This new year began with a lunar eclipse and earlier today was a solar
eclipse. Mars is retrograde until March 10, Saturn just went retrograde
this past Wednesday until May 30, and Mercury finally ended its retrograde
today and will resume its forward motion tomorrow. How can we move forward
in the new year with all these planets going backwards????
A planet is retrograde when it appears to move backward in the
sky. Normally, planets move in the sky from west to east. When they
go retrograde, they move from east to west with their paths seeming
to loop or zigzag across the sky. Of course, they do not actually move
backward, it is an illusion created by our viewpoint on Earth. This
illusion is created when the faster-moving Earth overtakes a slower-moving
planet as they orbit the Sun. I have seen an image of Mars path
through the sky as seen over the several months of a retrograde and
it makes a loop. This image is in a book, if I can manage it, I will
get an image online once this newsletter is archived.
So what does this mean to you and me? If the planet in retrograde is
Mercury, plenty. First, let me state that a Mercury retrograde is not
pure evil, you do not have to run for cover or hide in your basement
until it is over. You just need to be prepared and with a little planning,
you can actually use this time to your advantage.
I meant to do the last newsletter on Mercury, as it went retrograde
in December, and only mention the blue moon. But then I uncovered the
big misunderstanding concerning the blue moon and felt it was my
duty to set the record straight once and for all. Mercury would have
to wait. Then I thought maybe I should wait until the next retrograde,
but I had an experience that really shows the havoc that can reign supreme
when this planet of communication goes backwards in the sky. See the
story below. But first, some info on this tiny planet that causes big
Mercury, Small Planet with Big Connections
First, the boring scientific stuff. Mercury is the closest
planet to the Sun. The actual distance varies because of Mercurys
elongated orbit, from 28.6 million miles (46 million km) to 43.4 million
miles (69.8 million km). It spins around exactly three times during
every two orbits, making a day on Mercury last 176 Earth
days. (hey, that was actually interesting, maybe the scientific
stuff isnt so boring after all ). The diameter of Mercury
is 3,029 miles (4,875 km) and the surface temperature ranges from
-292° F to 806° F (-180° C to 430° C). (nope, its
boring ). It is too small and too hot to have anything more than
a very thin atmosphere. The surface is pockmarked by thousands of
craters and the core of the planet is iron. It has no moons. It is
hard to view Mercury in the sky as it is always near the Sun, best
times are either before the Sun rises or after it sets.
Now for the astrological associations. Mercury rules communication,
telecommunications, computing, software, electronic gadgets, the postal
service, shipping, couriers, and all forms of transportation,
perception, language, writing, editing, research, speaking, all
kinds of learning experiences and learning styles and
the assessment of data. Mercury also rules sibling relationships,
maps, letters, travel plans, appointments, roadways, vehicles, advertising,
publishing, sales, and public relations. Quite a bit for the smallest
Mercury represents non-emotion, highly rational, objective thought
(sister planet to Vulcan? ). The sign and house in which
Mercury resides in ones chart reveals a great deal about that
persons natural style of gathering and giving out information.
Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo. Mercury spends about two-three
weeks in each sign, but when it retrogrades, which it does three to
four times a year, it can stay in one sign as long as ten weeks. Never
far from the Sun, it takes about one year to circle the zodiac.
When a planet goes retrograde, all the things that planet rules
are affected. After seeing the list that Mercury rules, you can now
see why this planets retrogrades are to be respected and feared.
Mercury retrogrades have been known to scramble information, cause misunderstandings
and create confusion. Never sign contracts or start a new venture
or partnership during a Mercury retrograde (I had two clients
that I started working with during Mercury retrogrades, the key word
being had ). If you work in the industries ruled by
this planet such as sales, writing, public relations, advertising, publishing,
air freight, the post office or express mail, any transportation industry,
maybe this would be a good time for a vacation.
Mercury retrogrades can result in missed appointments, checks getting
lost, computer equipment acting up or crashes (my mouse was a victim
of this last one ), that great electric appliance you purchased
during the retrograde turns out to be a piece of junk, the new car is
a lemon. Having problems with that electric gadget or cell phone you
got for Christmas? Blame Mercury. That big blackout a few years ago....happened
during a Mercury retrograde
Not only do these problems pop up during the retrograde, but the effects
can begin up to 2 weeks before the actual start of the retrograde
and up to two weeks after the planet goes direct . Now, not everyone
will have their computer crash or a package get lost. Some get through
without a scratch. Why? It depends on where Mercury is in the sky
in relation to your zodiac sign and where it shows up in your chart.
