Somehow I knew this Mercury retrograde would be personal. Mercury has gone direct right near my Jupiter and my descendant. I wrote earlier about my Jupiter and a bit about my descendant or 7th house. (More here.) But I’ve had some interesting reflections on Mercury-related issues of late. I feel like sharing a few.
1) There is such a thing as a le mot juste (the right word) and it’s well worthwhile to find it. I’ve known a lot of cyber-bullies in my lifetime on the net, and I’ve spent many keyboard clicks tackling them. Hell, I’ve been called one myself. But I saw something this Mercury retro cycle that I’ve never seen before. I saw a cyberbully get effectively “taken out” with the precision of a sniper, in pretty much two tweets or a total of 280 characters. I won’t bore you with the details, but this cyber-bully (loud-mouthed, know-it-all Sag) went barking up the wrong tree one Sunday morning with some really vicious, violent and unprovoked name-calling against a Virgo woman. She didn’t have to do much but uncover some of his strange shenanigans with his multiple profiles on twitter and the public fact that he had been disbarred. All in two tweets, less than 280 characters, not words. The rest was just other people retweeting her or addenda from other people based on what she had uncovered. He disappeared for week, claiming that his absence was unrelated to her tweets. (Oh, okay!) He hasn’t apologized publicly, but he also has been quiet as a church mouse too, relatively. Brevity is indeed the soul of wit…and kicking ass.
2) People will often do as much as you allow. If you don’t want to get “it” from all sides, then reduce the fallout by setting boundaries or being much more circumspect in what you give out. I definitely had some Mercury-related problems this cycle. One problem I had with clients is that a few were either seriously late (one by an hour) OR who just didn’t show up. So for the first time I had to compose a written policy about cancellations or lateness. I have always had a very folksy practice. In some ways, I will continue to do so. Some fellow astrologers suggested that I ask for deposits and that jazz, but I’m not doing that. I have to keep some measure of trust as a recovering cynic. I think my new policies will work well enough.
I also had to create a more uniform policy for friends in contacting me. That may be harder to fully implement, though. First, you should know this about me that only those close to me know well enough: I HATE THE PHONE. I have pretty much always hated the phone (like since being a toddler), but I’ve wrestled with how to deal with that for most of my adult life. I also didn’t have the right technology to deal with my phone aversions. Screening calls was a godsend when we had answering machines, but the advent of voicemail on a cellphone didn’t allow that to happen. Caller ID helps, but really my problem isn’t really the who. It’s the what. I’m not a chatterer, so I don’t really care who it is: I don’t want to be on the phone unless I have to be. I’m especially impatient with people who live near me. I will travel 2 hours to meet a friend by train and have lunch, but I won’t travel 2 seconds across the room to chat on the phone with a person who’s around the corner. (I’m more forgiving with friends who are farther than a train ride away.) Has nothing to do with the friend or how I feel about the friendship. It’s the phone! So during this retrograde, I gave out my google phone number so I could text people more even from my computer than get on the phone at all. I also did something dumb until I got clear on what I’ve been doing. I got a new and more expensive phone. It hit me that I get high-tech phones to make being on the phone a more palatable experience. But I can’t pretend anymore. I so hate the phone. So I’ve explained to more friends that the best way to reach me is via email or text. All I need are vectors–the where and when to meet. Interestingly, this led to me meeting up with more friends. That felt good. In fact, my best friend and I hung out for the first time in months, instead of crossing paths or texting each other, at the US Open to see Federer fall and Nadal rise into the finals. That was awesome! How’d that happen? You guessed it: by direct message on twitter, text or email. I felt like these things had become real tools for live connections rather than substitutes. I got clear that I can’t do anymore substitutes except for family and friends hundreds of miles away and even then none too much. I’ve got to accept that, and I guess they do too.
3) Name-calling might feel good in the moment when you’re aggressive, but it’s not progressive when you want to solve problems. So you gotta ask yourself as soon as you want to call anyone a name outside of their own in anger: do you want to feel good at someone’s expense or find peace at the benefit of you both? And don’t get it twisted. I am not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t ever call someone out their name. I called Rev. Terry Jones, the guy who wanted to burn Qur’ans in Gainesville, FL, batshit crazy. I still feel good saying that. But I’m a lot more resistant to calling someone anything except their name.
What did you learn during this Mercury Retrograde?