WARNING: Mercury Poisoning!
WARNING: Mercury Poisoning!

WARNING: Mercury Poisoning!

Sweet 1949 Mercury

Ok. Not really. I just wanted to grab your attention and discuss why you never enter into contracts during Mercury retrograde!

Any astrologer worth a hippie necklace made of her own hair will tell you not to enter into contracts, and don’t purchase big-ticket or mechanical items during Mercury retrograde.  Mercury, like the mythic Roman god (Hermes to the Greek), governs all transportation and communication issues along with mental acuity, education and truth. When this planet is retrograde, those attributes are held back.

Mercury was retrograde when I purchased my first self-publishing packaged in August of this year. I’ve been interested in self-publishing for years, so I had been receiving the Xlibris.com newsletter every month for a while. When I saw the 50% Off deal for all packages purchased in August, I couldn’t pass it up. I mean, I got a $1,600 package for under $900!

Freddie Mercury (late lead singer of Queen)

I knew that Mercury was retrograde, but I figured that if I only purchased the package in August, I could submit my manuscript after September 2nd. (When planets go retrograde, you always want to add 5 days or so on either end of the actual dates. The beginning and the end of a phase is often the most active).

I purchased the package on August 15th. Right in the middle of retrograde, but again, I wasn’t too worried because the manuscript submission would come after Mercury began “moving forward” again in our sky.

Mercury thermometer (DO NOT BREAK!)

Smack myself on the forehead! I entered into a contract on the day I purchased my package. Contracts during Mercury’s apparent backward movement in the sky are a big NO-NO.  Susan Miller, and most other astrologers,  said repeatedly not to enter into contracts during this Mercury phase because the contracts will have to be revisited later. In my case, it was sooner. I’ve had nothing but problems with my publisher from the start. After submitting my manuscript, the original galley showed numerous mistakes that their design team made by failing to follow my manuscript. The formatting on their original release of the ebook looked like it had been done by a 5-year-old.  I received my marketing material and my author copies of the books only to find that the illustration was cut off the cover.  I currently have an open complaint with the Indiana Better Business Bureau for, what appears to be, shady royalty practices. This may not be how they normally do business. I can’t say for certain that my experience would have been better had I purchased before or after the Mercury phase, but I truly believe I wouldn’t have had the sheer number of issues I’ve experience had I waited (and paid full price?!?  Ugh!).

Mercury and Earth

Pay attention. See it for yourself. The next time Mercury is retrograde, write down all of the things you and your friends/family experience in regard to electronics, mechanical and big-ticket items going haywire.  I had not one, but 2 flat tires during a Mercury retrograde period.  At my most recent tech support job, I saw numerous issues with in-house and customer hardware and software during these phases.  It got to the point where my co-workers began asking me when Mercury’s retrograde phases were coming up again.

Mercury between Hercules and Minerva

Note the next phase is around holiday time.  Mercury goes retrograde on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday (November 24, 2011).  You may find that interaction with friends and relatives gets a bit wonky, and those Black Friday deals may not be so hot if you have to repair or replace your discounted electronics before the year is out. Maybe think about bringing it down a notch this year, and make your holiday gifts? Maybe make the holidays more about love and family rather than material gifts. Save yourself, and your loved ones, some serious hassle.

Trust me. I started paying attention to the dates, and I’ve seen it over and over, AND OVER, again. Why does it affect us? See my piece on Astrology: Removing the Stigma of “Pseudoscience” to learn more.

Mercury in retrograde doesn’t mean communication/transportation will go wrong for everybody, every time. It just means the energy in our universe isn’t optimal for beginning something new, buying big ticket items, technology or travel. You can still enjoy a relatively worry-free time period. Just pay attention, and be patient!

Update October, 2013: I purchased a used bicycle during Mercury retrograde last November (2012). I wasn’t intending to purchase it based on my understanding of the retrograde period (i.e. you NEVER purchase anything relating to transportation during that time), but I had friends telling me I was silly for passing up such a great deal. It was a GREAT deal, so I purchased the bike. Within a month, the bike was in the shop for a week for repairs to the gears. A month later, the gears were totally blown, and I had to replace the back wheel for a gearless version. Two months later, I blew a tire. I had to have it fixed during ANOTHER Mercury retrograde. A couple of weeks later, the tire blew again. It’s been nothing but problematic and nickle-and-diming me to death. I have warned my friends I will never be shamed into another move like that again. They agree now.

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