Out of the Retrograde, Into the Shadow

Dreaded Mercury Retrograde is coming to an end!

So, are you ready to sign papers? Buy that new car? Install new programs on your computer? Talk to people?

Yes! You can start to do some of these things, but it is best to wait just a little longer for the big stuff.

The first thing you might want to do is release your expectations. Mercury Direct is not the cure for everything. Should you be happy it's over, yes. It is time to move forward.........slowly.

The backward motion of any planetary retrograde, causes us to re-examine the issues that planet rules. Mercury is about communication, both personal and electronic.

You know to double and triple check texts and emails. Mercury Retrograde is not the time to have those challenging conversations. Although, sometimes, having them, badly, brings things to the surface to heal.

Mercury is also the planet that rules our thinking. Do you have recurring thought patterns that have been holding back your personal progress? Mercury can act like a sledgehammer to break those patterns into dust, so that they can be blown away.

While Mercury may be moving forward soon, we will be revisiting those things again. There will be a different energy as we gain forward momentum, but nonetheless, we will be seeing them again as they move in the opposite direction.

Imagine walking up to a fence post, then deciding to walk backwards after a certain point, you change your direction and walk forwards again. You are making progress, but you still have ground to make up. The sights you saw while walking backward you will revisit as you approach the original fence post.

Take your time as you move forward. You might pull out your to do list and start prioritizing the tasks you want to start. You don't need to do them all at once. Enjoy the lighter feeling, the relief and gentle progression, but don't take off at a sprinter's pace.

This after retrograde period is known as the shadow. It gives you an opportunity to check your progress and see how far you have come.

That may sound contradictory as we normally think of this time as associated with a lack of progress. Nothing being accomplished as you meet with frustration and miscommunication, but it is not meant to be that way.

Mercury Retrograde is like an exhale. Just as we need to breathe in fresh air, we need to breathe out carbon dioxide. Spiritually speaking, we breathe in Divine energy and breathe out negativity and stress.

Sometimes we hold in these emotions and then suddenly find ourselves sighing deeply.

A deeper sigh means we have been holding more back. If you are in the habit of dealing with your wounds and emotional pain, you will have an easier time during a retrograde period. If you are accustomed to ignoring your issues or projecting them on others, it will be very difficult.

If we plan and act with courage, we can use this time for tremendous spiritual growth.

With growth, comes growing pain. What served us in the past, cannot always travel into the future with us. Our caterpillar bodies cannot stand the strain of growth without forming a cocoon to transmute into a new form. While we marvel at the butterfly's incredible transformation, we seldom think of the discomfort that the caterpillar must go through in order to initiate that change.

As most of us do not live by ourselves in a cave, communication with others is important. Mercury loves to blast through our petty whining and passive-aggressive comments to show us how unloving we have been. We may feel this coming from another or see the pain on the face of a loved one, making us regret our choice of words.

As the retrograde ends, ask yourself, “How have I changed my communications to be more loving and understanding to those around me? Am I truly making myself clear? How have I allowed others to speak to me in ways that are hurtful?”

We often play games with language. We may be deliberately unclear so that we can “correct” others when they don't understand. We may employ backhanded compliments as a means to criticize while trying to sound loving. We may use name calling or stereotyping words to convince people that we are smarter than everyone else. We justify these things by calling it “brutal honesty.” Yet, honesty has no ability to be hateful or loving, it just is.

It is we who have to decide to speak a hurtful truth, unselfishly for a person's own good, or take an opportunity to hurt another, claiming, “I was just being honest.” We can accept a truth, in order to improve ourselves, or take offense and possibly miss out on important information.

Our thinking may also be affected by Mercury Retrograde. We may bring to the surface our tendency to think too fast and jump to the wrong conclusion. We may make decisions without doing any research, and simply trusting what is before our eyes.

Notice what kinds of mistakes you make in your thinking during Mercury retrograde. Practice slowing down during the retrograde shadow. See how it feels to pay close attention to your tasks. Practice mindfulness in common tasks such as preparing food, doing chores and exercising. See how it feels to be present in every moment.

Treat Mercury shadow time as though you are recovering from an illness. You feel better, your spirits are high and the temptation is to rush to do everything. In physical terms, this would be likely to cause you to have a relapse. Slow and steady. Walk first, then attempt the marathon.

If one of your Retrograde to do lists included writing a book, you might start creating the outline, roughing out a few paragraphs and building the personalities of your characters.

Start building the framework of your projects and then slowly and with attention and intention, begin to flesh them out.

You still want to check your work and proofread everything you do, not because Mercury is Retrograde, but because you take pride in your work and want to create a quality product .

Allow the frustration of Retrograde to make you feel gratitude for the shift from the dizzying backward slide to the gentle drift forward.

Mercury Retrograde is like the preparation for a party. It is a lot of work, but you know in the end that people will come and enjoy themselves and beautiful memories will be created.

The party plans have been made. It is time to stand near the door and watch the guests arrive. You greet your guests, offer refreshments and double check to make sure that all is in order. Have patience. The raucous fun will come later.

The great news is: we have several months to enjoy the party before the pre-shadow of the next Mercury Retrograde. That will be when we clean up the mess, make sure the guests find their way home safely, and get some sleep so that we can get ready for the next party.

Don't let that make you sad. We can't keep the party going forever. Soon it will get exhausting and perhaps even a little boring. That is when we plan a better, more magnificent party and then make shopping lists, decorate and buy the food and beverages needed to bring it to life.

With every inhale, there is an exhale, with every high tide, there is a corresponding low. Planetary retrogrades are part of the cycle of life.

You can complain and allow yourself to be a victim to your circumstances, or you can grab your surfboard and ride those waves!

The time is here! The doorbell is ringing! It is time to greet your first guest. Walk slowly, with grace. You don't want to break the heels of your pretty party shoes!



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