by Maya del Mar
Each month we will give the dates of the months planetary "stations" in this spot.
From Earths standpoint, planets periodically reverse their direction. We call this a retrograde period. It is a time to assimilate that planets energies, to bring them home to us and work with them on inner levels. During retrograde times, people are idiosyncraticmore true to their naturesin their expression of the retrograde energy.
On the days surrounding a planets "turn," it is moving very slowly or standing still in the heavens. We call this a station. Energy is very pronounced then, and events on earth reflect that emphasis.
During the few days around the directional change of a planet, its action manifests more strongly. We can see its principle more clearly then. Pay attention to the station days. Theyre always significant.
Mercury is the retrograde star of the month. It is the only planetor asteroidwhich turns retrograde or direct this month, and it does bothand all in its favorite sign of Gemini to boot. AND it turns during the Gemini Sun-Moon cycle. AND it impacts those two big gasbags, Jupiter and Saturn which run society, and are now both in Gemini. This is a major Mercury retrograde.
When my children were young, we used to play the game of "gossip." Wed sit around the table and somebody would start by whispering something interesting to the person next to him/her. The recipient would pass the information on by whispering to the person next to him/her. The information would go around the table until it reached the last person, who would announce out loud what he heard. Then the first person would announce what he/she said. There was always a huge discrepancy between the two, and often they were quite unrelated. The distortion of a simple message through just one family was always a surprise, as well as a source of laughter.
This is Mercury, the messenger and the trickster. "Just keep the information moving," is Mercurys motto. There is not a real concern for truth or accuracy. The concern is to make the connection, pass it on, and grab onto the next connection.
Mercury is associated with connections with the outer world, through hands, feet, and lungs. It is associated with connections within the body through the brain and the nervous system. It provides food for the mind, and delivers messages from the mind. An analog to the game of gossip can happen anywhere in this transmission process. We all know what a trickster mind can be.
Society spends a lot of time and energy devising channels for Mercurys messages so that there is a socially-agreed-upon understanding. Language patterns, dictionaries, codes, contracts, laws, ethics, various jargons, and customs are examples. There are endless ways in which we formalize Mercurys possibilities, including communication and movement tools, to keep it in bounds. Humor is when those ways go out of bounds, jump the fenceand Mercury has a wonderful sense of humor.
In addition we each develop our own idiosyncratic habits of perceiving, processing, and communicating. Much of our life is spent connecting and coordinating ourselves with societys norms, and Mercury is our tool for this work.
Its a big job, but Mercury is happy to do it. It loves to be on the go and can juggle many connections at once.
But periodically Mercury needs to return to Central Command to integrate its old information and to pick up new instructions. After a period of operating on automatic, we begin to lose touch with who we really are, and we need to bring Mercury back home and remind it of who its working for. It is a process of reviewing, going over the past, contemplating, and redoingputting things together in new ways. Mercury retrograde periods give us that opportunity.
Each of us is operating on our own track during a Mercury retrograde period. This is why it is not a good time to sign contracts or make agreements (see Sissy Blue's article in this issue for a good example of this!). Although everything may seem perfectly clear at the moment, it usually turns out later that the two parties had different ideas and expectations at the time of the agreement, and thus it turns out to be unsatisfactory. Very often problem agreements made during a Mercury retrograde period are not repaired until another Mercury retrograde period, sometimes years down the line.
Mercury retrograde periods are especially good for helping us to get a new look at our lives. Contemplation, review, noticing and fixing problems, and re-experiencing our past are some of our tools. It is a good time for travel, which always gives us a new perspective. Its a good time for readings, and all efforts which help us look within ourselves. The three-week period of a Mercury retrograde can also mark the development of a new discipline or routine in our lives. It is a time to focus on inner self, and let go of outer connections. Think of it as your personal retreat.
Mercury retrograde can be a period of healing, as we focus on and correct our functioning. Mars and Chiron are involved now, and we have the healing of energy, movement, and all kinds of assertion. "Learn to watch your step," says Mercury in detail-oriented Gemini.
People who are born under a retrograde Mercury function particularly well during such periods. They feel more at home when Mercury is turned inward.
The U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed with Mercury retrograde. This has many ramifications. Two of them are that the U.S. continues to make many significant moves when Mercury is retrograde, and more often than not the basis of those situations goes way way back. It is often hard for this nation to move on.
Mercury will be retrograde in Gemini from June 4-28. Gemini is a sign of childhood, and of the spontaneity of childhood. This is a good time to connect with children, to look at old pictures of yourself as a child, and to renew childhood connections. Take another look at how you integrate your inner childs need for freedom into your productive adult life.
Gemini is also associated with information and with how we process it. Pay attention now to whether your thoughts, attitudes and connections reflect the real you. You can make changes now.
Gemini is the sign of civilization, represented by the city. When we live with such constant outer stimulation and diversion, it is especially easy to lose touch with our centers and at the same time become more manageable by powers outside of ourselves.
To counteract this, the great psychologist C.J. Jung built himself a house without electricity or running water. He said that to live in a more primitive way puts us in touch with the deeper archetypal forces which move us.
Spending time in nature would be super productive during this Mercury retrograde period. And in your garden. Connecting with our roots in earth can help break through the static of our busy minds. Try going without electricity for awhile. Pay attention to where your food comes from. Patronize farmers markets.
And dont forget to celebrate the Solstice Eclipse by ROLLING YOUR OWN BLACKOUT from 7-10 p.m. on June 21.
The last time we had Mercury turn both retrograde and direct in Gemini was in 1988. Then NASA confirmed the Greenhouse effect, and a jury found a tobacco company liable in the death of a smoker, the first such case. In South Africa there was a massive three-day, 2 million worker strike.
Gemini is an air sign, and reviews of global warming and air pollution are in order now. Gemini is also the sign of both Mars and Uranus in the U.S. chart, and it is time for re-examination of the U.S. military. Gemini is the Sun Sign of South African President Thabo Mbeki.
Retrogrades give us a chanced to re-evaluate our lives. We have five planets plus Chiron retrograde now (see May Retrograde Watch), all of them, along with two asteroids, in the Gemini-Sagittarius polarity.
Look at your actions. Are they consistent with the information you receive, your knowledge, your attitudes, your ethics, and your beliefs?
Now is the time to access your inner wisdom and to clarify your guiding precepts.
In December we start a one-and-a-half year eclipse cycle in this mental polarityGemini and Sagittarius. This is the perfect time to re-evaluate and re-organize our life philosophy, which in fact underlies all we do, so that the changes triggered by those eclipses move us in appropriate directions.
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