You don’t have to be an astrology buff to get that tense twinge of anticipation when you hear the phrase, “Mercury Retrograde.” Those two words have the unfailing ability to strike fear into our hearts, because it is during this time that things are most likely to go wrong. However, Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius might present you with some amazing creative insight. So pay close attention.
While Mercury is in retrograde in Aquarius (January 28 through February 18, 2008), many of us will find ourselves reminiscing about days gone by and all things that “could have been.” Some of those memories are likely to spark creativity, especially if it relates to anything humanitarian. We should all brace ourselves for communication glitches – from hardware to our own choice of words. For those of you born under the sign of Aquarius, your psychic abilities are likely to peak – so pay attention! Not all random thoughts are random.
Remember that Mercury is the great communicator – the planet of communication – even to ourselves. In general, it rules our thoughts and influences our perceptions – governs our travel and overshadows commerce. What this means is that every area of our life can in some way, shape or form be affected.
Every retrograde period has a different affect on each of us, depending on our personal charts, as well as where in the Zodiac the retrograde occurs. To specifically prepare for a Mercury Retrograde, you can get an astrological reading based on your personal chart. If that’s not your cup of tea, then at the very least, look at the sign in which the retrograde is going to take place – and tread a little more lightly in those areas of your life. Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius may challenge all areas of your life and encourage you to think outside of the box to pursue more creative endeavors.
We all know that Mercury has a reputation as being a trickster and a master of duplicity. When the trickster side of Mercury begins to show, you can be sure that the joke is on us – and we’re probably not laughing. But there are ways to work this to our advantage. All of the planets have something to teach us, and Mercury is no different. As the ruling planet of communication, some of its lessons are hard-learned because Mercury’s lessons often come in the form of restructuring. The planet merrily points out the flaws in our thought processes and the gaps in our strategy. Plus, it has the demoralizing ability to make us feel helpless, foolish, inadequate and just plain out-of-control. As humans on a learning journey, we don’t like that. So, we try and resist. But why not embrace it instead?
How it works
When a planet is in retrograde, it appears as if it is moving backward when viewed from Earth. This is an optical illusion. The planet isn’t really moving backward in its orbit – it just appears that way due to the proximity, when the Earth is passing by. Have you ever been sitting in a parked vehicle, not necessarily paying attention to your surroundings, and swore you felt the vehicle you are in move – when the reality is the car next to you pulled away? It’s freaky, but not all that uncommon of an experience. At that moment of misperception, all of your senses are heightened. Well, the same thing happens (albeit on a more unconscious level) when a planet is in retrograde.
Mercury goes retrograde three times per year. Since we can’t stop this phenomenon, the best thing we can do for ourselves is learn to understand it, and plan on how to handle it. Mercury Retrogrades are typically a time of annoyances, both big and small. You are as likely to bounce a check, as you are to drop your cell phone in the toilet. Even the most eloquent speaker runs the risk of putting his or her foot in their mouth, particularly in front of a huge audience. When Mercury is in retrograde, anything goes… possibly up in smoke.
The simple rule of thumb when Mercury is in retrograde is to expect the unexpected and pay close attention to details. Try not to let anything slip. Check your balances and investments for accuracy, and avoid starting new projects and making major decisions. As many of us have lived through, it would be wise to back up your hard drive before the retrograde starts!
Mercury retrograde is notorious for shedding light into our patterns. It’s usually when we are annoyed that most of us will do a little soul-searching, and the patterns we have created are more likely to emerge. This is also a good opportunity to change those that don’t work for us any longer. While dealing with your past can be a painful process, sometimes we are forced to put old issues to bed – before we are free to continue moving forward. Sometimes the “past” we have to deal with comes in the form of a living person – this is why your partner’s ex seems to be invading your relationship a bit more, or your mind wanders back to an old flame, trapping you in the nostalgia of days gone by. However the past returns, it is likely to trigger emotion, and those emotions must be dealt with – pleasant or not! Some people strengthen their relationships during a Mercury retrograde, and others find this time to be the right time to cut ties.
On a lighter note
We focus so much on what we deem to be the negative aspects and effects of Mercury Retrograde, that we tend to overlook that there is an up side. The computer blowing up is an inconvenience, but the one that replaces it is faster, stronger, and better equipped to meet our needs. Our emotional breakdowns bring us to a place of clarity, where we can now learn from the past, improve ourselves and our future. The argument we had with our friend or lover made the relationship stronger than it could have been without it – or showed us our perception about the relationship was an illusion of reality.
While it isn’t always the best idea to begin new things, when Mercury is in retrograde, it is a wonderful time to bring to completion the paths and projects we started before the retrograde. Thus leaving room for new ones to emerge when the retrograde is over. We can let go of the baggage that weighs us down, express the resentments that cause quiet pain, and make sense of things we previously couldn’t (or wouldn’t!) understand. As a matter of fact, the retrograde energy can be quite instrumental, if we choose to brace ourselves for a little bit of irony, and harness it into future creativity.
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