So what the ‘ell is Mercury Retrograde anyway?

Real Conversation I had with a Design Client during the Last Mercury Retrograde:

What I thought we said:
Mr H.: “What is that one?”
Me: Pine.

What he thought we said:
Mr H: “What about that one?”
Me: “Fine.”

A few minutes later I noticed he’d been acting strangely, and I said “Did you not like the pine?”
He looked me dead in the eyes for several hard seconds while he processed out that I had not said fine with an attitude.

So what the ‘ell is Mercury Retrograde anyway?

Mercury Retrograde is an astrological term for when the planetary alignment shifts so that Mercury is physically behind the Earth in the race around the sun. It’s legendary for its ability to tear down our communication network, fry electronics, dredge up pain bodies of the past and leave us in achy puddles of pent up energy. It happens about 3 times a year. Some people swear their computer and communication goes absolutely crazy. Others claim the phenomena isn’t real at all.

I have a theory, and part of it is that while the electromagnetic fluctuations bring on some computer and communication issues, Mercury Retrograde affects sensitive people more heavily than others. The other side of my theory is that Mercury Retrograde is the perfect time for reflection (reflection- because we’ve been living too fast, hanging on by a thread, and ignoring things that eventually blow up in our faces). In that light, relationships and other systems with issues that need to be resolved may be highlighted.
When you sit back and allow life to change and flow naturally, it creates the opportunity to be more observant of your relationships and life in general. Doing this, rather than fighting the flow or jumping to say “OH that damn Mercury Retrograde”, makes room for the magic that can happen. Reflection and evaluation of each of your systems and relationships is supercharged under the microscope while in this Retrograde.
Another aspect is added astrological events.Amplified by the energy of a solar eclipse with the New Moon on September 13th and a lunar eclipse (Blood Moon) on September 28th, this Mercury retrograde period can throw us into an energetic shit storm. However, if leveraged to our advantage, it can be an opportune time to create incredible magic. There have also been a high number of solar flares during this period.

Consider the idea of “path loss” and interference, such as the concept of “shadowing” causing network interference (See the image below). This is noted heavily in physics, networking, and communications, where trees or utility poles can obstruct network signals. Wdead_spotshen this idea is taken in to account, Mercury Retrograde makes a little bit of sense to me, in some ways.

See, the pole doesn’t just block a 5″ wide path straight out. The obstruction creates a pie slice shaped “blind spot” in the signal. The farther you are from the obstruction while not falling into a new field, the larger the obstruction field.

If Mercury, however tiny, is between the Earth and the Sun, it blocks at least some portion of the radiation from the Sun. Some studies show over Mercury Retrograde periods that airline baggage loss, computer repair requests, and that sort of thing jump by between 1-1.5% (world wide). Add in the theory that a portion of the population is more sensitive to the fluctuation, and that 1.5% hits a more targeted part of the population. 1% of 7.3ish billion people in the world is 73 million people. That number is as fluid as the daily population of the Earth. Consider if just 7.3 million computers died or messed up on the same day… This is not as outlandish as it sounds. Several airlines had company wide outages during the last retrograde.

The people that are affected by the Retrograde are more likely to be affected by other slight changes in their environment also. For example: when we moved into our condo, I had to remove all the CFL bulbs (those swirly ones) because I had migraines solidly for the first two weeks. I’m very sensitive to light, and changes in temperature.

Mercury Retorgrade exists whether it can be proven or not because people believe in it so strongly. Some people refuse to make any decision and live in fear for 3-5 weeks 3-4 times a year. This is not a healthy use of this time. We have to be ready to allow things to fall apart so that we can allow them to move forward. The point of life is not perfect balance or harmony but being in balance or harmony with the changing world. Even the earth takes the winter for death and renewal.

My partner said “Life is like a river, it’s always changing and flowing”. You stop the river from flowing and it’s not a river anymore. It sounds cliche, but using the ideal that Fall shows us how beautiful it is to let all the dead and unuseful things fall away every year. It’s time to slough off our scales and use this time to move forward.

Yes, be aware of misunderstandings,
Yes, be more aware of the clarity in your comments and conversations,
YES! Back up your computer,
Yes, plan to wait until after retrograde to buy a new computer (or plan wisely and buy it right before the Merc Rx shadow period.)
What Feng Shui has taught me above all is that all life is a cycle- I use the season cycle as an example so many times everyday. How I love to use Feng Shui and Elemental work with my clients is to prepare them. When you feel, see, and notice the cycle changing, you can adjust your plans, reactions, and lifeflow- sometimes ever so slightly. This can allow your life and all the earth to work together, like gliding between asteroids, gently and gracefully, in space.

Mercury Retorgrades for 2016:

January 5 – January 25, 2016 starts in Aquarius, ends in earth Capricorn
April 28 – May 22, 2016 in earth sign Taurus
August 30 – September 22, 2016 in earth sign Virgo
December 19 2016 – January 8, 2017 in earth Capricorn to late degree fire Sagittarius

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1 reply
  1. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Wonderful article Erica! It sums Mercury Retrograde up so well girl! The tech stuff that happens during this period is crazy. My website as off line for 5 hours yesterday! Ughhhhhh! I’m actual backing my computer up as we speak.

    Thanks for putting this info out there.


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