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Astrology Articles & Reference
Mercury is associated with communication, information, the way we interact with others and our surroundings and neighborhood. This includes local travel, schedules and our relationship with our siblings. When Mercury is retrograde, there is a greater tendency for issues to develop in these areas collectively and personally in our lives. Only about 25% to 30% of people are directly affected during a Mercury Retrograde Cycle.
Pre-Shadow phase intensified
Mercury Retrograde Station
Mercury Retrograde Phase intensified
Mercury Retrograde Phase
Mercury Direct Station
Post-Shadow phase intensified
2013 Mercury Retrograde Calendar
The Mercury Retrograde Cycle
Mercury Retrograde is that period of time in which the Planet Mercury appears to be going backwards against the stars in the sky. This usually occurs 3 or sometimes even 4 times in a year.
Why does Mercury appear to go backwards?
Mercury's orbit is closest to the sun, so it completes its orbit in
about 88 days, compared to the earth's of about 365 days. As a result,
from our perspective we first experience mercury moving forwards as it
passes by the earth on our side of the sun, and then it seems to slow
down and begin to move backwards as it races along on the farther side
of the sun from our perspective.
How to Use the 2013 Mercury Retrograde Calendar
The calendar shows the main stages of Mercury Retrograde using different colors: Pink, for the time when Mercury is retrograde, blue for the Pre-Shadow, and brown when it is in the Post-Shadow phase.
As Mercury is slowing down and is close to changing direction, there tends to be a stronger effect, and this is shown by a darker color.
The Mercury Retrograde Pre-Shadow
As Mercury proceeds in its forward motion in the sky, it enters the region against the stars where it will later retrograde or appear to go backwards. This period of time is referred to as the Mercury Pre-Shadow, and is indicated in the calendar with a blue color.
Often it is during the Mercury Retrograde Pre-Shadow that incorrect assumptions, unfortunate short-cuts or lack of attention to details occur that are later revealed as Mercury goes retrograde.
As Mercury appears to slow down in its motion, before it appears to go backwards in the sky, the effect of the Mercury Retrograde Pre-Shadow is intensified. This is indicated in the calendar with violet color.
Mercury Retrograde Station
There is a moment in time, when mercury by our line of sight has slowed down from moving forward and is about to appear to move backwards. That moment is referred to as the Mercury Retrograde Station, and often somewhat incorrectly as "Mercury Retrograde". This tends to be the most intense part of the Cycle, and is show in Red on the Calendar.
Mercury Retrograde, Proper
Then for about 3 and a half weeks or so, it appears to be going backwards in the sky - when Mercury is retrograde. Often mistakes, false assumptions and unfortunate 'short-cuts' are revealed at this time, and it is an especially important time to do due diligence and to check and recheck the details of important matters. For some people at this time, transportation and communication issues may develop.
At the beginning and end of this phase, Mercury appears to be moving relatively slowly, and is a more intense part of the retrograde phase. This is indicated on the calendar by a reddish brown color.
Mercury Direct Station
Towards the end of the retrograde period, Mercury has reached a place in its orbit where it begins to move in the same direction as the earth around the sun. The moment Mercury appears to stop moving backwards and is about to move forewords is called the Mercury Direct Station. This is indicated in the Calendar with dark brown. As much as the Mercury Retrograde Station, discussed earlier, tended to be a focus of errors, false assumptions, lack of clarity and proper execution, the Mercury Direct Station tends to be a focus for revealing the consequences.
As Mercury appears to move forward again, it passes through the part of the sky where it had previously gone backwards. This phase is referred to as the Post-Shadow, and is indicated by brown on the calendar. During the early part of this phase, Mercury is still moving slowly, and thus the effects are more intense. People often experience this phase of the cycle as a time when the consequences for not paying attention to details or asking the right questions become apparent.
Examples of the Mercury Retrograde Cycle
A classic example of the cycle occurred in the final grinding of the Hubble telescope mirror. During the Pre-Shadow, the assumption had been made that the deformation of the mirror due to the earth's gravity had been compensated for, prior to grinding. The Mercury Retrograde Proper would have been the grinding of the mirror with incorrect calculations. The Post- Shadow would have revealed that when it was in orbit, the surface geometry was now flawed, and a later shuttle mission had to be created to fix it by adding more lenses.
My personal experience, that indicated the importance of the post-shadow occurred many years ago when I purchased a computer system. Of course, I avoided the Pre-Shadow and the Retrograde. However, when I purchased the system during the Post-Shadow, it bought it a day after the price had gone up. During the Pre-Shadow and Retrograde proper, while I had been waiting and delaying the purchase, I had not bothered to ask the store whether the price would stay the same, if it would go up, etc.
Mercury Retrograde Can be a Blessing
The retrograde cycle tends to reveal what is not working properly, and although it can contribute to delays and frustrations, it can also reveal issues that are important to resolve, fix or address.
It is actually a very good time to deal with what has been put on the back burner, or to finish what had already been started much earlier.
It is a good time for reflective and creative writing, inner work, journaling, spiritual work and completing long overdue tasks.
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