Risking Letting Your Light Shine - Mercury Retrograde in Leo!

Hey Everyone!

As I sit her writing this newsletter, it's a hot sunny day here in Boulder, CO. My thoughts have been ruminating on why many of us are often afraid to shine and what 'shining' even means. A little over a week ago I did a 'Dialogue with Destiny' radio show on the current Mercury Retrograde in Leo that took me into places I hadn't anticipated. As I prepped for the show I could literally feel a 'heat' beginning to generate in my body - always I sign that my system is amping-up with a serious download!

The show was off the hook intense and afterward I felt like I was unplugged from an electrical current. As my system calmed down, I tweeted an afterthought from the show: 'Your life's purpose is to shine as bright as possible, not dim down. If others can't handle your luminosity tell them to put on sunglasses!'

My tweets automatically tag to my Facebook Fan Page wall which allows others to comment on what the tweet means to them. I love this! I get to see how what I'm saying inspires and sometimes triggers folks to look at themselves. That said, the responses to this aforementioned tweet were very interesting.

Most folks loved it, and yet someone also wrote "Easier said than done when you have to survive and live in the world." Another person commented, "Exactly!" endorsing the sentiment of the former comment. That got me thinking...what do people think it really means to 'shine'?  And why would some assume that shining is contrary to their survival?

Of course all of this completely intrigues me because as I look to the heavens and see that Mercury is currently in Leo and appears to be going backward in the sky, I know that these themes of shining and dimming down have everything to do with the energy of this cycle. Don't believe me? Keep reading!

Those of you who have followed my work for some time now, you know that archetypal astrology is one of my favorite intuitive tools and something I happen to know a lot about. It simply is one of the most accurate, empirical, and exquisite ways to interpret the energy of cycles and how our life's purpose unfolds through them. I truly cannot think of a better life map than that of your personal astrological birth chart. In the right hands it can be interpreted as a core blue print of your life's purpose.

In many respects using archetypal astrology is where I got my start as an intuitive counselor and coach - but I still shy away from being called an 'astrologer'. Not that I don't swim in astrological waters with the best of them, rather I also swim in Buddhist, Yogic, Taoist, Gnostic, Hakomi, Zen, Martial Art, Hermetic, Depth Psychological, and too many other waters to name! You get my drift...besides; I really can't stand the limitations of labels, nor can my Destiny! Furthermore my entire approach to astrology defies most stereotypes that many astrologers, birthday books, and sun sign columns embellish.

Having said that, let's take a swim in some archetypal astrological waters shall we?! I promise to be your astrological life guard! To begin, how about a little education on what archetypal astrology is, and then a look at what the Mercury Retrograde cycle means.

Cosmos is Psyche - Archetypal Astrology

Essentially astrology is the art and science of charting, interpreting, and intuiting the energetic and archetypal cycles of life and your life's purpose unfolding into the world via those cycles. All those planets out there in the heavens are mirrors for what's happening in us......as above, so below. In projecting and hanging their psyches on the stars and planets the ancients simply participated in what may have been the first collective Rorschach Test!

Thus 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. Therefore it should be understood that the planets aren't 'causing' anything to happen, rather represent a synchronistic process of how the inner and outer are indeed connected in a solar system that itself is a living energy pattern. And these patterns comprise the creative matrix within which we co-create our lives.

The gift of using astrology is that of learning to consciously work with the cosmic clock of archetypal cycles that are evolving and manifesting life, as a co-creative act if you will. Working with astrology allows us to see the 'inner' and 'outer' world as one unified creative field of energy. So if you can learn to understand the inherent symbolic meaning of a planetary cycle, you can use that energy in a more consciously empowered manner, and bring your timing/efforts more in line with Universal Will. It's like flowing with the current of life instead of against it.

To simply this, all of life manifests via patterns and cycles of time, yes? Before you hopped onto the planet there were already cycles and patterns much bigger than your human ego creating reality. Part of your purpose is to create within these larger energetic patterns - don't cha think it's best to work with them consciously as they are like a form of creative gravity you can't avoid be pulled by? I thought you'd agree! Now then, onto Mercury Retrograde!

What is 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 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 (primarily Leo 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 archetype. 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, functioning 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 there 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.

Indeed there is a need to rest and assimilate 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 nor endorse cycle of introspective reflection and re-evaluation. This is why this cycle can be so brutal for some of us!

Even when Mercury is moving direct, it will eventually enter into its retrograde zone (the degrees of the astrological sign(s) it will retrograde over) about two weeks before it goes retrograde. This set up phase began back on July 15th 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 is primarily connected to themes of Leo.

