This past Mercury retrograde saw no real chaos.
No cellphones lost, no delayed flights, no communication with another gone totally askew. In fact, my outer world moved along as smoothly as ever while the tricky messenger planet tip toed backwards through Aries. I glanced around once in awhile seeking the potential sighting of a mercurial mishap, but was pleasantly surprised that I couldn’t seem to find it. Thats when I realized that it actually had come to find me.
Astrologically speaking, Mercury’s retrograde dance took place in my 9th house- a place connected with long distance journeys and one’s connection to spirituality. I had certainly been journeying during this retrograde period, for I had been south to Mexico and then west to Seattle the following weekend. The hustle and bustle of overnight flights and the stimulation of differing environments filled me with 9th house joy. I loved exploring on my own and seeing the depth of my own resources, but it wasn’t until I had got back home and just sat with all of that momentum that I realized my next trip was an inward one.
As the retrograde proceeded, my inner world started coming to a halt and my mind began drawing strange memories from my subconscious. I suddenly started longing for things that I had somehow forgotten. My need to create, to learn, to write, to make art. My love of taking pictures and reading poetry. These have always been my form of God. The ability to tap into my own self expression, to create color and release feelings, felt like it had suddenly gone missing from my day to day. Mercury knew all of my secret longings, as most of the activities I love are of a Mercurial nature. (Photographers and wordsmiths of any kind are ruled by Mercury). I felt rather removed from myself, as I looked around my room at the pictures I had painted, the old poems I had stuffed into folders, and the loyal books on my shelf covered in neglectful dust. I had come to a place of unawareness about the things that have made me who I am. Mercury asked me to look around the room I had come to blindly see. To really look. In my chart, Mercury rules my 2nd and 11th house. The 2nd house is place of personal resources and values, talents and abilities that are inherent to ones being. My mind (a mercurial function) was actively missing my own talents that had fallen to the wayside.
Mercury begged me to write, to sing, to speak- but I just watched and waited. I started pulling down old journals and leafing through their ancient emotional weight. I was disturbed and concerned for young me, wanting to reach out and let her know that all of this would be ancient history one day, and that eventually I would become stronger than I ever could have imagined. But she couldn’t hear me. She was angry, lost, and fighting a battle with a passion prescribed by college. Current me had the benefit of hearing her silent screams for freedom and purpose and could only quietly close the journal and thank her for sticking it out. I started printing out all of my solar returns from 2003-2018 so I could examine my life year by year and see how my personal life and the astrology of each passing year had played out. The results were fascinating and accurate, and even brought some comfort to painful times in my life that seemed completely chaotic and without reason. Astrology is good at that.
Mercury also oversees the function of my 11th house. The 11th house rules over one’s friends, groups, and associations. It never fails to surprise me that during Mercury retrograde I hear from old pals of yesteryear. People from my past always drop in and say hello in some fashion. I often find that I get in touch with astrologers during this time too, as the as astrology community is truly one of the only groups that I’m happy to say that I’m a part of. I realized that I had traveled to Seattle to an astrology conference during this retrograde, to be with my people and meet new astro friends if only for a brief weekend on the other side of the country.
I felt like this go around Mercury was finally showing me the magic in what his retrograde was truly all about. Retrogrades weren’t some torturous time where all things go awry and communications get lost, or ghosts from my past wander back in at will. I was being reminded of my personal creative resources and the talents that make me who I am (2nd house) as well as gaining the love and support that echoes from my friends and the groups that I associate with (11th house). Trust me, as a Cancerian I know how obsessing over the past can be totally debilitating in moving forward with one's life, but it took good ol’ trickster Mercury to remind me that I've had the key to my own map all along, and that my present simply can't exist without all of the people and parts of the past this crab has so fondly collected.