Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn – A Time for Holiday Survival Strategies!

December 26th, 2009 – January 15th, 2010

Hey Again Everyone and Happy Holidays!

I’m back again with a guide for the upcoming Mercury Retrograde and to also remind you one last time about my upcoming live online event, Holiday Survival Strategies – which after sitting down to gather my thoughts on this next Mercury Retrograde couldn’t be more timely! And yes we also have a Mars Retrograde beginning on December 20th, 2009 that many of you more astrologically inclined already know about. If you want the scoop on that you’ll have to attend or download my live online event this coming Thursday. That’s too much for this homeboy to write about lest this article turn into 15 pages -- and you know I can go that distance no problem . . . lol!

So let’s get down to it my peeps! The coming Mercury Retrograde will occur squarely in the Astrological Sign and Archetype of Capricorn. Here’s a brief generic refresher on this cosmic cycle which will then blend into a specific assessment of how to work with this energy this time around.

Mercury Retrograde Refresher

Essentially astrology is the art and science of intuiting and interpreting the energetic and archetypal cycles of life and your soul's schedule of unfolding into the world via those cycles. All those planets out there in the heavens are mirrors for what's happening in above, so below. So any planetary cycle that we observe in the sky/Zodiac is also occurring within, because (as all mystics have said for ages) the ultimate reality is that there is no separation from what's out there and what's within. The gift of astrology is born out of learning to work with the cosmic/archetypal cycles of life consciously, as a co-creative act if you will. So if you can learn to understand the inherent function of a planetary astrological cycle, you can use that energy in a more consciously empowered manner, and bring your timing/efforts more in line with Universal Will; which means more in line with your soul. Onto Mercury Retrograde!

What is 'Mercury Retrograde' anyway? When Mercury is direct, which it is 80% of the year, we can look to the sky and see the planet's motion going forward against the backdrop of the Zodiac in the heavens. However, about every 3 ½ months the planet appears to start going backward for about three weeks. I say "appears" because in reality it's the orbit of the earth in tandem with the planetary orbit of Mercury that makes the planet appear to move backwards, though it is not really moving backwards. Nevertheless, this period of time is called Mercury Retrograde.

That being said, what does Mercury Retrograde symbolize as a process within each of us? How does it point our ego toward our soul's timing? As a function of consciousness, Mercury represents our thinking and communicative processes, the ways we access and use information, make decisions, pay attention to details, and express ourselves. Perhaps most importantly, Mercury also symbolizes the way we perceive reality via the mind.

Much of this gets reexamined during a Mercury Retrograde cycle via the astrological sign's themes it's retrograde in (Capricorn this time!). We are asked to retreat within and reevaluate what serves our life with regards to this Mercurial function of consciousness, and what needs to be upgraded, reworked, rethought, refined, and/or let go of in the ways that we think about and experience things. If we resist this, then we invoke the "Trickster" side of Mercury contained in Mercury's function. You all know this too well: miscommunications, missed flights, accidents, computer and other tech breakdowns...need I go on?! All of these are designed to help you realize you're not in control (big theme this time around) and that a deeper design is trying to emerge into your consciousness by putting your ego-mind in the back seat for a time.

When Mercury is moving direct, our minds tend to work on a more functional/forward level. Our energy is invested in more assertive decision-making and action with less retrospection and reflection. However, we are unconsciously picking up on intuitive information, which will come to call during the retrograde cycle for further integration. There needs to be a time of rest and assimilation of all the information that we perceive consciously and unconsciously - much like our need for sleep every day. And a time for our inner wisdom to come forth and guide us to re-organize, rethink, reevaluate, redo, and reboot. This is part of the organic, natural flow of life. Our culture, however, made up of schedules and deadlines, doesn't often accommodate a cycle of introspective reflection and re-evaluation. This is why this cycle can be so brutal for some of us.....especially those of us, like me, with a thousand deadlines and agendas!

Even though Mercury is moving direct, it will eventually enter into its retrograde zone (the degrees of the astrological sign it will retrograde over) about two weeks before it goes retrograde. This set up phase began back on December 9th for this current cycle. Around that time signals from the environment would have begun alerting you towards inner and outer situations that are in need of some reflection and reevaluation - which for this retrograde will be connected to themes of Capricorn. Take a moment and reflect on what was happening in your life at the beginning of the month and how the themes have been shifting since then in your experience.

Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn

December 26th, 2009 – January 15th, 2009

This Mercury Retrograde (MR) officially begins on December 26th (right after Christmas, nice right??) and ends in the New Year on January 15th, 2010. Yet as previously mentioned, the set up phase has been in motion since December 9th when Mercury entered into the degree of Capricorn it will retrogress back to. As Capricorn as an archetype has to do with our ambitions and goals in the world, the poignancy of this MR bridging us from the last year into the next is synchronicity at its best! We are cosmically asked to look at our lives square in the eyes and get down to the bottom line we’re facing per the fate and destiny of our times – most notably via the economy, something archetypally connected to Capricorn.

That said, we must understand that the challenges we are going through now are not just transformational, they are evolutionary. And the time has come to rethink what fuels our ambitions and if that serves the greater global context of our collective Destiny.

Capricorn – From Ambition to Service

Every zodiacal sign in astrology represents an archetypal step in the developmental process of human consciousness. By the time we reach the sign Capricorn, symbolized by the mountain goat (sometimes with a fish’s body) we are at process in human development through which our soul must birth into our ego through a role of service to society which we typically define as a career.

Careers often ask much from us in terms of tenacity, fortitude, perseverance, mastery, motivation, and ambition – all qualities of Capricorn and that anyone born December 21st-January 19th must develop as part of a life path. Yet it’s my intuitive sense as mirrored in my client readings of late that what this MR will excavate what it is that has been motivating our ambitions and goals when it comes to our careers. I mean, what exactly is the purpose of working so hard to have things in life and why is that our focus of our purpose? For those of you out there who are suffering from job loss, from the fear of job loss, or from significant pay cuts I know that these questions have been stalking you. Not to mention many of us have been forced to ask what bottom line changes must we now make – like it or not – to survive.

Whether we have currently have survival or career issues energized in our life or not, I feel the MR will bring up similar theses themes for all of us as the cosmos has soulfully deemed it time to evaluate the quality of empowerment that fuels our life’s ambition via the archetype of Capricorn. For it is our empowerment that functions as the arbiter of whether we engage a ‘career’ or ‘calling’ via our role of service to the world.

That said, I’ve noticed that when our ambitions are motivated by our insecurities and a need to prove ourselves to the world, we become graspingly attached to the outcome of our efforts and often feel little real meaning or satisfaction in what we accomplish. Often we find ourselves unconsciously chasing our value through our accomplishments, hoping we’ll eventually capture it in the form of some accolade or prized status laden possession. And even when we get it, don’t we feel empty and even more disconnected?

However, when our ambition is supported by an empowered sense of Self and a need to extend that into service to others, we rest easy with our efforts as we know that we are channeling purpose vs. ‘manifesting’ it with an inflated sense that we make things happen. Could it be that we don’t really manifest our life’s purpose at all, rather through healthy self-esteem from our soul and solid boundaries (Capricorn) we become exquisite vessels which channel it into being? This MR in Capricorn will help us understand what this really means so that we can detach from the gravity of a career to the pull of a new force: a calling. But callings play by different rules than careers, and most important, they ask us to bring our soul service to the world with a surrender of ego attachment. Now the concept of surrender brings me to the next thing up for evaluation during this MR in Capricorn: where exactly do we have power vs. where are we powerless in life?

Power vs. Powerlessness

One of the greatest spiritual tasks we are continually asked to engage is the discernment of where we have power in life and where we don’t. Said another way, when do apply self-effort (Capricorn) vs. allowing grace to do its thing. I’ve noticed that in my own life I’ve spent so much time trying to control things I simply cannot; such as whether someone will abandon me, whether people like me or not, how many copies my book sells, whether someone loves me or not, how folks respond to my newsletters – LOL! You get the picture!

Take a moment and look at your life with compassionate eyes. What are you trying to have control and power over that you simply have can’t? Have you let this economic recession diminish your worth when it’s simply something you can’t control? Capricorn is about our mortal limits and I sense that this MR will ask us to come to terms with powerlessness in our lives. I would recommend making a list of all the things you are trying to control and then assess whether you really can. Many of these themes are coming up for review over the next month, especially in the context of your family gatherings, ahem! (Oh yeah, that’s right, I know many of you out there want to control your folks, children, and spouses – you know it!)

