A Mercury Retrograde Cocktail of Confusion

Mercury is about to go retrograde. Which means it looks like it’s going backwards but it’s not actually going backwards but it is for astrology. It’s an optical illusion of the mind. Before it goes retrograde it goes through a period of about a week of passing through a shadow phase where misunderstandings, miscommunications, and misadventures of a mental kind occur with more regularity creating irregularities.

I’ve definitely been having quite a few of those this past week. However I have always had those, so I don’t think about them being influenced by anything outside of me, by astrological shenanigans or whatnot. And recently I’ve been ignoring my natal chart and how the transits of the moment are affecting it. Then last night I decided to check in and see what condition my astrological condition was in to see if it could clarify some of my confusion.

And there it was…

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Merc:Nep square

Interpretation by Robert Hand via Astrodienst

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So while Mercury goes retrograde it will also be squaring my natal Neptune which is located in the 3rd house of the mind. And the fog is not going to clear until mid-March.

Having a confused mind is my default setting. I have dyslexia and although there are benefits to the condition, there are certain aspects of it which are bloody annoying as they require intense focus which uses a lot of energy and often leaves me drained. Then again because I have to focus more and make a concerted effort to do so, I notice more, and because it is draining I need time alone to recharge my batteries, and while I am replenishing my energy I have time to reflect and review all the sensory data I have absorbed as well as the basic information and see the connections between things which often reveals something hidden, subtext and dynamics underlying things.

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nothing weird happens when I read this

Nothing weird happens when I read this – I’m one of those people who won’t point out your typos because my mind has fixed it as I read. I am often oblivious to the obvious, but very aware of that which is not so obvious. Scrambling words can be hilarious and insightful.

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The other day I read someone’s advice for helping children with dyslexia learn to recall the difference between left and right. I could see how the technique might work, depending on the type of dyslexia the child had, but for me this tidbit of information left (haha – accidental pun, you’ll see why in a minute) me even more confused.

Apparently the best way to know which side is which is to lift up both hands with fingers stretched and spread out in front of you and then look to see which side has the ‘L’ shape formed by thumb and index. The ‘L’ shape is on the Left hand. Easy, right?

It’s only easy if your particular type of dyslexia doesn’t see two ‘L’ shapes and then has to remember which way the ‘L’ shape has to go to be the correct way.

You see I know the difference between my left and my right because I ‘write’ with my ‘right’ hand – and that’s the technique I use and which has always worked for me. But now this tidbit is stuck in my head and causing confusion because my mind likes new ideas and playing with them and this game is causing interference in my system.

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backwards

Is it really a pointless talent… how narrow-minded a view.

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When I was a child I used to pause before I wrote anything to try and figure out which way was forwards and which backwards, so that I would write correctly for others. I could read backwards so for me both ways were right. But you have to accommodate the minds of others when communicating with them.

Once I drew a picture which I wanted to give to my parents and so I wrote a dedication on the bottom of it. I thought long and hard which direction to write it in, I also fried my brain doing it, and was exhausted from the effort, but satisfied with the result. It looked right. When my parents looked at it they laughed and pointed out that I had written it backwards, and wasn’t I a funny and stupid little thing. They put the picture on the wall as a reminder to me how stupid I was and a reminder to them how clever they were. The joke never died as new people were initiated into to. More clever people laughing at an idiot.

However I thought they were the idiots. Their minds were limited because they could only read forwards… and they viewed me as having the disability!

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rebrand dyslexia

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My mind actually had too much ability, which became a paradoxical disability. To be intelligent you have to have a narrower mind which focuses on one subject, one view, and builds on that. An open mind has no boundaries and ends up diffused, thus seemingly stupid because you have a little knowledge about everything rather than a lot of knowledge about one or two things.

Having the sort of mind that I do means I have to imagine what it is like to have a different type of mind, to see things from the perspective of others, so that I can adapt and narrow my mind to communicate with them on their terms. I know from experience that they will rarely if ever see things from my perspective. Not because they don’t want to but because most people assume that their way of thinking is the right way of thinking and you should think that way too or you’re stupid. They refuse to understand you until you communicate with them on their terms.

