May 10, 20165 Comments

“Connecting the seen with the unseen,” by Deborah Smith Parker

Mercury in flightOK, Mercury has again gone retrograde, and predictably my inboxes have more than the usual number of astrological inquiries, “will disaster happen at this time if I . . .?”

I find that people who know just enough about astrology to be dangerous as well as those who know a lot will get their undies in a bunch when Mercury dons his helmet of invisibility and on winged sandals flies backwards through the heavens and our lives. The bold ones can become timid and the timid can turn fearful.

So as a public service I’m posting some points of consideration on the topic.

Mercury’s transformative magic is often cloaked under the many annoying inconveniences he causes. It helps to understand this and not fear him when he does the unpredictable. All the havoc he creates in our lives is his way of getting us back on track—not the track he moves us from, the one he moves us to.

So relax! We’re not going to outwit him, not when he’s the quickest and cleverest of all the gods; not this god assigned to lead the newly dead to the underworld; not the only god who freely passes between the worlds of the living and the dead; and definitely not this god whose role is to hold and carry the secrets of life and mysteries of the universe [For more on Mercury click here]

Life becomes much easier when we recognize his process. Many respond to Mercury Rx with a “duck and cover” strategy, but if we do that as a standard response we’ll miss out on some of his goodies. For instance, duck and cover people don’t want to negotiate any contracts during Mercury retrograde (Rx). There are many ways around this I learned! Several years ago I led a team of contract negotiators who set up treatment provider networks for a managed care company requiring many contracts from multiple locations, often on tight schedules. Sit on our hands for 22 days three times a year – more if you count Mercury’s storm? Yeah – right. Tell that to my VP and CEO.

Interesting that the contracts negotiated and signed during Mercury Rx had no more problems than those signed when Mercury was direct. We always followed specific procedures and paid attention to detail, always critical when dealing with Mercury but especially so when he’s flying backwards. Nor did we have more problems down the line with contracts initiated during those times. I also bought and sold houses and cars when Mercury was retrograde and the deals went off without a hitch. The list goes on and on.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I know first-hand Mercury Rx can bring problems. THAT list goes on and on, too. I’ve certainly had my share of plans blown to smithereens, once even accompanied by a concussion. I’m just cautioning against being overly fearful, to not, in knee-jerk fashion, move off the playing fields of our lives to sit in the stands as mere spectators.

Still, there are ways not to be caught off guard (as much) when Mercury reverses course. Here are four of them:

1. Each year identify those times when Mercury goes retrograde. If you don’t know how to find that out, work with an astrologer. We’re not that hard that find.

2. Then during those times pay extra particular attention to details and rules.

3. When Mercury is stationing (the degree at which he goes either retrograde or direct) in aspect to specific points in your chart take particular heed to that planet/house/sign. This will help at least prepare you for the life area(s) circumstances you may be forced to become friends with. As my friend and colleague Claire-France Perez warns us: “He’s saying pay attention! I’ll be back here again.”

4. Finally, since Mercury always leads us to a border of our known and unknown worlds, when he throws you off the bus—and there are times that will happen–pay attention to where you land. That’s the place and direction you’re now concerned with–not where you thought you wanted to go. Suck it up and go forward.

Several years ago I researched transiting and progressed Mercury Rx in my chart. I was surprised at the beneficial turn of events it played in my life, turns I never would have had the foresight or insight to make. For example, while still in college, during Mercury Rx, I accepted a job in Chicago I would begin immediately after graduation. I hated the job, but it got me out of hometown USA and helped me make contacts that would two years later connect me to a creative and fulfilling career, a career that began when my progressed Mercury went retrograde. When it went direct 22 years later I again made major career shifts among which was starting down a path of becoming a many times published poet, writer and author.

I have come to look on the role of Mercury Rx much as Robert Frost must have looked upon that famous fork in the road in the yellow wood where he chose the road less traveled. Frost didn’t say whether or not Mercury was retrograde when he pondered that woodland juncture. When one reads his poem one doesn’t get the impression he chose that path because his car broke down, or he didn’t get the email or text telling him where he should have been, or his GPS died or even that he fell off a cliff. He doesn’t explain. All that seems important for him to tell us was that his choice made all the difference. But he had to walk a while down the new path to find that out.

So please let me know how your thoughts and comments on this.

Deborah Smith Parker is a professional astrologer and writer on many subjects. She is author of “The Horse that Haunts My Heart” (2014) and “Humanus Astrologicus,” (2010) both available in paperback and Kindle. To sign up to receive her blog or follow her on Twitter (@astro_logicus) and Facebook click to the right of this post.

About author:

Deborah Smith Parker is re-writing the often impenetrable language of astrology into a much friendlier form. She has spent her 30 plus years as an astrological consultant, writer, teacher and lecturer freeing the rich astrological images and their descriptions increasingly buried under modern clinical and technological descriptions. Her additional work in public policy has provided many outlets for demonstrating her ability to break down highly complex systems into information that’s easily understood.

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  1. Debra Keil-Leavitt says:

    Another spectacular post. Thanks for addressing this subject so beautifully and effectively.

  2. Jill Estensen says:

    I will have to read it again and again to glean the fullness of this article. Thank you Deborah!!!

  3. Inez says:

    Excellent. Thanks for clarifying! I changed my mind a lot about Mercury retrograde when I found out that Mary Kay founded her now 53 year old highly successful business on Friday the 13th under a Mercury retrograde. I think also that Mercury retrograde can be the gift of a do over or a second chance.

  4. Della says:

    Bravo, Deborah! Incredibly informative and interesting. I enjoyed every word and have a whole new perspective on Mercury Rx. Thanks again for your blog.

  5. Jim Hennum says:

    Had to look up Mary Kay’s birth data after reading Inez’s post. Mary Kay was born May 12, 1918 – just a day and a half after Mercury stationed direct – well within the Mercury Storm period. I have heard, and suspect there is a germ of truth here – that those born with Mercury Rx (or, it seems, in storm) tend to do well during Mercury Rx periods. It is as though they were born with the tools to navigate these periods that the rest of us often find challenging.

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