Article and Photography by Rachel Leah Gerson
So, some of us can only laugh at this point. After everything else the planets have done this year, Mercury decided to end 2016 with a bang. The planet Mercury started retrograde last week on 19 December 2016, and will not go direct until 8 January 2017. And what better timing? Mercury in retrograde has marched through to trudge that last bit of hidden darkness up into the open light so that we will bring the year 2016 out with a brilliant close, and the new year of 2017 will fizzle in under that same brilliance.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Mercury Retrograde is when gravity affects the rotation of the planet Mercury in relation to the planet earth. The pull makes it so that Mercury’s rotation “slows down”, (at least from our point of view on earth,) and thus makes it look and feel as though it is going backwards in rotation behind earth around the sun for a few weeks. Because the planet Mercury affects both technology and communication, the effects of its retrograde are that we can experience lots of miscommunications with people (which make it real fun during the holidays with family and friends, doesn’t it??) and difficulties or breakdowns in technology, i.e. car troubles, phone whacking out, water spilled on laptop, internet outages, etc. I’m not saying that this stuff has to happen during MR, I’m just saying that they are more likely to occur during this time.
But the magick of the universe lies within its teachings. Many people are prone to blame Mercury for our misfortunes during this time period, but really, we should be looking to Captain Mercury with grace and gratitude. Mercury is not here to f things up, so-to-speak. It is here- just like the eclipses we discussed and the black moons and etc.- to bring our shadows into the light to be recognised, and perhaps even understood.
So you’re car breaks down and you’re already late for work and you’re like, what the hell how am I supposed to explain this to my boss this is my 6th time late this month. You could be angry with Mercury. Or you could look at the situation and say, “What am I supposed to learn from this? What is Mercury trying to teach me?” Perhaps you are supposed to be made aware that you need to work harder to get to the office on time so that if your car ever breaks down, your boss will be more likely to let you off a bit easier. Or maybe you are supposed to quit your job. Maybe you really hate your job so much that you’ve been subconsciously showing up late because you just don’t want to be there. Or maybe you need to have the excuse to take a chill out moment. Maybe while you’re waiting for the tow truck or for your friend to give you a ride you can take that 20 minutes to sit there and breathe and use the misfortune to take a peaceful moment to yourself out of the hustle and bustle?
As for arguments with loved ones, the planet’s effects are merely and clearly bringing about to the surface what needs to be hashed out. I, for one, am a tad nervous to be cooped up in a house with 10 family members for the next week and a half all during this period. I know that there are a lot of underlying factors that could come out- differences in personality, in beliefs, in ways of going about daily life. While I tend to be the type of person who just lets Universe take over and guide me through my day, many of my family members tend to be extremely controlling Type A personalities who love to plan by the minute 6 weeks in advance. This can sometimes cause problems when Mercury is direct, so it might even be more-so during this period of retrograde, especially in close quarters.
But the thing is that Mercury is one of those planets that forces us to be mindful. We are forced, during this period of time, to really be understanding of other peoples’ needs and wants and ways of being, just as we are to do with ourselves as individuals. We are made to watch ourselves in action- what are we saying, how are we controlling ourselves or not, are we saying things that we know will bring confrontation to the surface, are we being passive aggressive- the list goes on. So it make us really pay attention to what we are doing and saying and how we are interacting not only with other individuals, but with ourselves.
It can also provide helpful clues about what you might dislike about yourself. In other words, you’re arguing with cousin Louie about how he’s always judging people on their physical appearances, which, maybe Louie is guilty of, but you’re really upset with yourself for doing the same thing when Aunt Margaret walked in the room wearing that awful furry red coat. You are upset with Louie because he is reminding you of what you dislike in yourself. He is mirroring you. He is showing you your greatest guilts and shames about your personality.
So maybe Mercury has come around in this fashion (no pun intended) because you are supposed to step away from the argument and think about what might have triggered it; because you’re supposed to realise that you’re seeing yourself in your cousin Louie’s actions. Because you are upset with that aspect of yourself and you want to change it. And what better a time to be faced with what you want to change and renew in yourself than at the new year? Mr. M went retro at a pretty genius time, this year. Not only so that we can change in such a timely matter, but also because we are more likely to be surrounded by those close to us (even if “those close” is only yourself, because you are the closest a person can get to you) at this time of the year, and more things that need to be illuminated will therefore be drawn to the surface.
But then the question comes- if Mercury went retrograde a week ago, why is Doorway to Self only bothering to post about it, now? The answer is that honestly with this holiday season it’s been hectic, and I haven’t had much time. But I also found that with tomorrow’s new moon in Capricorn, the coinciding of events might better allow for this information to sink in.
29 December’s New Moon in Capricorn will present us with a beautiful balancing and grounding energy where we will be able to internalise all of the towers that have tumbled over the last year, while at the same time making it possible to look toward the future and begin comprehending how we might rebuild our lives in a way that serves us as newly awakened being after months of eye-opening events. So, in the past, it might have been easier to read an article like this and say, “What bull. This isn’t gonna work”- and perhaps some of us still will look at it that way. But after all of the astrological and numerological events that have flipped our pockets inside out so that we were forced to jingle loose whatever we were holding onto that wasn’t necessary, or whatever we were hiding from ourselves or from others, we might be more likely in our strong light to look at this Mercury retrograde cycle as one of opportunity for growth, comprehension, reminiscing, and achievement. It will be easier to look at it and say, “Okay. What, dear Mercury, do you have to teach me, this time?” instead of, “What, freaking Mercury, do you have to mess up?”
There are two ways you can go about life when Mercury goes retro: 1) You can say, “Oh, fuck. Mercury is Retrograde. I’m so screwed on everything. Nothing is going to go right”, or, 2) You can say, “Okay. Mercury is Retrograde. Time to pay extra attention to my actions and words, and to try not to take too much offence at those of others'” AKA, pay attention to your attitude during this process. Maybe your phone keeps quitting out Instagram because you’re manifesting that process and creating the effects that Mercury retrograde might otherwise be responsible for creating just because you are expecting them to happen. While the planets do affect us, you are still ultimately responsible for your own thoughts and how they might play out during this time period.
Merc in retrograde can either be trying, or it can be a time that we take to slow down and truly be mindful and intentional about all of our actions. If you know what you want and what you’re doing, you’ll be fine. And even if you don’t, Mercury will bring it to find you, and you can ask for whatever the lesson is to be really smooth… The sheets on our beds can only be smooth if we take the time to pull on the corners and rub out the wrinkles. Time, patience, and attention to detail. Tedious? Definitely. Worth it? Much.
If you’re interested in some basic ideas on how to best get through any Mercury retrograde, you can click this link to check out this next article for more tips on how to avoid issues and float smoothly through Mercury retrograde!
Here’s to a gorgeous New Moon, a smooth and wisdom-inducing retrograde, and a lovely introspection to bring about understanding, growth, and the greatest of change.
xx RLG ❤