It’s a habit of mine to spend time in nature each weekend if I can. The Chicago are is full of forest preserves and state parks, and each one, although generally flat prairie, is a little different. There’s even a national park nearby, Midewin, where they’re regrowing the wild prairie and even have a herd of buffalo I have yet to see but hopefully will on the next visit.
And why not? My time is all my own: it always has been, it’s just that there’s no one else to be responsible for, and I have not been able to fulfill my Saturnian needs to have someone to be responsible for. I think the full moon shed a little light on that for me, and I think it’s okay. I’m not in a rush to go back to managing life for two. I’m getting used to things as they are. I’m getting used to being able to do whatever I want on the weekends. I’m getting used to making coffee for one. I’m getting used to being able to eat all the guacamole by myself. I’m getting used to playing Motown in the morning, texting into the wee hours, and having no one leaving urine on the floor in front of the toilet.
Life still has meaning even if I don’t have a shared purpose or shared goal with one other person – my Pluto is in the 7th in Libra, intercepted – but I can have a shared purpose or a shared goal with my entire generation, right?
I’ve been single for about a year and a half now, and it’s just life now. There was a loss, but I’m not looking to fill the hole where there once was a partner, or rather, that hole has shrunk and the rest is filled with myself, no scar.
But now that Mercury, the ruler of my 7th house, is retrograde in Libra in my 7th house (intercepted) and once again transiting Pluto there, it’s time to rethink partnerships and alliances.
So I’ve written before that I don’t actually mind Mercury retrograde. I was born during the retrograde, and this kind of energy makes me feel less out of step with the world. It’s during the retrograde that I feel like I have a firmer grip, as if I’ve been using echolocation to find my way my entire life and for a few weeks each year, the entire world goes dark. Even though the rest of the year I just sound like a freak making squawking noises while walking down the street, it’s my world now. Sure, I still seem like a freak to anyone who has the ability to set aside their own problems and look at me for a minute, but I’m a freak who is going places.
Not that the retrograde doesn’t affect me, either. Small things get screwed up, especially schedules, especially the things I try to say when I can’t just say whatever I want (which is every day at work). The difference is that is doesn’t bother me because this is just how life is for me, and I have figured out how to adapt.
Now, the fact that it’s transiting my natal Pluto is a thing, because it’s transiting natal Pluto for a lot of people my age, and those of us from the ages of about 38 – 43 are confronted with the question of where our power is. Generation X and the Xennials share Pluto in Libra. We grew up the same. We were un-parented latchkeys who were subject to the Satanic panic, Reaganism, threat of nuclear annihilation, the terror of AIDS, the misinformation and racial targeting of the war on drugs, MTV, and an offline childhood. When we were growing up, there was still cigarette smoke everywhere, feminism was still a punchline, and everything was either brown and orange or pink and white, no exceptions, clothes were uncomfortable and made you look like a pile of triangles, and people still believed that radiation came out of the television and could hurt your eyes (but the cigarette smoke was fine, I guess).
The 80’s sucked, guys, except for two things:
- cereal, and
If there’s one way to imagine the entire decade of the 80s, imagine heaping piles of Styrofoam, plastic, fluorescent-colored shit, and brown furniture stuffed in the back of a station wagon with Reagan’s pruny ass sitting in the driver’s seat, laughing to himself as he smokes cigarette after cigarette with the windows rolled up while a white baby who was last seen on a milk carton chokes in the back while Madonna plays on the cassette player.
But that wasn’t the point.
The point is that a portion of this generation is going to get a rubber band to the neck with Mercury retrograde, and it could just be a “hey, remember us?” or a “wait a minute, what about us?” because I think that now that everyone knows that 1) we’re not in the fight between Boomers and everyone else because Boomers damned well know they can’t live without us since no one else is going to pay into their Social Security funds or go to the nursing home to change their diapers, 2) we’re the ones who are raising today’s kids, and 3) we are the dreaded Karens and Chets.
And there’s a lot of things you could be upset with us about. For starters, we normalized shitty tattoos. We also became helicopter parents and basically made it illegal for a child to be autonomous in any fashion until they’re 18 and now they’re afraid to do anything and we wonder why. We also created the Wild West of Internet culture and the exhibitionism and the trolling. We’re doing nothing to make sure Millennials and Zoomers have the retirement benefits and work/life balance most of us have, nor have we done anything to make sure they have the same opportunities for entrepreneurship as we did. We’re the last generation to have something like affordable college, and we’re not trying harder to ensure that for others or trying hard enough to cancel student debt. We let our parents ruin Facebook, thought we could contain them, but now they’re leaking out all over social media. Oh, and Twitter? That cesspool is totally our fault. We really are the slacker generation still.
