Mercury, the messenger, has dominion over the mental and intellectual realms; which includes all forms of communication, memory, transportation, travel, computers and commerce. Because Mercury and Venus are always close together, areas of emotionality and relationships; ruled by Venus are also affected during Mercury Retrograde.
Normally Mercury retrograde affects my hand-eye co-ordination, and general timing & agility (or lack thereof). I usually have a few minor computer issues, and maybe a case of clumsiness, those are just the givens, there's always more, depending on those variable factors of placement. I knew this time was gonna be rough because this recent mercury retrograde hit in the sign of Pisces, right where I have four planets nestled together. This cluster of Sun, Mercury, Venus & Mars is usually a solid source of energy and ideas; but when Mercury goes retrograde in Pisces it becomes something more akin to a solid steamroller. Like some kind of virus, Mercury retrograde affects the nearby planets with it's unique variety of mayhem and chaos. After a while it gets to feeling like a standing eight count!
There was no hiding from it, or tuning it down; all you can really do is just ride it out. That's why having some understanding of the process helps a little. Despite the bad press it gets, Mercury retrograde can be a very productive and rewarding time. But first things first, a definition of terms is in order I think. To begin with Mercury retrograde happens usually three times a year, being a period of approximately three weeks when to the naked eye observer, the planet Mercury appears to move backwards in it's orbital path. Now this apparent retrograde motion is really just an illusion created by the dynamics of orbital mechanics; which makes the infamous effects even more interesting to me!
The period of Mercury retrograde makes a literally perfect time to sit back and examine choices, decisions and agreements you've made since the previous Mercury retrograde period. Examine these things to see if they're working as planned, or if you need to make adjustments, this is the tailor made time to do it. This 3 week period a few times a year also serves quite well as a time of spiritual reflection; especially so in these fast moving and turbulent times of humanity at the crossroads of evolution, or perhaps, extinction. So, instead of bracing yourself for a 21 day ordeal of resistance to Mercury retrograde, go with the flow and use the time to inspect & adjust: Think of it like a pit stop in the rat race!
It's good to know ahead of time when Mercury retrograde is going to happen, and it's even better to also note which of the twelve zodiac signs it will occur in, and what sensitive placements may be there in your own birth chart. This is why not everyone experiences Mercury retrograde the same way; and why it effects the same individual differently from one retrograde period to another. We can get lulled into a false sense of security from experiencing weak or small effects, only to be slam dunked when Mercury goes retro right where you live, astrologically speaking.
With this subject, "Go with the Flow" is definitely the best advice to consider. You can waste a lot of valuable time and energy resisting or trying to avoid the prevailing energies of a retrograde Mercury, or you can allow those energies to guide you to areas that require your attention, and perhaps upkeep. In any event, you will want to take some basic precautions like double check all transactions, agreements, travel plans, tickets, and such. Pay close attention to detail, and try to give others the benefit of the doubt when mercury retrograde snarls communications; remember, they're probably dealing with it as well. This is also an excellent time to finish projects left undone, and to tie up loose ends in general.
There are some classic "Don'ts" to observe also, just to be on the safe side. Don't make any big ticket purchases (don't gamble more than you can afford to loose), Certainly do not purchase or upgrade a computer during retrograde (that's just thumbing your nose at it), Don't accept, or start a new job, Do not initiate or close a major sale, Do not start new projects, or schedule important meetings, and don't move, add roommates, or make major changes to your living arrangements during Mercury retrograde.
A few days ago I got to witness why they say Mercury retrograde adversely affects transportation. It was a beautiful, sunny
day and both of my neighbors who are motorcycle enthusiasts each decided to go
out solo for some wind therapy. Next
door neighbor Bob left first on his new BMW cycle, and maybe fifteen minutes or
so later upstairs neighbor Scott departed on his Harley. It couldn't have been more than another
fifteen minutes passed before I saw Bob's wife bombing down the hill in her car
much faster than she normally drives.
Another few minutes pass, when I was surprised to see Scott arrive back
at the house, minus a Harley. A few
minutes later I see him driving his truck downhill towing a motorcycle trailer,
which returned holding two broken motorcycles a bit later on.
The first part of this recent retrograde actually went pretty well for me despite the expected clumsiness which never seems to fail. My electronics were all working good and I somehow managed to turn out a couple of blog posts. Things actually went along quite well for the whole first week; then suddenly, the honeymoon was over. Out of thin air I started thinking about and reviewing all kinds of stuff from my distant past; from choices & decisions I'd made, to the relationships, and marriages which never seemed to work out...all that old stuff I'd already processed, integrated and gotten closure on years ago came marauding thru my soul like a surly mob with muddy boots. That just didn't seem quite cricket to me; after all, the whole reason we process, integrate, and get closure is so we don't get haunted by this stuff, yet there it was. Mercury is a harsh mistress in retrograde mode.
Of course, just as I attempt to deal with the marauders I find my thinking is scrambled & erratic, with my emotions resembling a minor train wreck. When I found myself criticizing someone for spelling my name wrong on a re-post I knew it was time to take my own advice. I switched into neutral observer mode to ride the flow of this nasty retrograde, and see what message or lesson it might have for me, only to discover that my problem all along was that none of my partners were in it for the love. But then, I already knew that! What better way to deal with it, I thought, than to write about it...only to find that my writing ability had jumped ship, and taken my internet connection with it. Arrghh!!
So, with my ability to create cogent sentences reduced to incoherent word salad devoid of decent punctuation; and unable to get online for over 48 hours; I surrendered to the mindless numb of television, about thirty minutes before the first unscheduled power failure. Such is the way of things when Mercury goes retrograde. How very odd that an optical illusion could beget such results in the everyday lives of people.
There will be two more periods of Mercury retrograde this year that we will have to endure. The next one will be from June 7th to July 2nd in the signs of Gemini, and Cancer; so those of you with strong or sensitive planets in those signs might want to make a note of those dates, or not, according to the dictates of your sensibilities. The same would then also apply to the final retrograde Mercury of the year from October 4th thru 25th in the signs of Libra & Scorpio. Those of you with Sun and/or Mercury in Scorpio should be really feeling that one, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!
If we envision our journey in this life as a canoe trip down a river, then Mercury retrogrades are those times when we are forced to come ashore, and portage our canoe around a waterfall, beaver dam, or fallen tree. It affords us an opportunity to slow down, assess our overall situation, and plot the best course back to the flowing river. Doesn't it just make sense to make use of these mental/emotional interludes instead of just enduring them? We can choose to resist & endure these energies, or use them as an interlude to know ourselves better...it's only life after all!
May the Source be with You!
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