Mercury in Retograde
from http://www.chrissieblaze.com/mr.shtml and other sources:
The "front end" of the shadow began on July 21, the day when Mercury first hit 26 Leo, the point where it later turns direct. It ended on August 9, the first day of the retrograde. The "back end" of the shadow begins on September 2, the last day of the retrograde, and ends on September 16, when Mercury returns to 9 Virgo, the place where it first went retrograde.
The greatest likelihood for Mercury mishaps is in the actual retrograde period, but issues associated with this cycle may start as early as July 21 and may not be resolved until September 16....
What Does Mercury Retrograde Mean?
Mercury is described as retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. Planets are never actually retrograde or stationary, they just seem that way, due to an optical illusion. Every planet retrogrades, except the Sun and Moon.
You've probably noticed that there are certain times of the year when things seem to go a little crazy.
* A check you wrote bounces
* A computer virus ruins some of your files
* A friend you had planned to meet forgets the date
* The timer on your VCR doesn't work and you tape the wrong show
* You try to return a purchase but can't find the receipt
* Your cell phone just doesn't seem to work when you really need it.
Changing "Fated Events"
Generally, retrograde planets present us with a series of events over which we seem to have little or no control, relating to the sign in which the retrogradation occurs. For example, Mercury retrograde in Virgo presents different conditions from Mercury retrograde in Leo. If we are aware of the cycles in advance, however, we can prepare for them - and even make positive use of them.
A retrograde period is actually a cycle. The period begins when the planet begins to appear to slow to a stop before going backwards, and ends when the planet returns to the place where it first stopped. During this cycle, the planet's energy is more powerful - and therefore more likely to cause difficult things to happen! - when the planet stops ("makes a station") or appears to stop in the heavens.
These stationary periods are near the beginning of the retrograde cycle (when the planet first stops as it prepares to move backwards) and midway through the cycle when the retrograde planet slows to a stop before moving forward again. The "direct station" (when the planet halts before moving forward again) is the most powerful and can be used in positive ways.
What does Mercury Affect?
In general, Mercury rules thinking and perception, processing and disseminating information and all means of communication, as well as travel and commerce. Also Mercury rules people who work in these areas, and all those who work with their minds. Mercury retrograde is particularly feared in the publishing world and some publishing houses refuse to have contracts signed during these periods.
Mercury retrograde can cause glitches and misunderstandings in the above areas of communication and travel. It is therefore best not to make important decisions, or sign contracts during these times.
Mercury retrograde affects people differently, depending upon their birth charts and some people actually do well during these periods. It is often the case that people who were born when Mercury was retrograde flourish during Mercury Retrograde periods.
How to Make the Most of the 2004 Mercury Retrograde Periods:
The first three Mercury retrogrades of 2004 begin in earth signs, then retrograde back into fire signs. This indicates that we should seek some concrete changes in our lives in the area of our chart that Mercury is retrograde in, before these changes can be fired into expression. For example if we are considering selling our home, we may decide to improve the property before doing so to achieve the results we want.
This is part of the theme of the Six vibration of the year, which emphasizes home, family, work, health and responsibilities. We are being urged to make adjustments this year and Mercury retrograde periods can provide reflective times for us to do this.
Another area that may come into prominence are underlying health issues that have not previously been dealt with. This is a good year to bring any deep-rooted health problems to light and to help heal them.
Leo represents our self expression and our will power, so the second Mercury retrograde will review our expression and use of will power with regard to our self and others as well as reviews our creative pursuits.