Our comms planet has turned retrograde for the final time this year and many are plunged unnecessarily into the pop astro panic that plagues this much maligned and misunderstood transit. Mercury is retrograde for almost 20% of the year, every year. Several times annually the tiny planet with the mighty influence appears to travel backwards in the sky, a function of its short orbit and our perspective here on earth.
Mercury rules the mind, holding dominion over communication, technology, travel and transport too. The wily trickster disrupts our best laid plans. Playing games with time and space, muddling thinking and expression, transporting us between worlds real and imagined, lost and found.
Retrograde motion is a function of perspective and designed to shift it. Changes in apparent direction and appearances spin our heads, poking holes in our regular programming. Wires cross and language slips secrets under the door. Expectations upend and the noise calls them out. The past rolls in uninvited bearing lost things to be found. The trickster wielding gifts and an infuriating grin.
Last year, as 2020 revolutionised our world, Mercury retrograded through the water signs and we were sunk into our strongest emotions. All the better to outwit denial, dance with our shadows and finally dredge the treasure buried deep within. This year Mercury retrogrades through the air signs, distinct adventures in consciousness designed to expand awareness and understanding. By altering reality, adding and subtracting information our minds are forced to adapt, changing them in the process. Merc’s rx through Aquarius last Feb reset our mental technologies to an operating system compatible with the next age of humanity. Merc’s rx through Gemini in July split perception into its twin skin and reinvigorated critical thinking.
Our consciousness is irrevocably altered by what we feed it. Merc’s rx in Libra invites a refreshed internal engagement with the stories and relationships that have shaped our lives. A wily waltz back through our own holy trinity of life, love and loss to cultivate internal harmony by brokering peace with the past. Pluto’s influence ensures our shadow takes a prominent seat at this retrograde congress.
The first week of Merc’s regular retrograde is a notorious scramble. Renowned for getting wires crossed and rife with misunderstanding, the seeds of reform are planted in its heady disruption to regular programming. Tech can fail or flounder. Tangents, distractions and detours pop up all over the place. Ex everything can appear like a zombie apocalypse. Misdirected messaging or slips of the tongue conjure unwitting revelation. Secrets leak out from beneath the most firmly bolted doors. The world gasps, gripes and is invariably tipped before we are even one down, two to go.
Chaos, restriction and revolution ongoing has spotlit how we stay in relationship to our rebirthing worlds – and it is largely through tech. This is Mercury’s domain. Our connectivity is determinist. The algorithm knows us better than other humans. Our echo chambers have become locked black boxes that sate the beast by telling it only what it likes. Ripe for reconsideration as we hurtle into the future, the world no longer works the way it once did. The tech revolution was way out in front of humanity and its hasty construction did not pay any mind to repercussions or consequences. It’s time to pay the piper, or the psychopomp as the case may be.
Merc’s retrograde scramble may well demonstrate co-dependence and coercive control, perhaps even the abusive relationship we have found ourselves in with tech. Its artificial intelligence and screaming opinion dressed up as fact only reflects the emperor’s new clothes our world is yet wearing, waiting for Truth to call its bluff. Right relationship is built on fair exchange and tender protection of what is most precious. Recalibration resets the moving parts. Get thyself on the right side of screens and dreams, or be lost to them.
Mercury retrogrades have a distinctly muddling choreography. The first week tends to be marked by the inexplicable, as our best laid plans go belly up. What initially looks like failure, disaster or despair is just the trick to get you moving, thinking creatively outside the box and on the fly. In the second week new information arrives out of the blue that again shifts the playing field. Fresh understanding starts to shimmer and radical decisions ask for consideration. By the third and final week, you have been well and truly moved by this transit.
Merc’s regular pause and rewind is only unwelcome in a world that demands constant unrelenting production and views rigid control as due diligence. Manna for creatives, evolutionaries and those radicalised by pandemonium into building a braver new world, Merc’s retrograde offers rethinking, reworking and revising as integrative medicine, if you will take it.
This particular Mercury retrograde back through Libra and old relationship – to yourself, to the world and to ex-thems once upon a time – is undeniably under the influence… of Pluto and Saturn both also retrograding. Much is changing at ground zero and below it. Like tectonic plates, conditions will be constantly shifting. Anchor yourself within and look to the dreamscape and your wily intuition for hidden morsels of insight and clarity. It is possible to thrive during Mercury retrograde and the peculiar magic of this transit can be utilised if you open your mind to its possibility and potential.
Flow with It
Don’t panic. Consider anything and everything that happens over the next three weeks to be a redirection of some kind. Cease trying to work it all out and look instead for what are you missing. Let your focus be honed and your gut response show you what really matters.
Everything is not as it seems
First glance will not be the same as the second or third. Peer deeper. Breathe deeply. Look harder. Under pressure people show you who they really are. Keep meticulous notes. Understand that not everything that crosses your mind is an intelligence. Practice discernment and cultivate grace. Learn how to soften sharp learning into wisdom.
Play It Safe
If it is valuable to you, ensure its preservation and protection. Back it up, lock it down, wrap it well. Read all the fine print and triple check details with an eye for the unusual. Collect caution from the wind. Proceed gently and with care.
Don’t Sign on the Dotted Line
Simply because you will invariably get less – and more – than you bargained for. Wait until you can see the full hand – yours and theirs. If necessity or FOMO monsters caution or prudence, check the details as though your life depends on it. Keep a fresh set of eyes in your back pocket.
The Ex Files
Reconnecting with your past relationships in a meaningful way need not include raising it from the dead, even when it zombie walks into your DMs. Hindsight has 20/20 vision from a safer distance. Remember why it ended and don’t allow nostalgia to wrap red flags around you like blindfolds. Putting the past to bed is always a metaphor under retrograding skies.
The Great reWork
Excellent for works in progress, old ideas or stalled creative impulses, this transit is perfect for editing and revision. Elevate the redo to a high art and cultivate regenerative makeover. Necessity isn’t just the mother of reinvention. Launch anything new once we are out of Merc’s shadow zone and well clear of eclipse season.
The Learning Curve
Try new states of mind on for size during Mercury retrograde and feel into your own dead ends. Find the tipping point in your own cognitive dissonance. None of us know it all. Learning is flexible and fluid, not fixed. Stay open to tangents, new possibilities and understanding. Let them find a home in you.
Cultivate the Chaos
Chaos is what change in motion looks like. Practice responding not reacting to whatever inexplicable tangent arrives unannounced. Forget fixing your mind on a point or setting a destination. Adjust your expectations. Fear is a powerful pollutant that murders the magic. Don’t let it keep you off the rollercoaster. Trust the music beneath the mayhem.
Mercury shows us, once and again, that all reality is virtual. Perception determines understanding. Your perspective remains your most powerful choice. Change your mind and your life will effortlessly follows suit.
Mercury is retrograde in Libra from 26/27 September until 18/19 October. Let yourself be moved.
© Bohomofo, October 2021