Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius
(January 28th, 2008 – February 18th, 2008)
First, thank you for your feedback on my last article Mars Retrograde. I am glad that so many of you resonated with it and found it of use. The astrologer in me never ceases to curse – oops! – I mean marvel at the Divine choreography of astrological cycles….lol. That couldn’t be more true this last week as before we stepped out of one retrograde cycle (Mars turning direct on January 30th), we are thrust into another one (Mercury turning retrograde January 28th)!
So here we are my friends, stuck with a Mercury retrograde cycle in the sign Aquarius. Let’s see if we can’t bring some order to the chaos. : ) First let’s review a bit about the Mercury Retrograde cycle as it’s been some time since I have written about it…
Essentially astrology is the art and science of intuiting and interpreting the energetic cycles of life. All those planets out there in the heavens are mirrors for what’s in us……as above, so below. So any planetary cycle that we observe in the sky/Zodiac is also at work in us, because (as all mystics have said for ages) the ultimate reality is that there is no separation from what’s out there and what’s within. The gift of astrology is born out of learning to work with the cosmic cycles of life consciously, as a co-creative act if you will. So if you can learn to understand the inherent function of a planetary astrological cycle, you can use that energy in a more consciously empowered manner, and bring your timing/efforts more in line with Universal Will; which means more in line with your soul.
That being said, to understand Mercury Retrograde you must understand the function of Mercury within you when it is direct. The Archetype of Mercury has worn many faces over the ages and was known to the Greeks as Hermes, to the Romans as Mercurius, and to the Egyptians as Thoth. All of these Gods and archetypes have transmuted into our modern day version and understanding of the Astrological Mercury.
As a function of consciousness, Mercury represents our thinking and communicative processes, the ways we access and use information, make decisions, pay attention to details, and express ourselves. Perhaps most importantly, Mercury also symbolizes the way we perceive reality via the mind. Much of this gets reexamined during a Mercury Retrograde cycle via the astrological sign’s themes it’s retrograde in. We are asked to retreat within and reevaluate what serves our life with regards to this Mercurial function of consciousness, and what needs to be upgraded, refined, and/or let go of in the ways that we think about things. If we resist this, then we invoke the “Trickster” side of Mercury contained in Mercury’s function, which I will explain later.
When Mercury is direct, which it is 80% of the year, we can look to the sky and see the planet’s motion going forward against the backdrop of the Zodiac in the heavens. However, about every 3 ½ months the planet appears to start going backward for about three weeks. I say, “appears” because in reality it’s the orbit of the earth in tandem with the planetary orbit of Mercury that makes the planet appear to move backwards, though it is not really moving backwards. Nevertheless, this period of time is called Mercury Retrograde.
When Mercury is moving direct, our minds tend to work on a more functional/forward level. Our energy is invested in more assertive decision-making and action with less retrospection and reflection. However, we are unconsciously picking up on intuitive information, which will come to call during the retrograde cycle for further integration. There needs to be a time of rest and assimilation of all the information that we perceive consciously and unconsciously. A time for our inner wisdom to come forth and guide us to re-organize, rethink, reevaluate, redo, and reboot. This is part of the organic, natural flow of life. Our culture, however, made up of schedules and deadlines, doesn’t often accommodate a cycle of introspective reflection and re-evaluation. This is why this cycle can be so brutal for some of us……especially those of us, like me, with agendas of steel! Ha!
Even though Mercury is moving direct, it will eventually enter into its retrograde zone (the degrees of the astrological sign it will retrograde over) about two weeks before it goes retrograde. This set up phase began on January 13th for this current cycle. Around that time signals from the environment would have begun alerting you towards inner and outer situations that are in need of some reflection and reevaluation – which for this retrograde will be connected to the archetype of Aquarius.
Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius
Aquarius is fixed air sign in astrology, meaning that it relates to the fixed ideas and visions we build our lives around. Having a structured mental focus around our ideals is essential to envisioning what could be, in spite of what is; Especially if ‘what is’ is clearly dysfunctional and oppressive to our spirit and innate shared equality.
The Aquarian path is all about being progressive, independent, and idealist. But even these qualities can become rigid and elitist, especially when they eclipse their real function as conduits of humanitarian change and transformation. When this occurs, the ego has detached from the soul and lost perspective of the larger whole we are all connected to. In its essence, the Aquarian viewpoint is broad and willing to subjugate the personal ego’s drive toward self-interests in favor of the progress of humanity as a whole.
