Something about Mercury retrograde…and forests…

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Generally speaking, us humans take our senses for granted. Sight smell, sound, touch taste. Easy to say, harder to remember.

Most of us pay attention, real attention to just 2- what we hear and what we see. Sure the others get a look in, but we’re usually all so busy being busy that we only notice when our senses tell us that something is unpleasant.

Then there’s our 6th sense.

Whether you want to call it intuition or gut instinct or sensitivity or something else, it’s a difficult one to describe and explain. No wonder- it’s in the realm of Neptune. But just as Pisces contains little bits of everything that has come before, our 6th sense taps into what the other 5 senses have experienced and somehow already know.

During a particularly long drive to work the other morning, I was listening to a podcast about an Australian woman named Claire Dunn.

Like many of us, Claire had a busy, pressured job. She was on a mission, yet had lost sight of who she really was and what she was doing it for. So, she decided to take a break, a complete break. She went and live in a forest for a year. As you do.

Part of what she did to prepare for this, was an advanced tracking course, which involved her having to find her way through the forest, in the dark, with a blindfold, back to camp.

Initially she panicked- as you do- and crashed and clambered about. Then she started to feel her way through the bush. Deprived of sight, her other senses took over.

More importantly, her 6th sense kicked in. She listened to the forest, to what it had to say. Her skin felt the dark, it felt the bush and the trees, and eventually she trusted it to guide her out.

I’ll say it again- wow.

As I was listening to her story of how the 12 months passed- of how she gave up her attachment to watches and schedules, of how in letting go, in going within, she found her answers- it struck me just how well Claire’s story sums up Mercury retrograde times. Not that you’d find me roughing it in a forest, but you get the idea.

You see, during Mercury retrograde times, we have to rely more on our 6th sense, on what we feel rather than what we see or hear. Our messages are muddled, our schedules messed with, our transport delayed, yet this is an opportunity given to us every few months to hear what isn’t being said, to absorb the message through our pores, to go within and listen to ourselves.

Regular readers know by now that I quite enjoy these few weeks every couple of months. Sure, I’m a Pisces, and sure, I have Mercury retrograde natally in the 12th. Mercury retrogrades are made for people like me.

But I’m not alone- plenty of others also look forward to a heightened awareness of their own creativity and imagination, a greater atunement to something other than the normal mode of communication.

To some it comes naturally, others have had to consciously learn to embrace it.

And before you ask, I’m a Project and Change Manager by trade- tasks, spread-sheets and schedules are my tools. I had two years away from it, but am back into it all again now. Over the years I’ve learned how to manage it all even during a Mercury Retrograde- although as Change Manager, I did used to consult my ephemeris before I put the change calendar up for approval…just don’t tell my boss…

That’s where another sense comes into play- common sense.

While you might get away with jamming as many deliverables and appointments into your day when Mercury is direct, while you might get away with winging it, or not testing something properly, you won’t get away with it when Mercury is retrograde.

I can hear the curses now:

‘Implementation was crap. Bloody Mercury.’

‘My meeting ran over and there was a prang on the M4, so now I’m late. Bloody Mercury.’

‘The plane left without my luggage and my house keys were locked inside my suitcase. Bloody Mercury.’

What’s needed instead is a change in perspective.

As a project manager, contingency is another of my tools- but one that I don’t tell the team about. It’s also your friend when Mercury is retrograde. Build in extra time, make allowances for those who don’t. Don’t leave things until the last minute. Don’t trust that others won’t leave things until the last minute. Flexibility is much easier to achieve when you’ve planned for it.

Take a book or a journal in case you’re waiting for planes, trains or other transport.

Don’t pack chargers, phones or house keys in your luggage- have it as carry on.

Back up your computer.

By now you know the drill. But in case you don’t, check out my Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide.

Above all, switch your perspective. When sitting in traffic, rather than cursing something you have no control over, spend a moment (or more) wondering about the health of the unlucky person whose accident caused the chaos. When waiting in the doctors for far too long, be grateful that you’re not the one with the overlong appointment that created the delays.

When stuck on the tarmac with a mechanical problem, be glad it was discovered and fixed while on the ground.

When listening to messages, reading emails, texts or posts, rather than jumping to the wrong conclusions, take a moment to really understand what is being said. If you replay it, you’ll feel the meaning.

Get the idea?

It’s just for a few weeks, and, even if things do go wrong, you’ll be surprised what you learn. Who knows? You might even see the forest- and not just the trees…

Oh, the link to the podcast? It’s here.