When something burns really hot and fast, the flames can have a bluish tinge. If the fuel is gas, rather than wood or metal, the flames will look really blue, like on a gas stove, which I think is a good symbol of our thoughts on fire – those times when we are inspired with new ideas, and the thoughts stream out with extra pressure because we have opened the valve.
Our thoughts are represented in our horoscope by the planet Mercury. Some of us experience thoughts in a very fiery way, and Mercury in our horoscope will often be in a fire sign in the zodiac. Every year or so, the planet Mercury appears to go backwards in the zodiac signs which are in the same element. This year it goes backwards in the element of fire, first in Aries, next in Leo, and then in Sagittarius. We are all of us compelled at these times to retreat and to contemplate, even though the element of fire is usually about anything but retreat. If we don’t make the commitment to stop rushing forward in haste we will encounter the “Mercury gremlins” who sabotage our machinery and interrupt our communications, and generally create frustration and crisis.
The apparent backwards motion of Mercury begins today March 22 at about 5:20pm PDT, just before it reaches 17 degrees Aries. It lasts for about two weeks, and maybe somewhat longer as Mercury catches up with where it was when it got stagnated and fell back in the race. This does not mean of course, that you should not make decisions or move forward at this time. How could we? But it does mean that the forward motion of thinking and planning requires greater awareness and more restraint, and perhaps less fuel for the fire. We need to slow down.
As an example of not halting every action in fear, I myself mailed a manuscript of my book to a publishing company during a Mercury retrograde period. No traditional astrologer would recommend doing that, saying that it would either get lost in the mail or be ignored. However, the book is quite full of the more thoughtful and contemplative types of astrological thinking which is compatible with a Mercury retrograde, so it had a chance. The publishing company took 4 ½ months to decide they wanted to publish, which is the usual amount of time for a company to consider and make a decision.
My recommendation to everyone, between now and the middle of April, is to include some sort of meditation time into your day. Because the element of fire is the element of initiative, fealty, and zeal (among other things), it’s good to find ways to include these expressions in your meditations. There are countless and creative ways to do this, starting with any thoughts on how we engage the element of fire in our lives every day. Just eating food, for instance, and burning that fuel in your body is a fire element exercise. Done mindfully, is a contemplative one, full of appreciation for your body as an amazing organic machine.
The world we live in seems quite volatile and angry at this time in history. It is not peaceful, and there are threats in so many places. World leaders must go through the year trying to move forward, but they will experience fiery triggers along the way, particularly during these Mercury retrograde periods. If they only knew how much easier it would be if they accepted the need to slow down and be quiet for a while, and release the need to be number one, to be first, to be king of the world, and to do that processing within the self, to understand better how and when fire is best used.
I and a co-facilitator and the people who will join us on April 14th for an all-day retreat/workshop in Auburn, California, to slow down, create, and meditate together by joining in the energy of the United States horoscope, are hoping that other astrologers in the world will find the time to initiate shifts in fire energy, through peaceful understanding of how best to use it.