Mercury in Retrograde! Strap yourself in, it's going to be a bumpy ride!
I have heard this forever. When Mercury goes into retrograde, the world as we know it will be chaos. Electronics will go haywire, hold off on any big decisions, etc. Anything that goes wrong during that time, can be blamed on Mercury in Retrograde. It is the new excuse of the millennium. "No, teach, I don't have my homework. See, my computer crashed because Mercury is in retrograde." Much more plausible than "the dog ate it", I suppose :)
So this may be the current state of explanations, but something is missing in translation- a very important something! What exactly is a retrograde and is Mercury the only planet that has this event? What happens during a retrograde? Let's break it down.
There are three definitions of a planets rotation and/or movement - Retrograde, Station, and Direct.
A retrograde is when a planet appears to be moving or rotating backwards. This is really an optical illusion of sorts created by the orbital rotation of Earth in relation to the other planets' locations. The best example I have heard is to compare a retrograde to driving down the highway. A car is beside you in the next lane. All of a sudden, it slows down while you continue the same speed and motion. The car that slowed down may appear to be going backwards. Of course, it is not really going backwards - it is all an optical illusion. So, for a Mercury in Retrograde, the Earth is simply speeding by, passing the planet and making it appear to be going backwards.
Station is when the planet appears to slow to a stop, with no visible movement (another optical illusion).
Direct, or "going Direct" is when the planet appears to change direction and rotate properly once again.
Mercury is not the only planet that goes retrograde, in fact, they all do! For instance, Mars goes retrograde just one time every couple of years, Venus every eighteen months, and Mercury retrogrades usually three times a year. Every planet has its own retrograde.
Mars turns retrograde on 20 Dec 2009 19Leo41 and turns direct on 10 Mar 2010 00Leo17
Mercury turns retrograde on 26 Dec 2009 21Cap47 and turns direct on 15 Jan 2010 05Cap33
Saturn turns retrograde on 13 Jan 2010 04Lib39 and turns direct on 30 May 2010 27Virg49
Pluto turns retrograde on 7 Apr 2010 05Cap25 and turns direct on 14 Sep 2010 02Cap47
Mercury turns retrograde on 18 Apr 2010 12Tau37 and turns direct on 11 May 2010 02Tau39
Neptune turns retrograde on 31 May 2010 28Aqu42 and turns direct on 7 Nov 2010 25Aqu54
Uranus turns retrograde on 5 Jul 2010 00Ari35 and turns direct on 6 Dec 2010 26Pis40
Jupiter turns retrograde on 23 Jul 2010 03Ari24 and turns direct on 18 Nov 2010 23Pis29
Mercury turns retrograde on 20 Aug 2010 19Virg03 and turns direct on 12 Sep 2010 05Virg21
Venus turns retrograde on 8 Oct 2010 13Sco13 and turns direct on 18 Nov 2010 27Lib39
Mercury turns retrograde on 10 Dec 2010 05Cap56 and turns direct on 30 Dec 2010 19Sag37
Each Retrograde will affect us, but in varying degrees. Each retrograde is shaped by the sign through which it is moving at the time of its retrograde. For example, the next Mercury in Retrograde begins on Dec. 26 of this year and goes through Jan. 15, 2010. It starts and ends in Capricorn. Capricorn is in the 10th house of the zodiac/astrology wheel. This means that Mercury is in the tenth house. The 10th house rules ambition, status, career and reputation. Mercury positioned in the tenth house produces an association with this house of personal attainment. During this particular retrograde, you may want to wait until Mercury has gone direct again to make any career plans, changes or decisions.
During Mercury in retrograde, you will especially want to utilize your crystals to help navigate the obstacles that may present themselves. For this next Mercury in retrograde, work with crystals that will help you keep focus and concentration. Crystals like Citrine, Hematite, Moss Agate, Smoky Quartz and Ametrine will all help to keep you on course, even when a monkey wrench comes your way.
The second Mercury in Retrograde, April 18 through May 11, falls in the sign of Taurus. Taurus rules the second house, which is the house of personal values, talents and inner resources. It is here where you will find the things you cherish, the qualities you hold dear, the place where you feel secure and safe. Mercury residing in the second house produces an association with the house of personal finances and possessions. When Mercury goes Retrograde in this house, you may want to slow down and reflect on the things you hold dear, review your goals, desires and intents or simply review where you stand at this time in your life. It would not be a good time to make any financial or emotional decisions. Wait until Mercury goes direct for that.
Crystals to carry during this transition would be those that help to bring peace, security, and patience. Crystals that will help to bring you into this space of calm would include, Blue Lace Agate, Celestite, Turquoise, Chrysocolla, Petalite or Sugilite.
