A Question of Mercury in Retrogradesam
Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.
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by Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman
Dear Mama Donna,
For years I have been hearing warnings about Mercury in Retrograde, but I am not sure I understand what that means or why I should be careful. All I know is that all sorts of weird, awful things are supposed to happen. Can you please explain this phenomenon to this astrology neophyte?
Confused and wary in Wisconsin
Mercury, the planet of communication enters its three times a year retrograde stage on August 2, 2011 and will remain in a backward momentum, as it were, until August 26, 2011.
Mercury in retrograde has a very bad rap. I should know. As a Virgo (which is ruled by Mercury) I am usually affected quite profoundly. But over the years I have learned a thing or two about how to survive in one piece, and how to use this potentially frustrating phase in a fruitful manner.
When Mercury is moving direct, our minds tend to work on a functional/forward level. Our actions match our intentions. Our energy is invested in more assertive decision-making and action with less emphasis on retrospection and reflection.
However, we are constantly picking up on unconscious intuitive information, which will surface — if we let it — during the retrograde cycle. And this is a very good thing. We need time to rest and assimilation all the information that we are bombarded with in our techno, multitasking world. A time for our inner wisdom to manifest and guide us to reorganize, rethink, reevaluate, redo, and reboot. This is a crucial and healthy part of the organic, natural flow of life.
The clock and dollar orientation that our culture calls *the real world* is comprised of schedules, deadlines, and to do lists, which don’t often accommodate a cycle of introspective reflection and reevaluation. This is why this period can be so brutal for some of us — especially those of us with determined steely goals and agendas.
Mercury, as most of us know, tends to play havoc with the smooth functioning of the technology upon which we depend for our achievements and communication. It also tends to mix up face to face communications and the best laid plans of wo/men. The results are interruptions, snafus, misunderstandings, and mix-ups which interfere with the simplest of projects.
During Mercury in Retrograde, we will need more caution, more care, and a pinch more elbow grease to get things done. This is not a good time to launch or initiate new projects. In trying to do so, we will be pushing off, symbolically, just when the tide is going out, and it will be more of a struggle to make headway with our plans. It is far better to wait until the current is moving with us.
The degree to which we hold onto our need to keep to our schedules, agendas, and plans often equates to the degree in which we find ourselves going bonkers during this time. When we doggedly hold on to our logical, rational structures, we court the “Trickster” element of Mercury, which will fool and frustrate us to no end.
Now is the time that we must surrender our forward leaning push and embrace the lessons of letting go. We must not underestimate the degree to which our psyche can resist change. The abdication of our will/ego to a deeper function of consciousness can be quite a challenge as the retrograde cycle continues. But there is great reward if we manage to do so.
This period is a great time to clear your mind. To go back and complete unfinished projects. To work on reconciling old issues. To tune into your dreams and unconscious thoughts. To listen to your inner wisdom. To open to new ways of thinking and perceiving.
So rather than pushing against the cosmic current, try to take a three week break from our hectic, breakneck speedy ways and allow yourself to slow down. To summon up and sort out the past. To be in the moment. And to savor the NOW.
It can’t hurt!
Best blessings of sanity during challenging times,
*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. *Send your questions about seasons, cycles, celebrations, ceremonies and spirit to Mama Donna at: CityShaman@aol.com
Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman, ritual expert, award-winning author, popular speaker and workshop leader whose joyful celebrations of celestial events have introduced ancient traditional rituals and contemporary ceremonies to millions of people in more than 100 cities since 1972. She has published four books, a CD, an acclaimed Ezine and writes for Beliefnet, The Huffington Post and UPI Religion and Spirituality Forum. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called, maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she works with individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations to create meaningful ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.
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