© 2011 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved
Mercury in this picture reminds me of a more graceful version of my one-woman Ed Sullivan Show. If you’re old enough to remember Ed’s wildly popular Sunday night TV variety show (1948-71), you might have seen me there. I was the one riding a unicycle while spinning plates on the end of long rods, one in each hand—and balancing a ball on the end of my nose.
Mercury’s my Sun ruler, and lately my act is harder to pull off. The world is spinning much faster underneath me, and I’ve got to pedal faster to keep up. I think part of it is Uranus in Aries. It makes for all sorts of brilliant new creations—that also create a lot of work to bring them to fruition. (There’s a lot of wisdom in that expression easier said than done.) If you, too, feel like you’ve been traveling faster than the speed of sound, as in a sound way to live, Mercury Retrograde can be the ultimate staycation. Mercury asks us to slow down and rethink things. It’s all about re- things: reconsider, reacquaint, and one of my favorites, recreate as in chill.
Here are some ideas about how to go with the flow and celebrate that every gear shift has Reverse for a reason. It’s true of your vehicle—your body—too.
1. Fast at least two hours a day from your most addictive Mercurial device, such as your computer or smart phone. See how long you can stretch your down time by the end of the cycle (Aug. 2-26).
2. Remove from your schedule any short trips that aren’t absolutely necessary. This may include some meetings, certain shopping, and—aw darn!—that guilt trip to visit your least favorite relative. I’m trying to say, in a nice way, quit running around so much.
3. Retreat at least an hour a day into quiet time. Do whatever feeds your soul: read, listen to music, meditate, take a nap—dream.
4. Review your last Solar Return or birthday year. If your birthday was less than six months ago, start with your birthday in 2010. How’s progress? What have been the themes, your accomplishments, your missed goals, surprises, and delights?
5. Revise something important to you that’s tangible. It could be your résumé, a sensitive letter you’re working on, an article or novel you’re writing, your will or trust—or maybe something as mundane as a delivery schedule for goods you get sent to your door on a regular basis. Mercury Retrograde is excellent for these kinds of things. Mercury rules some of the most mundane things we do, and they need periodic reviews and revisions. This is the time.
6. Revise something important to you that’s intangible. Do you need an attitude adjustment anywhere in your life? A face lift as in smiling more? Are you feeling as well as you want, and most of all, getting what you want out of life?
7. Check your books and checkbooks. Nearly every time I’ve found a significant error in my bank balance, it has been during Mercury Retrograde. It’s golden for going back over figures and finding any mistakes or missed entries.
8. Reinvent yourself. How do you want to be seen? You might want to wait to do the makeover until Mercury is direct, but the retrograde cycle is perfect for rethinking how you want to present yourself, particularly in communication forums like your favorite social networking sites. Do you need a new picture and to edit your profile? Reflect on whether you’ve changed and your profile hasn’t.9. Talk less. We all know people who talk our ears off. Some talk so much, they literally induce headaches. If you’re one of them, give it a rest. If you’re not, stay away from the talkers and talk even less yourself. Learn the beauty of silence and how a whisper can often convey more than a shout—and a few well-chosen words can speak volumes. Experiment with the subtler side of language.
10. Relax—be, don’t do. We are called human beings, not human doings. Give yourself the blessing of simply feeling who you are and your connection to everything and everyone around you.
By the end of this experiment, I hope you’ll actually look forward to Mercury’s next retrograde cycle. It's our chance, several times a year, to look back at where we've been. We get to idle a little before we have to gear back up into overdrive. It's a brief holiday before the show must go on.
Photo Credit: Mercury © Oleg Golovnev - Fotolia.com