In the planetary neck of the woods, it is such a supernatural place! As we circle the Sun along with all the other planets, each planet periodically appears to stop and then reverse direction in the sky. This is called “retrograde motion.” When the planet Mercury changes celestial orbit, we experience a few weeks of missed connections and mishaps and general foolery, usually involving communication breakdowns. We suddenly find ourselves in the realm of the god, Hermes. This deity is usually laughing in the wings and is often referred to as the great bamboozler of the universe.
Sometimes it’s a package that never arrives, or forms are lost in the post and we may even feel as if the wool is being pulled over our eyes. Despair not, for this is happening to everybody, all at the same time. To help us cruise through these periods we might just have to follow four magic rules: it is time to review, revisit, re-examine, and reboot.
Mercury goes retrograde at least three times per year, often four. The most relevant time when all is revealed is during its standstill, known as stationing. Mercury, the swiftest of all the planets, retrogrades for approximately three weeks every four months. When it changes its apparent route anyone in communications can bear witness to short periods of time when messages go awry. Also, gossip can be pure fabrication, and we have to triple check reservations, times for flights and appointments.
Astronomers are concerned with observing the mechanical motions of the planets. Astrologers, however, dig deeper, reading how planetary movements synchronize with human behaviour. Mercury retrograde is often a familiar term to some of the general public, it’s a jump from our sceptical thinking to acknowledge that planetary movements really impact our lives. It may even be difficult to accept that even devices, especially computers, are also affected. So, what is all this magic trickery happening? Well, Mercury retrograde periods, are often times when we lose information, misplace things, and there can be some mental tomfoolery happening. It’s especially important to keep our computer backups current. Consider if there is a need for any software upgrades, and always keep a backup of all information on machines, just in case. Even when travelling things get lost, like driving licences, passports, and keys. Small items like to travel during this entire time.
Even motor vehicles, apparatuses, telephones and fax machines seem more susceptible to breakdowns and quirky problems during this period. Everything appears to be derailed and the cosmic trickster is most definitely to blame. Astrologically, Mercury represents our mind, our thinking process and all aspects of communication. Traditionally, Mercury retrogrades are not the best of times for communication-related activities. Traditional texts warn us not to sign contracts while the Winged Messenger is running backward in the heavens, since it takes away the usual mental order. Technology suffers from glitches, mail is lost, and there are major misunderstandings. We are advised that communications of all types may go haywire for much of the Mercury Retrograde period. What do we make of these mysterious detours, as if something is being orchestrated on a massive scale? We must learn to use our mental wits with Mercurial energy in the sky, and tune into its many frequencies. Mercury governs how we problem solve and we humans are encouraged to take stock, mentally rewind, and make this cycle work for us.
As Mercury is appearing to move backward, it’s almost like a vortex of time that reverses direction. Of course, time does not move backward, but we are often reminded of all echoes from the past and so this often signifies phone calls or emails from someone we have not visited for some time, or they have simply vanished from our life. Mercury Retrograde can be a funny period of coincidence and strange synchronicities that happen, such as unexpectedly bumping into someone we haven’t seen for a long time, or finding something we thought was lost forever. It also ushers in a time to re-think something over and see it in a new light. So, we must pay attention to our communication lines. Watch if things seem to be moving too fast. Don’t sign that contract without reading it carefully. Then, read it again before signing, just to re-check we haven’t missed something important. Review plans, and revisit everything we feel is already completed. Reconsider judgments made, and tidy and organize all desk files. Re-evaluate many things during this spell of mayhem, and just pay attention to how our mind is working and take care of those loose ends.