Heads up as Mercury is now slowing down to station retrograde in early sidereal Capricorn on January 5 at 8:06:15 AM EST. Welcome to the truly paradoxical new year year ahead: just as we get started back to work and focusing on our new year plans and resolutions, the planet of business, communication, speech, memory, writing, travel and transportation will appear to stop (station) and go backward for three weeks!
Mercury is just preparing us for what I feel is the big collective wake-up call of this new year, which is about going deeper, transcending dualities and connecting to Oneness. The paradox of a retrograde planet is that it just appears to be going backward from the perspective of Earth (geocentric), but from the perspective of the Sun, this is not happening, i.e., planets do not go retrograde (heliocentric). It’s all about perspective in the realm of duality!
And coming back to duality and our geocentric view of things, the gift of Mercury retrograding in methodical and practical Capricorn near the beginning of the new year is that we are give some extra time to prepare for what’s ahead. We can slowly ease into our resolutions and plans. If we find ourselves thwarted or frustrated in achieving certain goals at any time during this period, it is important to take some time out (and go within), and prepare to come out on top once Mercury goes direct on January 25.
The usual advice for Mercury retrograde is important now, especially as Mercury is exactly squaring Mars at its station (yikes, that can be quite stressful, irritable, impatient and hot-headed), and also we have a whole slew of other “interesting” transits ahead (like Jupiter stationing retrograde January 8 UT). So, keep commitments in mind; take care of all electronic and mechanical equipment; proceed cautiously with plans; be extra-patient and mindful when traveling; be clear and honest with communication; and heed this wonderful advice from the late best-selling motivational author and speaker Stephen Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People): “How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.”
As Mercury retrogrades, the idea is that he takes us along on a transformational journey into the underworld of our unconscious, where we can be rejuvenated in mind and spirit. This can be a time to rethink ideas and plans and go deeper in our healing and spiritual practices to find new understanding about ourselves and others. This is typically a good time to clear the decks of the past, complete old projects, and contemplate what is shifting for us from the old to the new year.
We don’t have to rush into anything. Just because it is 2016 doesn’t mean we have to charge full steam ahead. Re-member that the Mercury re-trograde cycle is about all those “re” words…re-flect, re-consider, re-organize, re-charge, re-boot, re-invest, re-store, re-regroup, re-vitalize, and most of all, re-spect the inward process here…just re-lax and breathe.
Mercury rules the lungs so it is a good time to do sacred breath practice and pranayama (like nadi shodhana). Gotu Kola or Tulsi are important herbs for the nervous system and can be especially helpful during Mercury retrograde cycles. Sandalwood oil (like the pure doTERRA or Young Living brands) or paste (chandan) on the forehead twice a day is very helpful to balance Mercury energy/calming for the mind any time, and especially now. Emerald Gem Elixir is also a great remedy.
The cosmic wheel of samsara depicts the illusion of duality. It is always churning through the movement of the celestial bodies which are taking us on the ride of our lives, but as the great yogi-saint Swami Sri Yukteswar said, “The wise person defeats his planets.” How to do that? Start by re-membering Oneness, the truth behind this whole amazing play of consciousness in which we exist.