03/09/2012 02:08 pm ET Updated May 09, 2012

The iPad and Mercury Retrograde

It always amazes me that people and corporations will spend millions of dollars to launch a product, produce a movie, begin construction, or open a business and don't bother to spend an extra few bucks to consult an astrologer about the timing of it. Hey, life (and business) is hard and timing is everything; we need all the help we can get. It doesn't cost anything to initiate a project or product on an alternate date and it could mean the difference between mega success and outright failure. Which brings me to the launch of the new iPad as Mercury is about to turn retrograde.

There are folks who don't know the difference between a planet and a sign who are absolutely militant about Mercury retrograde periods. They may not know anything else about astrology but they are well versed on the hazards of beginning something significant during a retrograde phase. Mercury is the planet that rules everything to do with communication and information, from snail mail to email, from the physical act of communicating to the instruments that allow us to correspond; in other words, anything with moving parts. It is also in charge of transportation, traffic and timing. Mercury turns retrograde (appears to move backwards) about three times a year and these periods are famous for breakdowns and delays with computers, cell phones, cars, contracts, and travel plans.

Mercury retrograde is not negative; it's just not auspicious for signing contracts, making major purchases, big moves, or launching important projects, especially if it has to do with technology. On the other hand it's great for completing old business and for buying or selling used objects such as vintage clothes and antiques. A good rule when Mercury is in "slow mo" is to remember the prefix re: review, rewrite, reflect, rethink, revisit. Generally speaking, anything begun during a retrograde period usually contains problems that are revealed later. Case in point; when Kim Kardashian married Kris Humphries on August 20, 2011, Mercury was retrograde.

Mercury turns retrograde on March 12 (until April 4); its effect is intensified right before or after it changes direction, which is now. Like a big semi turning on the highway, everything around it must come to a standstill. Mercury is currently in the sign Aries which can be reckless and impulsive; there is a desire to think and act fast, yet we are being asked to slow down. In addition, the planet Mars (our energy and our engine) is also retrograde right now. The combination is like trying to drive with the breaks on. There couldn't be a worse time to launch the new iPad!

Does it mean the latest iPad won't be a brilliant success? Not necessarily, but there's a good chance there will be snags, setbacks, and unexpected difficulties ahead. Steve Jobs was a visionary, a pioneer and a game changer; I can imagine him overseeing this, even now, pulling strings and sending messages from afar. In fact, Mercury goes retrograde at the exact same degree and sign as his Aries moon. Who knows; maybe the overhauling of any potential problems with the iPad will lead to an unparalleled technological breakthrough. Maybe it's all part of his master plan. I wouldn't be surprised.