Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mercury Retrograde Tales

Mercury Retrograde time has come around again. Two coincidences to report. I'll call them coincidences, astrologers might call them examples of the kind of techno-hiccups that are said to be common when Mercury is (apparently) moving in retrograde motion. It isn't really, just looks that way from where we stand.

First coincidence began just before the retrograde period, when we were away from home recently. Listening to an audio book on the car's CD player: Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts, something I'd picked up long ago in a junk store for use on a long trip. We were enjoying Lou Diamond Phillips' entertaining narration. When I reached to insert the next CD, felt a slight, unusual resistance. I exerted a little gentle force (big mistake). With CD inside the whole thing jammed up. Later efforts to retrieve the disc failed. We had to make do with a set of indifferent radio stations for the rest of the trip. Back home, after a week or so, husband took the car to our Chevvy dealer who gave him the sad news that, unless the disc could be released with "a good ol' bang" (it couldn't), the only solution would be a new unit.....upwards of $300. That news served to fire up the husband! When he got the car home he found a suitable slim tool and, with surgical precision, felt around the CD slot opening, lifted and teased until the disc re-appeared. Wondrously, when other discs were tried, the player still worked. The imprisoned CD must have been a rogue disc then - looked fine though, and did play well on our separate CD player. There's nothing like the threat of a bill for $300+ to get things moving! That story began before Mercury Retro, and ended more or less just as apparent Mercurial back-tracking had begun.

Second coincidence: Three or four nights ago our VCR (or is it VHS? ) machine simply stopped working. After attempting a clean-up job and various twiddles and tweaks, nothing improved. It has given good service for more than 8 years, perhaps it has simply worn out. We decided to visit local and neighbouring junk, thrift and pawn stores to find a replacement; we both recalled having seen piles of 'em waiting for buyers in the past. Not so now. We could find narry a one. A Goodwill store had one machine working, but marked "Not for Sale". Although there are mountains of VHS tapes of movies and concerts still around at bargain prices, that which is needed to play the tapes has gone the way of dinosaurs. E-bay does dinosaurs. I found one there - one with no bids and 20 minutes to go before the auction closed. I bid, 1 cent more than the given bottom rung, and won. So we wait, and hope that Mercury Retro will not impede delivery, or receipt of said machine in good, working condition.


mike said...

I'm not impervious to Mercury retrogrades, but incidents typically occur in my communications of one form or another...or the equipment allowing communication. I'm not convinced that Mercury retrogrades are any more impacting than Mercury direct motions. Some astrologers put the onus on the stationary retrograde and stationary direct days ONLY.

My "old" (7 years' young!) tower computer crashed two retrogrades ago...loaded the rescue discs and things were functioning again, although I lost all personal files. Of course, deja vu, the next retrograde brought the same devastation, only I couldn't even turn the computer "on" anymore...completely gone. Sigh!

I was gifted (how nice!!!) a slightly used, newer notebook computer. It's very nice and fast, but not the same as my desktop...can't complain, though. One of my losses with this transition was the loss of my astrology software...it's not compatible with the newer platforms and, of course, the New-Age-inclined software company insists I purchase the upgraded version rather than suggesting methods of making my original purchase perform on the new.

A neighbor of mine always has weird appliance malfunctions during Mercury retrogrades. She panics and uses the I-am-helpless-mode of having any available person try to solve her problem. Once it was her newer, digital refrigerator...I simply unplugged, then plugged it back in and I became her savior. Another was her AC...mold clogged her drain pan...a little bleach did wonders. Numerous other appliance issues for her...most are caused by improper maintenance (meaning no maintenance!) on her part.

I haven't encountered any current snafus that I can peg on Mercury retro, but there's plenty of time left on this cycle. LOL

As you've indicated in other posts, many astrological "truths" need testing. Here's an interesting telecommunication quick study:

A baseball study (no real data provided, so I'm not sure how credible it is):

Twilight said...

mike ~ Snafus I've experienced during past Mercury Retrograde periods have involved TV breakdown, and computer virus infestation and breakdown (on several occasions, and very severe ones too), though whether any of these had anything at all to do with Mercury and his backsteps I'm not sure. Similar things have happened when Mercury was not retrograde....so.... :-/

Thanks for the links - it's good to know that there is some attempt at astrological research and testing going on here and there.

