By: Stacy Quast
Working with the cycles of Mercury retrograde in a conscious manner can enable you to reflect on the past three months and connect more with intuitive insights, become conscious of things that may have been blind spots, become more congruent and connected to yourself as you move forward into the months ahead.
What is Mercury RetrogradeMercury Retrograde is a time that occurs about every 3 1/2 months when the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards. As Earth moves past Mercury in its orbit around the sun, it looks like Mercury has changed directions, but that’s because the planets are moving more slowly. For example, if you were driving in a car on the highway and another car passed you, there is a moment from your perspective that the other car appears to be going backward as it passes you.
During this time, we are asked to slow down, pause and check in. A good way to remember what the Mercury Retrograde time is about is the think of the three R’s in Retrograde: Review, Reconnect and Reveal. How have the last three months been serving you? Where have you become out of alignment? Think back to July 24th, 2017. What new insights are coming onto the scene? Looking at where Mercury is transiting into your chart will reveal more of the message that wants to come through for you.
Mercury Retrograde in Leo & Virgo August 12th – September 5th, 2017The Set Up Phase: Began July 24th, 2017 at 28 Leo
Mercury Stations Retrograde: August 12th, 2017 12˚ Virgo
The Midpoint of this Cycle: August 26th, 2017 at 4˚ Virgo
Mercury Stations Direct: September 5th, 2017 at 28˚ Leo
Integration Phase: September 5th, 2017 at 28˚ Leo – September 19th, 2017 at 12˚ Virgo
Mercury Retrograde periods in 2017-2018
Dec 19th, 2016 to Jan 8th, 2017 earth-sign Capricorn, to fire-sign Sagittarius
April 9th – May 3rd, 2017 earth-sign Taurus, to fire-sign Aries
August 12th – Sept 5th, 2017 in earth-sign Virgo, ends in fire-sign Leo
December 3rd – December 22nd, 2017 in fire-sign Sagittarius
March 22nd – April 15th, 2018 in fire-sign Aries
July 26th – August 18th, 2018 in fire-sign Leo water-sign Scorpio
November 16th – December 6th in fire sign Sagittarius, ends water sign Scorpio
Mercury – the Messenger GodMercury’s mythical function is to be the messenger of the Gods. He generally does not act on his own, but at the command of some other God. Zeus often sent him to deliver dreams, messages, or to travel with a mortal to help keep him or her safe. He is one of the few Gods that can be in both the mortal and immortal world and represents being in the conscious and unconscious mind.
In Astrology, the planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, and automobiles. Our Mercury in a natal chart can reveal information about our learning style, how we perceive reality, how we think, how we pay attention to details, and how we communicate. During a retrograde, Mercury reveals a message to you by bringing something that has been previously unconscious into your conscious awareness. The type of message delivered is always relating to the archetypal themes of the signs Mercury retrograding in.
Archetypal themes of this Mercury RetrogradeAll Mercury Retrogrades this year begin in earth signs and move into fire signs! This retrograde period, Mercury is in the sign of Virgo and also Leo.
Leo: Individuating the SelfLeo is a fire sign and with Mercury present, we need to apply creative, visionary, and innovative solutions to problems that arise. Fire signs are both courageous and pioneering, so thinking in pictures and outside the box will serve well during this time. Follow intuitive hunches and creative ideas to solve problems.
Leo is also ruled by the Sun, which is on a quest to individuate and know the self. Leo wants to understand what is truly unique about you, and to help you stand in this soul expression.
The path of Leo is to claim your uniqueness and shine like the star you were born to be! When we are at our highest expression of radiance and light, we emanate love from our hearts, and we uplift and inspire others. I don’t mean “highest expression” in terms of perfectionism, but rather coming from living with a pure and open heart, and bringing out the best and purest heart in others as well. Leo done right is the individual shinning and expressing forth the light of their soul. In order to do this, we must step past our conditioning, heal how our light has been dimmed down by ourselves and others, and own our uniqueness.
The Journey to Illuminate asks for us to stand up as a leader and be the ruler of our own destiny. Leo’s spiritual quest asks of us to make a spiritual sacrifice of the self. This sacrifice is living a self-directed life connected to a purpose. We move into true Leo Soul service and we step outside of call to know ourselves and we move into expression. From simply being this magnetic expression we illuminate our warmth to others. The journey that began to separate the self now joins all of consciousness and lifts humanity.
Virgo: Servant to ServiceVirgo is an earth sign and with Mercury present, it asks us to be very practical about finding a solution and strictly adhere to limits of time and/or budget. Virgo is very good strategist and is excellent at going in and seeing what is practically useable, what isn’t working and what needs to be eliminated. Where do you need to do some practical truth telling about where we have overstretched our limits and what isn’t working?
Virgo is also strongly associated with the Service and the Servant archetype. We all serve someone or something. The Servant often attends to others needs and neglects their own needs. The Servant is often associated with money, but it is more about a belief or condition of the mind. The Servant is someone who sees himself bound by conditions of service that are not of his choosing, and is unable to “buy his freedom”. This symbolically represents coming into your own power. The Servant often projects their power and sees others as more powerful and talented then they are. They lack the self-esteem to move on to higher levels of achievement and empowerment. The quest is to make choices that serve your highest potential and move from the Servant to true soul Service.
Using Astrology as a Co-CreatorAstrology originated during medieval times when people really believed that there were Gods or sky Deities that presided over the elements of sky (including light and the heavens) and caused things to happen here on earth. That was the prevailing level of consciousness at the time. As we have since evolved, we no longer believe that same consciousness level. Viewing life from that perspective is an outdated paradigm and causes one to look through the lens of victim consciousness- which isn’t helpful to you or your growth.
My perception and how I use astrology is that the astrological cycles are mirrors to inner shifts and cycles that are happening. Tuning into these cycles can help you achieve a better connection with yourself and allow you to better see and understand what is currently being asked of you. One can then re-evaluate, shift, end, grow, and mature from a deeper soul level.