• Erin

Mercury in its Shadow

Let’s talk about Mercury. Everyone loves to hate on this little guy, blaming Mercury for all our techno, travel or communication woes. And it’s true that the retrograde period has its challenges.

So why do we like to blame this mercurial star?

First, let’s take a look at Mercury in mythology. Mercury in the Roman pantheon corresponds with the Greek god Hermes. Hermes is everyone’s favorite messenger god. But he didn’t start out that way. In fact, his first act following birth was stealing cattle from his half-brother, inventing the lute and then placating his seething sibling through music. Not bad for a baby!

So already we have a character who is cunning but diplomatic, inventive and overall quick in all regards – quick-footed, quick-fingered and quick-thinking.

This wily deity eventually embraced heraldry, serving as the go-between for the gods on Mt. Olympus and the mere mortals on earth. Outside of Hades and Persephone, he was the only being allowed to enter and exit the underworld without special dispensation. A traveler in all senses.

Through these rich associations, we can see that it is Mercury that connects the higher and lower realms with information, science and insight. It is from here where we extrapolate the images and associations of travel, technology and communication. So why the negative?

Well, when a planet retrogrades, it appears to spin backwards. That means we see regression rather than progression. Delays don’t bode well for anything under the purview of this quick god. So, when Mercury stations and goes retrograde, we tend to feel that tension and may even see that energy manifesting as delays or disruptions in these domains in our own lives. Or at least, we perceive them as such because things aren’t going as quickly and smoothly as Mercury – and we – would like!

Similarly, retrograde periods ask us to slow down and reflect, reassess, research and all the other re-s. Anything related to communication, travel or technology - such as legal contracts or our modes of transportation - may require a bit more attention or TLC during Mercury retrogrades. If you can help it, wait until Mercury goes direct before signing on the dotted line or purchasing that big ticket vehicle.

On September 23, Mercury entered its shadow. This is the time where we gear up and begin to feel the effects of Mercury slowing down and preparing to retrograde. Mercury will officially retrograde on October 14 and will go direct on November 3. (Coinciding with the US presidential election!) The retrograde period is the time we will really feel the effects of Mercury regressing, although it is possible to see some effects in the pre- and post-retrograde shadow periods. It will emerge from the post-retrograde shadow on November 19.

Mercury retrogrades three times each year, generally in the zodiac signs of the same element. This year, Mercury is retrograding in the element of water. During this Mercury retrograde in Scorpio period, I encourage you to pay attention to water around you, particularly as it relates to travel, technology or even communication.

What are you being called to slow down and reflect upon?

In peace & love,


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