Mercury Retrograde - Deep in the Heart Chakra

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #49, September 15, 2002

Mercury turned retrograde Saturday September 14th and will remain so until it goes direct again October 6th. It went retrograde at 14° Libra, so be aware of Libra issues, and find out where 14° Libra is in your birth chart. Relationships, and the house where Libra resides in your chart, will be impacted. (I will discuss Libra issues in Issue 52. You will find more about Mercury retrograde in Issue 6 - Bear Mode and Mercury Retrograde.)

Three times a year Mercury goes retrograde for 21-23 days. The term retrograde refers to apparent backward movement. When we look at the sky, the planet looks like it is retracing its steps. All the planets alternate between direct and retrograde periods, the former being longer than the latter. The retrograde periods give us an opportunity to integrate what we have experienced in the forward movement period. We have a chance to slow down, look inside ourselves and reach an inner understanding before moving on again.

The planet that gets the most attention during its retrograde period is Mercury, because its impact is the most noticeable. Mercury rules the domain of the mind, communication and electrical systems. When Mercury is in its retrograde period we often experience bad timing, delays, communication mix-ups and mechanical problems. We can't make up our minds, and we change our minds once Mercury goes direct again.

Here is a quote from an email I got the day Mercury went retrograde, which is so topical that I chose to share it. "I seem to be chasing my tail. A program I had running last night is now refusing to work. I am getting more and more frustrated. There is no apparent logic to what it is doing". My advice was, go for a walk, meditate, take a break and the answer will come to you later. Intuition is active and insights abound during Mercury retrograde, and it is wise to listen and to follow the messages.

Another Look and Interpretation

I used to dread the times Mercury was in retrograde, but since this is the case about 66 days or 18% of the year, I decided to take a closer look at the phenomenon, so I could position this time in a positive light and use it to my advantage.

I can feel the energy slow down a couple of days before the day itself. The fast moving, vital energy seems to dissipate and a hush sets in. It feels like foggy stillness, but it also feels very peaceful. Like today, the day Mercury goes retrograde, I have this peaceful satisfied sense of being. It is a great time to meditate and be present to the subtle inner senses!

The day before and after Mercury goes retrograde or direct are when the energy is the most still. In astrological terms, it is said that the planet is stationary. It comes to a halt before it switches direction. Definitely avoid making big plans or having conferences to initiate new projects these days.

After sadhana this morning (the first day of retrograde) I looked at my emails. Several people were asking for explanations about situations that bothered them. I just couldn't get pulled into the drama and commotion of the minds that created these situations. The draw for me to engage in ego dramas was almost nil. My heart told me there was another answer, another way, and a more elegant form of resolution, than discussing the merits of the different points of view.

The response that came to me was - "The answer is found in the place where there is no discussion. Go deep into your heart and you will find it. Let me know when you have found it by sending me a warm smile. I am going to go there too. I will send you a warm smile too when I reach the place where we are One".

My theory is, that the Universe gave us Mercury retrograde periods as a time to rethink our lives, reprogram our operating system and reconnect with our hearts. We are supposed to get confused so that we let go of our mind trips. We are given this time to realize (again) that the conflicts we experience in our outer lives originates within us. It is reflected outside us to get our attention. This is necessary when our attention is also outside ourselves. The spiritual path is about becoming conscious of our internal conflicts, and resolving them before they get manifested in our environments.

Mercury retrograde offers us a timeout to reconnect with our hearts at a deeper level. The mind loses its grip during this period. It is hard to hold on to the intense mental processes and stories that we usually engage in. When the stranglehold of the mind loosens up, we get a glimpse of another way to get what we want, another path where the key word is relax not struggle, and another mode of living that gives us more peace and joy.

The Magnetic Mode

We all know that there are two basic modes of being and doing. We have also heard that we are at choice as to which one we follow; and we all wish to be in the flow and harmony mode, not in the pain and struggle mode of existence. Yet we get so entangled in the struggle that we can't extricate ourselves. Our culture, our environments, our institutions and the collective unconscious, all program us for the struggle mode. If we want out, we have to train ourselves to think, be and act in another way. The discipline of self-training is required to make the shift. It is a committed daily process. It is a moment by moment series of decisions.

Yogi Bhajan

Over the years, Yogi Bhajan's basic theme at Woman's Training Camps was that there are two paths. The following quote explains them. "There are two ways of power. One is to magnetize everything towards you. Whatever you need, it will be in balance. It will be beautiful. You can enjoy it. The other way is you run after it. And then what do they call it? 'Alice doesn't live here anymore'. You'll be running all the time. Home will be empty". (7/29/99)

He told us that to experience our essence as a woman we had to cultivate the mode of magnetism. When I first heard the concept about 25 years ago, I thought it was a great idea. My mind was mesmerized. My soul took a deep breath and my inner woman said YES! Honestly, I had no clue what he was really talking about, but I did commit to finding out. Cultivating the magnetic mode has been a major theme of my life path since then.

