Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Woes of Mercury Retrograde

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seemed to go right? The fax machine didn’t work, your email seems to be sending important messages to your spam filter, traffic seems much worse than it normally does, etc. These type of problems with communication and travel often occur during a Mercury retrograde phase.

When Mercury is in its retrograde phase, it is more difficult to communicate. Sometimes this is an issue of cell phones dropping calls or texts, or other electronic devices going haywire, sometimes it just means people aren’t listening or are misunderstanding what you are saying. You will see people online often behaving in a much more aggressive fashion during a Mercury retrograde period, as well.

As a tarot reader I tend to get more business during a retrograde phase because people often fight with significant others during this time period, have a difficulty with co-workers, or other problems that occur due to the energy of the retrograde. In addition, the retrograde time period is great for self evaluation and for understanding what is working and what isn’t working in your life, which is perfect for tarot readings.

Even with extra work coming in, I have always dreaded the Mercury retrograde period. I don’t like conflict all that much and it seems that Mercury going retrograde often causes all sorts of little squabbles to arise as people misconstrue or misunderstand what another person is saying. Sometimes though, these squabbles are necessary to clear the air. They help us to find solutions to our problems so that we may avoid future conflict.

One of the sites I frequent spoke of Mercury retrograde being a time to reflect, review, re-evaluate, or anything else that starts with an “re”. Time should be spent reviewing, returning to old issues, re-doing things that aren’t quite right, repairing broken items around the house and basically assimilating what we have learned and experienced since the last retrograde period. Mercury retrograde can be a pain in the neck, as so much of what we do every day involves communication or travel, but many times a little bit of forethought and planning can help to avoid most of these problems.

I’ve often heard it said that you should never start something new during a retrograde phase or that you shouldn’t sign contracts during the three week period of the retrograde. Most of these endeavors will fail to get off the ground. However, it seems to me that I always have great ideas for groups or other new projects that I want to try out during a Mercury retrograde. The ideas happen very fast during a retrograde, but the action has to be slower. Having a phenomenal idea during a retrograde period should be followed with re-evaluation of the idea, review of the plan, and generally should stay in the idea or mental stages. After the three weeks of the retrograde, you may then implement the idea without worrying that it was started during a retrograde phase.

The first weekend of May 2009, there were high winds that ripped through the area, killing thousands of trees, doing enormous amounts of property damage, and in one very memorable case, ripping the roof off of an apartment complex. This was also the first day of the Mercury retrograde. The results of the derecho, or “inland hurricane” as most people are calling it, typify the energies of the Mercury retrograde phase as streets were blocked off everywhere due to trees and downed powerlines, power was off to most homes for days to weeks, cell phones didn’t work right for several hours after the storm, and most people canceled their weekend plans to pick up the resultant mess.

However, while the derecho really was harmful to many of us, many of the trees that were downed had rotted out centers. While quite a few healthy trees perished, quite a few unhealthy trees also went down, clearing the way for new growth. Nature often does this type of clearing out – this time the heavy winds removed the very large but sick trees for the healthy ones to get greater access to sunlight and water.

During this storm, the roof blew off of a friend’s apartment building. She ended up having to move, missing a retreat she had helped organize, and missing days of work. It was a huge hassle as she dealt with her insurance (remember – renter’s insurance really can help you out of tough spot!), moved from her apartment and was briefly having to live with friends or family for a while. However, when she moved into her new apartment, she found that she was happier in the new location and the move itself kick started a period of growth for her that she may not have had otherwise. While she was furious and frustrated at the time, she did say months later that the storm ripping off her apartment building’s roof really did help her out in the long run.

While I still dread the retrograde phase of Mercury, I now see that there is a reason these energies swirl around us three times a year. Sometimes old issues must be cleared out so that we can move forward. I also think that a time of reflection and contemplation is a gift in many ways, if you utilize it properly. That said, I am still going to avoid driving anywhere unnecessary for a while.

After thought: Here is the link for one of my favorite sites about Mercury retrograde. It tells which days fall in the shadow period and which days are going to be the most chaotic. It is a really great guide and where I first read that anything that begins with “re” is what is done during a retrograde.

The year changes as the calendar year does – they will have a corresponding link.

Rev. Jennifer "Jay" Bull

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