Monthly Archives: April 2017
Troubled by bothersome mold and mildew? There’s a god for that! Robigus is the Roman deity of rust and mildew. His honorary day is April 25. Implicit in the worship of deities who rule over things we find abhorrent is the recognition that these things do have a place — just not in our house, please. Pray to Robigus to keep rust off your ritual tools and mildew from you ritual spaces.
Both Mercury and Venus are retrograde right now, along with Jupiter and Saturn, but don’t freak out just yet.
“Retrograde” simply means that from our Earth perspective the planets are going “backwards” in the sky, although in reality they are tootling along like they always do. The outer planets are retrograde a good part of the time, so Jupiter and Saturn retrograde seems like business as usual, nothing to remark upon. Jupiter, for example, went retrograde in February and will go direct in June before going retrograde again in March of next year. Venus is more significant, as this planet goes retrograde every few years for about six weeks. Venus will go direct in a few days, so that retrograde is about done until June 2020.
So what about Mercury? That’s the retrograde people have learned to fear. I have written before on this blog how retrograde Mercury is a shift in attention, usually toward an area that has not been getting much focus. I recommend taking another look at this post.
My understanding of retrogrades, and particularly Mercury retrograde, is undergoing another transformation. I am especially taking exception to the admonition frequently given that the problems of Mercury retrograde are “your own damn fault. If you’d just been conscientious about your diet/maintenance/bookkeeping you wouldn’t have anything to fear from Mercury retrograde.” I don’t like this perspective because, for one thing, we can’t focus everywhere at once: our lives are too complex. The shift in attention may be needed, if unwelcome, but it’s not necessarily a punishment. You may have to take “lessons” from what happens at this time or you may not, depending on the situation. Whatever happens, you will find yourself preoccupied with things you don’t normally think too much about, though they will (probably) not be bizarre or highly unusual things.
But my thinking has evolved a bit further, to the point where I actually look forward to Mercury retrograde. Yes, it can be a wonderful time! This is when problems are addressed and often resolved, usually problems dealing with health, communication, finance, commerce, construction, or machinery. They can be hidden problems rising to the surface, which is the aspect of Mercury that is frustrating, or they can be longstanding problems. It’s a great time to proofread, revise, revisit, and reflect.
Take advantage of these next few weeks to problem-solve and resolve issues, especially the niggling kind that sap your energy. This may be the time you admit that you’re over your head in certain areas and go the doctor, hire a bookkeeper, or ask a friend to help you organize a project. This is a good time to use your magic for solving personal problems that seem outside your control.
Early the other day, while I was reading the nature poet Pattiann Rogers, my pancakes got a bit scorched in the griddle. I probably should not mention my name in the same post as Pattiann Rogers, lest comparisons be made, but the incident reminded me of this poem I wrote at this time last year.
Breakfast at My House
I am eating poems for breakfast.
Giraffes, dragonflies, and polar bears stalk
my kitchen. It is spring, it is winter, it is sunset, it is
too late – another burned pancake
goes in the trash.
I ponder food as a metaphor for wisdom while the cat
chows down on the scrambled tofu. The poignancy of life’s
impermanence hits home as the coffee
You can’t eat poetry, said my mother, but
I know you can, because I know what poetry
tastes like. It is soggy cereal and scorched potatoes.
It is charred polenta. It is over-steeped tea.
Millions of people
are eating poems for breakfast, and it is
the only meal that leaves you