When I have written about my Mercury retrograde experiences, they have been mainly about mishaps and incidents that have caused anxiety. In this edition, I am going to consider the possibility that Mercury rx periods make me prone to anxiety leading to more mishaps and anxiety-making incidents!

I have no empirical evidence for this and my knowledge of astrology is insufficient to factor in all the other aspects and transits; I should perhaps look at my lunar transits as well, but work and the battle to stay afloat prevent this at the present time.

Although Mercury rx periods are often regarded as periods of reflection, review, and revision, periods where we are encouraged to slow down and take stock, I sometimes wonder if that is more the ideal than the practice. What I have noticed over the years is a heightened level of anxiety during Mercury rx periods. And I don’t mean anxiety over having lost my phone or missed a deadline — it is a different kind of anxiety, the kind that makes you feel jittery, the kind that goads you into playing too many games of tetris long after the pleasure is gone. During Mercury rx, the two anxieties get mixed up and the problems tend to escalate, though these days I try to use awareness to minimise their effects (like now).

Antero Alli had an interesting article on Mercury retrograde and ‘self-remembering’:

I look at the timing of Mercury retrograde like the ringing of a bell in a Zen monastery, reminding the monks walking the grounds to remember the moment passing before them and to wake up to their own existence in that moment. The bell rings perhaps once or twice before the monks respond, and then it is really the body’s memory of the sound that reminds them; they remember the bell and respond with more awareness.

We can only remember each moment as the next moment is already replacing the last in an ongoing eternal now. What we think is present time is actually our memory of present time. I do not mean to be spouting Zen koans here but attempting to state simple truths often taken for granted. When Mercury goes retrograde people tend to to stumble over their passing moments to the extent that they are not working to remember them. During times of Mercury retrograde memory is everything.

I wonder if anxiety in these periods is a signal to stop and remember, rather than skate by and avoid?