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Mercury Appears To Be Flying Backwards

Mercury, by B.A.VierlingMercury, that Winged Messenger of the Gods, seemingly turns on its heels three times a year for a period of three weeks each time. What’s going on here, and what effect can this possibly have on us earthlings? We’re about to begin one of those ‘retrograde’ periods on January 28th.

First it might be helpful to understand what we astrologers term Retrogradation. Remember, we are here on planet Earth, therefore we are perceiving everything else in our Solar System from a geocentric point of view. As the other planets come closer to our Earth in their movement around our central star, the Sun, they appear to be going in reverse. Think of it like this: if you’re on a train traveling at high speed, and you pass another train, parallel to you, going at a slower speed, the slower train will present the illusion of moving backwards.

Since Mercury, however, is going faster around the Sun than we are, as it comes closer to us it still will appear to be going backwards as we view it against the backdrop of the fixed stars. As soon as it begins to swing further away behind the Sun, it will appear to be going direct, once again.

Again, what does this really mean? That’s the question I’m sure you’re most interested in. Well, years of observation by countless astrologers have resulted in certain conclusions regarding this ‘phenomena’. Mercury has come to symbolize all areas of life connected with mental activity, including thinking, communicating, talking, and writing as well as various forms of movement, including air and land travel, as well as commerce in general. That pretty well sums up our modern way of life, doesn’t it? After all, the Industrial Age got it’s big dream started with a conjunction of Neptune and Pluto in the sign of Gemini (Mercury ruled) in 1892.

So during a Retrograde period of Mercury you can expect things to—–yes!—–slow down. If you try to keep the same hectic pace, what is likely to happen? Mistakes. Indeed?!! The key buzz words for this three week time period are: review, re-vamp, re-do, re-think, re-evaluate, re-word, re-pair, re-new, re-peat,re-plenish, re-prise, re-peal……..Go ahead and think of some re- words yourself. It’s fun.

I like Mercury Retrograde periods, because it’s good to step back and take a breath or two, and sort things out, slow down the pace, and get re-flective. Inner work is great during this time such as journeying, dream-work, or working on a serious writing project. Pondering something, and solving problems is good to do at this time.

It’s a wonderful time for repairs of all kinds. Get everything fixed now: equipment, old shoes, garments, cars, you name it. Take everything to your local repairman or woman. They thrive during Mercury Retrograde periods. Yes, get your teeth fixed too, It’s not a bad idea to sometimes schedule certain kinds of surgery during this period, however be aware that technical errors may occur.

Editing type jobs are excellent during this three-week period. Getting things polished and refined makes sense. I would say, in general, that the more Virgo-an qualities of Mercury need to come to the fore during the Retrograde phase. Solving problems is a natural for our Virgo friends. This is their time.

Travel? With air travel think delays. Funny glitches in scheduling can occur. Luggage is perhaps more vulnerable to getting lost. The solution to all this seems to be how you plan. It’s a good idea to just be prepared and arrive at the airport earlier, or bring a good book, in case your plane is delayed. Allow plenty of time for the unexpected. I believe most of us do, anyway, in todays world of constant air travel.

Traveling by car, truck, bus, etc. think traffic jams, gridlocks on freeways. They can occur, but this doesn’t necessarily mean there will be more accidents unless Uranus/and/or Mars is involved. Car-wise just make sure there’s plenty of gas in your tank, air in your tires, and oil in your engine before taking off, and allow extra time for arrival at your destination.

Buying and selling: please don’t try to buy high-priced electronic equipment during Mercury retrograde periods. You may have to return the item, or some part of it may not function properly. Especially avoid buying a used car. Yipes. If you buy a new car, at least there is some kind of warranty to protect you. I wouldn’t even advise that, but sometimes we just have to do what we have to do, right?

There are so many ‘do nots’ for Mercury Retrograde. No one really wants to hear such admonishments, especially self-directed willful types. I have found, however, that there really is something to it. So why try and push the river when it’s current is going against the direction you want to go in? Why not use it for what it is intended? Slowing down and paying more careful attention to all the details and nuances of what perhaps alluded you when you were tripping along at high speed.

Contracts seems to be particularly bothersome during these time-frames. Something may have to be re-done or mistakes may be made. Be exceedingly careful and read all the fine print if you do have to sign something important contractually during this period.

Office work can often be where this retrograde motion has an impact. I can remember many a struggle with our fax machine. It just never seemed to want to cooperate. Computers. This is the time when most astrologers will warn you to get everything backed up before ole Mercury turns on its heels into reverse. Mailing letters and packages: send valuables insured and important documents or payments certified. Don’t take chances with this ‘Mercury-dominant’ service.

