An Invitation To Go Beyond

Experientially life moves along at a pace that consistently remains astonishing.  I can vividly remember an hour often seemed like an eon when I was a child.  How is it essentially May already? One quarter of the year has passed.  

When I was in elementary school we read Washington Irving’s tale of Rip Van Winkle.  A man who falls asleep and mysteriously when he awakens discovers that 20 years have passed seemingly overnight.  This legend describes the experience of life, of aging, and feels exceedingly accurate to me.  

Yet in truth, at its core, our experience of time is based on our perception. 

Mercury, the planet that governs our perceptions,  is once again retrograde.  Those of you who follow my blog know that one of the many ways I use astrology is as a guide to consciously move through life essentially in concert with life rather than seeing life as separate from my own experience.   For all of the inconveniences and breakdowns that often occur during a Mercury retrograde, it is always an invitation to view things more deeply.  To reexamine the unconscious expectations we hold (Mercury is the one archetype that was given the ability to move between worlds, and was known as the guide of souls.) that are shaping our lives. 

A Mercury retrograde is an opportunity to become more teachable: Being teachable is to be open to changing your preconceived notions.

Our perceptions contain our biases about ourselves, others, and ultimately life itself. These preconceived ideas often operate largely unconsciously and shape everything within our lives. They shape what we believe we are capable of, what we find acceptable, and ultimately what we expect from life itself.  Our perception is the lens, the filter through which we view everything.   

This particular retrograde is in the sign of Taurus. An ancient sacred symbol of fertility,  Taurus the bull is the husband to the Earth, and the first Earth sign.  As such, he is the inseminator.  As the first Earth sign, Taurus gets things going.  In fact, all of the ‘first’ elemental signs have to do with the first thrust that breaks the innate inertia of the universe.  First fire (Aries) births consciousness from the collective soup.  First Earth (Taurus) is the life-giver. 

Taking place at the height of spring,  Taurus season is when everything is blooming with possibility. It is a season of richness, lushness, and abundance. It is fecund. Taurus doesn’t rush in like Aries, it savors the moment. At its best it sensually feels the moment, embodies it and thus enjoys it. 

Taurus is the thrust that fertilizes, populates, and creates abundance in the world.  But beyond that, there is a sense of worship, of caretaking.  This is what makes Taurus unique, and stops it from being just another seeding  ‘father’ image in the archetypal realm.  It is uniquely vulnerable in its animal state.  Animal archetypes within the zodiac stand for the animal within, the flesh and blood vulnerability of being placed on this Earth.  It is instinctual and sensitive with its five (possibly six) senses.  It feels, and because it feels, it knows.

In essence, this is the gift of Earth—it partners with the feeling state of being.  And this is where we need to go further during this retrograde period.

The house within our charts that has Taurus on the cusp is where we can be endlessly fertile and self-renewing.  Much like Saturn, Taurus demands our participation. It requires embodiment not just conceptual thought. 

Sadly, as we mature, we often learn to stay within our fixity (Taurus is fixed Earth) rather than use our instinct to get beyond our limitations.  Taurus should be the first step that breaks the inertia of the world.  Unfortunately, when Taurus goes wrong, it becomes the inertia.  Then Taurus represents the stubborn, fixed, non-growth entity we all feared it would become.  It stops us from joining our creative selves with others, and performing the needed transcendent transformation that is required of us.   

Venus governs two signs: Taurus and Libra. The essence of the Taurus Venus is worship–we worship what we truly value and vow to maintain it. It is the true meaning of the word ‘husband’–to take care. 

During this Mercury retrograde one of the invitations presented is to reexamine what is truly of value to us.  What is worthy of our attention and care?  What are our true priorities?  

Next week, on May 5th, we have our second eclipse in the pair (eclipses always come in pairs).  A lunar eclipse (Full Moon)in the sign of Taurus.  I will write in more depth about it but in preparation I(and Mercury!) urge you to slow down, to breathe deeply, and direct your attention to your sense of self-worth so that you can use the lunar eclipse’s energy to assist you in releasing the biases that are holding you back, that have developed into inertia. 

Time moves so very quickly.  We all get distracted by our fears and insecurities, the story of our small self, and before we know it 20 years have passed.   





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