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Mercury Retrograde April 2023
Category: Astrological News Written by Lauren Howard Coleman
April 21st ~ 28th
Finding yourself is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten-dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket.
You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. “finding yourself” is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you. ~ Emily McDowell
Although we have been in its shadow since April 7th, Mercury officially stations for its retrograde phase on Friday, April 21st (on the 20th in some parts of the world). At 15º Taurus 37’, it is almost, but not quite, conjunct unpredictable and erratic, and yet also illuminatingly innovative, Uranus. Mercury will not perfect its transit to Uranus until June 4th, and yet we can feel the anticipation, the excitement, the awe and wonder that this transit can bring. Even as Mercury is appearing to prepare for its retreat. Mercury/Uranus weather can bring bursts of clarity and inspiration. But not quite yet. What we’ve been experiencing are mere glimpses of what may be.
Also at this degree is feisty, out-of-bounds Mars in the sign of Cancer. Due to Mercury’s station on Friday, Mercury and Mars have been, and will continue to be sextile from the 13th of April thru the end of the month. Mercury is in the staid and usually calm sign of Taurus. Mars and Uranus energy is quick, impulsive, and excitable, stirring up the pot. All the more so in the middle of Eclipse season! This can make us feel as if there is a lot of busy-ness going on, plans shifting, places to be, appointments to keep, discussions to be had. Busy, busy, busy. And unpredictable. Appointments change, discussions are rescheduled, and all is in a tizzy.
We can get a lot done when Mercury is sextile Mars. Yet even in the midst of all this activity, even while we are touching base with this that and the other one, Mercury in Taurus is asking us to be still. With all of this activity flying about, this could be something of a challenge. Yet it is possible. Like finding the eye of the storm, that still center in the midst of activity, we can be still, even as the world continues to spin around us.
The obstacles, detours and mayhem that the retrograde phases of Mercury can bring are legendary. The phone breaks, communications go haywire, the SpaceX rocket experiences a ‘rapid unscheduled disassembly’, we miss our plane, or the luggage gets lost on the way. All those outer things that are necessary for the function of our everyday lives as well as space launches can go amiss. Throw in a Solar Eclipse and there’s no telling what can happen. We could all feel like we are rapidly disassembling.
However, these periodic retrograde phases of Mercury are essential. They are essential for our mental, physical and psychological well-being. In the same way that we need to sleep each day, or take breaks, so it is with these retrograde phases of Mercury every 4 months. Not doing so will only increase the stress and anxiety in our lives. It is also when we assimilate and process all of the events of the past leading up to this moment. It’s how we arrive at an inner understanding, and are able to make sense of our lives, our plans, and our minds. But in order to do this we need to turn down the volume of our lives and allow this time for self-reflection.
This is not a time for action and/or major decision. Mars will incline us to want to act on our ideas right away. But often what seems like a brilliant idea when Mercury is retrograde will show its faults later on when Mercury is direct again. But the retrograde period from now until May 14th is an important time for this inner reflection and understanding.
Taurus is a sign of simplicity. It is a time to slow down. To touch base with the earth, with our instincts, and to shore up our physical and material needs, and our comforts. When Mercury is in Taurus, the senses are alive. Use them. Use them to see more, hear more, taste, touch and literally stop to smell the flowers, to sing, to dance, to feel the rhythms of the earth. Taurus is a sign of priorities. Making sure the bills are paid, the cupboards are stocked, and we are taking care of business. Use the retrograde phase of Mercury in Taurus to get better in touch with those things that one needs for their security and survival, while also learning to prioritize those special things that make our lives worth living.
What Mercury retrograde periods are good for: taking trips back to where you used to live, used to go to school, used to be; going back over or reviewing something; repairing or fixing things the correct way; revisiting something you used to do in the past; remembering, recalling, reminiscing. We get second chances during the Mercury retrograde phases to do things the right way.
For the next 3 weeks (April 21st thru May 14th) DO:
Allow the busy-ness of your mind to settle when and if and where you are able. Moderation and balancing activity with rest are key for this retrograde period.
Focus on one thing at a time.
Walk don’t run. Hike silently in nature. Savor every moment as if it were precious.
Take some time out from the busy-ness of your life for the sake of your physical, mental and psychological well-being.
Create quiet time to develop more inner and outer clarity.
Feed your senses. Listen to your favorite music. Add some color to your life.
Feed your senses but do not base your judgments on these alone. Wait until Mercury is direct again before making major purchases, and don’t squander the retrograde period in regrettable self-indulgence.
Be slow and patient. Mercury retro in Taurus works best when we take our time. If you try to race ahead, you will find yourself forgetting things, missing important details and making mistakes.
For this week’s horoscopes and the retrograde phase of Mercury for your sign, click below:
Image: Allegory of the Planets by Tiepolo
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