LOL, a live look at an error message I received when logging in to do some work today – it looks like the Mercury Retrograde gremlins have been let out to play:
We all know the Mercury Retro drill; gadgets get glitchy, software slows down, hardware hiccups, updates may get upended, meetings get mixed-up, tongues (and texts) can get twisted, anxiety tends to amp up, schedules can get squirrely, public transport plods, and/or your car might get crotchety. Phew! This Mercury retrograde seems to be feeling particularly punchy with its proximity to Fixed Star Aldebaran; like it has a forceful point to make. In recent days leading up to this Rx, I watched the “Nervous Nelly” implications of Mercury turning Retrograde lead to days in which there were both substantial losses on Wall Street – with the Dow losing 1000 points, Nasdaq having its worst day in 2 years, & then the S&P hit its lowest level in a year – and a crypto crash as Bitcoin dipped below 30K and triggered a wave of panic. People get skittish when Mercury changes direction; it’s a thing! The world could use a deep, centering breath when Mercury makes moves like this; logic leaves while the limbic Lizard Brain often takes the wheel.
Indecision and vacillation also tend to be more commonplace during Mercury Retrogrades as we rethink things – this is often a good thing, as taking time to mull something over (again) may make us less inclined to act in haste based on faulty information. We can frequently make wrong assumptions, or frankly just might not have all the facts of a matter whenever this planetary messenger’s motion is a little “off”. It’s like a bad 90’s talk show; before going off half-cocked, wait for those DNA test results to come in!
For this specific Mercury Retrograde, there seems to be a theme of “severance” in the air; both literal and metaphorical. Careful around machinery (including cars and household appliances) that you could have an accident (digits or limbs getting caught and cut) with, and be mindful of sharp things in general; Mercury bounces back-and-forth between Fixed Stars Aldebaran – associated with a sword-wielding Archangel Micheal – and Algol in Medusa’s severed head. In a less literal sense, words can both cut and lead to a cutting off (of communications) with Mercury ping-ponging between these two powerful stars. Do not engage in gossip, and be mindful of what you say and/or write (on yet another Mercury Rx-related note, look at the leaked Supreme Court opinion on overturning Roe v. Wade that happened last week as evidence of this). So be safe out there, take a big calming breath, choose words wisely, and avoid distractions when around a sharp or otherwise potentially dangerous object.
When good advice comes to you, are you able to recognize it as such? On a scale from 1 – 10 (1 = Never, 10 = Always), how often would you say that you listen to the advice of others? I ask because with Mercury Retrograde incoming a little over a week from now, we should always pay attention to any messages we get more than once. To wit, I’ll share something that bears repeating – it’s an excerpt from my March 1st newsletter referencing April’s Jupiter/Neptune Conjunction:
“…there is some major hermit energy inherent in this configuration, yet it is coupled with the paradox of there also being simultaneous restlessness regarding isolation. Much like everything else with this alignment, this begs perspective and the necessity of asking ourselves “How much is too much?” in any given context. There is value in self-isolation as a means for mitigating over-sensitivity and for soul-searching to find one’s own truth, though admittedly in recent years we have certainly had a surplus of opportunities for this due to world events. In fact, some are so exhausted by this prolonged “hermit mode” they are desperately wanting to move “onward and upward” regardless of the broader ripple effect this may cause for the world at large and for the course of this pandemic. We can certainly choose not to believe in the pandemic anymore, but unfortunately the pandemic still believes in us or – more specifically – in our ability to keep spreading illness because of this great weariness we have about it. In fact, the astro of this alignment very much cautions against such over-relaxation leading to the spread of increased illness. There is indeed a theme of self-induced harm via over-permissiveness that can generate just such a wake on a bigger scale w/ the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces. On the macro, there is most definitely a huge lather-rinse-repeat cycle that keeps going on with the premature eagerness to be “over” this virus leading to subsequent surges and more variants of concern emerging that are more, well, concerning than prior iterations. For the time being, our energy is much better spent on finding ways to relax this restlessness before it balloons into a bigger problem for us.”
See also: The rise of multiple Omicron Covid-19 sub-variants – BA 2.12.1, BA 4, & BA 5 – that all surfaced in the news right around the time of this conjunction. I am publishing this excerpt again in the interest of public health because it was good advice then and it’s still good advice now; particularly with Mercury about to backtrack – remember, Mercury is a health planet too. And in the physical body it governs the lungs & respiratory function (among other things).
