mercury“The devastation in process now has its origin in a distorted understanding of the grand mythic vision of an emerging age of blessedness. Until this distorted dream of a technological paradise is replaced by a more viable dream of a mutually enhancing human presence within an integral Earth community, no effective healing will take place, for the dream drives the action.” – Thomas Berry, preface to The Breathing Cathedral

Mercury will turn Retrograde on August 2, but we’re already under the influence — can you feel it? On July 15, Mercury entered the Retrograde “shadow,” initiating a six-week period featuring technical glitches, delays, miscommunications and misunderstandings.

“As above, so below” — as Mercury appears to slow down, stand still, and reverse directions, we are advised to do the same. Mercury Retrograde, until August 26, is a time to back up, revisit and review the past, reconsider your way forward, and complete unfinished business. The influence will linger on until September 10.

To get more specific about what this Mercury Retro means for you, find the house or houses that contain 18 degrees Leo to 1 degree Virgo. The areas of life represented by the house/s are where you are being called to retrace your steps. If any of your natal planets lie in Mercury’s Retro path, the parts of yourself represented by those planets are also up for revision.

Adding to the potential confusion during this Retrograde, Mercury will form three oppositions to Neptune — planet of dreams, imagination and illusion. The first exact opposition will be Thursday, and will still be strong at the Leo New Moon on Saturday, and at the time of Mercury’s Retrograde turn on Tuesday. In other words, the Mercury-Neptune influence resonates throughout the coming lunar cycle and Retrograde period.

Mercury-Neptune can manifest as fogginess, delusion, misperception, escapism and free-floating anxiety. Mercury rules the mind, while Neptune, God of the Ocean, dissolves what he touches — in this case, dissolving the mental boundaries that keep my thoughts and perceptions separate from everyone else’s. “Oneness,” ruled by Neptune, sounds like a lovely concept, but when your porous mind unconsciously merges with the mind of the collective, overwhelm and confusion can result.

On a collective level, Mercury rules the media, and a story I read yesterday epitomizes the denial and deception that characterizes shadow Mercury-Neptune: “The government of Japan has issued an official order to telecommunications companies and web masters to censor reports which contradict the state media reports that the Fukushima nuclear radiation disaster is over” (Japan Passes Law…).

neptuneBut, as with all cosmic events, we have the power to channel the energy in a more positive direction. The higher potential here is to access inspiration, inner vision and higher guidance by consciously engaging with the invisible realm and attuning our awareness to more subtle levels of reality, the “world behind the world.”

Retrograde Mercury opposite Neptune wants to readjust our perception so we can reclaim what Michael Meade calls “mythic thinking” — the ability to read the larger story of these times, and the larger story of our own soul’s journey through this life. Dreams, art, music, poetry, meditation, yoga and other forms of creative and spiritual practice are Neptunian paths to a more expanded perspective.

Neptune is now completing a four-month visit to Pisces, April 4 to August 4 — a brief preview of his 14-year tour through the sign of the Fish that will recommence next February (see Neptune Enters Pisces). Mercury will move into Virgo tomorrow, just before making his first opposition to Neptune, and this will be the first time in our lives that Mercury in Virgo opposes Neptune in Pisces.

As the traditional ruler of Virgo, Mercury is strong in this sign, enhancing the powers of analysis, discrimination, focus and clarity. Ideally, this opposition can help us apply Virgoan discernment and pragmatism to Neptunian imagination, intuition, dreams and vision.

Mercury will reverse back into Leo on August 8 and will oppose Neptune in Aquarius on August 8 and September 8. Because of his Retrograde journey, Mercury will be in Leo — the sign that rules the heart — for an extra-long time, July 1-July 28, and August 8-September 8. Retrograde Mercury in Leo wants us to realign our hearts and minds, and reconnect with the intelligence of our hearts.

While our minds can be pulled in multiple directions, easily confused and manipulated, if we’re centered in our hearts, we can access our inner truth, and reconnect with the larger story of who we are — “the dream that drives the action” — both for our personal lives, and the life of the collective.

– Emily Trinkaus

Portland friends: Please join me this Friday night, 7:00-8:30, at New Renaissance for my talk Neptune in Pisces: Inspiring A New Vision. We’ll explore the above themes — mythic thinking, dreams, spiritual practice, denial and delusion — plus prison, plastic, drugs, multidimensionality, magic and much more!