Homework Begins...Get Your Journal Out!

Take a moment and reflect on what was happening in your life around 3 weeks ago 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 in this case the change has a 'shiny' quality to it...ah yes, let's get back to what I began discussing in the beginning of the article and look at Mercury Retrograde in Leo!

Mercury Retrograde in Leo

This Mercury Retrograde (MR) officially began on August 2nd and ends on August 26th. Yet, as previously mentioned, the set up phase has been in motion since July 15th when Mercury entered into the degree of Leo it will retrogress back to.  This particular retrograde finds its midpoint (when Mercury lines up directly with the Sun) on August 16th. 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 Leo themes. Usually the themes are most intense up until the midpoint. Of course, that is unless you keep resisting the Leo message that is trying to get through to you!  

Opening to the Message...What does it mean to 'Shine'?

Reflecting back to the comments on my tweet and what it means to shine I realized that most of us have struggled greatly with shining out what is most unique about ourselves. On one hand many of us have been coached by our families, religions, and cultures to shoot for the stars in terms of who we can become. Then on the other hand we have been shamed for revealing who we innately, divinely, and authentically really are. So we're told 'shine this way, but not that way' and when we then proceed to bury in our psyche the star quality that is truly our own we in turn become invisible to ourselves.

So what does it mean to shine? Shining is simply BEING WHO YOU ARE! It doesn't necessarily mean winning American Idol, America's Next Top Model, The Biggest Loser, Top Chef, So You Think You Can Dance, Survivor, or RuPaul's Drag Race! (LOL!) Hell, even The Bachelor and Bachelorette are competitions to see who shines enough to get a frackin' rose!

Seriously though, look at our culture and how we define shining as: 'Shine Big or Go Home'. Not all of us have life purposes to 'Shine Big' this way, but that certainly doesn't mean we should go home and hide in our closet! We are just called to shine in a different way that is nonetheless equally as luminous. Come on now!

This MR brings up a need to truly define what it actually means to 'Shine Big' and reveal who we are. This 'shine big' business is a by-product of a culture that it hitting bottom with its own narcissist complex - a culture that has been repressing its own authenticity such that it has become invisible to itself.

The Price of Visibility

I've discovered in my intuitive work that when we do not honor an aspect of our life's purpose which seeks to become visible, we usually do it because we feel it isn't safe to reveal and embody this part of ourselves. The person who commented that shining isn't easy to do in the real world if you want to survive spoke on behalf of us all, did they not? Think about it...do you really feel safe enough to reveal to the world what your soul whispers to you? Can you make an aspect of your unique nature visible even though it may discomfort the expectations of others causing them to redraw their map of you are to them?

Frankly, there is some truth in the idea that if we reveal who we are or are becoming per the dictates of our soul that there is a price to pay. Absolutely true - look at what that price cost Jesus Christ when he sought to reform Judaism, Martin Luther King Jr. when he stood visibly in his African-American Identity as an equal in a racist society, Harvey Milk and Matthew Shepard when they lived their lives openly as empowered gay men, and Benazir Bhutto when she risked taking a political stand in a deeply patriarchal political culture. Each of these folks paid the ultimate price for shining out to the world who they were, and yet some core part of us knows that we are under contract with Destiny to also do the same in some area of our lives...continually as aspect of our purpose.

How do we know what our terms of authenticity are? If they exact a price to be lived, what's the cost if we don't? Glad you asked because you know that this MR wants you to!

The Cost of Managing Invisibility

I too have struggled with shining at various times in my life. At each juncture when I reached a choice point to either reveal who I was or hide it, I could feel in my system that I would break my honor with my own soul if I hid my truth - and if I did that I would lose a part of my Destiny and become invisible to myself in some way.
That said, you absolutely know when you have to finally reveal and shine an aspect of who you are because you feel it in your heart like an ache. Think of a time when you finally had to tell someone something, maybe you finally had to come clean on a lie or end a relationship. Remember that feeling of ache in your heart? That feeling that if you didn't tell the truth it was going to archive on your soul's record and haunt you beyond this life?

That was your soul speaking to you...and it's that same gnawing feeling that also tells you it's time to honor your purpose and shine out your nature to serve life. I would imagine this same feeling stalked the aforementioned revolutionaries as well as Buddha and Ghandi.  And in working with thousands of clients all these years as an intuitive counselor/coach I know that this is true for everyone. Furthermore when we don't honor this feeling, we often will manage it with denial and addictions while criticizing others who do shine. (You ever done this? I know I have!)

