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Mercury Retrograde September 27 – October 18 in Libra
“Retrograde motion is an apparent change in the movement of the planet through the sky. It is not real in that the planet does not physically start moving backward in its orbit. It just appears to do so because of the relative positions of the planet and Earth and how they are moving around the Sun.
Normally, the planets move west-to-east through the stars at night. This is referred to as prograde motion. However, periodically the motion changes and they move east-to-west through the stars. We call this retrograde motion. The retrograde motion continues for a short time and then the motion switches back to prograde. The explanation for retrograde motion in a heliocentric (sun-centered) model is that retrograde occurs roughly when a faster-moving planet catches up to and passes a slower moving planet.” ~ NASA
Mercury Retrograde September 27 to October 18 in Libra
For some reason, I do all the wrong things during Mercury Retrogrades. I sell or buy houses, launch programs, sign contracts…always with a bit of a wry grin, daring Mercury to slip me up. Perhaps you should not try this! I’ve managed to get through fairly well, but probably because I have mad organization and detail skills. However, Mercury gets me on the techy end of things…usually in the middle of a client call. It’s a game we play. We shall see how this one goes.
The science and mysticism of astrology recognizes that planets in retrograde have a psychological correspondence on our human experience. This is not so difficult to grasp when one understands the connection of all sentient life, and that the planets themselves, like our Earth Mother, are sentient beings unto themselves. We’re in constant intuitive correspondence with the cosmos.
Mercury in Retrograde is a powerful teacher. Even though we tend to take its lessons personally, it doesn’t have an agenda to throw everything communication and relationship into chaos. It’s just doing what it’s doing…moving along its predestined course, helping us witness ourselves in more authentic ways.
Its purpose is to help us be present to the details in our lives, especially poignant in its focus on relationship. We are, after all, in relationship to everything we encounter.
Mercury Retrograde is best met without dread. When we call up dread, we’re not trusting the natural process of our lives, or our inner wisdom. In contrast, when we open to trust, we can manifest the wildest creativity!
When our inner Mercury is optimized, we are curious about life and ourselves, communicative, a student, decisive. When in an unskillful expression, we’re worrisome, nervous, passive-aggressive, unable or unwilling to communicate with compassion and grace, closed to learning about ourselves or others.
This Mercury Retrograde is in the Air sign of Libra, square Pluto. The square presents an obstacle for us to navigate. Pluto opens our shadow work while Libra questions the balance between our personal desires and relationships with others.
This journey will play out mostly in the mental realm, although we will likely experience physical manifestations of this such as the usual communication breakdowns.
Some people experience retrogrades in profound ways, while others barely notice them. One thing to be curious about is to see where Mercury is placed in your natal chart. For me, it’s in the 5th house of creativity, sexuality, and children. In awareness of this, I can open to whatever comes up, and be observant of empowered steps.
How I understand things is that my soul is in agreement with whatever lessons come up at this time, there’s nothing here that my soul hasn’t anticipated. I can co-create with the Universe through this MR transition. Mercury always asks for our integrity. I truly love that about it.
A Practice for Equilibrium
A practice that helps to ground and center during difficult transits is to come into self-awareness of the patterns we’re settled into.
During a retrograde period, aim for meeting each morning with a short check-in.
One way is to spend five minutes just feeling into the body. Simply paying attention to ourselves in this way can change how we navigate challenges.
Sit in a comfortable position with your spine elongated and your head resting comfortably on lowered shoulders, and a slightly tucked-in chin.
Feel the connection of your sitz bones with the earth. Sink into the rootedness of the Mother archetype. Allow yourself to be supported.
Now, fold your hands over your heart. Connect with it. Focus on your breath. Let it flow ease-fully, consciously.
Check in with any areas that need support. It could be your knees, your neck, your toes. Breathe in life-giving oxygen. Breathe out stress, congested emotions, repressed feelings, anger, mistrust…whatever is there.
Whisper a few words of self-love.
I love you
I support you
I witness you
I’m here for you
Write down any insights, and set an intention for the day ahead.
There are plenty of days when a longer meditation is just not going to happen, and so I find it valuable to have these shorter practices.
During the weeks of the retrograde, pre and post shadow, make these three questions the anchors for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Do I need to react to this? (Counter reaction with curiosity about the situation. Consider resetting some boundaries.)
Do I need to pay attention to this? (What loose ends need tying up? What areas of your life are clamoring to be noticed?)
Do I need to take responsibility for this? (Drop blame and expectation. Provide yourself with a foundation of self-support.)
On the other side of this, you will have found new courage, new strength, new self-compassion, and will maybe even find a new love for Mercury, a worthy messenger of abundance and eloquence.
Blessed Be, Wild One.
“Courage originally meant ‘To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart'” ~ Brené Brown