preside over moments of passage, rupture and transformation.”
Dr. Ricki S. Tannen
Z Looks at Mercury Retrograde
Making a Deal with Mercury, the Archetypal Planetary Wheeler Dealer
It would seem that the term "Mercury Retro" has been
slowly seeping into popular consciousness and has taken on an
honorary role in Sun Sign astrology.
fact, unless they've been hiding under a rock, the average person
knows that there are 12 Zodiac signs and something nefarious called
Commerce, and Everyday Routines
The astrological planet Mercury, named for the wing-footed Roman
god of "communications, commerce, and everyday
routines," seldom gets much attention in astrology. That is...
he seldom gets much attention until those (3 to 4 times) times each
year that he briefly turns "retrograde" in the transiting
When Mercury turns "retrograde," the archetypal planet
of communications, Mercury suddenly gets blamed for just about
anything (and everything) that does or might go "wrong."
Planets in General
For the "uninitiated," a retrograde planet is a planet
that (when viewed from the perspective of the earth) appears to
have stopped and then temporarily reverses its regular movement
through the sky. The planet then goes "retrograde" (backwards).
a certain length of time (depending upon the planet involved),
the planet then appears to once again stop and reverse its movement
through the sky. The planet then goes "direct" and is
back on it's normal cyclic path through the sky.
The traditional astrological meaning assigned to Mercury
going "retrograde" in the sky is that one should prepare
for and gird themselves for unexpected delays, frustrations, and
surprises in everyday life. This includes everyday routines in
commerce, commuting back and forth to work, and in one's communications.
During the (very) approximate 24 day periods when Mercury turns
"retrograde" in the sky, in the area of commerce, astrologers
generally recommend delaying the signing of contracts and/or delaying
any other important life decisions. It is a period of time thought
to be better spent in reflection and in the rethinking of things.
since Mercury Retrograde generally occurs 3 to 4 times a year,
one cannot rationally put everything "on hold" every
time mischievous Mercury decides to go "retro." That's
why I stated "one should prepare for and gird themselves
for unexpected delays, frustrations, and surprises."
Lighter (or perhaps Deeper) Side of Mercury Retro
an ancient Roman saying: “Vocatus atque non vocatus deus
aderit.” Called or not called, the god will be there.
Taking heed of and honoring this ancient Roman maxim is so powerful
that I've got this plaque hanging next to my front door.
to astrologer Richard Idemon, the ancient Greeks had a saying
that when passing by the temple of a god. You must honor that
god by offering the appropriate sacrifice at the appropriate time.
The point being that one should never offend the gods by ignoring
them. Bad form ignoring the gods!
god Mercury or Hermes (his Greek counterpart) in retrograde is
inevitably going to come calling, regardless of our best-laid
plans and organizational skills. So... instead of ducking and
running for cover - we might as well look further into how to
creatively make better use of and honor his regular visits.
- the Planet of New Beginnings
is the god of the unexpected, of luck, of coincidence, of 'synchronicity.'
The ancient Greeks would say: 'Hermes has entered our midst,'
whenever a sudden silence had entered the room, descended on
conversation and introduced into the meeting another dimension.
things seem fixed, rigid, 'stuck,' Hermes introduces fluidity,
motion, new beginnings - as well as the confusion which inevitably
precedes new beginnings." Arianna (Stassinopoulos) Huffington,
The Gods of Greece
preside over moments of passage, rupture and transformation.”
Dr. R. S. Tannen The Female Tricksters
are you stuck? Where do you need a new beginning? Mercury (Hermes)
in retrograde will be glad to help "unstuck" you and
provide you with that new beginning.
all... Mercury (Hermes) is the archetypal deal-maker and broker
within the horoscopic chart, and as such he'll be more than glad
to strike a mutually beneficial deal with you!
Rigid, Too Stuck
Yep! It's normally only when we're too rigid and stuck in our
worn out ruts that Mercury (Hermes) in his role of trickster springs
out from behind a bush and reveals himself in the guise of a malicious
(Hermes) - Deep Healer of Soul
in Hermes we have a figure who signifies a union between an
innate tendency on the part of the psyche to create boundaries
and define spaces… He signifies the creative instinct
at work in the psyche in a particular way.
specific type of creator god, he is the creator of new spaces.
It is in the creation of new spaces, novel spaces, inventive
spaces, especially psychologically subtle spaces that Hermes
shows his special nature and genius.” From the 1999 article
“Hermes and the Creation of Space” by Murray Stein
“ Without Hermes, there are no transitions, only endless
repetitions, a psychopathology without a God.” In
Midlife: A Jungian Perspective, Murray Stein
That's incredibly powerful news! Hermes (Mercury) is the creator
of new spaces, and the god of transitions; and without Hermes'
(Mercury's) seeming chaos, there are only endless repetitions!
that slowly seep into your synapses!
believe it or not, the mischievousness of Mercury gone wild in
retrograde - by virtue of getting us "unstuck" and setting
us free from endless repetitions - can potentially be a deep healer
To The Gold
In her book, The Gods in Everyman, archetypal author
Jean Bolen uniquely points out that the physical substance of
the liquid metal Mercury only adheres to precious metals... thus
- metaphorically speaking - the archetypal substance of Mercury
can show us the way to spiritual gold...
Z's Rule of Thumb
Whenever Mercury is in retrograde the rule of thumb is that whatever
you do in the area of everyday routines in commerce, commuting
back and forth to work, and in one's communications - it's not
typically going to go as smoothly as you thought it would.
Remain flexible. If necessary, be prepared to "punt the ball."
Have a backup plan. In fact, have two backup plans! Breath deeply.
This, too, shall pass...
December 10-29, 2010
30 – April 23, 2011
August 2 – 26, 2011
November 24 – December 13, 2011
March 12 – April 4, 2012
July 14 – August 8, 2012
November 6 – 26, 2012
23 - March 17, 2013
June 26 - July 20, 2013
October 21 - November 10, 2013
6 - 28, 2014
June 7 - July 1, 2014
October 4 - 25, 2014
21 - February 11, 2015
May 18-19 - June 11, 2015
September 17 - October 9, 2015
Alert: As a top destination, Dr Z's article on Mercury
Retrograde appears to be rather popular for folks choosing to
copy and paste large uncredited portions into their
own various blogs and/or articles. Mercury might approve of
your outright thievery, but Dr Z doesn't. So - when doing this
- please at least give Dr Z credit for any quotes and provide
a link to his site. Karma, karma, karma...