Mercury Retrograde in Aries/Soul Destinies Home Study

Hey Everyone from Kripalu!

I hope you enjoyed the free download I sent out with my last newsletter on the 'Rebel vs. Revolutionary'. I will be building on some of the ideas presented for that radio show in this newsletter on Mercury Retrograde - oh yes, it's officially here!

Before I get going on that, this newsletter also serves as the official launch of my Soul Destinies Home Studies program. 'Soul Destinies' is a yearlong intensive program I developed and taught in the Black Hills of South Dakota via the Ananke-Apollo Institute. The program focuses on the discovery of your life's purpose through the use of Intuitive Archetypal Astrology, a field I've been pioneering for some time now. Because of the various new demands on my schedule this year I am unable to teach that particular program this year and thus for a limited time have made it available for those who would like to study that material as a way of decoding not only your Soul Contract, but the archetypal cycles of time that it's lived through.

I've produced roughly 75 home studies and once they sell out that'll be it; I won't be offering it again this year as a home study. Currently we've sold out about half of that 75. So if you're interested please read the additional information at the bottom of the newsletter. As part of the 'official' launch of this home study, it's being discounted 10% through the month of April. While we explore the current cycle of Mercury Retrograde I think it'll become apparent just how valuable learning the archetypal language of cycles and your Soul's Contract can be!

Mercury Retrograde in Aries


March 30th-April 23rd 

As I returned to my astrological roots and started to collect my thoughts for this article, it became all the more apparent to me the enormity of the shifts we are going through right now all over the planet. There are both literal and symbolic tectonic shifts happening both in the Earth and in us. One of the things that continue to fascinate me about using Archetypal Astrology to interpret and perceive the world is just how accurate of a tool it truly is.

I mean, when we track the shifting archetypes of the heavens via astrology they are undeniably and precisely reflected in the events of the world. For example, as we have Uranus (planetary archetype of revolution, humanity, and freedom) transition into the sign of Aries (zodiacal archetype of rebellion, individuality, and tyrannical king) on March 11th we witness the rebellion and revolution against tyrannical dictators happening in the Middle East around the same time!

This might seem unbelievable, but as someone who's tracked the archetypal cycles of time on Earth and how they co-create our Destiny, it's not so much in my world - though it is nonetheless fascinating. What's even more fascinating is that not only are these collective cycles, they are also personal as well meaning that they affect all of us individually in some way or another. Said another way, we each are beginning to stage a rebellion against our 'internal' tyrants, are we not?

How many of you are feeling caged in and ready for a 'rebel to revolutionary' clause to animate in your Soul Contract? Furthermore, it must be acknowledged that we have our own version of external tyrants which may not be as obvious as some Middle East dictator - anyone else see the academy award winning documentary film "Inside Job"? Holy sh*#! If you haven't seen it you must, for then you too will understand that a healthy spirit of rebellion against 'the powers that be' might do all of us some good!

Truly, movies like 'Inside Job' make me realize that it might be good to challenge our 'western illusions' of democracy so we can finally see our own tyrannical kings and their duplicitous leadership. Can't kick someone's ass unless you can see who's ass to kick, you know what I'm sayin'?  Dang, hold onto your seats for this newsletter as I'm feeling the revolutionary impulse kicking in baby! Breathe Robert,!

That said, as I continue with this article more exclusively on the current Mercury Retrograde in Aries; please keep in mind that this cycle references all the other cycles that are also occurring in tandem. And I would also say, as Mercury was the 'networker' of the Gods, it connects their independent themes into one harmonic process. Before we get going, how about a little 'refresher'?

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. Working with astrology allows us to see the 'inner' and 'outer' world as one unified field of energy. 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 1/2 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 and if we embrace the axiom 'As Above, So Below' then when planets appear to move backward in the sky it means something.

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 (Aries 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 and that a deeper design is trying to emerge into your consciousness by putting your ego-mind in the back seat for a time and function as a sort of 'Adjustment Bureau'.

