Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mercury in retrograde

I am not a fan of astrology.

Yeah, yeah, go ahead.  Mock me for my interest in matters such as UFOs and other weirdness while eschewing horoscopes.  It's hard enough to walk into a library or bookstore in search of UFO literature and knowing I have to look in the "New Age" or "Metaphysics" sections.  Amid the numerous tomes of year-to-date horoscopes and witchcraft, crystals, and "channeling," I might find a decent book or two.


For me, the subjects are two totally different cars parked in totally different garages.  Like it or not there is evidence for UFO phenomena.  There is no evidence for astrology.  In fact, physicist John McGervey looked at the professions of 23,000 people.  No tendency to cluster in occupations according to Zodiac sign was found.  Psychologist Bernard Silverman surveyed 2500 married and divorcing couples.  No connection could be found between "compatibility stars" and who split and who stayed.  Astronomers Culver and Ianna tracked the predictions of astrologers for celebrities over a five year period.  Less than 10% of the predictions came true.

So why am I bothered by this "Mercury in retrograde" nonsense?

I noticed it mentioned on news sites.  Having heard the phrase and being vaguely aware that it was not good astrological news, I got curious.  Turns out the whole thing is a mixture of science fact and New Age hoo-hah.

Starting on Friday, June 7th, the planet Mercury will move in retrograde.  That means it will move in a manner that seems opposite to the other bodies of our solar system.  True story.

Here's where it gets weird.  Astrologers profess that each planet exerts a unique influence on us and how we live.  Not sure what "invisible vibes" they're talking about, especially when it comes to birth signs.  Hell, any baby is exposed to orders of magnitude more radiation at the time of birth by the lights and tech in the hospital than anything from space.  But I digress...

Anyway, when Mercury goes retrograde, all hell breaks loose.  Travel delays, technological malfunctions, troubles communicating, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.  I was all set last week to write critique of this notion, ready to take on any and all scofflaws of astrology with my typical wit, aplomb, and snark.

Then things started to happen.

-Ghost Dogg and I tried to see the new X-Men movie.  The satellite link at the theater failed and we never saw it.

-I spent yesterday morning racing about in search of a flash drive I thought was lost and gone forever and with it 200 pages of my new novel.  Where was it?  On my desk, exactly where I left it.

-There are contract re-negotiations at work.  Nothing bad, but it's been a zany back and forth process.

-I've had unusual problems with my email.

-I'm dealing with a student in crisis.

-I've had friends report an increase in daily chaos and struggles involving kids and pets.

-My personal life is in a bit of upheaval with all manner of exits and entrances rocking the boat.

I just want to take this opportunity to ask the universe "What gives?"

I'm well aware that I'm probably committing the logical fallacy of "confirmation bias." I'm looking for a common cause to explain the current storm and "Mercury in retrograde" would be a convenient one.  I've tried looking to see if there is any credible source that endorses astrology outside of the actual movements of celestial objects.

I found Esoterica.  It is an academic journal published out of Michigan State University.  It's fully peer-reviewed and covers "alchemy, astrology, Gnosticism, gnosis, magic, mysticism, Rosicrucianism, and secret societies, and their ramifications in art history, history, literature, and politics."  While that sounds like fascinating academic reading, it doesn't really get at what I need.  I probably need to find like a yogi or oracle who can consult the stars and tell me what to do.

Like, what kind of whammy can I put on Mercury to get this shit to stop?

So there's this: The Oracle of Starbucks.  Enter your most commonly ordered drink and it will tell you exactly who and what you are.  It says I'm completely boring and lame.  Like I needed a coffee oracle to tell me that.  Score another for Mercury.

Turns out there's not much you can do but ride this "Mercury in retrograde" period out.  Don't make any agreements, don't travel, don't buy new gear, don't take people's comments too seriously, and so forth until this all blows over on July 1st (or as late as the 7th, depending on which astrologer you want to believe) and Mercury goes direct.

Good thing I don't believe in this stuff.

I guess.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

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  1. On FB, VJ said: "Could not stop laughing- thanks for this! I hate the idea that my life is pre-determined !!!"

  2. On FB, Melissa POE said: "Dogs and cats living together. Lol. Everything is fine here. Now I'm waiting for a shoe to drop! Lol."


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