Monday, September 7, 2009

Gear Down and Jest Humor Mercury Retrograde

September 6 - 29, 2009

My Moon and Mercury Pedigree

Many of you who know me personally are aware that I found my birth mom in the mid-‘80s after a 38-year separation by adoption. What a lunar overdose to have had two moms in my life. (My adoptive mom died in 1980. We were joined at the hip.) After my conjoined mom and I were separated, I enjoyed 15 years with my birth mom before she died in late 2001. Our relationship felt more like cousins, since she had not raised me, but what a treat I got, finally, to see how genetics play into who I am.

A large mom load seems appropriate for someone with my Moon configuration and Moon out of bounds, a concept that has felt at times in my life as scary as it sounds. I often feel overwhelmed by my emotions—too many feelings I can barely contain—and you can only imagine how well that sits with a Capricorn Moon in love with control and order. All this lunar pedigree is a set-up, actually, to talk about Mercury. (The poet in me cannot be silenced. I notice every few articles I have a rhyming line with no malice aforethought.) Helen, my birth mom, was a double Gemini with Venus in the Twins as well. Her late Gem Moon squared my Virgo Sun, which was quite prickly at times. But her reaction to Mercury Retrograde is what I want to talk about.

Don’t Kill the Messenger

When I found Helen in 1986, it was days before she was going to have a lumpectomy for breast cancer. Giving me up for adoption was the wound of her lifetime, which the manifestation of this disease no doubt expressed, at least in part. Our reunion brought deep healing on both sides. She survived cancer a long time before ultimately succumbing to it. When it crept back into her life several years before she passed, it was during Mercury’s retrograde cycle. From that point forward, she called me late each year to get the Murky Retro dates for the year to come. She marked them in her calendar and shook in her shoes every time the cycle came ‘round. She said it herself, “I’m superstitious about Mercury Retrograde.”

We have to get a grip about Mercury Retrograde! Especially since we have to live with this funomenon three to four times a year for more than three weeks at a time. I don’t want to minimize my mother’s situation. It was scary, and it didn’t end well—but then life on earth always has that same ending for all of us, eventually. Unfortunate news, even a cancer recurrence, is not the disease or the message content itself. It’s just information. Here we have another case of the expression, “Don’t kill the messenger.” Mercury may have “told” her some bad news, but Mercury wasn’t her cancer nor did Mercury cause it. If we want to “blame” a planet, there were certainly other planets more reflective of her situation.

But memories of this Mercury mother/daughter duo (Gemini and Virgo both Mercury-ruled) nudged me to want to talk about how we make the best of Mercury’s retrograde cycles. Even more so, I want to talk about how we keep living in spite of it, even when we’re stuck doing things we normally shouldn’t while Mercury is retrograde.

What Is Mercury Retrograde Good For?

On my other blog, Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights, I always note Mercury’s direct or retrograde cycles in the SkyHints sidebar. Rather than reinvent the wheel completely, I’d like to introduce you to an article by Karyl Jackson linked there, Mercury Retrograde: What Does It Mean and How Does It Impact You? I love her opening sentence: “Mercury retrograde provides the opportunity to adjust our thoughts, attitudes and decisions about our issues and adjust our new direction …”

Yes, Mercury Retrograde is good for something. It has a rhyme and reason. How we get into so much trouble when Mercury appears to move backwards in the sky has to do with the word disaster. Disaster means against the stars. When we rush forward in our mad dash Aries-like lifestyles, whether we have a single planet in Aries or not, we are completely ignoring what the sky is hinting loudly that we should do at this time. Retrograde starts with “re" and re-things are what we need to do: review, reconsider, reassess, and retreat, to name just a few.

The famous admonition not to start new projects, sign contracts, or initiate anything of real importance comes from the fact that most people won’t synchronize with the season of a few weeks of Mercury in reverse. When we keep going forward during a time designed for inner thinking and adjustment, our brains can be muddled, communications and communications devices go kaflooey, and short trips can be minor nightmares. Not always, but these are the prevailing winds because most of us refuse to become introverted for a few weeks three times a year. When we don’t hear the universe the first time when it whispers to us to slow down, it eventually has to yell.

"It's to Laugh"

Birth mom Helen had an expression when something could be so frustrating, the choice was to laugh or cry. “It’s to laugh, Joyceka,” she’d say to me. Most of Mercury’s disasters are actually more annoying and frustrating than serious. Mind you, they can annoy to distraction, but probably we will not disincarnate or lose our minds, even if we feel like we’re on the brink. We can minimize the impact by doing what Mercury Retrograde is good for. Two of the best things I’ve found involve the re-word review—editing or reviewing my financial books. Many a mistake and avoided complication has come out of balancing my checkbook during this time. Reflect is another wonderful re-word that will make the quicksilver god blow you a kiss.

Other coping mechanisms: Swap Murky Retro horror stories with your friends with the intent of making light of them. You’ll quickly see how fun The Trickster is, because most of us humans take ourselves far too seriously. Journal your Mercury Retro experiences and figure out what they are trying to tell you. Both of these are fabulous alternatives to pulling your hair out.

What If You Can’t Avoid the Don’t-Do’s During Mercury Retro

Example #1: Here’s my chance to tell you some more tales from the laboratory of my life. Much to my nervous chagrin, when my husband Tim and I went to buy our first house together, we had to sign the contract during Mercury Retrograde. We were both in love with the house. It had a view of Folsom Lake from the backyard and was situated a block from my best friend’s house. It was a hot property at the right price. We knew if we didn’t strike while the iron was hot, someone else would snap it up.