But what we have made for ourselves that cannot be undone – represented by Pluto – is up for questioning. Now, granted, it is like every year, but so far, the opportunity has presented itself every year, and every year since like 2001, no one has asked the question, no one has taken us to task.
I’m wondering if this year, if our Libra foundation will be questioned. Have we been lazy, playing both sides, or just letting everyone else do the heavy lifting because we made something pretty? I can’t tell you; I don’t know. It’s hazy to me, largely because my own Pluto is intercepted in the 7th house, and relationships are my transformative thing even though I don’t realize it at the time.
What I am expecting is something to do with revisiting partnerships or partnerships that changed me, or a transformative relationship with a Mercury retrograde type or a transformative relationship that has a Mercury retrograde character.
It’s probably just as weird and unsettling as you can imagine. What is a Mercury retrograde type person? A secret admirer? A stalker? Maybe both? Perfect. Maybe they’ll meet under my bedroom window some autumn night and duke it out, and it will spill out into the alley and then into the parking lot, and they’ll break my taillight because it’s still Mercury retrograde.
But it could be someone who has secret or deep thoughts, perhaps someone who has a telepathic link to me in some way — it could just be picking up on someone’s telepathic signals this Mercury retrograde or someone who reads way too much into things I say and write…or someone who reads way too much into the things I say and write but gets it.
But since Mercury retrograde is staying in my intercepted Libra, I may not be aware of this right away, or even looking for it.
But one thing I am interested in lately is how people in the Pluto in Libra generation have changed interpersonal interactions or have had it changed for them, because with Pluto, it can change just when you think you’re comfortable.
But Mercury Retrograde in Libra? Still not a big deal.
I’m of the mind that Mercury retrograde isn’t a big deal. It isn’t. Mercury is a tiny planet that rules little things. It doesn’t actually make big things happen. The fact that your ex texts you after all this time isn’t a big deal, or that you miss an appointment, or that your train is late isn’t a big deal. Mercury retrograde doesn’t cause trains to derail, or exes to break into your house and kill you, or for you to miss the last flight off the planet before the aliens blow it up. It can make you confused about something, but it can’t launch you into a full-blown existential crisis. It can make you forget to take your vitamins, but it can’t make you start growing tumors suddenly.
Mercury retrograde in Libra can affect Libran things in a minor way. Yes, you may hear back from an old business partner, or old sex partner, or some peer you haven’t heard from in a while. You may have to deal with a minor legal annoyance, like a traffic camera ticket or a missed toll because your transponder didn’t work at the moment. You may find that social events are cancelled, dates not confirmed but the other person shows up anyway. You may find that plans to relax or indulge are postponed or thwarted. You may also find that you misunderstand people and think they’re going to do things for you that they didn’t think they agreed to do. You may also find that your attempts to be passive-aggressive fall on deaf ears.
Sure, these things may be a big deal to you, but chances are, nothing that happens during Mercury retrograde changes the course of your life unless there are other factors at play, so you can literally do whatever you want during Mercury retrograde that you would otherwise do when Mercury is direct.
What we never seem to talk about is why Mercury retrograde triggers or motivates us to do things like contact that ex. After all, it’s not just a bunch of astrologers or astrology enthusiasts receiving the fruits of a Mercury retrograde; we’re all affected, so during the “us” season, I think maybe we can explore our own reasons for becoming someone’s weird ex, someone’s inattentive neighbor, someone’s hapless employee, etc.
This is your brain on Mercury retrograde
The reason you reach out and contact your ex isn’t because of Mercury retrograde, but rather, the regular barriers that would keep you from doing so aren’t up. They’ve been on your mind, someone you want to contact anyway (otherwise, you wouldn’t, right), but now, the gates have sunk into the ground a little. What they did, how the relationship went, how you felt, all that jazz is coming out of the dirt, and you’re wondering now. You’re wondering where your closure is. You’re wondering why they still insist that you’re the bad guy when they cheated on you. You’re wondering how they could have such a nice life on social media when you recall that they seemed almost incapable of enjoying anything in life. All of these questions have always been in the dirt; Mercury retrograde is the spade, or moreover, the softening of the dirt beneath your feet. When things seem odd, when the world seems to turn inward for a while, there’s time to ruminate on things, like your ex, like your friend from kindergarten, like the meaning of your dreams.
