Merc Rx experiences

Mercury retrograde never fails to make me laugh, even as I’m grinding my teeth in exasperation.

Two years ago, I organised an event and I put in an expense claim through the company’s internal mail for a guest who had missed a flight (during the front-end shadow of Mercury retrograde in January 2010!).

Earlier today, I got a message from the expenses administrator saying the claim form had just turned up on her desk…!!

Mercury is currently station retrograding in my 4th house (past reflections here). Conjunct Uranus, expect, as I mentioned previously, increased volatility in thought and deed, as well as some radical problem-solving.

The 4th house, apart from being about where one is at home, is also (together with the 10th house) part of the axis of parents. My relationship with my parents have always been fraught with ambivalence, and a bewildering mix of love, pain, struggle and fear.

There was a heated exchange this past weekend (Mercury in fiery Aries) and an epiphany (Uranus) this morning — new information from the past was revealed and a piece of the puzzle fell into place. Something clicked. And I woke up to the fact that their pathology wasn’t mine. I wasn’t responsible for their neurosis and never have been. A sense of relief. And liberation. I give myself permission to be me.

It’s funny how you can ‘know’ this in your head, but knowing it in your heart is what makes it real.

Most of us know that Mercury retrograde can signal frustrating delays, mistakes and u-turns, but if we adjust our expectations, it is possible to be productive during this period. I have a 6th house natal Mercury placement; being ‘productive’ keeps me sane.

Bee on a flower

Mercury retrograde may not be good for starting new projects, but as I’ve mentioned before, it can be a pretty effective time to revise, resume or reinvigorate old ones. In the past week, I have been averaging 300-500 words a day on a writing project I began quite a while ago but could never find the time to finish. The general slowdown of other activity is giving me the space to do so.

Here’s a tip: if you don’t have old projects to clear up, but still want to use the energy of Mercury retrograde, it is possible to plan ahead. What I sometimes do is I look in my calendar to see when the next retrograde period is coming up, and I start a project several weeks ahead of time, well before the storm, and then leave it aside until which time I can then complete or revise it during the retrograde period. If you can catch the energy of a new moon when you make this start, all the better. I don’t always get to time things so well, but when I do, it’s worth the effort.

Mercury retrograde tends to cycle through the signs of one element (though sometimes straddling signs) in a given year. This suggests that there are some common themes that may run through each retrograde period for the year. This year, Mercury retrogrades through the Fire signs. These are the dates:

30 March to 23 April 2011, 24+ to 12+° Aries
2 to 26 August 2011, 1+° Virgo to 18+° Leo
24 November to 13 December 2011, 20+ to 3+° Sagittarius

Mercury is most at home in the Air sign of Gemini. In the Fire signs, its airy quality can stir up the flames (like fanning a barbecue!) or, if the force of air is too strong, put it out. People with Mercury in Fire signs think and talk energetically and passionately. Ideas can come fast and furious to them, but can run the risk of burning out if not sustained, or in a different scenario, be no more than a lot of ‘hot air’.


I have been trying to publish this for the past two days, but either kept getting interrupted or had connection problems — oh well.

Mercury is currently stationed in Taurus and due to retrograde from 17/18 April to 10/11 May 2010 (depending on which time zone you’re in), from 12°38′ to 02°40′ Taurus. And as usual I have slid straight into it.

I lost my car key today (Friday), but as with me and Mercury, it is never just the one instance of loss that makes it a Merc rx moment. For me, a real Merc rx moment has to have an element of cheeky coincidence about it.


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