Mercury Retrograde! Greetings travelers. Happy Tuesday.

Tonight is our first offering of "Bringing the Stars Down to Earth" - A body-centered exploration of the astrological characters. Read the class description here.

Character investigation (for me) is an important aspect of yoga practice in that it cultivates compassion for a wide-range of human experience and expression. As a teacher, healer, and artist I am constantly bringing others' experiences into my imagination and into my body. In order for me to be present and have anything half-way valuable to offer I know that I need to be able to empathize with where another is coming from. It's a balance in the art of relating (yoga = union = coming together/ relating) to be "in oneself" and authentic while also empathic. This type of inner/outer balance is definitely not easy, and can't really be "mastered". There needs to be constant self-reflection and willingness to listen/see/feel with others. Seeking this balance is, for me, the most important reason why I would maintain a contemplative practice. Contemplative practice and self-reflection give space to imagine ourselves as something other than the limited identities we create with all of our likes, dislikes and judgments. Imagining and embodying the experiences of others, we not only allow ourselves to explore a greater potential but we also internally give others the space to be more than how we judge them.

It's a potent moment to investigate the characters of Mercury and Gemini, as Mercury (Gemini's ruling planet) is slowing down all week in preparation to turn retrograde on Saturday.

We hear a lot about Mercury Rx. Just yesterday a student of mine was expressing her fear and dismay that Mercury was going to be retrograde (again!!) and then relief when I told her it doesn't have to only mean mistakes and mucked up communications. A planet retrograde is a planet turned inwards- more self-reflecting than outward acting. Mistakes and muck-ups happen when we don't take time to reflect, refine, revise and renew our habits of perception. Mercury Rx is a time to get clear about how and what we want to communicate, how we want to think, and how we want to think about thinking. I'll say that again... This is a moment to think about thinking.

We all know that truth is subjective. What we think influences what we say and how we act, which in turn affects the words and actions of others. What we think directly affects how we feel emotionally, which directly affects how our bodies respond and function. What we think so completely colors our experience of life that when our thoughts about something change we go through huge transformations, incredible dismays and total shifts of perception. We all know that thought is powerful... but because it is so powerful and so encompassing, we forget it all the time and think our thoughts are what's real, not just for ourselves, but often for other people too. This usually just spells trouble.

Mercury turns retrograde in the sign of Cancer while making a trine to the planet Neptune who's currently swimming around in the early degrees of Pisces. Mercury in Cancer is not a clear, logical thinker. Mercury in Cancer is the feeling thinker and suggests a somewhat indiscernible difference between what's subjective or objective and definitely represents the instinctive, protective emotional nature: how we think/talk and react when we are emotionally triggered. How our feelings create our thoughts and our thoughts pick us up on a whirlwind of feelings. Neptune in Pisces is the King of Dreams- the sea god of fantasy, delusion, and all of otherworldly, non-wordy communications of image, imagination, and inspiration. Neptune in Pisces trine (harmonious) Mercury in Cancer suggests that this might either be a moment of getting lost in a delusional feelingscape that further enforces our own subjectivity OR that this could be a moment of divine clarity- a mystic dreamvoice that illuminates how we've been caught in emotional slavery to the masters of our thoughts.

Mercury turns retrograde June 7th and two days later on the 9th Neptune turns retrograde also. A planet moving backwards lets us retrace some of the recent steps. What's happening right now that feels all caught and tangled up in the past? How can you refine your communications to resolve what's been lingering? Being that these two planetary players are moving through water signs (Mercury will pass back into Gemini on June 17th), now is a time to investigate the feeling/thought exchange and allow yourself a slightly less than straightforward approach to self-analysis. Embodying the character of feelings is one such way to seek understanding or even evolution. Come in with an element of play and artistic curiosity. Give yourself permission to (safely) let yourself express all the emotional upheaval and confusion through shaking your body out and playing the trickster theater games.

For those of you in town, especially if you've been feeling the last few days as emotional, spacey, dreamy and ungrounded. Get yourself to class tonight and let's make space to explore what's alive and how to support your best reflection and re-integration. Bring your birth chart if you have it!

Much love and sweet dreams. May the clear thought faeries be with you!

Renée

7-9PM 4940 NE 16th Ave (one door South of Alberta) $10