Shortly after the New Moon of January 20th rings in the Aquarius cycle, Mercury, the fun-loving trickster of our solar system skids to a halt. Realizing he’s left something precious behind, he spins his winged sandals into a backward dash from January 21th – Feb 11th. “Oh no, Mercury retrograde, better hide under a blanket and back up my hard drive!” you may hear familiar moans and groans. I hope you’re smart enough not to buy the hype! (Although, backing up your data is never a bad idea:) This retrograde traces the brilliantly unconventional territory of Aquarius, offering us a chance to review, rewrite and revisit our ideas from a very different perspective. Imagine walking back along the path you’ve just covered and seeing fresh views and new angles you missed before, or seeing how the back sides of buildings look so much different than the facades. Kind of fun, isn’t it? Mercury is inviting us to do the same backward dance in our mental realm. But what exactly is up for review? What have we left behind in our relentless “onward and upward” slog?
The essentially eccentric nature of Aquarius offers us a clue: in the mad dash to “make it” in this world, have we snuffed out our own peculiar brilliance, cut off our quirks in order to appear acceptable and employable? And, to soothe the pain of such “necessary surgery”, are we now desperately looking for a Band-Aid-personality in the strained masks we slap on in social media (another very Aquarian realm)? This retrograde cycle starts off with Mercury opposing Jupiter, also in retrograde, in Leo, the sign of Self-expression. This cosmic tug-of war has us searching for the Light that’s authentically ours amidst the bright billboards of created culture. Who am I really? Is any of the stuff swirling around in my head really mine? Ouch! As we rip off the Band-Aid, it may feel rather raw at first. Seeing this desperate desire to be “special” as a cover-up for the wound of lost uniqueness can be kind of sad.
Luckily, with all this airy Aquarian vibe around, we won’t wallow in emotion long. Light-footed Mercury takes us by the hand on a jolly jaunt down memory lane sprinkled with serendipitous “blasts from the past” as old friends and co-conspirators emerge to remind us how brilliantly bizarre and endearingly odd we really are. It’s a Soul retrieval journey of sorts, filled with delightful twists and turns and a few moments of potential embarrassment, if we still insist on maintaining the gloss of normalcy over our decidedly non-standard lives. A few days ago, I had a fun reminder of my own long-forgotten oddball adventures when a childhood friend posted a photo of my first car, my teenage dreamliner 1976 Cadillac that my boyfriend and I christened “The Last Great American Whale” after a Lou Reed song. Originally from Soviet Estonia where cars were tiny and rare, this 20 foot “landyacht” embodied freedom of the open road for me. Never mind it was nearly impossible to park:) I still remember sleeping on the roof of the Caddy, freezing my butt off to see the sparkling dome stars arch over me at Joshua Tree. Yes, pretty strange choice for a ride, but somehow it spoke to my youthful “devil may care” exuberance and a certain sense of being a “stranger in the strange land” that I rather enjoyed back then. And, seeing this picture pop up on Facebook from a member of my worldwide eclectic Aquarian tribe made me feel like I’ve regained at least a part of that innocent curiosity and funky fun approach to life I had as an “alien” at 18 with a whole new country full of open roads ahead of me.
“You did not come here to be normal, you came here to be YOU” wrote Robert Holden. To me, this is what Mercury the magical messenger is trying to whisper in our ears this retrograde cycle. Be curious and open, and you too may find the uniqueness of YOU reflected back in the eyes of your Aquarian tribe – your community of friends old and new. And, don’t forget to be that mirror for every friend and stranger who crosses your path. We all could use a fresh look at who we really are. Enjoy getting intimately acquainted with your own funny, strange, ridiculous, odd, ingenious and impossibly endearing ways of living & loving!