Mercury And The Hamster Wheel Of The Mind

virgo faceI have natal Mercury in Virgo. It is the final dispositor of my chart, which means that every single planet is ruled by a planet that is ruled by Mercury. Everything in my chart is funneled through my Mercury in Virgo mind. Long ago I came up with 2 different analogies for my relentless thinking, and I came up with them late at night, lying in bed, trying to shut my mind OFF. One was the “OMG, my team of horses (thoughts) have taken the bits in their mouths and are running away!” Ever see a team of horses that have total control of the cart? Driver’s sitting up there screaming WHOA, STOP!!! while the horses are heading towards a cliff? The “cliff” is a disaster scenario that my thoughts are trying to convince me is a real upcoming potential. Next thing you know, my pulse is racing and I’m up and pacing the floor. The team jumped into the chasm. These thoughts usually involved my children, and fears about them.

The other analogy is less panic-inducing, but still super annoying. It’s the Hamster Wheel. Over and over and over and over replaying the same scene in my mind, like somehow it’s going to be changed if I think about it long enough. Example: Under a Neptune transit to my natal Mars, I discovered the magic of dancing and live music. At the time, where I lived, there was a live cover band to be found 6 nights a week within a mile from my home. Ah, those were the days. Anyway, I became addicted to dancing. I didn’t need a partner, all I needed was a lemon drop martini and I was out on the dance floor. Perfect Neptune/Mars!!

But when I came home, exhausted, and tried to sleep, my Virgo Mercury would come out and torture me. How dare I be audacious enough to go onto a dance floor by myself and DANCE LIKE NO ONE WAS WATCHING? Over and over and over, my mind relentlessly replayed scenes of me happily and unabashedly and Neptunily dancing. And criticized every single move. I would literally writhe and cringe in bed.

You’d never know it in the light of day, when other things distracted my mind. But in the dark, out came the hamster.

To take control back from the team of horses, to kick the hamster off the wheel, required nothing short of absolute steely determination. I found it under a Saturn transit. Saturn squaring my Mercury forced so many depressive, obsessive thoughts that I absolutely had to regain control or there was going to be dangerous repercussions to my psyche! I learned how to control my breathing, which in turn eventually controlled my thoughts. Who would have thunk it? But it helped me. I still have the hamster visit; the team of horses still try to take the bit. But I don’t become paralyzed and mesmerized by the thoughts as often. When I recognize the body signals of being terrified by my thoughts, I slow my breath down…. way down.

I’m not perfect, I still go to “crazy land” every once in awhile, but the last time it happened, a true crisis was afoot and anybody in his RIGHT mind would have had some run-away thoughts. But the breathing truly helps.

Do you have a hamster rattling around in a wheel at night? What do you do to quiet the little bugger?

40 thoughts on “Mercury And The Hamster Wheel Of The Mind”

  1. Mercury in Virgo is one of the final dispositors in my chart (along with Sun in Leo). My Mercury is retrograde and in a close square to Saturn and a wider one to Neptune.

    Being 5H whenever I engage in leisure activities, my mind just analyses it all and tries to improve the efficiency. I’ve done lots of sport coaching and organising.

    When I first started partnered dancing, my mind was so focused on learning to dance I’d become terribly bothered, even angry, if I couldn’t get the sequence right. Felt like I was really letting my female partners down especially as it was up to me to lead. Once I’d learned the basics, I relaxed and became a much nicer person to dance with.

    What I’ve noticed is that since transiting Neptune opposed Mercury and squared Saturn in the last couple of years, I’ve stopped. I’ve learned to see the bigger picture (which I think is the big flaw to Virgo planets) and work out when something is important or not important to it. I’ve also learned that my accumulated experience can be trusted to the extent that I can just do things on the fly and react as and when things come up. Not everything needs to be planned meticulously any more.

    Has Neptune opposed yours yet Diane?

    1. Every planet in your chart has a ruler. For example, if you have Venus in Sag, the ruler of Sag is Jupiter. Then you look at the ruler of your Jupiter. Let’s say it’s in Leo. The ruler of Leo is the SUN. If your Sun is in Leo, then the rulership stops there, because the Sun is in its own sign of rulership. You do this to every planet in your chart… follow the ruler. For people who have a “final dispositor”, the rulership ends with a single planet.

      In my case, I have a stellium in Virgo and Scorpio, so it’s rather simple. All my Scorpio planets are ruled by Pluto… in Virgo. Virgo’s ruler is Mercury. All my Virgo planets are ruled by Mercury. Mercury ends up being the final dispositor of my chart.