That is way more detail than I can get into but I can give you a great
place to start. Try astrologyzone.com.
The monthly forecasts there are amazing. Yes, they are for each zodiac
sign so they really offer an overview of what influence each planet
has over a person born under that sign and are not detailed just for
you. That being said, she has been right on many times. To "test"
her forecasts, when I first discovered the site I would wait until
the end of the month to read them. Then I could see if what she predicted
was what I experienced that month. More often than not, her forecasts
were right on. Now I read them at the beginning of each month because
she gives advice how to handle the movements of the planets, such
as retrogrades. If you have had your birthchart done and know where
Mercury is at that time, it also affects how the retrograde affects
you. There are sites that can do that for you also, mostly for a fee,
and some also then will give a more detailed monthly forecast based
on the birth chart.
Ok, now you know what not to do, but what can you
do during a retrograde. This is a time to finish all those old projects
youve been neglecting, tie up loose ends, reconsider plans or
do more research, slow down, fix what is broken. Reflect and reconnect.
Many times during a Mercury retrograde someone from your past
will show up again, or you find yourself thinking of someone you
have lost touch with and you contact them again. Lost things will
reappear. Clean out your closets, get rid of what is no longer needed.
Altho not a good time to buy electronics, it is a good time to research
and check out reviews.
Mercury retrograde is an excellent time for soul searching and journey
work, meditations and reconnecting with the Divine. Looking into
yourself is good, but dont look too deeply into others as there
is too much miscommunication. It is a good time to sharpen your intuitive
skills and work with tools such as tarot, pendulums, and runes.
If you want to connect to Mercurys energies, here are some
herbs that correspond to the planet. Most are those that enliven
and brighten the mind to increase mental clarity but any can be used
when dealing with the things Mercury rules.
Lilly of the Valley
Whether Mercury is retrograde or not, these herbs will connect to the
energies and your will is what will determine for what purpose.
When one of the retrogrades hit last year, I was struck with the urge
to protect my computer in some way. Since I have a desktop, I decided
to create a stone grid of protection around it. I have a big
hunk of tourmaline that I keep by my computer so I used that.
I also picked out a tourmalated quartz and a black obsidian,
all three are known for protection. I placed them at the corners of
the computer tower. For the last corner I used a sodalite, which
corresponds to the internet, but I think another protection stone would
work just as well or better. Before I placed them I cleansed them. As
I set each stone around the computer, I stated out loud my intention
and focused on protecting my computer. On the top of the tower I placed
a small smoky quartz point, pointing upwards to create a tent
of protection around it. I had no problems with my computer during that
retrograde. I did not, however, do it again this time and my mouse paid
the price. If you have a laptop you could decorate it with a sticker
with a protection symbol on it. Or carry some protection stones in the
bag with it.
AT&T = Aggravation, Torture & Travesty
I promised you a story, didnt I? Well, here is a tale of delays,
miscommunication, and bad customer service starring AT&T and
me. I decided I wanted to save some money and change phone companies.
I was using Cavalier and the extra fees they added were getting out
of hand. AT&T had a deal with phone and DSL internet that sounded
good. The phone service change would save me almost $30 a month (I
was also downgrading service but still AT&T would save me $15
if I compared the exact same plan ) and the DSL fee was the same
as my dial-up that Im using now. They had a deal to get the
first three months of internet service free so I figured I could use
those three months to clear out my favorites and emails from the old
service and then cancel it, thus paying the same each month.
I started on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, way before the Mercury
retrograde date of December 26, 2009. I went online and completed
the order through the AT&T website, requesting to keep my phone
number. The next night I get a confirmation email that says Ill
be hooked up Monday, December 7 but the phone number would change.
So Friday morning before work I called AT&T and was told that
Cavalier would not release the phone number. So I told him I wanted
to cancel, he redirected the call, and I got disconnected. So I went
to work. When I got home, I called Cavalier to see what was up. They
said there was no problem releasing the phone number. So I called
AT&T back. I got transferred to 4 different people during that
3 hour call. First I wanted to cancel and the first person transferred
the call to the cancel person, who then transferred me to a person
she said would be able to re-do the order and keep my number, this
person then had to transfer me to "win back". I had to repeat
my story to each of these people. "Win back" then proceed
to cancel the first order and then had to ask me all the questions
that I answered online to begin with. Then after all the info was
put in an order, I got transferred to third party verification. Ok,
order placed. Or so I thought.....
