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Recently, a popular astrologer sent out a popular newsletter where he proclaimed that the sky is falling. Apparently, this newsletter contained some dire predictions about the upcoming Mercury retrograde period. I say “apparently” because I don't follow this astrologer; however many of my Facebook friends do, and they were only too eager to warn everyone about how awful this upcoming Mercury retrograde will be for everyone.

No doubt you can expect garbled communication, missed connections, technical difficulties, traffic, travel delays, errors and omissions, lost luggage, electronic gremlins, and extended time on hold waiting to speak to a poorly-trained technical support person. These are all significant because, as you well know, these events only ever happen when Mercury is retrograde. The rest of the time, life is blissfully free of any disruption or inconvenience.

Oh, wait. It’s not.

Are these types of difficulties more frequent during Mercury retrograde? Perhaps. Or perhaps we simply notice them more when we can blame them on Mercury.

I don’t know what it is about Mercury retrograde that causes otherwise reasonable and competent people to panic on social media and insist that the sky is falling, but I’d like it to stop.

Reasonable people treat Mercury retrograde the way they treat a forecast of rain. You can’t control the weather. But you can choose whether or not you get wet.

The Stars Dispose

One of the basic tenants of astrology is “The stars dispose; they do not compel.” This is a highfalutin way of saying you have free will. Astrology may create opportunities, or suggest the potential for events, but you are always free to choose the path you follow.

Free will doesn’t give you control over the content of your story. You can’t stop it from raining, and you can’t stop Mercury from turning retrograde three times a year and messing with travel, electronics, and communication. Free will gives you control over the context. You get to choose the meaning and significance of the events in your life, and you get to choose how you respond to those events.

Say you’ve planned a picnic, but the weather forecast calls for rain. You can’t stop the rain, but you can choose how you respond to it and what kind of experience you have as a result. You could choose to reschedule or cancel the picnic. You could choose to hold it indoors. Or you could choose to go ahead with it as planned, and eat soggy sandwiches. You’re also free to choose to complain and be miserable, and wallow in Victim Consciousness, cursing the rain and blaming it for ruining your picnic. You’re welcome to choose this option so long as you accept the truth that it’s not your only option.

During Mercury retrograde, the forecast calls for traffic and travel delays. You can choose to leave 20 minutes earlier than normal and take a book with you just in case, or you can choose to be frustrated, angry, and late, while you sit in traffic.

During Mercury retrograde, the forecast calls for electronic glitches and a higher likelihood of computer problems. You can choose to back up your important data (including your phone), or you can choose to experience the blind panic that comes when a hard drive fails or your phone breaks.

And during Mercury retrograde, the forecast calls for a high probability of misunderstandings and disrupted communication. You can choose to step away from the computer and get some perspective before you hit “send,” or you can fire off an angry email that may make you feel better for a moment, but that will also make the situation worse.

Consciousness Trumps Astrology

You care about astrology for the same reason you care about anything in your life: happiness. The pursuit of happiness motivates every moment of your life, and yet it’s easy to lose sight of this. How you become happy doesn’t matter; all that really matters is the result.

Happiness comes from within you, and has nothing to do with the story or any external conditions. True happiness is bulletproof. More importantly, true happiness is immune to anything Mercury retrograde might throw at it. Your level of consciousness determines your level of happiness. The higher the vibrational frequency of your thoughts, the happier you are. The Law of Attraction fills your “little r” reality with experiences that are a match to your level of consciousness, so the happier you are, the more things you notice in your world that support your happiness.

But the happiness comes first.

Astrology will not make you happy. Astrology can help you to navigate the path between where you are now and “happy,” especially if you incorporate spiritual practice with it. But consciousness trumps astrology every time. 

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