28 April 2016 0 Comments

Mercury retrograde

This article is adapted from a similar article published in November 2012.

As we approach the next Mercury retrograde period we are likely to see astrologers from Mercury retrogradedifferent persuasions offer apparently wise advice and warnings about mix-ups in communication, delays in transport and the like. But is this really good astrology?

Ignoring for the moment the fact that there are always communication mix-ups and delays, sound astrological practice says that a Mercury retrograde period will only affect those whose charts indicate that they are predisposed to having communication mix-ups and delays during that period.

Is everyone susceptible to the pitfalls of Mercury retrograde? It will depend a lot on the natal condition of Mercury, whether it is direct or retrograde, the condition of the 3rd house ruler and its relationship with other planets, the Moon‘s relationship with Mercury and other factors. And some people are more susceptible at certain times in their life and for this we need to consider progressions etc.. Transits alone may not do the job.

If it were true that these retrograde periods affect everyone all at the same time then our lives would be simpler and much more predictable. But people’s lives are not so easy to predict. Although we hardly need astrological validation to demonstrate our individual uniqueness, the study of individual horoscopes makes it obvious.

Communication mix-ups are more the norm than the exception. It is clarity and mutual understanding that is more remarkable.

There is an expectation among some astrologers that mix-ups and delays will be especially prevalent when Mercury is retrograde. But how often do mix-ups and delays occur outside this period? It is important to objectively reference expectations against the real world.

It is easy to copy and paste the same astrological advice for every Mercury retrograde period. It is the stuffing of countless astro sites.

If everyone in the world resonated predictably to planetary transits, independent of their own chart, astrology would rule science. But it is not true, certainly not on an individual level. It makes more sense that retrograde periods affect us on the mundane collective level, but even at this level it takes a skilled practitioner to predict the where and when.

Offering apparently wise astrological counsel to a group of unrelated individuals about the pitfalls of Mercury retrograde without reference to individual charts or the context of the bigger picture is not good practice in my opinion.

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