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…


Merc:Nep square

Interpretation by Robert Hand via Astrodienst


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.


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.


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.




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


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!



rebrand dyslexia


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.



Walter Barbee


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.






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.





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.



Retrograde sign


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.



Marie Curie


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.



living with dyslexia



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…



fix:break take a step back


  1. You know having a natal “debilitated” Mercury retrograde conjunct Saturn- I’m totally feeling this post! But heck, I usually see where you are coming from or going to and if I don’t, you give me another way of thinking about what you are discussing-which I love!

    LOL @ fixing typos as you’re reading! I do the same thing which is probably why I sometimes can’t see my own typos when writing. English was my most hated and worse subject in school.


    • I don’t feel as frustrated these days by communication snafus as I used to, they happen so often that I had to learn to become more chilled about it rather than more stressed. However this past week has been very shadow of Merc retro, plus some Saturn in Scorpio and Mars in Libra stuff. And I was exhausted and needed a time out, but the day off from everything and everyone which I scheduled for myself turned into a farce. I was going catch up on some sleep to rejig my brain because when I’m tired the dyslexia becomes more pronounced, then spend some very quiet time alone reviewing, doing some stress relief in private, and instead I woke up to a pneumatic drill right outside which went on for the entire day, I had a migraine the kind which lasts for three days once it kicks in, and… life was just taking the piss and pissing all over my plans.

      There are certain people with whom I feel very comfortable because I know that they just get me, and will tell me if they don’t get something. You’re one of those people and I feel relaxed and able to just be me without translating myself.

      I often have long thinks after I’ve posted something, wondering if I’ve learned anything from it, and stuff. And one of the things I was thinking about was your natal Merc Rx/Saturn. Saturn keeps coming up as a theme especially in communication, and not just for me, in fact less for me and more for others with whom I interact.

      It’s an intriguing one because I used to be very cautious about saying anything, in fact I went through period of almost complete verbal silence for many various reasons. Eventually Uranus opened the floodgates (fairly certain that’s the culprit) and I’m just blah blah blah, eff it just say it, oh eff why did I say it, oh never mind, keep going, no one is listening anyway, oh dear they were listening, oh they’ve had a good reaction that’s novel, oh… and so on. I’ve been doing that for a while, and then I had a return to thinking it might be better if I went silent again. Merc square Nep, I think is influencing it.

      I’m more chatty online than offline because I can live-stream my thoughts, using my mouth to talk is an effort 😉


  2. To be gifted is to be outside the so called “norm” what ever that is.. and who got to decide it in the first place? I feel sad for your parents… they missed something very special…… and who knows if there is a right or wrong way when it comes to communication.

    I have Mercury Retrograde natally square Neptune in the third. So I know never to trust my own reality will be the same as most other people.and that I can and do get things confused or upside down.I also look for the hidden meaning when things happen or in conversations and find I am more comfortable one on one than in a crowd, as I can get overwhelmed. A lot of deep processing goes on for me even when I am in conversation with a person…..

    Bu the way there is a lovely tale told in a book on Mercury retrograde about a mythic figure Artaban.. He goes on this mission to meet the baby Jesus, but keeps being waylaid by helping people who are in peril and whose path he crosses along the way. in the end he gives away three jewels he was given to give the newborn chlld in order to save the lives of others. he thinks he has failed when he never makes it to where he set out for but in fact he was living his destiny and this is revealed at the end of the tale as he was more concerned with caring for others than getting to where he needed to go………..anyway it made me cry when I read it….

    In my experience its sad that Mercury RX gets a bad rap (wrap??). I feel these periods are just a time to slow down and get more internal….there are problems when you try to force your will in situations. I’m making a conscious effort at the moment to take things slowly and spend some time dreaming and relaxing…. and allowing the way I need to go to be revealed on another time table. Also I find during this time I want to sort things through and get to have a look at the way things have unfolded in order to glean insight that wasn’t possible at the time and that is only revealed in the course of the transit.

