Pistol Nebula

Spring 1998

Cosmic Views
Quarterly Newsletter

by Carole Devine


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Retrograde Mercury
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Published quarterly by Oracle International

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Retrograde Mercury

By Carole Devine

We haven't discussed retrograde Mercury in a long time, if ever, and since it is one of the most commonly known Astrological phenomenon other than Sun Signs, I thought it would be more interesting and more pertinent to you than another re-hash of the president's sex life. At times like these, I find politics a bit distasteful.

I think it is amusing and somewhat sad that most people who know a little about Astrology react to this cyclic event as though it is a scourge to be dealt with by just doing nothing. Everyone seems afraid to move at all! Well, I'm getting ahead of myself. First let's define what it is for those of you who are not familiar with the term.

Three or four times a year, from our vantage point on earth, Mercury appears to slow down, stop in its orbit and go backward for about three weeks. This is an optical illusion based on planetary bodies' orbits and speed. The best analogy I can think of is that of two trains both going in the same direction but one going faster than the other. If you are on the faster train looking out the window, the slower train would appear to be going backward as you caught up and passed it. All the planets appear to do this on a regular basis. Mercury is the most frequent and Venus the least.

Even though this is an illusion, it has a very real effect on us. Mercury relates to mental activity. It has been observed that when Mercury retrogrades, people are forced to reflect or go back over things that have just been done. Therefore, more often than not, anything begun under this influence usually has to have some revision later. Mercury is also communication. It has further been observed that many areas of life involving this vital function get confused and scrambled when Mercury is retrograding. Hence, the reluctance of savvy people to make deals or decisions while it is going on. Certainly one would not buy a big ticket item. All you have to do is be aware of this phenomenon and watch. You will notice the effects immediately. It really is amazing.

The sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912 is an example. Mercury had gone retrograde April 5, 1912 and wouldn't go direct until April 29th. Later we found out that there were many communication glitches that would have made all the difference. The Californian's telegraph system had been retired for the night after a rebuke from the Titanic before the accident occurred. Warnings about ice had been ignored in favor of many telegrams going to and from the passengers. Crew members were new to the ship and didn't fully know their duties. The crow's nest binoculars couldn't be found. The list goes on and on. All of this is typical of Mercury retrograde possibilities.

If you have Mercury retrograde at birth, as I do, these periods are not as impacting because your mind is naturally retrospective. But if not, how do you handle this? Just be mindful of the possibility of glitches and double check everything. This year the retrograde periods are: March 27 - April 20, July 31 - August 23 and Nov. 21 - Dec. 11. Be sure to mark them on your calendar and simply observe what goes on around you. Reflect and study during those times, but don't buy a Lexus!

 

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Cosmic Views copyright © 1998 Carole Devine/Oracle International. All rights reserved. Hubble Space Telescope photograph "Pistol Nebula and Massive Star" copyright © NASA.