If you idled your evenings away watching the planets slip across the sky, you would eventually notice Mercury seem to stop, and then for three weeks, move backwards. In ancient times, astrologers were the chief scientists and advisers to emperors and this unnatural motion was cause for alarm.
Even to this day, Mercury Retrograde is regarded with no small amount of dread, trepidation and fear. Yet, it will come three times a year, every year. So learning to manage it will give you a real edge.
Briefly, Mercury is responsible for communication in all forms, including transportation (think of Mercury’s winged heels!) and computers. He reigns over information, education and the truth. For these three-week periods, his energy is moving backwards and inwards. He’s engaged in reflection and reviewing – not in forward progress. This is harder for us to accept than it was for the ancients – they saw life as cyclical. We want steady progress, and so do our bosses.
The best way to handle Mercury Retrograde is to be extra cautious in these areas:
- Speaking or writing to friends, loved ones and co-workers
- Phone communications
- Travel plans, flight connections and baggage
- Giving instructions (at tanning and hair salon, etc.), regarding your car and even when throwing parties
Being scrupulously careful however, does not mean don’t communicate. In today’s wired world that’s simply not possible! None of us can avoid sending email or speaking to others, nor should we, it’s just important during these few weeks to be extra, extra careful.
Use your best judgment, don’t assume things will all come out in the wash, especially where you already know there’s potential for trouble – like with an unhappy boss, a jealous co-worker or a harried medical tech. If the situation is fraught when going into the retrograde period, then you must painstakingly check, revise and re-think every communication before opening your mouth or hitting the send button. The key is to take the time to consider the recipient’s point of view – before you make your statement. Read and reread important email responses.
Mercury Retrograde is also a time when computers, cars and electrical equipment can go haywire. Likewise luggage, packages, mail can be either delayed or lost. If you start a new job, new project or new relationship it’ll turn out quite differently than you imagined, so either go in very cautiously or if at all possible avoid making a firm commitment until Mercury goes Direct on January 31, 2009.
Be sure to protect yourself by keeping copies of important documents, doing a back-up of your computer and duplicating your important computer files on a flash memory card.
If you’re in an industry that is naturally ruled by Mercury (communications, marketing, advertising, publishing, public relations, investor relations, broadcast production, sales, writing, transportation, shipping, travel) you’ll need to take more time with each communication you send and those you receive from clients.
Checkin’ it twice
Mercury Retrogrades are nature’s time for renewal, for review and to re-do things. The way to get the most from this time is to go back and check your work, to review contracts, to clean and reorganize your office and home, to edit and revisit projects that aren’t complete, and most importantly, to just take time to enjoy the simple things in life. Go for a walk, sit by the beach and reconnect with the natural world. Besides, if you feel renewed and refreshed, well, that delayed flight won’t matter as much!