Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mercury Retrograde

So, what, exactly, is Mercury Retrograde? And why do we bitch and moan about it so much?

There are certain times of the year when it appears that the planets are going in the opposite way of their journey around the sun than normal. That’s a “retrograde”. In terms of planetary influences, it means that the planet’s influence in your chart is also backwards.

Mercury is fairly close to earth, and therefore has a good bit of influence. Mercury handles communication, travel, electronics, and shopping. So, when Mercury is retrograde, people tend to misunderstand each other, travel is screwed up, the computer goes kaplooey, and money changes hands quickly.

How can you use Mercury retrograde to your advantage? Depending on where it is in your chart (which will change the degree of influence) and where it was when you were born, here are some suggestions:

--Think before you speak. You should do so anyway, but do it even more during these weeks. And, if someone says something you find offensive, don’t react. Walk away and think about it, within the context of what you know about the person. The words could have come out wrong, or what you heard might not be what was said. Mercury is also associated with the Trickster in some mythologies – so be careful.

--If you have to travel, give yourself lots of extra time. I try not to travel by airplane during a Mercury retrograde; if I do, I expect delays for hours and hours, so if it goes smoothly, it’s a gift. If I’m driving, I’m especially vigilant. I don’t want to get into an accident because someone else was careless. And I give myself an hour to an hour and a half cushion for all appointments. I can always arrive early and sit down and write a few pages while I’m waiting. However, I still expect and demand a call if someone else has caught up in the retrograde and will be late. It’s not an excuse to be irresponsible and disrespectful.

--I’m careful with the computer. Usually, my computer crashes. This time, it was my printer. Sigh. I do the best I can, and try not to get too frustrated. Which doesn’t work.

--I do a lot of thrift shopping and sale shopping. And antiquing. People don’t realize the value of what they’re selling, so it’s a good time to bargain shop.

--On the flip side, I don’t make large ticket purchases or sign contracts. I put off signage until Mercury goes direct. You especially don’t want to buy a house or a car during either a Mercury or a Jupiter retrograde. Or buy electronics. If they work now, they’ll stop when Mercury goes direct. Or, even more likely, they won’t work now.

I try to find more patience for myself and others during this time. It doesn’t always work.

My mantra: Stay low, stay quiet, go shopping.

Good luck!