different astrological signs, and are placed opposite from each other on the astrological wheel. Piscean dreams need Virgo practicality, and Virgo’s extreme sense of reality needs encouragement from the fantasies and rosy-eyed scenarios that Pisces usually spin out of thin air —> Sidenote: I made a series of videos about the dual qualities of both of these signs on my Youtube channel, for those interested in knowing more:
Neptune is about the Splendours of the In-between. Learning to love uncertainty and the unknown (the center of all creativity is this foggy territory of doubt; when faced with external limitations, all that is left to do is to go within. Within us is the place of all riches, as Rilke said ‘Know the God within’ (see poem below). But how can we reach and get to know this inner God, that we all keep within, especially when we are wounded, or our wounds hide from our conscious awareness?
As Once the Winged Energy of Delight
As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood’s dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges.
Wonders happen if we can succeed
in passing through the harshest danger;
but only in a bright and purely granted
achievement can we realize the wonder.
To work with Things in the indescribable
relationship is not too hard for us;
the pattern grows more intricate and subtle,
and being swept along is not enough.
Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
until they span the chasm between two
contradictions…For the god
wants to know himself in you.
In connecting astrology to psychology, I would argue that Neptune governs human trauma and post-trauma. Regression as well is a very Piscean strategy of coping with the harshness of the social environment. And Virgo, as its opposite sign and a sign that is ruled by Mercury (the God of communication), influences how we process self-talk as a protective psychological device (or what Freud would call a ‘defense’, and said in more common terms ‘building walls around you’).
But I want to switch now from the depths of this discussion to each astrological signs’ communication style, based on their Mercury placements. After all, the way we think and speak affects how others relate to us, and in learning about your Mercury placement, there might be further healing clues for how to handle post-trauma energy.
Since I am writing this article during the weekend of the Full Snow Moon in Leo and right before the first retrograde of 2020 (which takes places across the sign of Pisces starting from Feburary 17th for 3 weeks), let me briefly break down what each Mercury sign is about:
Mercury in Pisces gives the native limitless creativity. Your strongest point is your capacity to imagine and quickly download ideas from the ether. You also make many associations between elements which people overlook. Your weakest point is the tendency to repeat yourself, gloss over details and speak with doubt and lack of authority.
Mercury in Aries gives the native a quick, sharp mind. Your strongest point is your capacity to be direct, funny and concise with your speech. Your weakest point is that you come across as curt and impatient, and a bit of a bully in how you give indications.
Mercury in Taurus gives the native instant authority. When you speak, people listen, and what you say tends to stick around for a while, so choose your words carefully. Your strongest point is your capacity to clearly state what you think and perseverently back it up. Your weakest point is that your communication tends to be one-way or inflexibile, and you find it hard to explore alternatives (the ‘horse blinkers’ effect).
Mercury in Gemini gives the native a brilliant mind for communication. You are excellent at audio, video, radio, TV, internet transmissions and you have a knack for flexibly moving between all these different mediums with ease, speed and grace. Your strongest point is being a PR powerhouse since you understand speech and thinking in many different ways and you are very adaptable. Your weakest point is your tendency to distort the truth and reality to the such an extreme that these disintegrate into nothingness and you are pessimistic about outcomes.
Mercury in Cancer gives the native a depth to their speech that is incomparable. You can soothe people emotionally through how you speak. Your strongest points are emotional healing and poetic tendencies, you are also a very good storyteller. Your weakest point is that your mind and speech are driven by emotions, so you can also be mean and emotionally explosive when angry.
Mercury in Leo gives the native a mind that is focused on having the best and being the best. You speak of your work, your life and yourself in a positive light and are able to encourage others and coach them into action. Your weakest point is that if someone does not give you attention or disrespects you, you cut off communication with them immediately and burn all bridges.
Mercury in Virgo gives the native a well-balanced mind, but often a nervous one as well. You are more connected to your senses than any other astrological sign, so you could be clair-sentient or clair-audient, for example. The downside is that this mental sensitivity needs a lot of care, so that you don’t veer into pettiness and small-minded thinking. You speak by crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s, and you are excellent at details.
Mercury in Libra coates their speech in beauty. You have the mind of an artist, and when you speak you are fair and detached, but can also think of funny things to say to lighten up the mood around you. Your weakest point is that what you say today might not hold tomorrow, as you tend to speak to please others and hold ideas that are approved by many. However, you have phenomenal abstract-thinking skills and can be a good strategist.
Mercury in Scorpio does not waste words or thoughts. This is the mind of an ultra-sharp thinker, who understands what lies beneath people’s words and their actions. You can get gloomy, but you always match verbal speech to non-verbal elements in how you understand someone, and keep a mental score if a person is telling you the truth or not. This is why you’re not so good at written communication, texts, DMs, emails (on a daily basis), but you could shine at sexting, for example. Deep, prolonged analysis is your thing and you can unearth information that changes the way people think about a situation.
Mercury in Saggitarius gives the native a sense of expansion in their thinking. They are as limitless as a Mercury in Pisces, but they speak from a more logical framework. They are often mystical in how they speak, since they are capable of grapsing the big picture and connect this easily to ordinary thinking. You are in touch with the higher realms and think like an abstract painter. You love to discuss philosophical interpretations of life and to explore truth and meaning, but you are also impractical and you tend to not stick to what you promise.
Mercury in Capricorn is the structured thinker who enjoys mental effort. You are serious in how you express yourself, and use caution in your speech. Sometimes you speak deliberately, slowly and perhaps even monotonously. You might have speach impediments, which stem from childhood, but you usually overcome these with effort and patience. Your thoughts and words produce karma, so you learn to discern how you use them. People seek you for advice, the older you get.
Mercury in Aquarius is highly inventive. You use words in new and sparkling ways, creating funny and unexpected reactions in people. There is a shock-quality to how you think and how you express yourself. Sometimes you dropp eff-bombs in the middle of a high-brow conversation, or you chit-chat superficially, and then expulgate a really deep truth. ‘Expulgating’ is certainly a word you would use, as well as many tongue-twisters and other witty technical devices. The dowside is that you are often misunderstood by others, who feel that they are being talked down to or that you are just too weird.
In relation to each of these Mercury placements in your birth chart, Neptune (being currently in its own sign of Pisces, until 2026) communicates in either: a) trine (flowing, easy aspect of support), b) conjunction (it infuses your Mercury in Pisces with its energy), c) sextile (friendly aspect, with some benefits), d) square (tense aspect, frustrating) or e) opposition (with many highs and lows). So make sure to check where your Mercury is placed (the sign as well as the house, since the house colours it differently; check also if your Mercury is retrograde, since this adds an extra layer of depth to your mind and communication).
With universal love,