I imagine that you are all wondering what has happened to me over the last few months. Well … the muse disappeared. I sat down to write and nothing came. I had a choice between forcing it or letting it go until I felt the impetus to write again. The writing itch has returned so here we go!
Over the past two months I have been watching what is going on in the world as well as what has been going on in my ‘inner’ landscape. We all know what has been going on in the world so I’ll start with what has been going on inside me.
mercury’s retrograde – again
I know I’m famous for telling everyone when the planet Mercury is retrograde. (More information about this here if you haven’t already heard me go on about it – see ‘Mercury Moves Retrograde’) Well, it’s retrograde as we speak and due to move direct again at the end of the week, although the influence will be felt until mid-June. To all intents and purposes, it has been retrograde for the better part of this month. The month of May is always interesting for me because it leads up to my birthday. I believe that the last month of our birth year is a good time to review what the year has been about and decide where we would like to go and what we would like to accomplish, or change, in the year ahead – although I don’t usually have to do this when Mercury is retrograde.
Having Mercury go retrograde as it moves into Gemini gives it even more import for me because Mercury is the planet that governs Gemini – of which I am one. To recap, Mercury is retrograde, as we move into Gemini, and in the month leading up to my birthday, and it will be my fiftieth birthday this year. I guess you could say that all of this has got my attention!
Turning fifty feels like an interesting landmark in my life. Frankly I am quite happy to be saying good-bye to my forties, which brought me some very challenging times. I hope that my fifties will at least provide different scenery on the great road of life. Next year will see me coming into my Chiron Return. There’s another astrology term for you!
Barbara Hand Clow says of the Chiron Return in her book on the subject of key life passages:
At age 50, we are physically and mentally prepared for fusion with the spirit, the mysterious nonphysical realm of all that is. Up to age 30, when our Saturn Return occurs, we are realizing the structural basis for life. At mid-life – Uranus Opposition – we mature the emotions. Then at age 50, Chiron Return heralds the time for our full spiritual awakening.
Everyone will experience this transition but the exact dates vary for each person, anywhere from 49 to 51. According to the table in the back of the book, I will go through it next year. As with all astrological influences though, you can feel them beginning to build ahead of time. I am not an astrologer by any stretch of the imagination but I do believe that we are influenced by the stars and can benefit from the helpful information available through a good astrologer.
change myself and change the world
I’m at the tail end of the Baby Boom so almost all of the ‘Boomers’ have already passed this portal. That has to be affecting how we see the world and what choices we are making as a result. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I am my own petrie dish. I pay attention to myself so that I can be aware of my own process and therefore better able to understand not only how to get the most out of my own learning opportunities, but also how to help others do the same.
creaking timbers of the old ways
This brings me back to what is happening on the world stage. I believe that we have reached a watershed on our little blue planet and that the old ways of conducting ourselves in the global community are at an end. What we’ve been doing to the planet, to one another and to our selves is untenable. I believe that there are new systems lining up underneath the old ones but that they are still, for the most part, still out of the public eye. Something has to give, as the old saying goes, and I think we are just beginning to hear the creaking of the imminent fall of the old rotten timbers. It occurs to me that much of what ‘has to give’ relates to just what is governed by the planet Mercury, or at least I see it as one lens through which to look at what needs to change and how:
Astrologically Mercury is seen as THE MIND, the giver of wisdom and our progression from the purely instinctive realm of the animal kingdom by the use of the INTELLECT.
It is ideas, methods, information, progressing through experimentation and invention. The transmitter of the spiritual to the material. Mercury associates with children before puberty and through this connects with tricks and jokes, youthfulness and light-heartedness. It rules all forms of communication, for example telephone calls, letters, speech. This planet is mobile and intellectual; it rules the sciences, curiosity, manner of thought and travel. It is also associated with merchants, commerce and mental pursuits. Wheeling and dealing would fall under Mercury’s rule as would lying and cheating.
It represents the power of communication (even the Internet), interpretation and self-expression, intelligence and reason. Its action is to quicken and enliven whilst adding mobility and fluidity. The symbol illustrates receptivity resulting from the exaltation of spirit over matter.
When I describe to others what I do as my life’s work, I say that I am a messenger. In that sense I am a true Gemini. In particular, I like to work with the messages that are not so clear to the naked eye(ear): those between the conscious and subconscious parts of our selves; between one another in relationships; between individuals in groups and between one group and another; and finally, between our everyday selves and our souls – and the last is the most critical and rewarding for me.
