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I've come to realized that what comes to mind around Mercury Retrograde is based on our romantic visions and level of knowing (knowledge, wisdom and understanding). Today, I will offer you another perspective that may be outside of what you've been exposed to so far. While some people seem to be moving out of some more  dogmatic mindsets about Mercury, certain false programming about the "external" planets is still common.
For some mercury retrogrades negatively impacts communication, for others it does not. It depends on your bioconstitution.  If this doesn't sit well for you, that's ok! Our thoughts are often corrupted with misinformation from our environment. Keep an open mind and read on.

The Basics

First every planet retrogrades. You (as a one verse) also retrograde daily, multiple times, infinitely. Retrograde is an illusionary and symbolic concept which encapsulates a process of returning or resourcing. Keep in mind, you are more than a planet, you are multiple planets. Planets actually do not move backwards so neither do you. You "move" in degrees within spectrum of light. It helps to learn the difference between prograde and retrograde. It also helps to learn what is met by grade or grading.  Grade is similar to degree as in freemason's 33rd degree.
Consider, your outer expression is your male side. Your inner expression is your feminine side. Your feminine side is receptive and brings this inwards.
L. retro stands to re- as intro, "in, within"; to in, "in," and as citro, "hither," stands to cis, "on this side." [Klein]
Etymology online
 If you replace the word retrograde with the words " inward/within/stand degrees", you will get much more out of retrogrades.

Why the focus on Mercury Retrograde

Maybe because of our reliance on technology and the intellect pursuits. Fears of the feminine, melanin, and darkness also creates a warped perception of retrograding. When Saturn and Jupiter retrogrades, no one bothers to hide. Yet their effects can be much more noticeable in our day since the Western world is so Saturn and Jupiter focused.   Some obvious Mercurial energies like  Esu/Legba/Loki reminds us of our outer expression of the trickster inside.  Yes, I know some of you are thinking, Mercury is neutral. It's androgynous not neutral. It is both feminine and masculine. Neutral is neuter. Mercury is highly fertile when in balance.

What's my point?

You control the movement of the planets within you. Focusing externally is not wise for the mastering student. I actually teach against it. At least until you reach a level of mastery to control the elements outside of you. Otherwise, you are wasting your time. 

There's Power In Mercury Retrograde ... for Some!

For many Mercury Retrograde or Mercury Shadow (3 weeks before and 3 weeks after) brings good news and can be a powerful time. I’m one of those who actually enjoys those times of the year. Frankly, I’m on hyper drive. My mind so sharp during this time, I’ve been known to write an entire book in one day (seriously).
Many writers are born around this period. Many enjoy intellectual sparring, deep intellectual discussions and the sharing philosophical ideas. Another words, we love to talk. We often possess excellent communication skills (verbal and/or written), wit, and a quick mind. Those born around this time may be attracted to studying the occult or anything buried deep into the subconscious mind of the world or the universes.  Some have that dark appearance, but don’t let that fool you. Usually the depth you see mirrors the height you may not be able to see in them. "Mercury" people are deep. I recently met a Esu brother whose feminine energy is super deep. Do not equate this with homosexuality. Intense mercurial energy in a male body can exist in many forms.  (That's another topic)

Who Benefits from Mercury Retrograding

Those with Mercury retrograde in our charts, like clarity around communication and actually seek deep self exploration. Nothing we do is actually “mundane”. We tend to live a divine life. Often, we are unable to separate the unseen from the seen world.  We know only 25% of what is here is visible to the human eye. We focus on the 75% some are sometimes run away from or cannot comprehend. 
While some people may not want to know the “why?” behind their actions.  Mercurial babies love the depths.  We avoid shallow individuals or shallow conversations. People with mercury retrograde on their charts are all about clarity, clarity, and clarity.  Natural tricksters, we often surprise loved ones with unexpected remarks that go straight to the bones of the other person. We tend to have a skull or two around the house and Baron Samedi, Legba, and similar entities are part of our cipher. We are comfortable with death, cemeteries , and decomposing (ending) nature of things.
Since the retrograde also enhances psychic ability and allow for deeper transformation work for certain individuals.  Many retrograde babies have highly evolved psychic abilities.  For those in pursuit of self knowledge and spiritual development, whether or not you have Mercury in your chart, when Mercury is in retrograde it is the ideal time for deeper and more powerful inner work. Do keep in mind shadow work is not usually pretty. Stuff lingering in the shadows appear differently for various reasons.

Why Bother?

Deeper work also means higher enlightenment phases can follow (assume we do the study and training to advance our knowledge). It's not just woo woo, our intellect is intertwined with our spirituality. The key is knowing how to apply this dance in harmony.  Remember even our breathing has an inhaling phase and a release of spirits phase we call exhale. Enlightenment without transformation is just fluff or worst.  Transformation and Mercury Retrograde are partners. 
 This is one of the reasons I'm doing some serious transformation right in the middle of Mercury Retrograde.  It is an amazing time for reflection and removing old negative habits. The law of balance says something goes up something must go down. This is a great time to take a close look at that which inside you went down. Self analysis during retrospection is your focus during retrogrades - not the external world.  I no longer care about the planets outside of me.  Why? I control my inner planets. I AM that I AM. This is not a saying, but it is what I am.
Once we all realize this is the natural rhythm or cycles of nature and appreciate all inner retrograde opportunities, we can lessen the dogma. We can appreciate the personal gift of all the retrogrades. 
Find ways to embrace the unexpected during this time
Finds ways to express your Soul’s desires
Seek the deeper meaning instead of just the surface perspective
Reduce man-made or other “fake” stuff and spend more time with nature and with your inner nature
Pay attention to your dreams and night vision
Embrace your fears
Stop hiding behind something someone told you (including me), If you want to truly KNOW, you must experience it for yourself
Practice “lucid” dreaming or alertness during our night visions
Connect with your ancestors (the live ones, not the dead ones)
Go deep into your subconscious to flush out old conditioning
Observe how mercury affects your unique chemistry instead of what you’ve been told, you might be surprised what you rediscover
Avoid judging, become more observant during this time. You might be surprised
Dates when Mercury Retrograde in YOU!
August 13 to September 5
December 3 to 23
Ok, nuff said. Peace!

Learn about my work at www.sodotutu.net
Originally published in September 19, 2015

Published by Irmina Tutu