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Astrology - Mercury Retrograde




Excerpted from
Mercury Retrograde: Your Survival Guide to Astrology's Most Precarious Time of the Year!
By Chrissie Blaze

There is a growing trend, now prevalent in the United States and many other countries, to blame everything difficult, frustrating, irritating, and annoying on Mercury Retrograde. Just recently people have been asking me if Mercury is retrograde when it is not. I must admit it often feels that way, and I often find myself trying to figure out why the world has gone mad. Sometimes I have the feeling that Mercury went retrograde years ago and just forgot to go direct again! Still, despite the increasing stress of all those mercurial things, such as communication blips, I am absolutely convinced of the benefits of Mercury Retrograde - and hope to also convince you of them.

"A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing," I hear my friends saying. This is true, but the popular books on Sun signs have enabled many to understand themselves at a deeper level. Mercury Retrograde can do the same. While it is important to visit experienced, professional astrologers to receive an insightful birth chart interpretation, it is also important that we gain more control of our lives.

Astrology is a wonderful subject - ancient, mysterious, and powerful. It is not a religion that answers the "why" of existence, but it docs tell us the "how". Because of this, it is important to share. Through this planetary language we can understand what the universe is saying and how we should reply. It's not the only language but its one, along with science, religion, yoga, music, and more. All these languages help us interpret the meaning of life.

Some astrologers scorn the global addiction to computer-generated Sun sign horoscopes, but many people find them helpful. My philosophy is: "If it works, it can't be all bad". My office colleague, a Libran, found tremendous solace post-divorce in her daily horoscope. It gave her hope and had an uncanny knack of "hitting the nail on the head" of her daily experiences. Although extremely general, there is no doubt that when the Sun enters Aries, we feel a bit perkier, and when it is in Capricorn in January, we have more strength for our sober New Year's resolutions.

It's time to stop groaning about popularizing, for this is the age when the ancient mysteries must be demystified and put to work for the benefit of the whole. Practicality is the key: ivory towers have no place in our modern world. All of the languages of the cosmos, whether science or astrology, should have a vital, practical base from which to serve the growth and enlightenment of humankind.

One criticism of astrology is that it is not scientific. But although like every other science it is changing and evolving, the fundamental principles upon which it rests are reliable. Some critics call it "merely anecdotal" in that it rests many claims on observations of human nature. I suppose we could equally say, then, that medical science is anecdotal in that it rests many of its claims on observations of rats!

In an attempt to push astrology toward gaining credence with the scientific community, some astrologers have tended toward increased technicality. This is another path as slippery as the over-popularizing approach, for the danger here is of losing sight of the whole in a mass of increasingly complex details. So on the one hand there is the increasing popularity of astrology, and on the other its increasing complexity. In this book I aim to show that the popular approach need not debase astrology but can be helpful and enlightening.

There is already too much emphasis on the intellect in our so-called civilized world. Our educational system encourages it, and our economy rewards it. Now the pendulum must swing towards a greater emphasis on the value of intuition, compassion, understanding, enlightenment and spiritual growth. Astrology can help provide all these things.

Hopefully, you are convinced that this ancient science has some validity today. Still, one thing I must point out (before someone else does) is that the whole basis of astrology rests on illusion. The Zodiac is based on the imaginary path of the Sun through the heavens. The Sun does not actually travel through the different signs of the Zodiac; it just appears to do so, as it passes between the Earth, on which we live, and the constellations. When Mercury is retrograde, this planet does not actually go backward in the heavens, but only appears to do so. More about this later.. .Just as astrology rests on illusion, however, so too do many other bodies of knowledge that we accept. In Albert Einstein's words: "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one."

You don't need to be an astrologer to see that a major global shift is going on. All the "hard" sciences have already gone "soft". The hardest one of all was physics, but with the development of quantum theory, it fell hard and is still falling. Perhaps the people we thought were scientists weren't really scientists after all! One thing a good astrologer has in common with a good quantum physicist is they both know that the universe is magical. Perhaps we are at last reaching a truly scientific view of the universe, one in which awe, wonder and inspiration go hand in hand with observation and statistics.

As a child, you knew life was magical before you were conditioned to believe it was not. As a three-year-old, I frequently dived into the swimming pool and breathed underwater - and yet later I learned that this was impossible. Paradoxically, although the whole basis of astrology rests on illusion, it is also one of the purest studies of truth. Since it deals with the energies and forces of the cosmos, why should we expect to understand it by intellect alone? Astrology is a study of something so much greater than we are that it takes all of us - our intellect, our intuition, our inspiration - to begin to grasp it. So, although astrology is as much a science as any, using it is definitely an intuitive art, through which we can learn to interpret things essentially beyond our comprehension.

Although many people find it hard to take astrology seriously, they can easily take seriously its counterpart - astronomy. Astronomy means "naming the stars", and astrology is "the logic of the stars." I know comparisons are odious, but which study sounds the greater? Astronomy represents the glove, while astrology is the living spirit of the hand inside the glove. It is strange that our analytical left-brain schools and universities teach us to make sense of the glove - while neglecting the thing that moves the hand inside. I feel sure it will not be too long, however, before these twin sciences can once again join hands, so to speak.

Perhaps it will be soon, as astrology gains more universal acceptance through a combination of accessibility, education and public relations. After all, most people who do not believe in it just do not have a clue what it is about. This is not really disbelief, but ignorance. Understandable, I suppose, when scientists have disregarded it and religionists have called it blasphemy.

One of the great things about astrology is that it works, despite the controversy. We may never completely understand it, but we can marvel at it - just as we marvel before the majesty of a setting Sun or the relentless ebb and flow of the tides of the oceans, even though we do not really understand them.

Recently, two dear people I know passed away. One was a friend, the other my uncle. Both were kind, gentle souls who had lived long, full lives. It was not really until their funerals, however, that those of us who had known them became aware of the impact they had made on our lives. They were not millionaires; they had not achieved tremendous success or fame, but they had been kind and helpful to everyone they met. Their lifelong simple acts of kindness had built two beautiful lives, and the crowds at their funerals spoke volumes. It was a testimony to the fact that kindness to others is far more important than material success.

We all know these things, but can easily forget them. There is a flow to life, however, and the planets act as agents in this great cosmic flow geared toward growth and evolution. If we ignore the urge to become better people, we will find the planetary influences beating us over the head to change. If we stop and listen, we can appreciate the important things in life and gain deeper understanding. Mercury Retrograde can help us do this.



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