Vedic Astrology & Palmistry

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The cliché of Mercury retrograde thinking

October 11th, 2014 · No Comments · Astrology, Humour, Instruction


As an author I try to be mindful of clichés and avoid them like the plague. Clichés include phrases like: think outside the horoscope, kill two Geminis with one stone, take the Taurus by the horns, etc. We’ve seen these word-groups so many times they’ve become stock communications devices, comfortable crutches we can lean on when we’re too lazy to walk.

The challenge that every serious writer takes up, however, is to express something in words that no one’s yet composed in this particular combination. The very word novelist implies a responsibility to say something new, or at least say an old thing in a novel way.

As an astrologer, I’m dismayed at how often our profession advises deferring life in the face of Mercury retrograde. Three times a year this old bogeyman in a wheelchair gets rolled out for everyone to contemplate with a collective sense of dread, lethargy and resignation.

Sadly, repeated warnings of Mercury retrograde from the astrological community have become a kind of boy-who-cried-wolf running gag that now turns up on mainstream media. Sorry, but we do our profession no service by continuing to spout this questionable folk wisdom. We might as well shout: Beware Friday the 13th! Don’t walk under that ladder in front of that black cat! Don’t step on that crack, you’ll break your mother’s back!


Mercury retrograde has become the modern astrologer’s cliché. So deeply entrenched is this in our culture that some national astrological associations routinely offer for sale wallet-sized cards indicating Mercury retrograde periods. God forbid we should forget to discourage a client with the dubious prediction that these murky periods – three times a year, for three weeks at a pop – lurk like ponds of quicksand to swallow their emails, their travel plans or their job interviews.

Meanwhile, serious analysis of this phenomenon reveals no bias whatsoever for mishap or disaster during Mercury retrograde periods – neither natural disasters, aviation crashes, maritime sinkings, train wrecks nor acts of terrorism. If there really was a discernible southbound drift of stock prices during Mercury retrograde, don’t you think we’d all be counting our money on the terrace of our Caribbean hideaway instead of selling umbrellas to clients for the next planetary shit-storm?

Mercury retrograde: it’s a problem all right, but one that we’ve created in our own minds. We lend it more credence than it deserves, and it’s time we stop passing this fallacy on to our clients.

But if you think this is unduly harsh, just remember, Every cloud has a Mercury lining.


Alan Varanasi @ 50%Alan Annand is an astrologer and writer of crime fiction, including his New Age Noir series featuring astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, a criminal profiler whom one reviewer called “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Find his books at AmazonAppleBarnes&NobleKoboSmashwords

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