Mercury will be retrograding from 11 Virgo ´38 till 28 Leo ´25 between August 12/13 till September 5, 2017. In this time, we will be revisiting thoughts, communications and decisions made between late July – mid August of this year.
Because Mercury moves through Virgo and Leo, we´ll be seeing two different themes of focus:
Virgo – themes of health, routine, ritual, concept of service, being a safe vessel for facilitation, honoring the physical body, pragmatic considerations in spiritual surrender, karmic lessons for the spiritual faciliator, honoring the balance of give-and-take
Leo – questions around love, romance, sensuality, joy, creative collaboration, matters involving children and/or the archetype of the Inner Child, a focus on the dramatic arts / performance, leadership, politics, emotional outbursts, what ignites your passion, drive and inspiration. Mercury retrogrades into and moves out of Leo between August 31st till September 9th.
Generally speaking, Mercury retrogrades are times in which we are asked to go inwards, revise and revisit decisions made. We are generally advised not to start new things, be they jobs, relationships, and so on unless it is simply a continuation of an earlier discussion.
Despite the slow-down that Mercury Retrograde causes, given current alignments, I see this as a blessing rather than the curse. Mercury in both its shadow and retrograde phase structures the energy of both August Eclipses.
Despite how intense these eclipses have felt, the messages and full intensity of their energies are dampened by the Retrograde and spread out for revision at a later date. Whilst this can be a frustrating experience, given that so many other celestial bodies are in Retrograde (Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto), the inward pull that Mercury Rx brings allows us to better navigate these celestial pressures. When navigation is unsuccessful, these deeper internal pressures build and ultimately culminate in volatile expressions in frustration.
Mercury Retrograde this round has also been tighly bound up with Vesta´s (The Priestess) Journey through Virgo. Vesta, the Goddess Asteroid, brings to us extreme cycles in obsession towards / the tendency to discard different spiritual paths, affilitations and (in Virgo) concepts of Service. We explore, often to extreme degrees, the different ways in which we choose to embody our Service to Spirit – sometimes embracing the concept to the exclusion of all else, sometimes casting it aside to enable all else to be. Vesta is paradoxical, at the best of times – but when her lessons are learnt – the seeker understands that Service is but an aspect of Life, albeit one that has its own significance.
Mercury conjuncted Vesta (exactly) at 7´02 Virgo – August 1st, 2017, revisiting that exact degree on August 22nd and September 16th. In fact, Mercury and Vesta are within a 3 degree orb of each other between July 25th – August 16th!
So much of the lessons of this Retrograde (and both Eclipses) are bound in the questions that Vesta asks Mercury to reconsider:
What path of Service do you take?
In whose name do you perform your work?
What are the standards of purity that you aspire to?
Do you consider sex, pleasure and material connection impure?
How do you hold your space with integrity?
Do you respect others to do the same?
Do you need to reconsider any aspect of your path of service at this time?
What no longer feels right?
What is simply carried on in the name of tradition, without soul or susbtance?
What ideas of service and associated rituals need to be re-worked?
Is your work (of service) in balance with other aspects of your life, health and well-being?
What old karmic contracts need to be renegotiation or torn up entirely?
This is a fantastic energy for so many of us to step off the karmic hamster wheel, to stop equating sub-servience and servitude with Service. And to become more comfortable with participating in a fair exchange of energy with others.
What´s especially interesting (to me) is that Vesta was conjunct Mercury (9-10 Virgo) during the 1st Lunar Eclipse / Aquarian Full Moon in August. We will be revisiting decisions taken and ideas formed during that period when Mercury revisits that position, i.e. August 17 & September 18. Mercury, having ended its Retrograde on September 5th, will only move full steam ahead after September 19, when it passes the 11´38 Virgo mark yet again. That is when we are likely to see a clearer resolution to the questions being posed during this Retrograde.
The upcoming August 22nd Solar Eclipse will take place at 28 degrees Leo. It´s also interesting to note that is the exact degree that Mercury will end its Retrograde at on September 5, just as Mars reaches the same degree. Whatever you´re feeling at this time – or during the 2nd eclipse – take the time to wait it out before making conclusive decisions or actions out of the blue. Thanks to my friend and fellow astrologer Greg George for contributing this observation to our discussion on the subject. You can see our joint video report on the Eclipses and Mercury´s role here as well: https://youtu.be/qmm8AEZm09c
That might be one of the greatest gifts and opportunities that Mercury Retrograde provides during this Eclipse Season – but it´s the kind of gift that only arises if you let it. Whilst tensions will be high, be it in individual interactions, or global ones – taking the time to reflect on your words, ideas and actions before doing them will be of greater use to you in the longer run.
So really, to summarize – this is a time of intense reflection on matters of service, health, love and creative expression. Try not to make any binding commitments or ironclad decisions till Mercury continues to weave through Virgo (yet again) and remember the lessons that Vesta seeks to teach us through her prolonged interaction with Mercury.
Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2017. All rights reserved.
Image: NASA, public domain