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Recently a good question was asked by April in the comments section on another page, wondering about the return to conscious consideration of a friend from her past during the Mercury retrograde. April had mixed feelings about whether to contact her, and wanted to know what the impulse might mean, in light of the way the Mercury retro period spurs us to re-visit events, efforts, and contacts; and when those elements come from what feels like a distant past, stirring up uncomfortable emotions, we rightly question their deeper meaning.

As I said to April, these impulses to contact those from our past, or the actual re-appearance by those with whom we’ve previously been involved, seem consistently to bring with them conflicting emotions, and present us with a choice: do we want to step back into a relationship that makes us on some level distinctly ill at ease, beginning mid-stream, so to speak, with issues already present between the parties, or do we want to ignore the past, and the way it has become reinvested with life?

It seems that the person and situation presented, whether from one’s own memory or by the appearance of the individual, carries with it a kind of challenge, one that makes us uncomfortable because of the way we handled the situation with this person in the past. We harbor guilt, or shame, or resentment, or in some way felt misunderstood or helpless, and are still carrying the psychic shadow of this harm to our spirit; it is still there, and we have carried it and layered it over with time and new experiences and relationships and haven’t realized or acknowledged that the wound is still there, still present and sensitive beneath its many covers.

So when it comes to the surface, no matter the source, we must at the very least re-observe the wound; we must inspect it for what it really is, what we really were at the time, and see the true responsibilities of all parties involved. This is how the retrograde serves us: it brings us this matter at precisely the right time–we are now matured, wiser, more experienced, in the very way we needed to be to bring this issue to conclusion in the past–but at the time we didn’t have the emotional and spiritual resources that would allow us to understand the situation in its true light, and to see what our real part in it was; and this is always something that would not rightly shame, or sadden, or wound us at all. Instead, in the now, we see how the past, and this relationship, mislead us into believing that there was something wrong in who we were, that we were inadequate; and the gift of the now, during the retrograde, is to see that we were not inadequate at all, that we only needed to discover our own Self-worth, and to measure it correctly.

The retrograde period will come to an end this weekend, and with it the chance to clear the ghosts from our memories. So let go of the feelings of shame, inadequacy, upset at less-than-optimum responses, guilt, and anger. Forgive the involvement of the other person; see, without distractions or blinders, exactly who they are–this is an assessment, not a judgment, so we lay no blame at their feet. And then we forgive the person we were then; we see that we were injured, that there were things we had yet to learn or process, that perhaps we had not experienced or accepted the love that would have given us the proper tools for response. And perhaps most important, we must see that if we truly forgive ourselves, there’s no need to renew this contact at all; the wound heals, the issue resolves itself, and we lose the impetus to meet the circumstance again. The pull is gone and, at least momentarily, we know and love precisely who we are.