Thursday, April 05, 2012

Battening Down the Hatches: Next Mercury Retro, I'll be Ready

So apparently I've bored one of my favorite audience participants with all the GD stuff. I understand, believe me. He reminded me to get back to the regularly programming.

Sigh. Regularly scheduled programming.

In the last month and a half, I've written twenty-five posts that didn't get published. Twenty-five. They're mostly Post Titles with an opening paragraph or two. Topics running the gamut from Black Magic and the Kings of Hell to health rites and Hermetic interpretations of chakra meditations. Quite a few were inspired by the Whisky Rants.

I just never got around to finishing them. I lost the inspiration, or got distracted. Mostly I haven't had time when I had the mental capacity, or the mental capacity when I had the time. At least part of that was influenced by Mercury Retrograde.

Before the comments come flooding in about Warnock and LaFonde's excellent efforts at reeducation, let me just say I know, I know, Mercury Retrograde isn't as bad as a lot of modern astrologers make it out to be, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have any negative effect at all on the things it rules. It's not teh end of teh worldz! every time we go through one of the Mercury Retros, but they do seem to impact me and my Work a lot if I don't do some kind of preparations ahead of time.

See, I see astrological influences on my life and magical practices the same way I see weather conditions and their effects on my daily activities in the mundane world. When it's rainy, you don't just stay in bed (most of the time), you take an umbrella and a coat, and you run through the worst of it on your way someplace dry.

Mercury Retrogrades are like hurricane season here in Maryland. Usually you get heavy winds and a fair amount of rain off and on throughout the season, and then every once in a while there's a really bad storm that comes blowing through with varying degrees of impact on your life. The degree of the impact of any given hurricane during the season depends on where you live.

The closer you live to the ocean, the more work you do at the start of hurricane season to prepare your homestead for the coming storms. You have to make sure your sump pump works and your drainage is set up right. You clear out dead tree limbs, and make sure your roof isn't going to blow away. You make sure you've got water, toilet paper, milk, bread, eggs, and lots of ice packs and a cooler handy to keep the cool stuff cool until the power comes back on.

I'm a Hermetic Magician. Hermetic means based on Hermes, specifically Hermes Trismegistus, but let's not forget Hermes is also Mercury.

So in other words, my sphere is beach front property when it comes to Mercury Retrogrades. A squall coming in that does little or no damage to the folks further inland can cause major flooding and power outages for extended periods of time in my sphere.

There are things I like to do in advance to get ready. While he's still Direct and hasn't started slowing down, I perform a reconsecration of my Mercury Talisman. It's the metal seal I use to conjure Raphael on my Magic Conjuration Box.

I perform the reconsecration ritual I outline in the Talisman Maintenance and Operations Manual, and ask Raphael to get my sphere ready to make it through the retro season with minimal damages, and to respond quickly and readily to my calls. I anoint the talisman during the rite with Aurora's Mojo Hand Feeding Oil, Abramelin Oil, and some Fast Luck Oil I picked up at the Turning Wheel.

I'm usually also cycling through the Gates Rites. I haven't been keeping up with it lately, and I can sure tell the difference. I feel uninspired, and powerless when I'm not doing regular maintenance magic on my sphere. It sucks. But running through the Gate of Mercury would have been a good idea.

The ideal result of this is that you strengthen your personal harmonic with the Direct forces of Mercury, and then when things start going haywire, you've got a pool of normal Mercury resources to draw from. It's like stocking up on milk and eggs a couple days before the storm is scheduled to hit.

This last retro period, I did none of these things. I could feel the difference, too. I'll be ready come next retro, though. I've got it scheduled in my google calendar, with a reminder set to go off the week before the night of the rite so I'll have time to check my supplies and make sure I'm ready to go.


  1. But... like... the whisky rant stuff will still happen, right? :)

  2. RO can I ask, what effects are you seeing (if any) with Saturn being retrograde?

  3. I appreciated all the Golden Dawn stuff. I started my training with Regardie's big black paperback, and based a lot of my own solo training on it. At some point I realized, "hey! there's probably Golden Dawn stuff on the Internet!" and started looking.

    I've been backing away slowly ever since. Now, as a result of watching the current meltdowns, I'm running, and having a very easy time doing so. And so are most of the people I know who've done work in this system. We're hardly an organized lodge, more like a collation of loose colleagues, but still, you're right. As a collegium of mages, their magician cards are revoked.

    Between your work on the Red Work Course, and Mr. Miller's strategic sorcery course, I feel like I have plenty of new material to work with, without trying to draw water from an (apparently) choler-infected well (do you see what I did there?). Plus, there's the tai chi, which I find interfaces very well with your cleansing/purification rites.

    So, thank you for putting into words what I was feeling. At the same time, I'm glad that you're returning to the regularly scheduled program.

    One of the ways that Mr. LaFond has helped me re-frame Mercury retrograde for myself is to think of it as a new business/old business split. It would be fun if you re-named some of the posts you were working on this past M.R. period with a tag like "Spring Mercury Retrograde:", and finished them, and then scheduled them to appear during the next Retro window.

  4. @Gordon, yes, of course!

    @Bea, I haven't noticed it at all, honestly. I'm really not a very good astrologer. If astrology is like weather, I'm the guy who looks outside to see if it's raining or sunny before I head out the door, not a meteorologist who knows what a high or low pressure front is going to do to the baromtric pressure or pollen counts.

