Launching Messages in Bottles on Oceans


With Mercury turning direct today (Mon Jul 9) after 3 weeks of retrograde movement through Cancer, I'd wager a bet that many of us know much more about how we really feel than we did, say, a month ago.

The typical 'direct' mind can play miserable tricks on us, concealing what we deeply want or know to be true behind a lot of supposedly rational reasons we simply must adhere to the shoulds of convention… no matter if such loyalty leaves us feeling short-changed or sour.

Go ahead and blame the centuries of 'Enlightenment' thinking and 'science as God' quasi-religious fervor for separating us (mere puny subjects) from the goals of our achy quest for understanding (the all-powerful objects of factual 'truth'), so that we're often misled into believing that statistical models, how-to manuals and fundamentalist dogma will tell us more about what we personally need for satisfaction and fulfillment than our own inner sage, centered in the body-and-soul that is uniquely ours.

But filter our Mercurial thoughts through the emotional filter of watery Cancer—as opposed to the usual direction of influence, which moves the other way, trying to fit our feelings into tidy packages of reasoned-out meaning—and the usual tricks no longer work. The floods of feeling, immediate and unmediated by verbal language, overtake the walls of rational clarification and bleed across all sectors, deluging decisions made in one zone with raw sensate data from another.

In the land of Mercury retrograde in Cancer, where we've dwelled since Jun 15, all knowledge is conditional. And the 'conditions' underlying its validity? That we know it from within. That we are moved by it. That when we follow its credos, we feel as if we are demonstrating emotional responsiveness, nurturance and care… as opposed to some worldly mastery that, instead of reaching out to support others' well-being, merely proves nothing more than a logistical ability to master the object in its crosshairs.

Adrift on this vast ocean of unintelligible intelligence, we can do nothing but float with the currents. Applying our problem-solving to swim ourselves to safety, we'd do nothing but tire ourselves out—and eventually drown, experiencing our final bit of bliss only as we surrender to the incoming tides that fill us with delirium as they fill our lungs with primordial gallonsful. Hell, we don't even know which direction is the closest piece of land, nor how near or far it is from our present spot in the boundless sea. We are our only reference point. Where, then, to swim?

Yet, though we may fear being left to prune up and transition into shark food, if instead we follow the predictable cycles of astrology, we know that Mercury won't stay in Cancer forever… though, thanks to the retrograde delay, he remains there another month (through Aug 4). Eventually, he will move on to Leo, where he'll regain the outer-world pride to sing out about recent discoveries made and trials borne (with a few theatrical flourishes, for good measure).

The retrograde part, however, is now over. And the flipped perspectives it offered, straight from some capital-S Source we can't identify but must trust unflinchingly, will have time to work themselves into the day-to-day facts and figures that frame our thoughts. Where we've only needed our eyes and ears and fingertips to communicate over these trying few weeks (okay, maybe a box of tissues, too), now we'll need to find meaningful ways to think and speak about what's come into consciousness. Otherwise, the feelings will have had no sway in improving our stance in life… how we react, how we make sense of things, how we aim to creatively reconceptualize the futures of our own making.

Just as the tides of Mercury's retrograde in Cancer have washed ashore these remnants of long-passed shipwrecks and the riches of long-buried treasures, such watery transmissions can move the other direction, too. Using this same fluid telegraphy of wordlessness, we may send our wishes out onto the waves. Perhaps it's even our calling to rectify a still-unformed destiny by doing just that.

After all, as an integral part of this retrograde, Mercury makes three trines to the Moon's North Node in Pisces… an indicator that its overlying purpose is wrapped up in connecting all of us as one, across boundaries of time and space, in the name of universal compassion and service to a higher power. In other words, when we make decisions and form philosophies based on our emotional wisdom—not just what'll look good on our college application, impress the boss or woo the hottest hottie in the club—we help create that ideal existence where we all win, and at nobody's expense, to boot.

So, like any good water-sign romantic, we write our hopeful truths with quill-pen on parchment, roll it tight like a timeless fortune, and launch it on the ocean… our message of emotion, in a bottle, heading somewhere just beyond our scope. What matters is we thought it, spoke it, wrote it—not who got it, or what they thought of us upon rereading the words.

The magical part, of course, is that this message will be heard. It will make a difference.