Mercury In Retrograde

The global crisis has intensified recently with the recent Israeli military incursions into Gaza and Lebanon. This intensity of human crisis has fallen into an astronomical period in which the planet Mercury is in retrograde. In astronomical terms, retrograde is a time when the planets appear to have a backward movement in the sky. This appearance is a result of the different orbit speeds of the planets around the sun. It is what we call an astronomical optical illusion because planets do not really reverse their orbital direction. But, to the early astrologers, their non-scientific observations caused them to take note of these events and make accurate calculations of when they would occur and what happened in their society when such astronomical events did happen. Below is the traditional astrological advice given when Mercury is in retrograde as well as the times it is in retrograde explained at http://astrology.about.com/od/predictive/a/mercuryretro.htm.

Mercury Retro
The traditional astrological meaning assigned to Mercury going "retrograde" in the sky is that one should prepare for and gird themselves for unexpected delays, frustrations, and surprises in everyday life. This includes everyday routines in commerce, commuting back and forth to work, and in one's communications.
During the (very) approximate 24-day periods when Mercury turns "retrograde" in the sky, in the area of commerce, astrologers generally recommend delaying of the signing contracts and other important life decisions. It is a period of time thought to be better spent in reflection and in the rethinking of things.
However, since Mercury Retrograde generally occurs 3 to 4 times a year, one cannot rationally put everything "on hold" every time Mercury goes "retro." That's why I stated that "one should prepare for and gird themselves for unexpected delays, frustrations, and surprises."

The Rule of Thumb
The rule of thumb is that whatever you do in the area of everyday routines in commerce, commuting back and forth to work, and in one's communications - it's not typically going to go as smoothly as you thought it would.
Remain flexible. If necessary, be prepared to "punt the ball." Have a backup plan. In fact, have two backup plans! Breath deeply. This, too, will pass...
Mercury Retro Time Table
March 2 - March 25, 2006
July 4 - July 29, 2006
October 28 - November 18, 2006
February 13 - March 7, 2007
June 15 - July 9, 2007
October 11 - November 1, 2007
January 27 - February 18, 2008
May 25 - June 18, 2008
September 23 - October 14, 2008

I am not a person who has used astrology as a guide for my life. I do not ascribe to the idea that astrology is a science that people should rely on it to explain the human condition. However, astrology is as good a non-scientific explanation of human events as religion in that neither one can be proved or disproved. The one advantage of astrology is that generally people who follow astrology do not have the passion, hatred, and prejudice of those with religious dogmas. And at least astrological observations are accurate in respect to the positions of the planets relative to the rest of the celestial objects. Which brings me to my personal experience with Mercury in retrograde.

About 10 years ago I started to get treatment from an M.D. who believed in alternate eastern medicine as well as allopathic western medicine. That doctor was an expert on human energy pathways and had a strong belief that such energy pathways had a direct affect on human physical and mental health. Much of eastern medicine is based upon energy pathway treatment. That doctor treated me at a time when Mercury was in retrograde and he believed that my energy pathways may have been compromised as a result of the state of the universe when Mercury is in retrograde. Within a few weeks, Mercury came out of retrograde and I felt much better.

Since that time, I have been following Mercury retro and have observed the behavior of my friends, family, and business associates during those retrograde periods and on a non-scientific basis have come to the conclusion it is best to "lay low" during those periods. I understand that there may be some placebo effect to my own experiences. However, knowing when Mercury is in retrograde has helped me to understand the irrational behavior that seems to become extreme during those periods.

Before anyone thinks that I have gone mad, let me explain what I think about the unexplainable. I am agnostic as to the existence of traditional religious beliefs about god as described in Judeo-Christian scriptures. It is my belief that the god of Abraham is used as a rationalization of an unexplained powerlessness that those who wrote the scriptures were inclined to believe in as an explanation of unforseen human events. Death, earthquakes, plagues, and other unforeseen events were all explained in terms of forces of good and evil. But, I believe that modern science has shown us that the forces of nature are indifferent to human affairs. And that we may actually be connected to the cosmos in ways that have nothing to do with our current beliefs in good and evil.

The concept of Satan is a biblical one that has been effective for religious fundamentalists to explain what I think are natural forces within the cosmos that have not yet been scientifically explained. And science may never explain these things because humans are trapped in their own senses and in a 3 dimensional universe. Einstein has deduced a fourth physical dimension and yet no human can point to it. He also proved that as we travel close to the speed of light, time slows down dramatically. Einstein explained this as the "paradox of time dilation." The key word is paradox. We humans tend to explain paradoxes with nonsense religious explanations of good and evil. And I agree that in the sense of evil, there are some humans in leadership positions that are so flawed that they act as a destructive force to humans and humanity. But, that is not enough of an explanation for their tendency to reach power positions and become false leaders.

These people like the neo-conservatives and the extreme religious fundamentalists take advantage of a perceived dangerous world. And they reach the height of their influence during troubled times in human existence, either politically, environmentally, or economically. And they always seem to blame the Satanic other which is usually liberalism and relativism. But, it was liberalism that freed the slaves and gave civil rights to our society. The movement of liberalism throughout the world has brought humanity forward positively. And the explanation of the so-called failures of liberalism probably has more to do naturally occurring forces that we as humans cannot explain scientifically. So we give up on our ideals in favor of extreme religious ritualism.

The American Revolution occurred in the "age of enlightenment" when secular states took over theocracies in Western Europe. The founding fathers were Deists who did not believe in the establishment of any national religion. Many of the early colonists and later immigrants migrated to the new world to avoid religious persecution. The "age of enlightenment" was followed by the era of rationalism and relativism which had a tendency to explain the human condition purely in scientific terms and that by the early 20th century, science had explained 95% of what is called physical science. By the beginning of the 21st century, science had more questions than answers and accordingly the trend has been again towards religion and spiritualism.

I believe this pendulum swing is temporary and that the humanity has a survival instinct. The Christian and Muslim fundamentalists believe in an apocalyptic society in which everything good happens after death. And these false leaders temporarily take advantage of their followers by explaining the human condition in terms of good and evil. They have achieved transitory victories in the past with one common thread in their treacherous teachings. They believe in the scapegoat satanic view of humanity. But, they do that with a view to exploit their followers with lies and hypocrisies and their rationalization is always that it is for the greater good. It is not.

Those who wrote scripture in ancient times and those who followed the planets as well may have observed coincidental astronomical occurrences that helped explain their perception of an irrational world. And it may be that when Mercury is in retrograde, there are forces of nature that effect the human condition in profound ways during that period that cannot be explained by traditional science. But, it is important for us to understand that those in power who are exploiting a perceived crisis are transitory. As was the fiction of WMDs in Iraq, the fiction of organized world wide terrorism will be exposed by the empirical evidence and those false leaders will lose their power. And as the astrologers advise about Mercury in retrograde, "this too shall pass."