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Revising The Vision: Mercury Retrograde in Pisces/Aquarius

False color image of Mercury's surface.
NASA/JPL/Northwestern University.
February 6, 2014- February 28, 2014
Enter shadow: Jan 22, 2014
Leave shadow: March 20, 2014

This year’s first Mercury retrograde initiates the transition from water signs to air signs. Each of the three retrograde cycles this year has us literally on edge between these two elements. We can anticipate quite drastic and varying transitions and reflections to occur with each of these, since Mercury is backtracking through two very distinctly different elements.

We hear a lot of rules and codes of conduct while Mercury is retrograde and I’ll admit that I've often propagated a few myself. The problem is that astrology is never so cut and dry. Prescriptive formulas for astrological cycles inevitably fail. Like consciousness itself, astrology is fluid, multivalent and always changing.

But the retrograde reminds of just that thing. So, if one thing is consistent with every Mercury retrograde cycle, it’s the awareness that something needs to change—either our perception or our approach to something we've been working on.

Of course, those slight annoyances and technical/mechanical mishaps do in fact occur with greater frequency while Mercury turns retrograde; It’s just hard to predict whether they will or not for you personally. So, as usual, double check the details: tighten loose screws and reiterate anything important that you need to communicate to others. Better safe than sorry.

This Mercury retrograde arrives right on cue just as Venus finishes her retrograde cycle in Capricorn on Jan 31. Of course, each of the three inner planet retrogrades [Venus, Mercury and Mars] that occur at the onset of 2014 overlap and intermingle due to their shadow periods.

That means that we are in the midst of a rather lengthy cycle of incessant revision and uncertainty. So, first off, relax and take a deep breath. It would be a grave mistake to say that we should barricade ourselves in our homes and avoid contact with the world until this all blows over—a grave mistake, indeed.

Retrogrades are excellent times for us to creatively experiment—to playfully explore the relationship between the inner and outer worlds. It is during these times that there is less pressure from the universe to get it all right and to be at our peak performance. While that may in fact happen, this is a time to be gentler with yourself.

(Of course, if you’re planning on launching a space shuttle or some other expensive feat of engineering, you may want to be less playful and more anal about those loose screws, see: Hubble Space Telescope)

That doesn't mean to avoid initiating anything of value or significance; it means that this is a time to take things much slower and to practice considerable consciousness; heightening your awareness. With each step that we take, we’re asking ourselves some very important questions.

“Is this what I really want?” “Where will this path inevitably lead me, and is it right for me?” Uncertainty is a healthy expression of this energy, because it invites one to probe deeper into one's true desires and motivations. The only way to answer these questions is to allow yourself to take chances and possibly even make some mistakes.

Mercury turns stationary retrograde on Feb. 6 while conjunct Neptune in Pisces. Needless to say, this retrograde may greatly enhance both psychic and intuitive perception. It may urge us to probe deeply into the root of perceptions and personal illusions.

Neptune is a planet that encapsulates our collective ideals and creative/artistic fantasies. Mercury’s backtrack allows us to step back and deeply reflect on those visions, and while dipping into Aquarius, we will have an objective viewpoint from which to scrutinize.

The ideal and the vision always loom before us; it’s the cosmic [carrot on a stick] incentive that keeps us motivated to reach for our dreams. While Mercury is retrograde we may find ourselves reconsidering that vision, or rediscovering that we actually have one and that we just lost sight of it.

Mercury dips back into Aquarius on Feb. 12, changing the watery tone, and transforming the arena into a more mental/cerebral zone. While in Aquarius, Mercury retrograde urges us to a get a little more serious.

While Neptune and Pisces are anything but realistic, this phase of the retrograde has us deeply skeptical and cautious about information coming out of thin air. Mercury in Aquarius has us looking for facts to support intuitive hunches and intellectual assumptions.

That glossy and seemingly glorious game plan that was channeled out of the ether should probably be put under a high powered microscope, just in case. Before you go rushing off with any new found sense of destiny, Aquarius says to “hold back” and look for supporting evidence.

This is to say that when we encounter some profound revelation that strikes us like a bolt of lightning, it’s always best to sit with it and let it digest before announcing it to the world. Many crucial pieces are often lost in translation. Just read the Bible.

Mercury’s retrograde through Aquarius helps us to think for ourselves and to reconsider what may have been perceived (previously) as radical or taboo ideas or subject matter. As with any Mercury retrograde, our perceptions are changing.

A portal is opening allowing us to peer deeply into other realms, however real or imagined. A closed mind is a stubborn mind. Allow the mental currents to wash away the clutter and filter everything out. If it sounds too good to be true—it’s best to sit on it and work through all the details, carefully.

If it sounds too radical and far ahead of its time, it’s probably exactly what you need to entertain.  As always, keep an open mind while Mercury is retrograde. You never know what you may uncover, or how shocking and potentially life changing it may be.