Friday, March 8, 2013

The Tragedy of Reverse "Mercury Retrograde"

[Update 03-13-2013 We have ascertained that Mercury was Direct when I was born, but was retrograde when I was conceived.  More research to do.]

[Disclaimer: The author in no way espouses a belief in what is popularly known as "Astrology" in this country nor is it my intent to encourage you to believe in it either.  What we popularly call astrology is in fact a decadent pastiche of many ancient belief systems that were held in high regard throughout the ancient world, each in their various ways, cultures and time periods.  As a field of academic study in what people believed in various times of history, I think Astrology suffers from a non-benign neglect because of a fear of being accused of believing in it.    On the other hand, I do get a lot of amusement when Astrology does seem to predict events as I believe it tells us something about how we perceive coincidence, if it is indeed coincidence, to fit certain categories and beliefs.  It would be disingenuous of me not to admit that there have been some striking coincidences over the years that does give me pause, and which I will narrate in this blog from time to time, but I do not believe that Astrology predicted them.  Rather I think they are obviously related to Atlantean Crystal Wisdom.    For those who are interested, I am a Leo with moon and sun signs in Scorpio.]

In this post I am going to introduce the concept of "Mercury going retrograde", describe some case studies of events that have occurred when Mercury was retrograde, and tell you why I think I am completely fucked due to this eternal and immutable astrological principle.

My first exposure to the concept of "Mercury in Retrograde" occurred in NYC about 1996 or 1997 when the esteemed NY ISP lost my email address. A bill had come through unexpectedly and my ill-prepared credit card could not handle it, so a payment bounced and my email stopped working. I paid my bill, called Interport and spent about three weeks with them trying to debug their system: they were totally unable to get my email to work again.  They put many people on the problem, they did a very responsible job as far as I can tell, and they were totally stymied.  About that time, I was in touch with my friend Trilby Schreiber who informed me that "Mercury was starting to come out of retrograde" and that the account would probably start working again in a few days. And it did.

Just for fun, I started tracking Mercury going Retrograde because I thought it was an amusing concept and about a year or two later, a client of mine's phone system started going flooey about the time Mercury went into retrograde. Their voice mail system was hopelessly screwed up and they could not fix it, and weeks went by. I knew everyone in the company well and just for fun I mentioned that Mercury was still retrograde and that it would start going out of retrograde in about a week. They laughed at me! Can you imagine that?  They laughed at me!!! And about a week later, finally, their phone system mysteriously fixed itself and started working.  Mysteriously.  Perhaps they will learn from this experience.

Mercury going retrograde is the phenomenon of Mercury appearing to go backwards due to the elliptical orbits of the planets around the Sun. Due to the different speeds and orbits of the planets, it can appear as though a planet changes direction and goes backwards relative to its location to earth, even though in reality it is moving forward as it always does. So Mercury does really appear to go backwards, from our point of view. This happens about 3 times every year and lasts for 3-5 weeks each time.  To know when Mercury is going retrograde in any year, just type "mercury retrograde 2013" (or whatever year it may be) into your favorite search engine.

The astrological impact of this logically follows from the God Mercury (aka Hermes) being the messenger kid for the other Gods in Greek and Roman religion.  "Mercury going retrograde" implies that communications go weird, unreliable and/or prone to distortion.   Communication, negotiation, deals, contracts, and the like are unreliable, and a deal signed during a retrograde Mercury period may in fact turn out to be something other than you expected.    Also, for some reasons, machines like computers start acting perversely.    The Greeks and Romans did not have computers per se, at least not digital ones (1), of course, but they did have a large number of mechanical engines which were in constant use, and there is nothing like a four-story crane at a construction site going weird while raising a couple of (Roman) tons of marble to ruin your day.

But there is an elaboration that I read about that takes this to a higher level.  In this variation, there are people for whom the normal retrograde effect is itself reversed.   When Mercury goes retrograde, communication does not get worse for these people, it gets better.   The downside is that for the rest of the year, when Mercury is going forward as normal, they also experience the reverse effect on communication, etc.  It is like one long horrible "Mercury is Retrograde" for most of the year, broken up by brief periods of constructive normality.   This would be very bad of course for the individual who was so affected.

Who might be susceptible to this variation?  One explanation is that one is born during a retrograde period.  I do not know what other situations or events might cause this.  But I am highly motivated to know, because I have noticed for many years now that for most of the year I am completely paralyzed and isolated, unable to get anything moving.  Then, for some reason, things start working normally, for a brief period of time, but then stop and revert to their previous paralysis.

Just recently, a number of things started working and started showing progress after months of nothing.   A beloved and unique camera, a Contax AX, had been drop-kicked 20 feet along a concrete street and had sensibly stopped working, suddenly just started working again.    A friend indicated that he was working on getting me a project.  I started talking to the chair of next years SIGGRAPH on a variety of important issues.  This may lead nowhere, but it is such a delight to be able to talk to a real human involved at a senior level on these issues.  An old friend asked me to participate in a charitable visualization project.   I came up with a possible, amusing idea for a consulting business, and became more convinced than ever that a kind of software I have considered writing would be quite valuable if written.  This is all very odd and mysterious, I thought.   Why should anything good be happening to me?

Then I had a horrible thought and checked, and yes, it had all started when Mercury became retrograde about two weeks ago.  I think you see the obvious implications. If I am right, then the only time that communications, machines, ideas, deals and so forth can make progress and work for me is when Mercury is retrograde, three short periods of the year.

Mainstream post-enlightenment culture sees no other rational explanation for these events beyond sheer perverse randomness.    It is not about my effort, or my attitude, which is consistently bad, or because of how much energy I put into things because I always put a lot of energy into my work except when I hold my head in despair.   If not reverse Mercury retrograde, what other possible explanation is there beyond mere randomness or the untested power of Atlantean Crystal Wisdom?


More about Mercury Retrograde

The following is a table of all the times that Mercury went Retrograde in the last century (e.g. 1901 - 2000).  The term "MR" means "Mercury Retrograde" and the term "MD" means "Mercury Direct".

1. Actually the Romans did have computers, but they were analog and mechanical ones.  A sundial is a computer, so are many navigation devices etc.  These people were not dummies.

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