We can talk about Mercury Retrograde like we always do; we can begin with the usual recommendations: no new contracts, no new plans, no new lovers, hell—no new friends. Then, we get to—we must—examine our impulse to say no. We're deep in Pisces season, and a Pisces doesn't like the word "no" unless they're the ones saying it—and a Pisces rarely says no without following it up with a caveat.
So, no new contracts, readers—unless you need to make a new contract with yourself; what you owe the person you're becoming. No new plans, seeker—unless what you plan is the culmination of a year's long work or a return to tie up loose ends. No new lovers, dear-heart—unless those lovers are already part of the story of your ever-widening universe. No new friends—unless the ones who find you now are the ones you've been waiting for; champions of your solitude and your singular vision, twin spirits who love to be in relation, to touch briefly and be touched in turn.
Remember, when Mercury is retrograde in the sky under the stars of Pisces, what is said is only the surface of what is happening. Like a body of water, Pisces offers us familiarity first, a soft glinting reflection of our own faces punctuated by glimmers of fish in schools or a horseshoe crab weaving her solitary path. We look at the aquatic world as if we know what it means: how it thrives, how much power we have over it and it over us. Neptune, the ruler of Pisces, has been stationed in Pisces and will grace Mercury with illusory power. Our attempts to recognize ourselves in the ocean are not dissimilar to our attempts to know and study our emotional foundations. It works when we focus our energy, it works when we strap on the tank and dive deep down to the uncomfortable limits—when we dive into the wreck. Otherwise, what we have is the illusion of closeness, of nearness to knowing what is unknowable about the ocean, each other, and ourselves.
In the human world, Pisces energy is both convivial and emotive. Under a Sun saturated by Pisces, we have emerged from winter's cave to seek out company and collaboration that offers us emotional resonance and reciprocity. It's no coincidence that every Pisces (and Pisces Rising, Moon, Venus, Mars) you know is texting you now, asking how you are and where you've been, wondering out loud where they've been, and whether you'd like to visit them in their watery lair to spend the afternoon getting misty-eyed about language, its impossible yearning to construct a shared meaning.
This instinct is not relegated to Pisces placements alone, we all feel it, we all reach out, we all want to swim gently together through cloudy water toward refracted light. To imagine peace, even if it exists only in our imagining. Mercury in Pisces is a cloud of tiny fish nipping at your feet reminding you that joy and discomfort can naturally occur in the same moment. It's the sun reaching through clouds and making the whole sky a blinding soft gray. Pisces energy is indirect and all over.
Mercury Retrograde has been advancing over us for weeks, and it will work over for a few weeks more, but these collective rivers of consciousness and the time it takes are always moving over us. Everyone knows, in their own way, how time works. One hour passes and then another; days go by, months, years. We gather time on ourselves, we wear time, and we wear what we have collected through it. To wear what is dead is an act of mourning and it can be a beautiful burden. This is how we grieve our loved ones, our elders, our animals, and our dreams. Grief teaches us that our lives have limits. It also teaches us that our hearts are limitless. This is the gift of love: the reflection it offers us. Grief gets lighter when it is enacted out of honoring and ritual, it becomes a small emblem on our jacket, a stone in our pockets: This is mother I lost, the sister I miss, the lover whose smile I remember when I see a hawk's feather, the career I wanted for myself when I didn't know myself, the song that I stopped singing so that I could sing the one I was dreaming of. Grief anchors us to the ground when we use to shame ourselves and refuse time. To let go of what is gone, you've got to believe that there are more hours ahead and that our days on this Earth are as mysterious and abundant as the ocean is deep. Because they are.