As of this writing Mercury is in retrograde. In 2007, Mercury retrogrades from February 13th through March 7th, from June 15th to July 9th, and from October 12th (or 11th depending upon where you live) through November 15th (or 14th, again depending upon where you live).
In current times, more and more people who are not astrologers are hearing about and referring to Mercury retrograde. They are even aware of when it is happening. It’s becoming as popular an astrological statement as the Full Moon. But what does it mean, anyway? What does it feel like and more importantly, how does it affect one’s life?
From our vantage point on planet Earth, Earth’s motion and Earth’s placement in our galaxy, there are times when Mercury appears to be traveling in a backwards motion. This occurs three times per year for just over 3 weeks each time. It is apparent retrograde motion, as Mercury is obviously not traveling backwards. It just feels like it is.
Mercury is the planet of everyday communications. It relates to the area of our lives where we run errands, see the neighbors, use the telephone, have conversations, write notes and make appointments. When it is in retrograde, it can feel like an unsettled energy surrounds these everyday tasks. There’s an underlying sense that, despite how clearly one conversing with others, the meaning can be misconstrued. Plans are liable to change during the retrograde period or soon after Mercury goes direct. One may find that appointments are repeatedly re-arranged. Arrangements are not permanent, which is why this period comes with a warning to not sign contracts.
It’s not all bad, though. Mercury retrograde is excellent at bringing the truth to the light. Problems needing to be unraveled come back to be resolved during the retrograde phase. Situations that weren’t quite finished will return to be determined. An old friend may get in contact temporarily after several years of silence. It’s a great time to get away, rest, relax and recuperate (notice all the “re’s” for “retrograde”). Mercury retrograde is also a wonderful occasion to clean out the closets and back up the computer.
Contrary to popular belief, Mercury in its retrograde period is NOT a time when everyone in the world will experience the crash of their computer or telephone or get stuck in transportation. Sure, it could happen that your e-mail server stops functioning or your fax machine breaks, but that can happen anytime. It will affect a person more directly when Mercury’s placement in the zodiac attaches itself to that person’s own horoscope. Some people get through the period without a hitch. That’s because Mercury, the trickster, is pestering someone else’s horoscope. It’s also not the time to just sit back and say, “Oh, Mercury’s retrograde, that’s why everything is going wrong. I’ll just wait until it goes direct and everything will be right again.” Au contraire, this is precisely the time when one needs to do some introspective thinking about the areas in which Mercury is highlighting.
Here are a few of the kookier or more extreme examples of what can happen when Mercury is in retrograde:
– You fly to London, but your luggage flies to Honolulu.
– You visit friends and their cute little white fluff of a dog rummages through your bag. She pulls out your cell phone and chews it up, antenna and all.
– You sign a contract to buy an apartment and the person selling it to you wriggles out of the deal at the last minute.
– You own a linen supply business. You sign a contract with a hip new restaurant in the trendy meat-packing district of New York City during Mercury retrograde, despite the warnings of an astrologer friend. Mercury stations direct, the restaurant has a few weeks of success and then goes up in flames with your chef’s coats, napkins and tablecloths inside. The story winds up in the local tabloid complete with photos of the manager sitting outside with face in hands.
– You vote in a presidential election in your country, which you believe to be a democracy. Mercury stations direct on the day of the election and the day ends with inconclusive results. There continues to be no result for several more weeks, which are filled with recounts (there are those “re’s” again) in various parts of the country. The eventual decision and result is not only suspicious, but does not reflect the voice of the people. And the rest is, as they say, “history.”