You cannot proceed forward until you go back.
Three times a year, Mercury goes retrograde. When the planet moves between the earth and the sun, it appears from the earth that Mercury is moving backwards, retrograding. In the astrological chart, it actually does backtrack degrees and it's effect can be felt by all.
The astronomical, common-to-all-planets retrograde cycle phenomenon means different things to different people, but it’s generally viewed by the layman as something negative. It brings about incidences such as purchases that might have to be re-turned (ie, houses, contracts), mishaps in communication, your past coming back, everything breaking and needing repairs. Mercury is the most dense planet with its solid iron core, so its magnetic effect certainly contributes to some mayhem, no doubt.
Astrologically, spiritually, and esoterically though, Mercury Retrograde represents something more than just symptomatic burdens. It brings up our past, so we can sort it out. Make different choices. Feeeeel things that need to be felt, you know, the stuff that’s buried deeeeeeep. Most of the time, you’ll notice that you run into people you haven’t seen in ages, or you’ll find a stack of pictures that trigger memories, bringing up unresolved emotions.
Mythologically, Mercury represents the God of Communication, the messenger with divine information. He was a young god who was a trickster, very much like our “joy” spirit guides, he would behave as a child and play pranks, which would make those around him very angry.
Many people report that during MR, these types of incidents increase. The best way through these energies is to slow down and have a sense of humor. Or a drink. Generally, just like with a child, these annoying tricks will decrease if you don’t get too wound up about them.
Mercury also symbolizes the ability to connect with your higher self. In his Greek role as Hermes, a Pychopomp, or “conductor of the soul”, he would lead troubled people to a time of reflection (to “Hades”, back in the day) in order to sort out the troubles of deeper consciousness. This guidance has the ability to connect you face to face with what needs to be dealt with, essentially helping you to communicate with your biggest roadblock, yourself. While this may not be the easiest thing to do, especially over the busyness of Christmas and New Years, Mercury does offer more than just trouble and mishaps.
It offers us “opportunities”. You gotta love the positive inflection that word implies.
Mercury is the ruler of my sun sign in Gemini and also my moon in Virgo, so these few periods of time each year always gives me a good ol’ “opportunity” (read:asskicking) to go back and clean things up from my past in order to evolve forward. Don't worry, Mercury retrograde doesn’t just offer “opportunities” to Gemini’s and Virgo’s. Everyone has Mercury somewhere in their chart. Wink wink.
For me, I typically go into each retrograde period with a relatively high amount of enthusiasm. Like, ready to take on my demons!! Hahaha. I live for soul evolving type work, but I typically bite off more than I can chew and end up in the fetal position at some point. I usually come out of these periods stronger, but definitely tired and in need of some Netflix and a cozy blanket.
Mercury retrograde brings about a lot of resistance from within. People like to joke about all the shit hitting the fan, and it breaking. But most of the trouble comes from trying too hard to hold on to old ideas of who we used to be, instead of letting them dissolve and becoming who we are now.
The past may be over, but it’s very much alive in your habits, addictions, thought patterns and shortcomings. Sickness in the body is usually born from some old emotional or spiritual wound that we’ve never felt, processed, or forgiven, meaning that your actions and life now are still affected by something that occurred a long time ago. Even lifetimes.
The point of these undesirable energies coming back is not to haunt you, but to give you the “opportunity” to choose differently now. It’s one thing to learn something. It’s another to apply it everyday.
When moving through the next few weeks, keep the presence of mind that you are the hero of your story, not the victim.
Whenever you start to heal anything, you can be damn sure that all your resistances (everything that is hard) will be challenged and it’s easy to feel like your misery is the product of the universe dealing you a bad hand. You may get sicker before you start to get better. Your stuffed emotions will become overwhelming. You will have an actual real life crisis arise, or dissolve, out of the blue that may seem to halt your progress, because homeostasis is always trying to occur.
See, unless you are facing what is mentally, psychologically, and spiritually hard about your life and moving past it into the now, you’re just saving it for later, for some worse condition to come along and slow you down enough so that maybe you’ll take your body’s signals seriously.
I don’t mean that you’re supposed to go rationalize your past. That’s NOT what I mean. I mean, dealing with attachments is the way to deal with your past. Because your attachments/addictions are attached, like strings, to your wounds! Go ahead, give one a tug, you'll see what I mean.
There is no need to resist this pain! What you resists persists!! But what you look at will disappear.