Note from Anna: I asked my friend, astrologer Jay Linden to write me something about the planet Mercury, which goes retrograde today – 9th April 2017. I always put Mercury retrograde in my calendar and plan my life (and business) around it to some extent, because I have found repeatedly that when I ignore this transit, it interferes with my plans and things don’t flow so well!
Over to Jay…
Here’s why you might want to pay attention to Mercury Retrograde…
In astrology, Mercury is the planet of communication and commerce and normally its action flows out into the world – we exchange information, gather knowledge, and weave ourselves into our immediate social and business environments.
When Mercury goes retrograde we can experience disruptions to this outward flow of energy. Suddenly our technology decides not to work, emails go missing, time plays tricks, we miss appointments, there are travel delays and things we buy need to be taken back to the store for replacement or repair.
And this is something that tends to affect everyone, no matter their star sign or astrological chart!
So what is going on here?
The term retrograde means to go backwards. Mercury goes retrograde three or four times a year, for a period of three weeks each time. So it is worth knowing how to make the best use of this time. Here are the retrograde periods for the rest of 2017:
- April 9 – May 3, 2017
- August 12 – September 5, 2017
- December 3 – December 22, 2017
We experience less disruption when we are prepared to work with the energy of a planet rather than resisting it!
Just as Mercury appears to slow down, stop and reverse its course when it goes retrograde, so we also need to be willing to slow down, stop and spend time exploring our inner realm. Taking time out for reflection means we are able to listen to our inner messages and review how our lives are going.
In order to flow with this retrograde energy it can help to think of words that begin with re – not all re-words work, but here are a few questions to get you started:
1. Is there something in my life that needs renewing?
2. How can I rearrange my house or workspace to best suit my needs?
3. Are there relationships that I could repair or rebuild?
4. Have I written or proposed something that needs revising or reworking?
5. Would things flow better if I rescheduled a meeting or a holiday?
6. Are there any beliefs or values that are getting in my way? What new values could replace them?
7. What do I want to remove from my life?
Please leave me a comment if any of these or other re-words have been significant for you!
During this next Mercury retrograde, which begins on April 9th, 2017, the planet Venus, ruler of relationships, will also be retrograde.
So this is an excellent time to reflect on how we communicate with those we love…
We might ask: Am I giving my time and attention to the people who matter most to me?
How Mercury Retrograde can introduce a new life-path direction
A Mercury retrograde time may pass by with barely a blip. But if Mercury is travelling over a sensitive part of your astrological chart you may find your inner voice is telling you that something in your life is not working. You may need to retrace your steps and go in a different direction.
A friend of mine had a dream to get a place at a top fashion design school. He moved halfway across the world to Europe and supported himself by working as a Barista. For three years he worked at putting together a portfolio that would show off his talents. He came very close to his dream and even had friends and flatmates who were on the course. But no matter how hard he tried and how close he got, that final door would not open.
During the last Mercury retrograde, having had enough of working hard and getting nowhere, my friend finally decided to move to a new city. On visits to this new city it had always felt right, something about the energy of this new place just seemed to fit.
As a side project, my friend had been creating beautiful, abstract paintings on sheets of acetate. Two weeks after arriving in the new city he visited a gallery and got chatting to the owner. When he saw my friend’s work, the gallery owner immediately offered him a solo show.
Now, as any artist knows, getting a show at a gallery can be as challenging as getting into fashion school. For my young friend one door remained stubbornly closed, the other opened at the merest touch.
Mercury often works through curiosity and synchronicity or chance meetings. It helps to be flexible and open-minded so we can allow ourselves to go with the flow, even if the flow is going in a different direction to our original expectations.
A Mercury retrograde time of reflection can help you to release a goal that isn’t working for you. When Mercury moves forward once more it can throw up new opportunities which lead you in a more energised and exciting direction.
Mercury Retrograde – an opportunity to transform negative mind chatter
A Mercury retrograde is also an ideal time to reflect on how we communicate. Back in 2005, it was a Mercury retrograde that possibly saved my relationship with my partner.
It was my first trip to Bali with my partner and our communication was painful to say the least. I was finding my partner to be controlling and critical (I’m fairly sure he would say the same about me!).
This was not the lovely holiday I’d imagined. I wanted to enjoy this exotic new location and have fun with my partner, not be involved in heated undertone argument whilst walking down the street and feeling like I was about to explode.
Help came to me in the form of a cafe that was also a library. Whilst my partner was elsewhere I picked up, ‘Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff,’ by Richard Carlson – a small book with some great guidance. One of the things suggested was to choose to be more kind and loving – something I strongly wanted to be.
So the next time our conversation provoked feelings of anger, I tried to think of something kind or loving to say – and I couldn’t think of anything!
But – I spontaneously started to repeat, over and over, as if it were a mantra: “kind thoughts, loving thoughts.” To my surprise when I did speak, the words that came out were indeed more kind, both in the tone I used and the words themselves.
We can only think one thought at a time – so without realising what I was doing I had blocked the usual angry thoughts and was giving my brain new instructions as to the kind of communication I wanted it to come up with.
I used it throughout the holiday and things became significantly easier as the communication with my partner became less rigid and more reasonable.
After we returned home I decided to repeat the mantra “kind thoughts, loving thoughts” each time I became aware of a negative thought in my mind.
I was shocked to discover just how self-critical my thoughts were. Try it and you’ll see what I mean. I found myself chanting in my mind, “kind thoughts, loving thoughts” almost the whole day long – for days. I had no idea how long it would take and sometimes thought I might be going a bit mad – the only way I got through was to make it a priority – this I will do above all else.
In the end, it took three weeks to exchange those negative thoughts for loving supportive thoughts and re-program my brain. After three weeks the intensity of the battle died right down and if a negative judgment came up, spontaneously another internal voice would say, “well let’s reframe that shall we” – it was a very calm and kind internal voice.
Replacing negative mind chatter for positive loving thoughts is a major milestone on the spiritual journey. Almost all of us have to face this challenge.
The reward of this hard work is that we feel so much better about life when we are talking to ourselves in a loving and supportive way. Also, our relationships with others improve dramatically as we now communicate more lovingly with them – and are able to hear and receive their support and encouragement.
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