If turning fifty brings the time for my full spiritual awakening and having the opportunity to ‘give back’ to my community out of the fruits of my hard-won experiential life-learning, then there could be no better time than this month and this year for me to reflect on what this could mean for me in the years to come. Also, I can’t help but notice that all the things that Mercury governs are in flux for our global community.
Mercury’s influence or a world in flux: how aspects of Mercury’s influence are playing out for us.
- Ideas, methods, information: Is this not what democracy is about? – how we communicate our ideas, through what sorts of channels, to whom, and what is done with it?
- Progressing through experimentation and invention: A few of these efforts in the news just now are: nuclear power; the human genome; stem cell research; cloning; alternative energy; the internet; robotics; accelerator physics; Mars exploration; studies in time …
- Transmitter of the spiritual to the material: As people search for meaning they are shifting how they see spirit as it relates to their everyday lives. Some are giving up institutionalized religion, some are returning to it, and others are creating their own version of a spiritual connection.
- Associates with children before puberty: Maybe the children have much to teach us – the Indigo children, child inventors, child advocates at the UN, more attention paid globally to children’s rights.
- Connects with tricks and jokes: Some of the humour we have used to deal with the craziness of what we see happening is the best we have seen in the last hundred years (in my opinion). Equally, some of it is the worst!
- All forms of communication: What are we saying about our values, to whom, and how is it conveyed? This includes advertising. What is the future of print journalism? Who owns the airwaves? Who owns ideas and how can ownership be enforced in the age of the Internet? What of cell phones and microchips and passports and security cameras? Who talks to extraterrestrials and what do they say, and who replies?
- Merchants, commerce: Wow! Need I say more? Financial institutions, money, credit, debt, accountability, transparency, safety nets, bankruptcy, abundance, livelihood, community … We think everything can be bought and sold – does that include our souls?
- Wheeling and dealing: Who is making deals and with whom? How do we make deals about what is ‘off the planet’? Is it all right to sell water? And what about selling what is under the ground? Who makes deals about the air we breath when air knows no borders. Are these deals a security risk? How do we know? How do we handle reparations to indigenous peoples worldwide?
- Lying and cheating: Mercury is neither positive nor negative. We can go either way so which way do we choose? What do we do with presidents who tell lies? Are they above the law? What about clerics? And doctors? And anyone else in a position of great trust. And what about pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies and banks? Whew! And how long will the secrets stay hidden? Not long, I think. And how will we react when we find out how we have been deceived? Anyone can lie and say it’s the truth and anyone can say that the truth is a lie. How can we tell the difference? Intuition?
- Interpretation and self-expression: Oh my! This is my territory! How do we interpret our inner world and bring it back to integrate it in our outer world? Can we change how we react to our world by changing our understanding of ourselves – putting a new frame on the same picture? Does it empower me to know myself better and hence express myself better? Who speaks for those who can’t speak for themselves?
- Intelligence and reason: I often feel that the world has lost its intelligence and reason! Craziness is presented to me in the media lately, as though it makes perfect sense – we are running out of oil and yet they want me to buy SUVs. We think we are rational beings and yet thin people think they are fat, drunk people think they can drive, adults think they can have sex with children, governments think they can spend money they don’t have, and some people think differences can be solved with weapons …
- Quicken and enliven whilst adding mobility and fluidity: everything is faster than it has ever been: the spread of disease; data processing and access; travel; phone contact; good and bad news; instant feedback; knowledge shared; secrets revealed; and errors exposed.
- Receptivity resulting from the exaltation of spirit over matter: Matter doesn’t matter (pardon the pun) and materialism doesn’t make people happy, and you can’t take it with you. Sometimes you can’t even keep it in this life. What is it going to take for us all to figure out that we have to share in order to achieve peace and an acceptable quality of life – for everyone, not just the ones currently at the top of the heap? Reference Rome! What is the soul? How do we make contact with it? Is life about learning and where do we take the learning after we die? (What’s it all about, Alfie?)
let’s move to love and sharing
I fear I might be straining your attention with the length of this post. I guess I had something to say after all! Suffice to say that Mercury and it’s effects are topical at the moment; in the world at large, and not just in my life. The ‘Mercury’ issues that I’ve outlined above are of particular interest to me and I can’t help but think that in my fifties I am likely to see changes in our world the likes of which we have only previewed in science fiction. These are ‘hefty’ issues and I look forward to exploring them with any of you who believe that it is time we changed how we do things on this planet, so that life is less about fear and competition and more about love and sharing. I say bring on the next ten years!