Yes, it’s here — whether you knew it or not! Mercury appears to be traveling backward in the sky. And this month’s Mercury Rx cycle happens in Leo and has a lot to teach us.
If you know a bit about Jyotish, skip to the end for my take on what we can learn from this cycle. Otherwise, buckle up if you’d like to learn a few things…
Firstly, I’ll just add that every one of us has a different relationship with Leo, depending on what our Ascendant (or Rising Sign) is according to Vedic Astrology. This is different than our western astrology “sun sign” that we find in the newspaper, based on solely our date of birth.
For some of us, Leo points to our career, or our relationships… for others, it might point to what we inherited coming into this lifetime, or our sense of self. That is the detailed analysis you can get from a more thorough birth chart reading.
On a general level, we can all understand two things…
When we put these two together, we can see the thematic medicine in this cycle — which is happening until September 15th.
Three-ish times a year, Mercury appears to be moving in reverse. From our vantage point on earth, this is actually an illusion. Mercury doesn’t go backward. No planets do. Essentially, he’s moving along the inner circle of a track around the Sun, whereas Earth is running on an outer circle. We’re getting “passed” by Mercury because he’s moving fast on his smaller track.
Throughout human history, cultures have viewed planets as archetypes that help contextualize life on Earth — like symbols in nature or pop culture. Little Red Riding Hood is an archetype. Madonna is an archetype. The seasons are archetypes.
Mercury is an archetype for intellect and discernment. In Vedic Astrology (or Jyotish - the astrology that was nurtured in India) we associate Mercury with communication, speaking, and the intellectual side of our mind. “Thinking on it,” “Thinking out loud” and “Speaking your mind” are all Mercury-related concepts.
During his retrograde, we can use Mercury’s illusion of backward motion as a mirror for what’s happening inside ourselves. Perhaps we’ve been hitting roadblocks, skipping details, or struggling to communicate. These times remind us to simply pause, call ourselves out, and get to work.
For me, unexpected setbacks or roadblocks are like course corrections from the universe. Like: Here, little human. This is the path forward that you couldn’t see before. No need to be frustrated. Take my hand and I’ll show you…
So we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and take a step or two in the new direction. Whether Mercury “causes” setbacks or not remains to be seen — and will likely never be known.
This I know for sure: The more time we spend looking backward at “what could have been,” or saying to ourselves, “if only,” the more time we spend NOT moving forward on this new magical path we’ve been offered.
Secondly, let’s examine Leo.
As a sign, Leo is represented by the Lion — the king of the jungle. On one side, a king can rule benevolently. Soaking up the spotlight, and using the power of that light for the good of all concerned. On the flipside, the blind king is an archetype we see in the Bhagavad Gita — he represents unconscious living. Staying unaware of life and the lessons it offers, even though they’re right in front of us.
So. For simplicity’s sake, here’s what I’m feeling for this cycle in my own life. Maybe it resonates with you, too?
MERCURY’S MESSAGE IN LEO
We all have power. Personal power, professional power. Power we worked for, and power we’ve been given. We have platforms. We have leadership roles. We are teachers of one thing or another.
I find myself asking: Why am I choosing to act the way I do? Are the underlying motivations for booking this, or selecting that rooted in divine purpose? Or egoic tendencies?
Am I leading as a benevolent king — allowing nature to sing its song through me, being my brightest self, and seeing abundance around every corner?
Or am I the blind king? Sinking into scarcity and old patterns that no longer serve my highest purpose? Showing up as a version of myself that I’ve curated to please others?
If I have trouble discerning between the two, I stop trying to “think it through.” Best to stop thinking all together, during Mercury Rx! I simply return to my practices for listening in, and tuning in. I journal. I sit still and meditate. I pull cards. I write and watercolor. During these moments — and only then — do the answers bubble up from within.
This idea of “how am I shining” will be on my mind for the next few weeks. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Would love to hear from you!
It feels like just yesterday I was on the banks of the Ganga.
After a month of intensive training in India, I was days away from returning home in late December 2018. The experience had, quite simply, changed my life. I made a promise to myself that I’d keep up my 30-minute morning mediation practice.
Easier said than done…
By 2020, my 30-minute routine was becoming difficult to keep up with. The gold stars I got everyday from the Insight Timer didn’t delight me as they once did. I felt guilty, like I’d let myself down.
Why did a practice that once felt so full of life, now feel so stale?
This was right around the time I started studying the ancient science of light, Jyotish / Vedic Astrology. I discovered quickly that as an Aries Ascendent, it’s in my nature to crave newness, adventure, action. New beginnings aren’t a struggle — I thrive on newness. This is particularly laughable when you consider how many times I moved yoga studios around the Flathead Valley. I opened Yoga Hive Montana in 7 different spaces over six years!
It all made more sense. I made more sense.
I dropped the guilt and started bringing newness and spontaneity into my everyday practice.
Some days I’ll pull a card or three and journal. Watercolor painting has been a fun twist I’ve added this summer — as has writing more often. Meditating outside has also been powerful — sometimes with my eyes open, and sometimes closed.
Even more recently, after I sink into my mantra, I’ve been intentionally meeting my loved ones in visions. I journey back to my childhood home to visit with the version of my dad that I’ve lost to his ongoing battle with Alzheimer’s. Or just recently I journeyed to the 90s version of my grandmother’s home. I walked around, remembering everything I could, even tiny details like the feeling of the buttons on the television.
I’m simply allowing newness to flow inside the stability of my everyday practice — to honor my promise to myself I made in my yoga training all those years ago. This has made all the difference.
Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Mollie is a cheesehead transplant to Northwest Montana, with degrees in Retail and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, she lives off the grid, half the year in a Tiny House & half the year in a yurt — both of which she and her husband, Sean, built by hand. Nonprofit Executive Director by day, Mollie also owns and teaches at Yoga Hive — a chain of community yoga studios in the valley.