You have seen the iconic mythic depiction of a capped youth with winged shoes. He is the Messenger for the Gods. That gives us a clue in understanding the Mercury function within the psyche. Its how we connect, understand, relate & communicate.
Often regarded as gender neutral, Mercury operates through both the masculine & the feminine, and at the highest of resonances, in the realm of spirit. If we can make a meaningful connection with ‘the other’, it matters not who or what that other might be. Mercury teaches us that all true connection begins in a place that supersedes difference & rather, focuses on what we can find in each other that is similar. Whatever gender or sex we might be or choose to be, the thing that makes us human is our ability to understand each other beyond the different choices that we make.
The Mercury function, when refined & operating positively, facilitates our interactions. When doing relationship analysis & counseling, look at the two Mercury placements first. The mode of data processing & communication protocols is critical when two people are attempting to make a connection. The key is that each one must understand the preferred mode of communication in the other. As an example, if your Mercury is in a watery sign & your partner’s Mercury is in an airy sign, you must be mindful of not overwhelming your partner with emotional responses to his/her intellectual & often detached queries. On the other hand, your partner needs to ‘hear’ your words & not just shut down when faced with emotion rather than intellect.
Good communication skills begin with a clear understanding of the communication process of the person to whom we are communicating. How many times have you thought that you were saying something obvious & the person who was supposedly listening to your words got it completely wrong? More than once, I bet.
Mercury also has a lot to do with DEXTERITY, both mental & physical. The synapses are sharp & swift in a highly functional Mercury-ruled individual. Have you ever noticed how clever & witty your Gemini friends are? They can be, that’s for sure! And this applies to Gemini Moon & Gemini rising folks as well as those of you who have Mercury, itself, in Gemini or highly focused. Words can flow fast & furious & perception is clear & bright. Physically, hand-eye coordination is on the mark. Balls flying through the air are caught easily & deftly. Reflexes are sure & accurate. Mercury rules the hands as well as the nerves of the body, the lungs, speech, mouth, tongue & digestive system. These are all parts that play a role in getting things moving, ingesting, making connection & intaking, both on a physical & mental level. Notice that all of these body parts play a part in the FILTERING process. It is via filtering that we begin to sort & allocate; put together the things that work together & ‘filter’ out what does not contribute. It is necessary on a physical level to have a smooth working filtering system; strong lungs, sensitive nerves & mouth & tongue, a good digestive system that is not easily upset. Similarly, we must develop a good, strong filtering system on a mental level; thus, the importance of refining the Mercury function within the persona. Teach yourself to THINK CRITICALLY about EVERYTHING, and especially about those things that you think you know for certain. Train yourself to explore alternatives even when the solution might appear to be obvious. Nothing new is ever discovered if we become complacent in our knowledge & understanding. De-sensitize yourself to combative opponents or critical observations. Understand that opposition is useful so don’t take it personally. Rather, examine it & prove it to be true or untrue. By polishing your mental faculties on an ongoing basis, you will optimize your Mercury function, become a discriminating but open-minded individual who is sensitive to the ‘other’s’ point of view.
Like Venus, Mercury hangs close to the Sun so there are only so many Mercury placements that a Gemini born soul can have. The maximum degree from the Sun either way is 28. So, for you folks born under Gemini, its one of three placements: Mercury in Taurus, Gemini or Cancer. The earthy placement, Taurus, will give you a firmer grip on reality; the airy placement, Gemini, will augment your fluidity & agility, & the watery placement, Cancer, will soften your sometimes caustic wit.
You have often heard of Mercury Retrograde. It has become a rather common phrase in popular culture. This strange phenomenon is not actually suggesting that the planet itself moves backwards in space. Rather, it refers to the illusion of backward movement that occurs when one object begins to move more rapidly than a parallel moving object. Think: train & car moving side by side with the car seeming to move backwards in relation to the train.
When Mercury ‘goes retrograde’, it’s a time to pause & review on the broadest of levels. Think of all the ‘re’ words for any given situation. The best strategy, no matter the sign in which Mercury finds itself when turning retrograde, is to double check all of your activities & maybe even triple check just to be sure!
There are usually 3 Mercury retrograde periods every year, more or less evenly spaced across the 12-month period. They never last for more than a few weeks at most so it is fairly easy to micro manage life decisions when coming up against a Mercury Retrograde. This year Mercury will retrograde mainly in the Airy energies so the focus is on the intellectual & communicative process. Rethink your decisions. Review the reason for your actions. Re-focus your intentions. Re-affirm your commitments. Re-entrench your connections.
