25 Jul Soul Conductor ~ Mercury Retrograde in Leo – July 25th-August 19th, 2018
“The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.”
– David Bowie
On July 25th, 2018 Mercury will station retrograde in the fire sign of Leo. This is deep into eclipse season and concurrent with the agonizing Mars‘ retrograde, so the month of August may be a very challenging period for many. The spotlight of your mental focus will shift from the external towards the internal reality where myth, memory and magic mingle together.
In astrology, Mercury is the symbol for human intellect, the capacity for language and analysis. Naturally, Mercury is also associated with technology and commerce. Thus, in the Information Age, there is no archetypal power more resounding than Mercury, whose influence is felt in the mass media, commercial travel, information technology and of course, the internet itself.
And what if something breaks down? This is the fear that haunts all technocratic cultures. Many readers of astrology fear Mercury retrograde periods. Truthfully, there is nothing to fear except that these periods ask you to face the shadow of your society’s technological progress.
Don’t let me hear you say life’s taking you nowhere, angel
It must be noted that Mercury retrogrades do NOT cause breakdowns in travel and communications. There is no proof of causality in astrology. But synchronistically, they seem to test anything prone to fragility, including technology, rigid thinking, and poor planning. Should you experience a technological malfunction or a communication issue, seek to understand the symbolic message that underlies the problem.
The way to reclaim peace of mind is to allow for these intermittent warbling periods. Like an actor responding to the other players on stage, you must learn to gracefully shift when Mercury shifts. You will now be afforded time for deeper self-reflection and remembrance.
It should be noted that Mercury derives his power from dynamic flexibility, from an androgynous and ambiguous nature. This is why all readers of astrology should learn to appreciate Mercury retrograde periods, since these are the most opportune times for promoting collective neuroplasticity.
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Retrograde periods should teach you that Mercury is more than a sped up info-phile caught on a linear track towards progress. Mercury is your perception of the logos, the principle of divine mind and creative order.
Look at that sky, life’s begun
Nights are warm and the days are young
Rather than letting your thoughts get tangled up, it is much wiser to pause, observing the dilation of the inward gaze. Relax and try to enjoy the change in atmosphere. Mercury retrogrades bear the gift of revelation, reaching far beyond literalism and analysis into the deeper mysteries of the mind.
“All learning is remembering.”
One such mystery of the mind is the philosophical understanding that all learning is a form of remembering. This is famously discussed in Plato’s dialogue Meno, where Socrates describes the human soul as immortal, having seen the truth of all things. He goes on to say that upon birth, this truth is forgotten and that learning is the recollection or anamnêsis of what is already known.
There’s my baby, lost that’s all
Once I’m begging you save her little soul
To remember is to reclaim lost knowledge.
Ancient Greco-Roman myths describe Mercury as the traveler that weaves the overworld and underworld together with glittering threads of remembrance. Mythologically speaking, Mercury is categorized as a psychopomp. The etymology of this word reveals its literal meaning to be “Soul Conductor”. (psukho, “soul”) + (pompós, “conductor”)
…save her little soul
As a soul conductor, Mercury’s retrograde periods are the times when the subconscious and symbolic aspects of your consciousness really begin to shine. Imagine these weeks as an opportunity to open your mind to the art of remembering.
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Mercury’s retrograde period will last a little more than three weeks, from July 25th – August 18th. In the fire sign of Leo, Mercury is gifted with a fierce desire for authentic self- expression. With so much retrospective capacity, you may drift back into vivid memories of who you most wanted to emulate as a child.
In walked luck and you looked in time
Never look back, walk tall, act fine
Inspired once again by these glittering images of beauty and heroism, you may find yourself speaking more directly from your heart. Let your words and gestures overflow with a dramatic flair that warms and inspires.
I’ll stick with you baby for a thousand years
Nothing’s gonna touch you in these golden years, gold
Since Mercury retrogrades spill over with subconscious perceptions, your heartfelt words may tumble together with eruptions of free-associating synesthesia. Watch out for fatal Freudian slips.
On August 8th, Mercury will find his closest position to the Earth as he merges with the Sun upon the same degree of Leo. This phenomenon is termed Mercury’s inferior conjunction and it marks a moment for Mercurial energies to be refreshed, reset, and reborn. The collective mind is bathed in golden light.
To work with the influence of Leo is to learn to handle the highs and lows of life’s drama with flourishing grace.
Don’t cry my sweet, don’t break my heart
Doing all right, but you gotta get smart
Since Leo is a sign that create our sense of character and persona, use the spirit of this Mercury retrograde to recreate your performance.
Where has your role in life become lifeless and dull? Free yourself from robotic behaviors, remembering what it is that fills you with passion! Think of this Mercury Retrograde in Leo as a golden opportunity to remember yourself.
Run for the shadows in these golden years
The whole season of Leo inspires a more conscientious performance of your Self, which demands the creation of an artful persona. The sign of Leo is about developing the Self into an instrument that plays with life force, knowing courage, sexual vitality, and artistic genius to be like various rays of the golden Sun.
I’m an instant star. Just add water and stir.
In Leo, everything shines with nobility and regality. By the end of this retrograde, you should feel encouraged to offer a memorable performance, one that leaves an indelible mark upon the world.
To stand in the golden light of Leo is to make life into art. For inspiration, let’s examine the work of David Bowie who made an entire career out of inventing glamorous and enigmatic personas. Indulging fully in celebrity, David Bowie’s art was always a mercurial mixture of light and dark; high and low; masculine and feminine.
Inspired by memories of his youth, David Bowie originally wrote the song Golden Years for one of his musical heroes, Elvis Presley. But when that offer fell through, Bowie decided to record the song himself for his 1976 album, Station to Station. The sound of the album was a kind of futuristic nostalgia and Golden Years was a big enough hit to earn a performance on the television show, Soul Train.
“I sunk myself back into the music that I considered the bedrock of all popular music: R&B and soul.”
As the soul conductor, on Station to Station David Bowie introduced a glamorous new persona called the Thin White Duke, an alluring villain with an imperious attitude and a degenerate cocaine habit. And yet, from behind this decadent persona, the songs on Station to Station remain illumined by heartfelt emotion.
Wish upon, wish upon, day upon day, I believe oh Lord
I believe all the way
Since it was written for Elvis, Golden Years is a totally accessible song, a soul-funk ballad embellished by prayerful lyrics. But as befitting such a mercurial songwriter, it also embodies paradox. It is a love song, tinged by an ominous tone. It is an ode to youth, haunted by fear.
I believe all the way
The paradox found in David Bowie’s work offers a perfect accompaniment to this Mercury retrograde period, where conflicting perceptions tend to erupt and dissonance abounds.
This three-week period is a chance to distill your perception of the present through myth and memory, summoning a new depth of character. Enjoy this Mercury Retrograde for what it is: a passionate dance with the primal forces of creation!
Run for the shadows, run for the shadows
Run for the shadows in these golden years
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