Making Purchases During Mercury retrograde: Q & A

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Mercury, looking down on someone who forced a purchase during Merc retro. by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo {{PD}}

Mercury, looking down on someone who forced a purchase during Merc retro. by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo {{PD}}

Here’s a reprint on buying during Merc retro.

Recently I received a couple of questions about what to do and not do during Mercury retrograde; concerns seem to center on buying big-ticket, Mercury ruled items, and on what effect shopping in the middle of the process would have on the outcome. Questions here are tailored to the issues presented in the questions I received. This is from ECLIPSE (no longer open for new sign-ups).

Is it okay to make a major purchase during Merc retro?
The traditional wisdom says ‘No’, that we’re just buying trouble, and to a certain extent that is absolutely true. We need to understand, though, exactly why purchasing during Merc retro is considered bad. Thought processes are not operating under their usual parameters; it’s as if at crucial times our synapses are suffering too wide a gap to transmit signals—at least, that’s true psychically speaking. We don’t compile and comprehend information in quite the same way as we usually do, with thoughts fritzing out in mid-realization and concentration interfered with by a kind of mental static. This is why I always recommend ‘switching’ to a Venusian, feeling-centered state during the Merc retro period, when dealing with what would otherwise be handled mentally. Utilizing both Venus’ sensitivity, especially in relationship, and the Moon’s intuitive abilities, we can feel the unspoken, the undercurrents and attitudes, the potential ‘hidden’ factors behind any interaction—and this may, in many instances, be as effective or even more effective than using the mental faculties as we usually would. However, it doesn’t address perceptual matters involving procedure, details, written material, and conditions, as well as our ability to accurately observe, and something like a purchase involves knowing what’s happening completely enough that one will have no surprises after the fact. This is the concept behind not making agreements, signing contracts, making deals, or agreeing to anything that will obligate us in the future, during Merc retro—there will inevitably be something we’ve missed, something we don’t yet know, but will find out later.

Are there any times when it is okay to buy during the retro?
Yes! When you have literally done all the research, vetting, investigating, comparison shopping, looked over the specs, and have established everything in writing (if it involves a contract or written agreement) before the start of the retro period—then if you need to delay for some reason (because of payment issues or a sale, for instance, or finalizing something big like the sale of a house as you wait through the escrow period), you safely can—just don’t change anything after the retro begins—and I can safely say, you will probably be tempted to, as Merc retro plays tricks on the mind that can make you think your reasoning is much better at that point, rather than the opposite. All conditions must be decided upon before the retro begins, and no changes made, for this to work out satisfactorily.

The Shadow period: Does it Matter?
IMO no. Some people make a big deal out of shadow periods, and it’s true that we may see ripples of a coming or past retrograde before the stone is thrown into the Cosmic waters, but once I saw a timeline of a full year that shaded shadow periods surrounding Merc retro plus the retro period itself, and it was clear that to behave as if Merc is somehow ‘not itself’ for that much time didn’t make much sense. Maybe looking for explanations for every quirk and anomaly comes from a too-strong belief that our minds are operating in near-objective mode as the norm; that, of course, is purely ridiculous, with moments of true lucidity and objective perception the exception rather than the rule. If we understand that there are countless influences on the mentality at any one time, both internal and external, we get a broader, more accurate concept of the fluidity of the mental perceptions, and have less need to corral patterns of thought and processing into neat compartments for which we must find astrological exceptions for every variation. Shadow periods can be considered when analyzing timing, but the actual conditions must be determined by examining the aspects in play, especially those that involve bodies that naturally carry meaning within the issue; for instance, Uranus for electronics, Mercury for things that use electricity or that are for communication, Mars for something metal and/ or mechanical—and there are lots of crossover meanings when looking at the energies, so keep an open mind. Buying something for its beauty (Venus), if purchased during Merc retro, may not communicate that at all; others could look and see a purchase meant to show off resources or intimidate others, and once the retro ends, we could feel that the ‘message’ of that beauty is entirely different than the one we interpreted during Merc’s backward motion.

