"The word retrograde applies, in astrology, to the apparent backward motion thru the zodiac of a planet. An old encyclopedia of astrology describes this retrograde motion as "the effect of a slow-moving train as viewed from another train traveling parallel to it but at a more rapid rate, wherein the slower train appears to be moving backwards. However, in the case of the celestial bodies it is not a matter of their actual speed of travel, but of the rate at which they change their angular relationship."*
All the planets, except Sun and Moon, have these retrograde periods, but Mercury is most famous for them, probably because Mercury represents our very essential communication abilities.
While people speak of Mercury Retrograde periods that screw up computers and television sets, today's astrologers believe the mishaps happen in more personal realms (Uranus is the planet that rules television and computers). Mercury rules communication, but more informal communications, like writing, speaking, short shopping sprees and other erranding endeavors. So, while Mercury is Retrograde, don't give that party, be extra aware of what you say and what you interpret when chatting with or writing to friends, cut back on errands, expect that the check will be in the mail longer than usual. Since the car is usually used for shopping and errands, don't be surprised if the battery wire loosens or the fan belt snaps just when you have rush out for that one ingredient you forgot to buy.
The good things to do when Mercury is Retrograde: meditate, contemplate, edit the book/poem/song/essay you've been writing, clean house, talk to your pet, listen to music, paint, catch up on sleep!
* Encyclopedia of Astrology, Nicholas deVore, Philosophical Library, 1947"
MERCURY RETROGRADE PERIODS 2005
March 19 Retrograde at 14 degrees Aries
April 12 Direct at 1 degree Aries
July 22 Retrograde at 20 degrees Leo
August 15 Direct at 8 degrees Leo
November 13 Retrograde at 10 degrees Sagittarius
December 3 Direct at 24 degrees Scorpio
"When Mercury is retrograde from Earth's perspective (usually 3-4 times a year for 20 to 28 days each time), people who do not have Mercury retrograde in their natal chart face the potential for communication breakdown. There is a good chance for any type of communication to be confused, delayed, or misunderstood. People typically become confused about the order of detail in planning and negotiations, miss specific time deadlines (particularly in editorial, writing, and creative industries), and have problems with electronic equipment, such as cars, computers, and communications/delivery equipment or systems). Indecisiveness and mail-slowdowns or lost letters are other common occurrences. For these reasons, it is felt that signing legal documents, launching new projects, or making solid plans for important activities are better left for when Mercury goes direct again.
So, what is the positive aspect of Mercury going retrograde? This time period offers an opportunity to draw on knowledge and guidance from deeper levels of consciousness and to carefully consider all the possible consequences of pending actions and decisions. It is a time for gaining new insights based on prior knowledge or, in other words, a time for reflection. What should you do when Mercury is retrograde?
* Take care of unfinished business (especially that undertaken during the months following Mercury's last retrograde period and preceding the current retrograde period) whether you need to complete projects, connect with old friends, or settle accounts. If you encounter delays, pay more attention to detail and rethink your priorities.
* Be patient and thorough. Practice listening skills.
* Use process in your communications.
* Journal or write letters to help you access memories and express undercurrents.
* Take advantage of this ebb in the cycle. Daydream and rest more.
* Limit activities to those that start with "re" - refocus, rehash, review, rejuvenate, refine, reflect, repair, recheck, reschedule, realign, rewrite, reformulate, reconsider, reexamine.
When Mercury goes direct again, the floodgates will likely open and things will 'go right' again. If you signed documents or conducted negotiations while Mercury was retrograde, you may want to reevaluate them to see if it would be to your advantage to rewrite or renegotiate them. (Many people do this without even realizing the impact when Mercury was retrograde.) With Mercury direct, you can proceed with confidence in planning and acting on your new activities and endeavors."
Indeed, that seems very much the sort of general atmosphere that would cause two people to cling desperately to each other to try and solve a problem that was caused by them clinging desperately to each other in the first place. My life is wacked and does not make much common sense.