Just when you think everything is flowing along quite swimmingly in the new year 2014, Mercury grinds to a cosmic screeching halt in the sky and begins going backward. Or so it appears. Such is the movement of Mercury turning retrograde, the apparent motion of a planet moving in a direction opposite to that of other bodies within its system, as observed from a particular vantage point, in this case good ol’ planet earth. The term retrograde comes from the Latin word retrogradus – “backward-step”, the affix retro- meaning “backwards” and gradi to step or “to go”. Mercury’s retrograde motion occurs three or four times a year and can be quite problematic for people, prompting suggested do’s and don’ts during these astrologically funked up times.
Touching on the aspects of a Mercury Retrograde period back in March of 2012, you might review the forwards and backwards of that previous discussion here. You may also enjoy checking out the simple site that answers the big question Is Mercury Retrograde (?) here. As to simple guidelines during this transit, one Quick and Dirty Guide To Surviving Mercury Retrograde online suggests not taking potentially clouded communications too personally, backing up your data, not signing contracts or purchasing big ticket items, and finishing projects previously started. I would add not worrying too much about the cosmic craziness is also a good idea, as my friendly Vedic astrologer James Kelleher jokes, “Mercury is retrograde, uh oh, don’t go to the store!”
Avoiding retail acquisitions not being part of the list, feel free to pick up some free-range eggs and Kombucha. However, you may want to be well aware that, in general, Mercury rules thinking and perception, processing and disseminating information and all means of communication, commerce, education and transportation, thus Mercury retrograde gives rise to personal misunderstandings; flawed, disrupted, or delayed communications; glitches and breakdowns with phones, computers, cars, buses, and trains. As a personal example, entire weeks passed between my two previous blog posts, below. That said, keep writing, travel safe and breath deep. Mythologically, Mercury is the protector and patron of travelers, thieves, orators and wit, literature and poet. Considered quick, cunning, and a bit of a trickster, Mercury is known for outwitting others gods for his own satisfaction or the sake of humankind. So awareness, however you practice it, is always particularly good at this time.
For this specific retrograde period, per Mr. Kelleher, beginning on February 7th and continuing through February 27th, Mercury will be direct in Aquarius, in Shatabhisha nakshatra. Shatabhisa is a nakshatra related to various healing modalities. Boosted by the beneficial aspect of Jupiter, this transit is good for getting insights about health and healing. In general, Mercury Retrograde periods are good for research, organizing, relaxation and taking a vacations, although travel might be thwarted. The good news is that Mercury turns direct at 9:00 AM EST (North America) on February 28th. But be aware that come June 7th – July 2nd and October 4th – October 25th in 2014, Mercury will be retrograde again. And again.