Mercury in retrograde

In Philippine Star Column on December 17, 2010 at 9:42 am

Keep your head on!

So what is Mercury in retrograde? A term that was uncommon about five years ago has become rather commonplace among my friends and colleagues. Of course, there are still many who don’t know, don’t care about what happens when Mercury, the planet that (if you follow Western astrology) symbolizes communication goes into retrograde (or backward motion). I have been keeping myself abreast of the periods of when Mercury in retrograde (MIR) occurs every year, as it does three to four times, lasting for about three weeks, although its effects can be felt a week in advance and even a week after.

For example, as the Christmas chaos is upon us, we find ourselves right smack in the middle of a MIR that will last ‘til the end of 2010. You may have felt its effects as early as Dec. 1 (because the period officially started on Dec. 9) and we will be in MIR’s snare ‘til Dec. 30, although I would advise you to take it easy until the first week of January. If you are a newbie to MIR, what might be experienced are situations of miscommunication, from mildly annoying (to dialing a wrong number) to rather serious like, in my family’s case, a “glitch” in the system of Hawaiian Airlines minutes before our trip that almost prevented us from boarding our flight (with tickets we had purchased two months before) and us having to pay twice just to make sure we could check in. Trust me, it was a very unwelcome and not appreciated start to what could have been a very relaxing holiday.

This was a double (or should I say triple) whammy as MIR tends to sink its teeth into electronics and travel as well.

I thought perhaps the best way to get a readable 101 course on what to do during MIR would be to ask an expert: Henry Palacios, a local astrologer who has been giving natal chart readings for many years, was more than happy to help out with his tips on how to get the most out of MIR. Yes, in spite of this almost month-long episode of mishaps, MIR is really there to teach you a lesson, and that is one of introspection and reassessment of your life. Read on for a little lesson in MIR.

MIR 101

1. There is really no definitive way of getting around the retrograde. Being aware of the inconveniences will keep you from getting upset. Since it has to do with communications, check vehicles before traveling, confirm flight bookings, try not to sign contracts or get into verbal agreements. There may be hitches after the retrograde. “A client of mine insisted on getting a contract signed during retrograde. After retro he realized that the time given him for delivery was too short. All his profit went to paying delay charges.”

2. With regard to relationships, whether romantic- or business-oriented, try not to commit within the period. There may be misunderstandings after. You can also use it to your advantage; if you’ve had a breakup before a retrograde, you can usually reconcile when retrograde comes around; whether you can sustain it is another story. In terms of business, you can maneuver a situation in your favor for as long as you cover yourself legally and have done your research on the pros and cons.

3. This is the time you should step back and see things for what they are. If things really have to move forward during a retrograde, have a lawyer check the contract, get your car fixed, back up your computer or your cell phone and don’t get upset if anything electronic in your life breaks down!

Palacios also emphasizes that MIR affects us all differently, as our natal charts are unique to us. The position of Mercury in your chart will give an indication of what will be affected during MIR, whether it’s business, relationship, finances, etc.

In my personal experience, MIR is all about looking back and deciding how to proceed. Old projects may or should be revisited and, perhaps, pursued if you feel that it’s time to start something “new.” Old friends may crop up, encouraging you to renew ties and relationships that could be more enriching to you in the future. More importantly, as it seems the outside world is not being cooperative, the Internet is slow, e-mails get lost, texts cannot be sent, or your cell phone shuts down, you are forced to have a lot more communication with the most important person in your life — which is you. Keep your emotions in check, reprioritize, learn patience and become more resourceful. These are some of the lessons that every MIR gives us, over and over again. Nowadays, I find myself more prepared whenever another MIR comes around, since I know that it, too, will pass, and hopefully I will be a more compassionate, grounded person after each one.

* * *

To have a natal chart reading with Western astrologer Henry Palacios, call or text him at 0920-9609541.

Reposted from: Mercury in retrograde
SOUL TRAIN By Katrina A. Holigores (The Philippine Star) Updated December 17, 2010 12:00 AM

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