I have written about this topic before in my monthly newsletter, but with respect to Mercury Retrograde it is worth paying attention to our pets whenever this planet is due to backtrack/is in “reverse” gear. Mercury symbolically rules small animals, and when this planet is out-of-sorts so too can be our furry, feathered, or scaly little friends. This isn’t to cause us any undue worry; only to inspire us toward a little extra diligence before and during these cyclical periods in the name of possible prevention. For example, Mercury Retrograde could correlate with a health issue potentially surfacing in our pets. They might break their leash or run out of an open house door and thus wind up lost. Some odd behavior can possibly crop up that – as their caretakers – we have never seen before. They may chew/swallow/drink/inhale something they shouldn’t. Dietary problems sometimes occur. It is therefore a good idea to be extra attentive/attuned to our pets during these periods, keep a good eye on them so they don’t wind up going walkabout on us, monitor their surroundings for potential errant stimuli, avoid giving them new toys without supervision, and stick to their usual routines (including feeding; both timing and type/brand of food) at these times.
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.
With Mercury’s recent arrival in Gemini, we are officially gearing down for its next retrograde phase – though the formal kickoff isn’t until the end of the month (May 29th, to be exact), we’re going to want to decelerate a bit and drop into a lower gear now to build some power in order to make it through with minimal disruption. This Rx is a bit of an agility course; only after we’ve spun around like this multiple times due its repeated contacts to disorienting Neptune:
Perhaps one of the bigger keynotes of this upcoming Mercury Retrograde is: Slow down and check your orientation/heading as a first order. Wind the gears in your brain DOWN and take a few deep, centering breaths before opening your mouth, answering that email/text, or posting on social media. Maybe say nothing at all. Consider taking a mini “communications sabbatical” if it’s not absolutely essential. I say this because there is a higher than usual likelihood that mindless engagement during this retrograde period can cause us to be the source of our own suffering. We may have a disorganized or disordered mentality about something and this is hardly the place to be making enlightened conversation from. “No comment at this time” is a perfectly acceptable response during this upcoming retro. Mindfulness gives us an edge; think twice. Mindlessness, however, presents a real problem – this is especially so if alcohol or other substances (natural or pharmaceutical) are allowed into the mix; do NOT drink and text/dial, kids! Checking our orientation/heading may also involve utilizing a combination of intuition and critical thinking to introspectively examine where we may have been misinformed about something; either via our own wishful thinking, being in a state of denial, or perhaps we’ve even been outwardly deceived by someone else. There’s much more to this Mercury Retrograde of course, but this is a good starting point for now.
I wrote the following in January 2020 in reference to the impending Mercury Retrograde in February 2020 (excerpt):
“…Boost your immune system in prep for this retrograde, though – there’s a ‘communicable illness’ side of this Rx that can have us laid up if we’re not good about washing our hands or avoiding exposure to those who fail to cover their mouths when coughing….”
This was well before hearing of the coronavirus that has since been declared a Public Health Emergency by the WHO in recent weeks. Astrology is not fear-mongering; the sensible precautions the Art can advise do have the ability to literally save lives in some instances. Would you rather have the terminally positive reader who tells you what you want to hear; like to go ahead and take that trip to Wuhan, China (“Everything will be awesome, man!”), or would you prefer instead to have an astrologer who tells you to pick different timing for your journey; say maybe not during this Mercury Retrograde?
It’s almost time for our final Mercury Retrograde of the year, and this one is set to make quite an impression because it’s kicking off in spooky Scorpio *on* Halloween! In a nutshell, connections we once thought severed may suddenly become reanimated during the next several weeks. So before we pick up our phone or answer that email/text message for curiosity’s sake, consider what it did to the cat. 🤔🙀 Think twice before resurrecting lines of communication that may have best been left undisturbed, because it’s quite possible to open up a can of worms during this retrograde. Think of it as if you were contemplating excavating a gravesite – if the thought of what could be uncovered brings up a sense of horror and revulsion, better to let that conversation Rest In Peace. Don’t let false notions about “closure” suck you in, either – closure is about the peace you make with yourself in the aftermath and nothing more. Besides, conversations are more likely to be tinged with bitterness or resentment when Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio – old triggers can play on repeat and toxic, dagger-like words may come lashing out with lethal accuracy. One of the better uses for this particular Rx energy is to go over old traumas – preferably talking about them with a trusted, qualified therapist – to see what root operating scripts in our brain need to be overwritten. Internal exploration of the psyche is favored over reviving long-dead connections that may haunt the mind. While it is true that healing discussions can also be had, the likelihood of wires getting crossed is high during Mercury Retrograde so the risk makes this a dicey proposition at best; bridges can be burned as quickly as they are mended.
