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Oh My Stars

matthew-currie-astrology- here we go another bloody mercury retrogradeOnce again, Mercury retrograde is upon us. This, of course, can mean only one thing: lots and lots of articles about Mercury retrograde, often written by people who aren’t even astrologers. And here you thought I was going to give you the usual blah blah blah about short trips and contracts and e-mails going wonky, didn’t you? But, if you like that sort of thing, CLICK HERE to read my Mercury retrograde thoughts.

Now don’t get me wrong: not many professional writers are also astrologers, and being an astrologer does not inherently make one a talented writer. And to be fair, Mercury retrograde is largely the same regardless of the time of the year it happens or the Sign it takes place in. When you get right down to it, there are only so many ways to serve up that casserole if you are a writer.

Nonetheless, this Mercury retrograde season has brought one of my complaints to the forefront about how so much astrology is written for the internet. A couple of years ago, people started to notice that Millennials really like astrology. Or, people always liked it and Millennials are just more willing to click on links. Either way, writing about astrology for non-astrological sites has become kind of a big deal.

This has led to a type of article about astrology that I am certain you have seen before. It’s the kind of article where a freelancer or a staff writer put the words out to astrologers about wanting advice on Mercury retrograde, coming eclipse, or whatever. The writer then strip-mines the responses he or she gets for the best quotes and then assembles an article around it. The astrologers in question see their names in print (although it rarely leads to any actual increase in business for them), and the website gets their click-bait.

Finally… and this is what really irritates me… said article gets pulled together with a sensationalistic headline.. You’ve seen this sort of thing before:

“How To Survive This Month’s Mercury Retrograde”
“The Mercury retrograde is coming and everyone’s going into meltdown”
“What The July 2019 Mercury Retrograde Really Means For Your Sign”
“4 Zodiac Signs Mercury Retrograde Summer 2019 Will Affect The Most”
“The July 2019 Mercury Retrograde Is Here to Help You Put Your Foot In Your Mouth”

..and so on. I feel like these kinds of articles do a disservice to anyone trying to understand astrology more deeply. And: leaning on a rote writing style like that? Ugh.

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In conclusion: Mercury is retrograde between now and August 2nd, people love reading about Mercury retrograde, and it’s hard to keep it fresh. Hey, at least this blog entry had a picture of an aardvark with it. Can you honestly say you’ve ever seen that in a Mercury retrograde article before?

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