Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Knowledge In Retrograde

The Great Pootini

The other day my friend Dale made an announcement on Facebook. He said "nobody needs to know what I think about 'Mercury in retrograde.'" He typed it emphatically, you could just tell.  It's not always easy to judge these things in the digital world, but I believe he was taking a tone.

Dale and I are compatible spirits. We're not entirely alike of course. He tends toward melancholy, and I toward alcoholy. But I thought it was likely that if nobody needed to know what he thinks about Mercury in retrograde, maybe nobody needed to know what I think about it either. Which means I have to go look it up again so that I remember what I think about it. I try to keep a tidy house in my head and that means I maintain a running fire sale on thoughts that I haven't used in a few years.

So I looked it up. If a planet is in retrograde, it means it looks like it's going backwards from the vantage point of us on Earth. It's not going backwards. It's going the same direction as it always has. It's just an illusion brought about because the planets take different amounts of time to orbit the sun and they do a little leap-frogging. Shepherds who spent one heck of a lot of time under the stars noticed that the planets seemed to go astray every so often and, not having a clear grip on what was actually going on, began to read a lot into it. Maybe they fell into some hard times and squinted up at the planet backing up and thought: huh. We should probably be more cautious whenever that happens. And a whole network of observations and associations built up around these things and got passed down. It's like thinking your team loses when you forget to wear your lucky shirt, only bigger, inasmuch as it involves everybody and the whole solar system and all.

Thousands of years later when we're sophisticated enough to land a golf cart on a particular plain on Mars, people still figure the shepherds were probably on to something.

So I don't have the particulars, but you're supposed to approach decisions in your own life in specific ways whenever it looks kind of like the planets are going to backwards even though they're not. Like, right now Mercury is in retrograde. It's in retrograde an average of three times a year, so you have to stay on top of it. When Mercury is in retrograde, you might need to plan more carefully. With proper knowledge of your star charts, you would know when to plan for more spontaneity, say. And everyone isn't affected the same way. It depends on when you, personally, first presented your slimy self to the outside air. If you're a November baby, you might have to conduct yourself in a whole different way from a spring hatchling.

Which means my parents changed everything for me when they had me induced two weeks early. The effect that Mercury has on me as it trundles predictably around the sun but appears to be going backwards might be entirely different than it could have been, all because of parental fatigue and a  Pitocin drip.

If I do want to know what it is I should be doing, or doing differently, as a result of these celestial illusions, there's an astrologer in the neighborhood I can consult. Scoff if you will, but she's got powers. She gets bigger every time she approaches me and smaller when she leaves. Swear to Jupiter.

30 comments:

  1. Yet in spite of her power to wax and diminish, Pootini would likely be a better source for guidance. Just sayin.

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    1. Oh, I'm with you there. There's a lot of wisdom in that linty head.

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  2. That reminds me of the 8 year old girl who went on her first flight in an airplane with her grandmother. She was very concerned, and after take off she asked, "Gramma, when do we get really small?"

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  3. I sweartagah. There's ghost next to you in that photo, and you didn't mention him. Did you not see him??? Or did I miss something in what you did say?

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    1. Ghost? What ghost? That's just Linda and Dave and me, celebrating our dear friend Walter's life.

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    2. And he looks like he is celebrating along with you. Which is as it should be.

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  4. The only thing that affects me is the moon. You've seen what it does to the tides (Bill O'Reilly doesn't understand that) and since I'm mostly water (and some beer) you should see what it does to me every six hours or so!

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    1. Me too! Let's call ourselves Eb and Flo.

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  5. (Do I tend to melancholy? I always thought I was annoyingly cheerful!)

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    1. (Sometimes one has to sacrifice the truth for a better story.)

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    2. That's always been the guiding principle at Fox news....

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  6. Astrology's not my thing but dressing up a cute little stuffed animal might become my thing. My word, you've outdone yourself with that outfit for Pootie! It makes me want to go sew a wardrobe for my Folkmanis bear puppet.

    Awesome ghost photo.

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    1. Ghost photo? What ghost photo?

      Pootie has more clothes than I do. You have to be careful though. He doesn't look good in Spandex, but then again, who does?

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  7. OK, so there's no ghost. So I wont mention it.But if I did mention it, it would be to say it's quite an impressive ghost.
    I've heard Congress described as being in retrograde...

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  8. So, Walter's in retrograde? Not to take one little ol' thing from the importance of that, but there's just a slew of retrograders out there, then. I'm a little lost. Could you please write a whole 'nother post 'splainin' this one?

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    1. Walter's actually among the living, but, you know, he's neither here nor there.

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  9. Naw, not a ghost....just an image in a bit of retrograde. That's all.

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    1. JERRY! Where've you been, honey?

      I also look better in retrograde.

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    2. Jerry's been in temporary retrograde.

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  10. Hmmm. I have no idea how my entrance into the world was affected by Mercury's imaginary fluctuations, so perhaps I am just going to have to be very careful in all of my decisions all of the time, just to cover my a**. Dang! I was hoping to be able to safely make ill-considered decisions once in a while.
    And Pootie does look quite well planned, btw. Is his planet in retrograde?

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    1. Pootie's planets are forever floating in endorphins and sass, which are somewhere in the Oort Cloud.

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  11. Regular or retrograde, it's all quite confusing. Even more so for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere where the seasons are back to front. and what about those of us who were born in a Northern Hemisphere summer but now have our birthdays in a Southern Hemisphere winter? how the heck are we supposed to work ourselves out?
    I'll just ignore the whole thing and keep drifting through life.

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    1. I heartily endorse the Tumbleweed Approach to life. Of course, I drifted into a pretty good spot.

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  12. One of the astrobabble things about Mercury in retrograde is that you aren't supposed to do anything important while it's going on. I don't know how to reconcile that with gardening season in Canada, and the May something to June something retrograde goings on, so I went ahead and planted my new roses anyway. Please ask Pootie to send them some oms.

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    1. Gardening season, being a real thing, takes precedence over all other fabricated seasons.

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  13. That astronomy stuff - if it's real, I'm a freaking psychic (Pisces, Pisces rising, Aquarius moon) or a freaky psychotic. I see things that no one else registers but I've learned not to mention it too often because - you know - strong gentlemen in white jackets take an interest.

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    1. Dinner jackets. Dinner jackets, right?

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