A dear friend recently flew overseas on an assignment. An anxious but organized traveler, she had never missed a flight connection. In her twenty-odd years of flying, she never had to stress about lost baggage. Two days ago, she experienced both. To top this, she couldn’t find her friend who was at the airport to receive her although they were both at the terminal at the same time. Another first.
The airport WiFi just wouldn’t work. She didn’t have coins for a payphone. She finally took a bus and two metro trains to reach the neighbourhood of her friend’s house. She took a break from her adventure at a café and drank apple juice while she asked a gentleman to guide her to her destination. She walked the short distance to her friend’s home. This is all typical stuff of Mercury going retrograde. Things go awry, communication breaks down, and the best laid plans come to nought.
The planet Mercury goes retrograde between 13 August and 6 September, 2017. Here’s everything you need to know about planet retrogradation and its influence on your day-to-day during this period.
What is retrograde?
A planet is said to go retrograde when there is an apparent slowing down of its movement in relation to the Earth. The planet appears to go backward but doesn’t in reality. When planets are retrograde, they are closer to the Earth and, therefore, appear to reverse their direction. Let me explain this with an analogy. Imagine that you’re travelling in an express train that’s moving at top speed. You look out the window and see another train on a parallel set of tracks moving in the same direction but 10 miles per hour slower than the train you’re in. From your seat, it looks like the slower train is moving backwards but it’s neither going back nor going very slow. Similarly, retrograde planets appear to slow down and reverse direction.
How do retrograde planets affect us?
Missed flights, busted electricals, internet troubles, lost mails, angry outbursts, miscommunication, ego tussles, delays and loss of control – these are all typical effects of planet retrogradation. The areas of life it affects depend on the planet’s attributes and the signs it’s transiting. When Venus goes retrograde, romantic relationships could suffer a setback. If a relationship is strong, retrograde is a testing time and will not topple the relationship. But if it’s weak, the relationship can go haywire.
When Mercury goes retrograde, communication, travel and technology suffer most. For the wired generation, this can be hugely upsetting. If the modem goes bust or your gadgets don’t operate well, it disrupts business and communication.
What are retrograde planets all about?
Retrograde planets are all about internal reflection. They’re about all the things that we take for granted every day. During a planet’s retrograde motion, we come face to face with the things that ensure smooth functioning of our day to day. It’s the time to pause from the daily grind and be grateful for everything that’s going right in life. And if the only way to get your attention and gratitude is to cry for more milk, these babies will do just that.
Retrograde periods are a time for less action and more planning and organizing. It’s the time to get all your ideas down on a sheet of paper. Your imagination is often at its best during this time. Put on your thinking cap and jot down all the ideas – big, small, weird and impossible – and the path to put them into action. Let your imagination flow. Be wild and surprise yourself.
Why is Mercury retrograde such a big deal? Why is it so feared?
I know many who don’t believe in any form of astrology but believe only in Mercury retrograde. Mercury goes retrograde 3-4 times a year for three weeks. These periods are usually intense, unpredictable, and throws us off our game. Mercury retrograde can be unsettling for those who live by their calendars, sticking to appointments and having a plan. When these plans are disrupted, it causes stress and misery to the organized folk, who find it difficult to let go. Mercury retrograde periods are therefore feared for their ability to trip us up and bowl a googly.
Important contracts haven’t worked out, relationships have been through a rough patch and new beginnings have gone wrong. Believers just won’t take the risk. However, with awareness that this period is a time for reflection and not action, things have shifted for many. Connecting with the inner silence can bring the much-needed stability to the outside world.
How to survive the Mercury retrograde of August-September 2017
This Mercury retrograde period is an important one because it comes bang in the middle of two of the most powerful eclipses of 2017 – the lunar eclipse of 7 August and the solar eclipse of 21 August. The travel fiasco of my friend that I shared earlier is also a result of the eclipse along with the pre-retrograde period, giving a good indication of what a combination of the two could do. Retrograde periods are not always so strong but are always unpredictable.
Mercury continues to remain retrograde till 6 September in Leo. This is a major season for letting go of resentments, anger, stuck relationships, and any energy that stifles and prevents you from owning your power. It’s a good time to declutter your home, lighten the energies in the living space and add a dash of vibrant colour to your home. Same with relationships. Think innovatively. If an old association is not serving any purpose in your life, it’s time to let it go. It may or may not mean severing the relationship completely. The friendship could also evolve into something different.
Day jobs and corporate work life may not afford us the luxury of time to slow down or spend long hours on inner reflection. Yet, a mindset shift and awareness of retrogradation can prepare us for the surprises, delays and outbursts.
What to expect from this Mercury retrograde
This period could test your willpower and just how far you’re willing to go to fulfill your ambitions. If you’ve loved being the centre of attention at social gatherings, you might find (much to your surprise) that you’d prefer to spend a few Saturday nights by yourself. If you do go out, your regular stock of jokes may not have the desired effect on your audience.
You may face situations in which your pride is hurt as a result of miscommunication. This need not be an intentional attack on your ego but your patience is put to the test. Also, you’re drawn to drama over keeping it simple. Here’s what you can do to tackle this testy period.
- Postpone making any major decisions. Your mind is not at its sharpest. You don’t want to go back and forth on big decisions.
- Wait until after the retrograde period to start new relationships: job, love, or any kind of relationship. (A friend was asking about adopting a pet during retrograde time. It’s not advisable but her heart was set on the cat so she went ahead with full awareness.)
- When communicating, be clear about the points you’re making. It’s best to write it all down so that your emotions don’t get caught up in the mix. And don’t allow your emotions to lead the communications.
- Avoid making huge changes to your living space or to your gadgets. Postpone upgrading your sound system or shifting to a new internet plan until after mid-September.
- Write. Plan. Organize. This should be a period of heavy planning while you put it into action once Mercury goes direct.