16 April 2017

don't give me no mercury retrograde

*forewarning // this post may contain triggers and conflicting perspectives to yours, it may even be controversial and fly in the face of what you have come to believe - this is okay
mercury retrogrademercury concept art, c/o Berat Isufi


If I hear one more person cry out “Mercury Retrograde!” as a scapegoat to why anything and everything is going wrong for them during certain three week periods, four times a year, I will scream.

Let us get this straight once and for all:

The movements of the planets in our star system have far less influence on us than our own planet itself, it’s one and only satellite (the moon) and it’s very large and influential star, Sol. There is more magnetic and gravitational power in these three objects than that of a small, minor planet some 48 million miles away. A planet that is approximately one third the size of Earth and just a little larger than our moon.

This fear-mongering has got to stop. Group-think is taking over rational thought. At a time more than ever when ‘alternative facts’ are becoming normalised we are getting lost in a mire of misplaced beliefs and hooky superstitions.

What once was taken as being supposition and philosophy-made-fact, was laid bare through scientific enquiry and consigned to esoteric curiosity. As time has gone on, and the world ever more unpredictable, these ancient philosophies have once more become a life raft in bringing seeming order to the chaos that moves around us.

We are living very much in extra-ordinary times.


| Where upon poor Hermes gets a bad rap

What ancient philosophic belief proposed was that the Earth was the center of the Universe and everything revolved around it. The stars and satellites that seemingly spun around us were named after heroic figures of myth and legend who in turn were bestowed with authority over certain aspects of daily life.

By association, if you wanted improved favour over a particular aspect you focused your efforts of patronage to that particular figure. Likewise if you somehow had a negative experience, that figure was ‘to blame’.

This was all very egocentric and shifted the responsibility to external factors rather than being autonomous. Humans were very much at the mercy of forces outside of themselves. Your fate was preordained.

“What have the Romans ever done for us?”
-- Monty Python, Life of Brian

As we know, this is not true. The Earth is not at the centre of the Universe, nor even the star system it is part of. Our star’s satellites are not the embodied forms of these ancient heroes. They cannot exert influence on us beyond the physics of gravity and mass. Our Earth is a cog in the machine that is our star system, Solar. Going through its life cycle as a tiny part of the greater Universe’s one.

To believe that these satellites have influence is to also align oneself to an ancient religious doctrine, something that I see little evidence of by those who agree to the former.


| Beware Mercury Retrograde

The belief that the motions of Mercury (or any other planet in our system for that matter) has any impact on our Earth-bound lives comes from these ancient, very human constructs and the false perspective that we have when observing the movements of the Solar system. We are not a static body in the sea of space, but a moving part of it, like a cog in a giant timepiece. Our perspective is heavily biased.

From our position as third rock from Sol what appears as objects moving ahead or behind us is relative to our own motion against a fixed spot, in this case our Sun. It is the same illusion one gets from observing an object moving around a circuit from a static position: initially the object moves ahead, as it goes around the 'corner' it appears to slow before seemingly move in the opposite direction, before coming back round again to move forward once more. A different perspective would show the object moving in a unidirectional circular motion.

The apparent reversal of Mercury's orbit, in combination with an outmoded belief system is what has drawn many who seek reason in the cosmos to conclude its negative influence on Earthly activity. To cling to this illusion as fact and ancient associations as being relevant and real, seems to fly in the face of rational thought when their truth has been revealed. What feels worse is when this persistence continues alongside the knowledge that it is false.

“It takes courage to change your beliefs”
-- Danielle LaPorte, White Hot Truth


| The real influence of Mercury Retrograde

All this to say that the Universe does not conspire to work against us. The Universe just is. Neither force for good or ill. All this hoopla about Mercury is our own creation and our continued submission to that of victim. I however do not subscribe to this position. And nor should you. You are not without the power to shape your life as you desire it. The Fates have not decided. What it does take though is the courage to take responsibility.

What I am speaking of, of course, is self-empowerment. Of freeing oneself from the shackles of the status quo, of absolving responsibility, and taking a co-creative role in our life's unfolding.

If anything that the euphoria around Mercury Retrograde can teach us, is that we are indeed subject to our perception of things. That we can so easily fall into that group-think mindset. Our awareness is suddenly put into spotlight and we see the gaps in our thinking. We put stock into perceived connections and make attachment to certain patterns that ordinarily would go unrecorded.

What if there was another way? What if we could take these insights and use them for good? Rather than battening down the hatches in fear and denial, what if we opened up to the flow of the Universe and our lives? What if we allowed compassion for our human failings, and rather than let things build and build until they collapse, seemingly out of nowhere, we were more mindful and diligent in the day to day?

How would that be? How would things flow if we were more forgiving and accepting of ourselves and each other? How would it be if we practiced kindness and humour when things did not go according to plan? Sometimes that is all we are left with, and maybe that is the biggest teaching of all.


| So tell me:

What have you felt the influence of Mercury Retrograde to be? Force for good, or ill? How do you feel the teachings of ancient philosophies have relevance today?


:: BEKA ::


// further reading //
Mercury retrograde explained without astrology
No, Mercury retrograde will not mess up your life
Why Mercury retrograde is completely not a big deal

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