Hello all! It’s that time when the Messenger Planet steps backward as part of his cosmic cha-cha – at least that’s what we think he does, looking at him from an earth-bound perspective. Quite a few things happen during the Merc Rx period, mostly to do with electronics, communications and one is generally advised to avoid signing things or starting something new in this period.
Mercury Retrogrades are times for great reflection and re-visitation of decisions just past. Due to the introspective nature of Mercury, one can find a lot of triggers arising that force us to confront our own perceptions, many of which stem from conditioned responses and patterns internalized during early childhood.
Now the issue arises as we’re all doing the processing of the hidden, the shadow aspects that create the foundation of what we understand as our adult, conscious minds. We’re more likely to trigger one another, often in complete innocence. And such disputes can easily inflame or inflate things in ways that do no justice to anyone.
This round of Mercury’s backward dance begins (technically) on the 18th of May and ends June 11th. It exits the shadow phase and begins to function as per usual on June 26th. The retrograde itself takes place between 13 – 4 Gemini, and then it moves forward once more. Unusually, it feels as though the retrograde has, at the energetic level, started 2 days early!
Looking at the sky I see Hermes at 13 Aquarius and Hekate 12 Aquarius trining the current position of Mercury (12 Gemini) – that might be a reason why we’ve begun to feel it so strongly. Hermes is another form/expression of the same Messenger energy that Mercury represents (they’re the same deity in related traditions, Greek and Roman). Hekate pulls us through the underground passage to discover the wisdom of the cosmos, through the belly of the earth. It’s a fairly powerful connection, which explains why this shadow period feels .. a little more shadow-y than usual 😉
I’ll get into a more detailed energetic and astrology oriented post some other time – so lets get down to practical guidance 🙂
(1) Take Nothing Personally
Everyone is reading the story of their lives in your actions, just as you are seeing your story in their actions (we call this projection). And as they respond to you / you to them, they’re really responding to themselves. A dear sister of mine calls it looking ‘in the smoking mirror’.
The best you can do is to stay silent, walk away, or if you feel dialogue is needed – explain your perspective, reasoning and course of action. If the other party can accept it – great – if not, then the discussion can be tabled. Very often, both parties are dancing around the same issue – but in some cases – it really is just a case of one party’s misunderstanding.
You often see this with mentors and their students — one has agreed to play the role of the mirror at a profound spiritual level. Those who choose to play those roles get projected upon the most heavily. But, to be clear, this is more of the exception, rather than the rule.
(2) Assume Nothing. ( a different iteration of #1 )
People communicate for their own reasons, all of the time. Chances are it’s not about you, or directed to you in any way. (And remember, during the retrograde, the person you’re communicating with might also be likely to see things where there is nothing to be seen.) Not particularly helpful to do the same.
If you find yourself creating a narrative, a story, or an interpretation of someone else that seems unduly negative, more often than not, it’s probably just the whole projection dynamic.
Imagine if someone says – call it Y. And your interpretation is – call it X. There’s a disconnect between communication and perception. Sometimes it’s one sided, sometimes its both.
During this Mercury Rx period, some might be tempted to instantly adopt the offensive: You said/did X!!! How could you mean that!!!?
Another strategy tends to be the passive-aggressive one – ‘you did X, and I’m okay with it, but you’re a bad/flawed/person for doing it, but it’s okay’.
The variant of that in spiritual circles tends to be ‘you’re flawed/unevolved for saying X, but I accept you because I’m bigger/better than you’. It’s a strategy of positioning, where one party appears to be benevolent and gracious towards the wayward other, whilst heavily judging them at the same time.
It saves both parties time and energy to simply ask, rather than assuming: Did you mean X when you said/did Y?
(3) Think Twice Before Talking
There is a major difference between needing to walk on eggshells, and in being conscious of your communication. One requires you to force yourself not to be yourself for fear of reprimand or a painful consequence, and the other asks you to consider the influence your words have on another. The vibrations of both activities are very, very different.
Even when considering all that, you may want to sound and speak exactly as you do. Which is a perfectly legitimate choice, but it helps to be conscious of it. That way, you get to a deeper place in your self-understanding.
(4) Walk Away, it’s Okay at times.
At times, there’s not much you can do if someone is bent on seeing you in a certain way. The best you can do is explain your intent. If someone resists the idea that you’re really not saying what they think you’re saying … just stick to your truth, and go with it as best you can 🙂 Avoid taking on or internalizing the psychological baggage of others – as carrying it around for them doesn’t quite facilitate healing in any way. Fighting it out can lead to unnecessary ego bruising, which again – might not actually help.
You might find that a discussion is better served at a later time, if needed. I wouldn’t say it’s the best time to make any binding decisions. Just give things time, be patient, and let the Universe work its magic.
The only caveat to this would be walking away because you’re not willing to see an alternate truth or interpretation of the situation – or to accept that there is another perspective in the conversation. You can accept it or reject, of course, ideally once you’ve considered it.
Exercise your discretion as that strategy may not be applicable for business or similar matters. This is more concerned with interpersonal relationships at the everyday level. Remember that Mercury in mythology is also concerned with trade, commerce and matters of profit.
(5) Back everything up on your computers or notes.
I’m not kidding. It’s been that rough for a lot of people already! I’d highly suggest it for those of you who need to keep vital data stored someplace.
(6) Postpone major discussions, deals, purchases – if possible
If you must sign a contract, fill an important form or commit to anything, read the details. Read it again. Then get someone else to read it. If buying electronic items, make sure the warranty applies and that everything is in order. The best time to resume all that is in early July – but at times you might not have the luxury of choice.
More on this transit as it unfolds <3 In a future post, I plan to talk about how the Mercury Retrograde can help us in understanding ourselves in a deeper way. It’s not all gloom and doom, but it does help to be prepared so we can make the most of the opportunities this energy equally presents to us.
Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
Image: Merkur by Hans Thoma Merkur.jpg – Public domain, Wikimedia Commons
Text: © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All rights reserved.