As any deep thinker and follower of astrology knows, the planets, when they aren't spinning around and minding their own business, have total control over our lives. So much so that we attribute peoples' entire personalities to whatever they are born under. An ordinary person can do whatever an ordinary person does, from being glucose intolerant or walking a high wire between two skyscrapers, and someone will say "Of course, he's an Ares." That same person can then go off to Madagascar and spend the rest of his life studying the aye-aye, and the comment will be "Aries, of course." This fails to explain why millions of other Aries are staying put, eating glucose and having no idea what an aye-aye is.
But we aren't here to diss astrology. Far from it. We are here to give it props and to blame it for everything that goes wrong with our lives. (All mothers will now breathe a sigh of relief about being let off the hook.)
If we ascribe to astrology the sole determinant of one's bad luck, we are all now, in deep kimchi: Mercury is now in retrograde, and will continue to be so until February 11. What does this mean? We are glad you asked. Starting in January, Mercury slows down, appears to stop, and then appears to move backward. While one might conclude that planets, like people can become menopausal, this isn't, in fact, the case. It's actually an optical illusion.
Mercury is still moving, but it's like watching a train moving more slowly than your train is moving. As you move forward, the train you are watching seems to be going backward. This is an example of the Really Show-Moving Train Law of Physics. It is also an example of being really happy that you are on the train that is moving quickly, because, as we all know, the scenery from trains can be pretty grim, unless we are traveling with Dr Zhivago or are in the Swiss Alps.
So, aside from being happy we have chosen the right train, what does all this really mean? Since Mercury is the Messenger, it means that the message seems to be going backward. In other words, the delivery is screwed up. Computers go on the fritz, cell phones die, all of technology becomes our enemy. We miss appointments, or if we arrive at them, we wish we hadn't. We have a bad hair day that lasts for about a month. Every single person we meet online has been recently incarcerated. We find out that carrageenan, a thickening ingredient in our favorite organic food product, is toxic.
We anticipate that some of you are asking if there are any benefits to Mercury in retrograde. You are the terminally upbeat people who, in a past generation, watched Lawrence Welk. For you, we will try to come up with some weenie little shred of good news. Yes, of course Mercury retrograde has its sunny side. Every single thing has a sunny side, you optimistic weenie. Like having a horrific case of sunburn and poison ivy at the same time. The sunburn prevents you from touching yourself, so you are in no danger of scratching the poison ivy and spreading it all over your body, including your eyeballs.
For you, Mercury retrograde can teach flexibility, quick thinking and, above all, patience. There, are you happy now? Please be happy. Because the rest of us are wallowing in complete misery right now. And, to make it worse, we all know that retrograde will occur several more times before the year is up. We will barely have enough time to get our lives back on track before we put on our favorite pair of socks and our big toe pops through and we don't change the socks because who will see and we go to someone's house and they ask us to please take our shoes off. Right. Mercury retrograde is at it again.