      You can also Google “astrology final dispositor” for even more in-depth explanations and examples.

      1. thank you Diane!!
        I have 2 planets in their ruling sign. so can there be 2 dispositors?
        interesting to learn new astrology themes 🙂

  2. Blue Magoo, I have had same experience. Natal Mercury, Sun, Saturn conjunct in Virgo. Venus also inVirgo. Talk about the horses running away with the cart! Neptune in Pisces opposing — I finally took up yoga and learned to breathe thru and rise up for perspective; go more with the flow.

    1. Holy cow, Fairhavenmaven, that’s a whole lotta Virgo. God bless you during these Neptune/Saturn days…. and yes, breathing… such a simple solution, it almost seems impossible to believe it can do the things it does.

  3. This is something I understand completely. I have a Virgo ascendent and a crazy Scorpio Mercury in the third house – which is, to make things worse, unaspected.
    I have had years and years of insomnia and have given up: now I just stay awake and let the film roll.

    To „dance like no one is watching“ is the only way to dance!

    1. Marina, have you tried slowing your breath down? At first.. OMG, the body resists it like crazy. I literally had to tell myself that I will force myself to do it for just one minute… then next time it was a minute and a half… the resistance was awful. The mind wants to convince us that the thoughts are REAL. That pissed me off!!

  4. there is a T-square in my chart, Saturn (Gemini 0°)- Neptune (Sag 5°) opposition squaring my natal Sun (Pisces 4°) & Mercury (Pisces 10°) – so, I’m constantly in crazy land and if that wouldn’t be enough, transit Neptune is sitting on my Mercury and transit Saturn (just 5° away from my AC) is squaring them… steely determination would be nice to have but I don’t have it… it would be worth a try to control my breathing though…

    1. Sooo worth it, Melinda. Be prepared to have your “mind play tricks on you” at first… it does not like it when you try to disengage from the silly stories it’s trying to tell. It will tell you that it’s IMPERATIVE that you LISTEN TO IT… (don’t buy in…. keep breathing sllooooooowwllly, paying attention to only the in-out of the breath, no matter how much your mind starts screaming at you!!!!) Then you can almost start to third-person yourself … “look at that, her mind is jumping up and down with disaster scenarios trying to trick her into paying attention, but here I am, I am just going to keep breathing slowly, no matter what kind of drama those 2 are playing……”

  5. Thank you Diane, I can picture them now!!! Wild horses in a Hamster wheel… Mercury final dispositor in Virgo twelve House, exactly conjunct Uranus/Pluto facing Saturn in Pisces

    1. Wow!!!!!! Those are some powerful horses!!! What kind of amazing power you will have once you can harness that energy. I imagine self-criticism is definitely a component here, and can totally derail you when you are trying to harness. Even if seemingly comes from someone else, trust that the criticism is an internal voice that is being projected. Trick is to deal with that internal voice. Saturn means so many things, bottom line, in my opinion, is that he is trying to protect you, but has totally gone off the rails.

  6. I don’t go on the hamster wheel very often but I did last night for some reason. I chalked it up to eating a double chocolate ice cream bar in the evening. I’m very sensitive to caffeine. I took some kava kava and almost immediately fell asleep. My natal Mercury is in Scorpio conjunct my moon. My mind is kind of like a dark little nest that I snuggle into. I do think a lot. I ask a lot of questions. But I get a lot of answers and make a lot of discoveries when I’m thinking at night. I’ve always felt bad for the Virgo types in my life who can’t sleep.

    As far as final dispositers; I think mine is Pluto? But Im not sure if im quite understanding how to calculate that. Does everyone have a final dispositer? I would love to know more about this nuance of a natal chart and its significance.

    1. “a dark little nest that I snuggle in to”… I really like that imaging.. I think??

      No, not everyone has a final dispositor. I don’t think it’s taught in Astrology 101, but rulerships are taught pretty early on. Did you read my explanation to Leogirl, above?

      Caffeine definitely ignites the wheel for me, too.

      1. Ok I just did a little research. I didn’t realize that to calculate a final dispositer you had to start with a planet that rules the sign that it’s in. I do not have one planet that rules the sign its in so that answers that! Thanks.

  7. Eesh. Mercury in Virgo here (conjunct Venus and Pluto), also final dispositor of my chart. I hear you. The focus on breath helps many times. Sometimes I just have to take a half a benadryl. I’ve had to tell my bf not to call me too late during the week, and pillow talk is out! Seriously, he can chat and suddenly be snoring while my mind would keep running. Sometimes I have to get up and read (fiction). I hear there are these podcasts you can download that are designed to be deliberately so boring you fall asleep listening to them, though I haven’t tried them.

