So... It's that time of the year again. Lock your doors, hide your children, cause Mercury is going Retrograde!
Personally, when I hear the words 'Mercury retro' I can't help but think of the planet Mercury wearing some flared 70's trousers pulling some funky dance moves.
So during recent times, the hype/fear around this Mercury retrogression is comparable to a serious Saturn return :) Whyyy this bad reputation?
Well, when planets are said to go retrograde, they appear (from the Earth's viewpoint) to be moving backwards. And as Mercury rules communication, modern astrologers say it causes breakdowns in communications, that your laptop will break and you shouldn't sign contracts, as you may not pay enough attention. So they say this movement brings confusion.
Mercury looking rather glamorous
However, ancient astrology texts from India tell a different tale.
There are several factors to consider when calculating the total operating strength of a planet (Shad Bala). One of these factors is called Chesta Bala, and when a planet is retrograde, it gets a lot of Chesta - it's more visible, and its influence is stronger, since it's closer to Earth. So it's a good thing!
Now, I wonder how many of your Mercury Retro problems are just blown out of proportion or just responses to the media hype? Much ado :) However, these are just generalities. With every transit, check which house (bhava) cusp it impacts and which sign (rasi) it activates from the Ascendant (Lagna). For instance, Mercury, especially retrograde - transiting one's 4th house cusp brings one together with their share in life (i.e. fortune, $$$). In transit to the 1st house cusp, Mercury helps develop skills and when hovering over the 12th cusp it helps deepen one's knowledge. In some cases, depending on one's chart, Mercury can bring some unpleasant experiences too, but so will other planets, and it has nothing to do with the retrogression per se.
My advice is to just stop worrying and if you really really feel you want some clarification, contact an astrologer (wink wink) and ask about Mercury's influence in your chart.
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Research and musings on astrological topics I find interesting