This, That, The Other... and Oh, Yeah


Here in the Gemini zone (where the Sun, Mercury and Venus currently reside), we've got a veritable smorgasbord of possibilities.

But throw in a retrograde to Mercury (May 26-Jun 19), and the sheer multitude of options, ideas, opinions, and alternate takes on situations could become much too much to handle.

Ever heard of information overload? Now, imagine how your electronic devices must feel when you demand they hold multiple application windows open simultaneously, store music and photo files, crunch massive numbers, perform magical graphic-design feats, and handle a zillion-and-one calls and faxes and text messages zooming through the air at record speed…

…and hell, really, we should just be glad to be alive. Neglecting to submit a certain form by a certain due-date, missing a payment, or forgetting to write down so-and-so's number is truly the least of our worries. (Will one of you remind me I just told you that the next time I find myself up shit creek without the proper ID, SSN, PIN or ISBN?)

You might think a Mercury retrograde in Gemini, a sign he rules, would be less potentially troublesome than in other zodiac regions—and I'd love to affirm that conjecture, I really would. But for the most part, I can't necessarily claim that's true.

What usually makes Mercury so happy in Gemini is its mental quickness, that oh-so-clever ability to switch gears, shift language, and instinctively react to changes in environment or audience with a whole new sets of quips, conditions and catchphrases. Those with a wicked wit or a gamer's glee will generally appreciate it. Certain others (serious types who demand 'The Truth and nothing but') might find the moving-target quality grating or insincere.

Throw in the retrograde quality, though, and that means we'd all better stay on our toes. Plans can be dramatically altered at the last minute, and we'll be expected to flow. New details may emerge, requiring the whole concept to be reconceptualized… perhaps to the point that it hardly resembles the original kernel, which, of course, is only really a problem if somebody's cherished ego is on the line. We may say one thing one moment, an entirely different thing the next. Does that make us mealy hypocrites… or the prototypical ambivalent human beings we are? It's not just a woman's prerogative to change her mind.

Perhaps the most important warning? A retrograde Mercury in Gemini (especially with both the Sun and Venus remaining in Gemini for its full duration) can wreak havoc on our nerves… if, that is, we keep trying to hold onto every flying specific, responsibly track and log each revision to the code like a diligent (but obsessive?) Wikipedia editor. Unless we're one of the precious few who actually thrive in this hyper-manic climate—individuals with lots of air-sign planets, improv comedy players, multilingual translators, folks with ADD—we may find our systems taxed by the constant frenetic exchanges of bits, bytes, babbles, and brilliant notions.

And naturally, as our frayed constitutions continue their attempts to keep up, the tweaked energies our bodies emit can indeed mess with the energy fields of those machines we employ to help our modern lives run smoothly. ('Inanimate', are they?) Think about how you feel when you're in a calm mood—and some super-high-energy, mile-a-minute chatterbox invades your space, bubbling forth with enthusiasm until it spills all the over kitchen floor. Irritating, isn't it? No wonder why our phones, our cars, our computers, and other such members of our extended family go haywire in response. Treat them kindly, however, and they will return the favor.

But in case this needs explicit pointing out, allow me: Mercury retrograde is not a bad thing… so long as you accept what's going on and work with it, instead of demanding 'my way or the highway' and suffering the disappointing consequences of being shown the potholed, traffic-filled detour route.

In this Geminian realm, all ideas are potentially good ideas unless or until proven otherwise—and since very little definitive 'proving' is likely to occur over these coming few weeks, we might as well entertain them all, though they may seem odd, illogical, contradictory or just plain cryptic.

This period is perfect for creative brainstorming (without judgment), exploratory social networking (who knows where it'll go, if anywhere at all?), the drafting of alternate versions (maybe you'll use 'em, maybe you won't), and taking brief walks around the block in other people's shoes (so they don't fit? you can still make it one measly block).

When in doubt, tell yourself, 'Sure, I'll give this a try. Or that. Or the other. What the hell?'

Without a commitment going in, you have relatively nothing to lose…