My Heart is my Center

My attention today is on my heart. Tomorrow I am completing a 90-day meditation, which has helped me achieve a level of peaceful resolution inside myself, about a situation that has caused me much anguish. It was a rocky 90 days, filled with deep soul searching, honest listening, sincere feeling, and much inner guidance on how to deal with the energies that I was experiencing. An inner shift has occurred and I am satisfied with the process, and my progress so far. I am also pleased that I have defined my intention for the next 90 days of this meditation.

This Mercury retrograde has inspired to me to go to the next level of magnetic attraction. I would like to share how I have defined my personal training program for the next 90 days. My basic commitment is to be more in my heart. For ninety days I am going to do my best to bring my attention to my heart center. I will notice where my energy and attention is during the day. I am sure I will find myself thinking in my head. I will respond by gently feeling my heart center. I will feel the breath in my chest, the rhythm in my diaphragm, my heartbeat and any other sensations in my chest, spine and in the space in between.

When I feel confronted, challenged or in anyway frustrated or irritated, I will feel what I am feeling in my body, and then feel my heart. When I react to something, which is very normal, I will allow my reactions and then I will go to my heart. My heart will be my center for 90 days. Everything that I feel, think and experience in any way will simply add to my heart space. I will allow everything in with love and acceptance. I will feel my heart, listen to my heart and love my heart. I already feel that my heart space is bigger.

A Secret in my Heart

I have a secret between me and me of what I wish to magnetize to me. I have placed it deep inside my heart. I will hold it safe and let it be nurtured by all the attention that I give to my heart. We all have desire energy. We usually use this energy in our minds by making up stories. When we turn our attention to our hearts, we can use our desire energy to open our hearts and connect with the Infinite. Whatever you desire, just feel that energy at the heart center, and it will nurture your special secret. Our ultimate desire is to experience and feel one with God. We can attune to this experience in the heart. And this is the key to magnetism. We link up with the Infinite and draw miracles and magic to us.


So many things seem like a non-problem in the heart. Mercury retrograde got launched early, when we discovered that we had sent out duplicate copies of the New Millennium Being to everyone on our lists, but my mantra, "Everything is working out", helped me pull through this mistake.

Now I want to take full advantage of this time to cultivate the attraction mode in my heart. Doesn't this all seem so trivial? And that is another gift of Mercury retrograde. Deep in our hearts we find out what is really important to us, how we really want to live our lives, and inspiration to go for what matters most.

Buy the Truth

Yesterday while driving, I saw a sign on the back of a bus with a bottle of alcohol, and the words ABSOLUTE WASTE. DON'T BUY THE LIE". I had a lot of cruising time to reflect on that message. It is not just the unhealthy substances we put in our bodies. How about all the useless thoughts, discussions and arguments we put in our minds, that destroy our serenity and prevent us from experiencing the Infinite? Then we use the substances to cover up our inner traumas. We get more for our money when we buy and ingest the truth.

In our hearts we access our truth and the Truth. In touch with the Truth, it is possible to have an authentic experience of trust and surrender. The rational mind can't trust and surrender. The function of the mind is to take charge. This is the divine plan. Without the mind, we couldn't navigate our lives. However, we need the heart to tell us where to go. In the heart we also get an authentic experience of forgiveness. I know I am there when I get this big smile and don't feel angry any more. A wave of compassion floods through me, and I get a higher perspective of what is going on, i.e. we are all doing what we need to be doing, we are all learning our lessons, paying off our karma or living our dharma.

Kundalini Yoga - Heart Exercises

Here are a few ways to cultivate the heart space. You can add to this list as you go along:

Transitions to a Heart Centered World by Guru Rattana, Ph.D.

Transitions to a Heart-Centered World by Guru Rattana, Ph.D., is a rich and unique compilation of the core teachings and Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations of Yogi Bhajan.

The new Second Edition, revised and updated,is ready to welcome a whole new generation of students to this life-changing technology. It offers powerful and effective techniques to both teacher and student, to empower your lower chakras and open your heart to unconditional love.

Contains literally dozens of meditations to access heart and soul consciousness.

At Yoga Technology you will find a huge selection of Kundalini Yoga Books, Manuals and DVDs, many of which can help you to open your heart.


For news of all the latest astrological events, check out Guru Rattana Blog