Mercury REtrograde: A Time Management and Planning Tool
by Ellen Zucker
The concept of Mercury Retrograde is very well known even among non-Astrologers.
It is an excellent example of the use of Astrology as a planning tool. By working with the ebb and flow of planetary energies your life can flow more smoothly and efficiently.
WHAT IS MERCURY RETROGRADE?
When Mercury turns retrograde, it is time to look backward. This period is an excellent time for any activity that entails review, reexamination, and revision.
Astronomically, it refers to a period when Mercury appears to be traveling backwards in the sky 'when viewed from Earth.
This is an optical illusion. It is produced by the differences in the distance and speed of its orbit relative to that of the Earth. Like a moving car on a highway in the lane next to yours that appears to be traveling backward, the Mercury is not really moving backwards. It just looks that way.
Mercury begins its retrograde motion by appearing to slow down its forward motion. It will appear to come to a dead stop, or station, then move backward. It picks up speed for a time. Then, again, it slows, then station and move forward.
This period lasts approximately three weeks.
Mercury rules, among other things, our mental functions, communications, and transportation. When Mercury turns retrograde, it functions less well in our day-to-day lives. That is because its energy goes inward.
Ideally, you would take a mental break. But most of us do not have this luxury.
And so, as Mercury forces you to restructure your thinking and reveals flaws in your planning, you are likely to feel frustration.
This is often experienced as personal misunderstandings and communications snafus. Missed appointments, telecommunications and computer glitches, missing mail, transportation delays, blocks in negotiations are other common examples.
These things do happen when Mercury is direct. But they happen much more frequently when Mercury is retrograde.
That is the reason for that common piece of Astrological advice to be conscientious about such things as backing up your computer, double-checking schedules and appointments, and allowing more time in your travel.
It is also well advised to refrain from making major commitments and signing important contracts during this period. Careless thinking, misinformation, haste and poor communication impede the ability to make wise decisions.
Often people feel pressured to make an immediate decision. It is best to wait if possible.
It is likely that you will change your mind after Mercury changes direction as new information comes to light or a different perspective is revealed.
HOW TO USE THE ENERGY OF MERCURY RETROGRADE
There are many positive uses for Mercury Retrograde energy. This is an excellent time for introspection 'looking towards the past. Your focus may change and alternative ideas may come to light.
Mercury Retrograde is an optimum time to focus on people, issues and projects that are already established or from the past.
It is an excellent time to initiate contact and meet with people who have not been in your life for a while. In fact, it is not uncommon to be contacted by long lost friends and family at this time.
This is the time is to take on any activities that entail review or revision of old or already established projects.
Cleaning out reviewing and reorganizing records is an excellent example. Another is gathering your financial information together from the past year in preparation for filing your tax return.
WHEN DOES MERCURY GO RETROGRADE?
Mercury makes his retrograde dance approximately three times a year for a period of three weeks. You may feel its effects up to a week or so before it makes its retrograde station.
Here are the periods when Mercury goes retrograde for 2005 and 2006:
March 19 to April 12
July 23 to August 16
November 14 to December 4
March 2 to March 25
July 4 to July 29
October 28 to November 18
Use this information to optimize your planning and efficiency.
About the Author
Self-Employment 101: It's about making a living and creating a life!... Observations, information and resources for those of us who are self employed or just thinking about it.
Ellen Zucker is owner of http://www.selfemployment101.com and has been successfully self-employed for more than 10 years.