Mercury sits directly down

Mercury--go sit down!

Has your boat been rocking for the past few weeks?  Go ahead blame Mercury Retrograde.  He can handle it–but just for the record–he’s had help.

Look at who is in the boat with Mercury: Yup—Uranus, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and just recently, the Sun.


We’re in a boat in choppy waters and Mercury is just running backwards, dancing, yelling stuff at the captain.  Wrecking havoc it seemed to me.

Let’s just look for a moment at Himself-that winged messenger.

Mercury from Raphael's Manual of Astrology 1828
Mercury from Raphael's Manual of Astrology 1828

Perhaps not shooting the messenger and listening now that the winds have died down just a little bit might be useful.

It is said that when Mercury goes retrograde (appears to be moving backwards from earthlings point of view) that one needs to put the prefix “re” in front of everything—review, revise, rethink, reverse, renew, re-whatever. And Mercury goes retrograde about 3 times a year for about 3 weeks at a time. He turned around on March 30th and then just today he stopped and is now facing forward—ready to move in a forward direction. Hooray, I say. This genius has played tricks on me and mine for the last 3 weeks and I’m ready to move on.

There are some pretty great stories about this Mercury guy—he was called Hermes in Greek mythology.

Erin Sullivan writes about Mercury/Hermes in her book Retrograde Planets, Traversing the Inner Landscape:

In the Homeric Hymns we read of the birth of Hermes: ‘He was born at dawn, by midday he was playing the lyre, and in the evening he stole the cattle of far-shooting Apollo.” This show him to be a trickster par excellence, as well as having great charm: to make and play the lyre he inveigled a tortoise out of its own shell. The story when that Hermes, restless after his birth, set off in search of the cattle of his brother Apollo, and en route happened upon a tortoise. When great charm he told the hapless tortoise he would make a good dinner companion indeed he did, because Hermes promptly ate him for dinner! Hermes also promised the tortoise that he would make beautiful music when he was dead. The tortoise’s shell was to become the prototype lyre which Hermes eventually gave to Apollo to appease him for the theft of the cattle.
This cattle theft has a most remarkable aspect. Hermes ‘made their hoofs go backward, the front one last and the back ones first; he himself walked straight ahead.’ This is the literary origin of the dualistic path and deceptive brilliance of Hermes the Trickster, and the first hint of his retrograde characteristic. Only minutes before, he had been happily playing his new lyre, but ‘his heart was set on other pursuits’. Versatile, wily, double-edged Hermes, doing one thing while planning another. The hiding of the cattle in the case of the Sun god Apollo is an apt metaphor for the retrogression of Mercury as it trots ‘back’ towards the Sun hiding from Earth view, only to re-emerge later as the redeemed morning star. (p.46)

In the night sky stories Mercury is the messenger—he often has the “ear of the King”.  There are 8 million stories in the naked city :).

Look at where this boat ride has been rocking in your life (what house are Mercury and company jumping around in?). That is where Mercury has been telling the captain to wait, whoa, look back, we’re being followed—terrible things just might happen!

(Mercury is now at 12 degree Aries  – find where that would land in your chart)

Wherever Mercury is transiting your chart is where you have probably noticed yourself chewing gum and walking at the same time while trying to concentrate. You may have been a bit more on edge, or perhaps confronted by something or someone. You may have been busier than usual in that area of your life, perhaps finding broken things — things that require your attention and aren’t what you had in mind for that day.   Saturn has been on the other side of the issues (Saturn is opposing all that Aries activity) trying to keep order, drawing lines in the sand and either having you feel like you have to be the adult or someone is “out-adulting” you.  Jesh.

This boat has been rocking and rolling through the 4th house of my natal chart. The area of life having to do with home, real estate, roots, my core, where I hang my hat. So–Among other things, there is a new leak in the sunroom, the heater broke. We are going to meetings for emergency preparedness after the sirens went off here at the coast. Home and security and land being threatened—fear abounding. It has felt like I “lost my footing”. We are re-viewing lists of things one will need to remember in a crisis. All of that.

Quoting Erin Sullivan again:

“Mercury acts as an agent for recollection –anamnesis—and for the curing of the soul through illumination. Any information, event, fact or awareness that Mercury surfaces with in the course of the retrograde cycle is completely within character and totally relevant to the needs of the individual. In this way, Mercury acts as a civilizing agent. “(p.54).

As I am writing, I am seeing in retrospect, that the guy yelling and waving his arms at the captain and rocking the boat is pointing at exactly what I need to address—fear itself. Ah, I see.

Can’t beat that line—nope—we have nothing to fear but fear itself? Thanks Franklin.

What lessons might you have gleaned from this period of review?

Head on over to this post by Theresa Jordan. Helped me get all this.She is a fine fine writer: this post is called Choosing our Battles

Whatever you say you have learned will, I assure you, serve you well as the boat goes forward.

Hermes is also known as a soul guide. I think I’m going to look for a harp – oh wait—there is one in the heavens called Lyre. Guess I’m moving forward.


Back soon with a harp a song and perhaps something about the star Vega.

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