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All good scouts know: Be Prepared for Mercury Retrograde!
Note: this Previously Published Article may be of use to you as we get ready to roll with Mercury Retrograde. The station occurs Saturday October 4th at 1:02 PM Eastern, and Mercury will be retrograde until October 26th.
As you probably know, Mercury Retrograde is coming. You may have heard jokes about it, or made some yourself. Or, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. I never "believed" in Mercury Retrograde myself until I saw it in action. I was taking beginners' astrology classes at the time, and when the teacher tried to tell me the change in the apparent motion of this tiny planet could affect everything from phone lines to traffic jams, I scoffed, and as we came to the first Mercury Retrograde period I noticed, I was determined to test out the centuries of theory and lore.
As it happened, I worked for a large financial institution at the time, managing the customer service desk for one of their communications networks. As Mercury is known to be associated with communications, certainly I'd see the effects at the job, right? I had no idea "how" right. On the very day of Mercury's "Station" - the time between going forward and "backward" - the pile of "trouble tickets" on my desk was twice as high as usual. All sorts of little glitches, from data cards not being placed in exactly the right way to major circuit outages became my day-long headaches. Then, when I tried to get a bus uptown, I got stuck in a traffic jam that caused me to miss the event I wanted to attend. "Hmmmmmmm," I thought; maybe this isn't all a bunch of hooey. As soon as the period was over, things went back to normal, or as close to that as it got in that crazy place. These events took place more than 25 years ago, and since then there have been many more Mercury Retrograde periods. These times come about 3 times a year, and they last about 3 weeks each. This time, the retrograde will take place from October 4-26, 2014. Because I'm astrologer, I tend to feel Mercury Retrograde even before the date it begins, and with plenty of planetary representation in Scorpio and Libra, this one will be hard to ignore. Thinking and speaking will tend to be "deep" at first, but also quite sharp. After the 11th, when it moves into Libra (remember it's moving "backwards"), indecision is going to be the order of the day. It's time to really look at all the options we have, and honor the process of waiting for the right places and times. No harsh actions are necessary. Just wait and see, whenever it is possible.
There are a lot of issues stemming from Mercury Retrograde we simply can't avoid. Still, there are other foibles we most definitely can avoid simply by planning our activities appropriately. These Check Lists of things To Do and things Not To Do, I hope, will be helpful as we go into this strange, frustrating, and sometimes fruitful, period. I doubt I'll cover everything, but I'll give you at least the basics so you can plan your time out in the most productive way possible.
SOME THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE RETROGRADE
Car Maintenance - Check tires, oil, electrical systems, and fix any glitches with transmissions or clutches that may become more severe with time.
Computer Maintenance - Back up data, buy any new equipment or peripherals you might need, including CDs and DVDs, microphones, etc. If your computer requires it - scan for viruses and malware, and make sure all your shields are "up" before the retrograde period begins.
Batteries - Make sure all batteries for all electronic devices and practical tools such as flashlights are purchased and at the ready. (Mercury Retrograde is connected to power outages, too.)
Organization - Set up a system for keeping track of important papers, credit cards and keys.
Communication - Go through your phone messages and e mail inbox to take care of those requests you've been "meaning to get to". If you don't deal with them now, you could lose them during the retrograde.
Contracts - Everything from Leases and Deeds to Employment Agreements and Marriages stand a much better chance of serving all parties involved when they are not undertaken or signed during Mercury Retrograde. If you can't get them completed before it starts, you are always best off waiting until it is over.
Announcements - If you're going to make a product announcement (especially something like a new app or a web site), or incorporate a business, release a CD, book or movie, it pays to do it before the retrograde, or even better, after. Same goes for grand openings, major promotions, etc. Doctors and
Dentists - Take care of these appointments outside the retrograde period, because diagnosis is especially difficult during the retrograde. The exception here is when you're already being treated for something, or you want to have a defect, such as a hernia or a faulty filling in a tooth, repaired. Make Travel
Plans - If you know you have to make a trip either during or after the retrograde, make arrangements beforehand when you can to avoid confusion.
THINGS TO DO DURING THE RETROGRADE PERIOD
The retrograde period is actually a time when we should be studying our internal processes and figuring out how we can take our thoughts and put them into understandable language. For this reason, the retrograde is great for writing. If you have a paper to prepare, a presentation, or even a book, this is the perfect time to sit down and put the words together and into a document. This is also an excellent time to go back and look at a project you've been working on for some time, and fix the part of it you should have completed more thoroughly. In fact, flaws resulting from less-than-adequate workmanship or attention could come up during the retrograde. Repairs of all kinds, including some surgery, are even more likely to be successful when they're done during Mercury retrograde. Reading is a great Mercury Retrograde activity because you can often pick up a book or training manual you couldn't finish and finally slog through it. In general, Relaxation is a great thing to pursue during Mercury Retrograde. People who make a living in Mercury-related professions, and astrology is one, often take a break during this period. Although I still will write horoscopes and muse as I do here on ReadTheStars.com, I don't do readings for people because without Mercury working to its full ability, i can easily make mistakes. Same may go for some doctors, reporters, news anchors, etc. Watch the news and you'll notice more bloopers during live broadcasts than usual. NOTE: Being born during the Mercury Retrograde can be a good thing! These babies usually grow up with superior writing skills, and can pretty much assume they won't be affected all that much by the difficult effects that make the rest of us want to scream. Need to make travel arrangements during the retrograde? Get a Mercury Retrograde-born person to do it for you. Don't laugh - it works!
COPING DURING THE RETROGRADE
Computers, Equipment, etc. - Always take extra caution when you're working with delicate equipment during a Mercury Retrograde. That little toss you do with your smart phone might be not-so when the screen cracks on you! (One of my favorite examples of what "bad" stuff can happen during a Mercury Retrograde was one time when it was Retrograde in Pisces - a water sign - I inadvertently "flushed" my iPhone.)
Cars, Driving and Public Transportation - Leave extra time when you have to be at a place at a certain time. Be careful walking, driving and even standing on a subway train. Watch other people. They will not even be conscious of the conditions, most likely, so you have to compensate for their lack of awareness.
If you must sign a lease, a will, a contract or undertake any of the activities that are counter-indicated during the retrograde, read the fine print, push extra-hard to get the word out about your announcement, and expect there to be a few glitches so you'll be alert enough to stop them from getting out of hand. If you must travel, factor in possible delays, and bring some sort of entertainment to keep you busy while you wait for that late plane, bus or train. Life must, and will, go on with or without a Mercury Retrograde. The tips offered here aren't supposed to encourage you to hide under the covers or run for the hills just because Mercury is Retrograde. Now, though, you should be able to get through it without too many surprises, and even if you do get frustrated, you'll get the greatest gift of all. Knowing there will be an end to a difficult time is the best thing astrology can do for us, most of the time, and that's what I hope you'll remember the next time you're stuck in a traffic jam or are trying to get rid of a nasty computer virus. It will be April 23 before we know it! Make the most out of this precious Mercury Retrograde time. You may even come to look forward to it.
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