And now, time for that typically triannual, sometimes quad annual infamous event known in astrology and non-astrology circles alike as Mercury Retrograde! We didn’t get much of a cosmic break from all the square activity over the past couple of months before being cast into yet another cataclysmic series of adjustments. Not only have the recent Grand Squares and T-squares been pushing us way past our comfort zones but their lingering influence will continue to push us into thinking and acting outside the box in the weeks and months ahead, into the year 2014.
The New Moon in Libra occurred between the 4th and 5th, which has been and will for a few more days will be influencing the quality and tone of our relationships to others in mostly positive ways. This is an especially supported time to make amends where needed, or to somehow balance the scales with regards to things, energy and money owed to and from us. There is just a wee bit more time to strike for some new beginnings before Mercury’s Retrograde. The Sun in Libra accentuates all things artistic, and favors symmetry, harmony and balance. While this sign hopes for peace and harmony more than anything else, it did recently recharge the ongoing Grand Square with Pluto, Jupiter and Uranus. These planets are the current heralds of global and transpersonal awakening. Tensions have been high and building for the past few weeks, so it’s important to find outlets and avenues for both creative expression and emotional release. Equally important is the need simply for rest. Libra rules the kidneys and when the kidney energy burns out, so does the life force of the body. Drink lots of water, stretch, breathe. The energetic gateway to the kidneys are the ears, so Libra often makes it a point to listen and hear many different points of view. Be careful not to take in so many viewpoints that you lose track of your own! Listen with mindfulness to nature, others and yourself, and then act in accordance with what resonates harmoniously within.
We have another week and a half before Mercury actually turns retrograde on the 21st until November 11th, but with Mercury retrogrades we might as well consider the three weeks prior to and after as also being retrograde, often referred to as the shadow period of the retrograde itself. That means each Retrograde is not really three weeks but up to nine weeks in effect. So, while technically Mercury only goes Retrograde three to four times a year for three to four weeks at a time, its influence is actually felt or experienced for half of each year, unevenly divided.
All Mercury Retrograde cycles are not even in effect, nor are they necessarily negative or unpleasant even though there are always a lot of things that break down, fall apart or go this way instead of that. The energy often depends upon the sign it is in, the aspects being made to other planets, and on a personal level what planets are being aspects in someone or something’s natal chart. Most of all, the quality of this frequent occurrence – so much an ongoing part of life on Earth lies in the eye of the beholder, and the ability of the person experiencing it to be objective versus subjectively caught in a web of victimization. This whole phenomenon brings to mind the tree that fell in the forest – would it have actually made a sound if no one were there to hear it? Would this sound be entirely different to the forest itself than what we perceive it to be, in humanoid form? Mercury Retrograde happens with or without us, but especially – I suspect, with us. I have seen it affect not only humans but a multitude of plants, animals, and insects in our ecosystem, not to mention electronic appliances, but is this based on my own projections or what would be happening even if I were not present as a witness? These are the questions I repeatedly ask, even after years of study and observation of what cannot be denied as “real”.
This Retrograde is an emotionally charged and transformative one in the sign of Scorpio, and will have transited Saturn three times during its course. This year of the Black Water Snake has been quite intense for many of us, filled with endings, deaths, and the casting away of old skins and molds. This Retrograde may very well serve as the straw that broke the camel’s back in some long-standing agitating instance, the icing on the cake in another – the point where we actually let go, walk away, cast out, say no, or simply know that the past is over, the future is now. What is it that you’re so over and ready to be done with, whether it’s a job, physical condition, a mental, relational or other one?
One of Scorpio’s symbols is the snake, which is a universal symbol of death, healing, and transformation, as well as one that evokes a great deal of fear in many. In every snake’s life the eyes will gloss over during a period in which is begins to shed its entire skin. During this period the snake becomes quite reclusive, as the skin changes hues and loosens itself from the body. The glazed eyes and skin shedding reflect a similar inward process for us, encouraging our own release from something that has outlived its course in our life. We may need to pull away from mundane activities or interactions and look to the guidance or the world within. Saturn represents the structure that keep a thing in place such as the columns, poles, and platforms that hold a building upright, the bones that hold and keep our organs intact. In Scorpio – keeper of secrets, Mercury – representing our minds and method of communication and travel, is brushing up against Saturn – the form builder and holder. Deep wounds and secrets may be revealed during this time, and while this may indicate emotional turbulence for some, the potential for profound healing also exists in this combination. The caduceus is a symbol representing both the staff and swiftness of Mercury as well as the regenerative powers of the snake and in this case, Scorpio.
Mercury in Scorpio unlocks the gates of the subconscious and may heighten dream activity, with intense visionary and astral experiences. Saturn leans toward heavier thinking, but with some conscious awareness we can shift from an easy fall into depression into a state of focused discipline and concentration on the tasks at hand. Mercury in this sign can also sharpen the tongue, so that words cut deep emotional wounds with a Scorpionic sting. We should be careful not to be hard on ourselves or others for mistakes made, but seek to bring insight and order in compassionate ways, with compassionate words.
Mercury’s Direct motion on the 11th coincides with and forms a trine to Neptune going Direct in Pisces on the 13th. In easing out of these two retrogrades there may be a sensation akin to that of a raw nerve, but also possible is that we will have become so much wiser and enlightened about things, habits, and situations that we were previously blind to.
More on the upcoming Full Moon soon 🙂 Blessings!