If you google ‘mercury retrograde’, you will tend to get many similar explanations — I will collate some of these in future posts — mainly that it refers to the planet Mercury appearing to move backwards in the sky when viewed from the earth. This phenomenon occurs on an average of three times a year, for about three weeks at a time, and these periods tend to see a spike in incidents of miscommunication, electronic failure, transport delay, missed appointments and so on.

As someone who not only has Sun but two other planets in Gemini (ruled by Mercury), and whose midheaven is on Virgo (also ruled by Mercury), the retrograde period is often the bane of my existence. At the same time, Mercury retrograde periods are also known to be useful for reflection, introspection and going back over old material — revising, rather than writing new material, as it were. Currently, Mercury is retrograding in Pisces, and far from experiencing any of the usual mishaps with lost emails and adminstrative blunders, I find myself starting a blog on my meditation experiences. I am also considering starting another blog to do with my professional career. Now, I’ve always toyed with the idea of blogging, but just never found the time, the motivation or the energy to get started properly. And all of a sudden, I’m on the verge of three! It got me thinking about the retrograde period and whether blogging is not at the moment my way of revising old material and revisiting some aspects of my personality. I have both Sun and Mercury in Gemini and so far all of my writing has been driven towards the professional field, never did any writing for myself, not even a personal diary during my pre-teen years! Maybe the time has come for me to give it a go — if I’m honest, outside of my career, I never believed I had anything important to say.

So the blog is for me more than anyone else, but if anyone else gets to see it and wants to share, great! I like the format, the easy archive, and the potentiality for an audience, both of which paper diaries don’t easily afford, unless one is Prince Charles and sends them round to 100 of one’s friends. At any rate, after so many years of word-processing, I don’t seem to be able to articulate my thoughts in longhand anymore!

As I’ve stressed in the disclaimer below, I am not an astrologer. I am only a novice and I don’t know if I will ever pursue astrology to a higher degree and be able to read complex charts. For now, the simple stuff is good enough for me. I’m learning everyday from some really good and interesting astrology books and sites. What I aim to do in this blog is to recount and reflect on my own experiences during particular retrograde periods. It seems like a realistic enough project to embark on. Mercury retrograde periods are of a reasonable length (3 weeks) and recur reasonably frequently (about 3 times a year) to monitor its influence. Unlike lunar transits of 30 days, it is not too frequent to keep up with, and not too lengthy like the outer planet transits, spanning years, even generations, at a time. In addition, its effects tend to be externally visible to a degree — while you could doubt psychic change, say with Pluto transits, it will be hard to think of a computer failure occurring only in your imagination, unless you were truly masochistic or plain bored.

My long-term aim is to build on my knowledge of Mercury retrograde through the act of building up the archive that is this blog. Some areas I hope to explore are other individuals’ Merc Rx stories (if you consent to share them) and the implications of Merc Rx in specific signs and in aspect to key planets. Given my piecemeal astrological knowledge, the process will take a while, but I’ll try and stay the course. If nothing else, I’d like a fuller picture of the phenomenon, one that doesn’t simply write off its effects as petty annoyances.