Mercury stations retrograde in the 16th degree of Libra at 6:04 pm UT on 17th September. Conjunct Black Moon Lilith and squaring Pluto as it does so, it alerts us to the fact that obsessions may abound in the coming weeks, taking hold of our mind and convincing us that ‘if such and such doesn’t happen or so and so doesn’t do what I want all hope is lost!!’ (Panic! Panic!). We may find ourselves desperately trying to steer events and other people in one direction while everything else steers them seemingly off course. A sure-fire recipe for conflict, these are powerful energies we need to harness for positive outcomes not egoic satisfaction.
In fact that sense of urgency and stress is an illusion, no matter how demanding it feels. In between the solar eclipse and the lunar eclipse on 28th September, we may be sensing just how much we cannot control in our lives: all those things outside our authority that we simply have to live with. This burgeoning awareness of our constrained influence on the order of creation can trigger anxiety and fear. We need control to feel safe, secure, worthy, meaningful, influential. We may resist the fact that what happens in our life is not all about our desires but is shaped by something far greater, a resistance which often grows precisely when it would most serve us to simply accept this fact! ‘Why me?!’, we cry when taken unawares by some unwelcome turn of events. To which the universe replies ‘Why not?!’, as it goes on its merry way. And therein lays the rub: why not us? Life is simply sometimes ‘unfair’, outcomes are sometimes unjust. To believe that every moment of disappointment or defeat is wrong, a ‘misfire’ of creation, overlooks the profound complexity of the world in which we live, its many dimensions and endless interweaving of past, present and future, orders of being and the unique individual with the unified whole.
The word ‘bless’ comes from an Old English word which means ‘blood’ and is connected to the French word ‘blesser’ meaning ‘to wound’. This unsettling root of such an apparently positive concept is worth bearing in mind in the coming weeks which may present blessings in unlikely forms, hidden beneath the gnarled surface of life’s challenges. Sometimes, to awaken us more deeply life itself must break through egoic casings that keep us divorced from direct experience of its power. Every moment we spend trying to force life to adopt the shape we think it ‘should’ take is a moment in which we tell the universe we know better than aeons of time and space that hasn’t yet failed to sustain itself, to maintain momentum no matter what; that our few decades on this planet, up against the billions of years Mother Nature has reigned here, have endowed us with greater wisdom than her natural cycles of birth, growth, fulfilment, demise, death and rebirth!
This passage of Mercury retrograde, occuring entirely within an eclipse season, is set to be a powerful one which reveals both ‘blood and blessing’ in equal measure. Sometimes we must be knocked hard to penetrate our defensiveness or denial, pushed over the edge to reveal our inner strength and inherent wisdom. Which brings us back to the issue of obsession, for if we believe there’s only one way our life will work, only one formation of circumstance we can live with, we may find ourselves obsessing over how to get what we think we need, instead of relaxing into what life may offer up in its stead. This is what creates power-games in relationships, acts of aggressive will which deny the rights of others, deceptions to keep the boat of our existence from capsizing. Any over-zealousness on our part should ring alarm bells now, for there are always more possibilities than the ones we perceive and we may never encounter the one that breaks us open in the right place to reveal our inner riches, if we insist on deciding when and where we make our own shifts.
During these three weeks faith is paramount, patience is key and a willingness to support each other through the ups and downs of an intense time will turn strife into the ingredients for awakening and challenge into the fuel that keeps us conscious. This is pretty much the most powerful month of the year and no one is immune from that power. But equally, none are immune from its blessings either, delivered directly into the core of our lives, at those places where we most need their healing touch.