At this exact moment, 2:48 pm Mountain Time, Wednesday March 30, the planet Mercury is going into apparent retrograde motion. I emphasize apparent because in astronomy no planet ever actually goes backwards in its orbit. What happens is that all the planets speed up and slow down at times as they go around the circular “race track” that we call our solar system. Because we are in one of the “race cars” that are going around sometimes we pass other “cars” and sometimes they pass us. When we pass another car it appears to us that they are falling backwards. To someone standing in the center in the “pits” (on our Sun) all the planets are always going forward. But to us looking from the Earth sometimes the other planets appear to temporarily fall backwards. They all do it. This is known as “retrograde motion.”
The most significant retrograde motion to us seems to be the planet Mercury. It happens on average about three to four times a year and usually lasts about three and a half weeks. So Mercury was stationary retrograde at the moment that I began to compose this post. That means that it appears to be standing still in the sky for a split second before it begins to “fall backwards.” It will be in retrograde motion until the wee hours of Saturday, April 23. When it turns forward again that is called stationary direct.
So what does it mean? Because Mercury has to do with communication in all its myriad forms, it means that we need to slow down, and be extra be careful. We need to make sure that we are communicating accurately and completely. Counselors point out that what I heard may not be what you said. This is especially true during a Mercury retrograde period. So speak slowly and carefully. It is equally important to listen slowly and carefully. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat what they are telling you. And please be extra careful right now to not take things personally. Revisit the Four Agreements.
Speaking of revisit, that is the general theme of a Mercury retrograde. Time to revisit. Work on projects that you have started, but not yet completed. Better to avoid initiating new projects, as they will likely not get completed, or at least not as you anticipated. This is especially true for major purchases or projects. The conventional wisdom is that what you most want to avoid is making major purchases like homes, large appliances. Also signing significant legal documents should be avoided if possible.
Mercury rules electronics in our age of gizmos, so I have found that you should back up your hard drive after running a good virus scan. The purchase of electronic equipment, especially computers, should be avoided if at all possible.
So should we hide our head under a pillow for the next three weeks frightened to go outside? Probably not. What we can do is to reconnect with old friends, do historical research, clean out our closets, meditate, put renewed energy into our personal spiritual practice, take a couple of deep breaths, and take a walk. Life is always about ebb and flow. The rhythms of Life bring us highs and bring us lows. Right now the sign of Aries is being emphasized because it is Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Over the next month there will continue to be rapid changes in our lives and in the planets life. So a reminder to go slow, stay calm, and centered is always good advise. It is our instruction for today. And back up that hard drive. Aho.