Saturday, 22 January 2011

Mercury Retrograde

Welcome to the first in a series of articles devoted to the more
eclectic side of astrology.

In this unusual series (which is a little more than a primer in
astrology and a little less then a PhD in the subject!), we are
going to discuss those things that you have always wondered about
astrology in general and also clarify some of the things you will
find in your own chart.

We will also be explaining some synastry (relationship astrology)
as well a look at some celebrity charts.

Perhaps one astrology term you've been hearing a lot about lately
is Mercury Retrograde. These retrogrades, which cause the planet of
communication to move backwards through the sky last three to four
weeks and occur three to four times a year. This bodes a time when
everything seems to be a case of "too little too late" or "too much
too soon."

Delays, computer problems, broken promises and relationship problems
are also typical of Mercury retrograde periods. Problems with
transportation and missing crucial bits of information that prevent
you from achieving an understanding or "moving forward" are also
typical during a mercury retrograde period.

A planet can described as retrograde when it appears to be moving
backwards through the zodiac. Of course this is an illusion ...
actually the earth is rotating causing the planets to seem to be
moving backwards n the sky. Planets are never actually retrograde
or stationary, they just seem that way, due to this optical

Retrograde periods, although often problematic for mere mortals,
are not particularly uncommon. Each planet retrogrades, except the
Sun and Moon. In general when a planet is retrograde, it seems that
inevitable fated events may take place causing us to feel like we
are not in control in life.

A retrograde period is best perceived as a cycle that consists of
three stations. The motion is like a pendulum swinging with a start
backward, a stop and a start forward and a stop again.

A station is when the planet appears to be motionless in the sky.
The first station occurs when the planet begins to slow to a halt
before appearing to travel backwards through the zodiac. The second
station occurs when the planet slows down while moving backwards
and appears to stop before moving forward again. The third station
occurs when the planet returns to the point where it first paused
(made a station.). The negative energy of the planet's retrograde
is most powerful while the planet is stationary and more likely to
generate critical or disastrous results.

Mercury retrogrades can be very uncomfortable as they affect
thinking, perception, communication, commerce and transportation.
People who work with their minds or their wits including writers,
commentators and media types are particularly personally affected
by mercury retrogrades. The base functionality of telephones and
computers are often affected, as is reception for radios and
televisions. Cable television that is installed during Mercury
retrograde is likely to be fuzzy for a lifetime.

Mercury retrogrades also have a terrible "slowing down" effect on
freelancers who often find their "check is in the mail" and also on
doctors who have problems taking good x-rays or locating blood
tests. Projects started during mercury retrograde often have to be
done over again.

Mercury retrogrades make our lives such hell that we can hardly
wait for them to be over. Still even though most mercury
retrogrades last two to four weeks, they are also accompanied by
what is called the "retrograde shadow." The retrograde "Mercury
shadow" begins about three weeks before the actual retro station
and some three weeks after direct station.

Mercury retrograde, like any planetary aspect, affects people
differently, depending on where it hits their personal charts. Some
people actually prosper under a retro Mercury, especially if they
were born with a Mercury retrograde in their birth chart. For
instance if you have Mercury retrograde in your Tenth House (house
of career) at birth you could be cleaning up financially while your
friend with Mercury direct in the tenth house loses all his
business to you!

However one thing to remember that often projects begun during a
retro mercury period will not come to fruition or completion until
the next retro Mercury station occurs.

In general it is wise not to make any big moves - sign big
contracts, buy or rent a house, purchase appliance or computer
equipment or propose marriage during a retrograde Mercury period.
As mental facilities are also dimmed by this influence it is also
not a good time to take a test.

Think the Mercury retrograde is a big deal! It's nothing compared
to the effects of a Jupiter retrograde. In next week's article
we will discuss what happens when the planet of wealth and
generosity moves backwards in the sky ...