On Sunday, I stared in hyperventilating-shock at the blue screen on my computer. No icons, no files, no pretty desktop picture. Just a blank, blue screen.
On restart, it all worked out fine, but I mention this because…
On Monday, I picked up my phone to call a client and there was no dial tone. Just an unharmonious whine with static.
“Is it…?” I wondered with a furrowed brow.
“It has to be…” I knew it without even asking…
Sure enough! Mercury is retrograde from March 30 to April 23, the first of its three retrograde phases in 2011.
Scientifically speaking, Mercury Retrograde is when the planet Mercury appears to move backwards. It’s an optical illusion of sorts, having to do with the speed of Earth and Mercury and the changing relationship of their orbits.
But what does that have to do with my computer and telephone?
Astrologically speaking, Mercury represents rational, objective thought. Part of its job is to disburse information, so it affects things like perception, language, and learning. Mercury also rules telecommunications, computing, electronics, and transportation. So, it wields its influence over activities such as communication, education, correspondence, technology, and traveling.
Remember Mercury of mythology fame—winged traveler and messenger of the gods? He’s a great mnemonic tool for Mercury Retrograde, when you should avoid things related to travel and communication. Energetically, it’s not considered a good time for making important decisions, going places, purchasing communications equipment, signing contracts, sending important correspondence, or beginning a new project.
But, as Astrologer Steven Forrest explains, “Mercury retrograde isn’t bad; it just takes some planning to cooperate with the energies. It’s meant to be spent assimilating experiences, reviewing the past, and redoing, in general.”
Just as winter allows us to slow down for a while, and spring bids us back outside, Mercury Retrograde offers the opportunity take advantage of this moment—this time when some things might not move as smoothly as we’d like them to, but others will.
Astrologer Jodie Forrest explains, “Retrogradations are ‘look before you leap’ times. Time to review, reflect, process, ponder, inquire about and meditate.”
It is said that a Mercury Retrograde period is an excellent opportunity to review and revise plans, catch up on old business, consider unresolved issues, clean out the metaphorical closet…and maybe even cut some strings?
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Image: Mercury carrying his caduceus looking up to the left, oil on canvas by Francesco Bartolozzi from Wikigallery.