Mercury Retrograde in his own home of Gemini takes up his mantle of Psychopomp – Guide of Souls – for this New Moon at 14 degrees Gemini. While Mercury in Gemini needs to experience, ponder, categorize and psychologize, when he turns around and journeys backwards as Psychopomp, he opens the paths between the worlds so our egos can open to intuition, feeling and imagination and re-connect with the inner wisdom we need to move forward to new life, for ourselves and for our world.
There's a lot going on these days. Gemini loves the news! Gemini is curious about our experiences and what we think about them. Gemini/3rd house/Mercury show us what kind of mind we possess. Mercury wants us to engage in the life around us and think it about. What kind of mind do you possess and how are you using it to manifest your life's purpose?
There's a lot to think about these days! We see new natural disasters happening every day all over the globe. Is Global Warming creating catastrophic climate change? How many (multi) thousands of people have died in China and Myanmar? Darfur and Iraq? The American MidWest. Where is a peaceful vision for the Middle East? How is the Iraqi war really going? What about Africa and the AIDS epidemic? Or the food crisis? Or the mortgage crisis? The economy? The rise in gas prices. Etc., Etc., Etc.
Neither governments nor the people themselves are prepared. I don't say this to create fear. This is just the story of our times. What do you want your part in this story to be? It's almost like being asked to be part of the Fellowship of the Ring. We have turned our collective face away from these important issues for too long. Now we are being called upon to see the truth and heal the wounds of our people and our world. Can any political candidate do that? Probably not. It takes each individual creating peace within and taking action without. But having a government willing to take the necessary steps toward changing how we 'do business' is also imperative. The personal is political this election year and in the years to come.
Mercury rules the realm of Mind, our ability to think, intuit, process, categorize and synthesize, just as Gemini rules knowledge and life experience. Mercury is the conscious mind processing information, as well as the magical mind of the unconscious. Mercury helps Gemini collect facts and put them together in inventive, new and experimental ways.
When Mercury turns retrograde, he takes on a different coloring – the coloring of Virgo, the practical and ritualistic mind - which he also rules. Both Gemini and Virgo are mutable signs, which means that they have a flexible response to life circumstances. So Mercury retrogrades are times of patient waiting, while we perform everyday tasks, introspect, organize, plan, or refine a task. Sometimes it feels like we are living in an in-between time, when nothing seems to happen. It is a time to pay attention to what comes into our life and watch how we respond. Shift through your options, make a choice, create a ritual to bind it.
Mercury retrograde is also the time to follow Mercury down into the depths of the Unconscious. Mercury was known as Hermes to the Greeks: Guide to the Three Worlds, patron of magic, sorcery and alchemy as well as the trickster god, patron of merchants, patron of thieves. Hermes was the Guide and Messenger between Olympus, Earth and Hades.
As Psychopomp, Hermes is a guide of souls, a symbol of the light of intelligence that can illumine the way into the Unconscious, making its darkness less fearful and more intelligible. Hermes is one of the few gods who was free to come and go without getting stuck in the Underworld. Hermes Psychopomp had the magical power, through his Caduceus, to put people to sleep – hence, he is also the god of dreams. Mercury retrograde is a wonderful time to slow down and record your dreams. Through this dream work, you can see if you have indeed released old patterns and started planting new seed ideas.
As Psychopomp, he is also a messenger of death and he leads the souls of the dead to their Underworld rest. Hermes has the ability to “lead a person past defenses into the guarded places of the unconscious.” In the Iliad, he leads Priam, the king of Troy, to the place where his son Hector's corpse lies in the Greek camp, “where death will be faced and grief will meet its maker. This encounter with death also brings consciousness of a dead past that needs to be buried.” (M. Stein, In Midlife) What dead aspects of your life need to be released and finally buried? Or how are we going to take responsibility for 'the dead' and demand that America live up to its ideals?
Our culture does not want to let go and die so we can renew it. The old guard will fight to the end, fearing death rather than seeing that it is an aspect of the cycle of life. Without death, there can be no new life. We've gotten a taste of what social structures will crumble since January when Pluto stepped into Capricorn for the first time since right before the American Revolution. Pluto will retrograde back into Sagittarius on June 13th until November 26th for a final review and renewal of our spiritual beliefs, before returning to Capricorn until 2024. Pluto in Capricorn is all about getting down to business destroying, evolving and revamping our Capricorn structures of government, society and corporations. We have to learn to accept death and change in our individual lives so that we can allow the death of our old cultural life before we can evolve to a higher state of consciousness regarding how we will all live on our home planet in the future. It seems we will have to face our shadows, embrace our inner being and become conscious human beings to get through these times.
Mercury is also associated with Thoth, the Egyptian God of Wisdom who was also revered as Hermes Trismegisthus, the great alchemical healer and teacher. As the alchemical Mercurius, Mercury symbolizes Gemini's purpose, the union of opposites, bringing together masculine and feminine energies. Since Venus is also in Gemini at this New Moon, and since Venus is Gemini's esoteric ruler, her energy can bring together these opposites in the sacred marriage, for Venus/Aphrodite is the great Connector. Once again the story repeats - it is so important for each of us to access our unconscious patterns, release what is old and nurture (which we'll get to in Cancer) the new life we want to live.
At this Gemini New Moon, Mercury is retrograding back to gather up the new energy we generated by our emotional releases during the two Scorpio Full Moons last month. Mercury is at 20 Gemini, the same degree it was at on the Scorpio Blue Full Moon on May 20th. After it turns direct, it will return to this degree again on July 3rd, the next New Moon in Cancer. This Gemini New Moon is the second of five SuperMoons this year, when the moon is orbiting at its closest distance to the Earth. These SuperMoons generate stronger gravitational pulls on coastal tides, weather patterns and tectonic plates – as well as upon our psyches and our inner waters. Our inner waters are shifting, and we can access new perspectives or new emotions, or pierce the veils between the worlds to gain spiritual wisdom. (Gemini Mercury Square Uranus in Pisces) Old patterns break up, releasing new energy.
We are seeing a consistent theme this month, as we have in the past months. (see http://www.wisdom-of-astrology.com/astrostarsarticles ) This year is the year we can make a difference. It IS the year we have to make a difference, because scientists now believe that we have only the next 3 years to turn things around with the environment before it's too late. I think we need to take it seriously – even if you only believe 'JUST IN CASE!' Gemini says listen to the news and process it.
The Sabian symbol for Mercury at 20 Gemini is: A cafeteria with an abundance of choices. This symbol indicates we need to make our own choices about our lives. We have free will. So what do you really want to do? Our culture is ever ready to give us a multitude of shopping choices to fulfill our desires, but are they really what your soul needs? Will you plant a new garden, filled with the flowers that delight You? Or will you plant the same old garden with what's easily available? On another level, this image can symbolize an array of knowledge that is waiting to be digested and integrated so that some of you bring to light new inventions and possibilities to change our world. In any case, let Mercury take you into the Unconscious and help you bring back the treasures of invention and new possibilities into your life.
Each New Moon plants the seeds of new revelations we received at the past Full Moon and its waning cycle. What happened to you at the last Scorpio Full Moon? Did you succeed in releasing old messages, old feelings, old beliefs that were buried deep inside? Where did the Full Moon fall in your chart and what planets did it aspect? That's where you had some releasing to do. Now where is this New Moon in Gemini falling in your chart? That's where you get to use the new energy. Mars in Leo will lend you the courage and assertion to speak your truth to power. So plant the energy seeds and water and weed your gardens this summer.