Shadows, Storms and Backward Planets: Retrograde Mercury
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Shadows, Storms and Backward Planets: Retrograde Mercury

Those who dismiss warnings about Retrograde Mercury do so at their peril. This tiny planet, like its mythological counterpart, Hermes in the Greek and Mercury in Roman mythology, is in control of our communications and travel, both technical and human. Remember how a massive cloud of ash from Iceland disrupted world air travel in Spring 2010? Think about that the next time you forget to back up your spreadsheets or check your diary!

We all go through times when everything we touch turns to garbage, and we touch everything twice. The computer winks out before we have had a chance to save our work. We accidentally hit, 'reply all', usually after making a sensitive remark about one of the recipients. We lose GPS on our satnav when we are deep into uncharted territory. 

If you had been recording the frequency of these events for the past ten or fifteen years and then charted them against the three or four times a year when the planet, Mercury, is said to be in 'retrograde', you would probably find a very close connection between the two. I have been observing this phenomenon for the past 15 or 20 years. By now, I can now tell when Mercury is tripping over its own orbit without even having to refer to the horoscope section of the newspaper. 

Retrograde Mercury - hard science

Of course, planet Mercury isn't actually reversing its orbit. That would defy the laws of physics and have scientists like Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) and Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) spinning in their graves. Mercury is much closer to the Sun than Earth is. Because of this, in the time it takes our home planet to complete a circuit around the Sun, one year, Mercury has whizzed around four times. At certain times during an Earth year, it appears to us as though Mercury is moving backwards through the heavens. If you have difficulty with this concept, invite a couple of friends over and practice with lightbulbs, grapes and oranges. You'll get there, even if you have to conduct your experiments on a merry-go-round.

Mercury's influence - in mythology and in modern practice

Mercury (or Hermes, in Greek mythology), was the god of communication and the god of thieves. His job was to transport souls from this world to the next. As such, he has always been connected with movement and travel. Today, communication and travel are precisely what goes horribly wrong during those three or four periods in each year when the planet Mercury appears to those on Earth to be orbiting in the reverse direction. The few days on either side of a retrograde period are known as the 'shadow' or the 'storm'. These are the days when Mercury is at his most mischievous. 

In April 2010, three days before Mercury went retro, an Icelandic volcano blew its top and spewed a giant cloud of ash into the air that interfered with air travel for several days. This is not an isolated incident, but rather a dramatic example of the kinds of things that go wrong and the magnitude of the effect on human lives. It's not just technical processes that go wrong; communication in human relationships goes inexplicably off the rails. This is a time to double check travel arrangements, back up computers and be more forgiving. It is a bad time to make major decisions or start something new. It is a good time to complete projects and to reflect.

Final thoughts

While hard-core scientists and theologians are usually at loggerheads over everything from Evolution to Easter, one thing they will agree on is that Retrograde Mercury, and Astrology in general, are a load of hocus pocus hooey at best and, at worst, the work of the Devil. Let us leave them with two thoughts. To the scientists, bear in mind that the body of knowledge on the influence of Retrograde Mercury has been acquired by empirical observations over centuries of data-gathering. To the religious fraternity, It was the Creator who made the stars and the planets and who put them in their positions relative to one another. He did this all for the benefit of Man. It does not make sense that He would have gone to all that trouble for them not to have an influence in our lives.

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Comments (6)

Very interesting write-up and nicely composed, too. 


Ranked #51 in Astrology

interesting article

I've added "lightbulbs, grapes & oranges" to my shopping list. It will  be interesting to see the looks we get the next time we take Miss M to the park. I appreciated this part: "He did this all for the benefit of Man. It does not make sense that He would have gone to all that trouble for them not to have an influence in our lives." Thank you for answering my question! I think I kindda sorta maybe get it now!

Loved this article! You have an awesome style of writing, fun to read and very natural. Thank you for a good read...I learned a lot.

This book report written very good. A lot of readers even share it with their friends. 

Ranked #24 in Astrology

Amazing perspective, excellent write-up. -You gots style! ;-)