I want to talk today about the upcoming Mercury Retrograde period that will be happening from May 29 through June 22.
I’m sure you’re all aware by now of the multitude of things that can potentially go wrong during such periods. Things such as miscommunications, missed connections, technical errors, computer glitches, lost data, and slips of the tongue. And then there’s all the things you’re not supposed to do during a retrograde period, such as start new ventures, sign contracts, or undergo elective surgeries.
And in general, we are wise to recognize and follow these guidelines. Because Mercury Retrograde is like driving in reverse and only looking through your rearview mirror — it’s not a time to put the pedal to the floor, but rather to be cautiously feathering the brakes, concentrated and vigilant while you renegotiate the terrain reflecting back at you.
Mercury retrograde periods are times when the planet of communications — embodied by the Messenger God himself — appears to be moving backwards in our skies, retreating over the same degrees of the zodiac which it most recently traveled. This has the effect of causing us to re-examine, re-consider and often re-live recent experiences, because some detail was missed, some message not received, some important lesson not learned. So these retrograde periods are as much a time of opportunity as they are a time of challenge. Indeed, they are opportunity challenges!
As the planet closest to the Sun, Mercury’s has the fastest orbit, taking just 88 days to circumnavigate the Sun, compared to Earth’s 365-day orbit. As a result, Mercury passes between the Earth and the Sun three times per year. And it is during these times that we experience Mercury’s retrograde.
Now, it’s important to point out, planets don’t actually move backwards during retrogrades. But rather, it is the result of an optical phenomenon that occurs during such alignments where the planet appears to be slipping backwards against the background of the zodiac relative to our perspective from here on Earth as we continue to move forward on our own orbital path.
But the phenomenon has been correlated — over the many millennia of astrological practice — with having the effect of reversing the symbolism of the planet being observed during its apparent retrograde motion. Which is why during Mercury’s retrograde periods, most of its regressive effects center around areas concerned with communications, exchanges of information and ideas, and the technologies that facilitate such exchanges.
(Mercury + Gemini) x Total Lunar Eclipse = Intensity
This will be the second of three Mercury retrograde periods for the year 2021. We had Mercury retrograde in Aquarius back in February. And we will experience another Mercury retrograde in Libra in September. This upcoming Mercury retrograde will be in Gemini.
A few things to note here. First, all three Mercury retrograde periods in 2021 will be occurring in the three air signs, lending a very mental quality to all of these retrograde periods. Second, this retrograde will be occurring in Mercury’s own sign of Gemini, so it is likely to be the most impactful and intensely felt of the three.
This feeling of intensity and emphasis will be further accentuated by the fact that this retrograde will be inaugurated by a total lunar eclipse. On May 26th — just three days before Mercury stations retrograde — the Full Moon in Sagittarius will be eclipsed by the Sun in Gemini. I wrote about this upcoming eclipse at some length in my recent article on Gemini Season 2021, and gave some practical advice on how we can best use this potent energy.
Eclipses culminate with intensity. So by kicking off eclipse season, and then immediately moving into a Mercury retrograde, we will be called to really absorb the deepest lessons and wisdom that this lunation is trying to impart to us.
During this eclipse, the Gemini Sun will be on the North Node — illuminating our need to focus on our individual and collective future, while the Sagittarius Full Moon will be on the South Node — causing us to reflect on the myths and philosophies that relate to our individual and collective past. We’ve all been moving through this push/pull territory for the last year or so. And with this eclipse, that sense of duality, that feeling of dichotomy — between clinging to the past and reaching for future — is about to come into an intensely sharp focus.
We are being called to rewrite our old stories and recode any old scripts we’ve been running that are outdated. It’s calling us to update our personal operating systems, to reload, reboot and recalibrate. And over the next few weeks, we are going to be afforded some time to do just that. It’s the perfect window of opportunity to do some soul-searching—think about where we are headed, what goals we are moving towards, what old skin needs shedding so a new and improved version of ourselves can emerge.
So rather than lament this upcoming Mercury retrograde period as a time of challenged communications and missed connections, let’s embrace it as a time for tweaking the iOS of our souls.
Keep in mind that Mercury retrograde periods are the perfect time to continue working on projects that were already in progress before the retrograde began. We shouldn’t start anything new, but we are encouraged to keep tinkering with projects already in progress. So let’s review our code, fix our bugs, tweak our data set, refine our features, and beta test our UI.
This app metaphor is , well… apt. Because Mercury in Gemini is the ultimate archetype of app building. It constellates critical thinking, clever and creative adaptability, and the use of reason and logic to turn data and information into commodities of social utility. And this can all be translated to our own mental processes — sharpening our minds, refining our intellectual models, observing our feedback loops, monitoring our self-talk and mediating our inner dialog — so that we can be more effective communicators, listeners and signal boosters within our communities and among society at large.
So if we endeavor to put in the work during this retrograde period, we’ll be ready to launch our new app — the updated iOS of our soul — when Mercury station direct in late June. And that will put us in a perfect astrological alignment with the overall theme of 2021: rewiring the collective, one node at a time, by building a blockchain of consciousness and accelerating humanity’s evolution.
How’s that for a network effect?