Probably most of you know that Mercury is retrograde. Your cable may have gone out, your phone or computer may be on the fritz, one of your tires may have spontaneously gone its own way on the highway…. Many of us have the 19th at around midnight EDT etched on our calendars or in our brains as a finish line we’re hobbling toward, when Mercury will station direct and we can use our appliances smoothly again. If anything in life just flows, to some extent that’s Mercury: the fleet-footed Messenger of the gods, ruling the exchange of information and the versatility of our thoughts, words, and mindset. Retrograde periods will test our flexibility. Are we on auto-pilot? Is there something we’ve failed to see or say?
Mercury is in the sign of Leo now – the Child, the Lion, the King or Queen. Leo rules the sun and the heart, the symbols of our essence and life force. Leo reminds us of our dignity and our vulnerability too. The sign of fixed fire, when it is unhealthy or perverted from its positive expression, Leo overwhelms and annihilates.
Yesterday we learned that the Catholic Church covered up the abuse of over 1,000 children in Pennsylvania.
And I feel the need to say it, because I’m Catholic, and I work at a Catholic school, and my heart is broken. The Church that has been a source of joy and inspiration for me has also always tested my inner barometer of fairness: Why were only boys allowed to be altar servers? Why were only men allowed to be priests? Why were divorced or Gay Catholics made to feel less-than? These questions kept Lang and me from baptizing our own son into the Church, even as the Church made some forward progress. There were female altar servers at our wedding, wearing headbands and trendy shoes. And of course, now there’s Pope Francis, humble, joyful, wise, and prayerful, bringing so many of us hope.
I don’t know how to process the horror and scale of the abuse that these priests perpetrated and the hierarchy covered up. But I do feel the need to denounce it, on behalf of the truly good Catholics who have raised me and continue to inspire me every day at work, and on behalf of the victims and their families. You deserved to be safe. You were violated in unimaginable, unspeakable ways. I’m on your side, and I’m so, so sorry.
Six planets are retrograde now, reflecting our need to go back before we can go forward, to redo, retrieve or repair what is outmoded, broken, or in contrast to our highest expression and calling. With three of these planets now in Capricorn, some of that will be our own history and traditions. In the rituals of Mass I first learned how to reflect, speak to, and merge with a God who loves me. In the company of truly good and holy Catholics I first learned how to see and celebrate the divine in others. And still… I need to scream from the highest mountain that what happened to these children was not, was never, will never be OK.
Before the 19th, see if you can look at or say something hard too, because your dignity matters or because someone else’s does. Discover a different way you’re being called to lead or to love.