Personal growth is about engaging life's opportunities and challenges and learning from them. Giving up power and avoiding what life has to offer isn't helpful, which can result from uninspired astrological interpretations -- as is the often case with Mercury Retrograde.
The messenger planet Mercury turned retrograde in Pisces on February 23, and it will continue backpedaling through the zodiac until March 17. This reversal pattern happens three times a year and it is well known among Astrology fans as a time of complications, when data and details go awry, communications get clunky and technology tends to fail more frequently.
You can find out how this affect you personally with a 30-Day Astrology Forecast, but really the reputation of Mercury Retrograde has gotten so bad that some people are afraid to initiate any significant activities during this three-week retrograde period.
I recently heard from someone who contacted an astrologer to book a consultation and was told that she doesn't make appointments during Mercury Retrograde. I don't think this is a very helpful application of astrological information. It is disempowering to suggest that we should go into a defensive mode for the 18 percent of the year that Mercury is retrograde.
Living with challenging Astrology patterns
Sure, being more cautious with important communications and double-checking critical details makes sense, but while suspending work three times a year sounds like a good vacation plan, it's an impractical way to live.
There are also other astrologically-challenging patterns, difficult aspects and planetary placements that are considered unfavorable according to traditional beliefs. If we decide to barricade ourselves in our homes every time one of these is in effect, we'd spend much of our lives behind closed doors. It's old age, fear-based thinking like this that reduces Astrology's value in our lives, yet its higher purpose is to help us understand the cosmic environment so we can use it effectively rather than fearfully.
Every moment and every experience has value and meaning. The humanistic Astrology that I studied and practice is based on this critical idea. Instead of running or hiding from Mercury Retrograde, it's helpful to recognize that the planet is revisiting recently transited territory.
Using Mercury Retrograde to clean up past mistakes
Instead of interpreting this as a negative step backward, we can view it as a time of second chances. The conversations we had and the connections we made (or missed) can be reviewed from another point of view, providing opportunities to clean up mistakes and make more valuable use of recent events.
Mercury is now retrograde in Pisces, arguably the most sensitive sign in the zodiac. Perhaps we've spoken or recently been spoken to in ways that wounded feelings. Now is the time to address these concerns and set the record straight.
Pisces is poetic and imaginative, so Mercury's second passage may reveal nuances of meaning that escaped us the first time around. Let the hard edges of analysis soften to see beyond the limits of so-called facts and take another look to discover unseen patterns that may have appeared meaningless or destructive the first time around.
Even though Mercury is moving backward, life continues to move forward. Denying the potential of this or any other period of time is surrendering the power of your consciousness to over-simplified and negative interpretations that might not be entirely false, but which are far from being entirely true.