The truth is that we are powerless over so much in life and that the limitations of our egos are astounding. Yet, it’s through surrender to this truth and embracing the power of the soul that we are truly free! Free to do what you might ask? Free to be called and drafted by the very wind we cannot control – this is the wind of Destiny that can sweep you up and take you to higher ground if only you’d let go. . .

Let this upcoming MR guide you into the spaces you hold on to the illusion of control out of fear. Give yourself the gift of offering up to the Divine what you can’t control, and pray to be shown where you must apply self-effort to effect the changes in your life. This is a powerful prayer that I guarantee will get answered!

Speaking of which I just did a powerful radio show on this subject of power vs. powerlessness that you can listen to for free via this link for a few more days:

Power, Powerlessness, and Responsibility

As we speak about power and powerlessness the next thing that must be addressed with this MR in Capricorn is the concept of ‘responsibility’ – a major Capricorn theme. I mean if we are powerless over certain things in life and we get clear on that, then how do we assess what are our true responsibilities?

Capricorn as an archetype has everything to do with being responsible. Yet many of us live with a confused sense of responsibility because we feel we should be able to control things we cannot. Thus this MR is bound to necessitate and re-evaluation of what are responsibilities to others and ourselves truly are based on where we have power and where we don’t in life.

And this can work both ways! Maybe we aren’t being responsible enough and aren’t doing the necessary work to evolve our lives. Or maybe we are being hyper-responsible and taking on trying to move mountains we can’t move! Capricorn is a pragmatic force and I sense that we’ll asked to look at the bottom line reality of our lives, while being called to take responsibility for ourselves where we’ve been complacent and asked to give up the burden of false responsibilities. So if you’ve been engaging in magical thinking as a defense against hard work or exhausting yourself trying to rescue everyone – get ready, ha!

There is so much more this MR in Capricorn will dislodge and encompass in addition to the aforementioned themes. Every zodiac sign is an archetype unto itself, yet contains what I call ‘sub-archetypes’ that are connected to and issue from it. Here’s a brief list of some Capricorn’s sub-archetypes that will be energized for re-evaluation in your life over the next month. I’ll be covering how they’ll affect you in my live online event this Thursday – to register see the info below, registration will be cut off as of 4pm MST on Thursday December 17th.

Sub-archetypes of Capricorn Energized During MR
The Martyr
The Rescuer
The Adult Child
The Entrepreneur
The Pessimist/Depressive
The Survivor
The Businessman
The King/Tyrant
The Economist
The Strategist
The Workaholic
The Pragmatist
The Conservative
The Loyalist
The Egotist
The Patriarch

As you can see, these are all very masculine and often driven archetypes that embody many of the qualities I mentioned in the first description of the Capricorn pattern. Capricorn is a masculine energy which relates to how we externalize ourselves via our ego into the larger world through our status, career, and a position of authority – all of which will come under review in the context of cultivating integrity to serve the greater holism of the social fabric into which we are woven.

To the Midpoint and Beyond. . .

So here we all are, on the eve of an annual life reevaluation with one year/decade ending and another beginning, AND on the eve of a MR in Capricorn. To use this time wisely I would counsel a reorganization and reassessment of your priorities within the context of the Capricorn archetypal themes. For more guidance, please consider attending my live online event on Thursday evening.

Ultimately this retrograde brings a deep surrender and review of our authentic ambition and responsibilities. We are asked by Mercury to receive a new message from our soul regarding what motivates our goals in life. This will pave the way for a new cycle to emerge in which we find ourselves practically surviving in the New Year, but also more connected to our highest potential and true purpose on this planet.

The abdication of our will/ego to the soul can be quite a struggle as the retrograde cycle commences, and this struggle usually lasts for the first 11 days of the cycle. Usually by the 12th day we are so frustrated and embattled that we give up and the conscious ego is forced to release its hold over our unconscious. This coincides with what is called the ‘mid-point of the retrograde cycle’ (when the Sun joins Mercury in the sky which this time occurs on January 4th.) Up until January 4th let the horizon of your consciousness expand as you get out of your own way.

