Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of Dec 10th - Dec 16th, 2004

Mercury Retrograde II

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      We are currently winding down on another period of Mercury retrograde. Aside from a little knowledge about one's own Sun Sign, knowing when Mercury is retrograde is probably one of our most famous, or possibly infamous, celestial events. Mercury began to retrace his course on November 30th in the 25th degree of Sagittarius, and it continues this 'backward' motion until December 20th on the east coast (Dec. 19th on the west) when it returns to direct motion at 10 degrees of Sagittarius.

      Consistent with the weave of our WEB, Mercury going retrograde is similar to a 'back stitch', which effectively binds the pattern with greater strength. Mercury is the planet of the logical mind. It's what we think about and how we communicatively express ourselves, whether through speaking, writing, over the phone, in the classroom, through email or letters, etc. The phase of life thought to be associated with Mercury is youth, from approximately seven until fourteen years of age, when we first enter school and begin to train, exercise and develop our minds. Mercury is thought to be neutral, and in general, this is the period of time just before puberty kicks in, before our primary and secondary sexual traits become evident. Logic likes order, and seeks to compartmentalize situations. It believes the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, that what we tell someone is what they heard, and that we will continue to build upon the experiences which have gone before. This is a good way of looking at life, and things can work that way, until Mercury goes retrograde. Mercury- God and planet
back stitch       Like the 'back stitch', of Mercury retrograde, our 'shortest distance' undergoes modification. The path you were working on encounters detours, the car you drive to work in needs maintenance, or agreements, contracts and plans change. It's a time to go back over the blueprints, look again and ponder the information. You may be redirected. If you are running an electric power line from your house to an outbuilding and encounter a huge underground boulder, you must decide whether it would be worth the extra work to, A) Remove the boulder, B) go through the boulder, or C) go around the boulder. Suddenly the path is not so linear. Yes, the shortest distance is a straight line, but now variables of time, effort and expense enter the fray, and the simple 'shortest distance' may no longer be the answer.

      People born with Mercury retrograde often have a harder time in school as they are less likely to accept simple solutions. They have a deeper need to know, and one of two things can happen. They often become introverted, as continually asking questions which their peers get can be embarrassing. On the other hand, if given encouragement they can overcome this shyness and dig deeper than most, grasping the subject matter more fully.

      For these and other reasons, it is felt that the Mercury retrograde period is not a good time for signing contracts, scheduling negotiations, or launching projects. It is a good time for planning, gathering info and organizing things which will be finalized after Mercury goes direct. While Mercury is retrograde gives us an opportunity to carefully consider the possible ramifications of pending actions and decisions. We are encouraged to take care of unfinished business, especially business begun during the months following Mercury's last retrograde period.

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