Mercury Retrograde?

Hampton Court MazeOK, you have all heard the spiel about Mercury retrograde.  Communications break down, there are all sorts of delays, and generally things don't go as smoothly as they go when Mercury is direct.  If something can go wrong, it will go wrong, or at least it is more likely than usual to go wrong.

Yes, when Mercury has been retrograde, I have suffered considerable traffic delays, airport delays, delayed post, stalemates in negotiations, and other inconveniences.

Mercury goes retrograde for 3 or 4 weeks, 3 or 4 times a year, when Mercury is relatively close to the Earth.  As seen from the Earth, Mercury appears to move in the opposite direction round the zodiac during this time.  Instead of progressing forward through the signs, like the Sun, it goes into reverse.

Now the supposed effects of Mercury retrograde should, in principle, be observable.  Numbers of calls to breakdown services could be monitored, and a measure could be made of the percentage of flights delayed, and the extent of the delay, when Mercury is retrograde, and compared to the figures when Mercury is not retrograde.  As far as I know, this research has not been done, but I would be delighted to hear of any work that has been done in this area.

If Mercury retrograde has the effects described above, then these effects should be measurable to some extent at least, since they are fairly concrete effects.

One problem is that delays of one sort or another are not uncommon, whatever Mercury is doing.  If Mercury retrograde is reputed to have a delaying effect, that effect may become self-fulfilling.  People remember the times when they get delayed under a Mercury retrograde, and forget the other occasions.

If Mercury retrograde has these effects, then why not some of the other planets?  Mars and Venus deal in generalities, and the Sun and Moon do not go retrograde, but Saturn retrograde might, in theory, be expected to throw up some practical problems to delay accomplishment during the four or five months a year that it goes retrograde.  Yet there seems to be very little documentation on the effects of retrograde planets, at least in terms of effects that might be measurable.

The jury is still out on this one.  I guess I shall have to become more organised and start to keep a diary of when my journey to work is delayed by more than 30 minutes (for example).  In 100 years time there might be sufficient evidence to suggest an answer either way!

In the mean time I shall catch up with things that need catching up with while Mercury is retrograde.

Of course this is being written while Mercury is retrograde.  It is best not to be in a hurry while Mercury is retrograde.  The idea for this article was conceived while I was sitting at the centre of Hampton Court Maze, after ambling happily around its corridors for half an hour or so.  Of course there was a delay in getting there in the first place - the coach was inspected, found to have faulty brakelights and was swiftly impounded by the officials.  The replacement coach took two hours to arrive, court orders were threatened and many people were cross and deciding who to blame.  Sometimes it is useful to be in tune with Mercury Retrograde - it is a good time to reflect, and to exercise patience, even to relax and to have a rest.

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Page created July 9th 2000


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