The Precipice

Funny how when things go wrong, we’re quick to blame anyone or anything, including Mercury in Retrograde. I’ll admit, it is true that retrograde Mercury slows things down and even ensures that certain carefully orchestrated plans and connections go awry.

But I’m also willing to guess this occurs for good reason.

Today, Mercury in Leo turns retrograde (appears to back-paddle through the sky) and by mid-month, he will slip back into Cancer. 

The Precipice

Try this now:

Imagine you’re on the edge of the Grand Canyon, looking over the precipice into a deep gorge. If you’re feeling somehow small and insignificant in the face of the grander scheme, that’s quite natural. Yet at the same time, you wonder how it is that your life seems to have been fairly smooth sailing for some time. It’s also quite natural for you to assume this will continue if not forever, at least for awhile.

But the reality is quite different and by the time retrograde Mercury does slip into Cancer, it might well already have become apparent that you’re becoming increasingly trapped between rock and a hard spot. Like the rock formations in the Grand Canyon, without your even noticing it some situation in your life will have quietly developed until it has reached the point where you no longer can go on as before.

Now the question becomes whether you’re willing to jump into the brave new world – the void cracking opening before your very eyes. Or will you retreat back from the edge of the precipice and find an alternative route. Only you can decide and in regards to your decision, only time will tell whether it was right or wrong.

  • How do you explain this to yourself?
  • What are the possibilities here?
  • How will you pull it all together?

Ready for a Challenge?

Mars is now in Leo, where on and off it will flirt with Mercury (also in Leo) until mid-month. 

The potential for accomplishing your goals now is real, but only if you do it right. The problem is that with Mercury/Mars in Leo together, it will be very difficult to find the right balance between rightful self-assertion and being annoyingly pushy. Even worse, with this energy, most folks will be on edge. So even your best intended overtures may be interpreted as fighting words.

How to avoid a potential clash?

Ready for a challenge?

  • As party to any confrontation, you need to be very clear about your intended goals. In turn, this requires you to have a firm grasp on your personal values, or the core principles that give meaning to your life (i.e. honest or integrity or dignity or commitment).
  • Next, you need to be ready to understand the values of the other person(s) involved and respect them as valid even if they should conflict with your own.
  • Regularly, we come into contact with people whose values are different from our own and we deal with it. That’s because prior experience tells us that more often than not, we will find some middle ground.
  • With Mars/Mercury in Leo, you may need to put in a bit more effort than usual to accomplish this. 

Think Tank

Today, Mercury moves into Leo where he remains until mid-July.

During this period,  you can expect communication to be warmly encompassing and encouraging as folks self-confidently and authoritatively air their views and ideas. 

Think Tank

BEWARE: Chances are that no one will probably have heard much of what was actually discussed. This isn’t so much because they weren’t interested but more because they were preoccupied with what they wished to say. 

This energy favours neither what is logical nor practical, much less what will benefit the group as a whole. The focus is only on possibilities that will further the ego concerns of the speaker. This is visionary – big-picture – stuff. Don’t sweat the details (at least not until Mercury moves in to Virgo). 

Should you believe that you’re exempt from getting caught up in this energy, think again.

  • What do you choose to do with this information?
  • Who is in control and who decides?
  • What would your hero or heroine do in this situation?

Remembrance of Things Past

Today, Mercury moves into Cancer where he will remain until the end of June. 

Have you read any part of Remembrance of Things Past, the seven-part novel written in the beginning of the last century by the French author, Marcel Proust?

this is deep psychological stuff

“And as soon as I had recognised the taste of the piece of madeleine soaked in her decoction of lime-blossom which my aunt used to give me (although I did not yet know and must long postpone the discovery of why this memory made me so happy) immediately the old grey house upon the street, where her room was, rose up like a stage set to attach itself to the little pavilion opening on to the garden which had been built out behind it for my parents (the isolated segment which until that moment had been all that I could see); and with the house the town, from morning to night and in all weathers, the square where I used to be sent before lunch, the streets along which I used to run errands, the country roads we took when it was fine.”

Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way

As in the above passage, so as with Mercury in Cancer; memory and the senses are so closely intertwined that information becomes a web of connections resonating on multiple levels of memory.

Whilst this may make for fine literature, it doesn’t usually make for effective every-day communication. This is deep psychological stuff and, quite honestly, not my cup of tea so best advice is whenever possible, pay attention to how you’re feeling as the result of whatever it is that another is saying.

  • What does this mean to you?
  • What wants to happen?
  • Who do you want to be in this situation?

Changing Direction

Today, the Sun and Mercury have moved into Gemini and the atmosphere could not be more communicative, but communicative in a special way because the planetary ruler of Gemini is Mercury.  According to ancient wisdom, when communications got stuck, the god Mercury was invoked to shift them in a completely new direction.

For the next few days, you can do the same and here’s how to make this energy work to your advantage.

Let’s assume that you’ve been discussing something with someone and they are fixated on a point from which you’d like to move away. Use the following word pattern to adroitly change the ‘subject’ to that of your choosing:

The issue isn’t x (their point), it’s y (your point) and that means ABC.’ Finish the sequence by directing a specific question to the other person about ABC, eliciting their experience on the subject, and you’re on your way.

