I have been sitting here for 2 days wondering why I feel a little stuck and slower than usual in developing some inspirational and motivational content. And then it hit me…. good old Mercury retrograde is back!
For those familiar with astrology talk and planetary speak this phenomenon happens at least 3 times a year ( this first one is from 30 January – 21 February 2021) in our skies and the world keeps turning without a second thought – whether or not you pay attention to it. But if you can become aware of the cycles and circles of nature then you will be able to tune into these and not get so frustrated when things slow down and send your plans to a grinding halt.
A retrograde simply means that something is moving backwards, or appearing to be so. The planets don’t exactly change direction, they slow down so that it seems like they are moving in reverse while other planets seem to whizz by them. When Mercury – the messenger planet of communications, travel, documentation and day to day express – goes retrograde it can feel like we are speaking a foreign language while stuck in a swamp of quicksand with no one but a mute flea to get us out of the mud!
It is often a time of review, revision and returning to those things of the past. Either we hear from an ex again, or we bump into a childhood friend. We deal with lessons we didn’t quite learn the first few times around, our negotiations go into delay, our daily conversations become strained and stressful. Basically, anything having to do with communication – this includes a good dose of writer’s block, not being able to express how you are feeling clearly and a good lot of misunderstandings.
Though the messenger god in ancient times did not have to contend with failing wi-fi or flat tyres, nonetheless I am sure a few wagon wheels got caught in ditches and sordid letters went missing within castle walls – even more so during this time.
The planet Mercury also indicates how we process our thoughts, rationalise, use logic, express ourselves, learning interests, sibling relationships, short distance travel and movement. Being aware of all of these areas as we go about our days during this 3-week phase can also help ground some sanity for us, especially on days when things go bottoms up.
The good news though is that no planet, or for that matter outer external thing has that much control over our lives that we have to live in fear and stay hidden under the covers for chunks of time. While the external world can certainly have an influence on our lives, ultimately, we are still the captain of our own ship and can change course and at any time.
If we know a tropical storm is on the horizon, we can steer for calmer weather. Should we get wind of pirates sailing the area we redirect to another route. If we know that Mercury retrograde is coming, we get our paperwork, admin, documentation and cars in order before the time. We try not to make huge life changing decisions and commitments, as it is highly probable these would change again too, once the tide had turned.
This year Mercury Retrograde falls over Valentines’ Day – a highly charged day for many across the globe, who have the highest expectations of their partners and the day itself. As if St Valentine is going to hand deliver perfumed roses for each and every one of us. Don’t be too surprised though if it is the tooth fairy showing up to your door with an expired 3rd rate chocolate bar. (I was once dumped on Valentine’s Day – in those days I didn’t really know too much about Mercury Retrograde – perhaps if I did, I wouldn’t have waited around for the romantic fantasy date that never happened!)
Mercury Retrograde compares to the trickster energy in Shamanism, who like the Wiley Coyote in a Roadrunner cartoon runs around chasing his own tail, falling off cliffs and setting the dynamite off before he can run for cover.
When these planetary phases come calling watch out for self-sabotage – make your plans, but keep them simple, unless you have triple checked everything and still have a plan B, C and D in the pipeline. Don’t give in to frustration, disappointment, criticism, delays, breakdowns or breakups. Keep as calm, rational, logical and prepared as you can be.
Here is my advice – use this time to review your decisions and goals that you made at the beginning of the year, tackle anything that keeps on being brought to your attention, examine your own intentions before moving forward with anything.
And the best part of all – buy yourself your favourite chocolates, set your ships course towards your hearts’ desires and sail off towards the universe of your dreams.