Understanding Your Daily Focus
Mercury enters the first of three retrograde cycles for 2021 today and will stay in retrograde until the last full week of February, when it will once again return direct. We almost always only talk about Mercury when the planet is in retrograde, so it is often associated with things going wrong. This is only because when Mercury is direct, it is often associated with things going—well maybe not necessarily right, but certainly with things going. Retrograde tends to bring the conducive qualities of Mercury; communication, travel and luck, to a standstill.
Mercury is the planet closest to the sun, and as it’s one of the brightest stars in the sky, it’s been in our collective consciousness for a long time. He is Odin in Norse mythology, Hermes in Greek, and Mercury in Roman. Today, we have immortalized the Roman title by giving the planet that version of the name. Either way, they are nearly the same when it comes to ancient history.
Mercury is known as the messenger god, and Hermes is often depicted wearing winged sandals. Above all else, Mercury rules communication. He is also responsible for guiding travelers, and for rapidly shifting moods. The element associated with Mercury is Air, and the planet is associated both with the Air sign Gemini, the master communicator, and with the Earth sign Virgo, the meticulous planner.
When Mercury enters retrograde, things like communication, travel, and plans all seem to fall apart. However, when the planet is direct, you can thank the merciful and mercurial god for helping things fall into place and move smoothly. In this week’s Daily Focus, we’re going to look at the everyday effect of Mercury in our lives.
Saturday, January 30
“Mercury, much like the winged messenger of the gods, comes in on feather-light wings and commands us to speak.” –Unknown
Mercury, ruling communication above all else, commands us to speak. During retrograde, this can often result in some major foot in mouth moments. Try to think about your words today and measure out what really needs to be said.
Sunday, January 31
“The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.” –William Shakespeare
Continuing on the theme of communication, sometimes harsh words are just hard truths, and they need to be said. If you’re struggling to keep things to yourself today, ask yourself if it’s for your benefit, or for another’s, that you’re sharing things. Sometimes Mercury can cause nasty moods, and a slight taste for petty revenge.
Monday, February 1
“Don’t kill the messenger.” –Unknown
This is the best Mercury in retrograde quote, if you ask me. If you’re going to go around being blunt and telling hard truths, you have to also understand you hold some responsibility. Don’t kill the messenger works best when Mercury is direct, and communication can be effective. If you’re going to blab during this transit, expect reactions to be all across the board.
Tuesday, February 2
“Love seldom haunts the breast where learning lies, and Venus sets ere Mercury can rise.” –Alexander Pope
Mercury, ruled by Air, intellect, and knowledge, cares less about feelings and emotions. When Mercury is direct, this energy manifests as a thirst for knowledge and the ability to focus academically. When Mercury is in retrograde, it can mean that energy overwhelms and pushes out the softer, kinder energy of Venus. Try not to be too unfeeling today. Make room for love too.
Wednesday, February 3
“Every Wednesday belongs to All Father Odin/Woden, for it is Wodensday!” –Unknown
In the ancient Nordic mythology, Mercury is known as Odin, the All-Father. The Greek, Roman, and Nordic mythologies overlap in big ways, but also have key differences. In Nordic mythology, Odin is quite a trickster. Wednesday is always for Odin especially, and during this particular transit you should be wary of technological difficulties and plans falling by the wayside for the next few Wednesdays.
Thursday, February 4
“If there were a god of New York, it would be the Greek’s Hermes, the Roman’s Mercury. He embodies New York qualities: the quick exchange, the fastness of language and style, craftiness, the mixing of people and crossing of borders, imagination.” –Unknown
Mercury moves quickly. That’s why he rules transportation, decision making, and arguing. All things that I think of when I think of my city, New York. However, as anyone who lives in New York will tell you, the hustle and bustle easily comes to a complete stand still when you’re stuck in a cab on 5th Avenue, crawling downtown at rush hour. That’s what Mercury in retrograde is like. There are so many things you should be doing, so many places you need to be—and yet! The best thing you can do for yourself during this transit is to slow down on purpose, give yourself extra time to make it across the city—or into a zoom room.
Friday, February 5
“Given that Mercury retrograde isn’t a time to start something new, it makes sense that we should slow down and recalibrate our lives.” –Unknown
The more we come to rely on technology, the more we will see disruptions during Mercury’s retrograde transits. We rely heavily on machines to communicate, to travel, and to learn. This is not the time to start new projects, to launch debuts, or try to facilitate new forms of communication. If we can’t focus on the future, it gives us a little time to reflect on the past. Think about things carefully, watch your words, and save the big stuff for after February 20.
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