As we transition into the new year, we may not feel the surge of a new beginning just yet. This week we meet our final Mercury Retrograde for the year taking us into 2023 in the earthly sign of Capricorn.
December 29, 2022 marks the day of the seemingly backward spin of Mercury Retrograde where it will remain until January 18, 2023. While a retrograde may seem counterintuitive to the spark of a new year, still there remains deep medicine, invitations, insights, and support within the timing of our final Mercury Retrograde of the year.
Despite appearances, when a planet is in retrograde, it isn’t actually moving backwards. As Mercury is closer to the Sun than Earth and therefore has a shorter orbit, it overtakes us on our longer orbit. When it does so, it appears from our vantage point to be moving backwards. In truth, it is passing us.
Ancient Astrologers viewed retrogrades as the planet moving through the underworld on a quest for new perspectives, for greater wisdom, and deeper insight. While the known path can be nourishing, supportive, and safe – sometimes a different direction with different scenery is where our greatest growth can be found.
Perhaps as Mercury passes the Earth and slips into what we call a retrograde, it is venturing out on its own journey for the sake of our growth, for the sake of our joy, and for the sake of our lives being fully lived.
And once it returns to its known path of forward movement, we can be the receivers of all gained along its quest.
As we see from our vantage point on the Earth, Mercury is re-tracing steps already taken during its retrograde. While the path may be familiar, the perspective this time around is entirely different.
This is why Mercury Retrograde often manifests in our lives as old projects, relationships, or ways of being revisited. We are retracing our own steps to capture our journey taken from a new perspective. The motion of Mercury is pulling our attention towards the past, inviting us to explore what we may have missed. Inviting us to receive the insights and awareness that we previously did not.
We hear about Mercury a lot, which seems to fit the archetype of this planet. In astrology Mercury rules over our thinking, communication, intellect, learning, movement (transportation and nearby travel), and technology.
It is the day-to-day steps taken and thought of, and the logistics of all the moving parts. Its influence is obvious, clear, and deeply integrated into the way we move about the world. Perhaps this is why Mercury’s retrograde is felt so much more than others.
While in Capricorn, Mercury takes on the lens of structure, practicality, organisation, and boundaries.
It becomes concerned with our goals, life plans, career, and reputation – the kinds of things we are often contemplating as we step into the new year with our new intentions.
As we step across the threshold of 2023, Mercury asks us to take our time arriving in the new year. It invites us to consider, reconsider, and openly explore our visions, goals, and intentions for this new chapter of our lives before they are set into place.
The gift within this slower pace, and with the reconsidering that Mercury Retrograde brings, is the time, space, and permission to land on a vision that we can commit to.
Capricorn is a sign of commitment.
It is the Goat scaling seemingly impossible mountains, dedicated to reach the top no matter the cost. And during a time where our eyes are fixated to the future, and where new year intentions are the norm, perhaps this retrograde is exactly what we need before we box ourselves into goals and plans prior to arriving at what is truly for us.
This retrograde can be seen as a cosmic permission slip to take time and purpose in aligning our goals with our values.
It is the permission to ponder on our path ahead without concretizing it too quickly, which often only leads to guilt or feelings of inadequacy when we fall short or realise it was never for us. And it is also our permission slip to clear away the noise of the world around us, what new year intentions should look like, or in greater truth, what our lives should look like.
Capricorn guides us into who we want to be in the world, what we want to contribute and what path we want to master. Here we have the opportunity to reconsider all that we have been taught, and all that we have believed, about who we are in the world and what we should do with our lives.
And we get to do it in a way that serves us, as a new year begins, just in time for a new chapter.
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