Mercury retrograde is a cyclical event that occurs about 3 times a year. Other planets go retrograde as well, about once a year. A quick and dirty understanding of the phenomenon – “retrograde” simply refers to a period where from the earth’s vantage point a planetary body appears to move backwards in the sky. This is due to the orbit of the planet in relation to us, and is thus reflected in our astrological maps and in the energetic feeling of that planetary body. Retrograde cycles are times for reevaluation and inward reflection on the area of life represented by that particular planet. Mercury governs the mind – in particular, thought and communication – so its direct impact on one of the most basic and fundamental aspects of ordinary life is one of the reasons why we tend to feel its effects so strongly.
Now, as an astrologer I feel it is important and necessary to note that not ALL of the crazy upsets that happen during a retrograde are because of Mercury Retrograde (Has anyone else noticed that Mercury Retrograde is the scapegoat for all of life’s problems?) – however, there is no denying that our rational facilities become somewhat debilitated during the Mercury Retrograde cycle – and so any triggering aspects can be greatly magnified. And lately, there have been a LOT of triggering aspects. Simply know that whatever happens during Mercury Retrograde – the primary function of this cycle is to be a mental reset button. Our mental sphere is taking a break from its forward motion and pausing to reevaluate.
So I am calling this Mercury Retrograde cycle “Serious Evaluation.” Why?
One of the major correlations I am feeling with this Mercury Retrograde is its connection with the Saturn Retrograde cycle that started back in March. As of December, Saturn began its movement into Sagittarius after two years in the sign of Scorpio, only to move retrograde shortly thereafter, where it shall return to Scorpio for a few months this summer. Basically, we have some unfinished Karmic business in the Scorpio sector of our lives and we’re heading back into the themes of last year, particularly late fall, to finish up what we started. This Saturn Retrograde cycle is significant because it indicates both an ending and a beginning that is reflected by the cosmic interplay of 2015 as a whole. In my most recent articles I wrote a great deal about how the energies of March and April were bringing us forward into a new energetic context from the inside out. Now it is nearly June, and I am feeling that these new energies are definitely with us, but we are being urged now to purify our lives to an even greater level in order to align with them properly. Those areas where we have weakness or confusion are coming forward to be addressed in a big way. We are essentially undergoing a major overhaul in our collective perspective, and so as individuals are charged with the task of finding the truth of our own lives. Who are we as individuals when we are not wearing the masks or abiding the structures set for us by society? And then, what is our contribution as individuals toward the creation of a more balanced society?
So I really am feeling and seeing this Mercury Retrograde cycle as a focused phase of the larger Saturn Retrograde cycle. We’re being directed to observe not just the physical and structural obstacles to expansion and growth in our lives, but also the mental. For myself, a lot of themes from last summer and fall have already resurfaced and I have been finding myself saying, “Oh no, I’m not getting stuck in that rut again!” And working, actively, to change my attitude and mental blocks or else see the whole summer pass me by with the same unending dilemmas. This shifting has allowed for creative solutions to problems and to perceive the many options available that were previously invisible to me. A little flexibility in thinking can go a long way towards achieving desired results. Sometimes we might have to change course a bit, do something over, or re-experience a less favorable situation to come to clarity about what we really need to do. It’s all there to help us learn, and to bring us in alignment with the proper track.
Mercury Retrograde is also often known as a period for rekindling past connections and being visited by ghosts. These past teachers are cropping up all over – even from the distant past – and it being Mercury in its favorite sign Gemini – all of these people and things have messages for us. What are they? Memories of times that were easier, lighter, more free? What about those times is missing in your present life? How have you changed, grown, and matured since then? On the other hand, perhaps you have past memories that are showing themselves through emotional triggers. Where do these things come from? What is their present day cause? What is their deeper source? What are the steps to bring the shadow aspects of ourselves into the light of consciousness and heal?
We might be reevaluating our work life, the dynamics of our relationships, or realizing the holes that exist in our relationship with ourselves. Sometimes we can look at past situations and see the errors that we perpetuate. Sometimes we look at our past life and are reminded of things we’ve left behind, but perhaps never meant to. Have we forgotten the sweetness of life? The innocence of things before we got stuck in the cycle of “work?” Whether it be working on ourselves, working a job, working a business – are all of our pursuits really feeding our spirit?
Another aspect of this retrograde in Gemini that speaks to me is the nature of information, words, and the tricks of the mind. We live in a culture that is basically on information overload at all times and the influence of this borg of information on our consciousness must certainly be unprecedented, for better or worse. Give your brain a break. We can’t be all things at all times to all people. Gemini loves to play all roles and prides itself in its ability to adapt and take on many different kinds of projects. Quick witted Gemini can learn to fix a bike, aspire to be a yoga expert, write a novel, and remember the most specific details about any topic that has ever piqued their interest – all within the span of 5 minutes -- but there is a reason some people out there are specialists. There is a lot to be said for simply unplugging and focusing on what we really know, and what’s important for us as individuals to develop. That means not allowing ourselves to be scattered by envy for what Sally is up to, tripping over the standards set by others for what life should look like, or even just feeling that we need to take on certain tasks just because it’s slightly cheaper to DIY. In life people commonly say, “Pick your battles.” When it comes to our self-development I would echo this sentiment – “Pick your direction.” And don’t worry about how it compares… if your work/life/love/etc. is honest, and coming from the heart, it should be totally unique. Our unique contribution is what makes life interesting and rich.
The final subject I want to touch on is somewhat more mundane. Everything Gemini comes in pairs… so during Mercury Retrograde in Gemini expect to have to do just about everything multiple times and don’t sweat it. Bought something and brought it home but now it’s too big, small, etc? Just take it back and get another one. You might have to do it twice, even three or four times. But in the end you’ll find the thing that works just right. Accept that everything, in this moment in time, is a process of getting to “just right.” It might not seem very productive, but the idea that we need to “get it done now” and “have it right the first time” is a mental disease in itself as it keeps us in a state of anxiety. Use this time to yield, allow events to take their natural course, and learn to trust that all things work out as they should whether we try to force them, or not. Sometimes we hit it right the first time, sometimes we have to take our time. We are going through changes right now – and so what would have been right before, might not be right anymore. It can take time to see, and feel, the new truth.
Change your mind, change your life. It’s all an inner process – no matter what is vexing, ailing, or holding us up – even if it seems like another person or thing -- it all resides within us. Feel the feelings, let the dust settle, trust that everything will become clear very soon. Make positive choices for your health, your growth, and your peace of mind. We are all capable of freeing ourselves from even the most ingrained patterns and beliefs. Mercury retrograde phases are excellent for doing just that. Take time. Really look at your inner world. Reform, reshape, reevaluate as necessary. Rinse, repeat.
See you on the other side…