Thursday, August 19, 2010

Surviving Mercury Retrograde -- What to Do and What Not to Do

Even those who don't really consider themselves to be into astrology are probably familiar with the term "Mercury retrograde". When a planet goes retrograde, it tends to create a certain amount of chaos when it comes to the areas it governs. As Mercury is the planet of communications, travel, meetings, and contracts, Mercury retrograde periods have become associated with snafus in regards to people's daily commutes, misunderstandings of all types, a greater than average likelihood that contracts signed during that period won't live up to expectations over time, and more.

Mercury usually goes retrograde three times a year (although the timing is just right in 2010 for four) and each period lasts approximately three weeks. It also just so happens that the next of these periods will begin in earnest tomorrow (August 20th), although many of you could be feeling the effects already. This time around, it's all going down in the sign of Virgo and this universal trickster won't be going direct again until September 12th. It is, however, incredibly important to note that all planetary transits have an upside. While this is no doubt a bad time for some courses of action, it's an excellent one for others. Here are a few tips to help you make the best of things and come out on the other side none the worse for wear.

What To Do:

  • Back up all of your important files on your computer, your phone, your PDA, or any other electronic device you may depend on to help you keep your life together. Mercury has a way of screwing with anything even remotely connected to tech stuff -- especially if it's anything you depend on to keep you in touch with others.
  • Finish up old projects and tie up loose ends. While this isn't the time to begin anything new, it's the perfect time to go back and work on open projects. Edit or proofread writing you're working on, spend some time on that home improvement endeavor you've had on the back burner lately, or see what you can do at the office to put the finishing touches on an assignment you're on the verge of putting to bed.
  • Catch up on correspondence. This is the perfect time to get together with old friends you haven't seen in far too long, to call your parents to say "hi", or to see which of your old school buddies are on Facebook.

What Not To Do:
  • Don't travel if you can possibly help it. Mercury retrograde periods aren't the best times to take off on vacation or travel for business. However, if you absolutely can't avoid it, be sure to take precautions to minimize the risk of misfires that could throw a monkey wrench into your plans. Double check reservations, drive extra carefully, leave early to avoid unexpected traffic, and be sure to confirm any and all appointments.
  • Don't sign contracts or make any monumental decisions. They're more likely than usual not to turn out the way you're hoping. If at all possible, wait until Mercury goes direct to make your final decision. Instead, use this period to review the situation and reflect upon the decision at hand.
  • Don't make any major purchases. This goes triple for anything electronic or that you might rely on to communicate with others, such as a computer or a cell phone. Your equipment is more likely to turn out to have problems or to not really be what you wanted. 
Overall, a Mercury retrograde period is the best time to relax, regroup, recoup, and reconsider... not to forge ahead and push against the tide. Give it try and see if it makes a difference this time around!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Greetings, Loved Ones

I hemmed and hawed for a good long time on the subject of whether or not to actually reopen this blog. On the one hand, I have so many blogs as it is on a variety of different subjects. Then there's the question of whether or not anyone is really actually all that interested in listening to me discuss my spiritual beliefs at all. They don't seem to be appropriate to discuss on any of my personal blogs, but that doesn't mean that I don't have plenty that I'd like to say about them. Eventually, I decided that I'd really like to have this if only for myself, that I would put it out there for public consumption regardless, and that I'd see if it speaks to anyone else as well.

I suppose it would be fitting to tell you a little bit about who I am in case you're not familiar with me in any other form. My given name is Shannon, but I also often go by the nickname Cat. I'm a full-time freelance artist and writer from the Monterey Bay area of Northern California.

Among the many areas of expertise about which I've written for my many clients are a few that are very close to my heart from a spiritual standpoint including astrology, tarot, paganism, Wicca, and other topics along those lines. I currently ghostwrite regular horoscopes, compatibility reports, and instructional materials on astrology and tarot for a number of companies and websites. However, one gets tired of ghostwriting... or of always writing content for other people's websites. I have a lot to say on all of these subjects in my own words and to my own audience and there's nothing like a nice niche blog to store and share your personal writings.

I've been on something of a spiritual journey for my entire life and over the course of that span of time, I've stuck my toe into the waters of many different religions. Although I've never officially decided I'm a follower of any specific one, I've at different times considered myself to be agnostic, Christian, Wiccan, or any combination of the above at once. At this point in time, I consider myself to be a spiritual agnostic with strong leanings toward generalized paganism and that's the way it's been for me for many years.

I plan on posting a number of things in this blog, but they will all relate to my spiritual beliefs and personal practices in some way. The following will definitely all be included at some point, although I'm sure that, like any blog, this one will eventually take on a life of its own and evolve naturally as well.

  • Monthly horoscopes 
  • Astrology resource articles on a variety of subjects
  • Articles related to paganism, the occult, and divination
  • Personal essays on spirituality and related subjects
I consider myself to have a unique approach to all of these subjects that I haven't seen put out there in quite the way I'm planning on, so I'm looking forward to getting started at some point in the not so distant future. I do hope that those of you who stumble across this will like what you read here and find a little food for thought regardless of what your own beliefs may be.