Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mercury Retrograde Begins - St. Stephen's Day - Wren Day

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

11 Day of the First Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Moon Phase: waxing Half
Moon sets: 2:04AM EST
Moon rises: 12:42PM EST
Moon in Aries v/c 6:42AM EST
Moon enters the Fixed Earth Sign of Taurus at 3:24PM
Mercury Retrograde - 9:39AM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The unfolding vision of your life.
Sun in Capricorn
Sunrise: 7:41AM EST
Sunset: 4:59PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What would give your loved ones most pleasure?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
December 26th, 2009

   Mercury Retrograde - chances are you may have already heard of it. For increasingly, even the most skeptical are debating the effects of this mysterious sounding phenomenon that could be said to be the ghost in the machine of our efficient, smooth-running society. Mercury does not actually stop in the heavens and go backward, of course - it just appears that way to those on Earth who are observing its motions. This celestial optical illusion occurs whenever Mercury, the nearest planet  to the Sun, begins to round the bend in its orbit and swing closer to Earth. Thus, from Earth's position, Mercury appears to be moving backwards against the sky.

   But what exactly is Mercury Retrograde - those cycles that cause even nonastrologers to cancel plans, and stall important decisions, and put life on hold?  Three or four times a year the planet Mercury appears to slow down and reverse direction. Like a car that shifts into reverse and moves backward over a stretch of road it has just covered, the planet seems to retrace a section of its pathway around the Sun. It than shofts forward, moving 'direct' again until it returns to its original strting point. At this stage it begins to move more quickly along its orbit until several months later, when it repeats the entire process all over again. Each peiod of time Mercury is retrograde lasts approximately three weeks.

   This astrological event that is said to throw schedules off-kilter, derail the best-laid plans, cast doubt on cherished dreams, stir misunderstandings and doubt in personal relationships, make computers malfunction and cars break down is becoming more and more well-known. Many in business, technology and the media want to learn more about avoiding the pitfalls and obstacles that often come with this cycle. For while most people's knowledge of astrology doesn't extend beyond reading their Sun sign forecast in the daily newspapers, growing numbers now take serious notice of this triannual event.

   Because Mercury retrograde cycles are shorter and occur more frequently, astrologers say that it's effects is more pronounced than those of other planets when they go retrograde. And because astrological tradition guves the planet Mercury 'rulership' over the sphere of life that includes commerce, trade, transportation, and communication - activities that affect virtually everyone - its influence is even more noticable. Like the stick in the spoke of the wheel that throws a cart off course, Mercury's reversal can often mean setbacks, obstructions, misunderstandings, and sudden, unexplained 'out-of-blue' events.
  Yet for all the confusion that surrounds Mercury retrograde, it contains within it a vein of gold - if only we would mine it for its true worth. By working with the slower pace of Mercury retrograde, rather than against it, we can allow ourselves to step outside the narrow framework of ordinary reality and see our lives from a wider perspective. Most astrologers, for instance, agree that it is a cosmically timed period to understake any activity with the prefix re-  such as redo, reevaluate, revise, rethink, review, reconsider, reassess.  Whether restoring an antique, reordering a messy closet, rewriting a business proposal or article, reflecting upon a relationship, revisiting old friends, or taking time out to hike or laugh over a glass of wine. Mercury retrograde is all about loosening the grip of everyday demands and responsibilities in order to experience life more deeply. It is about finding pleasure in the old familiar, and timeless, rather than the new and untried.

    A message here can be to remember there are times in life when the wisest course of action is to simply let go and savor things just as they are. Thus, rather than push forward, it is a time to retreat, if possible, and step back from the usual hurriedm, harried way of doing things. It is a time reflect in solitude on what has gone on in the months preceding Mercury retrograde, and to reconnect  with one's soul. Following these steps makes it possible to emerge from the peiod of Mercury retrograde refreshed and renewed  in spirit.

   We'Moon has this advice about Mercury Retrograde -  "Mercury, planetary muse and mentor of our mental and communicative lives, appears to reverse its course three or four times a year. We may benefit from less stress when it retrogrades by making allowances for a symbolic 'sleep cycle'. These peiods give us permission to pause and go back over familiar territory, reflecting and giving second thoughts to dropped projects or miscommunications. Breakdowns can help us attend ato the safety of mechanical and mobility modes. It's time to 'recall the now' of the past and pay attention to underlying issues. Leave matters that lock in future commitments until Mercury goes direct. 

For this time of period of Mercury retrograde - from December 26th until January 15th, 2010, use fun flights of the mind while spinning your wheels waiting for serious business to begin."

The Wren

  One of the smallest birds, the Wren has long been associated with Witchcraftand Paganism, both to its determent and benefit.

   On St. Stephen's Day, 26th of December, a ritual known as 'Hunting the Wren' was enacted. The poor Wren was hunted, killed, decorated and paraded through the streets to bring good fortune to the people of the town. In some areas it was simply kept caged for the remaining 12 days of Christmas and in others it was decorated with ribbons and allowed to fly free.

   It is thought by some that this treatment of the Wren was to offset the Pagan associations of the bird. On the positive side, folklore has long held the Wren to be a lucky bird: a Wren's feather falling on you indicated a long and prosperous life, to have one in your garden indicates a happy home and just to hear its song was considered lucky.

  Perhaps surprisingly some families still re-enact Hunting the Wren as part of the season's festivities, only in this case the Wren in question is a paper one! A small bird shape is cut out of paper and painted. It is then secreted somewhere in the house. At dusk the children are sent to hunt the Wren. The first to find her is given the Wren to place in their room.
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]

1 comment:

Rue said...

I love the idea of reflection, reorganize, etc.! That's a really great way to look at these next 3 weeks!