Meet Me at the Station: Mercury Retrograde

imgres

Monday started like any other day, except that I couldn’t log on to my brand new computer. A colleague arrived late for a meeting that she had scheduled just days ago. The sales clerk couldn’t comprehend that I wanted a small coffee not a large chai and words on the page of the report I needed to read, just weren’t sinking in even after the third read! Of course, the dreaded Mercury Retrograde was to blame and would be on the receiving end of this blame until November 10th- the date of my youngest daughter’s milestone 21st birthday. I hope I don’t send the card a week late!

Technological snafus and crashes, misunderstandings, brain fogginess and lack of mental acuity and articulation are some of the cautions when talkative Mercury slows its course. This posting is not going to belabor the miseries of Mercury retrograde. I hope instead to offer a creative and positive way of looking at a space of pressurized expansion of how we think and communicate.

Mercury began its cycle of Retrograde on Monday at 6:29am (EDT). Other than a Saturn Return, the Mercury retrograde can be one of the most frustrating of times primarily, because this planet’s energy is all about communication. The Retrograde period usually occurs 2-3 times per year and lasts approximately 21-28 days and is distinctly marked as a time when communication and their supportive devices come to a screeching halt and misunderstandings are the norm. Let’s begin by taking a look at the scientific definition of a retrograde.

Astronomy 101: What is a Retrograde Motion? 

Apparent_retrograde_motion_of_Mars_in_2003
An animation showing the retrograde motion of Mars in summer of 2003.
Credit: Eugene Alvin Villar

“Typically, the planets shift slightly eastward from night to night, drifting slowly against the backdrop of stars. From time to time, however, they change direction. For a few months, they’ll head west before turning back around and resuming their easterly course. This is “retrograde motion”. Though it baffled ancient astronomers, we know now that retrograde planets are an illusion caused by the motion of Earth.” Astronomer: Christopher Crokett (1.)

The Stations of Activity and the Zodiac

Astrologically, when a planet changes direction in its normal path of progression through the zodiac, this is called a “station”.  The planet’s progress slows down in is orbit until it appears to pause in its motion giving the appearance of moving backwards. The Retrograde Station occurs when the planet begins this slowing down and seeming movement backwards.  The Direct Station occurs when the forward motion of the planet begins again.  Whatever astrological sign the planet retrogrades in gives added emphasis and more intensity to how the planet expresses its own energy now given a full and prolonged dose of the sign’s own specificities.  These highly potent effects can be building or waning (depending on which end of the station you find yourself) for days prior or after. Much like, the concentrated effort needed in slowing down to come to a traffic light, pausing, and then having to carefully and incrementally apply enough gas to reach your top speed again.

Repeat yourself.
If you like it, do it again.
If you don’t like it, do it again. (2.)

In previous posts I’ve talked a lot about the dynamics of Mercury and how facile this energy is in providing information through varied means of communication and creative style. A Mercury retrograde offers up the opportunity to refine that style and if you slow down with the process rather than fighting against the presumed outcomes you will find there is much to learn about how you communicate. This is a time of amplifying and heightening the awareness of how we move through our daily exchanges and process information. The caution of giving more scrutiny to agreements and contracts provides an opportunity to take the time to really internalize and be sure that you clearly understand the effects of the cause you will be setting into motion. This space of pause and deeper reflection means that there is also greater depth to the amount of change you can exert before you have backed yourself into a less than optimal outcome.

Allow events to change you.
You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them. (3.)

Everyone makes mistakes and finds themselves at the mercy of the consequences of what that mistake created.  We also often use circumstances as the reason for not allowing ourselves to fall, fail and start over again with a fresh perspective. Think of the Mercury retrograde as a petri dish in which to cultivate that fresh perspective at an organic level. What we change of our emotional reactions can become informed and insightful responses that affect the way we communicate those responses. Instead of falling prey to the annoyances of delays and miscommunication, allow yourself the pause to be creative in how you choose to respond.  Don’t allow the excuse of  “oh well, Mercury is retrograde, so….”  to enable you in avoiding a growth opportunity. Remember that Mercury is the trickster, but there is also the element of duality to that slyness.  Try to view the delays and less than articulate interactions as points of polarities. Each, having their extremes with the goal being to try to stabilize and balance out those extremes so that the smooth flow of communication can begin anew. Remember, Mercury/Hermes was the Messenger of the Gods.  What messages are you sending when you don’t slow down and reevaluate.

Slow down.
Desynchronize from standard time frames and
surprising opportunities may present themselves. (4.)

We live in highly energized times and are largely at the mercy of perceived “time” and most often feel rushed with each decision we make.  Even when the message is loud and clear that we need to stop and/or reverse our decision we hesitate, feeling that we are being weak in our communication and ineffectual in our results. The Mercury retrograde allows the space of disengagement from our regular way of doing business.

Slow down a bit from your ordinary frenetic pace. Unplug for a few hours voluntarily (and before the computer crashes or the cell phone loses its signal) and put some space between the compulsive need to instantly react to every new path technology calls you to. You may actually find that you like this new freedom of being unfettered and at the beck and call of technology. Those interruptions of signals of communication that frequently crash or reroute during a Mercury retrograde are metaphors for the disruption of our own communications by relying too heavily on devices to keep us talking and communicating instead of creating our own network of personal interface.

Light it up!

Here’s another thought! The Sun moves into the astrological sign of Scorpio today, October 23rd. Scorpio is a Water sign of the Fixed Modality. The water aspect relates to depths of emotions and the Fixed quality brings a stability and structure to help form a suitable container for their flow. One of Scorpio’s compelling attributes is the quality of taking what is hidden and deeply buried and pulling it up to the surface to be used either in a destructive way or as a positive lesson. The Sun in this sign serves to shine its light to illuminate those dark, dusty corners of mind and heart that like to remain hidden from sight.

With this additional overlay upon Mercury’s retrograde, there is great opportunity to shine this spotlight of strength and courage on what bubbles to the surface about how we connect to others and communicate our needs and wants. We can examine where we may be less than honest with ourselves regarding the agreements we have with ourselves and the effects these have on our communication with others. We can redefine where we rely to heavily on artificial means of communication and how to free up our more inspired and creative mind supported by those hidden talents we’ve kept under wraps. We can also use this energy to push full throttle and see just what we are capable of when we allow the dynamics of Mercury’s full power to exert it creative flow.

So, for better or worse a Mercury Retrograde awakens new ways to problem solve and rewire your communication hard drive. On a practical note, it wouldn’t hurt to back up important files on your computer, make sure important appointment dates are confirmed and carry an extra battery, just in case for anything requiring one.

An Interesting Side Note:

What I left out is that if you have a retrograde Mercury in your natal chart, many are immune to the “side effects” of this period of time.  That heightened sense of awareness about communication skills, goes into overdrive and  tends to make the individual more verbose and able to navigate largely unscathed.  So, I apologize for the wordiness of this post.  I am one of those Retrograde Mercurians!

Resources:

1.  Earth Sky Blog by Christopher Crokett

2-4.  The Incomplete Manifesto for Change by Bruce Mau

Next Week:
We’ll conclude our time in the Temple with information about Mercury and Planetary Magick.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Meet Me at the Station: Mercury Retrograde”

  1. […] Meet Me at the Station-Temple of Mercury Mercury Retrograde Tomorrow- Temple of Gemini […]

  2. […] About a Mercury Retrogrades: Meet Me at the Station […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: