UNDERSTANDING HOW TO USE MERCURY RETROGRADE PERIODS
For a change I thought I would share the upside of Retrograde Mercury periods with you. You will remember that we get three of these every year. Mercury rules young people. So I'm going to use that image to describe the Sun/Mercury cycle. A new Sun/Mercury cycle begins every time Mercury turns retrograde and makes a conjunction with the Sun. This cycle climaxes when Mercury turns direct and a couple of months later again conjuncts the Sun.
To get a picture of how this cycle works, imagine the Sun moving along in its orbit, never deviating from its path. Pretend that the Sun is the parent, walking along with its child, Mercury. Usually Mercury sticks pretty close to the Sun. But Mercury is known for his playfulness. He’s young. Naturally, he wants to have fun; to sow his wild oats. Sometimes he decides to go off exploring on his own. So he starts running and gets ahead of the Sun. (This is when our thinking processes often get ahead of our sense of self and sometimes get us into trouble.)
After awhile, however, Mercury grows tired or bored with being on his own. He wants the comfort of feeling connected to his parent. So he slows down, and begins backing up. In other words he goes retrograde, waiting for the Sun to catch up with him. This conjunction, made while Mercury is retrograding, can be very useful to us. Remember, I told you last time that during Mercury retrograde periods we have an opportunity to rethink things, since Mercury rules our mental processes?
Well, at the time that the Sun catches up with Mercury, or conjuncts Mercury, we have an opportunity to begin whatever it is that we’ve been rethinking, or considering while our mind was way out in front of us. It’s a time for action. I know! I know! I’ve repeatedly said that we should not take action on a Retrograde Mercury, but sometimes it’s all right. I’m sharing this information with you so you’ll know when to act.
Okay, so you’ve got this picture of the little kid holding his parent’s hand, right? (Mercury conjunct the Sun) Now imagine him letting go again, only this time he begins lagging behind. The Sun goes heedlessly on without him. Symbolically, your life’s purpose (the Sun) goes forward with what you decided to do when Mercury conjuncted the Sun.
Pretty soon, sure enough, Mercury has fallen so far behind that he begins to feel out of touch again. He wants some reassurance, or feedback from the parent—the Sun. So he begins running to catch up. This is what we Astrologers mean when we say Mercury has turned direct. Mercury is moving forward again instead of retrograding, or backing up. Technically, the retrograde period had ended.
But it’s my feeling that we humans usually don’t realize the results of whatever action we chose to undertake at that first conjunction of the Sun and Mercury, until about two months later, when Mercury finally catches up with the Sun again and conjuncts it for a second time. This is the culmination phase, the climax of our new undertaking. At this time we can weigh the results of whatever we began at the first conjunction. Our sense of self (the Sun) and our thinking processes (Mercury) are again in step. At least until the next retrograde Mercury!
Do you begin to have a sense of how powerful a tool this can be—understanding when these conjunctions take place in the Sun\Mercury cycle? It helps us to know when to begin something important, and it gives us a timeframe in which to evaluate the results of our undertaking—a veritable gift from the Universe.
May the Sun, Moon and Stars shelter you and energize you with love and peace,