Throwing Some Shade on Mercury Retrograde

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Feeling like everyone and everything has been a little shady lately?  Do you feel like you need to read your Facebook friends like a book?  Well, you aren’t alone.  If you are a believer in astrology, or even in the notion that we, as humans, have some sort of connection to the Earth and the cosmos, you’ll know we are currently in what is commonly referred to as Mercury Retrograde.  And, to be frank, even if you don’t believe in the psychic powers of Miss Cleo (she’s a lesbian, by the way), there are a few things that you should consider.

Best put by Huffington Post writer Linda Lauren, “We don’t have negative planets; we have negative people who use the planets as a great excuse for negative thinking, and in some cases, even negative behavior.”   In essence, if one is to look at Mercury Retrograde from a scientific standpoint, it is when the planet Mercury appears to be moving in reverse motion.  Therefore, in the most simplified terms, until November 11, people are “on edge” because they are essentially forced to look “backwards” on their past actions, relationships, and projects.  Sound maddening?

Before you pick up your iPhone and ask Siri to call the Psychic Friends Network, stop.  There is something healthy about examining our past, even on the most superficial level.  Running from what needs to be burned, so to speak, does nothing for our growth.  I’ve heard of exercises people perform during Mercury Retrograde where they write things down they want to “release” on pieces of paper and then throw the paper in a bonfire.  As Kumbaya-ish as this may sound, it’s a great physical way to represent renewal and growth (although, if you are living in a small space in Philly, performing such a ritual would most likely cause a four-alarm blaze…).

Furthermore, instead of throwing shade during retrograde, it is an ideal time to throw things AWAY, both literally and figuratively.  After you reflect, get rid of things.  Clean out your hard drive.  Get rid of all of those magazines that have been lying around collecting dust.  Call or text that ex-boyfriend and apologize for the crappy breakup and move on.  Bake some cookies, bring them to work, and purposely offer some to that co-worker who you’ve been on edge with.  All of the above mentioned ideas are ways to take the otherwise negative association that comes with Mercury Retrograde and turn it into something somewhat productive.

When it boils right down to it, those who are firm believers in Mercury Retrograde claim it has more to do with communication systems than anything else.  According to Huffington Post writer Larry Schwimmer, “Normal communication becomes unreliable, filled with misinformation where important data is missing or understood.  The passage of information from one person to the other seems to be unintentionally cloudy, confused or unclear in some way.”   Wait: doesn’t that sound like communication almost every day?  How many times have we misinterpreted a Facebook status, Tweet, or text message?  How many times do we see a “friend” “check-in” on Foursquare with someone else and think, “He told me he couldn’t stand him!  Why he is out to dinner with him?”

The bottom line is that it doesn’t take an astrologer charging $2.99 for the first minute and 99 cents for each additional minute to tell us that clear communication and learning/letting go of our past are both vital, healthy tools to live a better life.  It shouldn’t take the shade of Mercury Retrograde to make us want to “clean house,” so to speak.

As Miss Cleo would say, “The cards never lie.”

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