One thing this retrograde will definitely be good for, however, is attuning our psychic antennae to alternate sources of data; everything from picking up on the vibe conveyed in someone’s body language, to reading what’s *not* being said, to getting information from Spirit or via divination tools. Withdrawing a bit to be alone with our thoughts is favored, and allowing ourselves to exist more in a feeling-state as opposed to a headspace can help us tap into a deep wellspring of insight & illumination. Listen to or make music – songs may speak to us in code now. Talk out loud to deceased loved ones and ask for signs of their presence or for their guidance. Perhaps we can petition them to communicate with us via a dream Visitation if they’re having trouble connecting to us on the earthly plane. As far as dreams go, this is another way we might obtain symbolic information during the next several weeks – keeping a recording app or good old fashioned pen & paper by our bedside to document is a good idea. And lastly, never underestimate the power of words to bless or to blight. You might even think of a personal Word of Power to chant like a mantra daily during this Mercury Rx – repeat it over and over again as in invocation; an empowering spell. So mote it be! ✨
🙃 It’s that time of year again; we’re gearing up for our quarterly Mercury Retrograde and this one looks like it’s going to be a doozy! On a personal level the last week or two seemed populated with minor annoyances like random phone glitchiness, TV quirks, and – more recently – email login wonkiness, but yesterday’s large-scale half day mini-meltdown of multiple social media platforms (FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) had me fully convinced “The Trickster” (that would be Mercury, FYI) was indeed in full effect if there was even a shred of doubt left in my mind.
Many folks are inclined to focus solely on the period that Mercury is actually retrograde (in this particular case, from July 7 – 31, 2019) as the segment of time when wacky things tend to happen with our technology (and oh so much more!), but the weeks before and after the retrograde can be just as funky; usually moreso before as Mercury’s kinks have been mostly worked out by the time it turns Direct. This time frame is often referred to as the “shadow”, and it’s a madcap stretch because Mercury is already traversing a patch of the zodiac it will have to cover again in a few weeks or it will have already covered that same spot twice in the last month in a half. Mercury doesn’t seem too keen on this review/redo, so to keep things interesting it releases a few krakens gremlins because if it has to suffer, we might as well suffer too, LOL – that’s *my* theory, anyway! 😂 Mercury has always been a rather impish figure with a notoriously low threshold for boredom so perhaps it’s just how this planet gets its jollies; by screwing with our phones, gadgets, communications, cars, and whatever else it can get its hot little hands on for ha-has.
I’m not an astrologer who advocates canceling everything during Mercury Retrograde, but we do need to bear some extra things in mind. Back up your data prior to the Rx. Don’t even think about applying non-mandatory software updates or doing something wack like picking now to switch to a different OS. No, don’t buy a new phone or car and do take extra care with the ones you currently have. Pick your words more thoughtfully; think twice about what you write or say. Don’t put yourself in the position to have to “sign on the dotted line” if you don’t absolutely have to. Try to avoid travel if possible, or if not be patient and account for the possibilities of SNAFUs or delays. And last but not least – and this is coming directly from personal experience – don’t accept or start a job when Mercury is retrograde.
Instead, try and use this period to get caught up on some (re-?)reading. Tweak your nutrition or daily routine. Have a conversation you need to have again. Write yourself good old-fashioned memos; preferably on paper (careful with putting them on your phone/computer in case of technology hiccups). Review and revise things. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while to reconnect (be cautious if this is with an ex or anyone you suspect you might later change your mind about ). Redo your resume. Unplug more & make it a point to be more alone with your thoughts so you can hear your inner voice more clearly. Simplify your schedule and minimize distractions. Diversions are allowed, but be conscious instead of mindless about them. De-stress. Take a trip down Memory Lane and uncover a blast from the past while also appreciating where/who you are now – sometimes it’s nice to dust things off and sit with them for a spell, but not everything/one from the past necessarily has ongoing relevance in *this* era. Clean and reorganize. Tend to your mental health.
Welp, this is one super impaired Mercury Retrograde we have on our hands ATM – not only is Mercury’s coordination and cognition all screwed up from recently throwing it into reverse gear, but it’s also backtracking in a sign where it is astrologically debilitated (Sagittarius) while sitting in a prolonged square to confusing, clarity-lacking Neptune. This is, quite simply, a recipe for a communication & travel “hot mess” – sorry; there’s just no dressing this up. It would be dishonest to try and spin it any other way by attempting to put a more positive slant on Mercury’s present condition. So rather than veil this discombobulated energy with a bunch of well-intended but utterly unhelpful euphemisms, instead let’s have some straight talk about what to be aware of with the holiday season upon us and a major one kicking off in just a few days here in the USA (Thanksgiving) while this vibe is in play:
1) Don’t drink and drive. It’s a bad idea to do this anyway, but it’s an especially terrible idea to do it under these particular astrological conditions. Do not operate motor vehicles – or even your phone – while under the influence of any kind of “substance” from now thru Christmas. Especially when it’s winter here in the Northern Hemisphere where bad weather can unexpectedly roll in while we’re at holiday festivities, it just doesn’t make sense to risk having “one too many” and then attempt to drive home in sub-optimal road conditions.
