If you are in the spiritual community than you are familiar with the dreaded raincloud of an astrological forecast called Mercury Retrograde. If you are reading this article, you are most likely familiar with the key advice: Don’t talk to anyone, don’t make deals or sign contracts and make sure not to buy anything significant!
Everyone quick! Crawl into your psychological mental cave and don’t come out until this influence passes! Well that would be just fine if we actually still lived in a tribe and the modern structures of society were not so relevant. But are all of these fanatical warnings even actually warranted? Should we walk around wary of the impending doom of the sinister Mercury Retrograde just waiting to get us?
First of all let’s talk a bit about what Mercury in Retrograde even is. Mercury retrograde happens when the planet Mercury passes between the Earth and the Sun, as it passes it appears as if it is spinning backwards. Because Mercury’s orbit is about 84 days, this happens three times a year. While the retrogrades typically last about 22 days, there is a “entering” time frame on either side of two to three weeks where the influences kind of echo. In other words the influences can be felt about a week before and after the actually planetary positioning.
So why do we feel Mercury so intensely? Mercury has a huge core made almost completely of what astronomers have concluded to be iron. The only planet in our Solar System to contain this much of this metal, with Mercury passing so closely between the Earth and Sun it almost becomes like a huge magnet charging between polarities. While it hasn’t been proven by science, I would assume this is the reason that technology can get a bit dysfunctional during this time. Not to mention on an even deeper level, why it affects the human brain since both Mother Earth and our nervous system are wired with electromagnetic properties.
These influences on a spiritual realm, open what is know as a shadow or yin period. This is not a shadow period in the sense of negativity although the common westerner who does not understand these qualities would paint it as so, hence why there is so much hype about Mercury Retrograde. These energetic principles can be seen in all of life and I call them the galactic breath. All of life has an ebb and flow, an inhale and exhale. Maybe you would be more familiar with the yin and yang metaphor. Mercury Retrograde as mentioned above is the yin. It is the time to relax, rest, to contemplate and collect what would otherwise be not easily accessible information from the realm beyond. It is about purifying your vessel through slowing down but also just listening to what the universe would like for you to do next.
Mercury Retrograde if utilized properly can be a kind of extrasensory tool to contact and connect with the steps to take next on the path or that hidden piece of the puzzle you have been trying to figure out. To paint a picture of what this influence is like, I will compare it to drinking Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is an extremely potent psychedelic plant medicine used by the ancients to purify the body and spirit but also has been the connector to the spirit world for Shamans and medicine men for thousands of years. In these traditional ceremonies the Shaman will most often ask that you do not communicate with others but just experience what the medicine has to show you. This influence is of the same structure. It excites such periods of utter chaos that you literally just have to surrender to observe and obtain the lesson and more importantly the cleansing.
Now that I have offered some ethos to chew on, to get a feel of what this energy period is all about, I will share with you tools I have observed to be beneficial in exalting these energies to create a pleasant planetary influence for you.
6 Ways to Thrive in Mercury Retrograde:
Yup unfortunately still this one: Don’t Sign, Don’t Buy. That is, when you can avoid doing so. I am talking about big purchases. Buying a house, large piece of technology, car or signing an important agreement. The problem if you sign or buy with Mercury retrograde, or about to be going into retrograde, is that something is likely to reverse itself hence the connection with Mercury spinning backwards. Or, you will learn something you wish you had known sooner. Since we all live in a world where we can’t plan everything there are questions of what to do when you have a house closing scheduled for during Mercury retrograde, if you have to start a new job, or you absolutely have to get that new car. If the situation involves significant amounts of money and-or a real commitment, it might be a good idea to talk to an astrologer about how Mercury retrograde affects you personally and how to remedy the situation. (Which I will offer an astrologer friend of mine who is VERY talented at doing Mercury Retrograde readings and coaching at the bottom of this article for those who need it.)
The truth comes out when Mercury shifts, either going retrograde or direct. Since this is a divination energy it has a way of cleansing and exposing the underlying and subconscious truths of situations. Most often you will see this kind of grand reveal of information as Mercury is going direct again coming out of Mercury Retrograde influence or right before going into retrograde. This is one of the main reasons you want to wait before signing or buying. Mercury Retrograde is a crucible of sorts, the idea where if you combine elements in a confined space, put them under pressure and heat; the elements transform. Whether for better or worse, the universe will be handing you the truth of each situation. Though at times it may seem intense, with the right perspectives these could be the long awaited missing puzzle pieces you have been waiting to solve the issue that just wouldn’t go away.
If an item of communication is missed, don’t assume you’re being ignored. During this influence there are going to be more of a likelihood for your email to end up in the spam filter or have general errors. It is better during this time to be graceful and patient, giving people the benefit of the doubt. Make sure to check up on someone with whom you sent a message or email. Specifically if they don’t reply right away during this influence they may just be overwhelmed since the whole globe is experiencing technical difficulties from just not understanding how to handle the current energy shift. Be sure to send a friendly follow up to see if they received your message. When in doubt try, try again and keep calm.
There are a myriad of different programs looking for life out beyond our planets. Missions to Mars looking for water and bacteria, probes to Titan, Europa and Enceladus, the James Webb Space Telescope searching explanets for biosignatures or even SETI to find extraterrestrial radio signals. All of these are well and good, but they are for sure long-term projects which pose significant logistical challenges.
Tangible progress in these fields could be many years away, and success of new life, while certainly it will happen one day, there is no forecast of when we might hope to achieve this.
BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS! We will probably discover a completely new, alien ecosystem right here on our provably habitable and only partially explored home planet. We have only explored about .4% of the Earths total mass, and we might find out some crazy things if only we try looking….
1. Inside the Earths Massive Underground Super-Ocean
This one may actually turn out to mean we’ve never even touched upon the earths largest ecosystem. Geologists are increasingly certain that a massive ocean, larger than all of the water on the earths surface combined, lies deep underneath us.
It’s not unrealistic that earths super-ocean may contain life. Life started in the water on planet earth, whats to say it didn’t start (or at least migrate) deep underground as well? What we’re talking about here is a completely unexplored underground ecosystem that we have NO IDEA is down there, larger than the oceans of Europa and Enceladus combined. For any lover of exploration, this is a dream come true!
The only trouble is that in some ways, it actually seems much easier to travel through 390 million miles of space than it is to go 6 miles of solid rock. The Japanese Chikyu vessel is being constructed over the next 10 years to allow humans to directly access the earths mantle for the first time, and they will be digging directly through the ocean floor to get to it.
This mission may give us evidence of life under the surface, only time and human willpower will tell.
2. In the Earths Upper Atmosphere.
In September 2013, British molecular biologist Milton Wainwright flew a high-altitude balloon over England and found something he didn’t expect to see: algae floating 17 miles above Earth’s surface.
Nobody is quite sure how it got there, and until we have a solid theory we have no reason to assume that these algae are the only life forms we’ll find in the skies of Earth.
One might assume though that it has something to do with the recent discovery of Biological Life manifesting out of non-living materials spontaneously, and the fact that most space-dust is teeming with biological life. You can read more about that here.
3. On the Ocean Floor.
It is an accurate statistic (and commonly-cited nowadays) that less than 5% of the ocean’s floor has been explored. If we were to look at the ocean floor as if it were land, (which technically it is) and realized that we still haven’t mapped over 95% of it… well how well-explored would we say it was?
Dry land only makes up 29% of Earths terrain, and the rest of the surface is hidden from us by massive amounts of water. We have no idea what is lurking at the deepest depths, though what we’ve already seen suggests that there is some REALLY incredible things we have yet to find.
“Our planet, our society, and we ourselves are built of star stuff.”—Carl Sagan, Cosmos
Here’s an amazing fact for your next cocktail party: Every single atom in your body—the calcium in your bones, the carbon in your genes, the iron in your blood, the gold in your filling—was created in a star billions of years ago. All except atoms of hydrogen and one or two of the next lightest elements. They were formed even earlier, shortly after the Big Bang began 13.7 billion years ago.
It’s true, according to astrophysicists. You and everything around you, every single natural and man-made thing you can see, every rock, tree, butterfly, and building, comprises atoms that originally arose during the Big Bang or, for all but the lightest two or three elements, from millions of burning and exploding stars far back in the history of the universe. You live because stars died; it’s that simple.
How is this so? How can you possibly be a walking galaxy of fossil stardust? Well, the story is not a new one, but it bears retelling, if only because its working out was one of the finest achievements of 20th-century astrophysics—and because it’s so astonishing.
The start of it all
The story begins at the beginning, as in the Big Bang. That is when, astrophysicists say, all the hydrogen in the universe came into being. Initially it was just protons, and then, as the young universe expanded and cooled, these became bound to electrons, forming hydrogen atoms. The very hydrogen atoms in the H2O that makes up over half your body were born then. They didn’t come from your parents; they came from the early universe. Did you have any idea you have atoms in your body that are over 13 billion years old?
If you could separate one hydrogen atom from one molecule of water in your body, shrink down to its atomically tiny size like the scientists in Fantastic Voyage, then reverse time and follow it back to through its unimaginable lifetime, you would find yourself in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang. That very hydrogen atom, an atom now inside you as you read this, has remained unchanged since the beginning of time.
The Big Bang also churned out helium, the next lightest element. You don’t have any helium in you, unless you just sucked the gas out of a birthday balloon. But helium is the second most common element after hydrogen. Together they make up more than 98 percent of the matter in the universe. (Luminous matter, that is; dark matter is a whole other story.) A smattering of lithium (element 3) and one or two other of the lightest elements also formed in the Bang, but these were negligible.
Everything else, every other chemical element, including carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and all the other elements essential for your life, is thought to have been fabricated in stars.
How? Well, the story is either simple or horrendously complex depending on whether you’re a science writer or a scientist. Here’s the simple story:
Table for 118
First, what are we talking about when we talk about an element? A chemical element is a substance that cannot be broken down or changed into another substance using chemical means. It can be changed using nuclear means, which is what happens inside stars.
Every second, the sun converts about 500 million tons of hydrogen into helium.
As we learn in high school chemistry—and can remind ourselves with a quick glance at the Periodic Table—hydrogen, the lightest element, has one proton in its nucleus and thus is given the atomic number 1. Helium has two protons and so is number 2, and so on all the way up to uranium, which, with 92 protons in its nucleus, is the heaviest of the “naturally occurring” elements.
Remarkably, all life on Earth, all everything we see around us, consists of various combinations of those 92 elements. There are still heavier elements, ranging from neptunium (93) all the way up to the unofficially named ununoctium (118), though with the exception of trace amounts of neptunium and plutonium (94), these are not found naturally on Earth.
These amazing photos show animals in a way that you’ve never seen them before. Each image serves as a reminder that we share the planet with some truly awe-inspiring creatures.
A frog sails through the rain on a homemade sailboat.