The Gifts of Mercury Retrograde

BY Parvati

Hello friends,
I sit down to write to you as a moment of pause from my ongoing production work to launch an online TV station, which includes web work, script writing, art direction, video shoots, video production, and much more. This is all a part of our “behind the scenes” efforts to give my new music video “Yoga In the Nightclub” and accompanying EP the launch it deserves. We are really a team of three. My husband Rishi, my friend Pranada and I are the little engine that could, working long hours to provide inspirational content that serves a greater whole.
In the process, I have grown to integrate aspects of my shadow, been blessed to live with fierce, laser-like joy, and learned more about what it means to live a life of true effortlessness. I will share more about the new insights in coming posts. But for now, I would like to explore a bit about an astrological happening that occurs three or four times every year. It affects everyone, especially those, like myself, who are in communications fields.
We are now in the midst of an astrological period known as “Mercury retrograde”. In 2015, Mercury will appear as though it is moving backwards in the sky from January 21 – February 11, May 19 – June 11, and September 17 – October 9. Mark your calendars.
I see people reacting to it in a few different ways. Some dismiss it entirely. Some post on social media to warn their friends that it’s “that time again”. Some feel frustrated by the difficulties they perceive, so they just hunker down and aggressively try to make things go the way they want to – only to find disappointment. Others passively wait out the period without doing too much of anything. Either way, many miss meeting Mercury’s potential gift.
I knew that if we did not get the new site live prior to Mercury going retrograde, it would mean we would be undergoing revisions and tweaks to provide a clearer and more consolidated product by the time we go live. We are, after all, within a loving universe and all that occurs is grace, in some way, whether we see it in the moment or not.
So what is Mercury Retrograde all about? Is it real or is it a bunch of – what I used to call (until I let go and opened to a bigger picture) – “astro-babble”?
To address this question, I share a couple of excerpts from my “The Power of the Planets” blog series.
When I first came across astrology, I dismissed it as silly. It seemed far-fetched to think that distant planets swirling through space would have any power over my world. Back then, I was convinced that life was a matter of putting your mind to what you wanted, and that was what you would get.
When I co-formed my first musical band, I found out that my creative partner was also a full-fledged, hard-core astrologer. I dismissed his talks with his astrologer friends as “astrobabble”. My more willful style of living at times bumped into his more fateful approach, until one day, I was face to face with the undeniable power of the planets and their effect on us.  
We were coming close to wrapping up the recording and production of our first studio album, but were unable to complete the project because we would meet unforeseen obstacles and turns of events that seemed to continually set us back. I saw these obstacles as simply a sign that we needed to be more focused, try harder and apply ourselves to our task at hand with more diligence.
My musical partner had another outlook. It was Mercury retrograde, and Mercury ruled all things to do with communication. While Mercury was in this debilitated state, things were bound to come up that would hinder our ability to complete the project. Only once Mercury would go direct would we be able to complete the task we had set out for ourselves and the album would be complete.
I thought that was completely ridiculous. How could a planet that is 77 million kilometers (48 million miles) away from the Earth have anything to do with me and the recording gear that was right at hand? I insisted that we just had to plow on through this apparent planetary challenge and ultimately succeed to get what I wanted when I wanted it.
What I was learning was that when our minute egos try to take on an energetic presence as large as a planet, we inevitably fail. We learn to submit to powers far greater than what we may understand or know, and open to the possibility that we might not have it all quite figured out just yet.
The planets become great allies to our growth when we begin to understand our place in the universe and when we learn to work with the power they have. Or they make absolutely sure that we feel the effect of their mighty power whether we like it or not.
As surely as my bandmate predicted, our album was not completed during Mercury retrograde. It came together with impeccable convergence the very day Mercury left retrograde and went direct. I was speechless. WHAT just happened? How could this be?
I began to pay closer attention to my bandmate’s “astrobabble” to learn about the power of the universe of which we are a part. Becoming open to the significance of the planets and the beauty of astrology added rich colour to my life. My current reverence for the universe and the planets that affect us all is something I now consider on a daily basis.
Mercury is associated with the Roman deity Mercury and the Greek God Hermes. In Roman mythology, Mercury is the messenger of the gods, noted for his speed and swiftness. The Hindus call Mercury Budha, meaning “awakening” or “sage”.
Mercury rules two signs, Gemini (the twins) and Virgo (the harvest maiden). As the communicator of the heavens, Mercury rules the arms, hands, lungs and tongue. In medicine, Mercury is associated with the nervous system, the brain, the respiratory system, the thyroid, and the sense organs.
Mercury’s metal is quicksilver, and its colours green and blue. Mercury rules the mind, and the way we communicate and express ourselves. Mercury is quick, busy, and active. Mercury’s action is to take things apart and put them back together again. It is an opportunistic planet, unemotional, cerebral and curious.
Mercury is the planet that governs communications and commerce. Its domain is reason, analysis, verbal and written expression, and trade. It represents the principles of communication such as thinking patterns, reasoning, adaptability and variability.
Mercury governs schooling and education, the immediate environment of neighbours, siblings and cousins, transport over short distances, messages and forms of communication such as mail, email and telephone, newspapers, journalism and writing, information gathering skills, and physical dexterity.
When Mercury is retrograde, as it is now (Mercury appears to move backward through the sky), there tend to be disruptions and delays in communications, technology, business and travel. Delays can work to our advantage while we revisit old issues.
Mercury retrograde periods may not be the optimal time to sign a contract, travel, move house, buy electronics or begin a new venture – only because you may not be seeing with true clarity and what you believe to be fixed may end up changing once Mercury goes direct.
This astrological period is an excellent time to follow through on things you set in motion before Mercury went retrograde, to address backlogged tasks that have been on your to-do list for a long time, and to practice crystal-clear communication with others. For example, it is a great time to see misunderstandings as not as something unfair, happening to you, but as a chance to practice asking for clarification, and expressing yourself clearly and directly, without attachment or taking things personally.
How is this period of Mercury Retrograde going for you? This week, consider how you are an interconnected part of a vastly intelligent universe, and how you may move forward in positive possibilities co-creation with the planetary energies that influence our human existence.

JGP_9231__naturalI post to my blog every Sunday with love. If you have enjoyed this, you may wish to listen to my musical works, check out my upcoming book Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie: A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker, and find out more about me at About.
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