Part 1 here.
There are many potential issues presented by the current Mercury Retrograde due its three square-offs with Neptune in Pisces before, during, and after the retrograde ends. If you know anything about Neptune, one of the bigger challenges posed by this planet involves its inclination toward (self?)deceptiveness. When you combine this with Mercury’s influence, multiply by two (or more); even the “little white lies” add up. Because this is a square and not an opposition we are more likely to encounter this dishonesty within ourselves, but care should still be used when dealing with others during this retrograde nonetheless so that we do not take for granted the other party being upfront/above-board. Low-vibration Neptune in Pisces tends toward denial of our less-than-savory character traits, but the fact that we all – to a greater or lesser degree – have them is universal to the human experience. We *all* have “stuff” to work on; the shame lies in lying to ourselves about our faults because then we cannot possibly fix them.
When Mercury Retrograde makes multiple contacts to Neptune in Pisces like this, it’s a cosmic call to look at character flaws like gossip, double-speak, lying, the spreading of misinformation, duplicity, having poor boundaries around our communications; from TMI to having “loose lips” and spilling secrets, and having disorganized or disordered mentalities about things. Something is likely “wrong” – and by that, I simply mean non-functional – with the way we have been communicating or thinking. So-called “magical thinking” can overtake the brain’s logic; mantras, affirmations, and visualizations are not a substitute for doing the work to clean up our messes, nor are they meant to be substitutes for help from a qualified mental healthcare provider. Weird pseudo-spiritual “rationale” can infect our minds like a thought virus; although a concept may sound spiritual on a superficial level, please water-test it first by breaking down its various components to see if it is truly helpful and healthy or instead may be misguided. Information tends to exist in a vacuum during this time and it is easier to think that something can be blanket-applied without taking into account our specific situation(s), fail to consider how accurate or sensible it is outside of a small bubble of micro-influence, or neglect to investigate whether or not there is accurate data to back it up. Yes, even if the info being presented is well-intended/meant to be “helpful”! Mercury in Gemini squaring off with Neptune in Pisces is a caution against drinking the “Kool-Aid” in an intellectual sense; it’s likely laced/spiked with something toxic.
Speaking without discernment – or discretion – is a problem during this retrograde. Gossip, double-talk, the spreading of false or misleading information, speaking negatively about others when we think they are out of earshot, and/or generally having poor boundaries in our communications can ricochet back at us; causing sorrow and suffering for ourselves as well as others. Divinity sees all of this, even if we can’t/don’t/won’t admit wrongdoing to ourselves. Whenever Neptune in Pisces touches something, there is often a certain amount of cowardice involved; what are we running from?
As far as the deceit portion of this energy goes, this is not to trivialize *at all* the suffering of those who have been victimized by it but perhaps one of the things most overlooked about dishonesty is the harm we ultimately wind up doing ourselves whenever we lie. Consciously or subconsciously, our conscience knows this is not good for the soul; lying/hiding/omitting things damages not only our relationships with others (who will no doubt find us untrustworthy), but it hurts our spirit and the love and reverence that we have for ourselves. It is hard to feel worthy of goodness when behaving in a way that we ourselves would not like to be treated.
Rather than continue this sad cycle ad infinitum, finding forgiveness for ourselves and redoubling our efforts to make amends by speaking only as we would like to be spoken to can help us to find redemption. If any of the above have been character defects with which we have struggled, humbly acknowledging this weakness to ourselves while asking Divinity to help remove any fork in our tongue and instead guide us toward channeling our words in a more enlightened manner is the way to go during this retro. Apologizing and atoning via empathy, sensitivity, compassion, utter transparency, and in a way that truly serves the Highest Good of All is the way to approach. We all make mistakes, but self-deception and the unhealthy behaviors that stem from this is a reversible one if we understand the multiple factors that can cause it and just take it “one day at a time” – recovery is possible. Apologies matter now, but they do have to be more than just empty words.