(and leaves little footprints in places you really don’t want them).

That’s the planet Mercury, not the weird silvery stuff in old thermometers.  Although that stuff is fun to play with–but don’t, it’s bad for you.  Oh!  How appropriate to mention thermometers, since it’s so hot!  A theme!  I love a theme…  Sorry, I totally got carried away.  Okay, back to Mercury.

The planet Mercury is currently “retrograde”, which means, in astrological terms, that it appears to be going backward in the sky.  It’s an optical illusion–planets don’t just start going in another direction–but it’s significant to astrologers because of what the illusion creates.

I am not an astrologer, and I don’t even play one on TV, but here’s what I’ve gleaned from smart, clever, and actual astrologers’ reports:  Mercury rules commerce, travel, technology, and communication.  When it’s going backward, these areas may be adversely affected.

Two cases in point from my personal files:  Last night, my ISP kicked me off the internet because someone was stealing my access to transfer copyrighted files.  It took a little doing, but I got back on and added a password to my router.  I feel so smart now!  And on Sunday, just two days before the retrograde phase began, I stepped on my glasses.  SAD!  I had to go to three different places over three days to get them fixed, but they did get fixed.

On the bright side, if you’re doing something in one of those areas with someone you used to do that with, it’s a very positive thing.  In other words, if, for example, you take a new job with someone you worked for before, even if it was just a freelance thing, that is likely to go well.

Mercury retrograde also gives us a chance to review and reflect.  “How did I do XYZ last month or last year?  How did that work out?  Would I like to make changes to it?”  If so, now’s a great time.

And, if you are having tech troubles or travel turmoil or communication crap, keep in mind that (a) this will pass (about August 26) and (b) be patient with yourself and others.  I find that if I just slow down a bit and put one foot in front of the other, the technical glitches smooth out.

Update, August 21, 2011:  Mercury is still retrograde.  I decided this has to be a part of it.  Walking from car into house with two armloads of groceries, I slipped on a small embankment, wet from the recent sprinkling of rain (thank you, heaven, for the rain), and fell smack on my ass!  Yep, I’m sure I gave someone a good laugh.  I didn’t laugh, but I wasn’t seriously hurt either.  AND I decided that this will finally fix the S-I joint that has bothered me off and on for several years.  Yay, home-made chiropractic!

And my phone has been wacky for a couple of weeks.  Texts won’t send the first time, sometimes the second time.  It doesn’t ring when someone calls me, and it doesn’t record the call, so, unless the person leaves a message, I got nothin’.  It’s just been screwy.  And I chalk it all up to Mercury retrograde.

How about you?  Have you noticed anything wacky with your technology, travel, commerce, or communications?  This retrograde period ends August 26!

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