    I also really relate to the constant questioning that goes on when you communicate something then wonder If it made sense, or should I have just kept silent. I did this the other day. I deleted a blog that meandered all over the place. I know this is a bit different to what you are saying but I do relate to that speak or be silent battle and questioning what you write.


    • My mother had dyslexia too. She spotted it in me early on, the writing backwards incident confirmed it, and made it a priority to help me to have a good relationship with words and numbers. She made learning a creative and interactive experience. She is the one who instilled in me a sense of not accepting that my dyslexia was a disability. She had a good side too, it got a bit lost sometimes under all the other stuff.

      Both my parents had a good influence on me too. It’s a case of when they were good, they were very good, and when they were bad, they were horrid. And as things got worse for them personally, the good side vanished bit by bit.

      The book you’re referring to is – The Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke.

      The thing about retrogrades is the energy turns inwards and I think this makes people nervous as it becomes more subtle, and harder to grasp, or more intense and harder to handle.

      Is your Pluto in the 1st Rx? I realised a short while ago when I was reading an article on Pluto on Planet Waves which described Pluto and cold, that because my natal Pluto is Rx I feel it as a warm energy, a beneficial darkness within. I think the Rx makes the energy a more personal experience which comes from within.

      So your natal Merc Rx gives you deep insightful self awareness, and with Neptune aspecting it, it is very intuitive. My natal Merc is not Rx and turning my mind inwards took effort, aided though by my Scorp 3rd Mars & Nep. I had to manually turn it inwards. I think those with it Rx have a natural gift to do that naturally, but perhaps find it more challenging to turn it outward. What do you think?

      I rarely delete posts these days… I did when I first started blogging, but then I realised it fed into an old habit of retreating into silence if I censored myself, so now I just post and keep going… when I feel tempted to delete a post I investigate why? It can be rather revealing. That’s just me though 🙂

      I did one post a while ago which was just stream of consciousness, streaming my Nep mostly… weird post, fun to do, it’s still there somewhere.


      • Yes, I realised it was not a good move putting the post back into the dark.. after it emerged I then sucked it back.. Oh well, it is what it is, I guess. I can only watch myself when this happens and study the process of what is going on and remain with the conflict til I get the unbearable urge to push it oiut into the light and damn the consequences.

        Yes both my Uranus and Pluto are retrograde in the first. I would agree with what you said about that energy being warm but my ascendant and Uranus in the first are in Leo so that is very firey. I agree that the inwardly turned energy becomes more subtle and intense and harder to handle. I do find people can instinctively back away from me when I share about my life and I don’t find it easy to maintain superficial conversations but can pierce to the depths at times and really feel the psychic pain and struggles in peoople. At times I feel both those energies have pushed me away from relationships into isolation which is hard for all my planets in the seventh in Aquarius. There comes a time when I have to be honest and burst out and that can end the relationship on some level.. its hard for a time but its just about accepting that there has needed to be an ending so somethign new can come to birth.. Its taken me a long time to realise that and accept it. What I’ve come understand too is that with Saturn on the Moon I need to accept a certain degree of isolation and feeling alone as the price of being in touch with myself at deeper levels and when I do accept those feelings the then feeling of loneliness disappears and I feel put together and whole. There is a great song by Massive Attack that expresses this for me..where ever I go I meet parts of myself and so I know I am not alone. These energies have worked well for me in 12 step in recovery groups where I share honestly and my words have an impact at a more impersonal level. I do feel Pluto and Uranus are not personal energies which is why some people have a hard time with them.. I have had a lot of intense life and death experiences and gone through deep dark stuff a lot of people haven’t, I sometimes think people instinctively feel this in my aura and at times I scare them.

        I see Rx Pluto as intense experiences in the Plutonian realm that turn us inwards to transform and bring endings and deaths so that we are constantly being urged to slough off old skins that no longer fit. When Pluto began to square all my Aquarian planets in 1984 – 1986 I went though so much death, loss, terminations, separations, lonelieness and the impact of that I have only integrated in the past 12 years. I would say its like a psychic pregnancy of a sort having these two rx in the first house. A long a protracted labour or a spiral vortex that keeps drilling down and spinning me so I slough off the old encrustations and get more grounded and real. Hard to find words for this.. but I hope I have managed to paint a picture of how I experience this.