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, eventually their needs to be a period of re-evaluation and consideration of not only tons of unacknowledged intuitive information, but also all the choices we've been making and their consequences within our 'flow chart of Destiny'. All of this 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.....and with Mercury currently retrograding in an astrological archetype that likes to go forward, get ready for some show downs!

Even when 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 March 16th 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 Aries.

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. I like to keep a 'retrograde journal' for each Mercury Retrograde so I can track what's changing both inside and outside of me, and let me tell you with this retrograde change is knocking down my door like a Ram! Did I say 'Ram'? Ahhh, yes...onto
Mercury Retrograde in Aries...

Mercury Retrograde in Aries

This Mercury Retrograde (MR) officially began on March 30th and ends on April 23rd. Yet, as previously mentioned, the set up phase has been in motion since March 16th when Mercury entered into the degree of Aries it will retrogress back to.  As this particular retrograde finds its midpoint (when Mercury lines up directly with the Sun) on April 9th. While I describe the archetypal framework for this current cycle, take some time to assess what area of your life is energized by the following Aries themes. Usually the themes are most intense up until the midpoint. Of course, that is unless you keep resisting the Aries message that is trying to get through to you! 

The Aries Part of Your Life

The entire zodiac represents an exquisite way of mapping and identifying the primary twelve archetypal patterns that make up who we are. Therefore, each of us has an aspect of our life that the astrological archetype Aries represents. Aries is an archetype that represents the assertion of the ego and the intentions that motivate our will to do so. We need something to fuel our purpose and Aries represents the archetypal energy that advocates for our right to express our individuality. Without Aries energy none of us would get out of bed in the morning and become the individual we were born to be!

That said, from what I've tracked thus far for this particular retrograde, folks are being asked to reconsider and review what does indeed motivate their intentions, what fuels their ambition, and which battles they are engaged in and why. This retrograde energy has heightened a focus on the inner and outer 'tyrants' that are thwarting the rights of individuals. Obviously this is very present in the political process all over the world right now. But I encourage you to look at this from both a collective and personal perspective, as both are connected.

For example, in the USA we are considering how much we want to be involved in the rebellion process of the Middle East, which is very much drawing to the surface what motivates us to get involved in and create wars in the world. Why is that we will wage war in a country that never asked for deliverance from its dictator, yet when other countries are begging for aide, we resist taking action? Obviously we have a lot on our plate with Iraq and Afghanistan and these are indeed complex issues, but what I'm really addressing is our intentions. Intentions always tell the truth.

In the same way take a moment to consider what wars you're willing to start/fight and why - are your battles about fighting for true liberty? Or are you just losing needless power and energy in a quest to 'be right'? Track your own intentions! You might indeed find that your battles are more about trying to have power where you will never have any. For example, are you fighting to change someone else? Make someone finally validate you? What's that costing you?

This past January I taught a workshop in Boulder and was discussing oppression in terms of what true freedom really is. An African American female participant had a powerful shift in perception and then later spoke about it to the entire group stating that the slaves that were captured and brought to America were 'proud' people. They had no concept of being 'less than'. Even as they were taken captive they were still Kings and Queens that could not be conquered because coming from their homeland that was their reality. To be sure the 'slave' was later indoctrinated over the span of generations and remains a legacy that is still being healed. The participant realized that to help heal herself and her 'internalized' sense of slavery she needed to reconnect to the original ancestral sense of worth and sovereignty that slowly gave way to the 'slave' mentality she had been living.

This was such a profound insight and reminded me that authentic power is always an inside job. Whether it's a tyrannical government, religious ideology, or cultural spell of shame -- even as the 'oppressors' of the world conquer us from without, we always have the choice as to whether they conquer us from within.