    If I remember right, Saturn is retrograde a lot, for a long, long time, and its not as big of an impact, in part because Saturn is so slow anyway. Mercury has a bigger impact because he's so speedy. Mercury's all, go go go, stop, back up, stop, go go go! while Saturn's all, here I go, ok, I'm going, yep, still going, still going, still gooooooing, think I'll slow down a bit, not that anyone notices, ok, backing up, baaaacking, baaacking, still backing, yep, still backing, ok, slowing down, and forward again, slow and steady wins the race.

  5. We've touched briefly on the notion that our involvement in Hermetic magick must make us more susceptible to the effects of the Mercury retrograde. I like your real estate analogy, though, it's very sensible. Your pointers on preparation are good, too -- I've been thinking about prep work for retrogrades also, and I think this fits the bill perfectly.

    Although, I must admit that this retrograde in particular was pretty easy on me. The worst parts were leading up to retrograde and right before it went direct again, and even that wasn't anything too substantial. So, I break retrogrades down in a few ways:

    First, since Mercury is a very real force in the chain of manifestation, it brings a general funk to the world in the areas in which it is related. Since the areas covered by Mercury affect almost every aspect of life in an intimate way, the effects can be perceived on a wide scale. That said, it then becomes important to observe what sign Mercury is in at retrograde, and you can begin to examine the way it may function (I would posit that a retrograde in Aries would function very differently than if it were in Gemini, for instance.) That can tell you a lot about what the current will "feel" like and how it will operate.

    Further, yes -- when your sphere is so intimately connected to Mercury, you are going to be more personally affected than your average Joe Shmoe. I notice that I get the shit end of the stick sometimes while others seem to get by with impunity.

    Additionally, we are both Hermetic magicians, but this retrograde clearly affected us in different ways. This one wasn't noteworthy for me, while clearly it was for you. So I would be inclined to relate where Mercury is in at the time of retrograde to where Mercury is in your natal chart, and see if it forms any angles or relationships worth mention.

    Giving this some thought before a retrograde could give you some extra preparation, I think. You can even suck at astrology and do this :)

  6. I know what you mean about the backed up posts. I have had 5 that I've wanted to tackle and inspiration just.. buggers off.

  7. Also have bunch of backed up posts here. I've found that if I don't get drafts up within a week, I never do. Had not considered the merc. retrograde's role in that, hmmm...

  8. @Balthazar, I get them backed up frequently all the time, but not in double digits like that.

  9. FR. SEA,

    The actual effects of this retrograde weren't too bad, I blew up at the entire GD one day, but that was about it in terms of major impact. And knowing me, I would probably have blown up even if Mercury were Direct at the time.

    The influence of this Merc Rx weren't that violent or percussive, it was more limited to my ability to focus on writing projects as much as I would like to have focused on it. It was a mild season overall. The analogies I used were probably hyperbolic.

  10. "I'm a Hermetic Magician. Hermetic means based on Hermes, specifically Hermes Trismegistus, but let's not forget Hermes is also Mercury.

    So in other words, my sphere is beach front property when it comes to Mercury Retrogrades. A squall coming in that does little or no damage to the folks further inland can cause major flooding and power outages for extended periods of time in my sphere."

    This is a GREAT explanation of how being immersed in different currents of magic can effect one.

  11. I've got a couple of germinal postings in the can as well. We seem to have a club forming here.

  12. This is an interesting observation. In previous years--when I was practicing almost exclusively internal-type magics--I have generally not experienced any of the static associated with Mercury Retrograde. Some people suggested that this was because I was born under that condition, and therefore native to it. Perhaps, as you suggest, I was simply "inland", and less subject to the vagaries of astrological "weather".

    This last round however, since I started experimenting with planetary magic and more hermetic-esque schools of thought--that is, "moved toward the coast"--it's kicked me in the teeth. Specifically, my number of computer problems has gone through the roof, I've had increased troubles with my dyslexia and verbal communication skills, and just an incredibly difficult time staying focused on anything. It wasn't so bad at the beginning, but by the time Mercury went direct I was pretty much useless. Now, there's also a lot of other things going on that could contribute to this, but .... it's an interesting coincidence.

  13. RO: "In the last month and a half, I've written twenty-five posts that didn't get published. Twenty-five. They're mostly Post Titles with an opening paragraph or two. Topics running the gamut from Black Magic and the Kings of Hell to health rites and Hermetic interpretations of chakra meditations."

    Wow Fro, I thought I was the only one with a backlog of blog articles started but never finished or published. You've inspired me to get back and work on them. Thanks!

    -Aghor Pir

  14. So I'm like, Universe! Why are there all these gale force hurricane winds fucking up my house! I live in-land!

    And the Universe is like, you moved closer to the ocean, remember? Stupid.

    Awww, I'm so flattered that you use my oil in your work! <3

    I got the citrine chips. I have the frankincense. I'm just waiting on the amber resin. I also bought more pinch bowls/ramekins because the spirits/magical work always steal all mine.

    I just did a big rite today for glamoury stuff. Full moon/Friday = yes. I think some doors got blown open. We'll see what happens!

  15. Mercury's direct station has been pretty good to me so far. Made my first Mercury talisman and I think it's helping me manage my life better. It's really something that had an almost immediate effect. As a Mercury-ruled sun sign I suspect I usually get hit in the head with the Rx periods.

    I kind of suspect that anyone with a strong Mercurial influence in their natal chart gets especially hit, including those with strong natal Mercury positions.

    With retrograde Mars it's been evident for me - with a strong natal Mars (also Rx at birth), I've had a lot of things related to that sphere get turned on their heads. A lot of refocusing of ambitions and the shutting down of things that aren't conductive to my goals.

  16. Funny thing was I waited until Mercury went direct to do a big re-install. Made no difference it was still a pain in the arse

    Nick Farrell


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