THE WISE TRICKSTER
MERCURY RETROGRADE IN GEMINI
May 4th – June 27th, 2015
This Mercury Retrograde Cycle covers the zone of the Zodiac from 5° - 13° Gemini, entering on May 4th, 2015 and leaving on June 27th, 2015 . Here are the dates for the full arc of the cycle, from the day on which Mercury passes the degree where it will later turn Direct, through until the next Superior (or Exterior) conjunction.
- May 4th – Mercury at 4°11' Gemini, the degree of later SD (June 11th)
- May 19th – Mercury turns Retrograde at 13°8' Gemini
- May 30th – Mercury Rx conjunct the Sun at 8°58' Gemini
- June 11th – Mercury turns Direct at 4°33' Gemini
- June 22nd – Mercury passes the degree of recent conjunction (May 30th)
- June 27th – Mercury passes the degree of the recent SRx (May 19th)
July 23rd – Mercury D conjunct the Sun at 0°37' Leo
It might surprise you to see the extended period of time mentioned above, as usually we pay attention when Mercury is actually Retrograde, for only about 21 days, covering only about 10° of the Zodiac. However, being aware of the whole arc of Mercury's movement gives us some very useful information, hints on 'pacing', a good basis for decision-making, an opportunity to review things, plus a way of understanding and wisely managing the ebb and flow of situations in our lives.
During this cycle, Mercury is accompanied by Mars, the Warrior, in Gemini, closely conjunct May 26th - 28th. Mars energizes and renders more forceful what it touches by transit, so this intensifies Mercury's passage through Gemini, the sign it rules. It also lends us courage. We are put on notice to exercise caution in communication, taking with what we write or say, and also what we engage our mind with. Do you favour the daily 'fix' of 'bad news' over settling down for a time of brief relaxation reading a book of poetry, or something inspirational? Or writing your own thoughts and feelings in your journal?
Further, we are given the opportunity of seeing our own thought patterns, where they lead, and if/how/when they rule us. A precious gift indeed, if somewhat shocking at times! Avoid judgement if you can, and focus rather on understanding with compassion the relationship between the mind and the emotions. Does one or the other come first? Who influences who? Do our thoughts create our emotions or our emotions create our thoughts?
Mercury rules the nervous system, the inner communication system within the body and the brain, tracing the generation of thought from the subtle to the physical, and back again. Hermes, his Greek counterpart was portrayed with winged sandals and helmet. His dynamic is movement, a to-and-fro between the opposites. The ancient Hermetic Mysteries are those which acknowledge the dualistic nature of our experience, but also seek the higher unity which encompasses this ... as we learn to accept duality rather than becoming beguiled with a one-sided denial of its opposite. This is represented in the insignia of Mercury, the Caduceus. Below, a bird rests on the central column about which are twined two serpent-dragons. This also depicts the movement on energy between the chakras of the subtle body.
The seven stages of Mercury's cycle
PREPARATION FOR THE JOURNEY
1. May 4th – Mercury at 4°11' Gemini, the degree of later SD (June 11th)
We enter the 'field' of Mercury's Retrograde cycle. The prelude or 'shadow' phase. The cards are dealt, our spiritual 'task list' is presented.
If you work regularly with these cycles, you will be able to feel when Mercury enters the 'sensitive zone' of the Zodiac where its forthcoming retrogradation will occur. It makes sense to prepare for this journey, which is sure to include 'meeting the opposites' as mentioned below ...
Hermes, the Greek equivalent of the Roman god Mercury after whom the planet is named, was the only one of the Olympian gods who had free right of passage through all realms – from the depths of the Underworld, domain of Pluto/Hades, right up to the snowy heights of Mount Olympus, presided over by Zeus.
The picture left shows a mix of light and dark, the hallmark of Mercury's nature.
By noticing the Zodiacal sign placement of transiting Mercury, and any aspects it makes to transiting planets, plus locating its trajectory by sign in our own natal charts, we can get some idea of what kind of territory Mercury will be asking us to travel, and prepare accordingly. For he is the 'Guide of Souls' and if we follow his prompts, we can be sure of an 'interesting journey' which may result in profound insights, new connections, quirky, annoying or amusing events and surprises, welcome or unwelcome, or indeed both!
Remember - Mercury prefers questions to answers, so ask yourself (and perhaps others) the important questions at this time. And get a sense of what is 'being asked' of you ...
