School sets us up to fail in life.
At least it did when I was growing up.
In school I learned that there is a “right” answer to every question, a rational solution to every problem, and a story that “makes sense.” I learned that if I was stuck in something, I should keep working at it for as long as it takes— without interruption.
Getting distracted was, of course, a sign of weakness. Leaving something unfinished was not the hallmark of an achiever.
These lessons came to me in the form of harsh rules. Like the fictional Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy from Kansas, I never met a rabbit hole I didn’t want to dive into.
Somehow, I managed to find a way to succeed in school despite my proclivity toward curiosity and my penchant for a wandering mind and a vivid imagination.
I internalized these lessons as my own beliefs.
They even served me well for a time early in my career as a lawyer.
Eventually, though, I bumped up against a hard reality.
School, with its focus on certainty, rationality, and logic, set me up to fail.
Life isn’t always so linear.
Life is often murky, unclear, and uncertain.
In life, there is rarely just one “right” answer to anything and the best solutions often don’t make sense or feel very rational. The best path may not be the logical path.
In our attempts to be productive, we may eventually bump up against the reality of brain fog.
And — as hard as it might be to imagine — sometimes distraction can be the best focusing agent.
This real life situation gets reflected to us as Mercury in Gemini forms a square with Neptune in Pisces on June 25 at 6:38 pm ET.
It’s a relatively quick transit, but the archetypal energy and the lesson it offers can serve us well in daily life if we integrate it.
Mercury and Neptune Symbolism
In Roman mythology, Mercury was the god of commerce and communication.
Mercury represents the thinking mind and communication. It’s the domain of rational thinking, logic, and all form of communications. It also relates to sales, business, and travel.
Mercury defines, sorts, labels, organizes and compartmentalizes. At its best, it creates clarity.
Neptune is the planet of imagination, fantasy, idealism and faith. It’s also the realm of escape, illusion, and delusion.
In mythology, Neptune is the god of the ocean, where things are typically dark and murky. Some people equate Neptune with an intoxicant; under its influence, everything becomes hazy.
Mercury Square Neptune: Brain Fog
Squares are aspects of friction. They represent challenges that we face in life and can teach us how to work more effectively with those challenges.
When Mercury squares Neptune, it’s like brain fog.
Thinking might be muddled. We can’t come up with a clear answer. Nothing seems to make sense rationally. Writing and speaking in a linear way can feel very challenging under this transit.
We also may struggle follow or clearly communicate facts and directions, we might struggle to distinguish fact from fiction.
Under this transit we might experience miscommunication and misunderstandings, or fall into the trap of wishful thinking or delusion.
It’s not the best time for anything requiring clarity.
The Lessons of Mercury Square Neptune
Every planetary aspect and transit reflects an energy that already exists within us and around us.
Brain fog and miscommunication are not limited occurrences. Certainly not for middle-aged women with ADHD, people with long covid, or who have suffered brain injuries or other trauma.
By learning how to work with these energies we can integrate the lessons into our daily, lived, experience.
One of the lessons of Mercury square Neptune is that life is murky — much to the dismay of Mercury, especially in its home sign of Gemini. Gemini is the sign of duality: one thing pitted against another. This makes for clear victims and heroes, but it’s not reflective of real life. In real life, things are rarely black-and-white.
There is no “right” answer. The “logical” solution isn’t always the best solution. Not everything can be “figured out” rationally. The path doesn’t always “make sense.”
And working on something longer and harder rarely leads us to the best outcome.
3 Ways to Work With the Energy of Mercury Square Neptune
Fighting the fog is a waste of energy. All fog eventually burns off. Until it does, here are three ways to work with the energy of Mercury Square Neptune.
(1) Embrace the Escape
Mercury square Neptune teaches us that sometimes distraction is our friend.
Escape gets a bad reputation, but it doesn’t have to be bad.
Sometimes we need an escape in order to recharge, refuel our energy, and reconnect with our inner wisdom and intuition.
(2) Feed Your Curiosity
Stepping away from the logical process to feed our curiosity can help us find innovative solutions to our challenging problems.
Following a trail down a rabbit hole can open up our imagination and help us see our current challenges from new perspectives.
Letting our minds — and bodies — wander on a trek through nature or next to a body of water can help us tap into our intuition.
(3) Cultivate Your Creativity
When the linear path isn’t getting us anywhere, it may be a sign that we need to circle the square with a less direct route.T
This is a moment to embrace your natural creativity, or to explore that side of yourself.
If the words aren’t coming in standard prose, write poetry.
Maybe leave the words behind: break out the paint brushes or colored pencils, or make a collage.
Or simply allow yourself time in the silence to listen to your heart and tap into the source of inner wisdom.
Let your imagination guide you.