The next Mercury in Retrograde happens on August 20 and ends on September 12, 2010. This particular Mercury in Retrograde falles in the sign of Virgo, which rules the 6th house. This house is actually ruled by Mercury. It is a place of exacting detail, perfection, self service, interaction with coworkers, etc. This is a place of methodical, analytical, and specialized service skills. You may be too critical of your self and your lifestyle, always pushing for perfection. When Mercury goes retrograde in this house, it is a good idea to just relax and ride it out. Give yourself a break, for to push harder than normal, for you, will be nothing less than disastrous. Chill!
During the August/September retrograde, your key word is .....relax! Carry crystals and stones that will help you to achieve and maintain a sense of calm - a stress and tension free zone within. Try carrying some Amethyst, Blue Calcite, Charoite, Dumortierite, Obsidian, Selenite, Emerald or Rose Quartz.
The final Mercury in Retrograde for the year 2010 will begin on December 10 and end on December 30. The retrograde starts off in Capricorn, which rules the 10th house and ends in Sagittarius, which rules the 9th. Remember, when Mercury is in the 10th house, is is all about ambition, career and reputation. The 9th house is the place of higher learning, philosophy, ideas, and beliefs. When Mercury goes into retrograde here, it may be a good time to put aside learning and academics and just allow, observe and reflect.
In general, a Mercury in retrograde is simply saying, slow down. I would like to recommend some crystals and stones that you may want to use leading up to, during and the winding down stages of Mercury in Retrograde.
You've checked your calender and know that the dreaded Mercury in Retrograde is coming. We have all done it. That sinking stomach feeling you get when you realize it is coming. That little twinge of unknowing and fear....what is going to happen THIS time?? Step one- let go of the fear and dread. You have the ability to create a new and exciting outcome. In other words, retrograde does not HAVE to be a bad thing. State and create a new, positive intention instead. Keep Nephrite Jade, Amazonite and/or Prehnite close by. These stones will help remove fear, anxiety, and release those butterflies in the tummy. Make sure to add Cavansite, Larimar and/or Blue Topaz to help bring in the energy of your new and improved, positive intent. For instance, my new intent is, "Mercury is a wonderful time to reflect on my experience, release that which no longer serves, and rejoice in the coming of a new day."
While I personally take a more laid back, less fearful approach to Retrogrades, using the information of planets, houses, dates and locations as talked about above, there are those who feel that there are very specific, "bad things" that are going to happen.
1. All communications and electronic devices will go hay wire or cease to work all together. Emails or phone calls get lost in the black hole of cyberspace, letters are returned, phone lines go down, etc.
Ok, so you are convinced that everything is going to go wacky. There's an app for that...an application of crystals and stones, that is. Use Tree Moss Agate or Obsidian to stabilize and balance your electronic devices. To keep you and your electronics grounded, use some Red Jasper, Hematite, or Black Tourmaline. To keep those lines of communication opened and cleared, try using Blue Kyanite, Blue Calcite, Labradorite or Lapis Lazuli.
2. Be non committal or you will be sorry! Avoid making plans, scheduling important meetings, starting a new partnership or relationship, or signing any type of contract or legally binding documents.
Plans gone awry? Missed that meet and greet you planned for months? Do you keep having to cancel appointments or having others cancel on you? Ah, must be that Mercury in Retrograde! With a little crystal help and a lot of determination, you can get through. What you need right now, short of an amazing assistant, are some crystals to help you organize your time efficiently, focus on the task at hand and keep you on schedule, no matter what may try to take you off course.
Pyrite helps to remove the energy of chaos from around you, which in turn will give you a more calming environment.
Howlite, Lepidolite, Moonstone or Rutilated Quartz will help to ease anxiety and allow you a greater sense of organization.
Ametrine, Fluroite and/or Ruby will help you to focus and bring you back to focus any time you find yourself wandering in a different direction.
If everything seems to be a mess and nothing is working out as it should, take a step back, take a deep breath, and hold on to some Selenite. You will be amazed how quickly you become re-centered.
I personally like the idea that, "Mercury retrograde gives us time to catch up with ourselves, and to look back. Something from the past might return in a different form. This can mean people, ideas or buried insights that need to surface for you to move forward. Often it's felt as a contemplative time, depending on the sign, a chance to go over old ground again, to claim what you missed the first time." Molly Hall http://astrology.about.com/bio/Molly-Hall-24644.htm
So instead of dreading the coming of a retrograde, think of the positive aspects it brings--a chance to reflect, release, and move forward.
Written by Kristi Huggins
Author and Project Manager for Healing Crystals
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