ASTROLOGY: Mercury Retrogrades – 4/17/18

By Madame Dana Zia
Mercury just went direct on Sunday on the new Moon in Aries after three weeks of retrograde. There is relief in the air. New Moons always seem to clear the air and begin a new cycle. This new Moon in Aries, the first sign of the zodiac and Spring equinox, might feel particularly fresh and anew. Then Mercury going direct on the same day, we might finally be feeling the “Spring forward” we all enjoy this time of year. Plus with it going direct in the fire sign of Aries, playfulness abounds and meaningful projects and goals are pushing up through the ground into the light.
Now let me try to explain what “retrograde” means. First off, retrograde means backwards but planets do not go backwards, ever. But, once upon a time, when the world was full of wonder and our ancestors were trying to figure out the great cosmos without any telescopes, they would observe visible planets occasionally going … backwards. This was due to the way our own orbit interacts with those of the other planets, they might sometimes appear to be traveling backward through the night sky. This is, in fact, an illusion, which we call apparent retrograde motion. Mercury appears retrograde three times a year for three weeks.

But strange things happen during this “retrograde” period that cannot be denied. Things, particularly plans, communication and technology, go awry. Mercury in ancient mythology is the messenger god, quick footed and sliver tongued, he rules communication, travel, contracts, expression and coordination. So when this sure footed planet is going “backwards” things that go, and go fast, like cars and computers can short out and generally be in a huge snarl.

Some interesting information on Mercury retrogrades this year, they are all occurring in fire signs. There are three Mercury retrogrades a year and they occur for 3 weeks, (3 is obviously a sacred number for Mercury). The first one that just concluded occurred in Aries, the second one of the year will occur July 26 through August 19 in the fire sign of Leo, then the last one will start in steamy Scorpio November 17th and finish up in fiery Sagittarius, December 6th.
What does all this mean?? In Mercury retrogrades this year, it is a particularly important time to take retreat from the world of things that go fast and fiery. I know I know, in our “go fast” world this is not what you wanted to hear but I assure you that is the intent of the Mercury retrograde. It is to ask you to step back from that computer, iPhone or your overbooked schedule and slow down. Take time to marvel at nature, enjoy the crafts or nurture relationships. It’s also said that intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary. Breathe, relax, take a walk with an old friend. Or how bout go for a date with your spouse? You get the picture. Particularly with the retrogrades being in fire signs, if we don’t step back, the consequences are quick and painful.

Enjoy this week, even though there is still some tension in the stars, it is a wonderful week that will bring a fresh breeze of Spring, forward momentum and a new fun outlook on life. Plan to play, get outdoors and be childlike at least a bit this week and you will ignite the magic of this Springy sign.