The planet Mercury rules the processes of mind – thought, planning and organisation. In Greek mythology he was the Messenger God who uniquely had permission to roam between the heavens and the underworld. He was the carrier of tidings and sometimes a mischief-maker, much as the personal mind can be. In his function of connector between the worlds Mercury can point us towards the workings of the mind, its function for ‘good or bad’ and how your perspective really does create your reality.
On 30th August Mercury turns retrograde in one of the signs he rules, earth sign Virgo. Travelling backwards (from earth’s perspective) until 22nd September this period of Mercury’s backtracking offers a chance to explore how your mind works, where it’s acting as servant to your true state of consciousness or where you may be a slave to the monkey mind potentials of anxiety, worry, stress and confusion. Mercury in Virgo is left-brain orientated: facts, analysis, organisation and technical details so its retrograde presents a wild card element to rationale. There is a purpose in this, for rationale is not the sole function of mind. We cannot rely on it, nor should we. Instead we’re entering a period where you have an opportunity to see your different states of mind from a place of discernment. How your mind creates reality, whether that reality is actually real, just a figment of your imagination or a rehash of your old familiar stories. It’s a process that shows what happens when you feed your thoughts with emotional energy or will, where that takes you and its potential outcomes.
When Mercury is retrograde ideally it’s a time to step back from the momentum of busyness wherever possible. It truly is more haste, less speed. Life must and does go on however. Particularly at this time with Mercury retrograde as the eclipses align, and Mercury being the ruler of the Solar Eclipse on 1st September, sudden changes in plans, direction and wild card happenings, necessitate a step back to reflect, then to act from a place of wisdom. In this, you are being offered the opportunity to see how your mind works when life doesn’t go as planned – through noticing where you allow your mind to jump on the treadmill of worry and anxiety, making bigger problems; where you may use confusion as an escape; where you remain open to possibilities; and where you are being flexible and creative in finding solutions to unexpected change. Mercury’s conjunction with Jupiter just prior to his retrograde gives a clue to the process and this particular crossing point; to move from negative mind states into a place of faith in the process of growth and its harvest. It’s not always easy, when faced with the unexpected and your mind’s reaction to that, but here are some pointers to ease the way:
Recognise perspective is everything. How is your mental state creating your current reality? Is it a true reality? Or just one possibility? Give yourself space for other possibilities to arise.
Make time and space for mindfulness practice or meditation, building strength in witness consciousness beyond your temporary mind states.
Uplift your relationship to your body. Being fully grounded in your body allows the mind to drop more easily into a place of rest.
Recognise the dance of mind’s movement between past and future to discover key insights to the present – it’s a natural process if you don’t get caught in it.
Use any stressful mental energy generated to get organised – sort out cupboards, clear out the garage, revisit that old project with a fresh mind.
Consider how you can be of service rather than simply sit in your own mental landscape – bake a cake for a friend, offer to weed the neighbour’s garden (or do your own)
Explore, practice or master your technical skills – an instrument, a language, astrology or a systematic natural therapy
The month of September and beyond, into mid October, is about how we use the vehicles of mind and emotion. It brings a real possibility for an uplift and finer integration of our left brain (rational) and right brain (creative/intuitive) mental processes. Right now we are just at the start of this journey. There are many more crossing points to come, the next one being the final Saturn/Neptune square on 10th September.