Some astrologers view the confusing time of Mercury Retrograde as a time to redo, revisit, and re-examine our lives, choices and goals. I say R is for retrograde. R for run. Run for your lives. Run, retreat, hide. At least that’s what I’m saying now.
I’ve known about mercury retrograde for years. Basically, it’s an astrological event where the planet mercury which often has loads to do with our communication, technology, travel, among other things begins to move backwards along its charted path. It goes retrograde. Or rogue as far as I’m concerned. Damned planet. Okay, so now you’re thinking “a planet is going to influence my life, and the lives of those around me?” You’re looking at me through the computer screen with an incredulous look on your face, your eyebrow raised (if you can do that. I can actually move them both individually, it’s pretty neat!). And maybe there’s a bit of a sneer to the upturn of your mouth. Well, really, who named you Judge Judy?? Don’t judge me yet. Just hear me out.
As a woman, I had to come to terms early with the fact that my body was ruled by unseen forces and some of those forces had to do with the planets and their alignments. Try menstrual cycles, the moon and child birth. I really can’t explain any of those in full. I can tell you what science has said about how they happen but I can’t really describe the entire why of it without at least getting a little metaphysical. So fine, some things just can’t be fully explained. I’m okay with taking that with some supernatural loving faith. After all, I love some good supernatural phenomenons just as much as the next person, but when it comes to mercury retrograde, I wish I had just laid low with my plans for at least the last two weeks.
Months ago I planned a trip for a yoga music retreat in Belgium. Everything seemed to be going well. Shortly before the retreat I started getting the emails, because yes, I get those astrological emails that tell me when the planets are shifting. But I’ve never really believed in stopping your life because of the positioning of the planets. Unfortunately, I just can’t really let myself stop the momentum that I’ve been on. I know what that feels like and stopping feels a lot like stagnant depression. That feels super unhealthy and right now I’m clinging to my healthier habits like my life depends on them…because really…they do. So I knew I wasn’t going to heed the warnings. The ones that say “don’t travel, be careful with your communication, don’t start new business deals just lay low”. I didn’t have the time not to travel. Plus there was already money spent on this trip…and it’s Belgium. Europe. I had been dreaming of Europe since I was a little girl.
So things seemed to be going fine. Until they weren’t. The day of the trip I took things extra carefully. Since I was traveling with others I made sure I dotted all of my Is and crossed all of my Ts. I left my house early (this was a miracle). I arrived at the airport with time to spare. I checked in, checked my little girl in and things were going fine. Took my time getting to the gate, it was the smoothest security check I’ve ever been through and I’ve been traveling at least twice a year for at least the past seven years. I had a pretty perfectly made chai from a cute barista that I didn’t mind flirting with to get it sweeter (ahem).
When we got to the gate, boarding was just beginning, with confidence, I walk up and handed over the tickets. Mine scanned and the light blinked green. They wen’t to scan the munchkin’s and her scanned red. They tried it again. Still red. One agent walked over to the phone to start making a series of calls while the other agent scanned everyone else in. Of course they don’t tell me what’s going on.
Apparently, even after getting through the ticketing agent, even after getting through security, finally at the door of the plane, we were turned away. Literally, they would not let us get on the plane. Apparently, the reservation had been made but the agency that was used to book the tickets had made a blunder and hadn’t issued a reservation number for my little girl. She couldn’t get on the plane without her ticket number, because essentially without that number, the ticket did not exist. This was a problem that should have been detected by the ticketing agent, and had it been caught then we would have had time to fix it. However at the edge of the gate, it could not be fixed. I would have to contact the organizer of the retreat, have him call the ticketing agency that we booked the tickets with and have them reissue the ticket. It all sounded like gibberish to me….and it was 3am in Belgium.
They took our bags off the plane. I stamped down my frustration and tried to act like it didn’t matter. I trudged to baggage claim to get our bags and get a taxi home to figure this whole mess out. Luckily the organizer of the retreat was indeed awake. But the ticketing agency was not a 24 hour service. The problem was fixed the next day. We boarded a flight the same time as our original flight, only a day later. I was traveling with two other people, one of them my 19 year old nephew and it was his first time in Europe. When we landed in Belgium we were greeted by the prettiest snowflakes ever. Normally, that would be nice. During Mercury Retrograde that’s hell. From the Brussels airport to the small valley where the retreat was held generally takes an hour and fifteen minutes. That day it took three hours. Our drive arrived an hour after our plane landed…and apparently he’d left at six in the morning and only got to us by 11am.
Communication between me and the others on the trip was crazy and finally I stopped trying to take things so seriously. I had to let it all roll off my shoulders with a laugh and a shrug when things went wrong. The organizer apologized profusely. The agency apologized profusely. The airline apologized. Everyone was sorry. It’s hard to stay angry when everyone is so sorry. We got there safe, even if it was a day later. The retreat was beautiful and amazing. There will be more posts on all of this later. There would have been more posts all along…but when we got there it was like the internet in all of Belgium had gone wacky. No matter where we went it was slow and almost non existent. There’s that stupid mercury retrograde effect again.
Then a snow storm was scheduled to hit New York. We were supposed to come home Tuesday morning on January 27th. We didn’t actually come home until Thursday the 29th. It was frustrating to say the least. But at least we had a wonderful place to stay in one of the most beautiful castles I have ever seen. Okay, it’s the only castle I’ve ever seen. The people were sweet and accommodating. We changed over enough money so that we were fine and everyone who knew of our plight in that small community was so nice about discounting our prices for things because of our hardships. They have a huge bookstore that I found myself in for hours. They have a beautiful cafe and the most amazing vegetarian bakery that I have ever been to in my existence.
After I got home its like the effects of the universe on me and my psyche didn’t end. I just couldn’t get it together. I am not usually jet lagged since I keep such an irregular sleep schedule normally, but I just couldn’t get it together once I got back. I was too tired, too on edge and my emotions were everywhere. I had also planned in advance to attend another yoga music event in the city when I got home…except I got home days later than planned. But I went anyway, because I felt like I needed to. I needed the meditation and the music to destress and decompress after the trip. But after all that, I kind of felt like I needed a vacation from my vacation. And a vacation from mercury retrograde.
So I’m just now getting back to my beloved blog and I have loads of posts lined up because at least, even though I wasn’t posting anything I was still writing it, thank the entire Universe. I know this is just about one of the longest posts I’ve ever written and there’s more to come on the retreat, the castle, yoga music and more. I can’t wait to share it all and get back in the fray. I’ve missed reading up on some of my favorite blogs. I’ve missed the community and the communication. I’ve missed bonding through words and putting out reviews. I’ve missed my online life! And that feels amazing. I’m kind of glad that it all happened. Sometimes it’s easy for me to forget how much I appreciate my blog and the work that I like putting into it. When I’m writing posts at 4am after a long day of being a mom it’s easy to take for granted the labor of love that all of this is. But after not having it these past few weeks, I can definitely and proudly say that I love blogging. I love the wordpress community. I love exploring new things that make me think and give me the inspiration to go on.
All in all…it’s a pretty awesome blessing, the internet. I guess I have mercury retrograde to actually thank for that revelation. I just wish the damned thing hadn’t hijacked my life to show me that.
So happy to be back!
Ready to dive back into the whimsy 🙂