Mercury is the weaver between the opposites, like the snakes which wind around the healing staff or caduceus. His job is to assist travellers on the path of awareness, and to keep the energy moving so that situations develop to fruition, ideas are generated, and important communications are facilitated, both inwardly and outwardly.
We may be tripped up with glitches – computers crash, we lose our cell-phone or it's stolen, emails don't arrive, we are clumsy verbally and cause offence, we jump to wrong conclusions and have to back down and admit we were wrong, we miss meetings, plans go awry, travel arrangements scramble.
You will find plenty of 'warnings' about this kind of thing, leading to the Mercury Rx Cycle generally getting 'bad press'!
However, let's take a different view here …
Each Mercury Rx cycle is a unique opportunity to shift level, to undergo an inner journey accompanied by Hermes/Mercury, our Wise but sometimes Tricky companion. Either way, this journey which will enrich our understanding, to free up energy and create momentum in our lives – in the particular area of our own horoscope where it is active. So it will focus on and 'implant' a set of qualities, as described by the sign(s) of the Zodiac in which it's located.
Rule of thumb …
If you are experiencing a Mercury Rx Cycle through a flurry of glitches and things mis-firing in general – try to just STOP your momentum, as in the phrase 'Don't just do something, sit there'! Very often, these Mercurial 'signals' are prompts to slow down (as Mercury does when turning), change gear, turn around (as he does) and be reflective rather than active for a while. The 'Trickster' quality of these events turns into wisdom if we can back off ...
The 'Re-' words ….
Many words that have the prefix 're' describe the processes of Mercury's Rx Cycle, and also give us clues as to how we can best engage with these energies. Here is a list of such words and perhaps you can have some (Geminian!) fun finding more.
Re-flect — Re-examine — Re-view — Re-consider — Re-turn — Re-cognize — Re-do — Re-think — Re-spect — Re-value — Re-vamp — Re-capitulate — Re-model — Re-start — Re-finish — Re-cycle — Re-member — Re-jig — Re-fashion — Re-imagine — Re-cover — Re-habilitate — Re-join — Re-ignite — Re-kindle — Re-form — Re-quire — Re-make — Re-flect — Re-examine — Re-view — Re-make — Re-cognize — Re-do — Re-think — Re-value — Re-vamp — Re-capitulate — Re-model — Re-start — Re-finish — Re-cycle — Re-member — Re-jig — Re-fashion — Re-furbish — Re-cover — Re-join — Re-ignite — Re-kindle — Re-form — Re-quire —Re-veal — etc!!
(See the November 2013 article 'Forensic Mercury' for an enormous list of 're-' words sent in by people
in many different countries, identified by their flags! Click here.)
Journey Between the Worlds …
As Mercury is the 'traveller between the worlds' and can move everywhere 'sans frontières', getting a sense of where he is going in terms of your own chart is useful. Wherever Mercury travels, be aware that depths and heights may open up. Prepare yourself and your life so that you can benefit and bring healing to yourself and others through this knowledge.
Look up the house where Gemini is located, and see if you can 'pick up the trail' ...
For example, if Mercury is crossing your MC, you may be re-thinking various things about your professional life. Decisions mature, opportunities arise, situations clarify, you bring nagging concerns fully into view and deal with them. Things may turn 'upside-down'.
If Mercury is crossing your IC, you might action a long-standing wish to re-decorate your home, or to put some energy into family relationships you've neglected.
TURNING WITHIN, TOWARDS THE SILENCE
2. May 19th – Mercury turns Retrograde at 13°8' Gemini
Wise withdrawal. Looking in the rear-view mirror.
During the period where Mercury is actually Rx, if we can experiment with keeping 80% or more of our attention focused inwardly, on our own field of experience, we may discover, to our surprise, that most of what we do in our lives can be achieved by engaging the remaining 20%! Habitually, we live with those percentages reversed, with 80% or more of our attention going 'out', so we become seduced, lost, stretched out, exhausted, embroiled … in the outer world. Especially during these 'interesting times' we are living through, the media exerts a direct and compelling influence over our state of mind, if we allow it to.
Switch it off …
Get curious - have a 'technology fast'. Just switch it off. Experiment with silent days, computer-free days, iPhone free days, put your email account on auto-reply. Go further if you feel like a challenge … don't speak, read or write for an hour, a day, a week. Whatever makes sense for your life-style.
