Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mercury Retrograde and Other True Tales of Magic

Do you know that saying about the gods of Cthulhu? The more you become aware of them, the more they’re aware of you? I think magic is like that (and astrology, too).

Here's my story. I have this ritual I do every calendar New Year. On New Year's eve, I take a number of dimes (I think it started at five and we've added one every year we've been doing this) and wrap them in a gold colored silk scarf. I place the scarf outside on our doorstep (hidden from the neighbors, of course.) We leave it there overnight. The idea is that the physical act of bringing the money inside the next day represents being receptive to good fortune, particularly in the form of cash, throughout the upcoming year.

Well, this year we forgot about our dimes for a couple of days.

And I have to say there have been a number of things that make me feel like this is exactly what's been happening to us this year in terms of my incidental writing money. Like, so far, it hasn't been anything big, but there are a number of short stories that I have out to market which have made it past various first cuts (or so the editors have informed me), but which seem to have gone into a kind limbo ever since getting the initial good news. Similarly, my agent sold Japanese rights to books I wrote under another name and the IRS and I have been back and forth (with my tax consultants acting as an intermediary) over one silly little form which means the world of difference in how I get taxed on such things. In other words, the money is there, it's just being held up.

Weird, huh?

And, of course, Mercury is retrograde (and has been since March 2).

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

Sure, you do. You just don't know it. Thing is, if I tell you want Mercury in retrograde means, I know you're going to find yourself suddenly aware of its effect on your life. I know, because this is exactly how I got sucked into astrology.

I get these silly little astrology alerts about various retrograding planets, and here’s what says about Mercury: “It's that time again: Mercury turned retrograde on March 2, and will continue its apparent backward journey until the 25th. Better dust off all the standard Mercury-retrograde cautions: Back up computer files and go the extra mile to express yourself clearly. When the Communication Planet is in reverse, it can feel like productivity is in park! But no two retrogrades are the same -- and Mercury's latest move makes this a crucial time to strike new balance."

"Mercury retrograde is always cause for introspection -- even more so as it takes place in Pisces, the imaginative final sign of the zodiac. The Fish swim through deep, dreamy waters, so pay close attention to your subconscious cues for the next few weeks. Reason may be particularly obscured, but as typical modes of communication become tricky, we'll all benefit from indulging those creative sides!”

For me, Mercury in retrograde usually means I should shut the hell up. So I will.


Zoe said...

I'd like to learn astrology, but so far I've found it endlessly confusing.

tate said...

It's hard. There's a great set of books that I've found really pretty good primers. THE ONLY WAY TO LEARN ASTROLOGY... series by Marion March and Joan McEvers.

Honestly, I just love to collect astrology books. I'll never find the time to read them all.