I sense that many of us will need to reconsider where we are headed and how to achieve our soul’s goals. We are going through a scary time in many regards. Many are still losing jobs and the economic transition is itself at a mid-point. This MR offers an ideal opportunity to be in consultation with your soul as to how you’re meant to deliver your unique service to this changing world through an altruistic entrepreneurial approach. Though it’s time to practically rethink your life, don’t forget that you absolutely have a reason for being here. And that reason is connected to how you can uniquely answer the call to serve others.

Though new beginnings may come into view during and post the Mercury Retrograde Mid-point on January 4th, the traditional approach to Mercury Retrograde of refraining from signing new contracts, making new major purchases, making new important decisions, and initiating new endeavors remains intact. This is because the friction in the psyche is still fresh and will birth even more new information and ideas until the cycle completes. 

As the second half of the retrograde progresses post January 4th, new ideas will become more and more informed. The last ten days of the retrograde cycle thus become a time to be passively receptive to the new, and ensuring you’ve let go of the old. This will allow more time for holistic agendas to emerge as well as better strategies for their enactment. Though you can get your strategy on and entrepreneur engaged once Mercury begins its next cycle of going direct on January 15th,2010 -- be mindful that we’ll still be in a Mars Retrograde in Leo which begins on December 20th and lasts until March 10th. To find out what that means you’ll have to sign up for my live online event ‘Holiday Survival Strategies’, ha! Hey if I give it all away for free I wouldn’t be able to pay my own mortgage!!

Thank you for being in my life. Please have a Happy and blessed Holiday knowing you are loved. I look forward to connecting with you on December 17th or in the New Year at one of my many events. Don’t forget I host a free radio show at every Thursday at 9am PST/12pm EST and have put together some great show topics for January, stay tuned!

Robert Ohotto
Intuitive Life Strategist

Please note that the cut off to sign up for the following live online event will be Thursday December 17th at 4pm MST. You don’t have to attend the event live, but must sign up prior to this to download it as an MP3 post-event.

Holiday Survival Strategies - Live Online Event!Holiday Survival Strategies - Live Online Event!    
December 17th, 2009 6pm PST / 9pm EST
If the holiday season leaves you feeling more picked apart than the Christmas turkey, then you won’t want to miss this live online event! Join Robert for a powerful ninety-minute one-night live online workshop that will prepare you to handle the holidays - and yourself - with compassion. With his usual humor and bottom-line intuitive and practical guidance, Robert will help you understand the soul contract you have with your family while teaching you how to hold onto your power through defined yet loving boundaries with family members.

Through this live online interactive workshop Robert will teach you:

  • The current archetypal cycles energized this holiday season and how to work with them
  • How to identify the disempowered archetypal role you’ve played in your family as a contract and transform it into a new creative force in your life
  • The importance of understanding The Scapegoat archetype and its empowered companion The Alchemist as part of transforming Family Fate into Destiny
  • Ways to identify the unclaimed pain you’ve inherited from your family and rewrite the story lines of your family drama
  • Essential tools of Self-Parenting and identifying your Child archetype
  • How to cultivate compassion for family members that really trigger you, whilst still maintaining boundaries which protect the space of your own transformation
  • Ways to identify when a family member has sent you an invitation to ‘shadow dance’ with them and how to decline the invite!
  • The anatomy of the family psyche and how to understand it as an energy system
  • How to choose love over fear with family members
  • Why family members resist your empowerment and often times subconsciously seek to sabotage it
  • How to let go of your need of approval from family members so you can move forward with your life’s purpose
  • Ways to practically use acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude as alchemical elixirs of transformation within family dynamics
  • The importance of knowing what you can and can’t control within family dynamics
  • How to cleanly detach from toxic family members while owning your own shadow
  • How to heal from family rejection, betrayal, and abandonment wounds

And much more!

Plus, there will be an additional 30 minutes of Q&A with Robert after the lecture portion of the event for those who want to stick around and keep going! And once the event has concluded you will be able to download the audio and listen to it again -- as much as you need to keep you in the zone of choosing self-care and love over old story lines and fear this holiday season with family.

Give yourself the gift of learning strategies of Grace to survive the holidays fully empowered and on Purpose!

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