“Could you point me towards a quiet gathering”
…Not necessarily of people even,
but a gathering of all the right things.
As millions begin the school year, a fraction of that number face the elements on the Playa, all of whom—including the rest of us—are just trying to find the balance. Is it the page or the rage? To be alone or wedded? Together or falling apart? Whatever the tension may be, it is always wise to find the neutral ground—a space where the repelling and attracting forces find a soft equilibrium. The Buddhists call it “the Middle Way;” In Astrology, we turn to Mercury, to see what he has to say:
Remembering to reflect
reignites the reality of retarded reactions
made in the past,
recollecting how we reaped nothing from that realm
and readying us for the next report card.
Re— just a synonym for Rx, or retrograde.
Mercury is soon to be retrograde. In fact, we are already in the “pre-shadow,” meaning we are in it. It is the third and final Rx of the year. Happening entirely in Libra, making aspects to dragons and demons backsliding through landscapes filled with loving ceremonies and necessary judges, we are going to be taught important lessons on harmony—that is, if we are listening, not pointing fingers, placing blame, or getting pushed off balance by any external forces. Mercury is definitely going to tamper with the scales a bit, giving us a glaringly obvious look at where we are too extreme, polarized, and reactionary in our lives.
Should we be scared?
…You bet we should….n’t be.
If you include the shadow periods, Mercury is in these cycles 24 weeks out of the year on average. That’s nearly half of the year! So, if you are reading this in the attempt to justify your confusion, your fear, your relationship woes, your communication problems, then you have come to the wrong place. I personally think Mercury Rx periods are overflowing with magical potential, if only we aimed our awareness in the proper places.
It is these ‘proper places’ we will explore in this post.
.: Mercury Retrograde :.
September 17th—-October 9th
“Entire period, including Shadow”
August 28th—-October 24th
1-16 Libra (image)
Why Mercury retrogrades have made it to the top 3 most known elements of Astrology in the western world (amongst knowing ones Sun sign and the Saturn return) goes beyond me, but I suspect it has something to do with our addiction to blame.
It’s never our fault! We always need an enemy to continually play out the decaying age-old struggle of Good vs. Evil. If it’s not your X, then it’s the New World Order; If not some power out there, then perhaps a lurking genetic disposition you can blame your parents for, because…well, it’s in your genes, right? And so, Mercury gets a bad rap, but mostly because people have absolutely no idea what it is.
Astronomically speaking, when Mercury goes retrograde, it is coming for the Earth. Mercury, being closest to the Sun, has a quicksilver orbit of about 88 days (116 days for the synod)—roughly 3 months. This is how often Mercury goes Rx: every 3 months, for 3 weeks. As Mercury gets closer to the Earth, it appears to be moving backwards, but in actuality it’s not; No planets actually move backwards. It is an optical illusion. If you are a sky gazer, you will know that Mercury is currently an Evening Star. Once retrograde, it will fall swiftly from the night sky—just as Venus recently did (Read this to remember)—pass between Earth and Sun, offering us a nice magnetic, androgynous kiss, and then reappear in the morning sky. This is an element of the Mercury Rx rarely spoken about, yet vitally important to our understanding.
Everything is cyclic and phasal in Astrology. No planet or luminary or asteroid exists in a vacuum. They are all in countless other delicate dynamics with other planets. Especially with synodic cycles—relating to the Sun—we glean deeper layers of meaning from knowing where in the cyclic journey a planet is. With Mercury—just as with Venus—when they go retrograde, it marks both the end and the beginning of a cycle. When Mercury perfectly aligns between the Earth and the Sun, this syzygy marks the beginning of the next cycle (Sep 30th). When it occurs, Mercury is nowhere to be seen in the sky, and usually brings clear resolution to any confusion leading up to it. Next comes Mercury as a morning star—or, the birth of a new idea or way of thinking.
Now that we know a bit more about what is actually happening in the sky with Mercury, let’s remember that this planet is also an intelligent mutating Archetype, one which rules over language, communications, health, functionality, and most importantly: Magic! Let’s see what kinds of Libran magic we can discover.
Better than a jade slipper,
A shoe with wings
Where would you go?
.: The Territory :.
1-16 Libra; Decans 1 & 2 of Libra
Stationing retrograde on September 17th, a time a liminal strangeness between this Fall’s two Eclipses, and in the waking shadow of the previous Venus retrograde, we get the creeping suspicion of fated meetings, clearest of clear mirrors, and diamond strength swords used for poetic justice.
