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A Sane Approach to Mercury Retrograde

One of the drawbacks of the current upsurge the attention being paid to astrology is that some people are quoting astrological terms and techniques without knowing a whole lot about them. At the same time a lot of other people are lampooning those comments and concerns as if they were sum total of what astrology is. Perhaps the most common example of this is the concept of Mercury retrograde and the dread it inspires in some astrology fans.

Mercury retrograde describes the period of time during which the planet Mercury, as seen from the Earth, appears to be moving backwards in the sky. In a sense then, Mercury retrograde is an illusion. Mercury is not moving backwards. It just looks that way to people living on this planet. Illusion or not, however, Mercury retrograde is associated with disruptions in communication and in the technology of communication. Concern about such disruptions and problems has multiplied in recent times because so much of our communication is dependent on technology. And, as these concerned increased, so did the attention paid to Mercury retrograde.

I’m not saying the Mercury retrograde is not a real concern. I’ve experienced plenty of tech screwups and miscommunications during Mercury retrograde periods. My point is that Mercury retrograde should be regarded in the same way we regard inclement weather. If you saw that the weather forecast was for rain, you probably would take time to dig your umbrella out of the closet before you left the house. This same reasoning applies to Mercury retrograde.

What does this mean? Make sure important documents on your computer are backed up. Double and triple check your spelling and syntax on important emails and texts. Be careful what you “like” on your favorite social media platform and what you forward to other people. Basically, expect there to be problems and be prepared to deal with them if they arise. Take your umbrella.

Another thing to keep in mind with Mercury retrograde is that Mercury retrograde problems can usually be dealt with by using the function of Mercury in your horoscope. That function is your problem-solving intellect. If you are able to apply your Mercury skills in the cool and precise way that Mercury skills are meant to be used, you should have nothing to fear. Obviously, this is easier for some people than others. That’s why keeping your Gemini and Virgo friends within arm’s reach is another way of avoiding trouble during a Mercury retrograde period.

Another thing to keep in mind is that  many matters involving communication and technology actually function quite nicely during a Mercury retrograde period. I once heard an astrologer who researched all the recording contracts involving major rock performers who were unknown at the time but later became famous. Many of those contracts were actually signed while Mercury was retrograde and yet they turned out to be quite profitable for all concerned.

It could be argued that these contracts were drawn up by lawyers working for the record companies and that they probably short-changed the artists. Also, when these groups and individuals became successful enough to hire their own lawyers, those contracts were probably renegotiated. In that sense, we could say that Mercury retrograde was at work, but its influence was by no means totally a detriment.

I also recall an article by an astrologer who mentioned that, even though she had worked for years for a company whose business was communications, she had never seen Mercury retrograde be a factor in her work. When I read this it occurred to me that a company for whom the smooth transition and dissemination of information was crucial would have multiple contingencies set to come into play whenever there was a problem. In other words, they had an umbrella built into their system.

This doesn’t mean that I would intentionally schedule a interview of other important event for a Mercury retrograde period. There’s no reason to go looking for trouble. But when I find that such an event is scheduled on a day when Mercury is retrograde, I don’t panic. I just take the necessary precautions. I go in with the expectation that there could be problems and that I should have my "plan B" already in place. I go in with my umbrella firmly within my grip.