There is one phrase that always triggers me and that is anything that has to do with "Mercury in retrograde".  It always feels like a cheap excuse for some of the bumps of life. I admit I know nothing about it. Here is what I learned.

So where do I go when I want a clear, easy-to-understand answer to many things…yep…the Farmers’ Almanac. You know…the one with the orange and green cover that comes from Maine.

As I expected they had the answers and so much more. This is what I learned from…first of all, what is happening is an optical illusion…during the times of the planet Mercury being in retrograde it APPEARS to be going backward.  Mercury is still doing its thing, keeping its orbit around the sun, just like the rest of the planets. However, all the planets will appear to be moving backward depending on the observer’s vantage point. The planets closer to the sun will appear to go through phases of retrograde when viewed from planets farther from the sun. Mercury is closer to the sun than Earth, so it will travel around the sun quicker and when passes Earth it will appear to be moving backward when compared to the stars in the sky, which do not move.  Wait...what?

This is how the Farmers’ Almanac put it into an example that might be easier to understand…” Picture two cars on the highway going in the same direction in different lanes. If one car is driving faster than the other, the slower car will appear to go backward from the perspective of a person in the faster car, even though the slower car is still going pretty fast in the same direction.”

Ok...I think I get it.

We just finished a window of Mercury in retrograde from Jan 30th to Feb 19th.  There are two more windows this year; May 29 to June 21 and September 27 to June 21.

But what is the deal with this being a time of trouble?  If you are into astrology and believe the moons, stars and planets influence what is happening here on the third rock from the sun (Earth), this is an important time.  Mercury, the God, is the God of things like commerce, communication, and travel. I would imagine that if you are planning a trip, having troubles in a relationship, or a business issue…check the calendar…Mercury just might be in retrograde.

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