Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Things to Do During Mercury Retrograde

I thought I would take a positive spin on the usually-tricky Mercury retrograde season. OK, for the people who think this is all bosh I must toss you a bone and say, no, no one really thinks planets move backwards. Really! You’d think we were talking about magic or miracles or something. No, retrograde just means the apparent backward movement of planets. It all has to do with relative movement and things you can look up in more authoritative sources than this. You aren’t coming to me for this kind of information, are you? OK, that’s settled.

Now, we’ve just entered a Mercury retrograde time, one of three times a year. It’s a time associated with computer malfunctions and communication errors. This sort of thing tends to make people addicted to Twitter and Facebook cringe since our current fashion is to communicate electronically, the faster the better. Shut that down and, golly, we’d have to go outside, read a book, do some gardening, clean house, all those thing we put off because we spend too much time with our computers. Think of the horror! What was life like before smart phones?

What’s that you say? You’ve lived through every one of these so far? Me, too. It’s the annoyance of the little things that go wrong that get you during these things. But there’s a something positive you can do when the electronics and communications planet goes into reflection mode. Maybe even more than one thing.

One of the recommendations during a Mercury retrograde period is to review things that have already happened instead of starting something new. That’s not such a bad thing, is it? It’s a “bloom where you’re planted,” “shop in your own closet,” and “read the books you’ve already bought” sort of message.

Unlike most of my buddies, I’ve never watched Game of Thrones. What a great time to catch up since the reruns are available On Demand. I know it isn’t the best exercise, but watching the politics of a fictional realm puts a softening aura around the politics of the real world. I started watching and realized I had seen at least parts of the first two episodes already, making it an even better Merc Rx deal; it’s about the do-overs. The Hubs points out that this is merely Dallas for the unelectrified.

While I’m writing this, I’m watching the first season episodes and thinking I had hoped to see more about the dire-wolves than I have so far. But so far I like all the animal references, like sending a raven instead of Potter’s owls and the horse culture who doesn’t believe in crossing water deeper than a horse. If only our own politics were as entertaining as George R. R. Martin’s mind.

Sean Bean as our hero has certainly a pleasant image as the voice of moral leadership on GoT. I remember Dawn French’s Vicar of Dibley had a crush on Sean Bean. That’s a series that’s swallow-your-gum funny if you haven’t seen it. Dawn French is one of my favorite funny actors.

Those who admire Diane Lane’s stunning performance in Unfaithful should also admire French’s Vicar, charged with the spiritual life of her village as one of the few female vicars and also charged with, um, admiration for Sean Bean. The play of conflict and desire is no less gripping than Lane’s Oscar performance and funny too. Such a human comedy is Dawn French. Sean still looks good to this old girl in GoT.

However, I read in the descriptions that the show purposefully portrays the actors somewhat in need of a bath. Watching sweaty barbarians who seldom change clothes, I am reminded that my mother’s vision of “smell-a-vision” as the next big thing and I am grateful technology went for color and high-definition instead.
“What’s that smell?” your friends would hop back in horror upon entering the TV room.

“Oh, we were just watching the Game of Thrones. Let me put the fan on and open a window.”

What might have been is not always a candidate for wistful longing. Just saying.

Besides going through cob-webby entertainment, there are other Merc Rx things to do. For instance, I have unfinished needlework projects I would like to resume. Much better to resume an old project than start a new one when Mr. Tricky is looking backwards.

Where to start? I have a fabulous purse I was mid-stitch from a stunning Celtic knot pattern in blues and turquoises which has sat for a while. If I finish it, and I really should, it will be breath-taking with the jacket I started earlier this year. I have everything I need to make it so resuming that project seems like the obvious choice. And there are some ornaments that the Hubs stitched that I have meant to finish. I could do that in time for Christmas and they wouldn’t take long. There’s at least one ornament of mine to finish too. Hmm, there’s a theme here. And there’s a tea cozy I started. Oh, and a case for a deck of tarot cards. This stack is taller than I thought at first glance.

The thing not to do while pawing through my “UFO” or unfinished objects pile is to start yet another new project. This might be a great time to research and plan for the next project, though. The fine line between planning and actually starting it up, like listing supplies needed as opposed to actually obtaining those supplies, can be the tricky part.

Have you ever cleaned out a closet and gotten distracted by the “lost” treasures you unearth? It’s something like having a pity party only a lot more cheerful. The result is the same though. You didn’t really get anywhere with the project. You were distracted by your old stuff, whether it was a box of fragrant soaps you had forgotten or a hasty choice you regret. A retrospective should have a useful outcome even if it’s just to remind you that you don’t need to buy soap because you have some or that sometimes, hanging around like the Hanged Man, it’s better to rest your usual nature and just reflect. Inaction is a choice too.

Well, heck, there goes Sean Bean. OK, no more spoilers. I’ll be hanging with the reruns.
Best wishes.


  1. My computer decided to act weirdly just today =(

    1. Oh, no! The classic Merc Rx electronic malfunction! Here's to a graceful recovery and best wishes!

  2. Thanks for the guide for working with mercury. It always seems to cause delays for me but I'm starting to learn how to approach my life during this period!