Mercury is now retrograde, for the third and final time this year. The social butterfly is changing course, blown backwards on the wind, and pulled, unseeing, into the overpowering rays of the Sun. Our white-robed lady of justice trades her scales for two crossed swords, but retains her blindfold, and, for a time, we must see with something other than our eyes; must make our choices, and answer our questions, from somewhere deep within. We find ourselves, via Mercury, in a kind of purgatory, held in the liminal place of weighing, waiting and wanting. Mercury, in dialogue with the majestic, albeit stygian, evening star Venus, and influenced by Mars, Pluto and Jupiter, is bringing our most subterranean desires and urges up for review. Double meanings and polarities abound. Which way lies the faux pas? We say the Libran prayer: “Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” And tell the Libran shadow story: “People are strange, when you’re a stranger. People are ugly, when you’re alone.” Eros, logos, and Thanatos, besting each other in turn, like a three-week game of rock, paper, scissors.
As is the case with retrograde periods, they can be both confusing and enlightening. And as is the case with Mercury, they always carry a message. During this time, there is a conversation playing out within ourselves, inside our heads, as we rethink our ideas of taste and etiquette, review our relationship to conflict and opposition, and reorient our thoughts on beauty and attraction. The mind responds readily to song lyrics, movie scenes, drawings or pictures, as they speak to us in both personal and universal truths. And we pore over a scrapbook of memories, of past looks, and loves, revisiting former versions of ourselves.
Mercury retrograde in Libra is an opportunity to query our hidden motivations and our deepest drives. What do you want and why do you want it? What do you like and why do you like it? What do you hate and why do you hate it? What turns you on and what turns you off? We are each of us a strange attractor, chaos incarnate, seeking its ideals, finding its patterns, and pulled toward and away from The Other in a mysterious do-si-do. Mercury retrograde is the caller in this cosmic contra dance. Mind the music and the steps, and then let them take you where they will, as you spin freely, into the crowd.
Divine dancer, autumnal ambassador
Adorn yourself in rose hips, acorns and blackberry bramble
In sapphire, opal and tourmaline
And carry us over the threshold.
Decorate your bower with flowers, feathers and the finest twigs
To court your lover.
A child of Mother Ma’at, Wise Astraea, Winged Nemesis
And Golden Aphrodite.
Golden Rule and Golden Ratio.
Your heartstrings tuned to a pleasing pitch,
Your eye focused on the art of living.
Give peace a chance.
The world, and the people in it, will put your poise to the test
More times than you will ever be able to count.
Find your breath, restore your composure. Begin again.
“If you haven’t got anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all”
Mind your manners, weigh your words.
All you need is love.
Equal day and equal night
Growing dark and waning light.
The winds of change bring poignant promise.
Two roads diverge in a wood,
And Libra takes the Middle Way.
September 20, 2021 // 28 Pisces
The Moon in Pisces tonight is full and fluid, and porous. What have you been absorbing? Under the influence of Neptune, we may lose track of time, or of ourselves, as we meander down memory lane, or into the mindscapes of our fantasies. In your daydreams, where do you go? With that faraway look in your eyes, what are you seeing? Life, Pisces tells us, is a kind of illusion, to be watched as if through film, or a glamorous haze. During this lunation, some of us will seek the surreal, others simple solitude. For some, it will feel heady and intoxicating; for others, wistful and poignant. But as long as we keep our feet on the ground, and our heads on our shoulders, we can, for a time, allow ourselves to drift, as this Moon is a reminder that, often, where we get lost, is where we can find ourselves.
Under this Moon we become poets, and mystics, and subject to their particular gift, and curse: that some things, some experiences, demand, yet defy, description, though we try to pin them down with words. As our satellite plays and parries with the Virgo Sun, the slippery, ineffable beauty and melancholy of this time of year—the quality of the light, perhaps, or the smell of the air—calls up something deep in the olfactory, mammalian, or past life memory. Small, fleeting reminders of eternity and perfection and magic and purity amidst the busy, the bodily, and the mundane backdrop of life. The wisdom of this transitory time, and of the Maiden and the Fish, you could say, is this: that all things are temporary, and all things are forever.