        • That’s the best part of blogging for me, well, one of the many best bits… watching the process and you in it unfold. SO many discoveries… everything I do or don’t do on my blog informs me about myself, teaches and awakens, sometimes slaps me with awareness. When I first started I ended up deleting my entire blog and then starting again months later from scratch (very Pluto)… so a post deleted here and there… it’s a bit like feeding Pluto without giving him the arm that has the hand that’s feeding.

          Pluto/Uranus in the first, Rx or direct, is a Kapow of an energy to handle for the person with it and for those who meet us. Always will be, it’s part of who we are, but I think getting older helps us to handle it better and feel more comfortable with it and everything it entails.

          I have the Libra Uranus conjunct Jupiter – it likes to swing to extremes in an extreme way. Effing annoying astro, but lots of fun as it trines (fairly certain it’s a trine – blue line anyway) my Aqua Merc, so monkey mind on monkey nuts.

          Leo Uranus must be a growling and noble energy. Do you feel that your Saturn/Moon actually works well with Leo/Uranus, somehow it feels as though it’s a complementary energy perhaps in a complex way due to the planets involved, but if understood by the owner of the energies it becomes something very noble and deeply beautiful.

          I used to hate Saturn/Moon transits until a couple of years ago when Sat conjunct Moon freed me from some bad Moon mojo – the piece of me that is a whinging pom 😉 And then I saw the beauty of Sat/Moon.

          Love Massive Attack! My fav is Teardrop. And I love the lyric you’re referring too, very true I think about our journey through life.

          I think that one of the things I have enjoyed most about having my blog is meeting others who have Uranus/Pluto in the 1st… it’s a communion of very individualistic individuals who have a hard time connecting with others because we scare them and we know we do and we try not to but we do it anyway and so when we meet those with similar energy we can relax and be playful and no worry so much about thumping them with a friendly paw 😀


          • That last para is SO TRUE.. I am so grateful for meeting you and others on here, but especially you. . It has made me feel less alone and when I was going through an extremely tough time in December, you may not realise what a gift you were in my life. (but then again you probably do). You opened up a door for me. I think Saturn may seem hard at times (especially when we are young) and that is also true of the outer planets. we learn through experiencing the negative side and that helps to transform our souls and our relationship to their energies. . I was interested to see on MsFullRoller’s blog the association of Uranus and trauma. Uranus tends to cause shock separates us on some level and that is traumatic but so does Saturn. I do love Saturn because I feel there is a deeply honourable side to this planet and it is just such an earthy humble, real energy. . It wont let us get away with what is not for us….I have learned this the hard way. I have so many relationships with people with Saturn in aspect to my Neptune and therefore aspecting my Sun, Mercury, Venus Moon and Jupiter South Node and that has been painful but it has helped me to mature. and ground more into my own self sufficiency while recognising the limits of others. I feel all along the way in life we end up meeting the souls we need to meet in order to continue the journey we are destined for. How we respond and how we learn to adapt is all part of the experience. I like the gnostic view for this reason.

            Wow Jupiter with Uranus trine Mercury.. that is SO EVIDENT in all of your blogs I have the stacked seventh house and feel very Libran at times and I feel it in my body all the time with left and right sides trying to balance. Life itself is such a huge balancing act and its great to swing back and forward as things do tend to come back to an equilibrium and we get a message when the scales fall too much to one side.

            I think you are right. The Saturn Moon does work with the Leo energy. I am glad that I have the Leo energy in my chart. I do find it noble and very heart centred and its a gateway as I see it for the Aquarian energy. . there is a great deal of dignity to Leo when it is working at its best. and I think like yin and yang astrology is all about polarities and opposing signs have so much in common.


            • I love MsFullRoller’s posts. I read the latest one last night and the 12th house exploration really go me thinking. I also eavesdropped on your comment conversation which was so insightful and since transiting Merc is doing a Neptunian number on me and I already live in Neptune’s waters I had this moment of feeling as though all three of us were in a room together, our similar charts overlapping and those energies which we all struggle with were blending and showing us, through each of us separately sharing our experiences of them, how our outer planetary trauma challenges are slowly (as outer planetary energy moves in slow motion) flipping around into deep healing and transformation.