Archetypally, the constellation of Aquarius is symbolized by The Water Bearer. The name Aquarius itself means ‘related to water’ (Aqua = water + arius = pertaining to).This is often depicted as a man pouring water from a vase into the cosmos as a libation (offering) to the Universe. The water highlights the next sign in astrology (Pisces) and symbolizes the ego/ mind’s baptism into collective consciousness. To enter into the matrix of collective consciousness we must be willing to let go of any rigid ego/mental structures that keep us from perceiving our quantum unity, which often requires a revolution of our small ego’s perspective and thought (Aquarius).
However, this type of revolution comes at a price as it will inevitably necessitate that we break from convention and the tribal mind/ego so that we can engage with a new perception of reality. We must also be willing to learn the skill of detachment if we are to stay true to our vision and honor our ideals in an ego-centric driven world. This is why the archetypes that fall under Aquarius tend to be: The Rebel, The Outcast, The Social Orphan, The Humanitarian, The Iconoclast, The Visionary, The Enlightened One, The Genius, The Revolutionary, and The Egalitarian, and The Altruist. With Mercury in Aquarius, we must be willing to risk using our voice to enlighten others, even if it means that they may not readily appreciate the fact that we just shattered their reality in telling them the world is actually round, not flat.
Thus this retrograde brings a deep surrender and review regarding these themes in our lives. We are asked by Mercury to receive a new message from our soul regarding our life’s purpose—an Aquarian message. To hear it we must reassess our responsibility to embracing our unique revolutionary qualities; in spite of how others may perceive us or how that shifts their reality.
Think back around two weeks ago…what was going on in your life and how is that playing out now. What new things entered into your life that were Aquarian in theme and now are being reconsidered? Have you been concerned about the larger picture of life and your role in it lately? Or have you been rigid in your views of how the future should unfold? Do you need to confront your elitism (a shadow Aquarian quality), thinking your ideas are the best? Have the ideals that have been guiding your purpose become antiquated? How might the Universe be trying to trick you into new clarity? Are you capable of using your voice to communicate your sense of universal truth, in spite of how others may take it? What new facet of your identity must you now communicate to the world and groups around you that perhaps goes against convention? What conflict and frustrating scenarios are constellating around you, exhausting your energy such that the assertive faculty of your mind/ego takes a back seat and allows a deeper Aquarian wisdom to inform your plans?
The abdication of our will/ego to the soul can be quite a struggle as the retrograde cycle commences, and this struggle usually lasts for the first 11 days of the cycle. Usually by the 12th day we are usually so frustrated and embattled that we give up and the conscious ego is forced to release its hold over our unconscious. This coincides with what is called the mid-point of the retrograde cycle (when the Sun joins Mercury in the sky which this year also occurs on February 6th in tandem with a solar eclipse!) Up until February 6th let the horizon of your consciousness expand, and with the solar eclipse be ready for many unexpected revelations! Things are not always as they seem, and I sense that many of us will need to let ourselves be open to new innovative Aquarian ideas and inspiration. This retrograde demands that we think outside of the box in many areas of our lives. In synchronicity with the electoral process in America, all Americans will also have to ask on Tuesday, February 5th what they each stand for, what there ideals are, and how will that translate into how they vote.
Though new beginnings may come into view on and post February 6th, the traditional approach to Mercury Retrograde of not signing new contracts, making new major purchases, making new important decisions, and initiating new endeavors remains intact. This is because the friction in the psyche is still fresh and will birth even more new information and ideas until the cycle completes. As the second half of the retrograde progresses, those new ideas become more and more informed. The last ten days of the retrograde cycle thus become a time to be passively receptive to the new, and ensuring you’ve let go of the old. This will allow more time for holistic agendas to emerge as well as better strategies for their enactment. Once Mercury begins its next cycle of going direct on February 18th, get ready to kick some Aquarian ass!
Take some time and ask yourself where you want to make a difference in this world. What is your part to play in co-creating enlightened change? What must be faced at this time within your own shadow and made conscious to do that? As Carl Jung once said regarding enlightenment—an Aquarius theme, “Enlightenment is not imagining figures of light, but making the darkness conscious.” Something I think Mercury definitely agrees with this time around!
Please send on any comments to Robert@ohotto.com, I love hearing from you all! And be sure to keep checking my calendar of events for upcoming workshops and media appearances. I also have posted a new write up regarding my new book Transforming Fate into Destiny regarding why I felt compelled to write it, please check it out under the Latest Feature when you can. It’s available on Amazon.com for pre-order and officially releases on March 1st, 2008!
Until next time…..