Missed the Train? Lost a Wallet? Maybe It Was All Mercury’s Fault by Andy Newman

New York Times, Published: November 11, 2006 available at nytimes.com/archives

Okay, this article scores 10 points for originality and effort. The writer took a poll on the statistical occurences of lost baggage, theft, flight delays and traffic accidents (but couldn’t find a way to quantify other  Mercury-related phenomena “like crossed signals between spouses, botched pizza orders, busted real-estate deals”). In true Mercurial fashion, the evidence is illusory. None of this statistically amounts to much one way or the other. I do think it’s cool that someone is trying to put astrology in the same category as evidence-based science. But it all really comes down to human behavior, doesn’t it? That’s one of the hardest things to predict, though we astrologers do a great job trying! That said, here are the stats:


– a traffic monitoring agency reports 41.9 major traffic events (accidents, traffic light malfunctions etc.) a day in regional NYC during the 2005, 2006 retrograde periods vs. 42.4 during nonretrograde periods. No significant change.

-train times for NJ transit over the past 3 years during retrograde times show trains were .4 percent less likely to arrive late.

-lost baggage claims at La Guardia during the retrograde periods are negligible, there was a .6 percent rise in lost bags.

-during the first week of Merc Rx burglaries and car thefts were down by 20% as compared to non-retrograde periods.


Note: Ms. Anne Massey, vice president of the International Society for Astrological Research, baited that last bit for the writer suggesting the current Mercury period would result in higher thefts, “most of us have to let go of something.” Guess not. (Yep, Mercury was in thieving Scorpio)


Conclusively, Mercury stands accused and vindicated once again. Can’t you see the twinkly-eyed sly devil smiling?


  1. Maggiethecancer says:

    Are there good aspects to Mercury too?

  2. Hi Maggie, Yes, Mercury is a good guy who basically keeps the mail, transportation and communication moving in a timely fashion on earth. It’s just that when he slows down, everything he usually takes care of moves at a different pace too. Sometimes things just stop (computers crashing, cell phones dying etc.).

    The good thing about Mercury when he’s retrograde is that we can slow down too. The pace of life slows, we can use the time to catch up on paperwork, fix things that already needed fixing or just check out and relax!

    When Mercury retrogrades in your sign you’ll feel more introspective and probably be re-evaluating some of the things in your life. IMercury influlences our minds, the way we think. So it’s not a great time to initiate new projects or start new things because we’re not really “thinking clearly.” We’ll change our mind again when Mercury picks up the pace and moves direct.

    Mercury will go retrograde in Cancer soon, your sign – I’ll be writing about what that might mean so check back!

  3. Maggiethecancer says:

    That’s good. I usually hear about Mercury going retrograde, so mercury is only disruptive when it is retrograde.

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