Friday, February 16, 2007

Mercury Retrograde? Huh?

Okay. I admit that I know barely anything about astrology besides that it exists and what to answer when someone asks "What's your sign, baby?" In the past, I have tried reading some information about the subject but soon put it aside because of how quickly I become confused. I've also realized that although I don't have much interest in the subject, I'm still curious what people mean when they talk about things like "mercury retrograde."

The last few days has seen a rise in of posts about astrology, specifically those referencing mercury in retrograde and I find myself thinking "What are they talking about?" There seems to be some differences in what it means to the individual from Angela-Eloise at Blogickal telling us to "Batten down the hatches" and Dream Angel at Blessed Be! blaming her boyfriend's current behavior on mercury retrograde. However, there are others that take a different view such as Jenavira from Essais saying that she feels full of motivation during this time.

So, people, what's up with this astrology stuff? Maybe you can help me out.


Jeff Lilly said...

Is your question simply, "What does "Mercury retrograde" mean?"

Answer: The planets appear to move east-to-west through the sky most of the time (relative to the background stars). Sometimes, however, they slow down, stop, move west-to-east for a while, slow and stop again, and then continue their forward motion. This is called going "retrograde" (from Latin, "retro" backward, "gradi" to step). All planets go retrograde at least once a year. The apparant backwards motion is caused by the motion of the Earth in its orbit as it catches up and passes the other planets (to simplify things a little).

Astrologically, the effect of retrograde is to reverse or inhibit the usual influence of the planet. Thus, when Mercury goes retrograde, communications go haywire. In theory, when Venus goes retrograde, relationships and motherly influences are inhibited or reversed; when Mars goes retrograde, energy and power either fizzle out or are misdirected; etc.

Hope that helps!

Sojourner said...

That makes sense. Thanks, Jeff.

It almost sounds like you need to know about astronomy to understand what's going on with astrology.

Gin said...

Mercury is the planetary muse and mentor of our mental and communicative lives. As Jeff reverses it course, which Mercury does three or four times a year.

While these times of retrograde can be stressful, we can reduce such stress by seeing these retrograde periods as a symbolic "sleep cycle." This is a good time to take pause, and use this period to go back over familiar territory, reflecting on different situations and thinking about possible miscommunications, dropped projects that we need to pick up again, and so forth. It's a good time for revisiting the past and looking at how lessons of old can be applied to issues of the present; a time to pay attention to underlying issues. On the other hand, leave matters that focus on future commitments for later, when Mercury comes out of retrograde.

Mercury will go retrograde three times this year, and we are currently in the midst of the first one, which began on February 13th and will continue until March 7th. It began in the Air sign of Aquarius...signaling our mental energies being at a real peak, and then those energies will seem to go into a real flux starting this Sunday when the Sun goes into Pisces, a water sign. Don't be too surprised or concerned if starting next week and continuing for two weeks your mind feels like its playing tricks on you - moments of deja vu competing with times when it seems you can't remember shit.

This particular retrograde is attitude adjustment time, so use common sense to find common ground, and share your visions. This is a good time for exploring how your attitudes might be influencing your perception of things and how you deal with certain issues. It might be worthwhile to look at finding the commonalities, instead of focusing on the differences.

Mercury retrogrades are a good time to reflect, regroup, and rejuvenate. Once it goes straight again, you can then knuckle down and get to work on the issues that you identified during such "RE" periods. After March 7th we will have three months or so until June 15th, when Mercury will go into retrograde for the second of three times this year.

Hope this gives you a little insight into how to use these times for your own benefit.


~ Ocean
"Deaf Pagan Crossroads"

Sojourner said...

Thanks for the great information, Ocean!

Sage said...

Hi Sojourner. Not much to say about Mercury Retrograde, other than it's a popular excuse for miscommunications or communication difficulties.

Mainly, I've just stopped by to say thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Having responses to my return to blogdom is energizing.

Thanks again, and BB!

Sojourner said...

LOL Sage. Lots of things are popular excuses.

It is good to see you back and blogging. :)

Kay said...

All I know is that everything is going right, right now.

*knocks on wood*

I got a raise. We are getting a huge sum of money back from the government. And my health is behaving.

How's my communications going? They seem to be improving too. :)

Sojourner said...

LOL Good to know!

Angela-Eloise said...

Hi Sojourner!

As Ocean said, Mercury Retrograde often can be a time to reflect and revisit. A friend of mine got a piece of business she thought she had lost during a Mercury Retrograde. The backwards motion sometimes can bring things back to you.

Over the past few months I've written at Blogickal about the more positive aspects of a Mercury Retrograde because that's how the energy had been affecting me. But this time, I was feeling the energy very differently and I felt like I needed to "batten down the hatches" because I could tell that Mercury's effects on me this time were going to be not so nice.

Part of what makes Mercury Retrograde feel differently for different people is where Mercury is in your astrological chart and whether or not Mercury was Retrograde at the time of your birth. People for whom that is the case usually experience Mercury Retrograde as a time of very good energy because it's kind of like returning home.

Mercury is in my 8th house, which is the house of passion, death, rebirth and soul. That is why a Mercury Retrograde has the ability to affect me so profoundly. When things are good, they're great, but when they're not, well, you get the picture. My Mercury is also in the house of Aries, which can present some communication problems on its own - Aries communicators are often misunderstood.

I've gotten more interested in astrology as I've started getting more into advanced spell craft. Working with the energy of the planets and how they are moving through the signs can bring powerful energy to spell work.

Anyway, a bit more food for thought.

Sojourner said...

Thanks for the explanation, Angela-Eloise!

In the past, I have gotten confused by some of the termonoloy that is used (Such as "house." What does that mean?) and think that is where my difficulty in understanding came in.

There seems to be way more to it than I though! :)