Editorials ~ Sonoma Valley Sun


Of Mercury and more

Posted on January 6, 2011 by Sonoma Valley Sun

A good friend’s mother is very into astrology. Years ago she talked to me about the astrological phenomenon known as “Mercury in retrograde.” I listened intently, giving her my best poker face, all the while secretly scoffing inside. How could this be, I wondered? The planets align in a certain way (and I’m sure I’m getting this wrong as I still don’t profess to understand) and cause communication disturbances? Really?

Not being astrology-minded I thought it really was just a bunch of bunk. Well, call me crazy as I’ve now been converted to a full-blown believer after the past few weeks I’ve had.

It started innocently in mid-November with a new-found friendship. That unraveled quickly but I didn’t really give it a second thought. Next, my dog got sick. And then, my dog died. After that, in short order and moving right into Christmas season, my dishwasher broke and so did my garage door. My car sat out overnight in the rain and the next morning I awoke to a dead battery on deadline day. My cell phone worked except that it wouldn’t play voice mail messages and then, it wouldn’t record them either. Okay, I thought, something’s up. Usually I’ll bump into my friend with the astrologer for a mother and she’ll mention the whole “Mercury in retrograde” thing and I’ll nod my head and smile like a true believer. But I didn’t see her this time and, just for yucks, decided to look it up for myself. Imagine my surprise when, sure enough, Mercury entered its retrograde period on December 9. And what is known as its shadow period started earlier, on November 22.

Dang. It was all starting to make sense. But did I heed the warnings? Did I hunker down and try to not make important decisions? Nope. I kept on making changes and buying Christmas presents like it was any other period in time. I had my water heater replaced. I fixed the garage door and the dishwasher. I grieved over the dog. I even started a new business.

As the month wore on, things grew steadily worse – the new water heater leaked, the phone couldn’t work at all, ants infested the house – I found myself waiting for the end of the retrograde period on December 30. Positive that there had to be some relief from all that had gone and was going wrong, I was poised for a new chapter with the coming of 2011. New Year’s Eve was a festive event and all seemed right with the world again once New Year’s Day dawned.

Yep, things were going well. I made breakfast for the kids, cleaned up and started my day in earnest. Going to the computer to check email I noticed it was frozen. No worries. I shut it down and restarted. Took a shower and came back. Nothing. Did another restart and…nothing. Well, long story short and a crashed hard drive later, I learned that Mercury stays in the shadow period through January 17. Fun!

I’ve since learned that this phenomenon is different for every astrological sign, hence the reason it may never have affected me this way before. Coupled with a lunar eclipse, I guess I was just lucky this time around. I do believe that my cycle of woe is coming to an end. Another friend put it out there to the universe that really, there is only so much one person can take. Things have brightened considerably since then. But, if you see me around town in the next couple weeks, you might want to smile but steer clear. You never know what’s coming your way.

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