Monday, July 23, 2012

When Mercury Goes Retrograde

Mercury stands atop the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, NL


Three to 4 times every year and for approximately 3 weeks at a time, planet Mercury goes retrograde.  That is, it slows down in its orbit around the Sun.  The dates for this year, 2012, are:

March 12 – April 4
July 14 – August 8
November 6 – November 26

Yup, we’re smack-dab in the middle of a Mercury Retrograde (MR) and have almost 2 more weeks to go.  So what?!

Mercury, that mythological Messenger of the Gods, happens to “rule” everything related to communication and transportation, that’s what!  Perception, language, writing, editing, research, speaking, learning, the assessment of data, telecommunications, computing, software, electronic gadgets, cameras(!), the postal service, shipping, couriers, wires, cables, machines with moving parts.

When Mercury retrogrades, it scrambles information and causes static and confusionwhich is why it’s not a good time to sign contracts, complete important transactions, make big decisions or purchases, especially electronics (if you don’t want a lemon!).

Everyone in the whole wide world can be affected when Mercury retrogrades but especially Gemini (moi) and Virgos (my wife) who are astrologically “ruled” by the rascal.  Astrid and I always laugh a bit nervously when these times come around because we know we need to PAS OP! (= Pay Attention!).  When we’re driving anywhere, we expect delays/detours and are pleasantly surprised when they don’t happen.  We write everything down to make sure we don’t forget anything.

Once I sheepishly told my preacher dad about MR, not knowing if he’d pooh-pooh me into the ground.  He started laughing and said, “Oh, you mean that’s what happened when Mom and I drove home from Virginia the other day and I had forgotten where I put my glasses!  The next day I found them in the corner of the luggage rack on top of the car!”  Bingo.  Lucky for him, they never fell off during the entire drive to Michigan!

Stupid, crazy, silly, frustrating, befuddling, infuriating, aggravating things happen during MR.  You forget where you put things.  You buy something you regret.  You can’t find the right words to say or write.  Before auto-save happened on the computer, you’d lose whole documents.  [Remember the Jesus Saves computer joke!]  Sometimes you lose your whole computer!  Or your camera falls into the lake.  Or you copy people in e-mails you didn’t mean to.  You press Send before you intend, you lose your comment on FB…. 

Yada Yada Yada.  Been there, done that.

But here’s the GOOD NEWS:  MR is the best time in the world to finish things you’ve already started, so all is not lost!  The closet you started cleaning out, the book you were reading/writing, the trip you were planning, the knitting project, the garden….  When Mercury slows down (like now!), it’s the perfect time to tie up those loose ends.  In fact, Mercury will help you finish them.  He needs calming down himself and would like nothing better than for all of us to just slow down a bit.

Why would the Universe give us Mercury retrograde? Because to move forward it is sometimes necessary to backtrack and reconfigure our paths in life. It is important to reconsider, repair, reflect, and reconnect. Mercury forces us to slow down and fix what's broken, and in so doing, rethink things.  It also gives us time to get to projects we have put on the back-burner.—Susan Miller

Give yourself permission.  You know you want to.  Breathe in, breathe out.

For those of you still rolling your eyes, I bet you believe in the effects of the full moon, right?  I rest my case.

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