Learning and Experiencing from Mercury Retrograde
by Jean Luo

We just came out of the 2nd Mercury Retrograde of the year 2020. Mercury rules all types of communication, which includes listening, speaking, learning, reading, editing, researching, negotiating, selling, and buying. Mercury also rules all formal contracts and agreements, as well as important documents such as book manuscripts or term papers, agreements, deeds, contracts, leases, wills, and so forth. The computer codes, transportation, shipping, and travel are also ruled by Mercury. Generally speaking, Mercury rules all things we rely on in our day-to-day lives. Therefore, when this planet turns to retrograde, the above-mentioned areas tend to get scrambled or spin out of control.  As such, Mercury Retrograde has a reputation for being the most infamous astrological transit and I think we’ve all experienced its confusion or impact on our plans.

Because of its so called ‘bad’ reputation, traditionally, people tend to fear Mercury retrogrades as they are afraid of saying or doing something wrong, or having ‘bad’ experiences, such as computer crashes, mail or emails lost, miscommunication, misinformed and misunderstanding, electronics and cars breaking down, and travel problems, etc. The traditional advice is often “Don’t travel; Don’t sign contracts; Don’t marry; Don’t touch electrics; Don’t make decisions, etc.” as if our life must be put on hold till the Mercury retrograde is over. Ironically, the whole Mercury retrograde cycle lasts about eight weeks (about 2 weeks before Mercury turns to retrograde and about two weeks after Mercury turns direct), and it happens three times, sometimes even four times in a year! If we put our lives on hold in every Mercury retrograde cycle, we would hide from life for the most time, and we would be unable to experience life fully!

Is Mercury Retrograde really the root of all astrological ‘bad’ luck? Should we never sign contracts, meet new people, go on a trip, fly to other cities, or move when Mercury is retrograde? I don’t know your answer, but I know my answer, “No, not at all!”. In fact, although Mercury Retrograde is as ‘bad’ as its reputation, it is actually a great time to finish unfinished business and make room for something new.

This is exactly what we experienced two weeks ago during Mercury’s last phase of its’ second retrograde of this year. The Covid-19 Pandemic has really changed our society and our life. One of the changes is that people started to work from home. Ratna who has been with us since we went India with Margaret/Maitreya, returned to Seattle to be with us from New Orleans. Due to the Covid-19 situation, he has been working remotely since April from his little apartment we set him up with when we departed New Orleans a year ago. For us, the Covid-19 was a catalyst to assist the manifestation that we all envisioned when we moved back Seattle and left him in New Orleans with his job. We all wanted Ratna to come home and work from Seattle remotely. The Covid-19 Pandemic granted our wish! However, he was still paying the apartment rental and utilities, and he still had all his stuff in the apartment in New Orleans. The last week of Mercury retrograde, he talked to us that he wanted to close his apartment rental and move the furniture to a small storage to save the extra expense. We thought it was a good idea and a great opportunity to finish this task at the end of Mercury retrograde.

We planned that Ratna, Alan and I would fly to New Orleans to help him pack and move. Originally, we had planned to hike to Margaret Lake on July 13th, the day of Margaret’s passing four years ago, to commemorate her, and then fly to New Orleans after Mercury retrogrades post shadow period was over. Unfortunately, we found that the path to Margaret Lake was still covered by snow, and it would not be safe for us to make the 6+ mile roundtrip hike that also has an elevation gain of ~2,000 feet. So, we had to change our original plan. This prompted us to fly to New Orleans a week earlier, which happened to be the weekend when the retrograded Mercury changed its direction from retrograde to direct. It is often said that the most difficult time astrologically is when Mercury changes direction and enters a stationary phase. This change of direction from retrograde to direct can be described as a wobbly stage where we are likely to slip-up, make mistakes, encounter unexpected happenings, and have miscommunications, etc. We decided against all the traditional advice of “don’t travel, don’t move, don’t sign a contract. We made the choice to not put our life on hold and build a wall around us because of Mercury retrograde. We decided not hide from Mercury retrograde, instead, with a positive attitude and full awareness of its’ characteristics, we decided to surf its’ energy with the understanding that we needed to pay attention to its’ attributes and challenges and deal with any ups and downs from a perspective of understanding rather than emotional turmoil or meltdown.

We flew to New Orleans on Friday, July 10th. There was a little hassle while I was going through the airport security. My carry-on bag was opened and had to be rechecked due to the electronics that I carried with me for my online teaching on the weekend. Although it was a little frustrating and an inconvenience because I knew it was Mercury retrograde, I just patiently let the security guard do his job and it went well. The plane was full, everyone wore masks, which made breathing somewhat difficult for a 4 hour stretch. Because we understood it was the law, we obeyed and let it be, so everything went smoothly. We also had an appointment to change our tires at Costco New Orleans at 5 pm the same day we arrived. Unexpectedly, there was only one technician working at the shop when we arrived for our appointment as others were sick. If we waited, there was no guarantee what time we could get the tire changed. Alan was thinking out of the box, he suggested to the lady who was working to move our appointment to the 1st appointment Saturday morning. The lady was so relieved that she moved our appointment to Saturday at 9:30 am. It turned out to be the most efficient decision. We got the tires changed smoothly the following morning. Since Alan and I were going to drive Ratna’s car back to Seattle, he wanted to make sure his car insurance and registration were all up to date in case we got stopped since Ratna would not be with us. It turned out that Ratna’s car registration had just expired in June 2020, so he needed to renew the car registration. However, the DMV office was unexpectedly not open on Saturday morning. It was disappointing. However, instead of being frustrated, Ratna searched google and found a private company was also doing the car registration and it was open on Saturday! We went there immediately, and he renewed his car registration in 10 minutes! There were indeed quite a few unexpected twists and happenings while we were in New Orleans, but we accomplished everything successfully according to our plan. Fortunately, everything was in order as Alan has a lead foot and we got stopped for exceeding the speed limit in Utah and the officer had to check the vehicle registration that was now up to date. Surprisingly, he wished us a good day and let us off with a warning! Alan was doing 88 in a 65! LOL

