Kaboom! Mercury in Retrograde

It comes in threes right? But maybe when Mercury is in retrograde, it just comes. 

“As the planet of communication, Mercury retrograde tends to breed a certain level of confusion. Mercury rules our “lower” mind–how we perceive and interpret information that we receive from our environment, and how we relay that information to others. Mercury has rulership over such things as speaking, negotiating, buying and selling, listening, formal contracts, documents, travel, the mail and shipping, and so forth. All of these areas of life are affected when Mercury is functioning in a sluggish state. Decision-making is challenged during Mercury retrograde. Needless to say, it is not advised to sign contracts, engage in important decision-making, or launch a new business. Delays and challenges are more probable with Mercury retrograde. It’s a time when being careless with money, our personal information, or paperwork can be costly.” This Week in Astrology

A blizzard hit Christmas Day. My SUV got stuck in a snowdrift. The dogs are peeing in my hosts’ home. The dogs’ cage was broken accidentally. The movie tickets I pre-purchase wouldn’t print so I had a long line to solve this with 5 kids in tow. I was charged for a hotel room I forgot to cancel. Today my car battery is dead and will need to be replaced before we begin our next trek. 

A part of me wanted to  figure out all the ways I could have prevented any of these things or avoid them in the future. Good old ego, trying to control circumstances. 

In comes awareness. Breathe and accept what is. Cry. Cocoon. Surrender. 

Then, keep moving. The retrograde is a time to reflect and reorganize. I have bought a planner. I am sketching. I am meditating. It will be ok. 

My brother commented that nothing is easy for me. I suppose that’s true but I don’t see it that way. I can’t control circumstances yet with every occurrence, I keep moving. Surrendering becomes easier. Awareness comes in faster.

As the saying goes, in the end everything will be ok. And if it’s not ok, it’s not the end yet. 


Of Mystics and Miracles

“What are those things on your altar? Do you pray to them?”, asked one of my 9 year old’s friends. 

I have Shiva and Kali on my altar. I explained that I don’t pray. The deities reflect principles of ego release. But how do you explain that to a child?

I don’t pray. There is no need to beg some designed figure for a miracle. I don’t believe in miracles, at least not the mystic type. What makes that remarkable to say out loud is that I have witnessed mysticism and the miraculous. 

Recently, my daughter was seriously ill for a few months. She was in immense pain, and so very fragile. She had many medications. To ease her pain, I did Reiki. Some medical friends shared research that said it sped healing. I can say quite honestly that it had no effect. Her pain did not change from Reiki – it took pain medication. Her symptoms subsided as per the typical course of her treatment. 

So where does that leave me? How do I sit with this on my spiritual path? 

I think miracles and mysticism are meanings we assign to experience. They give us some sense of control over circumstances. If we pray a certain way, we will be heard and blessed. If we use symbols or sacred sounds, we will experience certain special things. If we find the right mystic, we will see the true nature of the cosmos. Won’t our ego be happily satisfied then? 

“If you are a true seeker of liberation, you’ve got to be willing to stand alone. At the moment of liberation everything falls away–everything. Suddenly the ground beneath your feet is gone, and you are alone. You are alone because you have directly realized that there is no other; there is no separation. There is only you, only Self, only limitless emptiness, pure consciousness.

To the mind, the ego, this appears terrifying. When the mind looks at limitlessness and infinity, it projects meaninglessness and despair. To the ego absolute freedom can look terrifying. But when the mind is let go of, the view changes from meaningless despair and fear to the unending joy and wonder of liberation. In liberation, you stand alone.

 You stand alone because you need no supports of any kind. You need no supports because you have realized that the very notion of a separate you no longer exists, that there is nothing to support, that the whole ego experience was a flimsy illusion.” – Adyashanti

On my path, I will indeed experience mysticism and miracles. But they won’t arise because I go seeking them, or because I have arranged circumstances for them to occur. These events do and will occur, and need not be labelled that way. The events of life will unfold as the events of life. 

Diamonds in the Snow

It is one of the few nights I am alone. Mercury is in retrograde and I feel tender, frazzled and too caught up in the world.

I get out of bed, pull on a flannel onesie and drive into the country. I am looking for dark sky. 

The stars are bright and alive. But these are not my winter diamonds. 

I get out of the car and begin to walk in the little bit of forest I have found just outside the city. It is quiet. So quiet. 

When I stand still, I feel the silence absorb me, take me over. It is a meditation, a profound stillness that comes easily here. 

The snow is untouched. If you look out over the field, the snow crystals begin to glow. The snow is gracious, and takes on the luminescence of the moon. Here and there, an ambitious crystal twinkles. Nearby, another…and another. It is a field of diamonds. 

I life my arms up to the sky.

The silence fills me. The light breaks me open.