959135_phone_girl Be careful of communications going awry, we’re always told, when Mercury goes retrograde. Don’t buy anything important. Don’t sign on the dotted line. Don’t rule out long-lost friends coming out of the woodwork. And so on.

I don’t know if others feel the same way, but when Mercury retrogrades, especially around the station, I actually feel — and I’ve watched this over a few retrogrades — an increased agitation and anxiety, and thus a greater need to communicate. I wondered in an early post about whether that phenomenon was in fact a signal to pay attention the state of anxiety itself, and as a result be compelled to learn to slow down.


That’s really odd, isn’t it? A kind of looking-glass logic where anxiety is compressed and intensified, in order that one might learn to let it go.

Around Mercury retrograde stations, I tend to want to call friends a lot. I write a lot of emails (more recently, send Facebook messages), text messages, phone calls. During Mercury retrograde, it is said that old friends appear. Sometimes they do for me, but oftentimes, it’s me that doing the appearing in someone else’s life… I don’t consciously think, ‘Ah, it’s Merc rx, let’s call so-and-so.’ It’s more like I suddenly think about them and realise I haven’t made contact in a long while, and then I do.

Sometimes this contact is prompted by a Mercury retrograde glitch on my own part: for instance, I said or did or experienced something stupid, funny, embarrassing, even unsettling, and I just need to tell someone. As if the act of telling itself transforms the reality of the event; it certainly re-contextualises, if not outrightly embellishes, it.

I’m not an avid shopper. I am a shopper of necessity, but during a retrograde I often feel an inexplicable urge to shop for things. I don’t necessarily mean recklessly. But that these are things I had been thinking about buying for a long time — that book for research, that kitchen appliance I’d been considering and re-considering for months, that odd item or other I’d needed but never got round to getting. It could be needles, a toolbox, plant pots, everyday things, but the memory of having to get them but leaving them for later sort of comes back into my consciousness in a rush. One is often advised not to make big purchases during a retrograde but what if one has been thinking of a purchase for sometime now and the retrograde is in fact a ‘review’ of an earlier non-purchase?

These are not the sorts of experiences you hear from people writing about Mercury retrogrades. It’s always ‘do less’. But what if the imperative to ‘do less’ is in fact impelled by the compulsion to ‘do more’?

If you have your own Merc rx compulsions, please share. If you are an astrologer with an explanation, do tell!

Image: Phone girl (stock photo). Source: stock.xchng.

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