Does the element in which Merc is retrograding affect matters?
Yes, it can. The element in which the retro occurs signifies what, in a broad sense, we are re-considering about our lives during the turnaround period. In Air we are examining our own viewpoints, thinking, ways of gathering and processing information—and this may lead us into some convoluted reasoning if we are also trying to make buying decisions; we need the entire retro period during which to consider things, and it’s almost required that we don’t come to any conclusions about our own mental capacity or methods before Merc goes direct. During a Fire retro we examine our action nature, with the obvious down side being a propensity to rashness, impulsive purchases, and maybe ones based purely on passion, which might be very good, except that we would probably also neglect to examine the real-world practicality of our choices (with typical Merc retro trickster-ism, we might think we had it covered!) With a Water retrograde we are looking at how we feel about our lives, so that decisions might be emotional, with all the ups, downs, and potential regrets (or trying to make up for past regrets) that might imply, and with Mercury’s retrograde in Earth we look at our material circumstances, and so could be too plodding in our reasoning out of a desire for safety or profit (aside from the usual retro hiccups) and so choose something entirely too plain, dull, or bland for our usual tastes—and of course, each retro period carries the potential for hidden material to emerge later, significantly changing the landscape that was present when we made our decision. Just remember that the element in which Merc is retro points us to what part of our nature is under examination, even if that exam is happening in the unconscious—and that means that part of the psyche, along with the reasoning and other mental faculties, is in the midst of reassessment, and so in flux and unstable because of this.

Update: the current retro is entirely in Gemini, making the review period a time to ask ourselves, ‘What do I think?’ A question we could apply to anything–and this is the right time to do it.

See and buy my books here–Thank you!

Born Today 22 May

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Now that sounds fun.  'A Party in the Open Air: Allegory on Conjugal Love' by Isaac Oliver c1590 {{PD}}

Now that sounds fun. ‘A Party in the Open Air: Allegory on Conjugal Love’ by Isaac Oliver c1590 {{PD}}

Dear Gemini, why are you struggling with your own ambitious nature, with your own desires, that really couldn’t be more appropriate as expressions of who you are? Are you afraid your partner or significant other won’t approve? Have you been told what you want is greedy, impolite, undiplomatic, will cause envy, and so bring trouble? Well don’t be sad–‘they’ don’t know what they’re talking about! You should not only spend this coming Solar year, through to your next birthday, pursuing your wants–you will find Love and or Money along the way. I know! Sounds great! But as always, there are a few caveats you should take heed of: power and personal empowerment will come out in the big wide world, but it doesn’t come without a price–be very sure about what you’re willing to give up to get it, and acting on your imagination is good, but acting on your fantasies is not. You’ve got a mandate from the Universe to bring the essence of who you are into real-world forms and material expressions–at first it may feel like restrictions and burdens–but as soon as you begin working hard to get past those, the load will lighten and you’ll start to connect with your own creative power, probably in a whole new way. Happy Birthday, Gemini, and good luck!

Born Today 21 May

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Don't despair, Gemini--this year, you can make it happen! 'Fillette à l'orange' Louise Catherine Breslau c1900 {{PD}}

Don’t despair, Gemini–this year, you can make it happen! ‘Fillette à l’orange’ Louise Catherine Breslau c1900 {{PD}}

You are ready and eager to meet reality head-on this coming Solar year, through to your next birthday, aren’t you, dear Gemini? Just be careful that you are actually dealing with ‘What Is’, rather than running full steam into a brick wall; your enthusiasm is matched only by an attitude that almost frantically wants to insure real-world progress–but that may not slow down enough to successfully get ‘There’ from ‘Here’. Too, you’ll have a secondary engine pushing you to pour all your emotions into Love or Money, or to pour all your Money or Love into what your emotion tells you to, and together these impulses can make for some chaotic times. Hints for survival: don’t put what you desire ahead of mastering the mechanism or role that will take you there; be willing to divest yourself of anything that isn’t needed or of use anymore–unfortunately, this year that will include relationships; and you can make magic happen if you can find a way to serve others through the public role/ career in a form that is original to you. So that’s not hard, right? Happy Birthday, Gemini, and good luck!

If you are a Taurus born today, please read yesterday’s ‘Born Today’

Born Today 20 May

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Paul Gauguin, 'The Flageolet Player on the Cliff' 1889 {{PD}}

Paul Gauguin, ‘The Flageolet Player on the Cliff’ 1889 {{PD}}

In some aspects of thought and mental processing (especially in the way you think about emotions) this past year has been new territory, dear Taurus. That’s been a good development, as you’ll be better set to handle some tough but necessary future tensions around either relationships or finances, and that at core the responses you have will affect your identity–and once completely ‘handled’ will open up the flow of Love or Money–and that quite naturally will affect where, how, and possibly with whom you live. A new profession might even be on the horizon, but this is only possible if you currently feel an enormous amount of confidence, energy, and optimism surrounding your own talents–and only if you are up to making best use of certain ‘points of Fate’ that will present themselves this year, through to your next birthday. It may be a big year, but it will definitely be an interesting one that you’ll get a lot out of. Happy Birthday, Taurus, and good luck!

