Mercury is retrograde between 9th April and 3rd May 2017 (GMT). Beginning in grounded and consistent Taurus and retreating into impulsive and instinctual Aries on 20th April, it highlights where we set anchor and strive to remain when in fact we should move on through. Conditions maintained through fear, laziness or uncertainty will become increasingly problematic in the weeks and months to come. This Mercury speaks of the need to trust our instincts over and above the reason of ‘common sense’ logic. There exists great mystery within this process. We may find ourselves thinking in ways we never have before, considering options that have seemed too outlandish to contemplate. We may encounter new sides to our self which take some getting to know and whilst we can sense their potential, to others they may feel like a threat to the status quo.
The developmental arc of this retrograde curves towards the final week of April and the first two weeks of May, which takes us beyond the end of Mercury’s retrograde journey. During this time, Mercury is conjunct Uranus and (more briefly) Eris in Aries, heralding unexpected revelations and fresh insight that could turn our world upside down. The power of the spoken and written word is amplified by this alliance, such that being considerate in our expression whilst still striving to speak the truth is essential. The notion that sticks and stones can break our bones but words do no harm whatsoever couldn’t be more wrong at this time! Careless speech now could trigger a chain of events that change the world as we know it, for good or ill, so wise and compassionate speech aimed at building bridges, not barriers, is vital. The more people who can remain open to hearing difficult truths, facing unpalatable people and still seeking reconciliation where only division has existed before, the better, for this is a time full of raw power and it is we – every one of us – who is charged with using it wisely.
If conflict seems impossible to avoid, we must act to de-escalate and normalise rather than impose our will and insist on having things our way. This doesn’t mean we must let ourselves be walked over, but seeking even the most obvious common ground – we all breathe the same air, my breath in your lungs, your breath in mine – can help take the heat out of difference and create space for a meeting of hearts and minds. We must allow fierce compassion to shape our choices and guide our way, standing strong in the face of abuse of power and exploitation of the vulnerable, whilst softened around the edges of divisive rhetoric which sustains a polarised and hateful narrative. We are called to be spiritual warriors now, emboldened not by weapons of war but by the seeds of intrepid peace sown in the fertile soil of our daily lives.
This Mercury retrograde provides an opportunity to adjust our alignment and review our allegiances to both people and circumstance. If we regret choices made or unmade in recent months, rest assured they’re not yet set in stone and the opportunity to choose again has arrived. With relationships still in the spotlight we may have to react in new ways to old dynamics, or adopt tried and trusted behaviours in new situations. Finding the most productive combination of past and present will help birth a dynamic and more fulfilling future for all concerned, even if it doesn’t quite feel that way right now!