During this Mercury Retrograde, a time to reflect back upon thought and idea, communication, and agreements, reflect upon your motivations. When you take action, any action, ask why? Particularly ask why around communications and social media. When you post that tweet, FB post, or other message to the world, why?

Is it automatic and unconscious?

Does it serve a deeper purpose?

If you were to really examine it, are your first thoughts your true motivations?

We can have a lot of unhealed complexes motivating us unconsciously, and dress them up in a variety of ways, often noble, but unless we really reflect upon them and the why behind them they will not be healed.

I’ve noticed a lot of magickal practitioners mistake social media time for introspection or even magick itself. Talking about something is not quite the same as doing it.

When we are fully conscious of our actions, talking/typing to others and ourselves can be very valuable, but we should check in to make sure we are using it to become more conscious, not less.

Sometimes we want visibility when we feel invisible. Recognition can give a sense of esteem for a time. We are looking for a validation outside of ourselves. Those close to us might hold us accountable so the validation from strangers can be easier.

Sometimes we just want to be heard but don’t have anything to say, so we comment on things that don’t involve us for the sake of publicly commenting. We are afraid of being left out or forgotten.

Do you really have a strong opinion? An educated opinion? A new voice and perspective on the topic that needs to be heard or do you feel required to have an opinion on everything, even things you know little about and feel required to issue a statement on all topics? Recently I’ve spoken to a number of people with strong and very vocal opinions on Black Lives Matters movement who don’t seem to know much about it. They speak from a place of certainty, not inquiry, about a topic or movement they have no first hand knowledge.

Sometimes we seek agreement to get a sense of “tribe” by having a lot of people “like” and agree. We can get a sense of belonging from strangers and validation of our ideas and opinions. It can be wonderful to feel heard but also easy to get addicted to it. Even more so we find tribe when in conflict with another. A shared enemy can bring about a sense of intimacy but such intimacy doesn’t often last afterwards.

We project by getting upset and calling out behavior we ourselves do. It’s clear to those around us but not clear to ourselves. This is the hardest to see and needs the most vigilance. I reflect upon it all the time, as I know the things that bother me in others are the things I have done. I have to also make sure I’m not doing them now or if I am, check myself first.

Many seek conflict because it gives a sense of importance or we draw energy from it. It makes an otherwise ordinary time seem more important. It can rage from simply being contrary for the sake of being contrary to more oppositional. All children learn such behaviors get attention but we don’t always realize when we do it as an adult. Some purposely seek controversy to get their name more visible. Online conflict has a quality of a video game and feels very different then being in the room with someone you have conflict. Distance can grant us both bravery and poor behavior.

Other times we genuinely wish to share information, art, or let the world know about something cool we are doing or someone else is doing who we like or admire. That’s great as long as we are clear and don’t tuck all sorts of un-voiced and unconscious motivations within those actions. Do we offer support with strings? Are we unconsciously manipulating others?

It’s easy even under the best of circumstances for us to slip into unconscious motivations, but in troubling times we can use it as succor. Being aware of your inner forces is tough stuff. But I encourage you to continually ask yourself “Why am I doing this?”, “Does this truly serve my Will?” And “Does this bring me towards health or imbalance?” Give deep thought. Learn to pause and responds consciously, not react unconsciously.

Mercury Retrograde can be a fertile time to go within and a frustrating time to seek outer validation. Like gazing into a pool of quicksilver, reflect and ask yourself the big questions. The answers may surprise you.