One’s Legacy

Since it’s Mercury Retrograde, it’s a time to reflect and review.  There are also influences from the outer planets which signal great change.  Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn both challenge us to transform old structures.

In other words, we’ve got a perfect opportunity for a do-over.

I would guess that most of us at least attempt some kind of self-improvement.  We go on diets, we get a haircut, we go on retreats.  But what are we aiming for?

In the end, perhaps we should consider how we would like to be remembered.  And then live that way now.

How would you like to be remembered?

 

 

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Writer’s Block and Mercury Retrograde

What do you do when you can’t think of anything to write?

More than likely, you’ve experienced writer’s block at least once in your life.  Perhaps you had a great idea but couldn’t think of how to start.  Perhaps you couldn’t even think of an idea, great or not.

Right now, we are in a Mercury Retrograde.  This astronomical event occurs when it appears to us, from our perspective here on Earth, that Mercury is going backwards in its orbit.

Mercury is the planet that rules communication, mental activity, and writing.  Symbolically, then, we interpret this retrograde phenomenon to mean a time for delays, interruptions, and reflection.

Perhaps, then, writer’s block isn’t all bad.  After all, isn’t reflection what writers do best?  Nothing wrong with some good old-fashioned deep thought.

Consider letting yourself relax into the retrograde for the next couple of weeks.  Go with the messed-up flow.  Chill out instead of freak out.  What’s the worst that could happen?  You might just find that you have a fresh perspective.

Astrological Symbol for Mercury

Mercury

Looking Back on the Recent Planetary Aspects

In the past few weeks, we’ve had a Mercury in Cancer Retrograde and a Grand Trine in Water signs.  Saturn is still in Scorpio and Neptune is still in Pisces.  I don’t know about you, but I think all that emotionally-charged  Water stuff can feel pretty overwhelming sometimes.  Even if you yourself aren’t emotional, having to work or live with others who are can be a challenge.

I’m finding that the Neptune in Pisces aspect is hardest for me.  Neptune is the ruler of Pisces, so therefore they have similar meanings: spirituality, emotions, enlightenment, mysticism, compassion.  Those things sound good, but Neptune and Pisces also represent delusion, addiction, escapism, and ever-expanding boundaries.

It’s that capacity for illusion that frustrates me so much.  My Virgo Rising/Grand Trine in Earth self can’t abide such ungroundedness.  Trying to communicate or interact with someone who isn’t clear on everyone else’s reality gives me a headache.  (Let me clarify:   I’m all for allowing every bit of wildness and creativity and free-spiritedness to roam unfettered. . . . inside your own head.  When you are at work or in a group, you gotta be able to dial it back when you have to, and you gotta be able to hear input from others, even if you might not agree.  That’s all I’m saying.)

Now, during a Mercury Retrograde, we are meant to review and reflect.  We get four weeks to mull things over and contemplate how to go forward in a better way.

So what have I learned from my own month of ruminating?  Boundaries are a good thing.

Thoughts on Communication

The art and science of communication is always on my mind.  In my own natal chart, I’ve got Mercury Rising, the planet Mercury representing communication in astrology.  Plus, as a writer, coach, and mama, I’m always striving to find better ways to teach and learn.

As I write this, we are smack-dab in the middle of a Mercury Retrograde, and while that arrangement doesn’t usually trip me up too much, this one has proved to be a little challenging.  I’ve really had cause to re-examine communication styles.

In a natal chart, the placement of Mercury describes the person’s communication style.  Since there are twelve zodiac signs, and therefore twelve possibilities for Mercury, there are twelve different communication styles.  No wonder we have trouble understanding each other!  It can be tricky to remember that not everyone will hear, speak, and process in the same way.  One person might focus more on the emotional aspects while another only sees the facts.  I suppose a truly great communicator would be able to speak and hear in twelve different styles.