I sympathise regarding your astrology software problem. I shall face a similar one when I eventually have to change computers. My desktop still has Win XP on it, Microsoft will stop supporting XP next year. I shall have to divest myself of this desktop, which has been through a lot of messy stuff over the past 5 years (see Merc Retro mention above). I don't think my 2005/6 astro software will be compatible with Win7 - but I shall try it. I had the dickens of a job getting it back working after I had to re-install/re-format the OS after the last horrendous malware/virus infection.

I must remember, whenever I do eventually swap computers, NOT to do it when Mercury is retrograde - just as a precaution - like not walking under ladders. That's about the level of belief I have in Mercury Retrograde's doings, I guess. It's still interesting to keep notes of events though...just in case. :-)

LB said...

Twilight ~ I'm glad your husband was able to retrieve the disk - whew! Hope your VCR purchase ends up to be a good one.

So far, this Mercury Retrograde has me rediscovering some of the ways folks lived decades ago.

In an effort to avoid some of the negative environmental impacts of unnecessary packaging, especially plastic, we've started buying more things in bulk. It's been a huge transition and we're not there yet (and may never be), but as we slowly begin to replace previous food items with refillable glass jars containing rice, quinoa, oatmeal, olive oil and other ingredients, I'm reminded of how progress isn't always such a good thing. We've paid a price for convenient, ready-made food contained in disposable (often plastic) packaging.

Then yesterday, I rediscovered the cleaning product Bon Ami, an all-purpose, environmentally friendly cleaning product used by my mother and grandmother. At $1 and some change for a (recyclable)can, it's a great deal!

I copied this from Bon Ami's website. It's an excerpt from a letter written by Gordon Beaham which appeared in a Whole Earth catalog in 1974:

"Before green was a product category . . .
“We live in a time, I believe, when many ‘old-fashioned’ old reliable products are about to become New Products, and Products of the Future, as we delicately restructure our priorities, re-direct technology toward what’s ecologically necessary and therefore beautiful, and redefine ‘progress’ so that its definition includes mankind’s finite economical survival on this beautiful finite Whole Earth…"

Seems like he's talking about a "progress trap", a term I've referred to previously.

Notice how many words he uses that begin with "re"?

LB said...

P.S. I continue to love white vinegar as an all-purpose cleaning agent too. Not just for cleaning germs and bacteria from around our homes (kitchens/bathrooms/windows etc.) but also from fruits and vegetables. Added to the wash, it acts as a natural water-softener and helps prevent calcium deposits caused by hard-water deposits. No *re*thinking that one!

Our food coop stocks apple cider vinegar in bulk, but so far not white vinegar. I've put in a request.:)

I sound like an ad for old-fashioned living. Must be Mercury retrograde reminding me.

Twilight said...

LB ~ It's hard for us to appreciate how our grandmothers and great grandmothers managed without electricity and running water, water closets etc. - but they did it, they knew no other, and they did it well.

I remember, as a very young child, staying with my maternal grandparents in the country for a couple of years during the worst of World War 2 (my parents lived in an east coast port where German bombing was a regular occurence). Grandparents had no electricity or gas at that time, lighting was by oil lamps or candles. Water was heated by the coal fire in a tank at the side of the black-leaded grate, an oven for baking at the other side, a kettle always hanging over the fire. An oil stove was used to heat water when weather too warm for a fire (not often in those days).

Washing was done in the wash-house in the yard, in a big copper boiler heated by a coal fire underneath, clothes pounded enthusiastically and swirled in a "dolly tub" using various tools, now antiques.

No fridge - but food stayed fresh, somehow. No vacuum cleaner, carpets were regularly hung on a line outside and beaten.

Rainwater was saved in a barrel for washing hair and other special uses.

Your own hints and ideas from the past, still useful today, are valuable, LB - many thanks for adding them.

LB said...

