Mercury Retrograde: Shadows Searching for Light

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Mercury Retrograde: Shadows Searching for Light

Mercury retrograde is not to be feared. It’s a rhythm to be rocked. It’s a song to be sung. It’s an excuse to get your introspective groove on.

It happens three times a year. Three times a year people. And if one considers the shadow phases of Mercury as well as the retrograde itself (the time when the planet will occupy the degrees of its retrograde motion*) we are looking at two entire months for each retrograde. That’s six months. That’s half a year. That’s half our life.

So, instead of this time being viewed as one of communicative curses and technological condemnation from the gods on high, we can view it as essential to our growth and evolution. Yes things get tricky, testy and tedious. Yes phones get dropped and call get lost and emails go awry. No it’s not a good time to make major plans, sign big contracts or buy electronic devices. Big deal. These things are easy enough to avoid or (maybe a little harder) easy enough to deal with if we put life into perspective. The real work is much more involved.

When in retrograde, Mercury, like any planet, only appears to be going backward from our perspective on this little rock from which we stand. In actual fact the planet does more of a loopty-loo move in the sky.

This gives us a good indication of what we end up mirroring.

Retrogrades tend to bring the issues, people and opportunities back around that the planet represents in the style of the sign it occupies. Mercury represents communications, learning, thinking, reasoning and moving about. This retrograde begins at two degrees of Scorpio, just two degrees away from the October 23rd solar eclipse in the same sign. Scorpio is not afraid to penetrate facades and expose the truth. Scorpio is not afraid to see the places in life when it is both the bully and the bullied, the victim and the perpetrator, the abuser and the abused. The constellation of Scorpio is of course the lethal and deadly scorpion; feared by many and approached cautiously by anyone who values their life. As Deborah Holding points out, the ancient Egyptians thought “scorpions represent initiation into the sacred mysteries” and if Mercury is associated with the Magician or Magus in the major arcana of the tarot and being skilled at the magical