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  • Mercury Retrograde Myths

    Being that today is the day when Mercury has slowed (aka stationary or S/R, in astrologer shorthand) in order to start going backwards, I'd thought I'd share some more information on what Mercury Rx is and isn't. Many people have heard of this period, but very few know WHY it's considered so important. Even people who know nothing else about astrology know about Mercury Rx and sigh knowingly.

    Three times a year people look fearfully to the skies for Mercury to start going backwards (the rest of the time people just tend to ignore him). Mercury doesn't really go backwards; the orbit of our planet makes it appear that way.

    First off, why the heck does everyone panic so much about this transit? In ancient mythology, Mercury was the guy that ruled communication, all technology (granted back then it consisted of wagons, catapults and the like) traveling and sending knowledge. Mercury was frequently depicted as the winged fellow (you see him on the FTD logo even today) who trucked all over creation, delivering messages from the gods to the humans. For this reason, astrologers consider the planet Mercury as symbolic of the transmission of knowledge and ideas. So in our society today when clear communications are essential to our lifestyle, Mercury Rx is a little more frightening than it was 2000 years ago. There's so much more to go wrong! But there's plenty that this time is great for.

    Typically people will over-extend themselves in matters governed by the sign of the retrograde. This causes rushing and corner cutting. That causes disasters to just wait in the wings. That's why all the overlooked details, ignored steps, skipped information will come out to bite the next available target! Americans especially live such a frenetic lifestyle that 'slow down' is often a foreign concept. Mercury retrogrades are the Universe's way of telling us to slow down and pay attention.

    Many people want things to go on as normal during this time and perhaps even be more productive. But then somebody comes along and says 'Oh no, it's Mercury Retrograde, so I can't do (insert action)." And before you know it, like Chicken Little, you're convinced the sky is falling. Have you heard of paralysis analysis? That's where we get so worked up about the many different possibilites that we do nothing.

    Common Myths:
    1. My life (job, car, email, TV, computer, phone) will break now
    2. Traffic accidents will happen/travel disasters occur
    3. It's bad to sign contracts now
    4. Nobody will understand what I'm saying (miscommunication)

    1. I can assure you that email viruses don't propagate faster now, technology doesn't always break, planes don't fall out of the sky or miss their schedules more than usual, contracts are sucessfully signed and global commerce and daily life still go on. Life gets wonky with or without Mercury, but it doesn' go to pot MORE during this period than usual.

    2. My advice, drive safely. But I always advise that, no matter the astrological conditions. :D There are some crazy drivers out there. I have also made many long journeys during a Mercury Rx without incident.

    3. Well, anytime you don't read the fine print is going to suck. If you normally don't check the details, that won't change for the worse now.

    4. Actually, all the fluff and nonsense is usually blown out of proportion by people. It's never as bad as the dire predictions some make. Okay, so maybe your phone breaks down, or you send that private email to your entire address book - that's life. You don't need a Mercury Rx to do something silly. (I'm silly all the time!) And maybe your kids will talk back to you now. When don't they?

    Do you know what this period is good for? Organizing, revising, updating, revisiting ideas and wrapping up projects. Almost all of us want to get to this stuff, but very few of us know when we're going to get around to it. Mercury loves to feel organized, so mark these three times of the year on your calendar and then you can say 'I'll file my paperwork during this time." Couldn't hurt right? Whether Mercury retrograde has an effect, it makes a very convenient excuse to remind ourselves to get it together. Sometimes it's good to go back and read those old emails, bills, phone messages magazines, newpsapers or all the other things that clutter our lives. Also it's good to clean out your basement, fix your house, your car, update your website and many other activities.

    Remeber that we are the ones who determine our destiny. As an astrologer I can warn about the roadblocks ahead, but it's up to you to climb them, step around them or sit at the bottom and mope.

    PS: If you want to see the traditonal interpretation, and perhaps freak yourself out, head over here: http://www.astrologycom.com/mercret.html
    Last edited by KEishin; November 14th, 2005, 02:18 PM.
    Astrology Forum Guide- Do you know YOUR planets?
    Certified Astrologer - AMAFA - through the American Federation of Astrologers

  • #2
    so on the average, how many days a year is Mercury in retrograde?
    some people are like slinkies -
    not good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when they are pushed downs the stairs.

    True enlightenment comes from discovering principles which challenge your spiritual view, not from inventing principles to confirm it.



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    • #3
      Approximately three weeks, so 19 to 22 days on average.
      Astrology Forum Guide- Do you know YOUR planets?
      Certified Astrologer - AMAFA - through the American Federation of Astrologers

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      • #4
        Great article!

        "The Triple Goddess as Maiden, Mother and Crone, is a relatively new concept which was made popular during the 20th century. Hekate is today most often equated to the Crone aspect of this triplicate archetypal image, but this idea of Hekate as Crone Goddess is one which would have been completely alien to the people of ancient Greece. The only possible explanation for the continued association today is that somehow the darker, scarier aspects of Hekate has been equated to wisdom in old age, which is, when you think about it rather ludicrous." -- Sorita D'Este. Read more in the book: Hekate: Keys to the Crossroads.

