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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mercury Retrograde and the Shadow

Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio.  Retrograde Mercury in Scorpio is deep, penetrating and exposes the dark underbelly.  There is definitely the potential for hitting bottom with this Mercury retrograde in Scorpio.

While Mercury officially went retrograde on October 21stat 18 degrees of Scorpio, it actually entered what is called a “shadow period” on October 1st at 2 degrees of Scorpio.  I learned about the shadow period of Mercury retrograde last summer, when Mercury was retrograde in Cancer.   It was relevant for me back then when I was contemplating leaving my job and launching a new career because I have a Cancer midheaven.  It entered the shadow when Mercury was in my 9th house at 13 degrees of Cancer on June 10th, stationed retrograde in my 10th house at 23 degrees of Cancer on June 26th, resumed direct motion at 13 degrees of Cancer on July 20th and left the shadow period on August 4th.  This date is also known as the “release” date because it signifies that Mercury is finally out of the retrograde. The shadow actually comprised the sensitive degrees that Mercury hits three times.   And if you have a personal planet or point, like your ascendant, descendant, midheaven or nodes of the moon at or near these degrees, this can have a profound influence on your life.  It can be like a journey to your own personal underworld with Mercury retrograde in Scorpio. And the days leading up to that release date can be filled with ah-ha moments.  Mercury will resume stationary direct motion at 2 degrees of Scorpio on November 10th and will leave the shadow zone on November 27th at 18 degrees of Scorpio.

How is that impacting me?  Well, for starters, the shadow point of 2 degrees of Scorpio is conjunct my natal Mercury in the 1st house.  And the stationary retrograde position of 18 degrees of Scorpio is conjunct my sun in the 2nd house.  When Mercury resumes direct motion at 2 degrees of Scorpio on November 10th, it will be hitting my Mercury again.  So when I experience the “release” of the Mercury retrograde shadow on November 27th, it will be conjunct my sun again in the 2nd house.  The focus has shifted from taking a leap of faith regarding my career during the last Mercury retrograde to establishing a new identity, values and source of income during this Mercury retrograde period.  My sun and Mercury are being hit, and you can’t get more personal than that when your life energy and communication are affected.

Like many other people, I have had the traditional Mercury retrograde experiences in the past couple of weeks.  I have endured computer glitches, missed phone calls, texts, and emails.  A bill that I thought I had paid online was not paid, as I discovered when I received my next statement.  I guess that submit button did not send my payment.  I should have checked my online bank statement sooner, but that bill was paid during the “shadow” period, so I thought I was safe.  I had to return an exercise DVD that I had ordered because it wouldn’t play.  I have also heard from people that I thought I would never hear from again.  Mercury retrograde has a way of bringing people out of the woodwork.

Mercury retrograde is traditionally considered a good time to analyze and clear the decks for attitudes or habits that no longer serve you.  Second chances are a big theme, as well as the concept of being prepared to leave room for changes down the road.  And be open to adjusting, fixing and negotiating.  For Scorpios, Mercury retrograde can represent a period of eliminating emotional blocks to success.  Fear is a big block, no doubt about it.  A big part of that fear can be of loss and endings, which are necessary for the rebirth to occur. Scorpio is the sign of joint finances, so creative approaches to new streams of income are definitely in order.  These issues have increased emphasis courtesy of the presence of north node of the moon and Saturn in Scorpio, in addition to a solar eclipse in Scorpio on November 3rd.  That eclipse, coupled with Saturn and the node in Scorpio, demanded honesty on every level.  It also conjuncted my natal Saturn, so I am still reeling from the effects of that one.  Frustrations and testing are the theme songs for this very personal transit.

Mercury conjuncted Saturn in Scorpio on October 29th, as it did on October 8th.  Thank you, Mercury retrograde for an encore.  The intensity was amped up a notch, demanding that we redirect our focus and set some boundaries as we embark on our new life cycle. There was a distinct theme of approaching delicate issues with this aspect.  And we received two opportunities to do so.  I personally found that week leading up to the eclipse to be way too anxiety ridden for my liking; I was swept up by daily frustrations, communication snafus and a real need to step back and breathe.  The fact that all of this planetary activity was leading up to the Uranus/Pluto square and an eclipse only served to ratch up the fever pitch energy.

I am trying to be mindful of the meaning of the remaining days of Mercury retrograde.  I will definitely be revisiting old ideas and making new plans with room for revisions, something which does not come easily to me.  Scorpio is a fixed sign and does not embrace change easily, yet that seems to be the lesson.  Going with the flow has never been my forte, but I am trying to embrace it.  I know that I am on the receiving end of the full brunt of Mercury retrograde and its shadow period because of my sun and Mercury, so I need to let go and release old preconceived notions of how things should be and be open to new possibilities for a new reality.

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