First, what areas are giving you difficulty? And why? There are several Tarot cards to keep in mind, all Major Arcana cards, that can help to clarify things during this time. First, the High Priestess, who represents wisdom and secrets hidden in plain sight. In terms of this time, it's easy to get tunnel vision, and see only things that aren't working out, troubles and sources of stress. The High Priestess tells us to take a step back- what are we missing because of stress?
|Courtesy of Egypt Urnash, from the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn|
Next, moving in sequence, we encounter the Hermit, number 9 in the Majors. The Hermit is, in some ways, a transition from the High Priestess, as the Hermit represents looking within yourself, illuminating hidden areas of your life. Notice that the Hermit carries a staff and lantern- the lantern indicates bringing things to light that were hidden by the dark. Going back to our example, were you so caught up in the negative that you missed something? It's ok if so, we all do it now and again! But a big part of the Hermit is fearlessness, one aspect of the staff he carries. This Hermit has the will and determination to see what the truth is, even if it hurts. And this too is an aspect of Mercury's retrograde- it can be a time to examine the past, to bring up old hurts and sore spots you may be holding on to. Not for the faint of heart, this can be a tough time, but worth it for the insight and understanding it engenders.
|From the Dragon Mind of Zen Tarot|
Third, we have the Hanged Man. Here's a card that tells of sacrifice and tough times (I'm noticing a theme here) but that sacrifice is for a reason. Here, what the Hanged Man gains is insight and new perspective. Similar to the Hermit in this regard, the Hanged Man is in some ways an evolution of the Hermit here. The Hermit goes out and finds, the Hanged Man takes on the challenge this new knowledge represents. Sometimes the sacrifice we make is that of our comfort zone- new knowledge means we come to look at the world in a different way, and things cease to be the same. We change, in other words, and that change can be scary. I chose this version of the Hanged Man from the Vertigo Tarot, as it is portrayed by Shade, from the comics of the same name. Shade goes through several reincarnations, either going back of his own accord or being forced back, and in addition to losing his mind on more than one occasion, developing a split personality, sort of, and removing his own heart, well, he does his best to set things right.
|One of many versions of The Changing Man|
Mercury going retrograde can be a tough time, and I'm sure we all know tough times aren't limited to the motions of the planets around us. But it's not what we go through, but how we go through it and what we can take away that determines our experience. Remember, life is a learning experience- nothing you learned from and gained from is ever truly wasted.