January 21 - Feb 11 2015 (Aquarius)
May 19 - June 11 2015 (Gemini)
September 17- October 9 2015 (Libra)
When a planet is said to be retrograde, it is a cyclic phenomenon in which the planet is in a phase of its orbit where it appears to be traveling backward. Though the planet is only apparently moving backward, its energetic impact is felt nonetheless, and experienced differently than when the planet is cycling direct. It all comes down to perception, which, as we know, is highly subjective, but our perception of any thing or situation affects us deeply, regardless.
The planet Mercury is closer to the Sun than Earth; as such, it travels in its orbit around the Sun faster (Mercury: 88 days vs. Earth: 365 ¼ days). Mercury is retrograde when it is closest to the Sun in its cycle, and positioned between the Earth and the Sun. Three times a year, it would appear, from the perspective of the Earth, that Mercury is moving against the grain of its usual cycle, or backward.
When Mercury orbits the Sun and ‘catches up’ with then passes the Earth, the planet seems to be moving backward against the backdrop of the zodiac. To paint a clearer picture, we might use the analogy of when we are driving on the highway and observe the tires of a car moving faster than we are. It would seem that they are revolving backward. We accept that this is an optical illusion, based on our particular perspective, and slower rate of speed. All planets retrograde, but Mercury, considered an inferior planet, due to its proximity to the Sun from Earth, has a very powerful impact energetically, because it retrogrades more frequently. The sign and house in which Mercury retrogrades, as well as our specific planetary aspects, also affect how we will experience Mercury's energy, during this phase.
Retrograde cycles are opportunities to look back and reflect on what has brought us to where we are now, and to release anything that may impede our forward motion. This is not a time to begin new projects, but, rather, we want to tie up loose ends, by completing what we have already started.
Mercury embodies the energies required to bring the unconscious to Light in the Conscious Mind. (Hermes, the Greek name for Mercury, was the only god able to travel unimpeded to the underworld of Hades/Pluto and back again.) Mercury allows us to bring forth what lies beneath the surface for the conscious mind to process and assimilate in a logical, linear manner. The subjective becomes objective, in this sense. As a result, we often revisit old, outmoded patterns of which we still have to let go.
While in this phase, our perception can be somewhat skewed, because we might be dredging up long suppressed emotions in order to integrate them fully; as such, miscommunication with loved ones and colleagues may ensue. It is important to take this time to cleanse and release stagnant emotional energies. We must recognize and then fully embrace those aspects of ourselves that we have denied, forgiving our self and others for perceived transgressions. This is the best way to take advantage of this backward pull. Then like an arrow, we can shoot forward toward our target, emotionally unencumbered.
Mercury was also deemed the “Messenger of the gods,” so communications may be interrupted and schedules disrupted. It is advisable to hold off signing any contracts or legal documents as well. Otherwise, it may be necessary to revisit the issue or renegotiate terms, once Mercury goes direct. It is best to wait until about a week after station direct, because the energies linger for about 5-7 days. It is important to note that we start to feel the 'backward pull' about a week before, so resist trying to rush a completion before Mercury retrogrades. Again, we will likely have to revise it once Mercury goes direct.
One should also refrain from making big purchases, like a home or a car. Additionally, hold off buying electronics, or anything with “moving parts.” If we impulse buy during Mercury retrograde, we may wind up with buyers remorse. Mercury also rules travel. So, before heading off on a journey, it is important to double-check all travel plans. Reconfirm all reservations, leave ample time to make connections, and make sure to have packed all necessities, especially documentation.
Mercury retrograde has gotten a bad rap, over the years. It really isn’t the bringer of chaos some would make it out to be. It offers us, rather, the opportunity to slow down, to reflect, to become more mindful of our limiting patterns, and to make adjustments to our current state of consciousness. Flexibility is key. If we are too set in our ways, Mercury retrograde will highlight the areas into which we need to breathe a little space. Take a long, deep inhalation, hold it, and then exhale as slowly as possible. This process will release long held tension. In the same way we can use the retrograde phase of Mercury’s cycle to cleanse and purify the body, mind, emotions and spirit.
Katrin offers Evolutionary Soul Astrological Chart Readings for deeper understanding. This Natal or Birth Chart represents a mandala or symbolic picture of the Soul for this lifetime. It reveals potentialities based on the electro-magnetic template of the planetary energies at the time of birth. The chart maps these potentials, as well as karmic patterns that have been carried through from other incarnations, and gives an accurate picture of how those energies are likely to play out. Whether these potentials remain dormant or are actualized is wholly up to us. Each of us has the capacity to ignite the beneficial energies or to re-channel those that have less productive qualities, and to direct or alter the course. When we understand the “lay of the land,” we will then be able to venture in the direction we truly wish to go. The chart serves as a useful tool that shows guide posts and pit falls that can further us along, or block our progression. Consider it a treasure map that offers up clues to help us discover life’s riches that lie dormant beneath the surface, just waiting to be un-earthed and put to beneficial use.