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        • #5
          How can one tell when it's about to go into retrograde?
          02-07-1943
          05-19-2009
          Papi - R.I.P.
          I love you. Always.

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          • #6
            Astrologers use a book called an ephemeris which mathmatically plots the positions of the planets. You can also access several free versions online, for which I've included links. Also most of the more popular chart-making programs include them in the software.

            Online links:
            http://www.astro.com/swisseph/swepha_e.htm The letter 'R' after the number indicates Rx. It's in effect until you see a 'D', for direct. I swear by this site!
            http://www.isleofavalon.co.uk/Glasto.../ea-index.html
            http://www.athenasweb.com/aspects.html - gray shading indicates Rx period
            http://www.zodiacal.com/ephemerides/ - dot after the number indicates Rx period
            http://www.khaldea.com/ephemcenter.shtml - red shading indicates Rx period
            Astrology Forum Guide- Do you know YOUR planets?
            Certified Astrologer - AMAFA - through the American Federation of Astrologers

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KEishin
              Approximately three weeks, so 19 to 22 days on average.
              ahhh, thank you.

              i thought it was a bit more, and usually tell people who claim that they are in turmoil due to Mercury being retrograde that "it's r/x about two months out of the year, so get over it!".

              i guess i'll have to adjust my insensitive sniping now.
              Last edited by Theres; November 15th, 2005, 01:28 AM.
              some people are like slinkies -
              not good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when they are pushed downs the stairs.

              True enlightenment comes from discovering principles which challenge your spiritual view, not from inventing principles to confirm it.



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              • #8
                Now you can say, "it's only Rx nine weeks a year, so get over it!"
                I'll be repeating it behind you! People trying to blame stuff on Mercury Rx is one of my pet peeves.
                Astrology Forum Guide- Do you know YOUR planets?
                Certified Astrologer - AMAFA - through the American Federation of Astrologers

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                • #9
                  People trying to blame stuff on Mercury Rx is one of my pet peeves.
                  I do not blame retroagde for anything, It seems all the more important changes in my life for the past two years have fallen when merucry is in Retrogade so I am happy... do not blame it one bit .. :D
                  SilverClawStudio on Facebook

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                  • #10
                    Thoughts on the effect of Mercury retrograding in Sagittarius? What are the kinds of areas in which one will be inclined to rush / cut corners i.e. a more down-to-earth everyday application than travel and higer education?

                    I'm having the Rx in my 12th and am looking forward to flinging all the old junk out of the cobwebbed corners of my psyche

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                    • #11
                      ~chuckles~ Yes, good article, and one that I will be thirding! Instead of bemoaning what can go wrong, I tend to use it to my advantage. Especially if you have something you need to talk about, but want it to be forgotten. I will say though that as with all things caution is not a bad thing. Just don't forget that that caution can be applied to all life.

                      Ciao,
                      Marithorn
                      Give me the Roses, I already have the Thorns.

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                      • #12
                        Merc Rx in Sagittarius: first off, Mercury is in Fall in Sagittarius (meaning he's in a sign he doesn't energetically deal well with) Sagittarius is known for speaking the truth, so this won't change with Mercury, the celestial communicator here. If anything, people will get more blunt! Being the planet of Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome, it may be a better time to listen than to talk for the sake of making noise. Otherwise you may just open your mouth to change feet.

                        Also people will voice their opinions more, get on the soap box, preach, pontificate; if it's important to someone, you can expect someone to be lecturing on it. Mercury desires information and since Sagittarius is about expanding viewpoints, there will be a lot of hard questions being asked. Certainly the political arena is up for a bit of a debate . . . But overall, this planetary placement wants to know 'why are we here?'. We could waste our time looking for answers in places they aren't to be found. It might be good to spend some time learning about philosophy, religion and questioning your ideals. Do they withstand rational and intense questioning?
                        Astrology Forum Guide- Do you know YOUR planets?
                        Certified Astrologer - AMAFA - through the American Federation of Astrologers

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                        • #13
                          GAAH! I've noticed people becoming garrulous about irrelevancies and all sorts of trivia in the last few days ...

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                          • #14
                            Great stuff KEishin!

                            I have Mercury, Jupiter, and all my outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) in my scope retrograde this life. I am a retrograde sort of person and I usually do well during retrograde periods. I write more and I write better. I meditate more and do more ritual and I get called to play the Priestess role more publically during Mercury retrogrades.

                            People who are comfortable going inward LOVE retrogrades, all kinds. But many in our Western culture keep their radar forever pointed OUT not IN, so they dunna like it when the energy flows internally.

                            RedRose

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                            • #15
                              Sagittarius is known for speaking the truth, so this won't change with Mercury, the celestial communicator here. If anything, people will get more blunt
                              Yep that so described me, more blunt and bold :D
                              SilverClawStudio on Facebook

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