(38) Mercury Retrograde

On December 27th -- in two days -- Mercury will go retrograde in the 22nd degree of Capricorn. Mercury retrograde is a time when there's a need to rethink things, maybe to revise our thoughts or the way we are communicating.

An important tool for understanding any particular retrograde period is to look at the degree in which the planet in question goes retrograde. The Omega Symbol for 22 Capricorn is "Sugar falling through a giant hour glass."

I had to get beyond my negative image of sugar to clearly see the meaning of this degree. Sugar is sweetness, and even though we eat too much sugar in this society, the reason we do it is because we are all desperately seeking the sweetness of life. We have thought we could find it through having more and more things, but have found that consumerism is just an addiction, and like all addictions, causes us to want to accumulate more and more, but without ever feeling truly fulfilled, no matter how much we acquire.

Sugar, in and of itself, is just food, nourishment. So in this symbol we see that at every moment (the particular grain of sugar falling through the hour glass) there is nourishment to be had, sweetness to be tasted. I remember reading in a book that one Kabbalist said that our job is to think of each moment as a cup which we are filling with good things -- love, happiness, appreciation for life, joy, etc., and that if we do this, we will find, at the end or our life, when we look back, a life beautifully lived, that will determine the quality of the future after death. And so Mercury retrograding in the 22nd degree of Capricorn is a time of considering whether or not we are focused in the present, on the moment, to find the sweetness of it. Or are our thoughts too much focused on the past and the future.

Capricorn is the sign of practicality. What the Kabbalist suggested we need to do in living life is ultimately the most practical way of being I can think of. The 22nd degree of any sign always has to do of righting our course, and of making a leap toward where we know we should be.

The degree that Mercury goes back to in its retrograde motion, where it again stops before going direct signifies the goal of the retrogradation -- what we were looking for. Mercury will again go direct again on January 16th, 2010 in the 6th degree of Capricorn. The Omega symbol for this degree is, "A woman inventing magical perfumes." To me this signifies a recombining of energies in a harmonious way to positively affect the world. As perfume fills space invisibly, this degree suggests changing the atmosphere, the basic tenor, or attitude, of things.

If you have a planet that either the Stationary retrograde or Stationary direct Mercury conjuncts or opposes, it will have a significant effect on you, and means that you are needing to rethink how you are using the energy of the planet in question.


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