Cynthia Thorburn 6 August 2012

Mercury Retrograde

We are presently thrashing about in the throes of Mercury Retrograde. That slippery little planet turned about face on 15 July at 12deg 33’ Leo, will resume a sane direct course again on 8 August at 1deg 26’ Leo, but will only reach the degree at which it originally turned retrograde (the ‘shadow period’) on 22 August 2012.

Hey Ho! It’s a funny thing about Mercury R – even the man in the street will always get to hear about it! Why, I ask myself, is the astrological scene sedom abuzz with dire predicitons when Venus and Mars go R? Have you ever been told to ‘watch out’ when this anima-animus pair reverses their two-step? No, of course not! They fade the scene unsung, and glide gently into the sunset, mere shadows of their former selves.

But astrologers are galvanised into action the minute Mercury wavers in its course. Under such an inauspicious sky, you are earnestly exhorted to give up all ‘communications’ for the astrological Lent. Do not post any letters, forswear the cell phone, put your car on bricks for the period, perish the thought of travel, and go on a retreat with a vow of silence (especially at breakfast time). If you should be so misguided as to consider signing a contract or starting a business, the hounds of hell will track you down.

Read More

What bothers me is that Mercury is R for the whole planet. Is it logical to assume that every one of the x-billion people on earth will labour under a ‘communications’ cloud? Hardly, or we might as well shut up shop.

For Mercury R to seriously (perhaps even mildly) affect the tenor of your days, you’d have to have a really nasty natal Mercury with a pretty bad attitude to the other players on the field. Your Hermes with unwinged feet would need to be crippled by sign, house, aspect, and perhaps itself be R. Even so, you’d hardly notice the difference because you’d be so conditioned to a communications pea-soup fog.

What says the traditional word? Retrogradation is an optical illusion caused by the relative motion between the earth and the planet. Physically, it doesn’t even exist, which gives one pause for thought. Is Mercury R simply a mind’s eye phenomenon?

Buzzwords for retrogradation are Repeat – Retreat – Rethink – Reverse – Restraint – Regress – Redo, and any other ‘do it over again’ words you can think of beginning with Re-. Using REverse logic, Mercury R should be a very good time to REvise studies, take REfresher course, and RE-edit work.

Mercury goes ape – sorry R – three or four times a year, at 4-monthly intervals, for roughly 14 to 24 days. Most interesting of all is that Mercury retrogrades only in signs of the same element for any 24 month period (roughly) – a point to be considered in interpretation. Since March 2011 Mercury has been hitting on the Fire signs, but will move onto the Water signs in March 2013. It follows then that Mercury R is presently more relevant to those with charts strong in Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, or Mercury itself there. Here are some of the DON’Ts for Mercury R extracted at random from various texts. A lot of it seems silly to simplistic, but use your left brain and judge for yourself.

Decisions made will be reversed and commitments made, forgotten. The mind plays tricks and causes you to make careless errors and omissions. Gremlins invade all computer and accounting work. Phones go out of order and wrong numbers are frequently dialled. Mail and emails get a life of their own and deliberately go astray. Literal and figurative ‘cheque books’ will not balance. Any action begun under this period will be essentially delayed. Don’t tangle with the tax man. In property deals, sellers or buyers back out on promises. In construction, plans get mislaid. Probated wills take a long time to settle or are contested. Purchases are often returned. Divorces filed meet with legal delays. Official registrations are subject to clerical errors.

This is Cynthia signing off in the MIDDLE of the retrograde period – quickly – while my computer is still working!