Mercury Retrograde: Obstinant and Ornery

Effective date: 4/27-5/22/16 (Shadow period til 6/8/16)

Helios Says:
Guess what time it is! That’s right, its time for everyone’s favorite transit- Mercury Retrograde! This makes the fifth planet we have going retrograde right now, and man, could it be any less fortuitous? Well, yes actually- but it definitely isn’t great timing, that’s for sure. This year its all about the earth signs, first and foremost being stubborn-as-all-hell Taurus. So what is shifty Mercury up to in this sign?

Supposedly, Mercury in Taurus on its own is viewed as kind of a terrible placement. Now, I see where they get that idea, because he gets the best billing in the air and fire signs where his synapses are firing on all cylinders, and a few cylinders that he rents on the weekend. Hell, even Capricorn and Virgo get good press when it comes to Mercury, and Scorpio is no slouch either (think every self-narrated film noir detective protagonist, ever) but never Taurus. In Pisces he gets to be the tortured soul/brilliant artist type, but in Taurus Mercury is slow, plodding and taciturn, which is a nice way of saying as dumb as a bag of hammers. Well since this is my own placement, I  guess it falls to me to defend him! I can attest that there may be some truth to the criticism- but Mercury in Taurus has a lot of great benefits that could very well be the key to navigating this tricky season!

The truly great thing about Merc in Taurus is that he gives this great focus, exclusive to this sign, that you will see referred to a lot as either blinders or tunnel vision. The simile is extremely accurate, as this sign has an almost preternatural ability to shut out any and all distractions in pursuit of a goal. While the rest of the retro planets are off causing chaos and hacking away at what is no longer important in your life, Mercury is going to ensure that you do not allow it to knock you off track in pursuit of your greater aims. Now, the challenge here is if your major life goals are up on the chopping block- This placement is not one that can course-correct with ease. No, it is more like the Juggernaut from X-Men: An unstoppable force once set in motion, but without any initial movement toward an aim, it is easy to give into the inertia, never getting started and wasting your time on pointless distractions that seemed important at the time.

Another boon to this transit is its concept of impact when it comes to your words. Right now, you will be challenged on the things you say and think, and of course since that is Merc’s wheelhouse, that takes on added importance. You will find yourself zone-ing out a lot, being able to still your mind without even trying to (especially when you consciously have something to distract one of your other senses and can then shut out entirely, is a trick I have found works WONDERS). You must also be very cautious in the things you say- Take your time in expressing what is going on in your head, chew over your words a few times before you let anything slip out. Say more with fewer words, cut out anything extraneous. No fluff with this one. Say something that really matters. Also no matter what, be honest at this time- Brutally if needed. Now is not the time to skirt around anything in order to spare anyone’s feelings.

One thing you do really want to watch out for is that time passes much more quickly under this transit than you realize, even though while its happening it can feel like you are trapped in a quagmire. I guarantee that you will wake up one day, when we are mid-Gemini, and suddenly realize that your to-do list is woefully uncompleted, and that you haven’t shown up to work in three weeks. It’s just the way it goes down. So use your time wisely, while you have it!

And obviously the standard Mercury Retro disclaimer- No signing any contracts (especially when it comes to things like phone bills or your cable/internet), no major life changes or big purchases, basically put nothing in writing if you can help it. The less you change in terms of your finances, and the day-to-day running and banality of your life, the better.

Artemis Says:
“There’s solace a bit for submitting

To the fitfully cryptically true
What’s happened has happened

What’s coming is already on it’s way
With a role for me to play
I don’t understand
I’ll never understand
But I’ll try to understand
There’s nothing else I can do.”  – Fiona Apple, “Red Red Red”

Cards:  Justice and 8 of Pentacles

I was born during Mercury Retrograde, so an over active mind has been a staple of my existence. Add my Aquarian sun/moon/ascendant/Venus to that and I’m essentially a strange intergalactic being. So how do I fight through the alienation and over thinking?  Fortunately, we have the answer to that question in the sign that Mercury is retrograding in (and the sun has just changed to) – TAURUS. In order to bypass the shit coming from Mercury Retrograde, use Taurean direct, honest, and plain speak. Or, you know, get ready for shades of this alienation to consume you. It is descending up on us… again…  the most frequent and relentless of the planetary retrogrades; that of Mercury, the Messenger.

So what the hell happens during Mercury Retrograde? In short, all things related to communication begin to break down. Your ideas become cloudy, you say shit you don’t mean, you misunderstand others (flavored by your murky thinking), mechanical things break – essentially connections go haywire. It’s not a very pleasant energy, to say the least.Some people are obviously more adapted to it than others. Some people thrive during Mercury Retrograde because they have learned methods that help them communicate through their own alienation. Because of this, I personally find Mercury Retrograde to be an easier time for demented writers (you know we all are demented, right?). It is a good time to WORK. Not to finalize things- Hell no! But WORK because with this Jupiter Retrograde in VIRGO (the detail whore) and Mercury retrograde in TAURUS (the obsessive freak), you will be able to see all the faulty pieces of your plan. And remember, Mars is also in Retrograde going from Sagittarius to Scorpio. In this state, he projects the plotting serial killer energy. Scorpio is the psychic detective of the zodiac – deeply inspecting human psychology. Don’t forget! Scorpio must learn the lessons behind power in their lifetime, so expect challenges to dominance to increase during Mars Retrograde into Scorpio. These are tools, guys, not enemies. Use the Sun’s energy right now (in patient Taurus), and stay calm through the chaos that is ensuing. Get still. Get obsessive. Get detailed about your WORK.

The 8 of Pentacles card I pulled is a work order. You can turn this energy to your favor – just like anything else. Bend it to your will. With Saturn also being in retrograde, you can expect this Mercury retrograde period to be flavored with torture. Things you may have said months ago could suddenly come back to haunt you out of literally fucking nowhere. I pulled the Justice card to go with the “go to werk” message from 8 of Pentacles. This means you should expect unfinished business to walk up to you as you’re in line for coffee, or trying to peacefully cross the street, or when you are attempting to hide from all of humanity on a hike through the fucking wilderness – it will find you. It’s time to tie up all the loose ends and verbal contracts. Mercury is going to be testing our ability to remain consistent with what we have learned by throwing us shit back at us that we didn’t deal with appropriately in the past. I feel that Justice is also trying to tell me that we must constantly watch our speech for injustice / breaks. This is your mantra for the next few weeks: Taurean direct, honest, plain speak. Use it like Justice’s sword.

Mercury IS in Taurus, and Taurus has a heavy hand in finance. With the full moon in Scorpio descending upon us, and a beautiful grand earth trine coming during the Mercury Retrograde period, you can expect financial opportunities to emerge. Pluto joined the Retrograde party this past weekend, bringing our inner demons to the surface. With Mercury getting anxious in his retrograde state, expect people’s demons to come out in communication. Pair Mars in the party, and expect a lot of very loud outbursts. The Sun moving from Aries to Taurus (April 19) couldn’t have come at a better time. Keep your eyes on the big fiery orb, folks – meaning – keep yourself GROUNDED and focused on the things that are real in your life, say what’s on your mind, and try and channel all of this “bad” energy into Venus-like pursuits. Taurus is ruled by Venus. It’s time to transform your pain, and it’s time to structure your way to your fortune.

Lots of love, everyone.  Be good to each other.  I know all you want to do is shoot people until they bleed out slowly right now, but really, it’s all just a big misunderstanding!  Isn’t it usually?

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