              I had also just read your latest post about the lion’s roar and that was so incredibly beautiful and insightful and deep, very very deep.

              I am so glad and grateful that you are expressing yourself through your posts (and comments), I get so much from you, and I am also so stunned and blessed by our meeting 😀


              • Ursula thank you so much for that affirmation.. I had such negative doubts about that post. a running commentary saying things like “this blog is all over the place” “people are going to think its a pile of rubbish” “can you really equate Neptune in Leo with the image of Lion with a thorn in its paw” blah blah blah…blather, blather….. urrrggghh.. its so freeing to know it made some kind of sense to you.

                I have been in an astrological wasteland for some years with no one of like mind to share insights with on the planets and our experiences. I had a most amazing friend for a time who was a writer with moon in the 12th and we shared so much of this kind.. so I am so very very grateful we have connected as its providing fuel for the soul. I love what you write about your feeling of all three of us being in a room together. Maybe this Mercury Rx period is going to be fertile for this…What degree is your natal Mercury and your natal Chiron. Trans mercury is stationing 2 deg off my natal Chiron. I cried and cried most of yesterday.. I kind of like these days as I know the tears are releasing buried stuff on some deep level and it was my birthday and the insight I got is that at 52 I am integrating still all the deep Chiron in the seventh relationship stuff that was triggered by the last relationship which ended around this time of year in 2011. I wrote a bit about that and hope I get time today to put it up…

                We gain so much more insight by reflection and mulling things over then responding to comments and then diving deep to find an intuitive flash that might come to us….this kind of sharing is so special…… it kinda makes my heart swell with gratitude and happiness. Also the UK is one of my most favourite places and I kinda assumed you were in the States but when I found out this week via one of someone’s comments on here you are from there, it just made sense to me….


                • HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

                  Super best wishes and many blessings to you for your New Year!!! 😀

                  Your blog is being birthed by you, it will flow and evolve with you, don’t rush it, enjoy the process. It is a technical learning curve, just do things when you feel like it, experiment, make mistakes and let it be fun. Do what you want and don’t do what you don’t want to do. The blog belongs to you, do it your way, and it’ll be copacetic 🙂

                  I’m still a newbie and totally ignore huge chunks of blogging bits and pieces because when I think about them my brain turns to mush. My motto for blogging is – experiment and whatever.

                  You have so much astrological knowledge and insight, and there are aspects of it which I think you just get and have evolved in a way that really zings for me, so I’m very glad you’re sharing because I love the Uranian zaps of inspiration I get from you!

                  My natal Mercury is – 5’17 in Aquarius
                  My natal Chiron is – 29’14 in Pisces

                  And they’re both direct.

                  Transiting Merc just conjuncted my Venus (squaring my Nep in 3rd). And transiting Nep is also conjunct my Venus. All going on in the 6th.

                  I am very much floating in soup with croutons in the soup. My mind is not focusing yet not unfocused either. Everything I write and do is a bit disjointed. I started writing my post today, got up to do something and about an hour later returned and resumed writing. So my comments and posts may seem all over the place, more so than usual, for the next couple of weeks.

                  Mercury Rx on Chiron… I really need a visual of your chart. I focus better when I have an image. Don’t worry about giving me one I can work it out from what you’ve told me, my investigative puzzle solver side like doing that :)… a healing mind, perhaps? A good time to review that which is held within the archives of the mind? You do seem to be doing a lot of that, your posts have that energy about them of a mind healing itself through exploring itself, and the healing rippling through the rest of the being and out to others.

                  The 50’s is a very powerful time and age for women – I think it is the real prime. I’m very into crone/hecate myth/magic. It’s a time of coming together of all the phases a woman lives. Like a reunion which leads to deep personal power.

                  ♥ roar lion heart, the sound reverberates and touches others as nature touches nature. ♥


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