Monday, January 28, 2008

Mercury Retrograde: Don't Buy into the Superstition


OK, so Mercury's officially retrograde, as is its custom three times a year. As of 1:31 pm Mountain Time, as observed from planet Earth, the planet Mercury began appearing to move backwards. This optical illusion has to do with the combined movement of Earth and Mercury around the sun. What's more, it's an optical illusion that purportedly enfeebles our already somewhat sorry attempts at communication. The check may be in the mail, but you can bet on its being delivered to the wrong mailbox. Don't count on your email messages making it to the correct destination either. They'll be taking the scenic route through cyberspace, bumping up against firewalls that materialized out of nowhere. It's not the time to start a new job or buy a computer or sign a contract or try a new recipe or, God forbid, file your taxes. And, shudder, don't get married. Don't even think about getting pregnant either. A child conceived under a retrograde Mercury is bound to be born breech. It's really not the best time to have your septic tank pumped, let alone have your boobs enlarged.

Me, I don't buy into this nonsense. I do believe we're all connected by invisible threads to just about everything else in the Universe. They say a moth beating its wings off the coast of Madagascar can affect the weather in Des Moines. There's this invisible thread of event loops connecting them. Many of us have experienced little premonitions that proved to be true. That's the invisible thread again. Or maybe we've walked by the same restaurant day after day after day, then one morning, we feel the irresistible urge to go inside only to find our long-lost best friend from elementary school sitting at the counter drinking a cup of coffee. It was the invisible thread that pulled us in there.

So, as to my being connected to Mercury in some subtle way, I'll buy it. Imagine please a 48 million-mile-long thread looped around one of my fingers. The other end of the thread is attached to a little hitching post on the planet Mercury. Now, if Mercury starts to move in the opposite direction, you can bet my finger is going to feel it, however subtly. I might have an irresistible urge to begin typing backwards. Of course. Were there anything to this Mercury retrograde superstition, I would already be typing backwards. Clearly, this doesn't happen. Why? Because Mercury isn't really moving backwards. That's just an illusion. Mercury doesn't even have a REVERSE option on his transmission. Why, I doubt that Mercury even drives a car.

Mercury hasn't suddenly panicked, put the engine in reverse, and floored the gas pedal, careening into UPS trucks and cell towers and mailboxes and wedding chapels. It didn't happen. That was just an illusion.

As was the odd occurrence of all four email accounts on the gallery computer locking me out a while ago. That too was an illusion. As was the Comcast server going down. A fairy tale, nothing more. As was the mailman delivering the mail for 6 Fortuna Place to 6 Lucero. Didn't really happen. And Blogger says they have a "scheduled outage" at 4 pm PST. So much smoke and mirrors.

Most telling of all--I jsut keep tpying nomrally, thnak yuo. Wree Mrecruy relaly gonig sdrawkcab, I konw ym tpying wolud eb affceted. Teh srting connetcing ym figner to Mercruy wolud eb plyaing trikcs. Nto hapepning. Neevr.

77 comments:

murat11 said...

I'm sure you are already aware that the wing-footed one is also your ruling planet, so perhaps that's at least a double-thread tugging on your finger. No, I'm not completely psychic: I just remember something back in your archives about a September 4th birthday, which clunked right into my lint collector brain because, irony of ironies, it is also the birthdate of the one astrologer I would tend to put a lot of stock in, if I could more fully understand her: Liz Greene: Jungian analyst and astrologer and wonderful writer - and artist, too, I now recall. Ms Liz grounds all her writing and thinking and casting in the mythic journeys we are all on, such noodle notions as Mercury retrograde just one more psychic/archetypal milestone along the way. I'm sure Liz can cast and predict with the best of them, but I've never been very interested in the gimmicky side, nor the predictive side: astrology at its best tells us about WHO we are, not so much WHAT will be. Mercury is, of course, the trickster, so why wouldn't she make us think she's a bit off her rocker every once in a while?

Love the painting: glorious palimpsest: wish my classroom dry-erase boards looked so full of life and colors and movement and layerings: that smudgin's definitely got it going on.

Peace at the crossroads, trickster.

Carol said...

Well, I think that it is ALL an illusion, but I choose to use the illusion of Mercury retrograde as a scapegoat for any communication problems that I experience during this time.

Honestly, today I posted a comment on my blog in answer to a comment of yours and my comment never posted. It could NOT have been human error!

I rest my case... ;-)

Great painting! It is unsettling to me, which can be a good thing.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

We humans are always seeking explanations answering the question "why." Maybe that's part of the reason I've become so attached to Alex, may cat: he seems to not give a damn about "why."

[:-)

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

My hed herts.