    1. Maybe that’s why a lot of people fall asleep watching something like old sitcoms on their laptop. Both my kids (adults, now) do this. They say it’s comforting. I personally don’t like it, the flickering lights make my brain go haywire late at night!

  8. I was just thinking something similar this morning. I have a couple of procedures today so yeah it was freak out city.

    In my mind.

    I have Virgo rising and a Virgo stellium: Uranus, Pluto, moon, Mars. For me, it’s my Virgo moon that freaks out, panics, doom city, nothing will ever be the same again blah blah blah. But when that happens I find I am so grateful for my Capricorn Mercury. All that panic stays in my head (much of the time). Because Capricorn can stay cool and reserved. And most of the time the Virgo freak outs are all for nothing anyway.

    At night, I have been trying to tell myself that I can’t do anything about the problem right now anyway so go to sleep. Then I create a make believe world in my head. (Neptune in third, trine moon.)

    1. That’s it, Allie!! Tell that team of horses and their disaster scenario exactly that… “I can’t do anything about the problem right now anyway, so GO TO SLEEP!!!” Strong-arm that team. Nothing they ever say turns out to be the truth, anyway. Troublemakers.

  9. I will Google final dispositor and research further. Thank you for this information. The hamster wheel metaphor is a familiar one to me. Mercury is my chart ruler and I have it in Pisces in the seventh squaring Saturn in Gemini in the tenth tight. Also opposes my Virgo moon and squares my Neptune in Sagittarius. I’ve been seeing psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors since I was nine. Haven’t been on meds in years. I inhale lavender oil, drink green tea, eat whole foods, take walks and have lots of alone time. I write and create art to express and process the craziness. And I love singing karaoke and dancing like a fool. 🙂

    1. Know what’s funny? I didn’t mind dancing like a fool, but I could ***not*** sing karaoke. I guess it’s because somehow I thought I was a good dancer, and KNEW I was a terrible singer. I can’t imagine what the “CRITIC” would have done to me at night if I had developed an addiction to karaoke!! LOLOL!

      I will have to look into lavender oil, I assume it’s a calming agent? Thank you, Misti!

      1. Yes, it calms my ass down. 🙂 I’m about to sing karaoke in the Castro with my Scorpio friend. Enough cerveza and I’m Billie Holiday…says my delusional packed fifth house. Ha.

  10. I have a sixth house mercury but in Cancer so I tend to obsess and dwell not criticize myself. Can be excessively subjective I’m told. With this Saturn transit I feel like people seem to reject me offhand and I go on the same obsessional spiral which comes to why don’t they like me.. it must be because… yeah I suck, trying to analyze it into some resolution, calling someone and demanding comfort, not getting what I want, then watching TV till I relax but worry i just parachuted out of my mind into a different scenario where I’m drunk on pretending to be the protagonist who may be better than me.

  11. The thing is I don’t think I rip myself apart with criticism. I call people and beg them to tell me it’s not true basically. Like I’m not fat right I don’t look bad right. Neither thought really spurs me to improvement not sure what does. Others do think I criticize myself or overanalyze. I think I have a complicated relationship with getting what I want as well.

  12. I have Natal Mercury in Virgo along with my Virgo stellium that includes my moon, venus, pluto, mercury and my MC. I am very familiar with what you are talking about for me there is a chattering monkey that never shuts up. I use repetitive positive affirmation to help ease the metal torment. I may not be able to get that monkey to shut up but I can influence and or program what he chatters about and just like a catchy song stuck in my head I just repeat to myself over and over and over to infinity that “all is well, everything is unfolding according to Divine Order and for the best for all concerned.” over and over and over.

  13. Hahaha! I know exactly what you mean! I have Mercury in Virgo as well and the thoughts fly every which way. I swear I wake up exhausted from thinking too much. I even tell myself to shut up, but of course, that doesn’t help. Visualization exercises help a lot and believe it or not, I will go through the alphabet and name places and animals with each letter to keep my mind off of things. I can get pretty far into the alphabet or when I count backwards from 5000. And again, Mars is right there along for the show the whole way. Mars ramps up my wheel and drives me batty! I have often imagined my thoughts like a wheel. Not vertical but like a zany merry go round and the thoughts are spokes of light and there are way too many. My mind can trail off onto other topics and then make its way back around to the original. It is really exhausting!

