Mercury Retrograde: Moving Backward To Move Forward

Sometimes you have to pull backward, in order to be propelled forward

Whether you believe in astrology or not, you may have heard the term “Mercury Retrograde” or “Mercury in Retrograde” mentioned.
It’s recently gotten more attention in pop culture and social media. Perhaps you saw an Instagram post on it…or a funny meme posted on Facebook…or Ryan Seacrest’s Tweet about it.

Darling songstress Taylor Swift said recently in a video:
“When Mercury is in retrograde, basically that means that everything is going to be completely wrong and messed up and miscommunicated. Your phone will break or you’ll send a text message and it won’t get to the person it’s supposed to go to, or your flight gets delayed. And so you can’t blame yourself. You just have to blame Mercury, because it’s just hella in retrograde.” (Yes, hella.)

What is Mercury Retrograde?
  • No, it doesn’t refer to the chemical element known as quicksilver. 3-4 times a year, the planet Mercury appears to be moving backward in the sky for a period of about 3 weeks. Though no planet actually moves backwards in its orbit, it appears to move backward through an optical illusion, since the Earth is also orbiting the Sun at a different speed than another planet like Mercury.
    •  Dates for 2015: Jan 21-Feb 11, May 19-June 11, Sept 17-Oct 9
  • So what? In Roman mythology, Mercury is the ruler of messages and communication. When Mercury is Retrograde then, delivery of messages can be lost or warped. There could be misunderstandings, technology breakdowns, and interpersonal turmoil.  Or there may be events which dig up deep, difficult-to-face thoughts that you’ve swept under the rug for some time. It’s known to be a challenging time for decision-making, for contracts, etc.
  • Oh crap. That sounds pretty shitty. Well, the good news is there’s a bright side! Mercury Retrograde is known to be a time of deep introspection and reflection. It can give us break to catch up with ourselves and our thoughts on people, relationships, ideas, careers…bringing to surface things that we may have ignored.
    • “Minor breaks in the mechanical aspects of communication can actually re-connect us to other means of communication, such as when there is an unexpected power outage and we’re forced off the computer and television, finding different and often satisfying ways to entertain ourselves. ” –Cafe Astrology

This Mercury in retrograde (Jan 21-Feb 11) forced me to me dig deep. My phone (ie semi-modern extension of myself) was stolen on my birthday. This inspired me to unplug…which gave me a break to finally catch up with my own thoughts. It rewinded me to a difficult time period in early 2014. It forced me to open old wounds and take a real look at how to overcome them in a very honest way. And in all the deep digging came out a better me.

Even if one thinks that astrology is total B.S., it’s still useful to acknowledge that there are time periods in our lives (Mercury Schmurcury or not) where we feel like we are taking steps back, but in truth this seeming “retrograde” could be exactly what is needed to propel you forward.

Peace out Mercury in retrograde. Thanks for the rich time of reflection. See you again in May.
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