Mercury in Retrograde: December 19th 2016 – January 7th 2017*

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Two days into Mercury retrograding, I found myself with a couple of failed online appointments and an aching left ankle. Certainly typical of what Mercury in Retrograde asks of us – that is, to stop and to slow down. In a world where capitalism commands lives and most are addicted to being busy, I’ve seen people express dislike – and even hate – of the retrograding Mercury.

I am aware that many, if not most, people cannot afford to stop or slow down, at least not outwardly. We have to continue working, taking care of families, paying the bills, and so the list goes. In my opinion, a couple of deep breaths before you start walking briskly towards the train station is a step towards the right direction. And if you’re not a morning person, writing a couple of sentences in your journal before you go to sleep or making tea for yourself after work can also be ameliorative.

Despite the above recommendations, I do believe that the mind-buzz that we experience daily can be managed through actions that are angled inward – towards the inner-self & beyond tactility. I like giving myself daily mantras that I recite throughout the day to myself, such as Surrender or Breathe. The reminding of the self is an act of meditation and recentering the mind. Other times, I also enjoy turning to one-card Tarot spreads. I read one card out of the pile, and make it my daily focus. The purpose of that is to focus my energy towards one thing that means something to me. Maybe I’m archaic in that sense; I know that post-modern art disagrees with me.

Mercury will be in retrograde until January 7th, 2017, which perfectly aligns with the holiday season! I’ll be sipping hot cocoa in my newly painted room, drawing charts, and massaging my ankle. I’m finding that contemplating Venusian energy in a slow time like this puts me at ease, so here I am absorbing the color blue that contrasts perfectly with the cream-colored walls and dark gray pillows (pictured above). Yes, friends…aesthetics! What will you be doing?

*For wise words on Mercury in Retrograde, I love reading up on Mystic Mamma’s compilation of wisdom. Chani Nicholas has some cool things up, too. ElsaElsa’s post is affirming and warm.

Book: Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs by Linda Goodman

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Cover of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs (1972)

One of the most frequently asked questions that I get about astrology is regarding where I get my information from. In my experience, finding books that go beyond the basic stereotypical knowledge of astrology is difficult; finding people who do “proper” astrology is truly harder – which is why I turn to books. The great thing for those who are serious about deepening their astrological knowledge is that there are resources out there! Unfortunately, you have to scour for them yourselves. Yes, it’s a trial-and-error process.

I had my start with shallow online descriptions of astrological signs. Being a believer in astrology and all things occult since the beginning, reading those did not allow me the footing nor the integrity to study astrology seriously. Reading this book helped me gain confidence in the discipline of astrology. Now, this book is a staple in my shelf. Linda Goodman speaks with such authority (whether the people gave it to her or not is a different issue) on a field that is constantly belittled by the “rational” world. Goodman’s voice is fresh and at times, funny. I admit that her approach to reading the sun signs are highly gendered, and therefore, antiquated. After all, this book came out in the 70’s – so read it with a grain of salt.

I think it’s important to read astrological work with a critical mind. It certainly deserves the same kind of seriousness that we give to the academic/scholarly work that we frequent in university. That being said, this book is thorough in describing the male versus female manifestation of each sun sign, as well as their manifestation in children and bosses. Yes, an interesting and somewhat useful categories. Yet, I would be very careful in allowing her descriptions to become stereotypes that we hold on to. I know many people end up stereotyping signs, and I am highly against that kind of thinking. Reading this book and stopping here will certainly do that. Consider this book a first entertaining glance at the astrological world that is yet to unfold, not a bible! (Did I mention she prefaces each section with quotes from Alice in Wonderland?)

I highly recommend reading her Foreword as it sets the context for this book. Many astrologers have different angles, and it’s worth your time to know Goodman’s. Like any academic, Goodman is a part of a certain school of thought. I, for one, know that she would not really get along with Dane Rudhyar’s meta-astrological camp.

For those that have read this book, any thoughts? Did it ever impress you – or the opposite? Book available here.