    1. Now, I am interested in this depositor thing. My Sun, Mercury, Mars, and Pluto are all in Virgo. My Moon is in Gemini also Mercury ruled. Aquarius Rising with Uranus in Libra and I have Saturn in Taurus both ruled by Venus. My Venus, Jupiter, & Neptune are all in Scorpio and in the Placidus + Equal charts, Venus and Jupiter are in my 9th house and according to what I have read, Jupiter being in Scorpio flavors the 9th house natural ruler Sag/Jupiter. I am very curious about this depositor business and now, my Mercurial mind will go looking under every rock and in every corner to find all the info that I can on it. Pluto conjoins my Sun by 1 degree in Virgo.

      1. Tonya, your scorpio planets are ruled by Pluto, which is in Virgo, so Mercury is ruler. All Virgo planets are also ruled by Mercury, so is Moon in Gemini, as you stated. All those roads lead to being Mercurial ruled. Saturn in Taurus, ruled by Venus, Venus ruled by Pluto, Pluto is in Virgo, Mercury ruled.

  14. Sun in Gemini, Moon in Virgo with Pluto, and Aquarius Rising. My Air/Mercury combo is very nerve-racking and overly mental indeed. Of course I suffer from insomnia, free-floating anxiety and a mind without an “off” button.
    I practiced buddhist meditation for 5 years and never got any relief. If anything I was double checking every breath and criticising myself for any thought that would come up, so it was hell!
    My heart goes out to all persons like us who suffer so much from our mental hyperactivity. I know how much happiness this has cost me over the years, how much fun has been replaced with worry. I find this a difficult karma. Blessings to you Diane and to all hamster-minds.
    What has worked for me is Eckhart Tolle’s teachings on living in the Now. If I really concentrate on what is in front of me, the sights, smells, sounds and all, my mind can go silent and turn to a quiet space.
    Secondly, I’ve discovered that if I do a half hour of yoga first, I can meditate very pleasantly.
    Finally, because I’m going through a very stressful separation with a house to sell, I’ve not been at my nervous best lately. I went to see my ostheopath (chiropractor?) yesterday and she found a tremendous “knot” at my diaphragm. She worked at it, and this morning I felt far more relaxed as a result. There’s obviously work to be done on the body level to evacuate the mental Frenzy.

    1. I think Buddhist meditation is very tough for airy peeps. Me I love yoga too. But.. I think TM is the best type of meditation for airy types. I do the meditation I learned at the art of living which I learned because TM was expensive. But it’s my birthday present so I’ll get it soon

  15. I love Living in the Now. Fabulous philosophy, and really– what more do we really have? Geminis are getting hit by Neptune/Saturn, just like Virgo (opposite signs), so both your Sun and Moon are undergoing tests. I am sorry about the separation; my own Gemini sister is going through this, she is alternately devastated, then hopeful. Air signs do have that blessing of being able to see the bigger picture (I do not have *any* air in my chart, so I am jealous!). Hang in there, Jupiter is arriving to help!!!

  16. But if your final dispositor is Mercury, wouldn’t that mean you have quite a lot of air?
    For me this the first time to hear of the ‘final dispositor’. Very interesting!
    And the sound of your writing is very airish.

    1. Marina, Mercury is the ruler of 2 signs… Gemini (which is air) and Virgo (which is earth). My final dispositor, Mercury, is in Virgo. I’m totally a down-to-earth, linear thinking kind of girl. And, I have to write about what is REAL versus what “might be”. Hope that makes sense!

  17. They come and go. I recognize them and then just erase them, let them go. It is starting to become automatic. Also try to stay physically active and thereby sleep easier at night as my physical body needs the rest. The hamsters can run in my sleeptime dreams where sometimes I am aware of them and sometimes not.

  18. Jeanne B–I am a yoga teacher; part of my training also includes meditation, and breathwork. Yoga was originally developed as a preparation for sitting for meditation. So it makes perfect sense that your meditation practice really started to “gel” after you started to do yoga. I have a yoga studio, and used to offer meditation as a stand-alone class; the folks who were only interested in meditation and didn’t want to do yoga generally didn’t get very far with their practice…. so most of the time I prefer to teach meditation as part of my yoga classes. Your experience of initially spending all your time in meditation being frustrated at your monkey mind is typical. The “monkey mind” is only being itself–no sense in expecting it to be anything other than a little rascal monkey. Instead, we just notice, and “begin again.”

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