Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mercury, you X#&% devil!

Mercury is just coming out of retrograde.  Can’t come too soon for me. I’m used to little electronic oddities popping up during Mercury retrogrades -- broadband slows down,  small, inexplicable changes appear in files, computer applications behave in atypical ways, and other electronic roadblocks show up that require some little time to get around them. But this time, Mercury, that blankety-blank devil,  has really beaten up the Neri household in a memorable way.

Back when I was younger and more of a skeptic, I considered all this doomsday talk about Mercury retrogrades to be pure hooey. The trouble was that even if I didn’t believe in it, my electronics and appliances did. If my appliances were going to break, they did it then. If my electronics were going to burp, those burps also came during retrograde periods. Hey, I might have been a skeptic, but I wasn’t stupid – even I could see the pattern that kept emerging.

If I weren’t a believer now, I sure would be after this current retrograde period. Our biggest mishap was that our bookstore (we own The Well Red Coyote bookstore in Sedona, AZ) crashed, taking with it our Point of Sale software, the only way we have to conduct our business, and the only record of our inventory. It took three dawn-to-dark, exhausting days, two computer consultants and numerous calls to tech support, but at the end of it, we were up and running again. Since then my own personal computer has been doing odd things, such as renaming folders, changing them from words that describe that folder’s contents to a random assortment of letters, and has been falling into such a deep sleep, it’s almost impossible to wake it. The bright red LED lettering on my car’s radio/CD player has faded into oblivion. And finally, my brand new external disk drive developed a glitch. Those last few might seem minor by comparison, but I like knowing what my computer’s folders contain without having to guess, and it’s useful to know what my CD player is playing just by looking. Mostly, though, I’m fed up with electronic mishaps.

A sidecasualty in the Mercury-electronic-failings is that they take with us our confidence in those pieces of hardware and software. The absolute certainty we typically maintain that when we turn them on, they’ll always operate as we expect them to. When serious problems occur, that confidence can be replaced by a knot in the gut, and is often responsible for a financial outlay. Either a little, or in our case this time, a lot of money.
I’ve been told that retrogrades are merely planetary slowdowns, but with my schedule, I can’t afford to go any slower. I’ve also been told that retrogrades  are times meant to teach us lessons. I can’t deny that. The backup software operating  in our store’s computer was part of a package we bought from a company providing bookstore POS software. We were assured it would save the day if the worst-case scenario occurred. It didn’t. So we did learn something important, albeit at a high price, financially and emotionally. Now we’ve rectified that with what we think is stronger backup system. I’m grateful for that, although I wish that lesson could have come in a less dramatic fashion.

Sure, I know other planets retrograde as well, but that never seems to affect things the way Mercury retrogrades do. What’s crazy is that Mercury is the ruling planet of Gemini – and my husband Joe is a Gemini, and I have Gemini rising. Maybe Mercury expects more from us. I have news for that $%&# devil – I expect more from it, too.

How about you? Have you had any retrograde mishaps?


  1. OMG! I cannot tell how glad I am that this retrograde is over. In fact I wrote all about falling In and out of love during retrograde in my YA novel Mercury In Retro Love . Emma, my protagonist calls it "an astrological PMS."

    Great blog.

    1. "An astrological PMS" What a perfect term, Janie! Go back to loving your WIP. Emma clearly knows what she's talking about.