Retrograde Schmetrograde

Published by chris on

I was recently catching up on one of my favorite blogs, Christopher Warnock’s Renaissance Astrology Blog (we pre-Enlightenment types have to stick together, you know). Reading the post on retrogrades, I had to agree with him wholeheartedly. If you haven’t read my own posts on retrogrades, go here to find them. Christopher points out a few things, and though I encourage you to read his post, here are the ones that jumped out at me, restated in my own words, and with some of my own thoughts thrown in.

  • Modern astrologers eschew any talk of “malefics”. They often refuse to acknowledge that Mars, Saturn and sometimes other planets may work against our desires; however…
  • There is no way to categorize their descriptions and delineations of Mercury retrograde as anything other than “malefic”, i.e., he will work against your purposes.
  • There are far worse debilities that Mercury can suffer than retrogradation: detriment and fall (in Pisces), afflicted by malefics, combust, and so forth, and these happen on and off all the time, yet no one seems concerned about them.
  • Reading modern astrologers’ take on Mercury retrograde, one would think that Mercury is the single most important planet in any chart, and that it rules everything.
  • When Mercury, or any other planet, is retrograde, Life Goes On! One cannot stop and jump of the merry-go-round for ten weeks each year just because Mercury is retrograde. Businesses open, contracts are signed, autos and computers are purchased etc.
A lot of this reminds me of when I lived on Cape Cod, and was more closely associated with a particular gift shop; once or twice a year, when some big alignment was happening, the local paper would call to ask what we thought would happen. The psychics at the shop (one in particular) would give some spiel about realigning energies, yadda, yadda… I would often preface my comments with “you’re probably not going to like what I have to say”. This was because my reply to their question was usually “nothing out of the ordinary will happen that day”. What’s interesting about this is that it was me, the Medieval astrologer, of the famous gloom-and-doom Medieval astrologers, who was predicting business as usual. The modern types – who, remember, don’t believe in malefics – were always the ones predicting some kind of Armageddon-type event. Just look online to see what people are saying about 2012, and you’ll get an idea of what I mean.

One day I’ll design and market the “Retrogrades Happen” bumper sticker. For now, suffice it to say, amongst ourselves, that they do. And life continues.
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Christopher Warnock, Esq · 2010-05-23 at 09:41

Alright! You tell 'em!

The recent Mercury retrograde was a good example. I had great business, then it slowed, then great again. No major or even minor computer or communications problems.

Pretty conclusive proof of the deleterious effects of Mercury retrograde!

Chris LaFond · 2010-06-04 at 14:08

I find often that people attribute *everything* that goes wrong to Mercury retrograde (since that's often all they know). Because, after all, Mercury rules everything that goes wrong. But you can't blame the hoi polloi for this, it's really the fault of many incompetent modern astrologers who, while not believing in "malefics," sure use Mercury to scare people.

It reminds me of all those Aquarians who tell you about how rebellious and individualistic they are, just like all the other Aquarians out there. Most of them aren't, and if they *are*, one often finds that Uranus is on an angle or some such, rather than their spurious attribution of Uranus as the sign ruler of Aquarius. They are looking in the wrong places for answers, and so only come out right a small fraction of the time.

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