So I have to focus and absorb their style of thinking, then focus some more and try to think that way, mimic their style, so that I can translate my thoughts into their thinking language. This is exhausting. I have tried asking them to meet me halfway, blend thinking styles, a bit of me adapting to you and you adapting to me, but when I try to explain what they need to do to help me, they ignore me and continue doing things their way.

I have told people that I have dyslexia and I might get confused. I try to explain what having dyslexia means and what I need from them to better understand them. Simple, clear and concise instructions, preferably words with action to show the words in practical motion.

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Walter Barbee

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However I think when people hear ‘dyslexia’, they either don’t hear it or anything after it, or they think about the ‘facts’ they’ve picked up about it, ‘facts’ usually gathered and propagated by those who do not have dyslexia but claim to be experts on it because they’ve studied it from the perspective of it being an aberration that needs fixing. A wrong that needs righting. A problem to be overcome. Their expertise tends to involve what is wrong with dyslexia and how to fix it so it fits in with the world according to those who don’t have dyslexia.

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Einstein

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If you read facts distributed by those who have dyslexia, they are very different from the usual view of it. It’s not about fixing a broken brain, it’s about seeing that what seems like a disability is actually just a different type of ability from that which the non-dyslexic brain possesses.

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gift-of-dyslexia

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I keep hoping… and that is my mind being stupid… that people will listen and hear and make the effort to meet me half way so that we have a meeting of minds rather than me going over to their side and doing things their way without any allowances for my mind. But certain types of mind are very set in their ways. So it’s up to me to do things their way and pretend that their way is the best way for all involved.

This is an issue which was an undercurrent throughout 2013, and it’s come to a head this January.

I’ve had some experiences recently which are all collecting inside my mind like croutons in soup, and they are gradually coming together and soon the soup will be inside a loaf of bread. Recent events, both big and small, online and offline,  personal and impersonal, which have stuck in my mind are coming together for a pow wow, and I’m reviewing, reassessing, restructuring, and all the other ‘re’ words which go with Mercury retrograde when it’s in its backwards phase seeking to gain some much needed insight.

Some people worry about the period of Mercury retrograde because it comes with so many fearful warnings.

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Retrograde sign

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I have Virgo rising and a Virgo Moon which squares my natal Neptune, worrying is second nature to me. I worry about everything and everyone. But I’ve learned to offset it, because I had to, because worrying is a huge part of dyslexia, the anxiety of misunderstanding.

Most people want to be understood, acknowledged, and listened to. Most people think they do this with others, listen, understand and acknowledge.

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Marie Curie

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However most people only listen, understand and acknowledge if you communicate with them in their language, tell them what they want to hear, give them understanding and explain things to them in a way they find comfortable, and acknowledge their superiority and that their way is the right way. Then they’ll listen because you make them feel good about themselves. They consider you a friend and not a foe. Thus they are more accepting, and less defensive and prone to stubbornly refusing to hear what they don’t want to hear – your side of the story because they’re afraid of losing their side if they listen to yours.

Yes, some of what I’ve written here seems cynical and arrogant. In a way it is exactly what it seems, but it is also an illusion.

When you’ve lived for most of your life being made to accept that you’re stupid because your brain works differently, that all misunderstandings are your fault, that the reason you think everyone is being illogical is because your idea of logic is simple, which makes you a simpleton, and you try and try to fix your broken brain to please others.

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living with dyslexia

 

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One day it occurs to you… maybe my brain doesn’t need fixing. Once that thought enters your mind through the cracks in your broken brain… your perspective on yourself and others shifts.

But you have a lot of re-balancing to do, which requires going to the opposite extreme for a while until the scales can find that sweet spot where they still swing freely but spend more time balanced.

Speaking of balance… transiting Mars in Libra is working it’s way through my house of personal values. Lots of shifting sides going on. Wonder how it’ll interact with Mercury retrograde…

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fix:break take a step back

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