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Packhorse bridge at Carrbridge. Photo from The Press and Journal

Packhorse bridge at Carrbridge. Photo from The Press and Journal

This cycle’s new moon fell on 0° Aquarius two days ago, which ushered in the beginning of Mercury Retrograde proper yesterday. When I sat this with energy, Aquarius spent some time with me before Mercury did, because it can be a rather complicated sign, and one I have had trouble comprehending. And, while this time usually focuses on those whose sun signs fall in this space in time, everyone has Aquarius in his/her chart, and it could be quite revealing to find out how this particular sign affects you, regardless of your sun sign.

Aquarius has been an intriguing sign for me, because, despite the sign’s symbol of waves, the name, and the description of the water bearer, it is, in fact, an air sign. Air represents intellect, metal, ideas, wit, and logic, and Aquarius embodies these attributes quite well. Aquarius tends to be an excellent business owner and boss with the ability to analyze and evaluate data clearly and with insight. However, what is often forgotten is that water exists in the air as well as the ocean, and, under certain conditions, that water can result in quite a storm. In such situations, Aquarius often is impulsive and headstrong and abundantly certain about situations, particularly as relates to others, without realizing that these perspectives are usually clouded by an inner storm of emotion rather than the sharp mental analysis Aquarius thinks he/she is providing.

For all of us, this particular Mercury Retrograde provides a unique opportunity for balancing these unknown tendencies by becoming aware of the emotions, as well as the insight, by going within. Whenever a planet goes retrograde, it is an opportunity for us to slow down and go within. The sign containing the retrograding planet gives us clues as to where we can find the treasures, wisdoms, and pearls that are supported and revealed during this time. Mercury, being the planet of technology, communication, and travel, highlights the opportunity to slow down, recalibrate our timing mechanisms, and go within…communicate with self more than others. It offers a time to disconnect from technology and reconnect more deeply within…to travel through our daily lives with a clearer and deeper awareness because we are seeing with our hearts as well as our minds. And, because Mercury-in-retrograde’s mantra is “Re-,” (revise, renew, regenerate, review, reorganize, reorient, readjust, reevaluate, etc.), there is always an element of transformation. And this specific combination is particularly potent.

The analogy for these next 3-6 weeks comes from Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety, namely through the relationship between Charity and Sid…Charity representing Aquarius, and Sid representing the transformational opportunity within Mercury Retrograde. This moment for Sid comes when he verbally confides in Larry that he doesn’t know how he will survive when Charity dies. Charity, with her clear and confident opinions and directions, has essentially taken over Sid’s life, paralyzing him from making his own decisions and living according to his inner compass. He has both depended upon and resented Charity for this, and now that she’s dying, he has to face the reality of the transformational opportunity in front of him…moving from finding safety, comfort, and stability in her confidence and direction to relying on his inner truth which will guide him in a new direction.

For each of us facing a similar process of transformation, we may experience impulsive and reckless movements and outbursts as old, completed behaviors and attitudes end…either in the waking or dream worlds, or both. However, rather than repeating the cycle, as has been the way for many years or even generations, we will have an opportunity to see these behaviors and attitudes for what they are. And in doing so, we will see another path…another door…another way…where none previously existed. We can then choose…to practice a new and more evolved way of living, or repeating the old familiar cycles. Both choices will be honored.

For those who choose to move in a new direction, spend time connecting within in order to notice from where these impulsive and reckless urges stem. Listen to the wisdom of these feelings, keeping the pearls and releasing the behaviors, expectations, patterns, directions, and restrictions that no longer serve your greatest happiness. Take time to recognize that these have served a valuable purpose, just like Charity, in providing you with societal and familial acceptance. However, down this new path, the outer will become less important as the inner alignment with Self increases. Gradually, those old and familiar ways will be replaced with a deeper self-love for the uniqueness of you, a confidence in your inner wisdom, and clarity in the direction that is best for you. This shift is supportive of a preparation for a humble and joyous expression of the heart that will continue to unfold throughout the calender year.

Yet, should this unfamiliar way feel lonely, know that there is always support available as we do this inner clearing. For best results, confide only in those who have the capacity to both fully see and accept you…who have the capacity to both unconditionally love as well as counsel…those who have stood the test of time through a variety of circumstances, as the transformation within will not only be enhanced through these associations, but will also protect you from a sense of isolation and desperation.

Ultimately, what we can potentially experience for the first time, or learn in deeper ways, is how to find safety in vulnerability…to choose to reach out to another when one would rather withdraw…to practice keeping an open heart even in the raw and uncensored moments…to discover new truths within…to finally crossing the bridge to another by first coming home to Self.

May you find safety in the crossing.

May you find peace in the blending.

May you find joy in the freedom.

May you find love within.

And so it is.