An interesting & sometimes overlooked aspect of any retrograde period is the ‘shadow’ of the retrograde. Look ahead & make note of when the retrograde actually ends. This degree denotes the start of the ‘pre-retrograde’ or FORE SHADOW portion of the entire retrograde period. Start being extra mindful around this date. Then, look ahead & make note of the date when the planet moves BEYOND the degree when it turned retrograde. This degree denotes the end of the ‘post-retrograde’ or SHADOW part of the entire retrograde period. This usually extends the retrograde by a few weeks which is why, in some cases, folks can experience glitches or snafus in what appears to be outside of the actual retrograde. In the following list for this year’s retrogrades, make note of the dates that demarcate the shadow periods.
Mercury retrogrades this year:
January 15-30: FORE SHADOW 12*-27*
January 30-February 22: RETROGRADE 27*-12*
February 22-March 13: SHADOW 12*-27*
May 15-29: FORESHADOW 17*-25*
May 29-June 22: RETROGRADE 25*-17*
June 22-July 7: SHADOW 17*-25*
FORE SHADOW 11*-26*
September 27-October 18: RETROGRADE 26*-11*
October 18-November 3: SHADOW 11*-26*
Locate these energies in your own chart & note what areas of life are under review for you. Be mindful when making plans around these dates but please, DO NOT STOP LIVING! We do not want to become ‘helicopter’ caretakers of our existence. Some risk is unavoidable. Just think twice before making the slice!
Some simple Mercury retrograde ‘must-do’s’:
- check all of your electronic equipment several times; back it all up
- check every single outgoing corresspondence before hitting ‘send’!
- track all parcels both outgoing & incoming
- confirm & re-confirm all pre-made appointments
- pause & think before opening your mouth to speak
- give yourself extra time to get to your time-sensitive appointments
- make a list of ‘re’ words & use them
- be ready to re-adjust or re-do
- make an effort to clean up unfinished business
Mercury expresses itself positively & negatively. Our job is to augment the positive expressions & minimize the negative expressions. Following is a mini list to get you started brainstorming how Mercury could manifest within your own psyche. If you do not know where Mercury is located within your own birth chart, look at the three descriptions around your Sun sign, the one just before, the one that coincides with your Sun sign & the one immediately after your Sun sign. If you do not have a birth chart, I can send you one via email. Send me your birth data with name (first name & initial is acceptable) & I will send you a basic mandala with legend attached. Day, month, year, time of day & geographical location. Please indicate which house system you prefer to use. Send your request to:
Some KEYWORDS to get you started:
MERCURY CAN EITHER BE A SUPERLATIVE COMMUNICATER OR A FORMIDABLE COMBATANT. SCAN THE FOLLOWING KEYWORDS & FIGURE OUT WHICH METHOD OF INTERACTION DESCRIBES YOU BEST!
sensitive to others
’foot in mouth’
not grounded in reality
Are you born with Mercury Retrograde wired into your psyche? You are one of the deep thinkers of the zodiac. Generally, you will tend to be INTROSPECTIVE with the need to first think things through in your own head before blurting them out to the general public. The analytical part of your process is emphasized but the way that you arrive at your analysis is more aligned to the ‘right’ brain way of processing, more comfortable with creative thinking, than the more usual left-brain mode of logical analysis. Conventional schooling could be challenging for you with its focus on data intake & rote learning. Today there are many more options in this regard with schools that implement a more creative & intuitive learning process that is more suitable for Mercury Retrograde kids. When given the appropriate instruction you can grow into the most brilliant amongst us. Whatever the challenge might be in conventional schooling, know that your strength lies in the more fluid approach to learning. These days, educators are much more equipped to deal with the unusual ‘wiring’ that exits in your brain.
Another important feature to make note of is the phasal relationship that Mercury makes to the Sun. If Mercury is in a New Phasal relationship with the Sun, your psyche is primed to innovate, create & lay down new tracks. If Mercury is in a Balsamic Phasal relationship with the Sun, you have the potential to be prophetic, to foresee, to lead the rest of us into the future that you already have imagined.
Mercury rising ahead of the Sun indicates the Balsamic Phase; the Sun is following Mercury into the future. Mercury rising after the Sun indicates the New Phase; the Sun is leading Mercury into the future..
The Mercury function within the psyche is critical when relating to that which is outside of our subjective reality. To grow, we must understand & be understood. Get to know the nuances of your preferred mode of communication. Identify what method of data intake works best for you. Become comfortable with the way in which you process the data that you take in. If you know & are comfortable with this part of yourself, you have a greater chance of developing useful & meaningful relationships; you are more likely to develop clarity of thought; you will be understood & you will more likely understand.