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Mercury Retrograde Coming – Are You Prepared?

Looking around life these days, all I can say is, “Wow!”  There is great intensity in this moment.  Are you feeling it?  There is so much change and transformation taking place at the personal level.  I see it in my friends, my clients, and I feel it deeply in my own body on a cellular level.  Change is afoot and whadya know; change still hurts.

So, after saying, “Wow,” I can also say, “Ouch!”  Truly though, after “Wow,” and then “Ouch,” we get to say, “Ahhhh.”  I am holding tight to the idea that as I drop from my head into my heart, the pain subsides and I get to expand more fully to inhabit the skin I’m in more fully, in a more loving and more heart-centered manner than ever before.

Mercury has just entered his shadow period, the very first part of the retrograde cycle.  This is when Mercury is traversing territory he is planning to revisit in the coming weeks.  We are not yet under the influence of the inward-turning slow down that’s up ahead:  That part of the cycle occurs between March 12th and April 4th.  However, this is the moment to pay attention to if we want to take best advantage of that process.  The events, experiences and feelings that are coming up this week, over this coming weekend and next week are very important to take note of.  They will inform you of the themes of what needs to be shifted, transformed and incorporated into your ever-expanding sense of self.

Mercury rules the Mind.  And what I know more and more these days is that the Mind is something that I need to know a lot about.  Why?  So that I can topple it and remove the ways in which my Mind is actually blocking my access to the Heart.  Heart-centered living is what it is all about these days and the old paradigm of the Mind as leader has come to an end.  As such, many of our old, mental structures are being torn down in order for us to live more openly and more freely in the cavernous spaces that only the Heart can fill.

Master astrologer Stephanie Azaria is fond of referring the transition from Pisces into Aries as the birth canal.  This is the perfect image to describe the movement between the last sign of the zodiac going into the first sign of the zodiac, which is exactly where Mercury will be traveling during his upcoming retrograde; from Pisces into Aries and back again into Pisces.  Think of Pisces as being in the Divine Mind and Aries as being fully present in the world of Form.  We will have a great opportunity to see how we operate in the world of form, then pull back into the Divine Mind and allow ourselves to be reborn once again in April.

The first version of this birth happens this weekend and will reveal the themes of integration that will become clearer later this month.  Whether you can accurately see what these issues are going to be for yourself, know that the month of March is a time for an enormous growth spurt and that any pain in the current landscape is just that: growing pains!

This weekend is huge in the area of investigation and for taking stock of what’s really dominating your world.  Oppositions provide such opportunities.  Think about it, when two people face each other down in opposition, something HAS to happen.  They’re either going to swerve, collide or (best option) dance with each other.  The key here is that a dynamic opposition between any two frequencies forces some kind of awareness into consciousness.  This weekend, while Mercury is showing us exactly what we’re up to birthing, there are a number of oppositions unfolding that will assist us in seeing the truth of who we are and how we are being.

Venus opposes Saturn and Mars opposes the Sun.

Saturn is still in Libra, which means the karmic lessons for all of us still center around relationships.  And if you think this only means romantic relationships, then you have not been paying attention.  There is no “out there” out there and all relationships are a reflection of the relationship you are having with yourself and the Divine.  When the Goddess energy (Venus) faces off with the Teacher energy (Saturn) it’s like an exam where we get to see just how well we are doing with bringing love to every interaction we experience.

Mars is busy in his retrograde through Virgo (see previous article for more on this).  This means we are fully engaged in an experience of identification and integration with how we move through this three-dimensional world of our daily lives.  The call to action here is to make your daily trek include a powerful relationship with the Divine; the invisible part of your life is far more important than the visible.

When the arbiter of the frequency of I Live In A Body (Mars) faces off with the Life Force (the Sun) the opportunity is to shed light on just how that process is going.  Are you being all that you can be?  This opposition is not a test in the way that Saturn opposing Venus is.  It is, however, like shining a very powerful spotlight on the space between your walk and your talk.

So the lay of the land for this week and next is very much about paying attention to how these themes are playing out in your life.  The Mercury retrograde that is coming up will give you the opportunity to integrate all that you are currently learning.  Make sure that you are paying close attention now.  This time can reveal with deep clarity and compelling certainty what patterns are coming up to be released and what new patterns are emerging.  Release the old and integrate the new!  And if you find yourself confused and contracted, just put your hand on your heart and take a deep breath.  All is better than well.

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What, Mercury Is Retrograde AGAIN?!?

Inevitably, when I tell people that Mercury is retrograde, someone will shriek in response and say, “What, again?!”  The truth is that we are always in a Mercury cycle.  The solar system is exactly like a clock.  It is a complex structure of gears, each turning in its own perfect way to mark out the progression of moments that we call time.  Mercury is like the inner spring that keeps things wound up in a constant state of contraction and release; expansion and integration.

Because of its close proximity to us and its very fast orbit around the Sun, Mercury hits the point where it goes retrograde with great precision.  It happens three times a year for 22 days every 88 days.  We don’t have to think about the chaos of the next retrograde part of Mercury’s cycle until late autumn, starting at the beginning of the day on November 24th through the very end of the day on December 13th.  But the new cycle begins today and I thought it would be a good chance to get a jump on things.

Let’s begin by describing the archetypal sense of what Mercury represents.  The most basic meaning associated with this messenger-god is communication.  In the consciousness of astrology, Mercury is the mind.  While it is through the heart that we experience our selves, it is through the mind that we experience the world.  The capacity for our mind to expand in consciousness and for us to become wiser (as opposed to just smarter) is what the Mercury cycles are all about.

We move through life collecting data about how the world works.  Every few months we need to integrate what we’ve been learning and that is what happens when Mercury goes retrograde.  After we move around in the new territory we are learning about for a few weeks, the cycle begins anew.  This new start can be a very satisfying moment; a breath of fresh air and a new beginning.  And that, my fellow travelers, is where we are today (September 9, 2011).

Mercury has just entered Virgo.  That means it will travel through Virgo, then Libra followed by Scorpio before going retrograde in the sign of Sagittarius.  You can begin this new cycle with a much greater sense of conscious intention by understanding the themes that are being generated by this archetypal journey of the mind.

We’ll start with the end of the journey.  Sagittarius is the archetype of truth, expansion and spiritual principles.  If the world is calling us to bring on our “A-game” of how we live our lives, it is easy to see that this current cycle is going to take us through a process to do just that.  And we start in the sign that represents process itself, Virgo.

The next month is all about integrating what we’ve just learned into our daily experience of life.  That is what Virgo rules: daily routine and integrating wisdom into how we live our lives each day.  By the 25th of this month, Mercury moves into Libra, turning the focus on relationships and the mirror that life is.  Remember, there is no “out there” out there.  It’s all just a reflection.  Through October 13th, it’s all about how well we understand that the things we are looking for are to be found within us.  What we find outside of us is truly just a reflection of our own consciousness.  If you need to know what it is you want in your life, take a look at what you have, because that will tell you in no uncertain terms.

Want things to look differently?  Then the period between October 14th and November 2nd will put Mercury in Scorpio, the sign of transformation and change.  This is your best opportunity for making deeply felt changes that are organic and permanent.  In fact, Mercury meets up with Venus as they both enter Sagittarius on the 2nd.  This is a fantastic moment for your mind and your heart to become congruent with each other.  The Mercury retrograde period in late November is where the integration of all of this heart/mind congruency stuff is going to get down and dirty.

Do your work in advance and you’ll have a MUCH easier time of this part of the process.  Don’t do it and it will be done to you anyway.  The conscious path is the more loving and expansive.

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