2) Keep your “hoof” out of your mouth. Mercury in this condition is prone to verbal gaffes, so make it a blanket policy to avoid pointless discussion/debate about things like religion or politics this holiday season; evade any kind of topic where people are prone to having philosophical differences.
3) Alcohol-fueled conversations are a NO. Seriously, don’t do it – that uncle/cousin you always clash with or the in-law who just won’t shaddap? Alcohol is not going to make coping with their BS any easier and may in fact only make it twice as bad. What’s worse: Someone saying something inappropriate, or the two of you saying something equally uncalled for? Two wrongs do not make a right, and when you have Mercury in Sagittarius lubed up by a liquor-induced Neptune, all kinds of candid things can slip out of our mouths that – no matter how true they may be – are not exactly what we’d call judicious or kind. It’s not right to use a few beers/glasses of wine as an excuse for brutal honesty; further, it’s not fair to make everyone else uncomfortable because of our case of verbal diarrhea.
4) Budget extra travel time. Worst case? You’ll get there early; big deal! But *not* allowing for extra travel time under these skies could leave you with more stress and aggravation than you need. People might run late, traffic may be a mess, cars could have trouble, or flights get delayed/cancelled; things happen. And forgetfulness under pressure may also be another factor to watch out for, like leaving for the airport and realizing halfway there you left your phone at home on the charger. Leaving yourself way more time than you think you want/need to get from Point A to Point B is solid policy during this particular holiday season. And please do check your luggage tags if you fly to make sure your bags are being routed to the correct destination.
5) Track your packages. Many of us will be buying or shipping gifts during this Mercury Retrograde, and while it’s best to hold off if/when we can (December’s 2nd & 3rd weeks are about as good as it will get in this respect), sometimes we’re not able to so it’s best to get delivery confirmation. Aside from actual package theft, there’s the chance that a parcel could just be lost/delivered to the wrong address. And check return/exchange policies carefully in case there’s an issue BEFOREHAND; don’t just assume it’s all good and it won’t be a hassle to remedy an issue in the event that one arises.
5) Breathe, meditate, and/or have a “Zen” playlist on standby. Mercury Retrograde is 90% mind over matter and if you can get yourself into a headspace where you don’t mind, it won’t matter. Being mindful of our breathing, stress levels, and actively seeking that “restorative” space via going Within or immersing ourselves in a particular soundscape can help us cultivate a state of surrender and flexibility.
6) Forget Black Friday/Cyber Monday this year and just sleep in. The likelihood of aggressive sales pitches coupled with “bait and switch” advertising tactics is abnormally high this year; do you REALLY want to get up at the buttcrack of dawn or leave Thanksgiving dinner early for this??? I understand that some people get addicted to the rush of a good deal, but astrologically speaking the skies seem to indicate this being in short supply and the potential for aggravation being extra elevated. To contemplate: Would you be happier if you were well-rested and relaxed instead of shopping till you drop this coming weekend?
7) This Mercury Retrograde triggers the residue of the old 2015-2016 Saturn/Neptune Square; especially the June 2016 hit. Is it any wonder the Brexit situation is once again making headlines? The Brexit vote took place right as this alignment perfected in June 2016! Setting this aside, in our personal lives this Mercury Retrograde can be a lot like receiving some sort of phantom redial from the 2015-2016 era. You may recall from my writings about the Saturn/Neptune Square that it represented a conflict between Realism and Idealism; how it pit What Is against What We’d Wish It To Be. Think about this for a potential “Ah-ha!” moment; a temporal vortex is being reopened and a cognitive reset may be in order.
As I ran down the hill to reach the end of my first mile, I noted an elderly gentleman standing roadside by his mailbox. I thought nothing of it at first but then I saw that after retrieving his mail he just stood there, watching me pass by with a cheerful expression on his face as he clapped both hands together. “Keep going – you can do it!” He urged as if I were some kind of marathon runner he was rooting for. Maintaining my pace I smiled and replied, “Thanks – I try! Some days are harder than others but today’s not too bad. Have a good one!” as I ran past.
Right after I finished speaking I was struck by how this exchange was actually a great metaphor for life while simultaneously taking comfort that Saturn – in the form of this senior citizen – was offering me encouragement to persevere. “If only you knew, Old Man….” I thought to myself with a wry smile. 😉
With Mercury currently conjunct Saturn for a second time (exact on December 6th), we’re all getting similar “Saturn Mail” at the moment; that is to say we should be paying special attention to the messages delivered to us from elders, parents, teachers, and other Saturnian “authority figures” now. This conjunction perfected for the first time on 11/28; a date when I not coincidentally had a lovely dinner & conversation with a retiree friend. Because of Mercury’s retrograde, the third and final conjunction of these two planets won’t be until 1/13/2018 but do look for similar refrains between these 3 dates to see what messages Saturn may have for you – hopefully, you’ll be on good (or at least speaking) terms!