As a parent, I’ve found a great resource in Thomas Gordon.  Dr. Gordon is a psychologist who created several models for group leadership skills and who wrote a terrific guide called “Parent Effectiveness Training.”  This book describes great techniques for ensuring that both parent and child feel comfortable talking and that both are heard.  (Check the website for more details:  http://www.gordontraining.com/.)

As a coach, I find myself constantly learning and adapting.  The makeup and goals of a team are always evolving, and a good coach needs to be able to read both the individuals and the group.  Personally, I believe that a good coach needs to be (or have been) a competitor also.  It’s the old “walk a mile in my shoes” concept.  How can I teach you what it feels like to have a rival breathing down your neck at the finish line if I haven’t been there myself?

As a writer, I think there’s no better mindset to have than that of the student.  Reading, paying attention, learning, thinking, applying–these are the most important tools in a writer’s toolbox, in my opinion.

What do you think?  Have you had any communication challenges in the past few weeks?

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury, Messenger of the Gods

Mercury, Messenger of the Gods

 

Mercury is retrograde this month from the 6th to the 26th.  Here are some quick facts about a Mercury Retrograde:

  • The planet Mercury is named after the mythical god Mercury.  He is usually depicted with a winged hat and shoes, symbolizing his status as messenger of the gods.  In astrology, then, Mercury in a natal chart indicates one’s communication style and perceptions of the world.
  • Mercury goes retrograde four times per year.  Retrograde motion appears backwards to us from our position on Earth.  A planet does not actually travel backwards in its orbit; it simply appears that way to us from our vantage point.  (Think of it this way–if you zoom past a slower car on the road, it can seem as if the slower car is going backwards in comparison to you.)
  • Retrograde Mercury symbolizes delayed or difficult communication, interrupted travel, and opportunities for reflection.
  • For people born during a Mercury Retrograde, astrologers offer several possible interpretations, including communication issues (such as stuttering or shyness).  On a spiritual level, though, a person born during a Mercury Retrograde is often said to be working through old karmic issues of other lifetimes.
  • In general, a Mercury Retrograde is a time for internal reflection and review.  Some astrologers would warn against signing contracts or making travel plans; in my opinion, however, it is simply a time to do our due diligence and make decisions thoughtfully, not hastily.

 

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde: Time to Reflect

This weekend, Mercury goes retrograde.  In astronomy terms, retrograde means that the planet’s orbit appears to us here on Earth to move backwards.  In astrology terms, a retrograde period symbolizes a time to review and reflect.

Mercury is in Leo for this retrograde period, which will last until August 8th.  So what do Mercury and Leo mean?  What should we be re-evaluating in these next few weeks?

Mercury represents our communication style, the way we look at the world.  It is an intellectual and dynamic energy.  If you recall your classical mythology, Mercury was the messenger to the gods.  Think words, quick-wittedness, learning, and such.

Leo, a fire sign, is the king of the zodiac wheel.  It represents the heart, ambitions, and authority.  Leo can also be quite childish and demanding of attention.  Think of it this way:  when Leo has its act together, it is the regal and dignified King of the Jungle; a Leo who succumbs to his own self-centeredness ends up just being a show-off who can never have enough attention.

Putting those symbols together, then, we can come up with our astrological homework for the next few weeks:

  • Am I communicating clearly, creatively, and from the heart, especially in areas where I am the leader?
  • Am I expressing warmth and generosity?
  • Do I love the sound of my own voice so much and I really want you to hear it too? Or am I confident enough to allow you to speak as well?
  • Am I being joyful and child-like, or just being childish?
  • In situations where I am the leader, am I paying attention to details, conducting myself with dignity, and following my heart?  Or am I simply in it for my own gain?

Some astrologers caution that we should never sign contracts or travel or make important decisions during a Mercury Retrograde.  I usually don’t go so far as that.  For one thing, I’ve learned “never say never.”  For another, life still keeps rolling along no matter what, and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  So I would just say to keep these symbols in mind and be thoughtful in your decision making.  Listen to your heart and choose wisely.