Oh yes, if out of fear you decide not to honor yourself and listen to this signal of self-revelation that urges you to shine, you then risk becoming invisible to yourself as you bury who you are into your shadow. And then you manage your invisibility via certain shadow patterns (archetypes) such as the Narcisssist, Vampire, Addict, Co-dependent, Coward, and yes even Perfectionist.

Many of these patterns are about taking the life force and luminosity of others to sustain your own because now you can't see yourself in the mirror (just like the vampire). And this is the price we pay when we don't shine in the ways Destiny asks of us.

Now then, not all of us are asked by life to die for a cause folks...I think we can drop the story line that if 'we shine we'll die'. Rather perhaps it's time to understand and embrace that if we don't shine we won't LIVE, we'll just breath to exist.

So if this MR points you to evaluate the ways you manage your invisibility and why you feel dead inside - don't go hatin' on yourself! Love yourself into taking that first step out into the sunshine of your Destiny. Maybe you can't start by just telling someone what you really feel about a situation in your life, or where you really want to go eat for dinner! Start there!

Your Light Serves my Light

I need the quality of light that only you carry to shine on me to illuminate and warm me such that I can be free to shine mine right back at you. See how that works! If we all just simply started being what and who are truly are and are called to become, what a luminous world full of stars we would be! And maybe then, just maybe we could start sharing the stage instead of competing for it. (Can someone please get this message to our politicians?)

In the radio show I did on this MR in Leo I covered many other aspects of this cycle and took it to an entirely different level -- in much more detail than a newsletter format and my time can allow. You can purchase that show via the link below.

Moving on From the Midpoint...

As we pass the intensity of this midpoint of the current MR cycle on the 16th, we can expect many revelations to issue forth regarding what in you now needs to express itself to others. To use this time wisely I would counsel a reorganization and reassessment of your esteem, uniqueness, and willingness to share that soulful uniqueness with the world.

Ultimately this retrograde brings a deep review of our courage to shine, and willingness to discomfort others if we do. We can indeed shine and survive, AND it's OK that not everyone appreciates our particular kind of luminosity. Can you be ok with others not embracing your star quality or who you really are? Are you willing to be invisible to yourself to make others happy? Mercury would like you ponder these deep questions now and may act as your own personal 'Adjustment Bureau' if you don't out of holding space for your luminous highest potential. Leo was born to shine like the Sun, and so were you.

As Gaga Says...You were born this way baby! And I'm lovin' you for it!! Bring it on!

Robert Ohotto
Intuitive Counselor, Coach, and Life Strategist

PS - If you are interested in learning more about my work on Archetypal Astrology we've brought back the Soul Destinies Home Study for another limited run. I don't make this available all the time due to the enormous amount of production that goes into making it specifically for you! Additionally there is a personalized report I created years ago that is will be discontinued at the end of the month called the 'Personal Birth Chart Workbook and Report'. Though not even close to as deep as the Home Study, it's still a fantastic resource for understanding your archetypes and birth chart and is available in both PDF and hard copy, but only until the end of August. Get it while you can! See below to learn more!


Home StudyClick here to BUY now

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!
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!

Click here to BUY now OR Learn more about these courses here.


The Personal Birth Chart Workbook and Report is soon to be discontinued! Purchase now at 10% off!    


Personal Birth ChartThe Personal Birth Chart Workbook and Report is a 35-page report redesigned to help you embrace your archetypes and soul's purpose. The first part of the report is written like a workbook and guides you through exercises in identifying your archetypes, while the second part of the report analyzes in detail your own astrological chart to further expand an understanding of the energy your soul signed up to work with this lifetime!
Learn More >


Personal Birth ChartNEW! Inner Shifts & Coaching Series

Healing Perfectionism: The Art of Becoming Whole Within Yourself

Robert's powerful new work has finally arrived! For a limited time get 10% off and 40% off a Dialogue with Destiny Archive Membership when purchased together! Don't miss this amazing opportunity! Learn More >

September 30th - October 2nd, 2011

Omega InstituteTransforming Shame Into Mysticism: The Alchemy of Recovering the Soul
Intuitive Robert Ohotto shows us that a new mystical path to freedom and empowerment requires that we redefine mysticism. To truly begin recovering the soul, we must understand mysticism as a process of negotiating five primary patterns-the alchemist, the addict, the mystic, the scapegoat, and the wounded healer-inside each of us.
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