Precious Moments with Mercury Retrograde (and Pluto!)



Following the untimely color disturbances in the image on my TV screen, I called my digital-cable provider to help me solve the problem. They couldn't fix it remotely, so they had to send someone out to swap cable boxes.

The cable guy showed up right on time, bearing a brand-new box to assuage my televisual anxieties. Alas, replacing the old one meant losing all the saved programs on my DVR (or digital TV recorder, the generic equivalent of TiVo). Oh, well. Better this than a computer crash. (Knock on Mercury-retrograde wood.)

I was slightly less forgiving that the box swap also lost me my free premium channel (HBO anyone?). But it wasn't mine to begin with, so what are you going to do? The cable company runs no special hotline for reporting unjustifiable complaints.

Within minutes of the cable guy's departure, the new cable box turned itself off and then on again… a procedure I'd been warned to expect. However, nobody had prepared me for the box to keep turning itself off and on every five to ten minutes. All day. All night. In the middle of me trying to watch American Idol, no less. Even when the TV was powered off, the box continued its shenanigans, making disruptive rebooting noises that polluted the peace in my home.

Following this untimely disturbance, I called the cable company to help me solve the problem. They couldn't fix it remotely, so they had to send someone out to swap cable boxes.

The cable guy showed up right on time, bearing a brand-new box to assuage my latest televisual anxieties. This guy was extremely helpful… so much so that he insisted on explaining every technical detail about the box, the wiring, and the company's off-site programming capabilities. He'd follow up his meticulous descriptions by checking in, 'Understand what I mean?'

Each time, I politely replied, 'Um, no… but it doesn't matter. You're the boss.'

So he assumed this authority and proceeded to rewire all the connections in the back of my TV. I was admittedly nervous, though I didn't know how far I'd get by telling him to be careful, since Mercury was retrograde. I kept quiet, and thankfully, now I no longer have to unplug the cable box to watch a DVD. Everything seems to be running smoothly. (But still no free HBO anymore.)


I'm at the gym, post-workout, chatting with a friend. From across the locker room, a guy who I've never seen before approaches me and interrupts. 'I heard what you said to me, and it wasn't really nice. Don't ever talk to me again.'

Naturally, I respond, 'I really have no idea what you're talking about.'

'Oh, yeah, right. Why don't you just fuck off?'

I tried to inform the guy that it was clearly a case of mistaken identity, but he wouldn't hear of it. Then, I asked, 'When did this supposedly happen? Was this today?' I'm thinking, maybe he caught me mouthing the words to the song blaring on my iPod, right as my wandering eyes scanned the workout area, and thought I was talking to him.

He just shook his head and answered, 'Between you and me, you know what you did. And I don't appreciate it.'

At which point, my anger got the best of me… and I couldn't keep myself from yelling, for all the locker room to hear, 'You're friggin' crazy, dude! I have no idea who you are!'

Needless to say, I watched my back as I left.


For the first time in my illustrious career as an astrologer, a session with a client goes awry.

It's a phone consultation with a gentleman from the other side of the country. Intense astro-stuff coming down on him—his natal Moon conjunct Neptune in Virgo, being set off big-time by yesterday's lunar eclipse and squared uncomfortably by Pluto. Tough, indeed.

Obviously, this is where I start the conversation: Virgo Moon conjunct Neptune… tendency to criticize one's self and others… very sensitive, but difficulty with finding comfort in the messiness of emotions… and this moment right now, a perfect opportunity to delve further into the old pains and resentments, to better accept yourself and others as you are… to open up room for a new kind of love.

But he doesn't seem to hear what I'm saying—or that's my perception, at least. Everything's just swell, he tells me. That old crap is a done deal. He just wants to know the who-what-when-where-how of his next romance.

Fifty minutes in, I tell him, 'I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I can answer that question for you. Those specifics depends on what you do. But I can report that, if you attend to this emotional work now, you can expect to attract a different sort of relationship toward the end of the year. I hope you're not disappointed by what I have to offer you.' I'm caught up in defending myself, not a good sign.

It goes south from there. He doesn't understand why I'm feeling 'criticized by him' (his words), just because he claims to have no issues remaining from his youth. I'm a loss for what to do next, other than stating, 'I'm confident in my work. I've said what I have to say. And that's it.'

Mercury-retrograde misunderstanding of the connotations in 'that's it', I suppose. I didn't mean to end the conversation there—though he hangs up on me anyway.


Sure, the whole thing got to me a bit. But my intention was to help, and I did what I could.


As I wrote last time, Pluto can come off as quite an asshole… as can those under his pungent influence. Mercury retrograde in Pisces and the Mar 14 lunar eclipse in Virgo both square Pluto, so there's a lot of it going around.

Sometimes, the force of what comes your way has little to do with your actual actions. (If I were a fraud, I wouldn't spend all this energy on maintaining an astrological site… without getting paid for it.) Other times, it's a course correction you didn't see coming, but which resets the justice in a given situation. (I admit it, okay: I had no right to the free HBO.) And on rare occasions, we're just caught in the crossfire of an innocent mistake. ('I have no idea who you are!')

Stay safe, alert to possible projections, and firm in your own truth. Psychic boundaries up, gang.