In mythology, Mercury was the messenger to the gods, and was able to travel between the worlds. He was known to be somewhat of a joker, playing tricks on the gods (usually to protect humans) and getting himself into some precarious situations. As a psychopomp, Mercury delivered the souls of the deceased to the Underworld, and in some versions of her tale, it was Mercury (or Hermes) who retrieved Persephone from the god Hades and delivered her back to Demeter, her mother.
Mercury is the patron to writers, thieves and travelers. He was said to have invented the alphabet, astrology and the lyre (and I’m leaving the phonetics on that open to interpretation…)
In astrology, Mercury symbolizes the mind, communication, technology and travel. Mercury retrograde is when the planet appears to be traveling backwards, so when Mercury is retrograde, you can expect SNAFUS involving anything having to do with these areas.
I’ve had some pretty crazy stuff happen during Mercury retrogrades, like when my phone crashed during a very important conference call, or I blew a tire on the freeway or like the very last retrograde, when I received a C&D from the TM owner of my previous blog’s name, ordering me to stop writing under that name.
I’ve also had some pretty amazing stuff happen during Mercury retrograde, too. Like my first ever trip overseas in which I was upgraded to first class! (Not all bad!)
So, while legend dictates that you shouldn’t travel during a Mercury retrograde (especially when it is in the sign of global travel, Sagittarius!) if there is one thing I’ve learned over the years…it is that LIFE should not stop just because a planet appears to be moving backward!
This, of course, is mere symbolism…and from a psycho-spiritual perspective (which is how I work with astrology!) a Mercury retrograde is an invitation to go within, to self-reflect, and to open up the psyche to the wonders of synchronicity.
If there is a place in your life that is out of balance, don’t be surprised if a Mercury Retrograde experience rebalances your perspective.