Who’s Afraid of Mercury Retrograde? in this week’s issue of the MANILA MAIL (Feb. 5-11, 2014)

WHO’S AFRAID OF MERCURY RETROGRADE?

Certainly not I, but it took me a while to get in sync with Mercury’s rhythms. Among fellow astrologers, it has become de rigueur to complain about the many ways that Mercury Retrograde has cramped their style or ruined their mojo. You see, in Western astrology, the planet Mercury rules communications, travel, and technology.  People have noticed that during the periods when Mercury appears to go backward on its path as seen from the Earth, delays and glitches run rampant at an incredible rate across mundane affairs.

You may or may not be aware of this astrological phenomenon, but it does happen three times a year for three weeks at a time. Referred to as Mercury Rx for brevity, its first occurrence for 2014 is from February 6-28. Mercury goes retrograde again from June 7-July 1 then from October 4-25. With Mercury Rx goes the usual astrological warnings like: Don’t sign any contracts, and since marriage is one such contract, then don’t get married when Mercury is Rx. Don’t buy major purchases especially electronic/technological gadgets because they will not function properly. Don’t travel. Don’t make any major decisions. Don’t do this and don’t do that. Computer conk-outs, dastardly delays, and erratic electronics are just some of the aberrations attributed to Mercury Rx. Truthfully, from the geocentric vantage point which is the basis of Western astrology, several planets go retrograde during their respective cycles, but darned if we know why it is the retrograde periods of Mercury that seem to be causing the most noticeable forms of havoc among them all. It’s a fascinating, perplexing mystery.

However, I belong to the more positively predisposed camp of modern astrologers who would like to suggest what you can do, rather than what not to do, whenever Mercury goes into its inevitable, three-times-a-year three-week retrograde periods. As some of my colleagues have said, it’s impractical to give advice which is akin to hiding one’s head in the sand until Mercury Rx blows over. Life as we know it does not stop just for a “silly planet,” as astrologer/fashionista Gala Darling blogged this week.

So… sign that contract but read the fine print first, not just once but plenty of times. Buy that important piece of office equipment but be sure to keep the receipt and get a warranty. Complete your travel arrangements, double-checking everything and maybe bringing a book to read should there be some delays. Have your car tuned up, your computer backed up, and your cell phone juiced up – but still be prepared for these electronic gizmos to go on the fritz every now and then. In each of these scenarios, the important thing to ask yourself and prepare for is: What’s my backup plan?

Just my personal opinion, though: Peeps, please just try not to get married during Mercury Rx. You have enough stacked against you in the first place if you do decide to get hitched, so why handicap yourselves some more? There are approximately 302 other days of the year with which to schedule your ceremonial I-do’s, when you’re not under the influence of a mental fog brought on by Mercury Rx. For the matrimonially minded, you may want to Google April Elliott Kent of Big Sky Astrology, who specializes in helping couples choose a date and time for their wedding. That branch of our art is called Electional Astrology.

So what can we do during a Mercury Rx period?

Well, here’s an idea for what already married couples can do during Mercury Rx: Re-new your vows! (My parents, Ron and Aida Carmona, will indeed by renewing their vows when they visit the Philippines this month. Happy 45th wedding anniversary po, Ma and Dad!) For the clutter-challenged: Re-organize your closet and re-arrange your living space! For the frazzled: Re-lax, re-charge, re-juvenate and take care of yourself! For the proudly independent: Re-connect with a former flame or a former best friend! Don’t be surprised if people from your past do re-surface at this time. For the career-minded: re-tool your resumé and re-view your personal goals! For the sentimental: Re-read your old journals, re-play your old favorite records, re-watch your old favorite movies, re-visit your old haunts, and re-kindle your energy for the activities you used to enjoy doing. Are you getting the sense of these RE- things that we can all safely do while Mercury is retrograde?

Finally, I would like to share with you a poem that I wrote in 2002, which is included in my poetry book, “A Novice in Altruism and Other Poems,” which is available at the Arkipelago Books in San Francisco and the Revolution Bookstore in Berkeley. Let us honor the trickster god Mercury with our grain-of-salt-flavored sense of humor!

 MERCURY RETROGRADE AND MY CAR KEYS ©BC2014

Mercury goes retrograde a few times a year. Seen from the Earth, this planet whirls on an apparent backward route. Since Mercury rules the intellect, language, and all things contractual, Mercury when in retrograde motion fouls up plans, delays action, and stimulates misinformation.

When my guru Linda Goodman thinks of Mercury Retrograde, she thinks of Re: Re-do, Re-organize, Re-figure, Re-write… you get the idea.

When Mercury retrograded for a second time out of three in year 2000, I was Re-admitted twice to the hospital, my personal finances were Re-arranged, my dwelling place was Re-located.