The Murky Retro disaster that ensued was one of my most memorable ones, the one that should have made me more permanently superstitious about Mercury Retro than my mom. Long story short, the owner backed out on the signed contract, went into hiding, and we could not get our $1000 earnest money back without hiring an attorney to the tune of half of that amount. Tim's Leo Moon had him pacing like a caged Lion, and he was livid. It took a long time for us to get over the loss …

… until we recognized it as a divine delay, distracting us from purchasing a wrong house till the right one came on the market for us. As the drama died down from House #1, our realtor discovered our truly perfect property, the one we bought and have lived in for 11 years.

Example 2: I have had several friends forget that they could actually consult me about their marriage or other important dates. I have stopped asking them to reconsider when they have chosen to be married during Mercury Retro, especially when it is not a first marriage. If Mercury Retro is good for re-things, why not remarriage? At some level, the second or third marriage is a redo, a do-over, a return to a committed relationship with a new person and hopefully in a new way. I think the key to whether or not a remarriage chart works well under Mercury Retro has more to do with attitude than anything. Is there renewal—a return to marriage with lessons learned—or is it, to use one of my husband’s favorite expressions, “another lap around the track?”

Example 3: This is the one I’m living right now. Our house is suffering from dry rot, and we have been working on replacing the wood with vinyl siding that has high insulation factor to give us a lifetime new exterior and energy savings to boot. If the Shadow of this Mercury Retrograde is anything like the real thing, maybe I should listen to my mother and hide under the covers for the next three weeks. Due to an assorted comedy of errors and the lending market, now tight as a drum, we had difficulty getting a loan for the full amount of the project. This primarily had to do with a low-ball estimate on the value of our home. I have spent the last two weeks a nervous wreck—a Mercurial condition if there ever was one. Today it all got resolved in the positive, but guess what? Now we have to sign those loan papers during Mercury Retrograde.

Here’s what I figure: The loan is for repair and renovation—both Mercury Retro re-things. I had my grief and we had our glitches during the Shadow. I should be all paid up. There’s nothing we can do but go along with the program, since neither the bank nor the contractor is going to wait for me to be astrologically comfortable. We started early enough that this should not have happened—in theory. The project “should” have been done by now! What I can do under the circumstances is to review the fine print—more than once.

Intuition and Attitude

I had an opportunity, recently, to have surgery on a day Western Astrology would not exactly have deemed a good one. Yet I had a strong sense that I should do it then without further delay. (There wasn’t a single “good” Thursday, the only day my doctor does surgery, for months.) The date was July 23. I learned from a friend who follows the channeled material of Lazaris that this is the most powerful day of every year, when the Sirius Vortex opens and the goddess/creative energy is most accessible in a window ending September 15. Other symbol systems backed it up as a better time than my astrological lens would have indicated. These things helped me decide to go forward, but most of all; gut instinct led me to say yes. To overcome my “astrological programming” took a strong feeling!

Although there were a few complications on the way, the outcome was all my doctor and I could have hoped for--and more. She is convinced it’s my attitude that made it so. I determined that this was going to be successful, and nothing would keep me from remaining calm, centered, and positive. For the first time I can ever recall (I’m quite Neptunian), I set firm boundaries about sharing information on this health issue. I never discuss the details in public; I chose not to tell anyone who might worry or envision a negative outcome; and I asked for exactly the kind of support I needed. Namely, I asked everyone to see this condition healed, to say only positive things, and to send healing energy and visions of a good outcome my way.

Let’s do an experiment this Mercury Retrograde. Let’s see how well a positive and playful attitude works on getting us through this cycle of The Messenger pedaling backwards. If there are things you just have to do on the Avoid During Mercury Retro List, let your intuition guide you—and your sense of humor smooth over any wrinkles.

There are billions of people living under the same sky, and the Creator has ways of working with you to customize experience according to your needs, despite the general cosmic weather conditions.
It’s just like those lucky families—we are friends with one of them—who survive the destructive forces of a hurricane. (Mercury only seems that awful at times.)

We can’t stop living during Mercury Retrograde. We can only align with it as much as possible and do what needs to be done, even if we have a few discomforts to pay for it. Lead with your sense of humor. The Trickster’s joke will be on us if we allow too much doomsday and fear to dominate this cycle that seems to be back too soon, too many times a year.

Rethink it!


Susannah said...

Nice post Joyce. :-)

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks, Susannah! I hope you and Mercury have an uneventful--or at least amusing--few weeks of retrograde. :)

Pop Art Diva Enterprises said...

I'm taking your advice about using this time for REtrospective, REthinking and REevaluating! Today I'm also Twittering only Inspirational quotes and my Inspirational art - it's already tilted my attitude towards the + on the emotion-o-meter!

When is this phase over??? You know me - I want to keep jumping forward, lol!

Joyce Mason said...

Dear Pop Art Diva,

The Radical Virgo has years of experience dealing with the impatient Aries Moon. If you haven't already, read God Is Not an Aries. I have a long-time friend with 5 planets in Ram who has trained me well about the Aries temperament, LOL!

Mercury goes direct on Sept. 29 at 6:14A PDT. This info is always posted in the SkyHints sidebar on Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights.

Lastly, I am thrilled that you have been inspired by this article to get inspirational. It has been both a good and challenging Mercury Retro for me. I've taken my own advice. I'm re-ing all over the place! You're right. It's an upper! :)