THE BLOG
02/12/2008 07:50 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Curse of Mercury Retrograde

In the United States, betting on cock fights or pit bull competitions is against the law. We get our jollies instead from the presidential election. Before you place your bets, however, let me caution you that, whether you are on a low sodium diet or not, whatever you are seeing or hearing about who is in the race and who is out, who is on top and who is going belly up is to be taken with a grain of salt.

I must remind you of the one factor that brings dread to the hearts of astrologers the world over: the curse of Mercury retrograde.

It is probably the one astrological aspect that has become familiar to people everywhere, astrology fiends and casual fans alike. Some astrologers carry the notion of its meaning to an extreme you might think is crazy, mainly because Mercury retrograde can serve to help you avoid commitments and refrain from making any decisions at all

"Don't sign contracts! Don't start a relationship! Don't buy a car, electronic devices or new clothes! The deal will turn out to be flawed. The lover will disappear. The car will be a lemon. The new iPod won't work and, when Mercury comes out of retrograde, the expensive clothes won't fit or you'll hate them."

These are a few of the choice warnings astrologers might give you about the dreaded period that lasts for about three weeks and occurs three times a year. Of course, it's only an optical illusion, astronomically speaking, and we know that no planet actually moves backwards. Funny thing is, though, optical illusion or not, many of those warnings sometimes turn out to be accurate. If you sign a big contract or take a great new job during Mercury retrograde, it often turns out that you didn't have all the facts at the time you signed or signed on, and situations will likely demand a major alteration of the original deal.

You can't stop living, though, and there are times when you have to go through with the real estate closing or decide to buy the stock and accept terms you know are going to change, just because you do have to go on living and making plans. Betting on outcomes is dumb, however.

Which brings us to the current incessant babbling going on in the media these days. The fact is that at the moment both Mercury AND Saturn are retrograde, so don't think for one minute that this nomination thing is settled- on either side. Super Tuesday took place during the retrograde of Mercury, and even though this retrograde period will end on February 18th, it is not until early May when Saturn goes forward that you will have a clearer picture of who is really likely to cap the nominations.

When you hear the potential candidates go on and on, all of them, you've got to be dumbfounded. Either they are all totally clueless about what lies ahead for America, or they are all out of their freakin' minds. But that's another story. Stay tuned.