Temperance, Mercury Retrograde, The Magician, and The High Priestess

We are in the midst of Mercury Retrograde, which combined with the Aries sun, has turned out to be a moment of significant intensity. We entered Mercury Retrograde on March 23, and will remain here until April 15. We will be immersed in these energies for three full weeks. In the discussions I've been having with those around me, the theme of this transit is pretty clear: withdrawal and balance.


When I pulled a medicine card for this week, I was not surprised to see Temperance. Temperance is both balance and alchemy. She has one foot on the ground and one foot on water, urging us to integrate the conscious and subconscious. She uses golden chalices to mix her potion, balancing the ingredients carefully. She reminds us of the importance of bringing the right amount of each element into the mix. Medicine is not a single thing, but the alchemical combination of many. 


The Magician card is ruled by Mercury, and Mercury Retrograde is inevitably linked to the Magician's Trickster energy. The usual outward-manifesting energy of the Magician gets turned around, forcing us to pause. To find the medicine in this, we can consider the Magician within the greater context of the Major Arcana. The Magician is the great manifester, but he does not stand alone. His mirror is the High Priestess. Where he is the creation of will, she is the creation of soul.

Mercury Retrograde urges us to consider the medicine of the High Priestess, and turn inwards. This is the time to recognize and honor our knowledge, to remember that the true answers come from within. The ultimate medicine of Mercury Retrograde in Aries is in pausing, and connecting with our inner realm. In the last journal entry, right before Mercury Retrograde started, I spoke of March as a time of contraction. In this Mercury Retrograde period, that contraction is intensified, to the point of unavoidance.  This is the time for Temperance, the time to integrate our outward projections with our inner knowledge, as we prepare to set manifestation into motion once Mercury goes direct again.