As someone who works in a field where communication is incredibly important, I have a friend named Mercury, the planetary ruler of communication, whose name has been drug through the mud. If you had a friend that everyone was bad mouthing, simply because they didn’t understand this friend, wouldn’t you feel a responsibility to stick up for your poor, misunderstood pal? Alas, I break my silence, as I just can’t idly stand by and watch this undue character assassination continue.
You know, what is it about our human culture that insists on pitting “us” against “the Universe”? We assume that any changes in the heavens are, of course – strictly out to get us, although I’m quite sure that the complicated workings of The Heavens have many, many other concerns besides, well… we li’l myopic human beings down here.
That being said, one aspect in the Universe’s “grand plan” really does receive a bad rap, quite often, and I, as someone who observes energy patterns, feel a great responsibility to speak up for this misunderstood planetary Fall Guy. Yes, ladies, gentlemen, and those who identify in between, I am speaking about our dear friend — Mercury Retrograde.
I am regularly asked questions about this astrological phenomenon ranging from “should I sign this contract during Mercury Retrograde” to “should I get married during Mercury Retrograde”, and though those questions are valid, it really is the cultural stigma around Mercury Retrograde that I find to be such a shocker. So, in an attempt to stick up for my poor little buddy, Mercury, and its mandatory back-peddling, I am here to shed some light on the Mercury Retrograde phenomenon, and break up some myths about what this energy signature is all about.
Mercury is the planet that rules communication. What does that mean, you ask? Well, it means that Mercury is “in charge” of “greasing the cogs” with the proper energy in all aspects of communication here on earth. (Basically, Mercury is middle management in the “Human Communication Department”.) Mercury’s job is to oversee, and to provide, an astrological energy directed toward the earth that “fuels” the flow of communication. Forms of communication that Mercury pushes along are found in phone calls, emails, texts, contracts, written works, and even person-to-person verbal conversations. Mercury makes sure that all of these forms of communication go off without a hitch, so that business-as-usual here on earth may proceed. It’s not a high-profile job, like the Sun, who gets a rousting round of applause simply for coming out most days. In fact, Mercury’s contributions, at least on a daily basis, go largely underappreciated. Again – middle management.
As our civilization has become more dependent on instant communication in order to function, from traffic updates on Twitter to Facebook posts heralding the earthquake in Japan, the Mercury Retrograde phenomenon has had much more of an impact on our daily lives. Mercury Retrograde is no different than a tide in the ocean. When Mercury goes retrograde, it pulls certain energies away from the earth just as the moon pulls the vast ocean from the world’s beaches. These energies that recede from the earth typically work as a “support system” for communication. Think of these Mercury energies like a rolling scaffold that supports a heavy communications tower. When Mercury goes retrograde and pulls the scaffold “backwards”, it drags the tower slightly out of range, so the relay is not as reliable. The Mercury signal that is beamed toward the earth to strengthen communication then weakens.
The result is a dip in the reliability of communications: dropped cell phone calls, computer issues, misunderstandings around the office, paperwork doesn’t get filed properly, emails don’t make it through servers, contracts contain mistakes – anything that has to do with communication of ideas, concepts, emotionality, and legality suddenly becomes shaky ground, and often, frustration explodes, and mayhem ensues.
Why, you may ask, in God’s infinite wisdom, would this be allowed to happen, especially up to eight times a year? What malicious God, with a rotten sense of humor, would green-light this chaotic planetary back-peddle? The answer is pretty simple: The same God that realizes every action has a reaction. Think about it: Humanity’s propensity to “over-do” is its calling card. If you’re human, then anything that is worth doing is worth over-doing – more cars, more houses, more oil, more sex, more money, more power, more cheesecake, one more martini, more, more, more. We are so obsessed with “more” that “Hoarders” on A & E is one of the top-rated cable shows airing today. For real. I don’t watch it – I think it’s hideously depressing – but I’m told that the human fascination with watching people’s pain on the boob tune is a real ratings-driver. But I digress.
Given no energetic restrictions, the human species would worker-bee ourselves into a frothing coma. We’d chase that carrot labeled “more” right off of a cliff, if it meant we’d get…well…more of whatever we were after, at least while we were plummeting to our death. We are not the brightest species on the galactic family tree. (Reference MTV’s “Jackass”.)
