The gym I work out at lines up its treadmills against huge plate glass windows, that allow us to watch scores of pedestrians strolling past. The place uses standard glass, so the pedestrians can look in at us, even as we look out at them. I’m a fat woman, so I get lots of double takes when I do my weekly hamster imitation (I go to other exercise classes the facility offers the rest of the week.) Even so, the reactions are usually positive – thumbs up, flirtatious elder men, men who are a bit too persistent and aggressive in their nonverbal communications that get a glare and a headshake “no” from me – what you might expect from a high traffic area of Minneapolis.
Last night, reactions were not so positive. One expression that was an open glare – the “how DARE you go out looking like that?” expression, a guy that I’m pretty sure was going to show myself and a neighboring gerbil-imitator his penis until he saw me reaching for my phone, and multiple glares my direction that were clearly about projecting their guilt at me in the form of resentful looks. It’s always a strange, but usually fun, fishbowl experience. I haven’t experienced that level of open resentment for just being – based on the internal monologues of strangers – since I was in high school. Hopefully no one here needs it explained why just seeing a person is not a valid reason to cast your emotional state upon them.
I came home grumpy, and Mike and I have both been feisty yet tired. And not in the fun way. I can tell from the crank tweets and some appalling communications that it’s Mercury Retrograde… and it’s a full moon.
Tonight is the official full moon night during Mercury Retrograde. While Wiccans like myself think of the moon as a beneficial, life-giving force, a revered aspect of the feminine, it does cast its shadow. ((I find “shadow” as a psychological term to be widely misused, and will hopefully remember to examine this another time.)) In tarot, the Moon usually means someone is in denial – or someone is indulging in really shitty, manipulative, behind-your-back behavior that the patriarchy pretends is the strict purview of women. In other words, while the moon can bring about gentle illumination and regulates the tides, it can also obscure, obsfuscate – and influence us to deceive ourselves.
Combine those shadow qualities with Mercury Retrograde. What do you get?
Grouchy people assigning blame to people outside themselves for the emotions raging within themselves.
And it’s a full moon in Mercury Retrograde.
If you’ve gone about your time peaceably, that’s awesome.
The good side of this condition? It’s a great time to go within, to break up denial that might be sneaking under your radar, and to really re-examine your own assumptions.
So tonight, if you’re not honoring the Esbat in some other manner, here’s my suggested activity: go inside your brain.
Spend the evening meditating. You don’t need to do the old-school “think of nothing” that nobody can actually do; you can think of SOMETHING, look at pictures, or even paint, draw, free write – whatever allows you an altered state.
Begin with one question: What am I in denial about?
Write, paint, create, whatever comes to mind. When you see yourself writing down names external to yourself, focusing on something where you THINK a person feels a certain way but have not heard those words from that person and so on, cross it out. This is a mislead, your brain leading you back into protective denial.
This is only about you, about the inner core of your own mind, about the place we know the least about magically or physically, and the place we must learn to do cleansings and blessings upon: our own personalities, the life perspective and experience that is our sole gift from life until death.
What are you in denial about?
From there, the next step is to light a candle, or some incense, or pour a libation, and ask for divine help (your own divinity, if that’s how it translates) in accepting that thing.
Then turn the page, get a fresh sheet, open a new marker –
What must you do to accept this new condition?
What must you do to accept yourself?
Create or meditate until you are spent, and if you feel comfortable, instruct your dreaming mind to set about solving this dilemma too.
It’s up to you whether you share what you learn. Given the nature of Mercury Retrograde, however, I encourage you to perhaps wait until Mercury goes direct to share your experiences or to show what you created. You can also set it aside and pull it out at the next Mercury Retrograde: see what progress you’ve made since then.