I know that we are all very used to blaming our old Mercury Retrograde for every glitch, and I’ll be the first to agree that in these confusing times, with glitches happening all throughout the year, it’s comforting to have a planet to blame for at least a few weeks.

So why am I giving up this useful clutch? Maybe it’s a Mercury Retrograde effect: a revisiting of the Catholicism that was around me as a child. By Catholic time we are now in Lent, and it’s time to give something up before welcoming Easter’s resurrection. This 2013 Lent is quite historical since the Roman Pope just gave up his Papacy.

After our last full moon Esbat, with Luna traveling through Virgo, our Spring cleaning was energized, and now, after a week of cleaning, weeding and reorganizing our computer files, it’s time to let go of some old to make room for more new. I’m feeling good about giving up the old Mercury Retro clutch.

My new name for these periods, three or four every year, will be Mercury Reconnect, and I’m associating them, not with extra obstacles or nostalgia, but with useful looks back at our old selves, to fully appreciate our new, current selves.

While Sol visits Pisces, energizing dreams and religious needs, we can use this Mercury Reconnect to look at the dreams we had as children, and see if there’s anything there worth revisiting that can help us today. Our younger sense of awe and the clearer devotion of our earlier days can be revisited and recycled as fuel for our current practice. Our old expectations, what we needed to get out of our relation to divinity back then, can be compared with our current, fresher, mature attitudes to the same or other aspects of the divine.

Now it’s a good time to Re-Connect with Divinity. Wicca rarely uses the tools of intense devotion, the “Inflame Yourself in Prayer” of some Magickal, Abrahamic and Hindu paths. Our Gods are neither jealous nor demanding of unwavering devotion, and we tend to be more balanced, rather than excessive in our love for them. Just like we prefer equality based human relationships. Many of us don’t really worship, but rather acknowledge our Gods. We often relate to them as both internal and external “other” beings, which are in many ways also “us”, we love them and serve them, and they love us and help us, but we are not slaves to them, nor them to us. There’s plenty more human and divine fish in the seas, if we don’t “click”.

As children we probably developed our first connection to Divinity either following the examples of our families or reacting to them. As adults we may have found a different path, or rediscovered that our family’s path wasn’t that bad after all. Let’s meditate on our old feelings, fueling our meditation with any mementos that may have come up during our Spring cleaning.

How can we use those memories in our current paths? Let the ghost of our younger selves have a few minutes of our bodies, and energize our Spring if that makes sense. If there’s nothing to recycle, let’s clear space for some brand new connections.

We attune to the Lunar and Solar energies by celebrating our monthly Esbats and our yearly Sabbats, bathing in their rays and learning the stories of the old Mythos about them. We can also help solidify our connection with our Lady and Lord by creating a permanent or temporary altar to them.

A small table, not too low or too tall, with a nice altar cloth and a couple of candles is enough.

The candles can be wax or electrical, green and red, or silver and gold, or any other colors that you associate with our Lady and Lord. You can place them in front of images of some aspects of the divine with which you are familiar. Sometimes candle holders have female and male aspects that can serve as integrated images.

A small plate or basket can be placed in front of the candles to hold offerings like fruit, nuts, crystals, grains, etc. Fresh flowers, cut or rooted can be placed on the altar. Incense, water, salt, and oils can make your altar more elaborate. Little statues of animals sacred to the divine aspects you are working with can also add layers.

Make sure the final look is not one that of a flea-market clutter. If you have a lot of materials you’d like on your altar, you can keep it all in an altar box, and as you attend to refreshing and replenishing your altar, you can change what’s displayed with the box’s materials. This way you could keep your altar changing through the seasons, or even more often if that suits you.

Daily, weekly and monthly practices and meditations can be built around the maintenance of your altar. If you can take care of a small pet, you already know everything you need to know to take care of your small altar. Try to keep dust, bacteria, mold, and other unwanted things from building up on the altar surface, while layering vibrant energy through meditation, prayer, ritual, and calling on the divine as often as possible. Learn of any special dates for your favorite divine aspects and make your altar specially nice on those dates.

Ultimately only you can determine what’s appropriate, and what will work in your altar.

You can share it with your household, friends, or business, or you can set it up in a private space where only you can see it. As with everything else in Wicca, it’s important that you enjoy it, and have fun with it.

Your next encounter with Mercury the Reconnecter doesn’t have to be a dreadful glitch race. It can be just a time set aside for extra altar art and divine communication, while slowing down a bit in the mundane plane.

Blessed Be!