I was alerted to a web site this morning warning us of the perils indicated by the coming Mercury retrograde period March 24 – April 16. Apparently it represents a massive energy shift and we need to be prepared. The author says this Mercury retrograde period
“…..will represent a trigger that will activate serious emotional disbalance inside your soul. You will be confused, impulsive, rash in decisions and careless of the consequences.
Apparently the author knows about our soul and is generous enough to tell us how we will feel, saving us the need to make our own decisions. Anyone who has ever studied counselling techniques will know that suggesting to people how they will or should feel is neither helpful or enabling.
I see ethical issues with this practice.
Financial gain and corruption
Many of the authors posting about Mercury retrograde do so in the hope of attracting visitors to their sites . It’s a commercial opportunity. Fortunately they don’t all prescribe how we should feel. My comments about ethics are only directed towards those who exaggerate and prescribe our emotional responses. This is a practice I have a low regard for as it preys on the vulnerable and naive. I see this as a form of corruption where apparently spiritually minded people are using dubious practices for the purpose of financial reward.
We are quick to criticize our political leaders for corrupt practices and abuse of power, but I don’t hear much from astrologers about the questionable practices of some of their peers. Should we endorse these practices by keeping quiet?
Is everyone susceptible to the pitfalls of Mercury retrograde?
On the point about whether it’s good astrology to suggest that everyone is susceptible to the pitfalls of Mercury retrograde, and ignoring for the moment the fact that there are always communication mix-ups and delays, sound astrological practice says that a Mercury retrograde period will mostly affect those whose charts indicate that they are predisposed to having communication mix-ups and delays.
It depends a lot on the natal condition of Mercury, whether it is direct or retrograde, the condition of the 3rd house ruler and its relationship with other planets, the Moon‘s relationship with Mercury and other factors. And some people are more susceptible at certain times in their life and for this we need to consider progressions etc.. Transits alone may not do the job.
Astrology as a predictive machine
If everyone in the world resonated predictably to planetary transits, independent of their own chart, astrology would rule science. But it is not true, certainly not on an individual level. It makes more sense that retrograde periods affect us on the mundane collective level, but even at this level it takes a skilled practitioner to predict the where and when.
If it were true that these retrograde periods affect everyone all at the same time then our lives would be simpler and much more predictable. Astrology would be used by the business and the government to rule our lives. But people’s lives are not so easy to predict. Although we hardly need astrological validation to demonstrate our individual uniqueness, the study of individual horoscopes makes it obvious.
Communication mix-ups are more the norm than the exception in my opinion. It is clarity and mutual understanding that is more remarkable.
There is an expectation among some astrologers that mix-ups and delays will be especially prevalent when Mercury is retrograde. But how often do mix-ups and delays occur outside this period? It is important to objectively reference expectations against the real world.
Do we keep quiet?
It is easy to copy and paste the same astrological advice for every Mercury retrograde period. It is the stuffing of countless astro sites. Offering apparently wise astrological counsel to a group of unrelated individuals about the pitfalls of Mercury retrograde without reference to individual charts or the context of the bigger picture is not good practice in my opinion. However some might disagree with me and I expect some push-back.
But much worse in my opinion is suggesting how people are likely to feel or should feel at times coincident with Mercury retrograde or other celestial phenomena. This practice does nothing to enhance individual power and responsibility, is unhelpful and possibly damaging to some people. Neither does it advance astrology in the eyes of the public. What do you think?