Finally, does everyone experience the Mercury Retrograde as troublesome or annoying? Probably not. I really think certain types of people are more sensitive to it than others. I would only suggest that you start to really observe yourself and your day-to-day activities during this next three week period. See if any glitches occur more than normal. See if you can really enjoy the process of becoming more reflective and slowing down your pace a bit to gain insights that otherwise might blip on by.

This current Mercury Retrograde will last from January 28th through February 18th. Mercury will be in the sign of Aquarius during this period. Spend some time synthesizing. It will actually be an excellent time to brain-storm with others and collaborate on projects where planning and team-work are called for. Any type of planning for future long-range projects can also come together during this time. The action can then be taken when this time period is finished. And friendships? Why it’s a wonderfully rich time to ‘hang out’ with those you love. Re-new those old friendships and get re-acquainted.

The Inner Planets, by Liz GreeneHere are a couple of excellent books on Mercury for those of you who always want to learn more: The God Between: A Study of Astrological Mercury by Freda Edis, Arkana, Penguin Books.; The Inner Planets, Building Blocks of Personal Reality (Seminars in Psychological Astrology Volume 4) by Liz Greene & Howard Sasportas, Samuel Wiser, Inc.

I hope some of you will comment on your experiences with this Mercurial journey. I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface of possibilities.

January 26, 2008  6 Comments
Categories: Astrology | Tags: , ,


1 Renee { 01.28.08 at 6:26 pm }

You truly are the busy bee, my dear sweet friend, Genevieve… with your awesome new website and now 3rd Blog, congratulations to you! (This blog re: Mercury Retro… I miss your son, Ben’s fabulous paintings (they’re a wonderful addition to your Blogs and loved the two paintings from your 2nd Blog, re: the moon. And, of course, your son Michael did an incredible job creating your website, in but 11 days, wow)! So… just for fun (and a little BIG stretch on my part)… thought I’d comment on this, your latest blog re: Mercury Retro, in a “universal setting vs. our personal email dialogues”…. as I’m at home waiting for a locksmith (who actually just arrived, at 5:45pm), but more on this in a moment! As I know first hand, with a New Moon, Full Moon and/or Mercury Retro, for example energies often go into effect several days before and after the exact date (being most intense day of)… and so, in terms of sharing a few experiences re: Mercury Retro (and the New and Full Moon)… my first share would be, this past Saturday nite (Jan. 26th) came home from movie/dinner, in the midst of big rain storm, in LA and couldn’t get into my Apartment! (Live in courtyard setting w/ some covering from 2nd floor, so this was good)! Thankfully there
is a Mgr. on the premises and I went to her door (felt bad, as it was close to midnight)… and was able to get another key (she had given me several and the 2nd one worked/yeah)! And, I know the cold, damp, rainy weather lately, had been affecting my deadbolt as this happened few wks ago (and already had a second key that did not work, as well as kept my original key – neither
worked on this rainy night)! Also a few wks ago, during start of the New Moon; Tuesday Jan. 8th, my bathroom door locked (and all I can say, is good thing I don’t have a weak bladder/LOL)… night of Monday, Jan. 7th… bringing this up as it’s interesting to be having these issues with door/locks and wonder Genevieve, what does this mean?? (Per a recent chat of ours, I figure it has more to do, with Pluto in Capricorn as of January 25th (perhaps you can Blog on this soon, Genevieve)… having to do with structures breaking down, just to add to the mix of ingredients of intense energies swirling in the universe, lately! Back to my deadbolt… today (Jan. 28th), being the 1st day of Mercury Retro (having this awareness and in turn, know it’s a time to be extra patient (and expect and thus embrace delays), as my Mgr said, locksmith would be at my place after 3:30pm and he finally showed up at 5:45pm!! Patience is key, during a Mercury Retro and I am already blessed on any given day, with patience… so I should handle Mercury Retro well, overall with a positive
attitude and just flow, with what may come up next (and I extend this invaluable advice to others)! That being said, I’m often affected by Mercury Retro as well, as the New/Full Moon energies… being a water sign (Scorpio). Another odd thing that happened… on Saturday, was that I broke two ceramic pieces (rare)! I was cleaning my coffee table and arranging some things on it (i.e. little Buddha’s, birds, candles, butterflies, turtles, angels and dragonflies)…. finally chipping one of my favorite little pieces; a little frog! And, why the frog out of all else, why the frog/ha? (I will have to pull out my Animal Speaks book, by Ted Andrews and review the significance of “the frog”)! Second thing, I had gone to Trader Joe’s; and aside from groceries, I bought 4 little purple flowered bulb/plants (for Spring), in sweet little ceramic containers (i.e. one for my Mom, one of a friend and two for me). So… I came home and was putting them on my window sill and one slipped out of my hand and smashed into a million little pieces after hitting a wooden duck, I have on my floor… it was just so… odd)!! One more little share re: New Moon energies… also the same day/night my bathroom door locked,
I had gone to the cleaners… early Monday evening, Jan 7 and walked into the glass door (been here a thousand times, never happened before… was odd and quite the shock to my whole body, as it really threw me off at that moment and for a few days thereafter. Okay, Genevieve.. I’m finally done (yeah)… sharing, how did I do/ha, for my first universal… blog comment! Speak with you soon (perhaps not another blog for awhile, but via email, we’ll see)! Lots of love to you, Genevieve… Renee

