Tales of a Southern Pagan Mom

Mercury in Retrograde

This week’s Pagan Blog Prompt is ‘Another Mercury Retrograde’.  The questions for this week’s prompt are:

Do you pay attention to these Retrogrades?
If so, do you prepare for them?
Does knowing that it is happening make it easier to deal with the challenges that appear?
If you didn’t know it was happening, would it still affect your life?
Any thoughts on this current Retrograde?

First of all, what does ‘Mercury in Retrograde’ even mean, and why and how should it affect us?

‘Retrograde’ comes from the Latin retrogradus, which means ‘backward step’. It relates, in this instance, to the apparent backward path across the sky. I say apparent, because we know that the planet does not actually reverse its orbit; it merely apprears to for a time. This is because the earth and the planets all move at different speeds around the Sun. All of the planets  are in retrograde at some point or another; the planets that are farther away from the Sun go retrograde more often than those closer to the Sun.

Mercury, in particular, is said to have adverse affects on us because it is Mercury that rules thinking, conceptualizations, communication, and technology. During a retrograde period, things seem to be in a state of constant flux; what seems solid and real one day may be dissatisfying the next. Influences may come up that cause us to doubt ourselves, creating a situation where we may feel ‘wishy-washy’ or start thinking that a change in course would be wise. There may be breakdowns in communication or relationships, arguing is more apt to occur. The trouble with these doubts is that they are temporary at best, a caution at worst. We can generally think of this period as a time to gather information, but before moving forward with any changes, wait until Mercury goes direct again.

For me, personally, I haven’t paid all that much attention to retrogrades in the past. I should; I have always had an interest in and assigned a certain level of validity to the planetary aspects of one’s birth and relationships (particularly those of myself, husband and children), but for magic and general ‘happenings’ I haven’t paid much attention. I don’t know why, other than it seemed like more effort than I had to put into it at the time, but over the last couple of years as my practice has gotten more sincere and become more and more a daily part of my life, I am working to learn more about extended correspondences and how the alignment and actions of the planets affect things. I’ve been toying with the idea of looking up past retrogrades and seeing what correlations I can make with events in my life.

I definitely think that ‘forewarned is forearmed’; I don’t see how it could possibly hurt to prepare for and avoid certain things during a retrograde period. I have a tendency to take things personally that I probably shouldn’t; I can see this knowledge being of benefit to me and allowing me to brush things off a little easier.

Not knowing doesn’t mean that you’re not affected. It just means that you don’t know why things are so screwed up, or how to fix them. That said, millions of people walk around during a retrograde not knowing about it and being seemingly unaffected by it. So I really couldn’t say if I am or would be affected if I didn’t know. In any case, knowing about it certainly provides a convenient scapegoat!

I found this to be an extremely interesting and insightful paragraph:

With the March/April Mercury Retrograde, the major issues of spiritual essence, intuition, belief and purpose provides the focus for the revisions. We are on the threshold of major change and transition regarding our direction, beliefs and purpose. The road that we have been on for five years, since 2008 now requires that we make choices and decisions. The climb to the summit had ended but now we must choose the directions we need to go, to pursue the spiritual journey, purpose and pathway for 2012. This Mercury retrograde is setting the stage for the shift out of the incredible clilmb and movement since 2008. All of the challenges, difficulties and accomplishements can now become part of our shift into a new world. 2012 is a universal FIVE year (in numerology terms) which represents CHANGE, BREAKTHROUGH AND FREEDOM. You will need to be ready to break free from the past and move into new directions, shifting your goals, location and purpose. This Mercury retrograde also connects with the winds of change as Uranus connects with Mercury three times during the March/April timeframe. We are setting a new pace for the changes of 2012. http://www.alphalifetrends.com/mercuryretrograde.html

It will be interesting to see what the next few weeks hold as Mercury goes direct again.

If you’re keeping track of this year’s Mercury Retrogrades, I found a helpful calendar at http://www.caretakingthesoul.com/astrology/mercury-retrograde

Mercury will go retrograde three times in 2012.

March 12, 2012 Mercury turns retrograde at 6° Aries
April 4, 2012 Mercury turns direct at 22° Pisces

July 15, 2012 Mercury turns retrograde at 12° Leo
August 8, 2012 Mercury turns direct at 1° Leo

November 5, 2012 Mercury turns retrograde at 4° Sagittarius
November 26, 2012 Mercury turns direct at 18° Scorpio

To read more about Mercury Retrogrades and how other Pagans think of them and deal with them, be sure to check out Pagan Blog Prompts for the linkup.

Brightest Blessings, 


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2 responses

  1. Sunfire

    Love that you included an introduction to what a Retrograde is, and why we pay attention to Mercury the most.

    And I hope you do look back on previous Retrogrades to see how you were affected – you might be surprised just how strong or weak the influence was.

    As I have shared elsewhere, I learned my lesson a couple years ago – I got hired on at WalMart and worked there a total of 3 days, with less than 1 being on the sales floor. Throughout the whole interview process, I kept telling them I cannot work late or on Sunday, because I use the bus for transportation. My third day there, the department manager wanted me to work closing on Sunday…. Needless to say, communication was a big issue during that Retrograde…

    March 16, 2012 at 11:06 PM

  2. I didn’t pay attention to Retrogrades for a long time, but maybe I should. This week was just ridiculous and when someone mentioned the retrograde to me it suddenly made sense. Maybe that’s just observational bias in action, but it’s got me interested in paying more attention, anyway.

    March 17, 2012 at 12:20 AM

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