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A Desperate Attempt to Claw Words out of Mercury Retrograde

Mercury is in Retrograde, almost out of it. Such things I try to take very seriously and not at all seriously because they are not necessarily conducive to living. For instance, a person is advised not to make decisions, sign paperwork, create travel plans, or execute travel plans during this time, an unrealistic set of limitations. I believe Mercury was Rx when I closed on my house last year. This year, I spontaneously accepted an out-of-state invitation, booked a flight, and went on the trip itself all within the window of Mercury Rx. I’ve also had several career conversations, many of which were formal and highly consequential.

So what is the point of dwelling on the effects of a planet representing communication vaguely appearing to move backward in our actual lives? Many astrologers frame this as a time to re-evaluate, re-vise, amend even. For me as a non-native speaker of astrological conventions, I just try to use it as a reminder to give myself a little grace. Today is Wednesday, or in French, mercredi, the day of Mercury, so as good a time as any to try to wedge a message into this stalled freight train.

I am someone who can pour words out of myself in volumes far greater than the size of the vessel. The past few weeks, it has felt more like wringing a few drops of sentience out of a barely damp towel. I’ve fallen behind on the publishing schedule for RRR, deadlines no one is holding us to. No one is setting their clock or arranging their day around the expectation of a blog post–which isn’t to say that you don’t find them delightful or stirring in some sense because why else would we do this–and this is an important fact to remind myself.

A preliminary piece of writing I am working on for a client about a topic on which I am typically effusive felt laborious, and when I finally eeked something out, I told her, “I am sorry this took longer than expected. It just feels like I’m moving through mud the past few days.” She understood. I can count at least ten instances where I’ve reached out in ways that felt incredibly important to me, whether for business or interpersonal connections, and all I’ve heard are crickets in return. I have to wonder if, as sometimes happens, something will dislodge in a few days or weeks and all at once my existential inbox will overflow.

At the very least, accounting for Mercury Rx keeps me from spiraling into the troubling self-talk that I’m screaming from a void, that responses (or lack of responses) to me are reflections of me. Trust me, as a mother of small children and an insane puppy, it is a daily battle not to take it personally that “ignored” is an accurate description for yourself at least half of the time.

Through all this, however, I have also received messages I would not have expected. I apologized for a transgression years’ past only to find that the person I thought I had wronged remembered me fondly. Two different strangers delivered explicit, unsolicited, and unexpected messages derived from their own intuition specifically to me about my life. I made new connections and deepened some existing ones.

Perhaps because my expressive energy was dulled, I focused a great deal on my receptive energy. I have, in the past, literally screamed at another human being the phrase, “MY EARS ARE NOT YOUR TRASH CAN!” While this was true, the fact that anyone might ever use my presence as a verbal dumping ground is absolutely a precedent I set for them. When I was a teenager, one of the adults who guided our youth group told me that I was disarming. I had a quality that encouraged honesty and confidence.

Subconsciously, that disarming quality became my bread and butter. Whatever I had going on was such that grown adults wanted to talk to me? What a superpower! That really stuck with me. It stuck with me so much that I became an adult with a pretty unbalanced orientation to communication. I was a reliable friend and confidante, but I felt drained most of the time, and I became pretty resentful that people seemed more interested in talking to me than hearing about me. What I often overlook, however, is that I am generally dismissive of the question, “How are you?” I volley that shit right back over the net and really get to the meat of someone’s day.

If nothing else, I can be an excellent mirror. I value helping people see themselves far and above the value I place on being seen. Then I write my heart out to make up for all the things I don’t say in conversation. That isn’t sustainable or stable or healthy for me. What a lesson to learn over and over and over again! Wouldn’t it be nice if our solutions embedded themselves into our minds as easily as our problems?

I can’t speed forward to the day where this is no longer a problem, but this Mercury Rx has shown me how far I’ve come as a receiver. I still can (and often do) overextend and drain myself, but I also assert boundaries more than I ever did before, and I prioritize relationships with people who insist on a more even exchange. A new friend remarked that it isn’t every day we’re able to slip so effortlessly into authentic, meaningful conversation, and I was reminded of what a great gift it is to receive others well when you do so in balance.

All that said, I still am really hoping that the coming month increases my speed and brings my output back to a normal level because we have a LOT on the agenda for the next few months. We have advice and stories around Pride, stellar new authors to feature, music and vacation reviews on deck, and some very big announcements coming.

It’s awfully late in the day for a “rabbit rabbit,” but we are still so new to June 2022, it feels acceptable to repeat the morning’s refrain. So rabbit rabbit, and best wishes to all throughout this month.

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