I hope that you're surviving this Mercury retrograde cycle. I'm doing my best. The trickster seems to have singled me out this time, but I think I’ll make it and come out more aware of myself and the world. Mercury will also do something really interesting on May 9. It will pass over the face of the Sun! This is called a Transit of Mercury, and it’s an exciting event for serious and amateur astronomers. Due to the fact that Mercury and Venus lie between the Earth and the Sun, they're the only planets to do this from Earth’s perspective.
We recently experienced a Transit of Venus (much rarer) back in May of 2012. The last Transit of Mercury was in November of 2006, ten years ago. There were also transits of Mercury in 1999 and 2003. During a Transit of Mercury, Mercury will appear as a tiny black dot moving across the face of the Sun. And no, you cannot see it with the naked eye! In order to view this event, you need special equipment--a telescope and special filters to protect you from going blind. You can also watch it live online, though seeing it through a telescope (with proper equipment) is a lot more exciting.
Is there anything special about a Transit of Mercury astrologically? The Transits of Venus appear to have a significant correlation with cultural and artistic turning points, but it is much rarer than Mercury’s transits. There are about 13 to 14 Transits of Mercury per century. So, in a given lifetime, we experience quite a few. A Transit of Mercury occurs during a Mercury retrograde cycle when Mercury makes an alignment (called a conjunction) with the Sun, but its orbital plane is such that the planet visually crosses over the Sun.
Normally, this is called an inferior conjunction of Mercury which happens at the midpoint of every Mercury retrograde cycle. Mercury is hard to see at any time, but especially when it conjoins the Sun. The Sun’s light outshines it. When Mercury descends into the Sun, such as during its retrograde periods, it is moving behind the scenes. There is a lot going on right now that you can’t see. And it will involve Mercurial things--communication, writing, teaching, and your perceptual awareness of reality. But on May 9, during the Transit of Mercury, some hidden process emerges onto the solar disk of the Sun.
What is hidden and unconscious makes an appearance. Keep your awareness attuned to this reality. Information, signs, omens and synchronicities are revealing themselves to you. New realms are opening up, and with them, a new perception of your world. This is a month to keep your mind receptive to incoming messages. While Mercury retrograde can be a time of increased frustrations, try to see the hidden gifts in the setbacks. You may be a gifted a new awareness, and a new way of communicating it to the world.
We don’t often associate Mercury with things like synchronicities--what most modern people are trained to call "coincidences". But it's how the universe speaks to us. And Mercury is the messenger of the gods. With winged feet, it flies back and forth between dimensions to bring us glimpses of new realms. As Mercury crosses the face of the Sun, it's likely that you will notice these messages more frequently, along with some seemingly frustrating situations. But if you can, see what there is to learn from them. You just might learn something important and profound.