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MercurySymbol
The Big Storm and Retrograde Mercury

A lot of astrologers and people interested in astrology are filled with dread when Mercury turns retrograde. They refuse to sign contracts, avoid travel and shy away from any activity involving communication or technology. I appreciate the concerns of these people, but I’ve often felt that they were over-reacting to this phenomenon.


This is not to say that I haven’t had problems during Mercury retrograde periods. I’ve had phone interviews where the phones stopped working. I’ve had instances in which I repeated copied down the wrong birth data for a chart, and conferences that went haywire. However, all of these problems had solutions. It may have involved some extra work, a bit of creativity and no small amount of embarrassment, but we got through it.


So, when I’m faced with someone fretting about a Mercury retrograde I generally tell them to chill. Take extra precautions, double check your tech and have some contingency plans in place, but by all means do what you need to do.


The Mercury retrograde that’s going on now, however, is a very different animal. Mercury has appeared to move backwards (as viewed from Earth) since Jan. 5. It is now nearing the end of its retrograde period which means that its apparent motion has slowed down to a crawl. It will continue to slow down until it seems to stop dead (become stationary) on Monday, Jan 25, and turn direct.


The problem is that right now, when Mercury is moving slowest, it is aligned with transiting Uranus in Aries and square transiting Pluto. This means that all the small, mundane disruptions we expect with Mercury retrograde are being super-charged by these slower moving outer planets. Uranus and Pluto don’t speak through errant phone calls and messed up scheduling. Their reach is global, and their impact can be disastrous.


So what do we get? We get Mercury retrograde on steroids: a major snow storm that has clogged up much to the eastern portion of the United States.


I have to admit that I saw this aspect coming up but never made the association with a major winter storm. I should have, but I was more focused on the psychological and interpersonal issues I write about in my forecast. However, as bad as the storm may be, there are worse things. ISIS is once again making advances in Syria, and it seems that Republicans are going to have to choose between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the two most unlikable candidates in the field. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be glad to see this particular Mercury retrograde period come to an end.

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