What can the planets teach you? Astrology is primarily used to learn more about ourselves, to understand our cycles and our relationships. This is and has been extremely valuable for thousands of years, but another major benefit of this cosmic science is to help us tap into concepts we can apply in our daily lives.
That's because the symbols of the Sun, Moon and planets, as well as the zodiac signs, encode the energies of the universe. Learning their properties and ways to express them empowers us to be more effective inhabitants of planet Earth.
You can learn much of this in your Essential Birth Chart report, which reflects the unique ways in which we experience the planets, revealing inherent challenges and opportunities to apply them in our lives. And on another level we can overlook these specific conditions to tap into their forces directly.
The planets are archetypes; essential forces that transcend our individual stories and are accessible to everyone. Think of these as tools that we can apply when we need them.
Mercury Retrograde lessons
Let's start today with Mercury, the speedy little planet that's closest to the Sun. It is going retrograde now, and it will remain in reverse until the end of the month. This is usually interpreted as a time when its properties of communication and travel are more complicated. However, Mercury is closest to the Earth during this three-week backward period, suggesting that we have greater access to it during this time.
The gifts of Mercury are objectivity, intellect and adaptability, which is where we can learn a great deal until the end of February. We can start by becoming better observers of ourselves. Judgment of any kind, positive or negative, gets in the way of this clarity. Whether you do something stupid or brilliant, generous or selfish, it's best to see the behavior without immediately describing it as good or bad.
Of course, it's natural to comment on our mistakes, for example, but simply delaying the process creates a neutral space that enables Mercury's intelligence to emerge. Taking one breath before falling into self-blame is an excellent way to break the emotional habits that clutter the mind. Take two, three or more, if you can, and you will open channels of awareness and objectivity that make Mercury's magic your own.
Mercury opens your mind
The messenger planet is more interested in questions than answers. While this may seem complicated in some situations, letting go of the idea that there's only one right way to do things or to think about them is a powerful place to be. It opens the mind to a variety of perspectives that allows us to be more tolerant and more creative.
Jupiter's role is to search for the ultimate truth of things, but that's a discussion for a future blog. For now, notice when your emotions are narrowing your point-of-view, then take a breath (or two or three or 10) before advancing your idea. If the concept you're proposing is a good one, it will be enriched by a lively discussion and ultimately demonstrate its value. If it's not, you will understand what changes are need to make it work.
Being flexible in your body is another way to invite the intelligence of Mercury into your life. Taking alternate routes to work, changing the order of your daily routine, and honoring curiosity as much as efficiency are additional ways to tap into this planet's powers. These simple exercises cost virtually nothing but will open your eyes and mind to options that are hidden from you now. It will also enhance your abilities to listen and speak, making you a more skillful communicator.
Remember that all of the planets belong to us and are available to human consciousness when we open up and meet them in their natural states. When we do this Mercury work personal limits wither away, leaving us smarter and saner than ever before.