Monday, January 19, 2015

Mercury Retrograde 2015

If we can’t feel the cool ripples of air tickling our thoughts, then it may be time to open the windows of our minds and allow the playful currents to riffle and ruffle our mental feathers. With Mercury turning retrograde in airy Aquarius, the breeziness of this sign combined with the intellectual bent of Mercury both add up to a year of examining how we think, react or communicate in relation to our community, groups, teams and clubs that we belong to. What fixed concepts can be altered, adapted or aroused by what takes places now? And, by the same token, what loose concepts can be staked and developed as the year progresses?

All Mercury retrograde phases this year (Jan/Feb; May/June; Sept/Oct) occur in each of the three Air signs. 2015 is a time to expose our minds to bigger and better territories, to allow ideas to flow, to carve out new channels of expression. It’s time to move the compartments of our minds around to make room for what will come at us in the coming months. Studying other people, cultures and communities to see what makes them hum or unique is a very useful and quick way to examine and express our own originality – what makes them/us stand out, what ideas are we introduced to or can introduce to others, how do they make us feel when we are bouncing ideas around versus how do we make them feel? These are all questions to ask in or of social situations. Observing other groups of people that are distinct from our own, or studying standout individuals can help us to observe our own conditioned way of absorbing, processing, interpreting and manifesting ideas from, and into, the world around us. We can explore how ideas took root in the first place and whether these roots still have relevance today.

In January, because Mercury turns retrograde in Saturn-ruled Aquarius, Saturn holds the guidebook. If Mercury is the journey, then Saturn is the nuts and bolts of that journey. He knows the details of each intellectual place we will visit during this first retrograde in Air signs (the following retrograde phases will occur in Mercury’s own sign, Gemini (very potent) and Libra, Venus’s sign). Saturn’s opinion and advice will come from the sign he is in - and having recently moved into Sagittarius, the sign of the big thinker - his opinion will lean towards covering as much territory as we can so that we can bring a suitcase of ideas or details back that can be translated and integrated into the ideas we have stored at home. The trick is not too spread oneself too far and wide, or to collect so many trivial items that we can’t see the wood from the trees; we may need to develop the wisdom to know what baggage to pack, as well as to know what to unpack to make room for the new.

We may need to whittle this down even further by year end, and if we don’t know what to do with the excess, we can always discard or give these ideas to others. Generosity of spirit is also vital to maintaining a humble attitude. With Fire sign transits (Jupiter in Leo/Saturn in Sagittarius/Uranus in Aries), we can often get swept up in the moment and forget to think of others. If we see something on our travels that would help someone else, then that is just as much a treasure. We can discover  this year that there is plenty to go around and that instead of fearing competition we can learn to put our own special touch on something, make it our own. The twist is to understand that the flow of events this year is mercurial and that people, places and projects will need to move quickly and adapt.

This will also be Mercury’s first retrograde phase of 2015. Mercury likes being in Air signs and the upside to this is that humanity may have a chance to catch up with itself as we adapt to and process the huge technological changes that have occurred in the last ten years. Of course, advancements may also accelerate as people’s mental processes increasingly pick up on the electrical currents that are all around us now. 2015 will definitely be of an intellectual, switched on, social nature but we will simultaneously learn to be more discriminating and to switch off from the useless chatter. As a result, it becomes easier to look to the future and actually muster up some sense of motivation for ourselves. By tapping into our own processes and what we have gained from others through prolonged interaction or exposure, whether on social media or physically, we can develop a mental focus and stamina that had been difficult to achieve during the sloshiness of the past two years. It doesn’t matter that there is no end goal, the journey is what is important to us now. The feeling that boundaries are slowly falling away will stimulate and invigorate and we’ll wonder how the barriers prevented us from moving on in the first place.

The more we can get out into the world or bring the world to us via books, documentaries, or by inviting into our lives people who come from worlds that are vastly different to our own culture, creed or community, the faster the process will be. That which is completely different to our own life experience or environment is preferable to staying solely within the community we feel safe in if we are in danger of stagnating or of wading even deeper into philosophies and ideas that are too deeply entrenched to change even when we feel we have outgrown them. Brick by brick, person by person, we can replace walls and barriers with windows or doors where new vistas can expand our souls or enrich our thoughts. In turn, Jupiter, Saturn’s ruler, is in fire-sign Leo, a fixed sign, which means that any changes will become a permanent part of our intellectual realities. We can use the Fiery energy to create new concepts or we can use the fixed energy to further fuel longstanding ideals that are a natural occurrence arising out of the company we keep, the beliefs we have always held or because of the ideology of groups of like-minded people who allow us to express and expand upon limited rules and guidelines. We may need to ask ourselves whether we stay with these groups out of fear of the unknown or whether we truly gain something from them.

Mercury turns retrograde on Jan 22nd at 17 degrees of Aquarius. Very close to Venus, also in cool, logical Aquarius, we have recently had plenty of opportunity to balance our thoughts as we relate to others. During the retrograde phase, we have a chance to see where we can compromise, strike a deal or simply listen to the other side of the story before deciding which path to follow – on your own or with someone. By the time Mercury turns direct – Feb 12 on the first degree of Aquarius – we will be at the start of a new intellectual journey and it will be time to assimilate or act on what has taken place between Jan 22 and Feb 12. Mercury is very close but not quite up to an opposition to Jupiter as it turns retrograde signalling a need to avoid allowing one’s thoughts to get swept up by the fantastic or unattainable. Take small steps toward the new future without too much commitment. Otherwise, by March, we will find ourselves with more than we bargained for.

The interactive feel and the mental fizzy-ness of all three Mercury retrogrades means that 2015 is the year to communicate and socialise with people and toy with unique concepts will help us to get a sense of the broader concept of our lives.

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