This Retrograde Asks Us To Question.

It’s been a tough retrograde.

From our Earthly vantage point, Mercury appears to be traveling backward through the sign of Capricorn until January 25th, dredging up questions about career, life path, success, and in a word, our cultural obsession: the material.

Any time we’re asked to question, question, question, life’s complexity becomes its most prominent attribute.

I can always tell when something relevant to growth is happening in my life. I always get a curiously strong urge to run away, cut all my ties, and become part of the Unknown that I fear.

Amidst tectonic change and wild expansion, even and especially the positive stuff, I just want to disappear and never be found. The Hermit, he beckons with his lamp, and I long to follow, away from everything I’ve ever known.

Perhaps the most difficult part of change, for me, is the marriage of old lives and self with new life and self.

I am she who throws the baby out with the bathwater.

When I experience heartbreak, I cut my hair, get a new piercing. When I move from one city to another, visits to my old home become painfully lonely. I am no longer here, but here is always in me. I am never the same again.

I dance through the archetypal lore of Athena and Arachne. I pray to Grandmother Spider for guidance: please help me, teach me to weave beautifully.

It is so hard to keep weaving the same web. It feels easier to begin anew.

I’ve had perfect strangers accuse me of possessing multiple identities. New acquaintances tell me I live a double life. I am labeled a layered person.

My best friend since before the Information Age asks me every time we now meet if I have yet again changed my hair (I haven’t).

I lie in bed, ecstatically shaking. My nadis open through my body like a whistle, third eye blowing out, and my two-years-long lover watches me move through myriad bodies, genders, ethnicities, lifetimes and other energies.

But I am simply me. She has many faces.

Integration is a tough bitch, and I am learning how to walk in my own shadow. To do this, I must unleash Her. Lilith and Kali want their say, veil-free, unhinged, ready to play.

For keeps.

It’s been a tough retrograde, and it’s not over yet. No matter. We press on.

Thinking about the word mercurial, we expect Mercury’s archetypal energy to move at the pace he moves. Retrogrades happen multiple times per year, and it is not wise to regard them with a fearful eye.

I usually welcome a descent into the Underworld, to reassess, reaffirm, rethink, reload. All the astrologers talk about the re-s. Shadows really hold loads of information.

Being Virgo, I acquiesce and even welcome yet another version of purification. Let’s get into it, get it out, and get talking.

This retro in firm Capricorn has me reeling. It actually feels like work this time.

I was offered two jobs that didn’t quite meet my financial needs. I discarded those for another one, which was restricting in ways unforeseen, and I quit that one. All within the past few weeks.

This retrograde asks us to question, and in my case, I’ve been asked how best I can feel free. “Why do I want to run away?” becomes the impetus for finding out where I feel restricted.

I don’t have a ready answer for how best to feel free (and simultaneously meet my material needs), but the question itself perpetuates a lot of healthy work. Through difficulty, it is for this work that I am thankful.


BriannaBlissGardnerBrianna Bliss Gardner is a namesake cultivator of joy; writer, poet, artist and submitted vessel for divine intervention. She promotes Verbal Alchemy, that is, that words are power and we heal through expression of all our parts. For pleasure, she reads, explodes on a page, blows glass, and explores what she can of the web of life and its synchronicities. You can view works by her alter ego, the raw B. Wilder, at Words Are Free.


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