:@~

Lee said...

Great painting, San! It looks like it was lots of fun to paint. The light blue makes me think that Murat11 should try a chalk board and light blue chalk. The doors in space make me remember that movie The Fifth Element.

Great post! You have a wonderful sense of fun! Don't know if there's anything retrograde in my chart. I was born February 7th early in the morning. I'm not sure Mom would have wanted to back up as I took two days coming out. Maybe I was in retrograde. Guess I just wouldn't let go of that string. Poor Mom, I've often had my own path to follow, backward or not. :)

Hugs!

Celebration of Life said...

Good morning San! Now I understand your message to me! I thought I was losing it for a minute!

I love your painting! It reminds me of the windows in my mind. There is always one where the sun shines through!

The wind is howling again today. A big storm front is moving through and it is bitter cold. I think I will go find me a sunny window!

Jo

The Moody Minstrel said...

You mean my mother can blame it on Mercury?

Maybe I should start trying to compose music backwards...

San said...

Paschal, yes I'm quite aware of Mercury's dominion over Virgo. Now you've got my curiosity up about Liz. She does sound like a kindred spirit. I like her take on astrology as shedding light more on who we are rather than what's destined to happen. This gets into all kinds of questions, even theological. I believe in free will, although I'm not naive enough to think "I create my reality." Rather I co-create it--there are many, many, many strings that come into play. And the holders of those strings are writing their own 2 cents; others are erasing some of my own offerings on the palimpsest that was so graciously given me at birth, my life.

Palimpsest: a glorious word. Makes me glad I chose that particular painting to accompany the post. As to your classroom, Paschal, something tells me the air itself is infused with life and colors and movement and layerings. Many doors there. Thank you for your rich comment.

Peace, friend.

San said...

Carol, I believe it's all illusory too...

As to the vanishing comment, it happened to me three times yesterday. Blogger was down longer than the 10 minutes they'd forseen. They need to hire a new astrologer I guess.

Thanks for complimenting the painting. While it was hanging in the gallery, it would feel unsettling to me at times--the wonky doors would make for a kind of disorientation. The buyers, however, proclaimed it "happy," which was my original intent. Now that it's hanging in their home, I hope they don't get vertigo when they walk by it.

San said...

Nick, that Alex of yours, he's the true sage.

Have a happy day, friend.

San said...

Oh Bob, that's just from wearing your new cowboy hat backwards.

lime said...

i figure if retrograde mercury has this effect maybe my incompetent mailman will finally get the right mail into my box unlike every other day where it's a crap shoot as to whose mail is there and where mine has gone.

San said...

Lee, it WAS fun to paint. I don't believe I've seen that movie, but now I want to put it on the netflix queue.

Two days coming out!!! Well, I guess you were worth the wait. :-)

Keep following that unique path, babe. Hugs back.

San said...

Good morning, Jo. I figured you'd think it was me that was losing it.

Wow, I love that the painting reminds you of windows in the mind, especially the sunny one.

Here the wind howled and howled all night long. I usually sleep very well, but the wind actually woke me up. Today it's bitter cold. Well, maybe not by Wyoming standards, but I'm glad I have a hot cup of coffee and that the gallery faces south and the sunshine is streaming in.

San said...

Moody, I say whatever works. You gotta blame something sometimes.

Composing backwards--will you stand in front of a mirror to do that?

Happy retrogradation, my friend.

San said...

Lime, we have the same problem in Santa Fe! The mail delivery is so dicey, it's almost the exception to open the box and see that everything is addressed to you.

Celebration of Life said...

Hi San! The sun is out and the wind has calmed some; it is up to 6 degrees. I am having a cup of cyber coffee with you and am looking forward to the day when we can sit across the table from each other and chat!
Jo

San said...

Wow, Jo--6 degrees--you're having a heat wave!

Yes, one of these days we'll be having coffee at the SAME table.

Jenn in Holland said...

What a delightful post! I absolutely believe in those invisible strings myself. And as for Mercury and it's reversal, I have had an awful lot of missing email today.
Hmmmmm... perhaps I will have to become a believer.

San said...

Jenn, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post!

Thanks for visiting. I hope you'll return. It's always reassuring to find another believer in the strings.

:-)

david mcmahon said...

San, that's brilliant.

It hasn't afftced em eihter ....

San said...

Gald to haer it, man. Gald to haer it.

Thanks, David.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

LOL! Great post!

San said...

Thanks, Whimsical!

HMBT said...

You are so funny. I don't do the Mercury thing. My life is run on 100% pure Murphy's Law...so I wouldn't know the difference anyway. Love that doors in space painting, so much fun. Where do they lead? What's behind them? Who answers them if you knock?
Burning questions.

