Oh My Stars

Mercury is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of the Solar System: it gets no respect. In astrology Mercury rules all sorts of things that you couldn’t get by without, like thought and language and logic and respiration. You’d think something like that would get more recognition, but sadly it doesn’t.

I sometimes wonder if this is why Mercury retrograde screws things up as much as it does: Mercury has to do something to get our attention. Yes, I know: every time Mercury goes retrograde I encourage people to not worry about it and to not blame every single thing that goes wrong on it. And yes I know: every time it happens, things go haywire with my communications and agreements and short trips and I fall into that same trap. Again.

A lot a people are celebrating today because Mercury retrograde is over. Even though the planet is strongly placed in Gemini, which rules, this Mercury retrograde has had a particular stink to it for many of us. Remember that news story about the US Government accidentally mailing out anthrax samples to a bunch of places all over the world? Classic Mercury retrograde right there. So we should all be glad it’s over, right?

Well… not so fast there pal. Yes,  from our perspective on Earth, Mercury may have slowed down to a stop and finally started going forward, and technically that’s the end of the retrograde. But as with so many other things in astrology and life in general… its just not that easy.

Put it simply as possible: whenever Mercury goes retrograde it appears from our perspective to travel backwards in its orbit. In this case, Mercury stopped at 13 degrees Gemini and went backwards all the way to 4 Gemini.

Mercury retrograde periods are flanked by 2 time periods when that planet is similarly (but a bit less) debilitated:  the Shadow. Catchy name, isn’t it?  t

The Mercury Retrograde Shadow Period includes the times before the retrograde when Mercury is passing through the degrees it will back up into during the retrograde, and the period of time after the retrograde when it regains the ground it lost.

So although Mercury Retrograde may be over today, it will have lingering effects until June 27th.


So sure: go right ahead and celebrate the end of Mercury retrograde. It will be nice to have the daily details functioning more normally, even if the operative word in this sentence is “more.”


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Wait, that IS English, isn’t it…?


Life is full of surprises. Even under seemingly the best of circumstances things can go haywire sometimes. So: just in case you were ready to dismiss Mercury now that it’s no longer obviously making trouble for you, keep paying attention to the details. Keep proofreading these emails and make sure you’re sending them to the right place. Make sure you got the tickets before you get to the airport and then you get there on time. And so on.

Both in physical terms and as far as our perception of how it works in astrology: yes Mercury can be kind of a lightweight. But we ignore it at our own peril.

I don’t know how much things got messed up for you this retrograde, but I know that for me it got messy. And I knew that for some others it was worse than just messy. Apparently Mercury going retrograde in the Sign it rules doesn’t ameliorate its effects as much as one might hope. Certainly spending much of that retrograde period square Neptune in Pisces didn’t help at all.

So here’s an idea: maybe Mercury does these things because it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. So hopefully you will join me in saying nice things about Mercury and treating it with respect between now and the next retrograde , which will be in mid-September.

Because frankly if I have to put up with a retrograde like this again anytime soon I might lose my mind.

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