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Mercury Retrograde is here, again, from October 13th until November 3rd in the signs of Scorpio and Libra. Mercury's escape from its retrograde shadow takes another two weeks, until November 19th. While there are many things to be considered about this astrological phenomenon, in this article I will be focusing on the energetic and spiritual dimension of this particular retrograde cycle, and how we might best utilize this time for our growth and well being.
Mercury rules communication, the movement of information, and our cognitive ways of learning and understanding the world. Mercury Retrograde tends to be known as a time when technical difficulties crop up, miscommunications are likely, and travel plans can go awry. It can be troublesome at first glance, but upon deeper reflection this time is ripe with opportunities. In a world where information is moving faster than ever, Mercury Retrograde offers a time to consciously slow down, take more pauses and deep breaths throughout the day, and prioritize rest. It’s also a chance to find some time to reconsider our life’s trajectory and course correct where need be. It can be helpful to approach this time frame with a more spacious understanding that things might take longer than usual, and with forgiveness for ourselves and others when mistakes are made or things don't go according to plan. This way of being can transform inconveniences into opportunities for greater connection, care, and mutual understanding.
This particular Mercury Retrograde begins in the deep waters of transformative Scorpio at 11°, and is influenced heavily by the presence of Uranus being in direct opposition as it stations retrograde on October 13th. Mercury in Scorpio energy lends us a sharp and inquiring eye to peer into shadows where we may otherwise normally glance over. Uranus is the great awakener, and often comes with unexpected events or sudden epiphanies that can provide openings for tremendous innovation and insight. To be real, the activity brought on by these influences and others will probably not be smooth. We may see some serious turbulence continuing to shake up our world as the end of this tumultuous year unfolds. Yet hidden in the cracks of widespread disruption hide beautiful seeds of truth, just waiting for our awareness to shine upon them, so that they may grow and flourish into potentials we could never have even imagined. Secrets may be revealed, feelings of shock may ensue in light of surprising events, yet it is with this kind of revelatory energy that we might rebirth ourselves through crisis and emerge transformed. As we release the beliefs and world views that no longer serve, we can collectively conspire to co-create a better world.
On October 27th Mercury will move backward into Libra, and six days later on November 3rd will station direct at the 26th degree. (November 3rd is, of course, a very big day for American Politics – I will not extrapolate on this dimension of astrological interpretation, but all I have to say is PLEASE exercise your right to VOTE!) What’s quite interesting about this day is that Mercury’s direct station is happening in near exact square with Saturn, and opposite Eris. What meaning I derive from this configuration is a chance for each of us to get really clear on how our thoughts and beliefs shape our experience, and to simultaneously root ourselves deeply in our truest values, while remaining flexible and open to growing and developing those values as we mature and learn. Our Soul’s Truth and Purpose, after all, is not a fixed thing.
Mercury’s station in Libra may also provide us with an opening to bring all of our inner healing “homework” from the time in Scorpio into an understanding of how to better relate with others – one that’s informed by a new understanding of ourselves. Libra weighs opposites, and is perhaps also the energy that can help us most easily be present with the paradoxical nature of our world. As Richard Tarnas so eloquently wrote in Cosmos and Psyche “Wisdom, like compassion, often seems to require of us that we hold multiple realities in our consciousness at once.” Indeed, in these catalytic times, may our minds, hearts, and spirits expand their capacity to be present with the vast spectrum of human experience and consciousness, so that we may coexist in greater harmony.
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