San said...

Heather, what do you do when Murphy's retrograde?

I do wonder who's behind those doors. I hope it's not Murphy.

Am'n2deep said...

Hilarious! I too absolutely believe that all creation is connected. I did once go to an astrologer, which would be considered a rebellion in the culture I live in...but hey, I've always been a bit of a free spirit. The reading wasn't focused on predicting my future, but rather on who I am, and it was tasfantic! ;) I really enjoy your post. I might just have to visit again sometime.

San said...

Well, 2deep, I'm so glad you visited and enjoyed.

Do come again--that would be tasfantic!

jsd said...

A fitting picture to your very intersting post. Movement, possibilities, a lightness of being, promises to come...

...I brought work home tonight, and the illusion of going backwards while actually moving forward seems an ample metaphor for the loop I believe I've found myself stuck in...jstu ened ot erst ym biran...:-)

Sparkling Red said...

The only communication problems I'm having today have to do with words not making their way out of my mouth correctly. But that happens all year round. Sometimes my English is not working to my brain so good.
At least now I have something to blame it on!

Everyday Housewife said...

Well, I'm laughing outloud, for real!
Actually, I did get mail for someone in Maryland, (I live in Shreveport), the other day. We both had the same numbers on our address.
A few years ago, I got an email in August that had been sent the previous October.
The really weird thing was, I had just had my phone line blown out, so to speak, and voila!, up pops this old email!
In my mind's eye, I was visualizing the email being in an actual envelope and it was stuck in the phone wires all that time.
I'm weird too.
Thanks for stopping by, I really needed your blog tonight and probably wouldn't have thought of stopping in.
You're just too cool!

Kim said...

San, I am laughing so hard right now! That was brilliant! So when can we expect to be able to do things again? :)

I love your painting! The colors are just as fabulous as the artist and the movement is just as exciting! Sometimes, I, too feel as though every door I open is going to mean I am on a new adventure!

I can't wait to read more.

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

very cool post - damn thing locked ME out of my own blog for awhile - shiiiiit, them's powerful illusions goin' down.

(loved the part about the breech birth in retrograde Mercury - makes as much sense as a woman once telling me I'd curdle my breast milk if I drank orange juice)

self taught artist said...

i like your analogy of the string being gently tugged...the string and strand theory eh? u smaht cookee
hey how on earth do you get so many comments? how do you even keep up with all that?

Celebration of Life said...

Good morning San! I am anxious to hear your comments on my new post.
Jo

Sandi McBride said...

A moth's wings affecting the weather...I've always loved that illustration and can see it in my mind's eye...great post!

San said...

JS, I always enjoy reading what you have to say about my paintings. "Movement, possibilities, a lightness of being, promises to come..."

That's exactly what I wish for you in the coming days. I could not have expressed it better.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Hmmm. Can it cause sore throats or grumpy kids? Darn that mercury. Great post. Glad David sent us over.

San said...

Hey Red. When the words don't seem to be exiting my mouth the way I intended, I usually look to see what's blocking their way. Inevitably, it's my foot.

San said...

Everyday Housewife, I love your picturing the email in an envelope in the phone wires. I can't help but do this kind of thing myself.

Cyberspace, it's such an odd concept. But thank goodness someone came up with it, as it enables us to meet up like this!

Celebration of Life said...

Morning San! Thank you for your kind words on my post this morning. I hope to become one great woman! Did you see David's blog where he named you Post of the Day?

San said...

Kim, I'm glad you're laughing, babe. We just need to do that from time to time. Around February 19 things are supposed to start straightening out, so now's the time go for broke in our art. After all, artmaking doesn't tend to follow any kind of linear path anyway.

Here's hoping that door in front of you does lead to something amazing...

San said...

Lee's River, I have a confession. I made up the breech birth thing. I am so very bad.

But look at you--drinking orange juice while preggers. Talk about a risk-taker. Did the babies enjoy the buttermilk?

San said...

Paula, I'm glad you enjoyed the string metaphor.

How do I keep up with it? Lots and lots of strings. Lots and lots of coffee.

San said...

Jo, I already went over. You rock, woman!!!

San said...

Sandi, thanks for the visit and the kind words.

I'm glad to hear you're familiar with the moth wings/weather allusion. It does make for quite a picture in the mind's eye.

San said...

Jo Beaufoix, those germs coming at you backwards must have twice the impact, don't you think?

Thanks for coming over.

Julie at Virtual Journey said...

Hi - Just called in from David's to say hi. Loved the painting; visited Santa Fe 20 years ago and loved the art...!

San said...