But this especially occurs when things just aren’t going right in minor ways, shaking up your sense of order and reminding you of other things that didn’t go right, or didn’t end to your satisfaction. Meetings cancelled, events running late, waiting on the platform for the next train because you missed it because some idiot who apparently has never seen a turnstile before just stood in front of it as if it would read their mind and usher them through and it was the only open because who the fuck knows, right? You have time, and you have just enough going on in your immediate thoughts to start connecting them to things that happened in the past in a long chain of things that could seemingly be unrelated on their own except for all the various links you make.
For example, asshole makes you miss the train by not going through the turnstile. It’s just walking forward, right? Walk forward, into the future. There was a time in your life when you were certain you wouldn’t be here, using public transportation, living in this neighborhood, living in the same apartment with the 18 layers of chalky white paint that remind you of a reverse blackboard that you can’t wipe clean from the slate marks, and there was once a time in which the teacher writing your name on the board could make you feel ashamed which is so weird because now you see your name all over everything you own or have or do and it’s all of your own making, and you wonder if maybe your entire life was designed like a slide under a microscope and the light shining down on you that you thought was from God is actually about to be eclipsed by the gaze of strangers and while you think you’re free, swimming in the juice you were born in, you’re just between two pieces of glass and eventually, you’ll be tossed aside in the garbage like your ex did to you when he said you just weren’t interesting anymore since you lost your job and you need to go improve yourself but look at you, better than ever, catching your reflection on the glass of the L train, older but wiser, older but healthy, older but in control, and you know what? You need to go look your ex up on Facebook now and let him know leaving you was the best thing that ever happened to you and if you’re lucky, get a chance to let him see that you’re way better looking than his new wife but he fucked up, and actually, you like your apartment with the 18 layers of paint and a slate that’s wiped clean of the past, you just need to make sure it’s gone, make sure he knows, and the worst he can do is not text back.
Then you text your ex.
But he’s going through something similar, so he responds to you.
And now you’re texting with someone you don’t actually want to be in communication with, but it’s one more link in a very long chain that you think is attached to the door to freedom that you’re trying to pull open, but honestly, you have no idea how long this chain is or where it ends.
And then in a few weeks, it stops, and you decide things were better the way they were, that you like your life and who you are without him, and you go away and he goes away, and when Mercury goes direct in Libra, you download all the dating apps and spend your time swiping through.
But not a big deal. You didn’t get married. You didn’t wreck a marriage. You didn’t catch feelings. You just did a thing that was a waste of time.
But after you, of course.
Wherever Mercury is transiting in your natal chart right now is what area of life it will affect you. If it’s transiting a natal planet, it will augment the expression of that planet and likely trigger an event or bring into your life a person represented by that planet. Interestingly, Britney Spears is having Mercury retrograde transiting her natal Mercury retrograde in Libra, which makes me wonder if maybe this is when all the dirt explodes to the surface, and it wouldn’t be unjustified. After all, an NDA is only as good as the power enforcing it, and who is there (and with what money) to protect Jamie Spears from the consequences of his own actions? A friend of mine and fellow astrologer has been following this a lot more closely, and maybe she’ll go public with her findings, but she predicted the end of the conservatorship this eclipse cycle.
My advice to you during Mercury retrograde is unconventional though. My advice to everyone is:
Just go ahead and do whatever the fuck you want.
It’s not that big of a deal. If you want to contact that person, do it, unless you’ve got a restraining order against you or it’s a really bad time, like they’re giving birth or putting out a forest fire. But in other cases, what you’ll likely find is that by the time the retrograde ends, the reasons you fell out of touch will still be there and you’ll either drift away or be ignored. But go ahead and DM or email someone you don’t know but want to talk to, someone you fell out of contact with, someone you want find out is real or not, someone you want to work with.
And maybe it’ll all help you expand your mind or confirm what you thought to be true.
I mean come on guys: we get this energy for a reason, so fucking use it. Harness it. There is no transit ever that has no purpose, no use, including Mercury retrograde.
And hey: the fucking cicadas are finally dead. Glorious.