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Blame it all on Mercury

October 8, 2015
Westfield Republican

I thought I had a relatively extensive education until last week. That's when, for the first time, I heard of a fascinating bit of pseudo-science called Mercury retrograde.

What's Mercury retrograde?

As it was explained to me, this astrological phenomenon, which started last month and goes until tomorrow, Oct. 9, is one of three periods each year when the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards. And, for those who believe in such things, many of them logical, educated people, it has become the perfect scapegoat.

Your car ran out of gas on the way to work. Must be Mercury retrograde. Your computer deleted an important document. Mercury retrograde again. The dog ate your homework. No question about it. Mercury retrograde was at work.

The idea of watching the stars and planets in an attempt to explain life on earth goes back through the ages. In long ago days, when people thought the cosmos revolved around the Earth, all human actions were thought to be ruled by the heavens.

As for the concept of Mercury retrograde, the planet never actually "retrogrades," or rotates backwards. But, it appears to due to the illusion caused by the rotation of the earth.

It's much like a passing car that seems to be going backwards because the car you are in is going by it so quickly. According to those who buy into the Mercury retrograde phenomenon, there have been three periods this year when the planet appeared to be "going backwards."

Since astrologers believe Mercury rules all types of communication, such things as phone calls, text messages, faxes, etc., can be subject to confusions, delays and frustrations.

The planet is also said to have an effect on contracts and agreements, so be careful if you sign a lease or write your will during the period.

Fortunately, these retrograde times only last for about three weeks. But, if you're planning to blame this astrological activity for some of your current problems, you're almost out of time. The current Mercury retrograde ends tomorrow, Oct. 9.

However, now that you're aware of this scapegoat for things that go wrong, make a note of the retrograde dates for next year. They may come in quite handy in dealing with disbelieving bosses, mothers-in-law or doubting spouses.

The authorities I've consulted have noted next year Mercury will be in retrograde from Jan. 5 through 25, April 28 through May 22, Aug. 30 through Sept. 22, and one bridging the end of the year from Dec. 19 through January 8, 2017.

In addition to strange disruptions and unexpected delays during these periods, you may find your intuition is exceptionally high and coincidences can be extraordinary.

It's unfortunate that I just came across this vital information. We could all have been using Mercury retrograde as a means of sounding enlightened and scholarly when we explained our past missteps.

However, now that I have uncovered this fascinating nonsense, we might as well prepare to buy into it in 2016. Mark your calendars for next year's periods and be ready to put Mercury retrograde to good use when the time is right.



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