I was merrily making my way to the supermarket today when I decided to nip in to Primarks (a large UK fashion chain store) to buy a belt which I’ve been meaning to do for ages. An hour and a half later, I seem to have arrived home with a large bag of clothes, no food and a far lighter wallet!
Retro fashion is the thing at the moment with garish 80’s style gracing the hangers in every store. It didn’t look that good the first time around (!) so at 43 I’m definitely not about to embrace it now. But I have got a yearning to feel young again, to spruce up, to feel tidier and more ‘me’ somehow. I’m a bit of a hippy really although not quite as hippy as I used to be. Part of me still yearns for that Goth look I wore so well when I was in my 20’s…
On the way home I noticed a hairdressers and decided that next week I will finally get my hair trimmed after many years of being terrified: a case of being scared off by a scissor-happy hairdresser who chopped at my extremely long locks with wild abandon (my Ascendant is Leo). I did buy my belt but somewhere along the line I seem to think I’m way bigger than I actually am and bought one that is far too long. Did I mention that Mercury has just turned tail in my 1st house? It might also be prudent to mention Venus is also conjunct my Ascendant today as well 🙂
But back to Mercury…and back he goes. Starting at 3:45am this morning, Mercury stationed retrograde. He will re-enter Leo on the 8th August travelling backwards through the lion until stationing direct on the 26th August. The full retrograde period finishes on September 9th when Mercury passes the degree in which he stationed retrograde.
Mercury is the youngster of the zodiac, small and fast moving he rules over chatty Gemini and analytical Virgo. Mercury then is in his own sign as he turns, amping up the need to retreat within to re-think what works and what isn’t working in your life. Redraw, reshape, rewind, re-write, re-hash, re-vamp, re-consider, re-trace, re-organise, review. Mercury retrograde is a time to put your thinking cap on.
In Virgo, Mercury needs efficient plans, calculated thought, well thought out argument. Mercury in Virgo discriminates clearly and quickly with a focus on practical solutions. As Virgo is also a sign connected to physical health, during this transit it is useful to be aware of how your mental health plays a part in your physical health.
Look to the house with Virgo on the cusp in your natal chart. In this area of life you need order.
But Mercury will back up into Leo in just a few days time. There is a sense that this retrograde is hinting that by bringing some order into life, we can then play more freely. Through play we learn how to be spontaneous and allow our inner light to shine.
There is another subtle aspect to this retrograde. As Mercury turns, he forms an opposition to Neptune (11th August). Neptune rules over the nebulous, the intangible, the imagination. Neptune is the voice of your dreams and the chill of a ghost passing. Typically Neptune and Mercury can muddy communication at the best of times but with Mercury retrograde, this effect can be emphasised. However, Mercury is the go-between. He rules the space between the Gods and us, between waking and sleeping, between understanding and incomprehension. Mercury translates the world we experience. Without language we would have no way to communicate to others or even with ourselves.
This Neptune opposition may serve to remind us that there is a higher order at work. The ego must serve the group. Logic needs to be combined with intuition. Listen closely to your dreams! They may help to identify any changes you need to make. The aspect will repeat on the 8th September when Mercury is back in direct motion. What you dream of now, may bubble back into consciousness later.
Until Mercury’s conjunction with the Sun on the 17th August, you may find that he trips you up. Many of the annoyances associated with Mercury retrograde tend to occur in the first phase before the Sun conjunction. These ‘annoyances’ often slow us down – computers break, files disappear, trains are delayed, flights cancelled, the car breaks down, communications go awry – all these situations put us on the spot, force us to stop and ask us to look out how flexible we are. Mercury rules mutable signs that bend under stress. Being able to bend means we are stronger in a crisis. Sometimes we need to be stopped in our tracks to really understand what is happening.
When Mercury conjuncts the Sun, there is often a surge of energy. It can feel like a message has been brought home. The problem is that action taken at this time is likely to be premature. Despite the frustration, it is wise to wait until Mercury turns direct before making a decision. This conjunction will get some added punch from Venus. The triple conjunction in Leo is likely to bring some egos to the foreground. If you make a promise during this time, make sure you can deliver it! Offer up the best of yourself to others.
Of course life cannot stop because Mercury is retrograde. Sometimes you have to sign a contract or make a decision. In these instances simply make sure you have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed and you have read the terms and conditions!
Mercury’s passage back into Leo gives you the opportunity to connect with your inner child. Leo is ruled by the Sun, the star at the heart of our solar system. Mercury retrograde in Leo suggests bringing heart and mind together. There is a divine purpose for each of us.
This is a particularly fascinating retrograde period. I shall endeavour to curb any tendencies towards donning a pair of retro jelly shoes, shoulder pads and ray bands and pray that Mercury transiting my first doesn’t edge me towards a highly embarrassing fashion faux pas 🙂
Photo by Dan Queiroz on Flickr