We are getting ready for the first Mercury Retrograde of this year, on Saturday 23 February, and this time it is in the emotional water sign Pisces. This feels like a double dose of the same thing really, as the nature of Mercury retrograde and the energy of Pisces are quite similar: they both favour right brain, intuitive, non-linear thinking over left brain, rational, logical thinking. My sense is that it might be a little hard to concentrate and focus during this retrograde period, as Mercury in Pisces is known for being quite dreamy, spacey and somewhat reluctant to stay in the real world! We might also experience vague, irrational fears and anxiety, and Pisces is a very emotional sign with a tendency to make things seem real which are in fact not real at all. It seems like a good way to handle this retrograde period is to go with the flow and not try too hard to concentrate or make concrete decisions, but rather spend some time alone in meditation and see what comes up.

Mercury retrograde is an ideal time to take a step back and re-evaluate, revise, re-visit, restore, review, re-think, relax, research, renew, reflect....all the “re” words! It is not so much a time for moving forward with plans and making concrete decisions but rather is a time for looking back over our lives and contemplating what is working and what might need some adjustment. It is an ideal time to look at our lives with a different pair of eyes and a fresh perspective. We should take this opportunity to pause for a little while and reflect, because there might be an important piece of the puzzle that we have missed when we were busy trundling forward with our lives. The planet of the mind and communication in Pisces adds a certain fluidity to our thoughts and heightens our intuitive faculties, so it is important to heed our inner voices at this time. Pisces can also make things a bit confusing and create smoke screens and veils of illusion, so things may not exactly be as they seem in the next few weeks! Communication could become a bit cloudy and confusing and our minds may tend to wander off. On the other hand our thoughts and communication could take on a much more compassionate, empathetic tone, as Pisces is a very sensitive, emotional sign who thinks of others first.

As with all Mercury retrogrades I would urge everyone to maintain a sense of humour, as anything connected with communication or travel may be subject to confusion, delay and disruption at this time! As such, if phones or computers start acting up or we experience car problems or delays in travel it would be best to have faith that it must be happening for some good reason that we are not yet aware of, and then we will feel far less frustrated! Similarly, we must be aware that misunderstandings and miscommunication can easily occur during Mercury retrograde and that it is better to take it with a pinch of salt rather than getting too upset about it! Something else that can happen during retrograde periods is that people from our past may pop up unexpectedly, or we may revisit events from our past that we have long forgotten. As I said, this is a time for looking back rather than forging ahead. We can do that when Mercury turns direct.

With Pisces involved in the picture this really is a good time to focus on meditation, healing, relaxation and creativity, and we may not have much choice in the matter anyway! We are likely to feel a distinct lack of focus and find ourselves to staring off into space, so instead of feeling guilty about our lack of concentration it would be better to simply embrace it and take time to sit and be quiet and still. A wonderful Pisces activity would be having a bath with some soothing music, quietening the mind and seeing what floats up into our consciousness. Many of the personal planets are in Pisces right now, emphasising the chaotic, flowing, irrational, imaginative, sensitive, intuitive, emotional, compassionate side of our nature rather than the organised, rational, logical side. We will probably not feel quite so driven as at other times and our energy levels might fluctuate, depending on our mood. Our imaginations may well be stimulated, to the point where they could even run away with us, creating irrational fears, delusions and anxiety. We may feel more of a desire to escape reality than usual, and escapism can take many forms, from drugs and alcohol to computer games, or television, or sleep.

I feel like the best way to handle this retrograde period is to get plenty of rest and go with the flow, in true Pisces style! It is much better to float along with the current of the river rather than trying to battle against it! If we find it hard to concentrate we shouldn't force ourselves to, but should make sure that we listen to the quiet, inner voice in case it is trying to tell us something important. If our minds go off on a tangent, simply follow it and see where it leads! This is an ideal time for sensitively healing ourselves and others as our compassionate and intuitive faculties will be much heightened. We should make time to sit in silence and see what comes to us, for this is perfect time for bringing old issues up to the surface and finding resolution, making peace with our past. Our dreams may well be much more vivid than usual and have much to teach us, so keeping a dream diary could be of great benefit. This retrograde period offers us the opportunity to reflect on our lives with compassionate understanding, allowing us to truly forgive others and most importantly ourselves. Mercury retrograde doesn't have to be an annoying, frustrating time, but used wisely can be a time to take a step back and reflect, review and renew. It's all a question of perspective!

Mercury enters retrograde zone on 08 Feb 2013 (so we will have started feeling it's effects)
TURNS RETROGRADE ON 23 FEBRUARY 2013 (at its strongest just before and after 23rd)
TURNS DIRECT ON 17 MARCH 2013 (at its strongest just before and after 17th)
Leaves retrograde zone on 6 April 2013 (energy wanes)

Much love



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