I’m curious what you think about Mercury retrograde (Sep 24-Oct 15, 2008) especially regarding the U.S. financial rescue attempt?

Dear Curious,

There are a lot of folks who put alot of worry energy into Mercury retrograde unneccessarily. I’ve gotten tons of finishing up work accomplished during retrograde, given new talks, and even travelled, too. All Mercury activities! However, knowing a retrograde period is in action has influenced my choice of projects, and undertakings – but mostly my attitude towards them- which is remain flexible as “anything could happen”. Retrograde periods are unpredictable, sometimes they really influence us, and other times not so much. For example, buying electronics might be a no-no during retrograde, but the DVD player we replaced during last Mercury in Gemini retrograde has had no problems. Should you? Well, that may depend on how high your stakes are. The player was inexpensive, and had a warranty so this purchase came with parachutes. Parachutes are a good thing during this time.

Mercury is apparently moving backwards from the earth’s perspective, and so slows the day-to-day activities that keep the pace of life go,go,go…way down. Some people really enjoy this! These same people are pretty intuitive, and heed the signals and signs that say “rest stop” next exit and use the opportunity to take it easy. Type A’s may not like Mercury retrograde because there’s a built-in striving dynamic to their psychology and prefer all motion, all the time. This is probably more vexing while Mercury retrogrades in Libra – a sign that enjoys sociable relaxation. But it is also good for heated debates, as we’re seeing, politically!

Personally, I’m a cardinal person so understand this impulse to achieve. So I just direct my achievements differently – I ask, what would help me be a more effective person, and communicator? What have I been putting off or “meaning to do”? Where do I feel held up and is there a practical step I can take? Are these things real or are they distractions? Sometimes you don’t even need to ask as Mercury retrograde purpose is to *answer* this.

Because agreements, affairs, and everything moves more slowly now, this period also buys us some time should we need it. Contracts move slowly through the mail, decision making moves slowly – no one’s jumping the gun. If you’re looking for a job, this is a good time for negotiating agreements to your terms. Of course every retrograde is different, and the influence of other planets and signs – for example Gemini or Virgo or Mars in the sky, may cause more panic or hasty decisions.

Also, inventive, or new ideas might come into your mind and change your course of thinking completely. This aspect of retrograde offers a chance to really clear out where we’ve been foggy or uncertain, so we can move forward with more clarity. New factors may come into play but change back again once Mercury resumes regular motion. Remember verything is paradoxical and twofold with Mercury: if we’re slowed down in one area, it’s so we can open in a new way in another. It’s a time for considering all your options, and employing a “glass half full” mentality.

Finally, as any activity prefixed by “re-” is appropriate for retrograde, the clean-up phenomenon called “financial bailout” is as relevant for congress as it is a personal goal for example, to clean up my website! But me, I can’t make sense of the bailout at this point -who can? There are too many unknowns right now, also a phenomenon of Mercury retrograde. Libra is the sign of negotiation, and I notice people looking for a moderate middle ground in the attempt, which certainly agrees with the energy. Yet I am also of the mindset that things begun during this period may have unforseen complications later, can drag on…and on, and are subject to re-assessment later. This is especially true if due diligence is not done. In which case, we need to correct later what we didn’t or can’t see now. That’s always a concern.

I’ve been using this time to re-connect with friends, do information-gathering activities, and working on creative projects. To evaluate whether your Mercury retro activities will be effective – keep a few rules of thumb in mind – delays, rest, slow-downs, and re-evaluation are common during this period, and flexibility is helpful – then examine your actions for a likeness of fit to the sign it’s transiting. Libra rules: negotiations, agreements, relationships, two-parties, balance, diplomacy, socializing, relaxation, justice, truth, impartiality, and compromise, etc. I’m sure you can come up with more.

So try not to sweat it. Take it easy and enjoy the change of pace!