Sunday, 22 September 2013

M.R. = Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde season will be soon upon us! I can almost hear "oh no, here we go again" from a few, as they recall events and challenges from previous M.R. periods, and feel the flutter of anxiety from others as they prepare to complete as many projects as possible before Mercury stations and begins it's seemingly backward three week dance; And it will be through Scorpio this time, so things could get quite stuck, dense and deep.

I  imagine a number of people are wondering, "what is a Mercury Retrograde?" Three times a year, every year, for three weeks at a time, the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards from our vantage point on Earth. When the planets appear to move normally we say they are direct, sometimes they appear not to move, and we say they have stationed, and sometimes they appear to be moving backwards and this is when we say they are retrograde. As we move from one side of our orbit of the Sun to the other, the planets appear to be moving faster than they actually are, and in a sense the retrograde period, when the planets appear to be losing ground, is a correction; both of the planet's orbit position by degree and of our perception and experience in terms of the themes/objects that the particular planet, and sign it is retrograding through, rules or represents.

Mercury is the planet of communication. Mercury rules the transmission and reception of information and therefore rules talking, teaching, writing, listening, learning, reading and observing, and so it follows that it also rules phones, mobile phones, car navigation systems, satellites, emails, mail/letters, meetings, the internet and even computers. According to Astrologer Steven Forrest, Planets, when direct, express in an extroverted manner, but retrograde energy flows in the opposite direction, and much of it's expression is directed inwards, deeper into the mind, away from the world, and into the unconscious.

The next Mercury Retrograde period begins on October 20th at 10:30am GMT/UT when Mercury stations then goes retrograde on October 22nd, exactly 48 hours later. Mercury will be retrograde until the 9th November when it stations at 9pm GMT/UT then goes direct exactly 48 hours later on 11th November. Mercury will then be in it's shadow period and not fully "extroverted" until 9:30am GMT/UT on November 27th. From this moment things that have felt like they were on hold or uncertain since October will move forward or become much clearer.

Some Mercury Retrograde periods are pretty much uneventful, but sometimes it feels like everything goes wrong. I have personally experienced, and know of many others who have experienced, a combination of the following during a Mercury Retrograde: phone cables damaged, internet breakdown, lost, frozen, damaged or broken mobile phones, computers and car navigation systems, important meeting day and time mix-ups, major communication misunderstandings, missing emails and mail, electrical problems, and so on. These things can be very very inconvenient at the time and even seem like a disaster but upon reflection there is always something deeper to be understood. For example a friend's phone broke during Mercury Retrograde and they were greatly inconvenienced but later they told me they had been wanting a new phone. I had been wanting a new laptop when my old one broke during the last M.R.

Perhaps our creative/manifesting powers are just stronger during a Mercury Retrograde. We don't really feel like meeting a particular person at the appointed time, or feel ready to finalize a particular matter, or perhaps we just want to retreat for a while but are too responsible to say so. Then along comes Mercury Retrograde and everything goes haywire: the internet won't work, our phone breaks, that meeting is delayed, an important contract goes missing in cyber space and the matter is out of our hands for a while. Yes this can cause a great deal of frustration and inconvenience, even anger, but that is only because we are trying to stay in control and go against the flow. In my experience M.R. teaches us to go with the flow and take responsibility for our thoughts and creations.

I have found that Mercury Retrograde is most easily navigated when we are truly honest with ourselves and are able to simply accept what is. Last Mercury Retrograde I managed to mostly put this into practice. Last M.R. was a challenging one. My laptop and my mobile phone froze, my internet went down, I kept mixing up appointment days and times and every second thing I said came out wrong or was misunderstood in some way. The fact of the matter was that I had wanted a new laptop for ages and I had wanted to have some time to myself to journal and simply be. Mercury Retrograde gave me exactly what I had been wishing for. Once I realized this I was able to get out of the drama, have a laugh at the perfection of it all and go with the flow, mostly. I did have some moments of frustration, but my phone came back to life after a day, I purchased a new laptop, the internet was fixed with one phone call, and I caught up with my meetings and misunderstandings were sorted out once Mercury went direct.

The next Mercury Retrograde is through the sign of Scorpio. Scorpio is fixed water and Mercury rules mutable air and earth. They aren't a particularly comfortable combination but where there is a challenge there is greater potential for growth. While this M.R. period may feel really stuck, intense, uncomfortable and out of control at times for some of us, the potential for personal transformation and deep penetrating insight into the workings and power of our unconscious mind and emotions is huge. Mercury Retrograde is like a vehicle for travelling through old territory in new, insightful and deeper ways because we are able to think and communicate in new ways, or rather, we are challenged to communicate and think, or mentally operate, in new ways. With Mercury retrograding through Scorpio (along with Saturn in Scorpio) it's going to be super deep and we may just be confronted by our deepest darkest fears, but once we resurface we will be transformed, and we may just find new confidence and comfort communicating about important subjects/issues we had previously avoided, maybe even pretended didn't exist.

Go with the flow as much as possible and try not to scurry away from what is revealed to you during this Mercury Retrograde. You probably won't be travelling light through this period, but come end of November you will feel lighter and possibly be a great deal wiser!!!

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