Mercury Retrograde: Time to Change the Pickle Juice of the Mind

May 28, 2014

Mercury is about to retrograde again, as it does for about three weeks, three times a year, every year.

pickleJIt’s a fine time for recollection, repair, reorientation, and rejuvenation. Pretty much any activity that begins with a “re-“ is favored, while initiating new projects or activities generally requires extra care and things that do move forward often require later revision.

The upcoming dates for Mercury Retrograde are June 6 through July 2, 2014; and then later in the year October 4-25. Intuition is accentuated during these periods, and “coincidences” seem more commonplace.

The general theme of Mercury as it appears to back up in the sky is to get re-oriented in life before the planet goes Direct, and then to move forward with the flow. That theme brings to mind for me a teaching from Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi. I had the privilege of studying with him, and interviewing him at length in the early 1990s. I was impressed with his warmth, wisdom, and wry sense of humor.

Rebbe Zalman

Rebbe Zalman

One of the many gems of soul wisdom he offered was an admonition to “change the pickle juice of the mind” from time to time. The weeks of Mercury Retrograde are ideal for just this soul refreshing activity.

Here’s how Rebbe* Zalman put it: “Every so often we need to change the pickle juice of the mind. If you hang onto disappointments and resentments, and stew in them, then every thought and feeling you have is going to have some of that flavor. It’s nobody else’s responsibility to do anything about that, though you can certainly ask for help. But, ultimately, you’ve got to change your own pickle juice.”

* In Jewish tradition there’s a distinction in honorific terms. One explanation: a Rabbi hears what you say with your mouth, a Rebbe hears what you are saying with your soul. A teenage boy once asked a Rebbe, “Do we believe in reincarnation?” The Rebbe’s answer was short and on point for the boy’s soul: “Yes we do believe in reincarnation. But don’t wait until then.”