Then, last weekend, the four of us visited Hells Canyon on the boarder of Idaho and Oregon. We drove to an overlook point with an elevation about 7,000 feet, then we wanted to go down to visit the Hells Canyon Dam which is at an elevation of 1,500 feet. It would take us one hour more of driving to double back if we went with the regular google map. However, Korinne found a shortcut, which was only 7.5 miles on a primitive road if we had the nerve and stomach for it. While it was a little perilous on a few of the switchbacks as we navigated a 5,550-foot decline of elevation over a 7.5-mile primitive dirt road, it was definitely an adventure. It turned out to be a scenic treasure as it enabled us to see the most beautiful, magical, and magnificent views of Hells Canyon which we couldn’t have experienced taking the normal route. Alan was the driver; he did an incredible job getting us safely down.

Then we drove another 150 miles enjoying the sights of the the canyon without any cell phone service. Just as we reached the freeway, the battery light on the dashboard of our car came on, followed by all the electronic lights on, then they all went off. All the electronics were out of control. Alan stayed calm and continued to drive the car as he alerted us to what was happening. The car was losing power, but thankfully we were able to drive another 10 miles and were able to reach the top of a hill just as we lost all power and pulled to the side of the road. Miraculously, until we hit the top of the hill, there was no service, no wireless signals and we would have been stuck in the middle of nowhere. This was a serious sudden and unexpected happening, and we could not do anything but stay calm and go with the flow. We didn’t panic and Korinne and I did a silent prayer to ask Spirit to help us. Luckily, the car died when we just reached a zone having cell service and we were twenty miles away from a town which could hopefully fix the care. The cell signal enabled us to make a phone call to the insurance company to arrange someone to come to tow our dead car, but she said the driver would only be able to take 2 of us with him. It was 2:30 pm on Friday afternoon and there were no taxis, uber, and to top it off, no repair shop was available. So, we didn’t know how we could get all of us to the town or get the car repaired. By the way, we still had 155 miles to go to get to the hotel we planned to stay from the town where we needed our car repaired. The situation was completely out of our reach and control. We could not do anything but surrender and go with the flow. Luckily, when the tow truck driver came, Alan talked to him about our situation and asked his expertise. He offered to take us to his friend’s tire shop to fix our car and ironically his truck was able to carry all 4 of us to the shop with the car. We were most definitely grateful to him. Two and half hours later, we had our car repaired and by 5:30 pm, we were on the way to the hotel 155 miles down the road. On the way to the hotel, we saw a sign for Palouse Falls which we had planned to visit before the unexpected happening. To the end, we not only visited Palouse Falls for a beautiful sunset, but also arrived safely at the hotel around 8:30 pm. To end an adventurous day, we were able to enjoy a relaxing spa and swim. A seemly ‘bad’ day turned out perfect!

The Mercury retrograde and changing its direction to station did create sudden and unexpected happenings, and it is inevitable to not experience energy disturbance and situational twists. Its purpose is to provide us the opportunities to experience the challenges so that we can learn how to dance with and harness the energy so we can handle the situation through calmness and trust in the Universe. In this way, we learn from such experiences and attain soul growth. This is the true purpose of experiencing planets in retrograde and difficult planetary transits. These situations are not here to make trouble for us or create difficulties; they are here to enable learning, experiencing and soul growing opportunities. Yes, it is true that Mercury retrograde periods or any difficult transit can be frustrating, even fearful, but they allow us to reassess, revisit, readdress, redo, and redesign our plans. Mercury retrograde allows us to stop, look, listen, and redirect our energies more productively. Mercury also helps us find closure to certain situations.

We can choose to panic, complain, and blame it for our ‘bad’ luck, or we can choose to be open to accept whatever happens as a part of learning and experiencing. If we choose to be open, flexible, and adapt to the new situation without fear, worry, agitation or frustration, the Universe will always bring us the perfect solution. We will learn a lot from going through it and we should be truly grateful for the life experience and how blessed we are. The most important aspect is to completely surrender to the Universe, have no fear and stay calm, trust, and believe that everything will work its way for the best. Then let go. As we do so and go with the change, everything will fall into place smoothly and successfully.

From what we have just experienced during this Mercury retrograde and changing direction, we have learned that first of all, we need to be aware of the planets retrogrades and their roles in our life, so we are prepared for what may happen; secondly, have no fear, continually live our life as it should be, not stop or delay things we should do; thirdly, be open, flexible and adaptable to the unexpected happenings, and be willing to make adjustments and go with the change. Often, it is our fear of change and fixation of thinking and doing things a certain way that create the difficulties and challenges. If we are simply open and receptive, the Universe will bring us the best solution to accomplish what we set out to do; at last, be responsible and practical, have patience and trust that everything will work its way out for the best. We must learn to take full responsibility for what we do, in the same token, surrender to the universe, let go, let God. If we can do so, all be well.

We can all benefit from the above practice. Mercury retrograde periods do tend to make us slow down, it can often be a blessing for our learning and soul growth.