Born Today 19 May

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Your year will be anything but static, Taurus. 'Jens Juel - A Running Boy' by Marcus Holst von Schmidten 1801 {{PD}}

Your year will be anything but static, Taurus. ‘Jens Juel – A Running Boy’ by Marcus Holst von Schmidten 1801 {{PD}}

You may be figuratively stuck the entire Solar year, through to your next birthday, dear Taurus, on communicating and hammering out agreements within relationships and over money, resources, and values. But, this isn’t a bad thing; your heart is in it, and making sure everyone knows what you think, and you know what everyone thinks, will have enormous benefits you really can’t anticipate. Does that mean your year is static? Not at all–besides the opportunities and sense of empowerment you’ll gain from smoothing out communications, you’ll act on what you learn, and the results will both lend an aura of authority to what you do and lay the groundwork for expression of the highest form your creativity can take–and that creative output, plus the actions you take and choices you make, will impact the life direction–so it’s in many ways a year of change that feels more like creating order and getting your sh*t together–and rest assured, you’ve also got wisdom, good counsel, and practicality on your side. Happy Birthday, Taurus, and good luck!

Born Today 18 May

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A shop in China, rather than a china shop, but either way, no bulls in sight. Photo from 'Through China with a Camera' 中文(繁體)‎: 位於香港的中國古玩店。 Date 1868~1872  By John Thomson {{PD}}

A shop in China, rather than a china shop, but either way, no bulls in sight. Photo from ‘Through China with a Camera’
中文(繁體)‎: 位於香港的中國古玩店。
Date 1868~1872
By John Thomson {{PD}}

You may spend a lot of time this Solar year, through to your next birthday, dear Taurus, trying to figure out what’s wise, what’s the smart move or choice, and how being practical can also serve Self-expression–there seems to be a lot of conflict within you, as to how to proceed. At this point, you’re the thinking man or woman’s bull: thoughtful, looking for the spiritual and emotional underpinnings to everyday life, considering your next play carefully–and that could put you at a distinct disadvantage, making you a target of sorts for more aggressive, jealousy, or less resourceful individuals. There is a way to beat this, and that’s to be willing to form a clear idea of what you want, and then to go after it, with no apologies to others, no hanging back for permission or the sake of politeness, and no fears of being called a bull in a china shop–which is the way some have tamped down your assertive energies, and so kept you much too far from achieving your dreams. No more–this year, Taurus, it all changes. Happy Birthday, and good luck!

New Moon in Taurus, May 2015: The Personal Artifact of Change

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Ernest L. Blumenschein - 'The Gift' 1921 {{PD}}

Ernest L. Blumenschein – ‘The Gift’ 1921 {{PD}}

The New Moon occurs at 9:12 PM PDT of the 17th at 26 Taurus 55. The Taurus New Moon is conjunct Sedna, quincunx Pallas, and in wide sesquiquadrate to the North Node. Involvement of the Nodal point tells us that what is born here significantly shapes our future; the conjunction to Sedna implies what is awakened may be knowledge held deep within and related to instinct, something we aren’t entirely conscious of. Falling in Taurus, this promises either a material ‘new beginning’ or a new era in our sense of security and comfort, and this may be a loss or gain—we can’t tell ahead of time. We sense the ‘rightness’ of this next step (in a Karmic sense, if you will) both in its very occurrence, and in the way it contributes to shaping our Path. Contact to Pallas says if we’re smart and practical, we adjust—a failure to accept this new thing, this next step that originates in our internal depths is unwise, with the most likely sign of this an attempt to keep or return matters to their pre-New Moon state that is doomed to failure.

