Who’s Afraid of Mercury Retrograde? in this week’s issue of the MANILA MAIL (Feb. 5-11, 2014)


Certainly not I, but it took me a while to get in sync with Mercury’s rhythms. Among fellow astrologers, it has become de rigueur to complain about the many ways that Mercury Retrograde has cramped their style or ruined their mojo. You see, in Western astrology, the planet Mercury rules communications, travel, and technology.  People have noticed that during the periods when Mercury appears to go backward on its path as seen from the Earth, delays and glitches run rampant at an incredible rate across mundane affairs.

You may or may not be aware of this astrological phenomenon, but it does happen three times a year for three weeks at a time. Referred to as Mercury Rx for brevity, its first occurrence for 2014 is from February 6-28. Mercury goes retrograde again from June 7-July 1 then from October 4-25. With Mercury Rx goes the usual astrological warnings like: Don’t sign any contracts, and since marriage is one such contract, then don’t get married when Mercury is Rx. Don’t buy major purchases especially electronic/technological gadgets because they will not function properly. Don’t travel. Don’t make any major decisions. Don’t do this and don’t do that. Computer conk-outs, dastardly delays, and erratic electronics are just some of the aberrations attributed to Mercury Rx. Truthfully, from the geocentric vantage point which is the basis of Western astrology, several planets go retrograde during their respective cycles, but darned if we know why it is the retrograde periods of Mercury that seem to be causing the most noticeable forms of havoc among them all. It’s a fascinating, perplexing mystery.

However, I belong to the more positively predisposed camp of modern astrologers who would like to suggest what you can do, rather than what not to do, whenever Mercury goes into its inevitable, three-times-a-year three-week retrograde periods. As some of my colleagues have said, it’s impractical to give advice which is akin to hiding one’s head in the sand until Mercury Rx blows over. Life as we know it does not stop just for a “silly planet,” as astrologer/fashionista Gala Darling blogged this week.

So… sign that contract but read the fine print first, not just once but plenty of times. Buy that important piece of office equipment but be sure to keep the receipt and get a warranty. Complete your travel arrangements, double-checking everything and maybe bringing a book to read should there be some delays. Have your car tuned up, your computer backed up, and your cell phone juiced up – but still be prepared for these electronic gizmos to go on the fritz every now and then. In each of these scenarios, the important thing to ask yourself and prepare for is: What’s my backup plan?

Just my personal opinion, though: Peeps, please just try not to get married during Mercury Rx. You have enough stacked against you in the first place if you do decide to get hitched, so why handicap yourselves some more? There are approximately 302 other days of the year with which to schedule your ceremonial I-do’s, when you’re not under the influence of a mental fog brought on by Mercury Rx. For the matrimonially minded, you may want to Google April Elliott Kent of Big Sky Astrology, who specializes in helping couples choose a date and time for their wedding. That branch of our art is called Electional Astrology.

So what can we do during a Mercury Rx period?

Well, here’s an idea for what already married couples can do during Mercury Rx: Re-new your vows! (My parents, Ron and Aida Carmona, will indeed by renewing their vows when they visit the Philippines this month. Happy 45th wedding anniversary po, Ma and Dad!) For the clutter-challenged: Re-organize your closet and re-arrange your living space! For the frazzled: Re-lax, re-charge, re-juvenate and take care of yourself! For the proudly independent: Re-connect with a former flame or a former best friend! Don’t be surprised if people from your past do re-surface at this time. For the career-minded: re-tool your resumé and re-view your personal goals! For the sentimental: Re-read your old journals, re-play your old favorite records, re-watch your old favorite movies, re-visit your old haunts, and re-kindle your energy for the activities you used to enjoy doing. Are you getting the sense of these RE- things that we can all safely do while Mercury is retrograde?

Finally, I would like to share with you a poem that I wrote in 2002, which is included in my poetry book, “A Novice in Altruism and Other Poems,” which is available at the Arkipelago Books in San Francisco and the Revolution Bookstore in Berkeley. Let us honor the trickster god Mercury with our grain-of-salt-flavored sense of humor!


Mercury goes retrograde a few times a year. Seen from the Earth, this planet whirls on an apparent backward route. Since Mercury rules the intellect, language, and all things contractual, Mercury when in retrograde motion fouls up plans, delays action, and stimulates misinformation.

When my guru Linda Goodman thinks of Mercury Retrograde, she thinks of Re: Re-do, Re-organize, Re-figure, Re-write… you get the idea.

When Mercury retrograded for a second time out of three in year 2000, I was Re-admitted twice to the hospital, my personal finances were Re-arranged, my dwelling place was Re-located.

Mercury is retrograde again just now so I have to Re-trace my steps back to the house because I just Re-membered that I forgot my car keys!


Contact Bles Carmona at pilipinasblitz@gmail.com, via Facebook at http://facebook.com/pilipinasblitzforever.org, or follow her on Twitter.com@BlesildaCarmonaMercury Rx aheadMercury Rx graphic

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