In the last post, I related an anecdote about watching a flight of geese, and how I noticed that retrograde motion is a natural part of life. There are periods when we’re just meant to slow down, retrace, and take another look. In this series I want to look at whether we can discern, through the lens of astrology, the purpose of these “do over” times.
Retracing StepsWhen a planet goes retrograde it retraces its steps. Think of it like a backpacker who covered a certain portion of a trail, then turned around and retraced her steps to a point, and then turned around and headed out again on the same trail. As she backtracks, she is walking the same trail but looking at it from a different direction. And when she turns around and heads forward again, she will be covering the same ground she hiked the first time. Then at some point she begins to forge new trail again.
This is how a retrograde planet behaves. Taking the example of the current Mercury retrograde period, Mercury travelled from 5 degrees of Capricorn to 21 degrees of Capricorn between December 9 and December 26. It then went retrograde and backtracked to 5 degrees of Capricorn, covering the same ground but in retrograde motion. On January 15 it will resume direct motion, again covering the same ground until February 4. After February 4 it steps into new territory. Over a period of two months Mercury traverses from 5 degrees of Capricorn to 21 degrees of Capricorn three times: the first pass in forward motion, the second in retrograde motion, and the third pass in forward motion again.
But this is the important point: even though Mercury has been retracing the same steps, dilly-dallying as the nuns used to say, the other planets have been moving forward for two months. Just as the season may have changed for our backpacker as she went back and forth on the trail, by the third time Mercury covers the same ground, the environment can be quite different due to the changed position of the rest of the planets.
Can you think back to December 9 and identify a Mercury-related issue you were grappling with then? Mercury-related issues are connected to thinking and perception, processing and disseminating information, and communication, commerce, education and transportation. Industries ruled by Mercury are sales, writing, public relations, advertising, publishing, document delivery, and transportation. See if you can identify a matter you were working on from December 9 to the day after Christmas, and which seems to be delayed now.
In the next post we’ll see if we can identify the purpose for the delay and how to move forward with confidence when the time comes.