Even if you live a really busy life, fully engaged with family, friends and work, with a little forward planning and ingenuity you will find small 'windows', places and times to 'switch off the world' and commune with your soul.
Even better … practice doing this in the midst of 'it all'.
Be 'online' inwardly and notice how your world and your life seems from this 'Underworld' perspective.
Listen, and hear …
'Hermetic Silence' - Bocchius 1574
Try being 'in the world but not of it'
rather than being 'of the world, but not in it'!
The tangled, anxious places in the mind-soul may be revealed during a Mercury cycle. Get a sense of the qualities, somatic location, tone and frequency of these hidden areas. No need to 'do anything', just acknowledge your own perceptions and reactions. These 'knots' will just love to be receiving your kindly attention and may yield unexpected blessings and surprises, as they are allowed to pass by like floating clouds, or to come to rest and dissolve. Here, the purpose is not about 'getting rid of' our thoughts, wild though they may be, evoking anxiety and nervousness. We relate to the mind rather than from it.
Decisions, decisions ...
Many of the decisions we struggle with, or feel pressured to make, are actually not necessary, therefore not possible! The 'monkey mind' tends to see everything as a problem to be solved, and to fret while struggling to find a solution. Experiment with giving this rest. Gemini, being a 'dual sign' can become very 'indecisive' when under stress. But on closer examination, you may find that some of these apparently pressing decisions do not need to be made yet. All the information isn't in, or the situations are not ripe. So talk it out with a trusted friend, a soul-brother or soul-sister. The sign of Gemini brings a real appetite for, and aptitude for communication. Enjoy it!
STAYING TUNED – WE LISTEN, WATCH AND WAIT
3. May 30th – Mercury Rx conjunct the Sun at 8°58' Gemini
The 'Interior' or 'Inferior' Conjunction.
The conjunction with Mercury and the Sun is a precious time of 'seeding', and of 'conception'. That same word is used both for a 'mental notion or idea', and also for the successful fertilization of an egg, revealing the Mercurial potential for including the opposites! A maxim of esoteric philosophy is that 'Energy follows thought'. Notice with precision and care what 'crosses your mind' around this date. See where it might lead, if you should follow ...
Who or what comes into your life as the 'Messenger' of Mercury, the 'Messenger of the Gods'? What situations present? Most important, pay attention inwardly to dreams, reveries and intuitions. And journal this bit, especially, as it might bring fleeting impressions which are difficult to 'catch by the tail'. However, you may well delight in seeing how the what happens at the Retrograde Conjunction (Interior or Inferior) of this time are reflected at the forthcoming Superior Conjunction, on July 23rd, 2015! It is a time of 'sowing seeds' which ripen or sprout, and of 'setting consequences in motion. Understanding this can help us wait in the right attitude, rather than trying to push circumstances along at the pace of our own impatience for 'resolution'!
4. June 11th – Mercury turns Direct at 4°33' Gemini
Emerging, turning around again, reviewing. Turning points.
What gifts might we have been given during the Conjunction period? A sense of 'emerging from the Underworld', or being released may occur as events may begin to 'untangle' by themselves. The Sabian Symbol for this degree is 'A revolutionary magazine calling for action'! Decisions may now be possible, or we see that they don't even need to be made, as situations may have changed. Sometimes, it is simply and delightfully obvious 'what has to happen'!
5. June 22nd – Mercury passes the degree of recent conjunction (May 30th)
We see the direction of things, accept the Guidance, start planning, get curious about the outcomes. We are still 'in the journey'. Reflect on the notion, found in many mystical traditions that 'the Traveller, the Road, and the Destination' are One. What does this mean to you? And where, actually, are we going, really, truly? If anywhere?
6. June 27th – Mercury passes the degree of the recent SRx (May 19th)
We marvel at the interior 'seeding' which has taken place, and the magical process of how life events and experiences are unfolding. What or who is it that makes all this occur ?
7. July 23rd – Mercury D conjunct the Sun at 0°37' Leo
We notice fruition, and gives thanks for what 'works' in our lives, as well as accepting 'what doesn't work'! This conjunction is in the Sun's sign, and within a day or so of the station of Venus Rx, which ushers in a period of in-depth review of relationships, values and what matters mostly deeply to us. All being well, our Mercury function will be rested and refreshed by its 'change of gear' while Retrograde, and will be in a strongly creative mode in late July and early August. So schedule some enjoyable and heart-warming projects for this time!
MESSENGER OF THE GODS!