I'm happy to meet you, Julie. Thank you for stopping by and complimenting my painting.

20 years since you visited Santa Fe? Isn't it time to return? :-)

Kim said...

This painting looks like fabric locked in ice...I tend to see most art with a quilters eye. Just floors me. I do believe that our "intuition" guides us enough that we can change course. Perhaps we will find ourselves in a (unplanned )location that we fall in love with and would probably have missed if we hadn't had enough faith to listen to that tiny voice that guides us through life, of course you have to choose to listen. I have had some pleasant happenings while traveling about CA that I would not have experienced if I had stayed the planned course.

CHEWY said...

There was a time period in which I had "elevator" dreams. Going up, down, all around. So, to me, these are elevator doors taking me on a strange trip.

San said...

Kim, what an appealing description--"fabric locked in ice." You do have a quilter's eye. Wonder why? :-)

How lovely that your intuition is pulling you into unexpected, enjoyable places during your travels.

San said...

Chewy, how cool that you associate the painted doors with your elevator dream.

Now, you've got me imagining elevators that take us to different levels of reality. Going up?

Mima said...

Hi San, I have popped over from David's blog, and really enjoyed your post, and think that the painting is amazing. What a wonderful place to be with doors to open to many different adventures and experiences, and the colours of the background bring to mind the Caribbean waters where you can float so happily. I know that I am a little behind the times, so I am rather hoping that Mercury has returned to it's normal course now!

San said...

Mima, thanks much for saying such wonderful things about the painting. I am pleased that the background reminds you of the Caribbean. I live in the desert and love it, but from time to time, the sea does come flowing into a painting, through the back door.

Now...I need to make a bedside visit.

Casdok said...

An interesting post. And interesting comments to.

Celebration of Life said...

Good morning San!
Was I ever surprised to get so many comments yesterday and this morning and then figured out that you and I are named as Co-Winners on David's "Post of the Day". LOL What a kick that was!

San said...

Thanks, Casdok. I always enjoy a visit from you.

San said...

WOOHOO, Jo! Let's take our prize money and head off to someplace tropical!!!

Celebration of Life said...

I'm already packing! We can become Bahamma Mammas! LOL
Chuck says he wants to go too!

San said...

OK, Jo, but please tell him to lose the pirate regalia for the trip. I like to keep a low profile when I travel.

Patty said...

Always a pleasure to read your posts. I have had a lot of missing mail too. Perhpas tehre is soemtihng to tihs afetrall.
Beautiful painting.

San said...

Thnak yuo, Pttay. Nwo I konw I ma nto alnoe.

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Lol - yes, I'd love to return - and look up OKeefe, if I had the chance.
Good to see you on mine.

indicaspecies said...

Well deserved Post of the Day Award Gold Trophy, for the fabulous painting and the write-up with its most interesting end.

Excellent San. :)

San said...

Julie, Santa Fe holds claim to the only "major" museum devoted to a female artist's work. Of course it's the O'Keeffe. And it's beautiful!

San said...

Thank you, Celine. I always enjoy your fascinating travel journals.

Aurora said...

Ha ha. My mother is an astrologer and it drives me nuts when she's like, "Mercury is retrograde today; so, try as you will, nothing will work. You can't even reply to this message." I like to prove her right in certain cases. She is actually right 50 percent of the time. Which makes sense even if you don't believe in astrology.

San said...

Aurora, I have the same ambivalence, although no one in my family is an astrologer. For what it's worth, I'm glad your comment posted successfully, despite Mercury glancing backwards over your shoulder.

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

I really love your rich warm colours used in the paintings, just sumptuous and calming! Like your photos too, you all look very happy! All the best

San said...

Wisdom, nice to meet you.

Sumptuous. Such a word. I must say I love it. Thank you.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Hey San, another exciting painting.. Windows flying through cyberspace taking each and every one of us on our own individual magic carpet ride. Wheeeeeeeee! (A big wide grin, holding tightly against the frame.)

barb michelen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
San said...

Carol, welcome back, babe.

WEEEEEE! is right. Your cyberspace take is most appropriate.

Meg Wolff said...

The last paragraph in this post cracked me up ... these are great posts. I'm bookmarking you! Thanks for visiting my site too. I have to check and see where your gallery is, maybe I've been their while visiting the Sante Fe Workshops. Have a great vacation!

San said...

Meg, thanks for visiting and bookmarking me!

I enjoy your blog. Maybe I'll meet you in Santa Fe one of these days...

Alika said...

I came upon your blog while doing a search--thank you! You seem very wise and are obviously talented in many areas. I appreciate your words about Mercury Retrograde and other topics. Thanks again!