The Sabian for the New Moon is, ‘An Old Indian Woman Selling The Artifacts Of Her Tribe To Passersby’. Here we have someone who stands for the original inhabitants of a place, those who are as close to being a part of the land itself as possible, selling to Others a part of the ancestral inheritance. It’s one thing when a group creates products similar to the traditional items of their culture meant for sale to outsiders; it’s quite another when members of that same group sell the actual cultural items themselves, in effect trading their culture for sustenance or as a step along the Path, in preparation for change, even death (and we assume this as there’s little other reason that an individual parts with the underpinnings and artifacts of their way of life). The symbol suggests that the NM brings us to a point of desperation: we may feel there is nothing to be done to preserve ourselves except to dismantle our lives and sell off the parts! This is a bad thing, if we act with the idea that we have no choice, and no alternatives—but this can be a good thing, if we, as the figurative old woman of the symbol, are choosing to divest ourselves of things we no longer need, things we have ‘aged past’, or can hold in memory, so no longer need to hold them in our hands. It’s clear this NM brings a new beginning, one many may not immediately embrace, preferring what was to what’s coming; the symbol merely serves to show us there are multiple ways to approach change, and our choice about how to see it will shape the entire experience, just as the experience shapes us.

Looking to learn more about the asteroid Vesta in Astrology? Watch here for announcements on the release of my new book, ‘We Are All Vessels: Vesta in the Natal Chart’, out this summer–or check at Dog & Sunflower Press for all my books!

Born Today 17 May

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Louis Léopold Boilly - 'Conversation Dans un Parc' Before 1912 {{PD}}

Louis Léopold Boilly – ‘Conversation Dans un Parc’ Before 1912 {{PD}}

You don’t know it yet, dear Taurus, but by the time you reach your next birthday, you’ll have achieved an emotional completeness, a total emotional and intuitive understanding and acceptance of who you are, that offers you a fresh start at a new, higher level–but before that happens, you’ll meet every dark and mysterious corner of your life, every thing ignored, denied, or suppressed, every bit of anger over abuse and injustice that you carry, and you must resolve these, in order to reach that pinnacle of emotional success. On your side: one or more close family members, most especially the father or a paternal figure; empowerment through the social order or through educational or religious means; a strong sense of instinct; creativity or idealism that pays off. Not so much working for you: a communication state that is stuck in only one mode, which has and expresses strength and has superior negotiative abilities but that also may suffer inflexible attitudes and thinking and have difficulty perceiving nuance in the communications of others. You’re on the way to big change–make sure that your choices and actions bring you the kinds of changes you want–indications are that this coming Solar year, if you are conscientious, they will. Happy Birthday, Taurus, and good luck!

Born Today 16 May

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'Hymne à la femme (Bezeichnung auf dem Rahmen)' Auguste Levêque 1909 {{PD}}

‘Hymne à la femme (Bezeichnung auf dem Rahmen)’ Auguste Levêque 1909 {{PD}}

This coming Solar year, through to your next birthday, dear Taurus, you decide which way you want to go, and with whom you want to travel that life Path. The good news is that you’ll be able to choose on instinct; you recognize the ‘right’ person(s) and Path immediately. The bad news, if you want to call it that, is that you’ll walk that Path and learn about every little thing you hold in your ‘blind spot’, every quality of personality, inclination, belief, and quirk that others see but that you are totally unaware of, and you may feel by the end of the year that the whole thing’s been completely unfair–but it won’t be. It’s time for you to look in a mirror that shows the entire picture in 3 dimensions–and once you have you’ll quite literally get whatever you want–not everything you’ve ever desired, but something that comes from the ideal and that offers you Love, Reward, Companionship, or Health–and that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Happy Birthday, Taurus, and good luck!

Born Today 15 May

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John William Waterhouse - Pandora, 1896 {{PD}}

John William Waterhouse – Pandora, 1896 {{PD}}

You have two core obligations (for want of a better term) to fulfill this coming Solar year, through to your next birthday, dear Taurus: you must learn to totally, completely trust and honor your instincts, and you must discover the contents of your ‘blind spot’ (things you can’t see but that all those around you can), excavate it, and so make yourself as Self-aware as humanly possible. Notice I said, “humanly possible”–no one is expecting you to be perfect, but this is the year when you can develop your sense of Self, your identity, and put into action your Soul’s intent, so that you become centered and secure in your sense of who you are. That’s a tall order, but one we all come here to fill–and right now the Universe is out to help you do that. Strengths include the ability, after a little adjustment, to embrace more of your own natural power and personal authority than you ever have before, and this will have the bonus effect of drawing in Love and/ or Money. You’ll also be able to effectively relate that sense of empowerment and what you have to offer to the masses–or just to your social circle, whatever’s appropriate for you. Happy Birthday, Taurus, and good luck!

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