Mercury is retrograde again just now so I have to Re-trace my steps back to the house because I just Re-membered that I forgot my car keys!

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Contact Bles Carmona at pilipinasblitz@gmail.com, via Facebook at http://facebook.com/pilipinasblitzforever.org, or follow her on Twitter.com@BlesildaCarmonaMercury Rx aheadMercury Rx graphic

How do you perform a ritual of visualization of intent? in this week’s MANILA MAIL issue

Pilipinasblitz Forever

The metaphysical column by Bles Carmona

For the week of Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 2014

HOW DO YOU PERFORM A RITUAL OF VISUALIZATION OF INTENT?

All right, we may have missed the opportunity to set goals during the New Moon in Capricorn last January 1. However, with the New Moon in Aquarius coming up on January 30 and the Chinese New Year being celebrated the following day, the Universe is giving us another chance to lay out our plans for the rest of 2014.

One reason why we fail to follow through on our plans is that we haven’t really developed a clear picture of what we want. A lot of self-help books urge readers to write journals to chronicle their emotions as they work toward realizing their goals. Others advise readers to cut photos from magazines about what they want, like for example a new car of the exact model and make if that’s what they want to buy, or a picture of sexy supermodel if they want to lose weight, and then post these collages on their refrigerators or where these cutouts can frequently be seen.

Now let me share a method that has worked for me. I don’t use it often. In fact the last time I used it was 8 years ago, when a few months after I did it I won first place and a hefty cash prize in an international poetry contest, had my poetry book published, and was declared one of the Centennial Awardees at the 2006 Pistahan Festival in San Francisco.

Well, I guess the time has come for me to revisit this method together with all of you who are willing to do the work this year. Taught to me long ago by my youngest sister, who is in many ways my staunchest supporter and benefactress, and who is in possession of a spiritual maturity beyond her years, this method is called a “ritual of visualization of intent.”

Let’s break that down: “ritual” means that there will be certain steps to follow, “visualization” means that images will be involved, and “intent” is simply something positive and beneficial that you want to come true in your life.

A couple of caveats: First, you must be sincere and act only for the highest good of all concerned. We have a saying in the magical world: And may it harm none. Second, never visualize this ritual with any specific person or name in mind. You’d be better off with a general sort of goodwill wish or desire for yourself or your loved ones.

Now let’s answer the question: How does one perform a ritual of visualization of intent?

Step 1. Gather materials to represent Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. Be creative in gathering a symbol for each element. For example, lighted candles can represent Fire. As a nod to the Chinese/Lunar New Year of the Wood Horse, you can get the Knight chess piece to represent Earth, since wood springs from the earth. A friend of mine who tried this ritual told me that he used an inflated balloon to represent Air. A small bowl of water or a bubbling mini-Zen fountain can represent the Water element. Make material choices that have the most personal significance to you.

Step 2. Gather your writing materials. Writing is the basic step to concretizing your thoughts in the material plane. The color of your paper should symbolize faith, hope, and strong belief for you personally. To me, this color is either yellow or gold. The color of the ink in your writing tool must signify quick action. To me, this ink color should be red. But then again, your personal preferences may be different.

Step 3. Find a space free of clutter and people. Draw an imaginary circle of protective white light around you.

Step 4. Light the candles. Begin with this chant as you gaze upon and let your hand linger above the materials you gathered to represent each element: “I am born of fire, I am blessed by fire. I am born of air, I am blessed by air. I am born of water, I am blessed by water. I am born of the earth, I am blessed by the earth. So I image, so let it be.”

Step 5. Close your eyes, concentrate, and breathe deeply several times. Let your emotions be serene and let your intuition guide you freely. What you’re waiting for is a clear image to form in your mind. Take your writing materials and describe what you see. Make sure that you write nonstop with neither hesitations nor erasures. For example, if your intent is to meet your soul mate, you may write something like: “I see him walking beside me by the lake. We are holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes. He pulls me closer to him and he kisses me tenderly. He tells me simply that he loves me and that he has been waiting for me all his life…” Note that everything is written in the present tense. It’s as if everything is happening right now.

Step 6. After you are done with your writing, express your thanksgiving to the benevolent Source of your vision. Fold your paper into the number of times which to you symbolizes quick action. (Suggestion: the famous astrologer Linda Goodman swears by the number 9 which corresponds to Mars, the planet of energy, action, and swift decisions.) Keep your folded piece of paper in a place where it will be undisturbed for a long time.

Step 7. Forget about the ritual you have just done. Let faith take over and let the Elements and the Universe do their work. Trust that everything is in the process of becoming!

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Contact Bles Carmona at pilipinasblitz@gmail.com, via Facebook at http://facebook.com/pilipinasblitzforever.org, or follow her on Twitter.com@BlesildaCarmona