A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2015
MAKING MERCURY RETROGRADE PERIODS WORK FOR YOU
Yes, you are correct in supposing that we are in the midst of one of those tricky Mercury Retrograde periods again. Just what is this period, which we astrologers abbreviate as “Mercury Rx?” Mercury Retrograde (Rx) is the apparent backward motion of that planet as seen from the earth, occurring for 21 days three to four times a year. This year, Mercury Rx will occur on the following dates and degrees: January 21-February 11 (1-17 degrees Aquarius); May 18-June 11 (4-13 degrees Gemini); and September 17-October 9 (0-15 degrees Libra). Here is what “Jim Maynard’s Astrologer’s Datebook 2015” says about this:
When Mercury is retrograde, we can expect indecision and changes in plans. Retrograde periods for Mercury require much caution and orderly thinking. It is a good time for research, planning, examination of resources, and completion of projects already begun. During this period we might consider waylaid projects from the past or go back to old ideas or plans. Avoid beginning new projects.
If you listen to conventional wisdom about Mercury Rx, you’ll find yourself unusually hampered by a lot of warnings: don’t sign contracts, don’t buy anything electronic, don’t get married, don’t travel – among others. However, hiding yourself for three weeks every time Mercury Rx periods hit is neither productive nor desirable. True, the apparent backtracking of this quicksilver planet does symbolize and urge a slowing down of some sort, but surely not a grinding halt. Life does go on, right? There are contracts to be signed, electronics to be bought, destinations to travel – although I personally draw the line at getting married during a Mercury Rx period. Here is what famed astrologer Linda Goodman said about this in her “Linda Goodman’s Relationship Signs”:
Mercury rules language, our intellect, and all things contractual. The planet’s motion, when retrograde, can cause delays and misinformation since its movement is contrary to best astrological results. Things become complicated and confusing. When I think of Mercury Retrograde I think of Re. Re-do, re-organize, re-figure, re-write, etc. Yes becomes no. Reservations, correspondence, and travel get fouled up. Who wants this for a wedding date? Or a move-in date? Thankfully, Mercury is Retrograde a few times a year. Avoid it if you can. Work around Mercury Retrograde and your important days will be memorable for the right reasons. Why fight it? (Goodman, L. “Linda Goodman’s Relationship Signs,” p. 441)
Anyway, the point is, Mercury Retrograde may not be the right period to do certain things, but it is ideal to accomplish others. If you read the more upbeat astrology blogs, you will be directed to tend to deeper things during this period like: restore, replenish, rethink, reinvent. We are exhorted to do some introspection to figure out where we can improve our lives. A clue to what area in our life needs a bit more attention is determining which house in your natal chart the current Mercury Rx is traversing. For example, this current Mercury Rx from Jan. 21-Feb. 11 at 1-17 degrees Aquarius is in my 6th house, and this house rules job and health matters. During these three weeks, I can use my “down time” to improve my health regimen and rework my resume, for example. This could be my preparation for when Mercury goes direct again and it becomes favorable for communication, travel, and contracts again.
The next Mercury Rx period, May 18-June 11, will be on the 4-13 degrees of Gemini. In my chart, those degrees will be in my 10th house, which rules career and reputation. When that period comes, maybe I could work on a restatement of my career goals, reviewing the lessons I’ve learned from the past so that I can start on a clean slate. The last Mercury Rx period on September 17-October 9 on the 0-15 degrees Libra falls on my 2nd house which rules possessions and values, among others. I may use this period to rethink my values and prioritize what I truly deem important in my life.
The foregoing was just an example of how the energy of Mercury Rx can be useful to you personally. If you have access to your natal chart, then you can pinpoint which houses in your chart will be affected by Mercury Rx. This is the house where you may do all the “re” activities recommended during these introspective periods. Re-do, re-think, re-write, re-build, re-configure, re-trace, re-make, re-emphasize, re-invent. Come to think of it, our spirits may actually need such a respite, since we are fast-forwarding through our lives during the other 302 days when Mercury is spinning direct as seen from the earth. I believe that we could make these Mercury Rx periods work for us. Instead of viewing these periods negatively, we need to welcome them in our lives like a spiritual inhale-exhale cycle – a time to rest and regroup for renewed energy for the challenges ahead.
We are living in the midst of cycles in our lives – cycles within cycles – of seasons, age, planetary cycles, birth-death-rebirth, among others. My prayer for all of us is that as we grow older in age, we also develop wisdom, a sensitivity to the cycles, seasons, and recurring patterns in our lives, and then have the courage not to fight where the cycles lead us but to go with the flow.