Blame it on Mercury
I walk down the staircase,
Back to the other place
That I cannot go.
"Staircase", Radiohead (2008)
While you've been feeling unusually awkward, absent-minded, foggy or unfocused of late, you might blame it on good old Mercury moving backwards. With his caduceus and winged sandals, he was used as messenger by the Roman gods (he was also known as Hermes in Greece and Thot in Egypt). He was also the patron god of traders and travellers. On the 15th of May, during the Mercuralia festival, merchants would celebrate him by sprinkling their heads and merchandise with water taken from his sacred well at Porta Capena, in Rome.
His name was of course given to the smallest and closest planet to the Sun due to its velocity. Its astronomical symbol is a circle set on a cross topped with a half-ring shaped like horns as a reminder of Mercury's caduceus. In astrology, Mercury is the ruler of Gemini, the zodiac sign of the mind, communication, trade and travel which it is currently transiting — in retrograding motion from 22th May to 12th June after which it'll turn direct again. This backward movement is actually an illusion that results from the Earth orbiting the Sun at higher speed.
Retrograding transits are usually periods of transition and profound changes, delays occurring to redirect your awareness or activities. Now, with Mercury retrograde, you have to focus your mental energy inside rather than outside as you usually would. This is therefore not a good time to communicate with others nor to engage in transactions or travel. But it is the perfect time to meditate, reflect, investigate, carry out self-examination and see things differently. And if you're feeling kind of blue or down at the moment, you may also blame it on the arm twisting game between Mercury and Neptune, an incredibly nebulous planet, that might cloud issues, making us less practical and thus more prone to hasty outbursts and deceit. Patience and prudence are the keywords there.
- "Hermes" by Valerhon
- Other items from various sources
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