Advantage E-Zine - October 1, 2001
Today Mercury retrogrades. This is a regular phenomenon that occurs
three times a year for roughly 21 days. Since we know the planets
Sun in a relatively regular motion and do not actually slow down,
go backward, many people do not understand what this is. It is
optical illusion, but for some mysterious reason, it does actually
The way this illusion happens has to do with the differences in
speed of our
Earth compared to Mercury and the curvature of their orbits. I like
the analogy of two trains on parallel tracks going in the same
one going faster than the other. The faster train, coming from
catches up with the slower one, both for a time seem to stand still
viewed from the other, and then the slower one appears to go
the vantage point of the faster train.
Well, you say, Mercury is the faster planet, not Earth. However,
Earth and Mercury get to certain points in their orbits, always when
is approaching a conjunction with the Sun (but not every conjunction
them is when Mercury is retrograde), because of the curvature of
orbits, the reverse appears to be true. Hence, Mercury appears to
then go backward from the vantage point of Earth, although in
reality, it is
doing nothing of the sort. Incidentally, a conjunction of Mercury to
when direct is called a "superior" conjunction, but when retrograde,
The degree in which the retrograde occurs is important. In this case
at 29 Libra. If a chart has a planet or angle on or aspecting this
it becomes personal. It will affect that chart in the area ruled or
by Mercury and the other planet. In the case of its aspecting an
is even more potent.
Mercury retrograde periods would be best used as reflective periods.
seems as though the universe inclines us this way since one of the
characteristics of this period is that things seem to go awry and
have to be
done again. It certainly teaches caution and patience.
One of the most famous events during one of these retrograde periods
sinking of the Titanic. Most mishaps had to do with Mercury-ruled
The binoculars for the lookouts were missing, decisions (Mercury)
Star Line made about the number of lifeboats to carry were
California", the closest ship to them, which was even in sight,
communications for the night and didn't get the SOS, and the red
to signal distress were not on board. So, when they used the white
"The California" thought it was for celebrating. All these are
Mercury retrograde fiascos.
Therefore, for the next three weeks, be more careful, slow down and
attention to what you're doing and do not start a business!