Losing Your Mind? Or Opening It?

When Mercury, the planet that rules logic and facts, turns retrograde, it’s time to pay attention. Conversely that's exactly when our mental attention begins to wander, especially when Mercury goes retrograde in a sign like watery Pisces as is due 5th to 28th March. Pisces rules the worlds of imagination and dreams, spirit and soulfulness. It’s where we disappear through the touch of the luminous and numinous. It's the realm of spirit opening our yearning to experience the bliss of oneness or the stillness and peace of meditative practice. Yet clearly the mind has a plethora of functions. It's our tool for navigating life. So Mercury's long sojourn in Pisces brings the question (and the potential frustration) : what use is a disappearing mind when we have to navigate the world of time, plans and obligations? It’s a challenge for sure but it brings its gifts. And there are pointers to help us navigate this phase well.

When Mercury is retrograde the mind processes differently. One could say we become more right hemisphere dominant. We’re drawn to the big picture, to feelings and nuances, often to every possibility other than the one right in front of us. Hence the reputation of Mercury retrograde as a phase for distraction, glitches to our best-laid plans and the warnings: don’t sign contracts, travel or do anything calling for detail orientation. Rather than paying attention to warnings I would suggest Mercury retrograde is simply revealing different aspects of mind. This is especially true when Mercury is travelling through Pisces. Ideally it’s a time for dreaming, soulful connection, meditation, creativity and simply going with the flow. Wonderfully appealing and real as that is, in our day-to-day life that can bring its challenge. So what can we call on as support during this nine-week period that Mercury resides in Pisces? You may already be discovering as he’s been in Pisces’s watery realm since 10 February. Nevertheless here are two key qualities to call on until Mercury crosses the equinox point into Aries on 17 April.

A key quality of Pisces is intuition. Although it’s sometimes lost in the busyness of our day-to-day lives, intuition is a calling card from beyond the rational mind. It cannot be explained rationally yet if we trust it intuition can be a potent guiding system. Ever had that nudge to call a friend only to discover they’re facing a challenge you didn’t know about? Ever had the feeling to look at a particular website online only to find it has a sale on exactly what you need? That’s intuition at play. And perhaps you've heard more compelling stories about intuition than those simple day-to-day occurrences. Intuition can save your life. It did mine in a major earthquake in New Zealand. Call it your gut feeling, your higher self, angels or guides, or simply synchronicity, intuition works. And it’s your support whilst Mercury is in Pisces. Mercury's message is: slow down, tune in and listen. He also points towards one more support… trust.

Many of us could point to incidences of receiving intuition then not paying it the attention it calls for perhaps? What we receive subtly may not seem to make sense sometimes, except with hindsight. Intuition can disrupt our plans and our patterned beliefs about life, even about people. Occasionally intuition may guide us where we wouldn't usually go. It may call us to speak up when we’re afraid or keep silent when we want to react. There are reasons we sometimes ignore intuition but are they valid? Perhaps in our engagement of intuition we learn and grow? Intuition always calls for engagement. When we act from it, it does grow. We learn to live from that deep still space beyond the push and pull of rationality. We see the magic of that opening doors where the logical mind goes 'Wow" stunned into silence, perhaps bowing in great-fullness, Mercury retrograde in Pisces will challenge us to not only open and receive deeper inner guidance but to actually BE it.

When we receive intuition our trust of our internal guidance system is honed. We’re asked to pay heed or act on that which we cannot substantiate other than through experience. Our capacity for trust is primed right now. With Mercury in Pisces, about to move retrograde, our inner guidance system is tuned in to subtleties, other possibilities, signals beyond our rationale. We’re more aware (subconsciously perhaps) of the interconnectedness of all life and open to its frequency communications. We’re naturally more receptive when Mercury is in Pisces – unless we’re fighting and struggling to maintain left-brain control. That’s a futile endeavour normally, let alone in phases like this. Ever tried to fit all the possibilities of a particular course of action in the box of your rational mind? There’s a label for it – monkey mind…and it comes from the desire to control, when the calling right now is for us to let go, flow, trust inner knowing and receive its magical solutions. Of course trust can be scary to the mind that wants to work it all out. It requires that we not know the outcome. But do we ever? Isn’t outcome simply one of many possibilities? And isn’t that where the unexpected hand of life’s magic can surprise us most? With Mercury in Pisces this is both the challenge and the gift.

Trust does not mean we abdicate response-ability for our life. In its true sense it asks that we walk hand-in-hand with life. To move and let go … to tune in to subtleties… to act then listen deeper…perhaps to wait..... then to respond … that’s the flow. During this Mercury retrograde, it’s certainly time to listen deeper to your inner realm. There are gifts of connection, creativity and even deepening love to be discovered. Pisces is the place of Being. It's where we connect deeper into beyond self, the vast field of potential that truly is our nature. There's a real opportunity here: to know that deeper. And also to see how that plays on the surface of life. Without doubt there's a need to be practical during this particular Mercury retrograde, challenging as that might be. That's being response-able with the rhythms at play right now. If you know you’re travelling don’t try and wing it, pay attention to timings, allow more space in your plans. Similarly if you’re in protracted negotiations for anything, accept any delays as part of the process. Whenever Mercury plays in retrograde there are unknown factors to be revealed, often to one’s best interest. It's simply to trust the process, no matter what seems to take place.

Through this phase timings around 5 March, 14-20 March, 24 March to 2 April and 12 April are particularly fluid. Reflecting on the following themes will be supportive: Your relationship to trust, trusting yourself, trusting life, trust and fear, trusting to luck, trust combined with self responsibility and action, trust without it.

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