Transiting Retrograde Planets
In the previous articles about retrograde planets we discussed the
basic concept of retrograde action and the astrological significance
assigned to retrograde planets in the natal horoscope. Astrologers,
however, are also interested in the implications of transiting retrograde
planets, our current topic.
What is the probability that a chart drawn for a mundane astrological
purpose will contain no retrograde planets, or conversely, will contain
one or more such planets? Back in the 1970s, John McCormick wrote
his "The Book of Retrogrades" in which he analyzed the statistics
of retrograde planets. Because of the untimely death of John (a great
wit with considerable charm), some of the good work that he had started
is now lost to us. One of the interesting statistics he derived in
his study of one hundred years of planetary motion is that the probability
of having no transiting planets retrograde at any time is very small,
in fact, less than eight percent. So, there is a high probability
that at any given time we are experiencing a retrograde transit effect.
This is probably why there is a 92% chance that somebody or something
somewhere will be messed up today.
Even if people do not know about retrograde planets, they know that
some thing, somewhere outside of themselves is messing up their lives
from time to time. Astrologers have identified three retrograde planet
situations that create enough disorder to warrant special caution.
These are Retrograde Mercury, Retrograde Mars, and Retrograde Saturn.
Take Mercury, for example. It is retrograde approximately 23% of the
time. Add on the amount of time that it is in its own "shadow"
and you spend a considerable amount of time wondering why everything
is going wrong. Well, not exactly everything. There are a few things
that are not directly attributable to Mercury. Remember that Mercury
has to do with all forms of communication like written agreements,
contracts, verbal arrangements, letters, letter boxes, the Post Office,
Fed Ex, telephones, messages, messengers, the spoken language. For
example, you come home to find an urgent message on your answering
machine. The caller, who leaves a phone number, asks you to phone
back as soon as possible. You call immediately, and discover that
you have the wrong number. This is wretched retrograde Mercury at
work. You find mail in your mailbox that is not for you, while mail
that you expect does not arrive. Blame it on Mercury retrograde.
Picture this: Mary and Joe Jones make a date with their good friends
Rachel and Sam Smith to meet for dinner at seven o'clock. When the
Smiths have not arrived at the restaurant by eight o'clock, the Joneses
start to worry and call the Smith home. No answer. They do not know
that the Smiths and the Joneses are worrying about each other. Each
couple had arrived promptly at seven o'clock ... but in two separate
restaurants! This is a typical example of communication gone awry.
Blame it on Mercury retrograde.
Mercury is also the major planet associated with all forms of travel
... everything from your bicycle or your car to airplanes, cruise
ships, airports, railroad stations, and all of the tickets and reservations
at hotels that accompany travel. Expect everything to go backwards
while Mercury is going backwards. The purchase of some large items
(car, boat, house) require your signature on a contract. Watch out!
Read, read, and re-read the fine print. You might miss something in
this agreement. Avoid signing any contract if you possibly can while
Mercury is retrograde.
If your television set seems to have something wrong in its tuning,
save the expense of having it repaired. It may be only a retrograde
Mercury acting up. Is it any wonder that the strike of the workers
against UPS began in the shadow of Mercury's retrograde period and
got worse as Mercury stationed and went retrograde? Those nice delivery
people and their cute brown trucks and airplanes all come under the
aegis of Mercury, the messenger.
A friend of mine uses a tape recorder in her work. Her tape recorder
broke when Mercury was retrograde, and she had to buy another immediately.
She went to Radio Shack to make the purchase. The new tape recorder
worked perfectly until Mercury was retrograde again. She was forced
to buy another with the retrograde Mercury. Forewarned, however, she
waited until Mercury was direct and bought an additional instrument
as insurance. She is particularly sensitive to Mercury because her
Ascendant is Gemini.
Do check your bank statements carefully. Bank Tellers can make a mistake
during periods of retrograde Mercury. Furthermore, the statement comes
in the mail. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong during Mercury
Retrograde. I hesitate to mention this, but your computer and Internet
and e-mail server are all wired to Mercury. Or so it seems.
I hope that you enjoyed these Anecdotes. This is being written and
edited during Mercury Retrograde.