Right now, retrograde Mercury is nearing a conjunction with the President's 9th house Neptune in Scorpio and is square his 6th house Leo Sun. Many Americans are questioning some of the president's previous statements regarding Obamacare, discovering they were either inaccurate or misleading. Americans receiving insurance cancellation notices or premium increases are especially confused and/or angry right now.

Among other things, transiting Mercury and Saturn (conjunct in Scorpio) may highlight structural flaws in the systems designed to provide and enforce this new insurance mandate, as well as serious flaws in the products provided, including unaffordable deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket costs, and a lack of access/covered services.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Yes, there's an overall feeling around that communications of one sort or another are going awry, in regard to Obamacare, its iffy website, and what's on offer.
President Obama has problems on that front and on the NSA front also just now.

I seem to recall mike commenting some while ago that November (or Fall) would be difficult for the Prez, but can't now find the post with the relevant comment. It could have been in connection with the factors you mention LB. Mercury being ruler of his Gemini Moon could be involved too, I guess.

LB said...

Twilight ~ How fortunate you are to have those memories, but what a terribly scary time it must have been! Have you ever written about it in any of your previous posts?

Your story also helps to keep things in perspective, doesn't it? The changes we're trying to make seem relatively small compared to how our grandparents once lived, not to mention how people in other parts of the world continue to live. I can't imagine going back to the time you describe, when our grandmothers made do with so much less, though I don't mind living in a smaller home and would love to grow at least some of my own food. I'm spoiled though; living without a blowdryer, washing machine and/or TV would be very tough.

My mom grew up very poor during the Great Depression, raised by her older immigrant grandparents who barely got by. Now that we're spending more on organic (and no longer buying all of our food from TJ's), we've had to cut back on the number of times we eat meat (chicken) during the week - which isn't really such a big sacrifice when I remember how my mom and her family almost *never* had meat.

Now every trip to the butcher is a treat, something I try not to take for granted.;)

Twilight said...

LB ~ I don't think I've written about it other than mentioning it as I have here. There's a Christmas post from some years ago where it might have been mentioned in a wee bit more detail (though I doubt it would mention the war) - along with other old Christmas memories.
We're not at that stage of the year yet, but here's a link if you fancy a touch of of pre-Christmas Christmas-ing.


I was really too young to appreciate the horror going on around me.

My parents told me that once I was in my pram not far from the fireside when bombing began unexpectedly, no siren, the blast from bombs falling not far off sent soot cascading down our chimney, all over me and the pram....lol, so all they could see were my eyes.

I remember being taken to the air raid shelter several times and hearing bombs dropping, but I don't remember feeling frightened at the time, though I was told I did grow into a rather nervous child.

The only other story I recall, from my parents, happened during the time I was living with grandparents. My mother came to visit and took me in a pushchair to buy ice cream down the road a ways. On the way back a lone German aircraft passed over and shot at us several times - but missed! There was a Royal Air Force Station just beyond the village so the plane must have been a lost enemy straggler maybe from a reconnaissance run.

From my Grandma's bedroom window at night we could see the sky lit up red from the fires caused by bombing in the city, 20 miles away - that was more scary than actually being there, as I recall.

We are all spoiled now, for sure, in so many ways.

LB said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing, Twilight. It's probably a blessing you were a bit younger when all that was going on. Your Jupiter must've been working overtime back then.

mike (again) said...

From Raymond A. Merriman
President: The Merriman Market Analyst, Inc.

"As a review, transiting Neptune will traverse the 3-6° sector of the sign of Pisces from now (mid-February 2013) through February 2015. Obama’s natal Moon is 3° Gemini and his natal Pluto is 6° Virgo. Thus, transiting Neptune will form a T-square to his Moon-Pluto square, which is known as a “hard aspect configuration.” It doesn’t mean that his life suddenly falls apart (although it could manifest that way). But it does mean that the dynamics of Neptune will be front and center in his life. It also means that the temptation to act upon the more negative themes of Neptune will be stronger than usual, and if not controlled through disciplined thinking and well thought out reactions, consequences will result that are consistent with the principles of Neptune.

