by Robert Wilkinson
This Mercury retrograde period starts July 4 (July 5 for east Asia) and ends July 28 (July 29 in Europe and points east) . This retrograde moves from 2 Leo back to 22 Cancer, with the inferior conjunction between Mercury and the Sun occurring July 18 at 26 Cancer. This degree is one of "Guests Are Reading In A Library of A Luxurious Home, " symbolizing a point of conscious fruition and "Emergence of consciousness on higher levels of being, once life has been fulfilled at normal levels." It also tells us of "the need to conform to the requirements of one's social status."
The inferior conjunction is when Mercury (mind) conjuncts the Sun (life) while retrograde, indicating that signals, messages, and ideas from either outer sources or subconscious sources will fuse with the life principle, setting the tone for the lessons involving how our minds are relating to our lives during the next four months. Since Mercury is retrograde, the degree of the inferior conjunction shows how our lives will merge with our perceptions and bring forth a new understanding of our light.
During the 11 days before the inferior conjunction (fusion) of mind and life, take a new look at how you can bring out your inner wisdom by adjusting to a future vision or broader perspective that's opening for you, and get a new point of view regarding what your imagination is willing to consider and how to coordinate your life to reorganize it productively. It's great for intuitive flashes, insights into the larger collective consciousness and unconsciousness, and you should find a new ease and sophistication among those you're with.
We are also told by Dr. Marc Edmund Jones that the degree of the inferior conjunction symbolizes "... a pure mastery of experience... and of a full capitalization on the potentials of all being in a personal and ultimately immortal realization... (it) is a warning against idle self-indulgence, and ... any lessening of practical responsibility is ... a call to self-strengthening and a prelude to some greater outreaching." The keyword is REPOSE. He writes that "the degree is a relaxation valuable for the momentary sustainment of human aspiration whenever it is strained beyond its powers of self-regeneration."
This retrograde beginning at 2 Leo retraces ground we covered June 17-July 3, and is a degree of "The School, Closed by an Epidemic (of Mumps), Children Play Together," showing the "constructive result of inconveniences of life in developing communal values," and I have found that with this degree there is gain through subtraction, or benefit through forms of quarantine, whether of self from others or situations, or exiling, if temporarily, those who are "dis-eased" so that one can play or create in healthy fashion. We have the ability to become sensitive to how individual crises affect the collective, and how a single person who is dysfunctional can blow the deal for an entire group.
There may be outbursts and spontaneous demonstrations due to it falling in the first 5 degrees of Leo, and the best way to deal with this energy is to isolate what is not working, or threatens the health, wealth, or peace of mind in one's life and relationships. Do not retreat to "self-deficiencies" to avoid what must be confronted, and find healthy ways of self-dramatization that you may participate more whole-heartedly in current affairs.
The entire retrograde Mercury is favorable to Mars and Jupiter, which will assist our social functioning and offer unique interactive circumstances where we will feel connected to others after the fact, or after we do something together. This will offer special circumstances assisting our harmony wherever we have Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, thus resolving some of the oppositional energy inherent in these parts of our life. We should be able to see what we need, as well as how our habits either move us into degeneration or regeneration. Our way of expressing the Jupiter in Scorpio in our charts and lives will certainly become specialized appropriate to our gifts.
The big news about this retrograde is that as it approaches its stationary direct point on July 28 at 21 Cancer, it begins to configure with Neptune and Pluto in The Grand Irrationality, forming a double triseptile to those planets from their inverse midpoint. This will affect us for months to come, just as did the Jupiter stationary point in early Virgo in the Grand Irrationality of May 2004. Upon reflection you will no doubt see how some "fateful" events took place in the months after that, with some people's obsessive-compulsive behaviors busted and paths taken that led you away from irrational people and circumstances. It certainly happened to me in a big way.
This Mercury configuration in the Grand Irrationality will create forks in the road of our life that will help us coordinate the material, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of our lives if we are sensitive to our needs, habits, and which direction we want to go in order to consolidate certain recent important decisions on the emotional, social, and cultural level of our existence. You will find that it relates directly to the Mars transit of that point in the third week of May, and promises some dramatic events to come when Venus transits that point August 5-6 with Moon conjunct Pluto.
The intensity of the configuration will continue when Mars enters the Grand Irrationality pattern August 7-15 and the Moon is conjunct Neptune. That 10 day period, especially around August 11 where 5 points of the 7 pointed Star are activated by the Moon in early Aries, will be extremely important in determining the direction of critical developments in late August and early September. In any case, this coming retrograde will be a major turning point in the lives of Gemini and Virgo Sun and rising sign people.
Just as Mercury goes direct in late July it begins to form a week-long semisquare to Mars, so decrease agitation, impulsiveness, and needless worry, and learn to relax about some things while being efficient in doing what is needed. Use your imagination and practice your skills in late July, and be willing to use waiting periods to demonstrate some emerging form of skill that could lead down the road to a form of mastery.
Just after Mercury goes retrograde Jupiter goes stationary direct on a degree of repairing damage done through socialized living and behaviors. During early July we will be confronted by the need to make certain types of "leaps of faith" to overcome a duality, and in taking those leaps we will attain a form of mastering duality in the future. Jupiter going direct will bring forth blessings and opportunities for what we have learned and how we have concentrated and/or regenerated since it went retrograde back in early March, though of course it is still square Saturn through November.
Remember that nothing turns out as expected during a Mercury retrograde, and that things take strange twists and turns and there are curious returns of people, ideas, and experiences in new forms that resemble old forms. Be open to useful but overlooked angles of viewing things, learn and teach through a sense of perspective of how past and present relate in unusual ways, and be alert to roundabout or indirect communications that show things going on below the surface.
Given the irrationality of mid-July when the Sun transits the Grand Irrationality that is immediately followed by Mercury's station, expect things to get somewhat weird. During the retrograde, while there are always strange twists and turns and returns, if it's not a return of something you should have taken care of before then, remember that whatever happens, it probably won't turn out the way it seems at the time.
Mercury going stationary direct at 22 Cancer on July 28-29 shows that through late October 2006 we will confront the "compelling power of all sustained desire" based in our dream imagery, and many will open to "a longing to live life as a great adventure." All will open to the possibility of a transcendent happiness, however that can come forth in a life, so follow any dissatisfaction with what is into a more concrete image of what you want. Monitor your expectancies, find a "creative poise" and a perspective that leads to a constructive attitude toward potentials. See how ideas are being brought to consumation, and find an equanimity that can give "a sure insight into the meaning of chance events" and circumstances as they unfold.
Mercury retrograde periods reveal their own unique rhythm in offering us a new look at things. Every period in some way echoes the messages of prior retrograde periods, and affects those to come. That's why it's important to observe what has been revealed during other periods in the recent months and years past, so that you can see how Mercury, or Hermes, the "Guide of Souls," is leading you to your authentic self. Regardless of appearances, or how difficult or easy, Mercury retrograde periods show us the path to our Soul. Part 2 of this article will explain how this recurring phenomenon affects each of us individually.