I work with the Lunar Cycle by setting attention at New Moon. The idea is that the seed of attention will be illuminated by the Full Moon two weeks later. This New Moon in Cancer will be illuminated by the Full Moon in Aquarius on July 22nd so I set my attention around Cancer seeds and Aquarius illumination. This month's were a little too private to share, but the general idea was explore and surrender to the emotional depths that need nurturing (Cancer) so I can further expand my consciousness and realize a new way of being (Aquarius). Anyone else in the midst of emotional throwdown right now? If you are, seek comfort in knowing you're right on track, that this discomfort will bring opportunity for healing and growth, and that it's about to get easier.
Notice also that Mercury is directly between Earth and Sun. The exact Sun-Mercury Conjunction actually occurred today (7/9/13) around noon PST. I guess we could call this New Mercury and it means we're exactly halfway through the current three week Mercury Retrograde cycle. Seems like a good time to talk about Retrogrades.
In the second solar system image above, Mercury is beginning to pass Earth. This is the beginning of the Mercury Retrograde cycle. In the third image, Mercury has reached conjunction with the Sun. That's today (7/9/13). This means Mercury is exactly between Earth and Sun in what I call New Mercury position. In the fourth image, Mercury's pass is complete and it "stations direct" in the sky or appears to be moving naturally, west to east again.
Do Planetary Retrograde cycles really have psychological influence over us? My beliefs are more in line with the idea that planets reflect our internal processes according to the Hermetic wisdom, "As Above, So Below; As Within, So Without." Regardless, if there is indeed a physical mechanism for planetary psychological effects, be it gravitational, electromechanical, or by some force we have not yet "discovered," it would probably make sense that such effects are amplified when the planets are closest to earth. A retrograde cycles occurs when Earth is closest to the planet that appears to be moving backwards.
Mercury orbits the Sun every 88 days, but because we're also orbiting the Sun, it takes about 116 days for Mercury to return to the same position in the Zodiac as seen from Earth. This means Mercury passes Earth 365/116 = 3.15 times annually so we have three Mercury Retrograde cycles every year, each lasting about three weeks. This year, the Mercury Retrograde cycles happen in the water signs. 2/23-3/17 was in Pisces, the current cycle 6/26-7/20 is in Cancer, and the final cycle 10/21-11/10 will be in Scorpio.
If we celebrate New Moons by setting attention, why not celebrate New Mercury in similar fashion? One of the unique gifts of Shamanic Astrology is its teaching around how to work with the Synodic Cycles of Mercury, Venus, and Mars. It would take a whole lot of writing to detail this here and I can't give away our secrets :), but I will tell you that Mercury is currently undergoing it's Pisces synthesis and metamorphosis to Cancer.
It's a time to set attention around your thinking function (Mercury). Allow yourself to continue looking into the watery depths of your emotions. Set your attention around nurturing (Cancer) the many past wounds (Pisces) that have been called to your awareness since February. Set your attention around birthing (Cancer) the many dreams (Pisces) you have dreamt. Perhaps the one will lead to the other.
From the Pressurized Waters of the Deep,