What are those negative themes, actions, and consequences associated with Neptune that the president will likely need to be aware of in order to make it through this period successfully? Well, the major psychological issue underlying Neptune is “trust versus mistrust.” And trust is something that is earned, related to one’s propensity to 1) tell the truth and 2) not mislead others by either misinformation, or the withholding of critical information needed by others to make an intelligent decision (or vote). In other words, one must act with complete integrity, transparency, and honesty in all of his/her dealings during this period, and refrain from harboring underlying motives or plans. The consequences for violating this universal law of truth include scandal, humiliation, embarrassment, and a complete lack of trust and faith in the individual by others. The consequences of handling these matters truthfully and honestly are instead much more favorable: one ascends to a well-respected and even “loved” level in the eyes of the world. But…since this is a “hard aspect configuration,” getting to there is challenging.

Shorter-term, we find transiting Saturn is also important as a transit right now to the chart of the USA President. His natal Sun is located at 12° Leo and his natal Neptune is posited at 8° Scorpio. This is a square aspect, another “hard” aspect. Transiting Saturn turns retrograde this week – it is stationary – at 11° Scorpio. It is thus touching off this Sun-Neptune square, even as the Sun and Neptune are conjunct to one another by transit this week too.

Whenever Saturn is involved in such a critical natal pattern, one gets exactly what one has earned, based on his level of accountability and responsibility. There is no magic. Everything is a result of hard work and effort (if it is to be positive), or lack of the same (if it is to be negative). By negative, I mean there is a sense of “not enough” of something one wants, but is unwilling to work hard to attain. The negative consequences of transiting Saturn have to do with either demanding too much and not getting what you want, or others demanding too much of you and thus you feel unappreciated and over-criticized. Without the support you wish, you may feel like quitting. This aspect from transiting Saturn to Obama’s natal chart has been in effect since mid-December. You may remember the turmoil surrounding the debt ceiling limit in late December. But now that Saturn turns retrograde on Monday, February 18, it will be at its strongest influence through April, and to a large extent, even into late October."

mike (again) said...

LB, I saw something on PBS a couple of years ago regarding life pre-1950 (the start of affluence in the USA). Most families ate meat only on Sunday, then perhaps meat left-overs on Monday. The meat was usually chicken.

Regarding vinegar in your wash...don't add with your laundry detergent...add during the rinse. Vinegar is acidic and will neutralize the alkalinity of your detergent, reducing effectiveness.

I purchase white vinegar intended for pickling...it's 10% acetic acid (5% is standard vinegar). It's sold by the gallon in my store's vinegar section...about $3/gal. It's a bargain and wonderful for cleaning purposes.

I use a lot of baking soda and borax for cleaning, too. And plain, old fashioned soap (not the modern stuff).

Twilight said...

LB ~ Yes - lucky stars..... or something! :-)

mike (again) ~ Ah yes, thanks for that - I think you posted a clip from it once before - that must be what I remembered. Prez must be approaching the end of that particular astro-ordeal according to that, then. I hope he's ready for the next one....that LB mentioned above.

LB said...

Thanks, mike. I appreciated both of your comments and the tip about vinegar. Funny about the chicken on Sunday nights, leftovers on Monday. That's pretty close to how we do it too - guess I really am going retro.:) What did folks eat the rest of the week, I wonder?

That's pretty interesting about the President's Moon-Pluto square being set off by transiting Neptune. My own Mars-Pluto square (in early Gemini/early Virgo) is affected too, though considering what it is that I do, I think I'm experiencing the transit differently from the President. His natal Chiron at 5 Pisces must be feeling it too.

Then there's transiting Saturn squaring his Sun, setting off his natal Neptune-Sun square. Like Raymond Merriman said:

"Whenever Saturn is involved in such a critical natal pattern, one gets exactly what one has earned, based on his level of accountability and responsibility. There is no magic."

Yep, that's Saturn for you. With my stellium of planets, I've been dealing with this same teacher for quite a while now. Only now is he finally moving on . . . just in time for the North Node to take his place.

Parker seals said...

Thanks for the info.Very interesting..