And if we somehow wake up one day to realize this in some area of our lives and decide that out of our interior sovereignty we must rebel and fight for outer freedom - we'll at least have the power straight and not lose our souls in the fight. If we don't wake up and realize that true liberation is ultimately experiencing a sense of internal freedom, sooner or later we replicate our own oppression by believing the oppressor holds our power to be free. And then we are truly owned by those we believe hold the key to our prison cell.

Chart your own profile with this. Who owns you? Who and what are you a slave to? Are you feeling the need to rebel against someone or something in your life? Can you fight for your freedom without losing your soul? We must realize that in every rebellion there is always a referencing of the oppressor. We must first identify someone or something to rebel against, right? In fact, this is the first step toward freedom. But once you've identified your oppressor, it's time to re-orient your intention and power toward 'revolution'. In revolution we no longer run our reality via the oppressor because we now are ready to create it ourselves - even if we are still fighting the good fight.

Take a moment and consider who or what you currently wire your reality through because of the 'rebel/oppressor' dynamic. Is that paradoxically keeping you stuck in your oppression?

All said, this brings to mind the wise saying of 'Choose your battles wisely'. Yet more accurately perhaps we should choose our battles consciously with awareness that all outer liberation is first inspired by an inner state of freedom that seeks to uniquely express itself in the world. Now that's a fight worth dying for!

Destiny is Risk

I sense another aspect that this MR is bringing up for us to review is whether we have to courage to step out into new freedom. After all these years working with folks as an intuitive, it still astounds me how we as human beings often want things to change in our lives, but somehow believe that we can change our lives without...well, risking any change! Destiny is risk folks! Take a look at what area of your life would be well served by some healthy calculated risk.

This means we have to be willing to set out on a new adventure with some grounded guidance, yet without knowing how everything will turn out. Believe in yourself! Believe in your resiliency to survive and grow! Believe that there is a grace watching out for you when you leave the known for the unknown! 

Conversely some of us may be taking a look at some past risks we've taken in various areas of our lives and their current consequences. If we've been engaged in some reckless risk taking perhaps it's time to course correct and learn what we can from the results. The best way to do this is once again to look at our motivations and perceptions. What motivated us to risk what we did? What illusions were we under?

I've found we often can never fully know what motivates everything we do, but most notably we can't know our motivations and illusions without looking deeply at our esteem. Were we unconsciously primarily chasing validation through our risk taking? If so, no worries! Get curious about why you do this, not judgmental. Life is a process and journey, no need to feel ashamed. Forgive yourself, take responsibility, and realign to a new set of goals in line with the expression of your esteem vs. a chasing of it.

The Price of Being a Pioneer

Another aspect of Aries energy that connects with risk is the Pioneer Archetype. Pioneers always blaze the trail to open up new territory, but there is a price that's exacted for such courage. I once heard someone say, "You know how you can spot a true pioneer? By the number of arrows in their back!"

Let's face it, when others challenge our reality by going outside of the known limits we often try to take them down. Just ask Galileo! So this MR asks us if we're willing to deal with the arrows we might get in our back from moving ahead with our Destiny as individuals. Can you take an arrow and yet not take it personally? Or will you let the arrows puncture your esteem and stop you in your newly forged tracks? All of us are going to take some arrows as we become who are meant to be. Pull them out and keep going!

Moving on From the Midpoint...

As we pass the intensity of this midpoint of the current MR cycle on the 9th, we can expect many revelations issue forth. To use this time wisely I would counsel a reorganization and reassessment of your esteem, ambition, and intentions while exploring the Aries' themes I've already mentioned.

Ultimately this retrograde brings a deep review of our courage, willingness to take risks, and need to break from tribal mentality to move forward. There is incredible change in the air and an entirely new cycle kicking in on so many levels I could write a book about it! Presently we are asked by Mercury to receive a new message from our soul regarding what is to come that connects us to our individual and collective Fate and Destiny. Who are you really? Which battles are you willing to fight to fully be that in the world? How have you unconsciously been oppressing yourself? Mercury would like you ponder these deep questions now and act as your own personal 'Adjustment Bureau' if you don't!