Considering that we have the common sense of dryer lint, the universe, in a futile attempt to protect the species, is designed to work on a pendulum system: The country swings Right of the aisle, then Left. The tide comes in, bringing food to the crabs in the sand, then recedes, to feed crabs to the seagulls. Mercury beams intensive communication energy to the earth so that we are inspired to reach out, expand, and interconnect, then Mercury recedes so that the communication is a challenge and we must quiet ourselves, to work on tasks at hand.
Mercury Retrograde is a necessary part of our energetic cycle. Just like a light bulb, humanity cannot remain “on” 24/7, 365 days a year – or we’d burn out. Like toddlers, humanity does not have the presence of mind to put itself down for a nap. Like toddlers, we must be restricted by a greater third party, and told that enough is enough – then sent to our Mercury Retrograde Crib for some quiet rest. Mercury Retrograde is a time to focus on what is right in front of us, rather than the conquest on the horizon. It is a reminder that the present is what builds the future, and tasks in the present must be accomplished before we are going to take over the world with one more car, one more, house, and one more martini. It is a time for reconnecting with ourselves, how we arrived at where we are at today, and a time to reach out to those in our past that have assisted us in becoming who we are. It is a time to slow down enough to reflect on what gives us joy in our daily lives, and to finish up those loose ends around the house, until the communication tide returns to the earth, flooding the beaches and raising all the boats in the harbor, allowing each person to fire up their engines and charge into their own sunset.
If your sports car breaks down on the side of the road, it’s time to walk to the next town. You’ll get there – it will just take longer, and you’ll be forced to admire the beauty along the way. Mercury Retrograde is a time where we must try a little harder, and expect that it will take a little longer, to get from “here” to “there”. The purpose for this “slow down” is to discourage forward movement for a few weeks, and focus our attentions on the daily administration of life, so that life may actually move forward in a way that works best for us. It works something like this:
It’s Friday night and Charlie wants to go out. Plans with the guys keep falling through because thanks to Mercury Retrograde, Rick’s cell service is suddenly spotty and Dan’s computer crashed so he’s not getting his email – so instead, Charlie stays home. While he’s home, he decides to order Zombieland on Pay Per View, and goes to the kitchen to make popcorn while he waits for ordered pizza. In the kitchen, he opens the cupboard and the broken hinge, which always rattles and has been working loose for the past six months because Charlie hasn’t taken the time to fix it, decides to give way and dump the cupboard door on his head, denting the dirty bachelor kitchen wall. Furious, Charlie storms to the garage to finally show that cupboard who is boss. He fixes it, patches the wall, and goes to paint, but he’s out of the kitchen white. However, he has leftover green fence paint, so, not to be defeated by the kitchen, Charlie has the time to paint the wall green. The doorbell rings and he shouts for the pizza delivery person to come in. Enter Sarah, the blonde, beautiful 20-something who wouldn’t give Charlie the time of day, normally – until she sees the killer green accent wall in the newly-repaired kitchen. Sarah is shocked that Charlie has such a sense of style, makes a comment, Charlie flirts back and invites her over to watch Zombieland after her shift. Sarah shows up, she and Charlie hit it off, and a year later they are engaged. Thank you, green wall, which would have never been painted if Charlie had been able to contact Rick and Dan. Thank you Mercury Retrograde for the spring wedding.
Mercury Retrograde is our friend. Yes, when Mercury is retrograde, we can expect challenges with miscommunication and mis-fires with our phones and computers. Yes, if legal documents are drawn up during a retrograde, there is a better than random chance that there may be some issues with the documents that will require re-addressing later, due to confusion in either the writing, or the filing of the forms. However, Mercury Retrograde is not a curse, nor an affliction, nor The Universe’s way to throw a wrench into our machinery. It’s the periodic break that we all need so that we may address the small details in life that get lost within our quest to move onward, and upward.
So sink into a Mercury Retrograde like slipping into a warm bath, and relax. Think of the energetic break as a two or three week vacation from the hustle and bustle of life. Be more patient with yourself, and with others, as we are all operating with less communication support from our middle-management Mercury. Simply because something occurs during a retrograde, like a wedding, or a plane trip, does not mean that whatever occurred will be “cursed”. (There’s no such thing as a “curse”, and even if there were, Mercury Retrograde wouldn’t qualify.) It simply means that we must direct a little more effort toward examining details during these events, and a little more effort in making sure that what we are attempting to communicate actually comes out the way it’s supposed to. For instance, this blog was written during a retrograde, and it took about three times as long to get through, as an author, because of all the random interruptions I’ve had on this end. But – patience won out, and here it is.
I hope this has served to clear the good name of my dear friend, Mercury. There is a time and a place for everything – even a backward traveling middle-management planet.