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Mercury Retrograde has ended. Usually that means that slowly, time gets back “on track,” life picks up speed and things take off rather quickly. But, this time, Mercury Retrograde doesn’t feel fully completed, and I see a few reasons for this incompleteness.

Firstly, even though the retrograde motion has completed, there is still the “shadow period” to finish. The shadow period is that space over which the planet Mercury travels three times during the “retrograde” process. If you look at the path the planet takes during its backwards motion, it retraces a portion of the path it took just prior to its turning backwards. This is the first shadow period…the time before Mercury Retrograde during which issues that arise gives one clues as to what will be addressed fully in the backwards motion of the planet. Similarly, once the planet begins its forward motion again, it must retrace all the steps it took as it went backwards…going over that space path for the third time. So. Just because we’re moving forward, technically, it doesn’t mean that “stuff” is finished yet. In fact, it means that we still have the completing to do…the healing…the finalizing…the repairing…the rebuilding.

Secondly, in the past couple of years, the first Mercury Retrograde of the calendar year has fallen later in the year…February into March…so that by the time it ends, Spring Equinox is happening, the astrological year begins again, and off we go. This year, we experienced Mercury Retrograde an entire moon cycle earlier, leaving a good 4-6 weeks of time between the end of the retrograde motion, and the beginning of the astrological year. So, rather than ramping up for a “GO!,” instead, there is a slowing down and an additional introspective time as we move into the sign of Pisces, the culminating water sign, and final sign in the astrological calendar.

The ruling planet of Pisces is Neptune, which is the planet of illusions and dreams, giving us a clue as to what will be revealed to us during this time. Add to this mix the seventh, and final, Pluto/Uranus square which will affect most of the month of March, and we have a really good picture as to why we are not quite ready to move forward yet. There is still a bit of work to do…the last deep dredges of muck to clean out.

These Pluto/Uranus squares began in June 2012, and have continued to meet up every few months for a total of seven times. These squares have highlighted various aspects of our lives and society, and forced us to see the dark spaces and confront the dysfunctional aspects of ourselves and our place within an evolving consciousness. If you take a moment to look back at your life since June 2012, I’m sure, at this point, you can start to see some patterns, some clues, some clarity around why certain things happened, and maybe even where you might be headed next.

Pluto is the planet of transformation, and really doesn’t much care about our pain through the process. Rather, Pluto is most concerned that it happens and will be relentless until the goal is achieved. The easiest and most gentle way of getting through Pluto’s demands is to surrender to the process and allow it to happen…completely out of our control. Uranus is the planet of rebellion, dissolving barriers, freedom, future developments, creativity, rule breaking, system demolishing, and sudden, radical change. In terms of the tarot, I would compare Uranus to the Tower card…swift and sudden destruction in order for something better to have space in which to be built. So, it’s fairly easy to see that when these two planets square each other, shit is bound to hit the fan.

As I have done personal research throughout these squares in order to understand all the inner chaos I was experiencing, I came across several blogs that highlighted the idea that these seven squares coincide with the seven major chakras of the body…each square having a theme as it played out both personally and societally. I won’t recommend a particular blog on this topic, as each reader will resonate with different ones at different times…just like I have. And yet, there is something really beautiful about this synchronicity, regardless of how people have interpreted it. Every single square has dissolved and rebuilt some huge aspect of my identity within each chakra and its corresponding area of my life. Which means that this final, and seventh, square, is all about higher consciousness…some might even call it the Christ Consciousness.

The Christ Consciousness is not to be confused with Christianity or Jesus in most ways. It is not a religion or a person or a creed. It’s a way of being…a way of living…a way of viewing life and one’s place within humanity as a whole. Jesus was thought to embody this consciousness, which is why he was called “the Christ,” just as Buddha did, Gandhi, and many other significant spiritual teachers. It is what Jesus referred to when he talked about the Kingdom of Heaven being within you, this Christ Consciousness…an awareness of self at the soul level as well as at the egoic level and finding more evolved ways to live and move and be in duality. This, should the pattern continue, is what will be addressed in this seventh square…both within self as well as within the outer world collectively.

As we work through these transformative processes, we will have to make a choice. A choice exactly like a couple has to make on one of HGTV’s “reality” shows, Love It or List It. In the show, a homeowning couple faces a dilemma of daily living. Something in their home no longer works for them, and it usually has been a problem for quite some time. However, now things are at a critical point and something must change. Their options are: to renovate their existing home, or move to a different one. During the course of the show, both options happen…the couple shops for a different home while renovations are taking place in their current home. At the end of the renovation, the couple must decide…are the renovations enough of a change to support continued living in that space, or will they sell the home and move.

What is always fascinating to me in this show is the incredible transformation that is possible within the structure of their already existing homes. I am always mesmerized by the potentials that the designer sees that I often cannot, and I feel the frustration when, during renovation, larger issues are discovered…requiring eliminating some item on the renovation list. Sometimes, the larger issues are so large that it is almost impossible to make the home livable and safe, much less address any of the issues that the family needs in order to continue living there. In those situations, it becomes abundantly clear that they must let go and start over.

So, from now until around the end of March 2015, we will be experiencing this Time Out of Time…this continued introspection and dissolution of things and self that no longer support a higher consciousness and an evolved way of being and living. It will be intense, as this is the last hurrah of this particular series, at the end of which we will have to choose…do the inner changes require a simple renovation of our outer lives, or will they require us to begin again in brand new ways. Once the debris is cleared and the choice made, we will begin again…adjustments made, dreams re-dreamed, and appropriate structures for support in place.

May we find gratitude and blessings throughout the process.

And so it is.