Actor Jeremy Piven (26 July 1965 Manhattan NY USA no time available) last week left performing in David Mamet’s ‘Speed the Plow’ on Broadway due to what was found to be Mercury poisoning. It’s rare, now that the Borgias are out of business, to hear of a poisoning case, and even more so to hear of one involving material that has a planetary namesake. Using a random noon birth time I took a look at Mr. Piven’s natal chart, with an eye toward anything that might say ‘poison’; with no way to accurately determine angles, we are significantly hampered in terms of natal predisposition; in other words, we have no way of seeing whether Mercury poisoning was a potential event for him that could’ve been anticipated, though transits perhaps signal that ‘now’ is the logical time for this to come forward for anyone subjected to heavy consumption (more than once daily) of sushi and other forms of fish, as was Mr. Piven’s habit.
I set the transit chart for Friday the 19th, as I believe this is when the news was announced, and we see that the transiting Moon was entering Libra on that day; with Mercury at 28 Leo 30 in the natal chart, the Moon has just semi-sextiled it, and goes on to square Pluto at oo Capricorn. Of course, we can’t help but notice that transiting Pluto has in recent months trined natal Mercury; perhaps when it first moved within orb of Mercury was the initial, serious adoption of the diet regimen that resulted in the poison build-up–but that’s just speculation. Pluto’s transiting trine to Mercury, if we want to be quite literal, could suggest a destruction/ transformation of the nervous system, to the efficiency of the lungs, and to a slowing of the reflexes (the Mercurial ‘quickness’) all of which are symptoms of Mercury poisoning.
Or should we be looking at Neptune, with it’s ability to hide effects indefinitely, to represent the liquidity of Mercury in general and the potential for another, more insidious kind of poisoning, the ‘fading away’ that comes with many slow, cumulative poisons? Certainly it represents the source of the poison, the oceans and their edible inhabitants. Transiting Neptune is (if we’re generous with orbs) within opposition range of natal Mercury; perhaps both Neptune and Pluto play complementary roles in the poisoning scenario, with the transiting Sun’s approach and conjunction to Pluto shining a light on it in a ‘big reveal.’
Natally, Mercury has only two aspects, a conjunction to Venus (blood sugar) in Virgo (health and diet) and a semi-square to Mars (muscle and blood itself) in Libra (ruled by Venus, and where it’s very weak), so we might not be surprised to find Mercury linked to health issues for Mr. Piven. Mercury’s ruler, the Sun, is posited in its own sign of Leo, and this may suggest possible muscle, and particularly heart, damage as a result of this crisis; this is supported by Pluto as it nears quincunx to the natal Sun, and by the transiting South Node as it sweeps toward conjunction–both imply that damage inflicted in the past may come to light.
I wish Mr. Piven well, and also a speedy and (hopefully) complete recovery; for the rest of us, it’s a useful lesson in going to extremes, dietarily or otherwise.