Monday, April 11, 2011


I have been feeling pretty darn frustrated and stuck - and dealing with many clients, students and friends who seemed to be in the same boat. So I thought to myself, “I wonder if Mercury is in retrograde?” I am no expert when it comes to astrology, but I believe it can be a powerful tool and guide when we need some help understanding the lay of the land here on planet Earth. So I did some research and not surprisingly it was. I also discovered Saturn was in retrograde as well.

A planet is described as retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. Of course the planets really never go backwards, they all move around the sun in the same forward direction. However there is an optical illusion and they SEEM to move backwards due to cosmic shadow-play. For the sake of clarity, imagine driving along the freeway and if you are driving 60 miles and hour and you approach someone driving 40, it will appear as if they are going backwards for a moment in time.

All planets go into retrograde, with exception of the Sun and Moon. The qualities of the retrograde planet influence the house they are in. Mercury turned retrograde in Aries March 30, and goes direct April 23. Knowing this little tidbit of information can support us in realizing we are not crazy! This is simply a time to relax, turn inward and be more introspective, rather then try to push forward full steam ahead. Because, unless you can defy gravity and the power of the heavens…it will not be very effective!

What does Mercury affect? Mercury rules thinking, perception, processing, communication, commerce, education and transportation. Mercury retrograde gives rise to challenges in these areas and likely includes misunderstandings, miscommunications, glitches and breakdowns with phones, computers, cars, buses, and trains. Traveling can be tough and a feeling of “stuckness,” frustration, and confusion is often present for most people.

It is not generally a good idea to make important decisions while Mercury is retrograde, they will often be clouded by misinformation, challenged communication and scattered thinking. Mercury is all about mental clarity and the power of the mind, so when Mercury is retrograde these intellectual characteristics tend to be less sharp than usual.

As I mentioned Mercury is retrograde in Mars-ruled Aries, which may make some feel some anger, impatience or just plain grouchy. Mercury in Aries gives a nervous disposition that frequently reveals itself as a “short fuse.” Some symptoms likely to occur are headaches, fatigue, stress, tension, pessimism, depression, and general malaise. It is a really good idea to consider what might nurture you at this time to bring you into a state of peace and balance. Maybe some extra time in meditation, a massage, bubble baths and just some quality time to yourself!

Another piece of the astrological puzzle is Saturn in retrograde. This is not quite as challenging, but it is still nice to be aware of it. Saturn is not as close to the sun so it is a slower moving planet, it went retrograde January 26 and will go direct June 13.

Saturn in retrograde slows down the normal rate of activity so that more effective methods and strategies can be developed. Saturn rules the physical and psychological structures in our lives life. It produces the rules and regulations, our sense of responsibility, and our limitations. It encourages us to cultivate our boundaries by checking in with ourselves, honoring ourselves and saying NO when we mean no.

Saturn turning retrograde gives us the opportunity to go back, reorganize, redefine, or renegotiate any activities or commitments that are a source of frustration. If you try to press forward in areas that are not good for you, the frustrations will increase. This is a good time to energetically “weed your garden.” You may want to consider any current sources of frustration and remove them, or at least refine them. Pay close attention to boundaries and do not spread yourself too thin, or say yes if you really don’t want to.

Lastly it is not recommended that you start any new business activity while Saturn is retrograde. Organization is elusive and lots of additional work will be needed to put thing into order down the line. So, in other words, this is a great time to slow down and allow yourself to “cocoon” a bit. Give yourself permission to be creative: write, paint, read, meditate. Ask yourself what would really honor me? What would really nurture my body, mind and Spirit? Then really listen to the wisdom that bubbles up from within.

So, what do you think? Does this information help? Be in touch with any additional thoughts, information, and/or stories. It is really nice to know we are in this together! Sending you blessings of grace, ease, relaxation, nurturing and peace during this season of retrograde!