Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mercury retro-what?

I’m Back!!

Ye gods, what a time to go off-line for a bit! . I’ve changed phone companies and had to change my phone number, but at least now I can hold a two-way conversation on the telephone at all times (I know, you’d think that would be standard… but when the provider couldn’t fix the problem after 3 months, it was time to move on).

I noted with some amusement that a recent astrological newsletter has mercury retrograde for 7 more days than it actually is and has Mars going retro early and finishing early. Maybe the author should double-check his facts under retrograde Mercury? Everybody else has to, and being an astrologer makes one more susceptible, (not less susceptible), to astrological snafus.

Correct dates for the coming retrograde transits according to Michelsen’s Ephemeris are

Mercury Direct - November 1, 2007 – (23 degrees Libra)
Mars Retrograde - November 15, 2007 - January 30, 2008
Uranus Direct – November 24, 2007
Saturn Retrograde – December 19, 2007 – May 2, 2008
Mercury Retrograde – January 28, 2008 – February 19, 2008

Busy doesn’t begin to cover the last month and a half for me, and the madcap mayhem that found its way into the lives of my friends under this transit… well yeah, I really should have warned you all about this, but there is only so much I can do in a day.

As usual, writing occupies most of my time in Mercury retro, I find the focus invigorating, but it takes it toll on the rest of my life. Did I mention that I can be a wee bit obsessive?

My first astrology course was successful. I’m not sure who learned more, my students or I, but we all seemed to come away a little wiser for the effort. I had taught the course for a solitary student first (to write the basic material), then for a small class in my home (refined the basic material for the class just completed) and with a little further refinement, it’ll be ready for the general public. I’ll be looking to run the course in the local community colleges, and perhaps even online, in the near future.

I’m also putting together a “celestial mechanics” paper that I will make freely available online. Celestial mechanics is fundamental to good astrology, and is probably the least understood component of astrological theory. It involves some basic science, all of which makes a lot of simple good sense, but requires a lot of explaining. More importantly, the meanings of many points in the Astrological chart can be traced directly to their roots in celestial mechanics.
So, yes I have been busy, but now its back to business as usual with Mercury going direct, today, in Libra.

[update: I heard back from the astrologer who's dates I corrected
Hey Rodney,
I picked those date for the beginning of Mars retrograde and ending of Mercury because I read Erin Sullivans book on retrograde planets and the retrograde effect begins when the planet starts slowing down and ends when it starts moving forward at its normal speed. Sandra Leigh Serio confirmed that we felt the effects of Mercury retrograde when it started slowing down before it went retrograde.
to which I say, when you are dealing with the general public, you cannot afford to play fast and loose with astro-terminology, lest you make yourself, and by extension astrology, look foolish with apparently contradictory information.

The point of greatest elongation (to which your sources apparently refer) is a different thing to the beginning retrograde in [apparent] motion, and Mars will not resume "normal speed"(whatever that actually could mean) until well into February.

For what its worth, Mercury, Venus and Mars do not have "normal" speeds, they are either accelerating or decelerating because we play a type of "orbital tag" with them around the Sun... they may have average speeds, but that is another discussion entirely. Mercury and Venus are either applying to or separating from their respective conjunctions with the Sun, the point at which applying becomes separating (or vice verse) is their point of maximum ecliptic elongation. Mars is another kettle of fish entirely... best I get that celestial mechanics paper done...

Were I to use such points (which I am incidentally researching) then I'd be choosing the moments at which Mercury and Venus match apparent speed with the Sun]

Take Care



Melissa said...

Are you still having group at Cafe Luwak on Thursday nights?

Rodney Smith said...

Hey Melissa,

Yeah we still do that, I'll bed LA is warmer than Michigan these nights.


Melissa the Homeless said...

It is much warmer, but I'm back up in Michigan because I could not find an apartment. See you tonight perhaps!

Rodney Smith said...

I'm actually at "My Favorite Cafe" in Saline tonight (Just south of Michigan Avenue on Ann Arbor Street)

The others will be at the cafe, or you can join me in Saline if you can make it


Melissa said...

See you in Saline! Are you bringing baby Jack?