Beginning the Rx in Decan 2 of Libra and journeying back to the first degree of Decan 1, there seems to be judicial reflections on the most important cords we have connected to certain people in our lives will come to startling resolutions. In other words, if they help us find harmony, they stay; If not, they go.
We could say this Rx is ruled by Venus because the entire territory explored is in Libra (Venus rules Libra). With this in mind, we also come aware of that fact Venus has yet to complete her own retrograde journey. She is actually released from her “post-shadow,” retracing all her starry steps since the Summer Solstice, on October 9th—which, interesting enough, is the day Mercury stations direct (Important day to put in the calendar). This overlap gives us all the proper editing skills needed to rewrite the Book of our lives. Maybe not the entire Book, but definitely the chapter on Values. If we don’t know what we value most and essentially need for ensuring our radiant contentment, then we become victims to other peoples needs and values sneaking in and overriding our own precious systems. And so, it is good to be diligent. With every hilarious mercurial blooper that may come your way, do your best to translate it into a deeper, more meaningful lesson. Because trust me, it is there.
There are couple of Aspects worth mentioning as well, which seem to act as wise guardians on the edges of this territory: They are Pluto and the North Node of the Moon.
Mercury stations on dragon’s head (North node) and battles 3x via square aspect to Pluto. These are scary, yet evolutionary energies Mercury will be learning with. With the North Node in Libra, it is the hope we can find an adequate amount of satiation with our social and love lives, so that we don’t end up getting consumed by the dragon, always feeling an empty stomach, needing more connection, more love, more things to do ‘out there.’; With Pluto, it is the hope we can actually face the shadow sides of our selves which tend to emerge perennially in every relationship, learning how to listen deeper and owning more of our projections than ever before. Sometimes other people can see our demons clearer than we can. We should do our best to listen to what they have to say.
The Dates of these meetings:
Mercury conjunct North Node in Libra:
Aug 28th; Oct 8th; Oct 10th
Mercury square Pluto:
* Sep 9th; 24th; Oct. 22nd
.: Caduceus and the Healing :.
Mercury is always depicted wielding his caduceus, wearing his flying shoes. They are symbolic reminders of what this God is capable of: Healing. Universal Travel. Magic. It is said that energy goes where attention goes….if true, it implies that wherever our mind is focused, we are energizing that “thing,” that thought, making it more real than it may need to be. If we do this long enough, it manifests in this reality. Meaning: thoughts really do create reality. Or, as Mr. Mckenna always said, “The world is made of language.” This is all Mercury’s domain. He relates to the old Hermetic creed, “As above, so below” as well. All mercurial truths. And so, when we remember what this Mercury Rx is all about, when we locate these 15 degrees of Libra in our Charts, seeing all the aspects and alignments it will be making, we unlock an entire reality unseen. It will help heal our relationships. It will open our ears and hearts to a listening never before experienced. It will be organic lubricant to our frictitious moments, allowing us to slide around catastrophes like warm noodles. Most importantly, it will help us understand each other.
Two snakes, one stick
One heart, two people
Kundalini high fives!
Without conclusion, yet with one certainty: If you hate Mercury retrogrades, then they will hate you back. As a planet, Mercury is neutral. He takes on the energies around him. A true shapeshifter and powerful mirror to everything which surrounds it. This is all just a round a bout way of saying, “Be careful with your thoughts.” All your fears will be real enough, soon enough, if you are allowing the reel to play unconsciously. Be diligent with your mind. Meditate. Be quiet. Find that quiet gathering of people or trees or things. Light a candle with a friend or lover and pass the feather back and forth. Listen in a way you’ve only heard about. Have a sense of humor about it all. And most importantly, question everything you have ever heard about Mercury Rx—even from me—and discover its true nature for yourself. Enjoy.
The Important Dates:
September 17th “Mercury Rx”
…Affairs shift, the mind changes direction. The theme is imminent.
September 30th “Interior Conjunction”
…Clouds part, mind is clear. The theme is groked, but it is just the beginning”
October 9th “Mercury SD”
…Destination reached, mind slowly stops looping. The theme of moving forward arises.
October 24th “Mercury is Released from Shadow”
…Moving on, yet the lessons still integrating. The theme of “being over it.”