Mercury Retrograde: A Cautionary Tale
We’d just bought a house in the woods. It was our dream home. Then we started to renovate.
The first red flag was the snake.
It was as long as I am tall, stretched out across my living room carpet. Our house painter texted me a picture right before he slung it out the back door.
A week later, our electrician found a six-foot snake skin in the attic.
I called a wildlife rescue company. The burly guy who showed up was breathing heavy when he stomped down my stairs carrying a bucket full of snake eggs with the mother snake curled around them. “You already buy this house?” he asked.
Then, came the flood.
It started as a large wet spot on the basement carpet. Within 24 hours, a third of the room – drywall and carpet -- was sopping wet. Our insurance company sent a crew with giant industrial drying fans.
But by then, we’d discovered the bedbugs
The red welts only seemed to itch at bedtime and at first, I thought they were mosquito bites. An Internet search convinced me otherwise.
While the drying fans hummed from the basement, heaters shaped like jet engines “cooked” the bugs out of our bedrooms.
Right around that time, the refrigerator died.
I wasn’t sleeping. I developed a cackle. Every morning felt like another fresh hell. My eye began a regular twitch.
Then, like magic, Mercury stationed Direct. The replacement fridge arrived. The bedbugs and snakes were gone. School started. Life settled into a routine. I sighed a big gust of relief. The worst was over.
Three weeks later, my husband was laid off. *Record scratch*
Mercury Retrograde was over. We were “supposed” to be on our way to higher ground. And yet, life still happened.
Here’s what I learned: Expecting the worst from Mercury Retrograde is like showing up at a hurricane shelter every time it rains.
The truth is that Mercury Retrograde — like fear — is an illusion.
No really. This is science.
Mercury Retrograde is when — from our perspective on Earth — the planet appears to be moving backwards.
It’s an optical illusion caused by the difference in orbits between the Earth and Mercury — planets that are 48 million miles apart.
It’s literally a time when our perspective changes.
Now here’s the metaphysical part …
In astrology, the planets interpret our states of being.
Mercury – named for the god of thieves and tricksters, travelers and merchants — represents our mind. When it seems to be moving backwards — our reality becomes more malleable.
This is actually personal for me.
I was born with Mercury Retrograde. My childhood was one farcical (at times tragic) mishap after another. I even wrote a book about it. (That still isn’t published. Thanks Mercury Retrograde!)
As a result, I’m a master problem-solver. I think things through — rigorously. I’m great in a crisis.
At yet, the Mercury Retrograde of August 2017 brought me to my knees. I won’t lie. It taught me a very hard lesson about trust and surrender.
My life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns now. But my attitude kind of is. I’m more fear-less thanks to that experience.
I still wince when I see a Mercury Retrograde on the horizon. But I’ve learned to adjust my expectations.
I listen to my dad.
Dad: Are you doing your best?
Me: Yes, Dad. *eye twitch* Yes I am.
Dad: That’s all you can do. Nothing more.
I’m much more forgiving during those three-week periods — of myself and everyone else.
The truth is that for every missed connection, there’s a serendipitous meeting. For every breakdown, there’s a breakthrough.
During the next Mercury Retrograde, take a more esoteric view of your mishaps.
Is your computer crashing because you’ve overloaded yourself? Are your travel plans falling through because you actually need to stay home?
What important information came out of that argument with your spouse? And now that you’re in a place of surrender, what do you notice about your life?
Mercury Retrograde can be a time of great inner progress, if you shift your priorities.
Astrologers — including me — advise against scheduling surgeries or making big purchases during Mercury Retrograde. Launching new projects and first marriages are not recommended either.
But this doesn’t mean those endeavors are eternally doomed if they can’t be avoided during Mercury Retrograde.
For every missed flight, there’s a serendipitous encounter. For every computer crash, there’s a creative breakthrough. For every nightmarish, three-week scenario — there’s an end. And things get better.
Astrology acts as a mirror of the human experience. We still control the reflection.
You might need to take an extra step. The sailing might be a bit choppy along the way. That’s not always a bad thing.
Mercury Retrograde invites depth. It makes us more aware of our ourselves. It asks us to think creatively.
Stay confident that you can handle whatever arises.
Be flexible. Be curious. Be patient.