Monday while I was at work I got a call from my boyfriend as there
was an AT&T person there to connect the internet. Ummm......what???
The order that was to be done on Monday was canceled. The AT&T person
said he might as well do whatever he had to do to the phone line outside
so that whenever the corrected order goes through, Id be all set.
Ok, fine, go ahead. Two days letter I get a letter from AT&T confirming
the DSL internet hooked up with the new phone number!!
My schedule prevented me from calling again until December 15,
now within two weeks of Mercurys retrograde. Now also is when
the fun really begins.
On December 15, I call and ask what is the status of my order to switch.
Type, type type, "one second, Im checking" type, type
"can I put you on hold a second while I look into this?" and
then she comes back on the line. "I see where the first order was
canceled but there is not another order placed to switch you."
Do you mean to say I spent three hours on the phone and there is
no order? She guesses that the order was not "submitted".
So the person who took the order didnt hit a submit button on
her computer?? Ok, remain calm, you cant beat the phone service
price. Alright, redo the order. And, I wanted to confirm that I would
get the first three months of DSL free and was told that yes, there
are three $19.95 credits given but they usual dont appear on the
bill until the second or third bill and then they may all be on the
same one. So much for my plan of not paying for two internet services.
I also mention to this lady that I have paid my Cavalier phone service
until the 22nd, is there any way to speed the order up, especially since
I originally called on the 4th? She said she cannot guarantee anything
because they dont know how long it will take the other phone company
to release the number (notice a pattern of blaming another company?).
So I ask how long after the order is placed do they contact the other
company...and she says 24 to 48 hours. Ok, if they respond right away,
how long until the switch.....oh, that depends on how busy we are. In
other words, we arent going to move any faster than we want. Fine,
whatever, just get it done.
The 22nd of December came and went, no phone call confirming the switch
and nothing in the mail.
On December 28 I call again to see what is the status of the
order. Im told that they are waiting for Cavalier to respond
to the request to release the number. I told them I have talked to
Cavalier and there should be no problem. He was no help. So I hung
up and called Cavalier. No hold on the number, and no record of AT&T
contacting them regarding my number at all. So I call AT&T back.
I only tell the woman Im checking on the order, not about the
number issue. She tells me the order is in the records but hasnt
been acted on, did not move beyond the first step of taking the order.
I ask why the first person I talked to blamed Cavalier, she said no
record of them contacting Cavalier was there. Then she asks if I want
to continue with the order. I tell her whats the point after twice
now placing the order and nothing has been done. I ask for a manager
or supervisor. She refuses saying she will get it going and does something
on her computer. She asks if I went through third party verification.
I said yes, both times. She says they are the ones who didnt
complete the order (blaming someone else again ). I tell her
how now I will have to pay another Cavalier bill because their person
didnt do the order. She offers a $75 Visa gift card as compensation
for the trouble. Fine (when I did go online to claim it, it takes
6 weeks to get to me). She tells me the order is being worked
on and I should be switched by the 31st. Ill get a phone call
I did get a phone call, I wasnt home and half the message was
given while my outgoing message was speaking but I got the gist of the
call. On the 31st , lo and behold, a tech arrives to set up the
phone service. He works on the phone box outside my house, checks the
dial tone, hooks up his computer to check the DSL connection. All set.
As he was packing up to leave, I called my home phone from my cell.
It did not ring. I told him that the call didnt go through. He
checks the box again. Then calls AT&T. The port hasnt been
changed. The guy tells him he emailed Cavalier and connects the tech
guy to Cavalier. I heard the conversation and the tech guy had to call
AT&T again because the email wasnt sent.
It was fixed and I now have phone and DSL internet with AT&T. Whoo
hooo. Think its over? One more thing. When I get the confirmation in
the mail for the DSL, they had me signed up for the wrong plan. I wanted
Basic, so Im paying the same as I am now, and they had me with
Deluxe. Another hour long phone call and Im now, hopefully, done.
I hope you made it through the retrograde in one piece and I will give
warning when the next one hits. Time to come out from the basement,
Mercury is direct again.