I do, his eyes smiled at me. My 4 o’clock. Last client of the day and praise heaven for that. Nothing was going as planned. Mercury had just turned retrograde and my computer was misbehaving, as well as my phone, my car, even my hands. I kept dropping things. Mercury rules the hands.
I need help, he said.
Tell me, I said.
It’s Mercury, he said.
In what way, I said.
Listen. I’m a Virgo Rising with my Moon in Virgo. Gemini Sun and Mercury in Gemini. I’ve got work to do, people to see, papers to sign, planes to catch and NOTHING EVER GOES AS PLANNED. This month may make or break my business. HELP ME MITIGATE THE EFFECTS OF MERCURY RETROGRADE!!!
I offered him some licorice tea. It calms the nerves. Gemini needs this. So does Virgo. Nervous signs. Fidgety. He grasped the mug in both hands, took a breath, and I swear I saw a single tear flop down from his eye, to his cheek, onto my newspaper, again making the ink run. Poor Virgo Moon, Virgo Rising. The worriers of the zodiac! He must have Mars in Cancer, I thought to myself. Sensitive sort.
I went into lecture mode: Mercury is the trickster. The Magician. Sleight of hand. He doesn’t want to crush your party — he wants to crash it! He wants you to dance. Nimbly. He wants to jumble things up so so so so so (I couldn’t find the words) so you’ll think outside the box. Yes, that’s it. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.
I traced the perimeter of the desk with my finger. See? You are HERE. But Mercury retrograde wants you over there. Any setbacks you perceive are illusory. Still, I added, don’t sign a contract. Don’t buy a new machine. If you take on a new client, the agreement between you will likely change. Mercury is fast. Mercury flies. You? You just have to stay one step ahead. You can. You will.
He eyed the row of Tarot decks on the bookshelf and plucked the golden-edged one, one of my newer decks, with all upright cards, no reversals.
One card, he said. Just one.
Are you sure you’re a Gemini? I asked. Surely you want more. Gemini is the Twins. Doubling. Echoes. Twos. Decisions.
He took off his hat and laid it on the edge of the desk. It had become dark, storm clouds racing across the sky. I turned on the desk lamp. He had one tear-shaped blue tattoo below his left eye.
Just. One. Card. he said.
I nodded, shuffled, cut the deck.
The Lovers. I gazed at it. Took a breath (Mercury rules the breath). Prepared to speak (Mercury rules speech).
And then whoosh! The sound of the bell on the door. He was gone. In an instant. Just like that.
Had he been here at all? Was Mercury playing tricks on me? Well played, Mercury. Well played — delivering me a nervous Nelly Gemini Virgo businessman at the height of retrograde season. In a fedora no less. A fedora…
Wait! I ran out into the street after him, waving my arms. You forgot your hat! But I was too late, his taxi nothing but a yellow blur in the rain.
Dear Readers, if you feel nervous about Mercury going retrograde next week, you can draw Tarot cards for advice on how to handle any tricky moments. And/or you can write a story Mercury will go retrograde in the sign of sensitive, vulnerable Cancer but then head back into the sign of multi-tasking clever Gemini, which rules writers and writing. You can write your own story, your own beginning, middle, and end.
I don’t predict disaster, but you may want to locate the late degrees of Gemini in your birth chart for clues as to what areas of life will be affected.
P.S. The Lovers card is often associated with Gemini and needing to make a choice. Having more than one possibility available to you! This card may not signify choosing between two different people, two different lovers (although sometimes it can). I read it as… what kind of relationship, what kind of love, do you want to have in your life. It can also signify the different lovers within you! Or within your lover. So, not only who do you love, but HOW…