2 Genevieve { 01.28.08 at 9:41 pm }

It’s great that you ‘got the nerve’ to write, Renee. Thank you for sharing so much. I’m sure many others can relate.

I have to say that I, too, get very impacted by Mercury Retrogrades. This is an example I failed to mention. I am staying in SF right now for a few days, and I had to go to Staples for some office supplies. When I got back to where I’m staying and looked at the receipt, I noticed that I had been charged twice for the same item. I called immediately but was told I’d have to come back to the store with my receipt and everything I’d purchased to get the credit. We’ll for $5.99 lost, it just wasn’t worth the effort. Those of you living in SanFrancisco can appreciate what I’m saying—-traffic, congestion, and parking. Lesson learned? Once again, I should always check my receipt before I leave the store. Mercury retrograde or not! It just seems that this sort of thing happens more frequently for me when I’m dealing with the retrograde cycle. I seldom have such a problem ordinarily.

Renee, I feel your ‘breakage’ issue is more Uranian in nature. Walking into the glass door fits with that as well. You mention ‘the shock’. That’s a sure buzz word for Uranus. I’ll be writing about the planet of revolutionary change soon.

3 Renee { 01.28.08 at 10:43 pm }

Thank you, Genevieve for such a quick reply (and in turn support of my first blog/comment)! And, a great thing to note, is to double check receipts, during a Mercury Retrograde (thanks
for your interesting share re: Staples)! I also have another share, but will do so in your 2nd blog re: the moon, so stay tuned. In meantime, enjoy San Francisco… one of my most favorite cities (i.e. despite traffic, congestion and parking)!

4 Renee { 01.29.08 at 2:26 am }

PS… oh well, being that I’m still awake (the night owl that I am), at 2:30am and thus, into the 2nd day of Mercury Retrograde (Tuesday, January 29, 2008), what the heck, why not share for a 4th time… seeing as I’m in the flow of some kind of cosmic energies/ha! And, so… on a funny note during this Mercury Retro, I was logging onto your website, Genevieve and couldn’t log on (i.e. rather odd, because “Blue Light Lady”… IS saved on my Toolbar) and this was the message I kept getting (after several attempts)… “Oops! We can’t find the webpage you’re looking for”… funny… LOL! And, IF this happened, any other time, besides during a Mercury Retrograde, it would have been odd, but tonight and/or this morning… not so odd, is it… Genevieve? (I’ve actually never gotten such a message)!

Also, just noticed that you added one of Ben’s wonderful paintings to this your 3rd blog re: Mercury Retro and thus an actual painting “of Mercury”, which is great to see! (As I had previously commented that I really loved your son, Ben’s paintings in your 2nd blog re: the Moon and missed more of his beautiful paintings, in this blog re: Mercury Retro). And, so… it’s truly another awesome addition to your very informative as well, as enjoyable blogs, Genevieve! Thank you for sharing and continuing to blog (through your new web site), with your incredible heartfelt words of wisdom that often resonate, with me (as you know)! Okay, goodnite and goodbye, for now (until… my 5th share sometime in near future/ha)!!

5 Genevieve { 01.29.08 at 9:38 am }

Thank you for sharing, Renee. Yes, I’m a fortunate mother to have such talented sons. Benjamin has a vast knowledge of mythology, which he often conveys through his paintings. Michael understands the inter-net and the underlying ‘architecture’ of it all.

6 Jupiter and Pluto Moving Forward — Blue Light Lady { 09.04.08 at 10:09 am }

[…] Direct means moving ahead once again after a period of being Retrograde. Please see my article Mercury Appears To Be Flying Backwards for an explanation of the term […]

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