Mercury is retrograde between December 26th and January 15th and there is a partial lunar eclipse on the second full moon in December, a Blue Moon!
Mercury is the closest of all the planets to the Sun, taking only 88 earth days to make a complete circuit around the Sun. Since Earth takes about 365 1/4 days to go around the Sun, we observe Mercury's motion from a moving platform, like two cars moving along two different lanes of a racetrack at different speeds. One effect of the two motions is that Mercury appears to us to go backwards (retrograde) in the zodiac for about three weeks at a time, roughly three times a year. This if the fourth Mercury retrograde of 2009 and there will be four in 2010.
Mercury rules thinking and perception, processing and disseminating information and all means of communication, commerce, education and transportation. All the planets, except Sun and Moon, have these retrograde periods, but Mercury is most famous for them, probably because Mercury represents our very essential communication abilities. While people speak of Mercury retrograde periods that screw up computers and television sets, today's astrologers believe the mishaps happen in more personal realms. Mercury rules communication, but more informal communications, like writing, speaking, short shopping sprees and other erranding endeavors. Mercury is all about mental clarity and the power of the mind, so when Mercury is retrograde these intellectual faculties may not be as acute.
But do we need to be afraid of Mercury retrograde? If we believe that intention is everything and that we manifest what we focus on, aren't we strengthening the possibility of things going wrong if we believe that Mercury retrograde brings chaos? So how do we change our focus? What universal purpose could this astrological planet of communications and networking possibly serve by appearing to travel backwards in the heavens for 21 days out of every 88-day orbit?
Mercury retrograde is the astrological influence that revisits, retrieves, and reveals everything that managed to elude our conscious awareness in the preceding 88 days, because its one universal purpose is to provide us with an opportunity to reflect on what we have learned, created, and manifested in the previous months. This perspective can change our experience with Mercury retrograde! It becomes a universal instrument for bringing things to our attention; it provides an opportunity to make necessary changes in the way we've been communicating. Good things to do when Mercury is retrograde are: meditate, contemplate, edit the book/poem/song/essay you've been writing, clean house, talk to your pet, listen to music, paint, catch up on sleep!
And as if Mercury retrograde isn't enough, we have a bonus full moon this New Year's Eve! This is the Ice Moon, or the full moon following Yule - which is usually in January. There is much legend and lore about the Blue Moon but this particular one packs a powerful punch so that you can truly make a New Year's resolution and actually keep it!! This full moon in Cancer opposes both Venus and the Sun in Capricorn. This will be a time of remembering great traditions of another time as well as faces and places that speak of honoring our ancestors, a perfect time to be in gratitude for the healing received and the lessons learned in 2009 before ringing in 2010!
During this holiday season may each one of us take the time to appreciate life and reflect on who we are becoming. Take some time to sit quietly and reflect on what you are putting out into the world. Are your attitudes and words healing or is there room for improvement? What changes do you wish to make in your communication with others? Are you sharing healing stories? Are you a victim of circumstances or do you bring hope and inspiration to others? Life is a wonderful journey, filled with a myriad of experiences. The difficult times offer the opportunity to go deep within for strength and clarity, gaining compassion for ourselves and others.
May your holidays be filled with insight and inspiration! Remember that we are not human beings on a spiritual journey; we are spiritual beings on a human journey.