Rintu Basu, Persuasion Skills (Black Book)

For example, you want a new car but your partner keeps on about the cost. Gently (matching his conversational tone and style), say something along the lines of ‘the issue isn’t how expensive is the car, darling, but about the pleasure it will give you – imagine all the additional space you’ll have to store your kit for our camping trips. Where would we go first, sweetheart, how about that place you love in Cornwall?’

Conversation changer: ‘this isn’t about x (his point), but y (your point) and that means ….’

This works equally well in the office:

For example, assume your boss has just given you a new project that will, in your view, take up too much of your time:

‘I agree with you that the new project is very important, sir/madam, and the issue isn’t that I should take charge of it but instead that, as you say, it is done as quickly as possible. This means that because I have so much on my plate at the moment, it would be better if someone else takes the project. Now, sir/madam, who on our team , in your opinion, would be the best choice – I know, how about A or B? What do you think?’

… try it today and see how it works and, remember, practice makes perfect!

The Practical Couch Potato

On 6 May, at 18:26 GMT (not BST), Mercury enters Taurus where he remains for about two weeks.

During this time, slow down, take it easy, find pleasure in your speech.

When Mercury was in Aries, we learned that the damage caused by words hurled in anger continues long after we’ve forgotten what was said. Research has shown that anger, like joy, is highly contagious –they both provide a hard-to-resist adrenalin rush. 

Think before you speak is always good advice and when Mercury is in Taurus, you might even want to think twice. Not only is this one of the best ways to avoid unnecessary arguments but it also allows you to get more in touch with yourself. It’s even a good way to make your everyday life more stable and secure and in this fast-paced, stressful world, who wouldn’t benefit from more of that?

You would adjust your conduct and even direct the course of your spirit according to hour and seasons.

Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet
The practical couch potato

Practical tips for getting in touch with Taurus:

  • Take a walk outdoors – even 20 minutes is enough. Focus on the sounds and sights around you. Feel your feet in contact with the ground.
  • Make time to cuddle with someone or something that you love – your partner, dog or cat, and even your teddy bear.
  • Practice ‘mindful eating. Chew slowly. Savour the flavours and textures. Enjoy every minute of your meal or snack.
  • Even if your day is all bounce and go, with careful planning you can still schedule time for a rest or even a nap. Sometimes, it’s good – even practical – to be a couch potato.

Verbal Impatience aka/just plain rude speech

Wednesday  (at 6:02 GMT), Mercury moves into Aries where he remains until mid-May.

When Mercury was in Pisces, communication flowed easily, albeit not so well understood. Now, communication will flow even more easily and everyone will know exactly what it is that was meant to be conveyed.

Key concepts for this period include verbal impatience, quick thinking, and just plain rude speech.

Don’t forget that words hurled in anger hurt – and stick.

You may or may not have meant what you said in the heat of the moment, but long after you’ve moved on, the other person will remember exactly what it is that you’ve said. 

heat of the moment
  • What does this situation teach you about yourself?
  • What does that mean about you?
  • What do you choose to do with this information?


Since 5 March, Mercury has been travelling backwards (retrograde) through Pisces.

Finally, today, at 14:00 GMT, he turns direct! 

Time to celebrate. 


Not just any old celebration, but a celebration that honours that which connects you and yours with the whole human race.  Who knows what joy and happiness – renewed sense of faith and community spirit – it might bring!

However lost and lonely you might feel from time to time if only you pause a moment and look around, you can always find someone with whom you share some important belief and/or value. 

Pisces is about unity rather than division and now is the perfect time to give the former (rather than the later), an honest try.

  • What’s missing?
  • What do you want to create?
  • What matters most?


Mercury retrogrades have a bad reputation and not always justifiably. 

The truth of the matter is that although Mercury does rule connections and communications of all sorts, there’s no reason to blame him when your train is late or if you hit the send button on that email that, it later turns out, you probably ought never to have written.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 

At the moment, Mercury is fluttering about backward at the end of Pisces and I, for one, think this is a good thing. This is because we all have another chance to turn an impossible goal, project, or dream into reality.

impossible dream becomes reality

To make the best of this time, you must be perfectly clear about what it is that you really desire – because, well, the chances are that you just might get it.

“Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible. 

Cheri Carter-Scott

Never tell a lie…

With Mercury now moving into Pisces (where it remains until April), communications of all sorts flow easily. But that doesn’t mean that they’ll be properly understood. Indeed, it’s probable that they won’t be and for a most intriguing reason.

With this influence, there is a tendency to think or feel one thing but to say something completely different. 

Saying one thing but thinking something different

The best way to find out what’s really going on is to pay close attention – not to the words, but to the bigger picture. 

  • Watch body language – indeed all nonverbal cues.
  • If someone is fidgeting whilst they talk and/or refuses to make and hold eye contact, there’s a good reason.
  • Similarly, if someone is vague in their answers, press for details. If they are not forthcoming, that tells you something right there.
  • Likewise, if someone is trying too hard to fill in the blanks, you ought to be suspicious.
  • Feigning indifference or boredom also is a clue. 

When all else fails, trust your gut instinct.

If something inside you says that something is wrong, then it probably is and even if it isn’t, there’s no harm in being on your guard.