If you'd like to hear my latest radio show on this current Mercury Retrograde in Aries for free on-demand to get even more insight into this cycle follow the link below. Finally, if your ego drive can't seem to take a back seat and you invoke the 'trickster' side of Mercury during this retrograde; at the very least remember that 'irritation' is ultimately always a choice. Ouch...I know! : )

Until next time!


Robert Ohotto
Intuitive Life Strategist

Introducing the Soul Destinies Home Study Program!
Soul Destinies Home Study Program

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Due to increasing demands on Robert's calendar, Year One of the Soul Destinies program will not be offered in 2011. And because of the frequent requests he receives for this material from prospective students who were unable attend past weekend intensives in South Dakota, Robert has made the Soul Destinies course available in audio format for home study purposes! For the first time since the program's inception in 2008, anyone interested in gaining an introductory understanding of intuitive archetypal astrology and crucial aspects of their Soul Contracts can now do so at a self-guided pace without having to travel any farther than the mailbox!

The Soul Destinies Home Study course gives you access to the same pre-requisite material required by Robert's second-year Intuitive Life Strategists (ILS) in training. However, the release of these workshops in audio format is in no way intended to replace attendance and participation requirements of Year One of the Soul Destinies program. Nor is it meant to fulfill advanced study or final certification requirements. Rather, this self-guided series provides a powerful way to engage with Robert's ground-breaking work as never before.

Without question, there's no substitute for studying directly with Robert in a majestic setting like the Black Hills of South Dakota, and having the entire year's-worth of audio guiding you through each carefully-crafted aspect of the workbook and personalized charts makes this kit the next best thing to being there! That's why the Soul Destinies Home Study option is ideal for anyone interested in exploring deeper layers of the psyche and archetypes, in addition to Robert's singular teaching style and philosophy.

Having the full year of Soul Destinies weekend intensive material at your fingertips gives you the added flexibility of tailoring the wealth of information to help you meet your own personal goals and strengthen your current personal practice.

The Soul Destinies Home Study course includes:
  • 29 audio CDs covering workshops I-III
  • Personalized natal charts
  • Course binder and workbook
  • Birth Chart Workbook and Report
Replete with transformative guided meditations, an in-depth zodiacal review, and symbolic ritual exercises, this comprehensive audio course guides you into a fuller understanding of your Soul Contract.

Among the topics addressed in this series:

Soul Destinies I

During this first workshop, Robert guides you through a myriad of sacred revelation, insight and healing. You will acquire tools to discover the most potent form of Destiny that your life was designed to hold in service to this world. Enter into this transformational work by identifying and engaging the powerful energetic forces of your Soul's archetypes and leave having gained the knowledge of its highest calling.

Soul Destinies II

Robert leads you through the depths of the Psyche and into the realms of the Shadow. Understand how working with this compelling psychic ene
rgy can be an invaluable tool that propels you toward your Soul's purpose in ways that will dramatically impact your view of personal development. Building on the Archetype work begun in Soul Destinies I, Robert will teach you how Archetypal conflict is at its essence, a key to pursuing your life's path by igniting the creative energy within the psyche as part of your Soul Contract. Robert will also introduce intuitive work and the vital role it plays in the ongoing process of self-discovery.

Soul Destinies III

Explore the dynamic nature of your Soul Contract and experience a deeper understanding of the collective process of Fate and Destiny as Robert navigates this workshop through ever-deeper waters of the Psyche. Learn how to dislodge embedded cycles of self-sabotage and recognize the timing of your Soul's Schedule. Shed light on the Dark Night of the Ego and delve into the mandates of your Soul Contract as you integrate emergent aspects of your core Self into the Ego. In the language of astrology, this weekend intensive is all about discovering how to navigate your transits!

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Archetype cards sold separately.
Soul Destinies Home Study Program



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